© Daily Record
You have no doubt seen all the headlines predicting a Tory surge of up to 12 seats gained from the SNP based on recent polls showing SNP support falling to around 43 or 44% and Tory support climbing to between 28 and 30%. Fear not, it won’t be enough and it’s not as solid as it looks. The idea is that tactical voting by unionists will result in numerous Tory victories. This is unlikely for at least three reasons. According to Ipsos Mori Scotland, reported in the Scotsman yesterday:
- In 38 of the 56 constituencies won by the SNP in 2015, the nationalist vote is larger than that of the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats combined.
- Even in seats where it would be possible, it would require an ‘extraordinary feat of organisation’ to make it happen
- Tactical voters would have to know who the strongest unionist candidate is and this is not always clear.
The Scotsman piece based on Ipsos Mori Scotland, predicted the SNP to hold around 50 seats and concluded:
‘Tactical voting will have a “limited effect” in Scotland with only a handful of constituencies expected to change hands, experts have said. Analysts poured cold water on calls for voters to abandon their principles and vote for the strongest Unionist, non-Tory or anti-Brexit candidate, warning that only a handful of seats were close enough for tactical voting to have an impact.’
I’d add another two thoughts. The long-standing hostility between Tory, Labour and LibDem supporters will limit just how many are prepared to betray their social values and vote for the still often despised Tories. As we get closer to the day, leaflets popping through the doors will make clear just what else you are voting for if you vote Tory. Many will balk at this at return to their old loyalties.