danieldwilliam: (electoral reform)
[personal profile] danieldwilliam
A few election predictions. None particular controversial or insightful.

On Thursday the SNP will win an absolute majority at Holyrood. I think they will pick up almost all of the constituency seats and a few seats on the list. I'd expect them to win between 70-75 seats. This would give them an absolute majority of between 5 and 10 seats. They will lose a couple through by-elections late in the Parliament and possibly one or two to defection or disillutionment but they should comfortably retain a comfortable majority until 2021.

I think the Labour Party will hang onto to second place with somewhere around 20-25 seats and the Tories a few seats behind them. (This is the prediction I'll least certain of).

I predict that the Greens will underperform their current polling. I'd expect 1-2 seats in each of Glasgow and the Lothians and 1 seat each in most regions for a total of about 8.

The Lib Dems should hang on to all five of their seats.

I think UKIP might win between 0-3 and three seats. By which I mean they are in with an outside chance of winning a seat in I think 3 regions. They might come close in all three but win nothing or they might win all three.

If I'm right about UKIP winning a seat at Holyrood this will be a shocking result. I mean it will shock Scotland, particularly the left wing of Scotish voters and most especially the more starry-eyed 45-ers. We've all been telling ourselves for years that Scotland is different and that UKIP could never establish themselves in Scotland. That David Coburn's European Parliament seat was a fluke and result of badly organised tactical voting. However, it looks like Scotland might have the same Poujadist underbelly as the rest of Europe and the same problems that lead to that sort of political organisation prospering.

I wonder how we will respond.

On the subject of Poujadists - I now think Trump will win the Republican nomination, probably on the first ballot and perhaps with a majority of pledged delegates in advance of the convention. This surprises me. For about six months now I thought that Trump's appeal would stick at 35-40% and that the Republican party would rally round some compromise candidate who would head him off at the pass. Looks like I was wrong. The Republicans have bungled their anti-Trump response. Perhaps because they think Cruz is worse.


More surprisingly Trump seems to be able to poll above 50% when it counts. (Amongst Republican voters who are highly engaged in politics).

This saddens me. I was hoping for a contentested convention. Trump losing out to Cruz in the 42nd ballot and running a third party spoiler campaign but in only half the states whilst Cruz deals with legitimacy issues and the Republican Party sinks in to a decade long civil war. No luck.

Clinton has won the Democrat primary and should comfortably beat Trump in the General Election. Will the Democrats win back a majority in the Senate? I think not but who knows what impact Trump will have.

The election I've been paying second least attention too is the EU referendum.

I think Remain will win the EU referendum. The winning margin will be somewhere a little bit closer than the Scottish Indepedence with markedly higher Remain votes in Scotland. This will be interesting because I expect a number of British Nationalists who are currently saying that a 55-45 win is conclusive when they win will want to change their tune when they lose their referendum by about the same amount.

I'm not sure that their 45-ers will go on to repeat the success of the SNP. To use the current vernacular the Euro-sceptic 45-er's haven't done the level grinding that the SNP have done. The SNP had spent 7 years providing competent, centrist, worthy government and the two year referendum campaign turned in to a massive and positive national conversation about the future of Scotland not just as a state but as a political, social and culture entity. What emerged was a strong desire for a social democracy in Scotland with large minority of people who belived that this could best (or only) be achieved through indepedence. Independence was to be a vehicle to the better Scotland we mostly agreed we wanted. Except the UKIP voters - who don't. And the Tory voters - who don't either. And Lib Dem voters who are bit concerned about over centralisation and local government. And Labour voters who are worried that the SNP are Tories in Disguise. But most of the rest of agree we'd like a Scandinavian style social democracy.

The Euro-sceptics haven't done this and they don't have time to have those conversations between now and the 23rd of June. They also lack an immediate opportunity to win an election. So I expect they will lose and then not go on to sweep to power. If we are lucky they will remain a festering sore in the side of the Tory party for the next generation. The cabinet reshuffle on the 25th of June should be fun.

