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To think that the SNP will be stuck between a rock and a hard place

(44 Posts)
Kampeki Thu 30-Apr-15 23:42:44

If Miliband refuses to do any sort of deal with them?

The Scottish MPs would surely then be an irrelevance at best, forced to vote with Labour no matter what. OR, they'd be forced to bring down a Labour government, potentially putting the Tories back in power, and thereby pissing off most if their electorate.

Perhaps it will just make people more inclined to vote "yes" in any future referendums, and so the SNP won't really be bothered, but it seems like a bit of a no-win situation for them in the short term.

TheCatsFlaps Thu 30-Apr-15 23:56:57

I think Miliband is the one that's backed himself into a corner. He opens that lisping mouth and more shit falls out, but I think the SNP will support a good number of Labour policies because Nicola Sturgeon can actually be the better politician and put people first.

Kampeki Fri 01-May-15 00:05:51

But how does it have anything to do with putting people first? She might put that spin on it, but realistically, what choice will she have?

HirplesWithHaggis Fri 01-May-15 00:09:04

The SNP aren't offering any sort of coalition or deal, so his refusal is irrelevant. It's not as if he can refuse SNP support for his version of the Queen's Speech, nor can he refuse their support as he tries to work his way through his manifesto, shouod he manage to form a minority gvt.

What might be interesting though, is that SNP have historically not voted on English-only issues; he may be a bit fucked if they maintain that stance.

Kampeki Fri 01-May-15 00:16:13

The SNP aren't offering any sort of coalition or deal, so his refusal is irrelevant.

Really? I knew they weren't proposing a formal coalition, but the SNP have been suggesting that they will have some influence, which would suggest that they had some sort of deal in mind, no?

Without a deal, the only choice they would have would be between voting in support of Miliband or letting the Labour government collapse. If Miliband is prepared to take that risk, then the SNP hasn't got a lot of bargaining power, has it?

Kampeki Fri 01-May-15 00:17:06

Obviously, he wouldn't need to refuse their support. He just wouldn't need to negotiate for it.

HirplesWithHaggis Fri 01-May-15 00:30:45

It's not quite as simple as that. If, as looks likely, neither Labour nor Tories have a majority, the Tories get first go at forming a gvt (because they are the incumbents, even if they have fewer seats than Lab). They write a Queen's Speech, which must be passed in Parliament. They don't need any formal coalition or agreement or deal, they just need the numbers.

If it's not passed, within a fortnight Lab get a go.

SNP would support a Lab QS, whether Lab like it or not, and again there is no need for deals.

That would put Lab into minority gvt, and every Bill they put forward will need to seek votes on an issue by issue basis, which is what SNP are offering.

Lab gvt would not "collapse", because the (LibDem) new rules re 5 year incumbancy would come into play; it requires two thirds of MPs to pass a motion of no confidence to force an early election. That in itself would be unlikely and massively unpopular, so a minority Lab gvt would just have to limp on...

Kampeki Fri 01-May-15 00:48:49

But that's my point, really. They wouldn't bring the Labour government down, and they would be likely to vote through lots of Labour policies. Other stuff, like Trident, would be supported by the Tories. I can't see how the snp would have much influence at all, other than choosing to prop up labour rather than the tories.

HirplesWithHaggis Fri 01-May-15 01:12:14

It's true that on issues like Trident the SNP would have little influence - as you say, the Tories will vote with Lab. But without SNP support (and they could abstain, rather than actively vote against) Lab would struggle to pass any legislation at all; their much vaunted 50% tax rate, mansion tax (which is going to pay for all sorts of stuff) etc will go nowhere.

What would that mean for the future of Lab?

Kampeki Fri 01-May-15 07:24:26

Yes, but the SNP will support a lot of Labour's policies without any deals, that's my point. They want the mansion tax and higher tax rate themselves, so Ed doesn't need to negotiate on those issues.

