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Scottish Election 2011. What does it mean for Higher Modern Studies?. A Game-changer?. This was the election no one predicted Not only did the SNP win, it won a parliamentary majority over all the other parties – something few people believed

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scottish election 2011

Scottish Election 2011

What does it mean for Higher Modern Studies?

a game changer
A Game-changer?
  • This was the election no one predicted
  • Not only did the SNP win, it won a
  • parliamentary majority
  • over all the other parties –
  • something few people believed
  • was possible under the AMS
  • Scottish Labour, Conservatives and
  • Liberal Democrats
  • will all have new leaders as they try and
  • deal with the seismic shift in Scottish politics
  • The SNP Government can now argue for the Scotland Bill going through Westminster to give new powers to Scotland
  • It will also introduce a referendum on independence
  • Is this the “new Scotland”?
the results
The Results
  • The SNP now has an overall majority. The party won 45.4% of the constituency vote
  • The SNP now has more constituency MSPs than Labour
  • The Lib Dems vote collapsed, with most of their voters switching to SNP
labour loses its big hitters
Labour loses its big Hitters
  • Not only did Labour lose 7 MSPs, it lost some of its most capable politicians. Andy Kerr, Frank McAveety, Tom McCabe and Pauline McNeil will be hard to replace.
  • Iain Gray is standing down as Leader. With many inexperienced MSPs, up against a resurgent, majority SNP Government, the party has it all to do to become a force again.
majority scottish government
Majority Scottish Government
  • Few people believed this would ever happen
  • The AMS voting system almost ensured Coalition or Minority Government
  • Almost
  • The AMS can’t stop a landslide result
  • This was an SNP landslide
scottish cabinet may 2011

First Minister Alex Salmond has expanded his team

  • How many can you name?
  • Because Westminster has moved to a fixed five year term, this Scottish parliamentary term will be for five years too
  • Big events will be the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup. Good opportunities for the SNP to promote independence…
Scottish Cabinet May 2011
majority scottish government1
Majority Scottish Government
  • The Scottish Government, with this mandate from the voters and a parliamentary majority, will surely now act on the policies it was unable to pass during the previous Scottish Parliament. So, expect
  • Minimum Pricing of Alcohol
  • Introduction of a Local income Tax
  • Demands for more powers for the Scottish Parliament in the Westminster Scotland Bill
  • A referendum on Independence
so why did the snp win such a majority

Party Campaign

  • Party Leadership
  • Party policies
  • Influence of the media
  • Influence of social class
So, why did the SNP win such a majority?

Let’s look at….

party campaign snp
Party Campaign: SNP
  • The SNP’s message was; this what we’ve done so far, give us another term to do even more
  • Voters understood it and with independence “parked” in a future referendum, Labour couldn’t scare voters away from the SNP
  • The campaign was both professional and modern
  • Key voters in key seats were identified and wooed
  • Both Party leaders and activists Twittered purposely
party campaign scottish labour
Party Campaign: Scottish Labour
  • It’s probably fair to say that Scottish Labour’s campaign was, at best, unimaginative and at worst, negative
  • Fighting for what really matters? Who isn’t?
  • Other than this, Scottish Labour was on the defensive, saying how bad the SNP was without getting across how Labour would be better
  • Iain Gray’s retreat from anti-cuts protestors into a sandwich shop seemed to define Labour’s campaign
party campaign scottish conservatives
Party Campaign: Scottish Conservatives
  • The theme of “common sense” was mostly about more police officers and cutting taxes
  • Not unpopular policies in themselves, but the “toxic” nature of the Conservative brand in Scotland remains
  • The combination of the memory of the Thatcher years and the unpopularity of the UK “Con-Dem” Coalition meant that the party won only 3 constituency seats and just 14% of the vote
  • Leader Annabel Goldie has resigned.
party campaign scottish liberal democrats
Party Campaign: Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • The Scottish Liberal Democrats got a pasting
  • The unpopularity of the UK party’s coalition with the Conservatives, in particular the U turn over university tuition fees, was a significant factor
  • Leader Tavish Scott has resigned and has been replaced by Willie Rennie.
a question of leadership
A Question of Leadership
  • Opinion poll evidence showed that most voters preferred Alex Salmond to be First Minister
  • Indeed, for may voters he was the only party leader they knew
  • One poll showed only 7% of voters recognised Iain Gray
  • Some people even thought Tavish Scott was the banker Fred Goodwin
  • The SNP campaign focused on the leadership issue, even putting Alex Salmond’s name on the Party List ballot paper
  • The SNP’s policies were the most
  • popular with the public
  • Indeed, Labour had to abandon it’s
  • opposition to a Council Tax freeze
  • to match the SNP’s promise
  • Crucially, the SNP also weren’t
  • offering independence, but a
  • future referendum on whether
  • Scotland should be independent
  • Voters, therefore who liked the
  • SNP/Alex Salmond but weren’t convinced about independence could vote SNP without committing themselves to independence
  • By contrast, other parties weren’t offering voters the option
newspaper coverage

Scotland’s most popular paper is The Scottish Sun

  • It likes to claim that it’s support wins elections
  • In 2007, it was very anti-SNP
  • But the SNP won
  • Now, in 2011 the newspaper changed it’s mind….
Newspaper Coverage
  • And hey, ho, the SNP is now not that bad after all!
  • So, did The Sun win it?
  • Or, did it simply pick the winning team?
  • What it did do was to energise the SNP’s campaign and demoralise Labour’s
influence of social class

The SNP made some staggering gains in very traditional Labour areas.

  • This shows that social classes D and E are now prepared, for Scottish elections at least, to abandon Labour
  • But the social classes are changing
  • More Scots are now property owners, work in the private sector, perhaps are self-employed or work at homes
  • The work place loyalties to Labour are not so strong
  • “Mondeo man” or “School gate Mum” is very much up for grabs
Influence of Social Class
2011 a game changer

Is a fundamental shift in Scottish voting behaviour taking place?

  • In the 1950s the Conservatives were Scotland’s most popular party. Now, they are down to 14% of the vote and are a minority party
  • Labour’s vote this time only actually dropped by 0.5%
  • But, can the party come back?
  • Could it go the same way as the Conservatives?
  • Will the SNP become the new power in Scotland?
  • Will Scotland vote for independence?
2011: A Game-Changer?