The election I've been paying least attention to is the post-election potential election of a new Labour Party leader. I think the results in London will offset a generally lacklustre result in the English local elections. The Scottish result is baked in. So I expect Corbyn will survive the Ides of May. He seems be narrowing the gap between him and Cameron in terms of public perception and I think none of the likely Tory successors are more liked than Cameron so Corbyn might survive long enough to go on to utterly lose the 2020 General Election.

Date: 2016-05-03 09:46 am (UTC)
andrewducker: (Illuminati)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
Yeah, I don't see the Lib-Dems getting a break-through at the moment. Or the Greens. The SNP are happily holding the central 50% of the political space - liberal-enough for most, left-enough for most, green-enough for most, competent-enough for most.

I find myself, oddly, lacking in real interest in the Scottish elections. They've been a 95% foregone conclusion for the last year, and the proportionality of the system means that nothing really weird is going to be thrown up by a swing of a few percent one way or the other. And as I can live with an SNP majority (even with it not being my ideal result), I'm not overly bothered by the expected result.

I also strongly suspect that Clinton will hammer Trump, and I really hope they can work towards having a majority in both houses.

Date: 2016-05-03 10:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com
Yeah - that's pretty much where I am about Scottish politics. No surprises and I can live with an SNP majority government but it's not my ideal.

I think the 2016-2021 parliament will be interesting. How left and how radical will the SNP actually turn out to be? Will Labour get its message that the government could use the powers it has to make a difference today get through? Will the SNP maintain its steady and stable position as a party of government?

But the election - dull - we're not even expecting any changes of leadership over the next five years. The only surprise will be if Willlie Rennie comes out as bi-sexual.

Will Clinton hammer Trump? Yeah - pretty much I reckon. Clinton currently has not great approval ratings but she what this means is that she comes pre-hated by people who don't like her. All the potential for disliking her is built in but I expect there are quite a few people yet to properly examine Trump and I expect he will motivate turnout against him.

I'm afraid I don't see this turning in to the Democrats winning both Houses. They need to win 3 seats in the Senate (or maybe 2 - I can't recall how active the Vice-President is allowed to be) from about 8 competitive races. They might do that.

In the House, it's all out and all 435 seats are up for election. The Democrats need to win about 30 seats from 66 competitive elections. That seems harder. I'd love to be wrong. Perhaps if Trump really aggrevates low-turn out Democrats.

Date: 2016-05-03 09:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] widgetfox.livejournal.com
I thought you thought that the Lib Dem in Orkney would lose?

Date: 2016-05-03 10:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com
I do - I fear Liam McArthur will lose Orkney but I think they gain the seat back on the regional list in the Highland and Islands or else win a seat on a different regional list - on a balance of probabilities I think the Orkney loss will be counter-acted elsewhere.

Date: 2016-05-03 10:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhythmaning.livejournal.com
It is likely to be touch and go. The islands generally have a tendency towards independent (it will be interesting to see if ex-SNP list MSP Jean Urquhart, standing for RISE this time, gets in on the list. I had breakfast with her a couple of years ago). Whilst the SNP activists are very vocal, their support may not be deep enough.

Date: 2016-05-03 10:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com
Is that where Jean Urquart has gone? I'd lost track of her after John Finnie joined the Greens fully.

I saw a RISE van with a public address system driving up and down Melville Drive a few days ago. Proper old fashioned campaigning that.

Date: 2016-05-03 10:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhythmaning.livejournal.com
I was quite impressed by the RISE candidate in the hustings, but their banner at Wellington Place - "the people demand independence" - annoys me so much. "Some people" would be closer to the truth.

Date: 2016-05-03 11:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alitheapipkin.livejournal.com
They seem to be more or less running on a Green platform for the lefties who won't believe that social justice is at the heart of Green policy, plus a pie in the sky idea that we are any closer to winning a second indy ref now than we were to winning the first one. I have sympathy for the first position because I still come across Scottish Green members who won't believe it either but I'm utterly bemused by the second bit. I think all the serious commentary on the indy ref result makes clear we lost on making the economic case and from where I'm sitting, we are no closer to rectifying that.

Date: 2016-05-03 12:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com

I think you are right about IndyRef and the economic case.

And I think that's a pretty hard case to win in a few years because of risk aversion, and a tendency to want to stick with the current situation and because (I think) the best economic case that can be made for indepedence is that it will probably make the country slightly richer over a generation net of the cost of the change from being part of the UK to being indedendent. It's a small and uncertain benefit overall.