Obviously, Ed will need their votes on some issues, and he will certainly get them. My point is that they won't really have any bargaining power.

juneau Fri 01-May-15 07:39:14

But Miliband HAS to take this stance because:
1) The SNP aren't friends of Labour - they have more or less wiped out Labour in Scotland and thus removed a huge part of Labour's natural support. I doubt Miliband is too happy about that; and
2) The number one aim of the SNP is Scottish independence - Labour don't want that, nor do they want that to happen 'on their watch', any more than the Conservatives did and if they have a formal alliance with the SNP they will be held responsible in many people's eyes for opening the door again to Scottish independence;
3) With Scottish Labour dead in the water Miliband is now going to succeed or fail in his bid to become PM with the support of English voters. I don't any English person who wants the SNP to be a powerful voice in Westminster and if Labour were to ally with the SNP formally they would lose their English support - which is now their ONLY support!

So Labour are in a bind, but so are the Conservatives, because they aren't going to get a majority either, and this time the Lib Dems aren't likely to get enough MPs to form a coalition. So they're ALL up a creek without a paddle.

juneau Fri 01-May-15 07:44:16

And FWIW I think the SNP will support Labour policies whatever, so you're right, and I actually think the SNP have played a blinder (though I personally can't stand them). They turned the failure of the last Scottish referendum into a success, their membership has increased threefold, it looks like they're about to get a clean sweep in the general election, AND they've got everyone in England so fed up that next time they get a referendum most of us will be glad to see the back of Scotland I doubt there will be anywhere near as much resistance to them breaking away as last time. Ta-Da! That's exactly what they want.

Taz1212 Fri 01-May-15 07:56:39

I think it's working out perfectly for the SNP. By refusing to do any sort of deal with the SNP, Milliband has completely killed off Labour in Scotland. He's ignoring the fact that thousands and thousands of the current SNP supporters used to be die hard Labour supporters and they feel they are now ignored by Labour. Milliband is effectively dismissing them as irrelevant, in favour of appealing to English voter fears of a Labour/SNP deal, and he'll never win them back again now. He's paved the way for another referendum.

Watching Labour in Scotland is like watching a train wreck right now. The change in feeling here is mindboggling.

CrystalCove Fri 01-May-15 08:15:23

Taz you are so right, even though I've always voted SNP I struggle to comprehend how it is possible for a minority party with 6 current WM seats are on the brink of potentially so many!

goindowntoyasgursfarm Fri 01-May-15 08:29:15

It's a bit of a stretch to describe a jump from 6 MPs out of 59, ţo 45/50+ out of 59 as a 'no-win situation'! grin

Kampeki Fri 01-May-15 16:11:21

He's ignoring the fact that thousands and thousands of the current SNP supporters used to be die hard Labour supporters and they feel they are now ignored by Labour.

But why shouldn't he ignore them? If they haven't voted Labour, then it's not his job to represent them, is it? That's for Nicola Sturgeon to worry about.

I'm not saying that Scotland should not have a voice. As they have voted to stay within the UK, they deserve as much representation as anyone else, but there is no duty on any of the other parties to work with the SNP unless it is advantageous to them.

Taz1212 Fri 01-May-15 16:29:46

They haven't voted for the SNP in a General Election yet. These are the voters who Labour has lost over the past 6-12 months and unless they have no interest in Scotland, they need to woo them back. Otherwise, Labour is dead in Scotland in the same way that the Tories are and I speak as a Scottish Tory voter.

Kampeki Fri 01-May-15 16:35:26

No, not yet. But he isn't ignoring them yet. He is simply saying that he won't do any deals with the SNP. So if they want the Labour Party to consider the views of people in Scotland, people should vote Labour. If they choose to vote for the SNP instead, then it is the SNP's job to ensure that Scottish views are appropriately represented. How they will do that in the absence of any deals, I'm not entirely sure, but I guess that's for them to work out.

Kampeki Fri 01-May-15 16:47:20

TBH, I don't see what Ed could do to win back Labour supporters in Scotland right now. If he promises to cosy up with the SNP and give in to their demands, that is hardly going to persuade people to vote Labour. His best hope is surely to make the SNP an irrelevance.

