Why #IndyRef2 needs “a so-called ‘material change’ in circumstances…”

Despite it being talked up by Jim Murphy, panicking Tories, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, here is Paul Cairney on why the breakup of the UK is to be put on hold for some time to come in Scotland..

…the SNP leadership does not want a referendum right now. It will take a lot more than an excellent showing in one election to convince it to try again. Instead, it will seek evidence that there has been a so-called ‘material change’ in circumstances. In the short term, the only change would be caused by events: if the Conservatives form a government, hold an EU referendum, and the UK votes to leave the EU while Scotland votes to stay in, prompting a constitutional crisis. Even then, a new referendum is not inevitable. In the longer term, a material change involves either remarkably high opinion poll support (say, over 60%), or clear majority support for a long time (say, over a year) or some combination of the two. No one in the more sensible side of the SNP would want to hold a new referendum on a whim. The people who want to use the result to declare independence without a vote, or hold a new referendum immediately, do not control the party.

Not that the ambition is gone you understand (something Mark Durkan was seen to underline in last night #NILeaders debate last night), but the IndyRef only revealed what work has to be done before another such poll can be realistically won.

There’s a potent lesson here for more than one party in Northern Ireland..

  • Barneyt

    The way things are going, the Tories will do the SNPs job for them, regarding independence. The arms that once embraced Scotland pre-ref were retracted when the UK was preserved following the successful NO outcome.

    I’ll give Nigel Dodds his due, at least for a consistent approach towards the union that he clearly wants to maintain. He has rightly (in the present context of the UK) defended the right of the Scottish people, via their representatives to have their say on any matter up for debate in Westminster.

    The Tory push to have the England vote on matters than affect England is equally as separatist and anti-union as the original Yes campaign. Hence, the SNP at this rate simply has to bide their time. Watch what happens when the SNPs engage in London and exert their influence on matters perceived to be for only the English.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Remember the SNP “once in generation opportunity” language? Significantly different to the above generalisations. Personally I think the SNP are the biggest threat to the UK since the Nazi’s.

  • Robin Keogh

    Our Lady of Scotland Saint Sturgeon has clealry stated that the westminister election result does not offer a mandate for a second referendum soon, on that basis alone it is clear that the reults on Friday will not trigger another poll. But she has refused ruling out a referendum in the future claiming that she deals with one election at a time. Therefore I would tend to agree with the Author. There would have to be an ‘event’ of some significance to justify the SNP going back to the question. And the only event I can see on the horizon would be the possibility of a Brexit. If the Scots opposed a Brexit that would trigger a referendum, and it would win comfortably. I dont agree there would need to be a constant of over 60% for a year in terms of public opinion. Three or four Pools over a three month period showing Indy support around 55%, coupled with a Brexit scare would do the job. But, there is another scsre issue out there but it is difficult to asses what effect it might have. Austerity, whatever goverment is formed after Friday, and regardless of SNP support, London will need to be very careful as to what impact its cost cutting measures has on the Scottish people.

  • Barneyt

    I couldn’t help feeling that there was a level of hypocrisy coming from the unionist camp in last nights debate, with regard to the union. For NI, where they feel assured of a pro-union majority, they support democracy and therefore the democratic will of the NI residents, however I sensed that they would be prepared to endorse any measure to enforce the retention of the union despite the will of the people of Scotland.

  • ted hagan

    Surgeon has said she won’t intervene on English matters.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The big difference between the SNP and Sinn Féin/SDLP is the credibility factor of governing alone in Holyrood, while Sinn Féin and the SDLP can only point to the Republic and their own share of government. Scotland’s due a cut in its block grant, it’s due some powers on income tax. That would give Sturgeon more pressure to deliver as Scottish First Minister, but it would also highlight her capacity to work in a Scotland more free from the English taxpayer. The SNP and Labour should leave the battle for Scotland in Scotland. Perhaps the SNP does need to play the Tudor Rose card and the Labour the Tartan one. If more English back Scottish independence or more Scottish back the union, it won’t change the Scottish voters but it would change the hinterland that Scotland would see itself in.