Folk might get fed up of living with a Tory government enough to lower their risk aversion but not for a while I think.

Date: 2016-05-03 12:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alitheapipkin.livejournal.com
Yeah, it's going to be a long haul. But in commissioning a proper investigation into having our own currency and starting to seriously plan how we migrate from being an oil-dependent economy, we are at least starting to do the right leg work I feel. We shall see what comes out of the SNP's planned 'summer of independence'...

Date: 2016-05-03 12:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhythmaning.livejournal.com
We didn't lose. We won! ;)

Date: 2016-05-03 10:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhythmaning.livejournal.com
A very interesting post. With regard to Scotland, I'm not sure I disagree with any of your absolute predictions, but I think most interest well be in the number of votes each party gets.

I'm hopeful LibDems will take Edinburgh Western, but it will be close. I haven't done the maths, but winning the constituency might preclude a Lothian list seat - either way, I expect Alex Cole-Hamilton will be in the need see parliament.

I don't agree about UKIP. They have run an awful campaign in Scotland. They have been fighting each other more than the other parties. Coburn's tv appearances have been a shambles. The top of the UKIP list in the Lothians is hopeless - I've seen him talk a couple of times and he was totally unconvincing. I don't know about the other regions, but I see no reason to think they're any better.

There could be some interesting fights in specific constituencies - particularly Kez Dugdale standing in Edinburgh East (solid SNP, I believe) and Ruth Davidson in Edinburgh Central (a Labour/SNP split if the anti Tory vote might just let her in). Both are top of their parties' list.

I think the EU ref could be closer than 55/45. I believe it will just be in favour of staying in the EU. The ructions in the Tory party could be very entertaining.
Edited Date: 2016-05-03 10:38 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-05-03 10:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com
I would not hang my hat on my UKIP prediction. They may well do worse than nil seats but they seem to be close in a few regions and I think that the BothVotesSNP campaign might end up over concentrating the left-ish vote with UKIP sneaking a seat in a region.

There are some interesting constituency match ups.

I'm sad Davidson and Dugdale and Alison Johnstone didn't all end up running in the same Edinburgh seat.

Date: 2016-05-03 11:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alitheapipkin.livejournal.com
To be honest, 8 seats for the Greens is looking like a pretty good result to me right now, I'm not sure I'd class that as under-performing given the range of polling results I've seen. And given what we are up against in terms of still developing party organisation from having been tiny prior to the indy ref, a 4 fold increase in representation is pretty good going I feel. I'll still be gutted if we miss out in the NE though, especially if we do so to UKIP of all people!

Date: 2016-05-03 12:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com
8 seats for the Greens would be a great result.

I've seen polling suggesting 13 seats. Which I think translates to 2 in Glasgow, 2 in Lothians, 1 in each of the other regions and dealer's choice of a third seat in Glasgow, Edinburgh or a second seat in a few of the regions.

I think the Greens (we) don't have the ground game to grind out a Get Out the Vote campaign and I think people like to think about voting Green more than they actually like to vote Green.

8 would be a good number. I hope our massive increase in representation does not turn out to include some numpties.

Date: 2016-05-03 12:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alitheapipkin.livejournal.com
From what I've seen, our top candidates are a pretty good bunch, some more known quantities than others. Our top candidate for West comes across like a bit of an arse on FB but I've never met him in person and I'm not sure being an officious arse necessarily precludes being a good MSP!

Date: 2016-05-03 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com
It takes all sorts and, yeah, being a charming, pleasant individual isn't necessarily what you want in all of your representatives.

Date: 2016-05-03 01:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alitheapipkin.livejournal.com
I'd be particularly happy to see 2 MSPs for Lothians because I've seen Andy Wightman speak and I think he's one of our best assets - it would be a crying shame if he does miss out by a few hundred votes.

Date: 2016-05-03 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com
Yes, particularly in a parliamentary session where land reform is likely to be a topic it would be good to see him in the chamber and in committee.

He's likely to have some useful input and his intellectual rigour might make for some decent opposition to the government's plans.


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