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SNP strength may force second UK election in 2015

Friday, February 6, 2015

Subject

The likely SNP surge in the May 2015 general election.

Significance

A clutch of recent opinion polls suggests that the Scottish National Party (SNP) is poised to make sweeping gains from the Labour Party at the general election in May. The Scottish Nationalists have not, until now, performed anything like as well in UK national elections as they have in contests for the Edinburgh parliament, but on current evidence they are poised to win the popular vote by a wide margin (perhaps as much as 20 percentage points) and would secure as many as 50 of the 59 seats in Scotland, slicing back Labour's representation from their present 41 seats to less than ten, and obliterating the Liberal Democrats.

Impacts

  • The SNP is likely to see a very substantial increase in its number of MPs.
  • This significantly increases the prospect of an inconclusive overall election result.
  • The SNP would be an extremely difficult coalition partner for Labour to work with.
  • It would be an impossible one for the Conservatives to collaborate with, even on unofficial terms.
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