  • barnshee

    ” London will need to be very careful as to what impact its cost cutting measures has on the Scottish people.”

    No– it can ignore them -what`s the worst case scenarion -they vote for independence? Hip Hip hooray waht would London lose?

  • Kevin Breslin

    – Scottish Oil, Royal Bank of Scotland, Trident … just to name three.

  • Mister_Joe

    Godwin rules.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Yes, perhaps a little glib on reflection.

  • J robertson

    What grounds do you have to make this statement?! From my point of view that is a hugely offensive and racist statement, not only offensive. Its attitudes like yours that prove what is wrong with the current political system and structure of this “united kingdom”.

  • J robertson

    As with the other comment I replied to this is also hugely offensive… No, it can ignore them! Is one human being worth less to you than another dependant of nationality, race or social standing?

  • J robertson

    And a whole lot more, c’mon lets face it, the establishment is sooo desperate to keep us! For what? To be a subsidy junky, because we pay in less than we get out? Hope sarcasm was evident there… We are clearly more valuable than they would ever be willing to admit. Ask the reasons why!

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Let me guess J Robertson – you were one of the people that voted yes for independence and got beaten. I agree it was a lazy comparison, as pointed out by Joe, but what is racist about it? I think you need to look up the definition of racist. However my point still holds, in that I believe the primary aim of the SNP is Scottish independence which will dissolve the UK as we know it and weaken our influence across the globe.

  • J robertson

    Yes I was one of the many who voted yes in the indyref and in no way see it as a defeat. In many ways it has been a victory, as witnessed in the new political landscape of Scotland. We are leading the way in change, a change which will inevitably cone, regardless of independence. I think you will find however, had the indeyref been allowed to tun its democratic course without the intervention of smear, fear, mass hysteria and condemnation, the result would have been very much different (not a cop out, a factual statement). Many here voted no (including people close to me) on the grounds tgey felt feared, bullied and forced into uncertainty (a higher state of uncertainty lets say) and were told by their superiors in tge workplace that indy = redundancy and withdrawl if funding, funding and redundancy which came regardless due the establishment pulling resources and placing them in departments less equipped to carry out research etc. in response to two of your other points, firstly, disolve the uk and weaken our global influence… No, tge uk government/establishment and its useless mps and infrastructure are doing that all by themselves, surely you are not as stupid to have not noticed this yourself, the establishment and those within it are weak, losing Scotland for tge not so united kingdom factors not. If you are a labour supporter, take milliband, soft as sh**e, limp, backed nicola, sturgeon, snp, scottish english irish and welsh voices would turn him into a leader, milliband or cameron by themselves would continue the disservice to all uk inhabitants as seen for decades, unless your toward tge upper section of the ladder of course. Secondly, you made the comparison of a certain group of individuals to nazis! Think about for just a second, the scots / nationalists / nazis… Hmmm, lazys an understatement in your case. Think about what the nazi regime stood for… Infact wait a sec, Churchill was just as keen to throw scotland to the nazis as the establishment is to keep us in “our place” why am i not surprised by the level of animosity that gas been shown toward us, especially since the run up to induref and this election, the treatment of us by tge establishment and the mainstream media has been nothing short of criminal. If I/we treated anyone that way in daily life, there woukd be a court appearance faster than you can blink, probally followed by some time in the jail. Thanks

  • J robertson

    Excuse tge typos, the previously was quickly tapped into existence through my not so good touch screen phone!

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Spelling is the least of your worries J! You lost but somehow went undefeated. Those who voted against the separation and division only did so because they were bullied into it….ad nausea…. Many people (myself included for some of the discussions) hoped you would leave the UK and sink down the economic plughole you were destined for. You have a lot to thank those no voters for – they saved your economic ass.