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SCOTTISH ELECTION 2011 What does it mean for Higher Modern Studies?

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Presentation on theme: "SCOTTISH ELECTION 2011 What does it mean for Higher Modern Studies?"— Presentation transcript:

1 SCOTTISH ELECTION 2011 What does it mean for Higher Modern Studies?

2 A GAME-CHANGER? This was the election no one predicted Not only did the SNP win, it won a parliamentary majority over all the other parties – something few people believed was possible under the AMS Scottish Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats will all have new leaders as they try and deal with the seismic shift in Scottish politics The SNP Government can now argue for the Scotland Bill going through Westminster to give new powers to Scotland It will also introduce a referendum on independence Is this the “new Scotland”?

3 THE RESULTS PartySNPLABCONLDGREIND Total Seats ConstituencySNPLABCONLDGREIND RegionsSNPLABCONLDGREIND The SNP now has an overall majority. The party won 45.4% of the constituency vote The SNP now has more constituency MSPs than Labour The Lib Dems vote collapsed, with most of their voters switching to SNP

4 LABOUR LOSES ITS BIG HITTERS Not only did Labour lose 7 MSPs, it lost some of its most capable politicians. Andy Kerr, Frank McAveety, Tom McCabe and Pauline McNeil will be hard to replace. Iain Gray is standing down as Leader. With many inexperienced MSPs, up against a resurgent, majority SNP Government, the party has it all to do to become a force again.

5 MAJORITY SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT Few people believed this would ever happen The AMS voting system almost ensured Coalition or Minority Government Almost The AMS can’t stop a landslide result This was an SNP landslide

6 SCOTTISH CABINET MAY 2011 First Minister Alex Salmond has expanded his team How many can you name? Because Westminster has moved to a fixed five year term, this Scottish parliamentary term will be for five years too Big events will be the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup. Good opportunities for the SNP to promote independence…

7 MAJORITY SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT The Scottish Government, with this mandate from the voters and a parliamentary majority, will surely now act on the policies it was unable to pass during the previous Scottish Parliament. So, expect Minimum Pricing of Alcohol Introduction of a Local income Tax Demands for more powers for the Scottish Parliament in the Westminster Scotland Bill A referendum on Independence

8 Party Campaign Party Leadership Party policies Influence of the media Influence of social class SO, WHY DID THE SNP WIN SUCH A MAJORITY? Let’s look at….

9 PARTY CAMPAIGN: SNP The SNP’s message was; this what we’ve done so far, give us another term to do even more Voters understood it and with independence “parked” in a future referendum, Labour couldn’t scare voters away from the SNP The campaign was both professional and modern Key voters in key seats were identified and wooed Both Party leaders and activists Twittered purposely

10 PARTY CAMPAIGN: SCOTTISH LABOUR It’s probably fair to say that Scottish Labour’s campaign was, at best, unimaginative and at worst, negative Fighting for what really matters? Who isn’t? Other than this, Scottish Labour was on the defensive, saying how bad the SNP was without getting across how Labour would be better Iain Gray’s retreat from anti-cuts protestors into a sandwich shop seemed to define Labour’s campaign

11 PARTY CAMPAIGN: SCOTTISH CONSERVATIVES The theme of “common sense” was mostly about more police officers and cutting taxes Not unpopular policies in themselves, but the “toxic” nature of the Conservative brand in Scotland remains The combination of the memory of the Thatcher years and the unpopularity of the UK “Con-Dem” Coalition meant that the party won only 3 constituency seats and just 14% of the vote Leader Annabel Goldie has resigned.

12 PARTY CAMPAIGN: SCOTTISH LIBERAL DEMOCRATS The Scottish Liberal Democrats got a pasting The unpopularity of the UK party’s coalition with the Conservatives, in particular the U turn over university tuition fees, was a significant factor Leader Tavish Scott has resigned and has been replaced by Willie Rennie.

13 A QUESTION OF LEADERSHIP Opinion poll evidence showed that most voters preferred Alex Salmond to be First Minister Indeed, for may voters he was the only party leader they knew One poll showed only 7% of voters recognised Iain Gray Some people even thought Tavish Scott was the banker Fred Goodwin The SNP campaign focused on the leadership issue, even putting Alex Salmond’s name on the Party List ballot paper

14 POLICIES The SNP’s policies were the most popular with the public Indeed, Labour had to abandon it’s opposition to a Council Tax freeze to match the SNP’s promise Crucially, the SNP also weren’t offering independence, but a future referendum on whether Scotland should be independent Voters, therefore who liked the SNP/Alex Salmond but weren’t convinced about independence could vote SNP without committing themselves to independence By contrast, other parties weren’t offering voters the option

15 NEWSPAPER COVERAGE Scotland’s most popular paper is The Scottish Sun It likes to claim that it’s support wins elections In 2007, it was very anti-SNP But the SNP won Now, in 2011 the newspaper changed it’s mind….

16 2011 And hey, ho, the SNP is now not that bad after all! So, did The Sun win it? Or, did it simply pick the winning team? What it did do was to energise the SNP’s campaign and demoralise Labour’s

17 The SNP made some staggering gains in very traditional Labour areas. This shows that social classes D and E are now prepared, for Scottish elections at least, to abandon Labour But the social classes are changing More Scots are now property owners, work in the private sector, perhaps are self-employed or work at homes The work place loyalties to Labour are not so strong “Mondeo man” or “School gate Mum” is very much up for grabs INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL CLASS

18 2011: A GAME-CHANGER? Is a fundamental shift in Scottish voting behaviour taking place? In the 1950s the Conservatives were Scotland’s most popular party. Now, they are down to 14% of the vote and are a minority party Labour’s vote this time only actually dropped by 0.5% But, can the party come back? Could it go the same way as the Conservatives? Will the SNP become the new power in Scotland? Will Scotland vote for independence?


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