Scotland had an higher than average turnout in the General Election, 71.1% against the UK turnout of 66.1%. Good, but down from the 84.6% turnout for the Scottish independence referendum. With the Scottish National Party scooping up 56 out of the 59 constituencies in Scotland they claim to speak with authority on behalf of the nation. It could have been a clean-sweep. In the Orkney and Shetland Islands they were 817 (3.6%) behind the LibDems. In Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale they were only 798 (1.5%) behind the Conservatives. In Edinburgh South they were 2,637 (5.3%) behind Labour. Disregarding spoilt ballot papers the SNP had a 50% share of the vote, but this only represents 35.5% of the electorate. When Alec Salmond MP, in an outpouring of exuberance, declared “The lion has roared” he was carried away with the 56 : 59 result.
On the basis of the 1,454,436 : 2,911,391 [49.96%] share of the turnout it was more a case of ‘The mouse that roared’. On the basis that only 35.5% of the Scottish electorate voted for the SNP the ‘roar’ was more of a ‘squeak’. Mind you, that’s more than the 24.4% of the total UK electorate that voted for the Conservative Party. There must be something wrong with the UK voting system.
Anyone who remembers the 1959 film, ‘The mouse that roared’, will have been struck by the similarities when the ScotNats invaded Westminster.
The Scots do not really want to be there, they just want to return to Scotland with the prize of independence on financially advantageous terms. In the film, the tiny Grand Duchy of Fenwick declares war on the United States, knowing they will be defeated and the magnanimous US will shower them with largesse. When there is no reaction to their declaration they invade New York with a company of men-at-arms and archers, but meet no opposition as everyone is preoccupied with an emergency air-raid drill. The invaders return to the Duchy after planting their flag and leaving a note. They capture a handful of prisoners and the proto-type Q-bomb. This gives them great bargaining power and everyone (members of the UN Security Council) beat a path to Fenwick. The Duchy ends up over playing its hand and the Q-bomb turns out to be a dud.
Westminster is now preoccupied with preparing for an EU referendum. The SNP is being ignored and their Q-bomb [that their support would be needed to form a coalition government] is a dud. With their behaviour and disregard for conventions they are not doing themselves any favours or winning sympathy for their cause. Indeed, they will be remembered as the Scottish Nasty Party.