LAST week’s Scottish independence referendum has inspired Scot Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) to take a look at the other political markets kicking around just now.
Scottish Elections | May 2016
The Scottish independence referendum last week was an historic moment not just for Scotland but also for politics. With turnover at 85% it was the most engaging political vote for over half a century in the UK. One things for sure, nothing will be the same again.
Despite the No campaign triumphing 55% to 45% it seems the real losers out of this episode are the Labour Party in Scotland. The ineffectiveness of the current leader Ed Miliband, an uncomfortable liaison with the Conservative Party during the campaign and suggestions of aggressive and underhand tactics don’t look good for traditionally the biggest party in Scotland.
Without doubt, the winners of the campaign have been the Scottish National Party (SNP). In just four days since the vote, party membership rose by a staggering 66% to just under 50,000, and the SNP have now overtaken the Liberal Democrats as the third largest political party in the UK.
William Hill go 4/5 that the SNP win the most seats at the 2016 elections and that looks a rock solid bet. In the last election they won 69 of the 129 seats, 32 more than Labour, and this was before the good vibes of the referendum.
It would be remarkable if the Labour Party overtook them with just a palpable bad feeling about the party in Scotland just now. A vast number of traditional Labour voters have vowed to turn their back on the party forever (including my family) and this looks very real damage. On top of that you can back 3/1 with Ladbrokes that the SNP gain an Overall Majority in the 2016 election. Similar sentiments apply!
The only caveats to this would be if the new SNP leader (likely to be Nicola Sturgeon) fails to connect with the public like her predecessor Alex Salmond did, and if Labour fail at the General Election next year and bring in a charismatic new leader to win back Scottish support. But it would be unwise to underestimate the effect of this referendum and the huge changes it will bring to Scottish politics.
Scottish Parliament Elections 2016 – SNP to win most seats (4/5 William Hill)
Scottish Parliament Elections 2016 – SNP to win an Overall Majority (3/1 Ladbrokes)