Yes, that might make Scottish independence more likely in the long term, because people feel that their views aren't represented at Westminster. If that's the case, then so be it. If Scottish nationalism is truly the most important thing to Scottish voters, then they might be happier going their own way.

If, on the other hand, the majority still don't want independence, then perhaps they will reach the conclusion that there is little benefit in them voting SNP after all, and they may go back to Labour when the SNP gloss has worn off a bit.

Only time will tell. It's a gamble, I suppose, but it looks like Miliband has nothing to lose in Scotland, so I can see why he has made his position clear.

ScottishProf Fri 01-May-15 17:45:39

Kampeki I don't think it's quite as simple as SNP voting through lots of Labour policies because they have the same ones. They have to be careful not to be seen to oppose things just to be awkward, sure. However, for example, I don't see why they should vote in Labour's version of the mansion tax or whatever, if Labour's still insisting on replacing Trident. They'd be quite within their rights to say "people who voted for us knew we wouldn't support replacing Trident, so we couldn't possibly support you raising more money so that you can spend it on Trident". As she keeps saying, Nicola Sturgeon understands from direct experience on the other side how this works. Ed Miliband doesn't, and it's rather showing.

namechange0dq8 Fri 01-May-15 17:58:05

If, as looks likely, neither Labour nor Tories have a majority, the Tories get first go at forming a gvt

Is that actually right? Labour were incumbents in 2010 and could trivially easily have formed a coalition with the Lib Dems. They didn't, and there was no suggestion that they would get first go.

ImperialBlether Fri 01-May-15 18:02:43

They haven't voted for the SNP in a General Election yet.

That's true. I think the most seats won by the SNP was 11/60 or something like that.

I'm still not convinced there's going to be this massive majority voting SNP. If they do, they will have to put up with a Conservative government. There's no way Labour can lose 40+ seats and stay in.

sugar21 Fri 01-May-15 18:30:15

In all this furore it really does not seem right that if the SNP get every seat in. Scotland they will still have a minority vote in the UK. There are about 5 million people in Scotland and 57milllion (approx) in the rest of the country. The FPTP system is seriously flawed and I think we would be better off with proportional representation. So in our flawed system it means that Ms Sturgeon having won a projected 50 or so seats can hold the balance of power. This loosely means that several million voters will be ignored.

ImperialBlether Fri 01-May-15 18:35:55

But if the population's 1/10th of the whole of the UK they can only ever have a minority vote! How else could it work? Proportional representation wouldn't make any difference.

Your argument seems very confused, too. You say it's flawed and she will hold the balance of power. Then you say this means several million voters will be ignored. Which is it to be?

RedToothBrush Fri 01-May-15 18:56:28

If, as looks likely, neither Labour nor Tories have a majority, the Tories get first go at forming a gvt

&Is that actually right? Labour were incumbents in 2010 and could trivially easily have formed a coalition with the Lib Dems. They didn't, and there was no suggestion that they would get first go.^

The answer to the above is Its a point of constitutional law which is about as clear as mud. There is nothing in the Cabinet rule book to say who gets 'first go'. In fact it leaves it open to allowing two coalitions to form which potentially could be a nightmare.


there is a default position: in the event of a stalemate, the incumbent prime minister is entitled to remain in office and to have the first bash at testing whether or not he or she can command the confidence of parliament

But even then, the process of that confidence test is decidedly messy. As things stand, the first formal opportunity to test parliament’s confidence in whatever government does emerge is due to come in a series of votes held after the Queen’s speech, scheduled to tale place three weeks after the election, on 27 May. “The procedure,” notes Akash Paun of the Institute for Government, “is not designed with clarity in mind.”

In the aftermath of the Queen’s speech, Paun has written, MPs are required to vote “on the motion that they ‘beg leave to offer their humble thanks to Her Majesty’ for the speech she has delivered. MPs wishing to oppose the formation of the government must then file through the no lobby, effectively saying ‘no, thanks’ to the Queen.”

So the truth is, we could go through all of this and end up with a vote of no confidence anyway. And probably a re-election.

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