How #TeamRuth shredded Sturgeon’s #Indyref2 fantasy

Will Burstow is Director of Constitutional Affairs for Parliament Street

_89610920_edinburgh_central_declareRejoice, rejoice! The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party is back with an astounding 31 seats in the new Holyrood chamber. While many of us following the elections to the devolved administrations knew there was going to be a conservative uplift, with the Weber Shandwick poll of polls predicting they would just pip Labour, no one would have predicted that they would more than double their representation. An astounding result with gains at a constituency level in Aberdeenshire West, Galloway and Dumfriesshire, Eastwood, and the brilliant win for Ruth Davidson herself in Edinburgh Central. But what does this really mean, and does it matter considering the SNP won the election? Simply put, yes.

Davidson went into this election on a promise to stand up to the SNP in Holyrood and stand firm against the neverendum and the Unionist electorate poured electoral riches upon her for that. It, without a shadow of a doubt, gives Davidson the power and authority to speak out against the neverendum and she may even be able to get Sturgeon to actually keep to the Edinburgh Agreement and make the Indy Ref a truly once in a lifetime poll.

You see, the electoral math backs Davidson up. Despite the deliberate work of SNP operatives up and down Scotland over the last 2 years to build a majority for independence it is simply not happening. Polls currently have support again failing away for independence and in fact clearly demonstrating that a clear majority of Scots don’t even want a second referendum.

Results from the Ballot box now underline this point. The overtly Unionist party came from 3rd and 4th in some parts of the country to lead the opposition against SNP hegemony and well over 50% of people voted for Unionist parties. In fact Unionist parties vote share jumped in comparison with last year’s Parliamentary elections and the pro-independence parties share fell against the referendum result.

This is important because the SNP’s soundtrack in and to power has been, as Barney Stinson would say, all rise. They won in 2007, won resoundingly in 2011, converted that result into the 44% at the referendum and then stormed Westminster with the electoral support they garnered. This has stalled their progress, not only did Ruth Davidson’s Conservative and Unionists ensure the SNP lost seats, but it meant they did not get the majority in Parliament that they craved.

Many yessers will point out that they have a majority for independence in Parliament, but for the SNP to partner up with the Greens to force a second indyref would be an affront to democracy after Thursday’s results. It would be a further signal to the people of Scotland that the SNP couldn’t give a monkeys about the people and are simply in power to force their separatist agenda on Scotland.

That being said, I suspect Sturgeon isn’t actually stupid enough to do that. She knows that everything is stacked up against her, that the numbers, the results, and the people of Scotland don’t back independence so she’s desperately trying to walk the tightrope of keeping the opportunity for a poll open for the, while not endangering the SNP’s current electoral position. Now is the time for Ruth to knock Sturgeon off the tightrope, and cement Scotland’s place in the Union.

Comments are closed.