Some commentary has suggested a clean sweep for the SNP in Scotland in the UK General election. That would entail the party winning 59 seats next week, up from 6 seats in 2010. So, is the Labour Party in Scotland about to be euthanased?
Well, the constituency of Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill has returned a Labour mp to Westminster since 1932. In 2005 the it received 64.5% of the constituency’s vote on a 59.4% turnout. In 2010 it received 66.6% of the constituency’s vote on a 59.4% turnout. As constituencies go then… safe as houses.
And yet a January poll by Lord Ashcroft put Labour 3% behind the SNP in the constituency while, importantly, a poll by Populus has found that 75 per cent of Scots polled are “absolutely certain” they will vote in the general election, compared with an average of 53.75 per cent across the rest of the UK.
For a sense of what it feels like ‘on the ground’ you might do worse than view this latest short video essay from the constituency that John Harris has compiled for The Guardian.