Well, Scotland, whether it knows it yet or not, has just rocked the UK’s world. I would like to see Ian’s hypotheses that campaign’s don’t affect the outcomes of elections tested against Labour’s collapse in some of its heartland constituencies in Scotland yesterday in the face of a superb SNP campaign.
In fact, I think he’s right. The SNP did not win this election on a powerful campaign. The powr of the campaign (and the lacklustre Labour, Lib Dem and Tory efforts) were symptomatic of a change that clearly had been long under way. If the Greens and SNP can combine to form a majority administration, then a referendum on Independence will follow. There is some speculation that the SNP might even go it alone (last night they were being understandably coy with Slugger)
It is doubtful they will win that campaign, but the Scottish people will have the opportunity to be asked that question. And even if the outcome is a polite refusal, the fact that they have been asked will play well for the SNP. Something managerialist Scottish Labour never got before this election.
And according to Gerry Hassan, it was a fall that was always coming:
We knew before 2007 that Scottish Labour could not renew itself without losing an election and office. That is a universal truth across political systems the world over. You cannot remain in office indefinitely and remain uncorrupted and then change your ways.
We now know that Scottish Labour cannot renew itself without admitting it has lost and that the old ways won’t do any more. For Scottish Labour, Scottish politics and society, and the state of our democracy. That will in all probability take another defeat.
As for those other two minor parties of the Union north of the border, they must now be asking themselves: how stands the Union today? Held together with hope and the freshly titled Earl of Strathearn?
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty