The SNP will benefit no matter who wins the largest number of seats

Alex Salmond

Even if the Conservatives form an administration with other parties after May, the SNP will be able to capitalise without being involved.

Ever since the referendum last September the SNP have risen in Westminster polling intentions and their membership numbers have soared.

The latest Survation poll suggests no change and that Jim Murphy, Scottish Labour’s latest leader, has failed to stop the growth in support for Nicola Sturgeon’s party.

For Westminster polling intentions, the poll gives the following results:

SNP 47% (+2%). LABOUR 26% (-2%). CONSERVATIVES 16% (+1%). LIB DEMS 4% (-1%). UKIP 3% (no change). GREENS 2% (-1%).

The polling suggests nothing new in recent months other than the fact that it reaffirms the SNP’s rise, and with just over a month to go until the general election it indicates that the surge in support for the SNP is not shrinking. In fact, since the last Westminster voting intentions Survation poll the party has gained two points.

The SNP will likely get a majority of Scotland’s seats, which will make them big players in May if we have a hung parliament which looks more likely by the day. And no matter who is the largest party the SNP will win in some form or another.

If Labour gets the largest number of seats in the election then some sort of confidence and supply deal with the SNP, and possibly the Liberal Democrats amongst others, will likely result in more powers being transferred from Westminster to Holyrood.

On the other hand, if David Cameron’s party win the largest number of seats and manage to form a workable majority - either through a coalition and/or confidence and supply - then the SNP will be able to capitalise on ‘five’ more years of Tory-rule. They will be able to make the case that whilst Scotland voted mostly in favour of the SNP, and rejected the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, it will be unfair on Scotland that it will be ruled by a ‘government it did not vote for’. In this scenario, this capitalisation would likely give them more support, in the form of voters at odds with the coalition. Furthermore, if UKIP was involved in some sort of Conservative-led confidence and supply deal then the SNP would be able to capitalise on that too.

All hypotheticals of course, but if the SNP surge is as large as suggested then if they play their cards right either a Labour-led majority or a Conservative-led majority will benefit the party.


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