Almost half of Yes/Leave voters ditched the SNP in GE2017
There was an interesting article published today by the British Election Study team looking into the results of GE2017.
They looked at how people switched their votes between 2015 and 2017.
While the vast majority of Yes/Remain voters stuck with the SNP.
Four out of ten Yes/Leave voters deserted them in favour of the Tories and Labour.
This certainly adds fuel to the theory that the SNP should have taken a more neutral stance on the EU and explored the possibility of joining the EFTA countries.
Although, you could argue that in the long run, the SNP strategy might turn out to be sound if the Brexit project fails to live up to the dreams of the Brexiteers.
Other highlights include the fact that the Tories picked up a lot of No/Remainers from Labour.
No/Remain voters are the largest of the four groups in the Scottish electorate. In 2015 Labour dominated this group, with around half voting Labour. In 2017 Labour lost about 1 in 5 of these to the Conservatives, with a smaller chunk going to the Liberal Democrats. Smaller numbers of 2015 Conservatives and Liberal Democrats also shifted to Labour, cancelling out some of these loses, and altogether Labour won about 4 in 10 of No/Remain voters in 2017. As a result of picking up a large number of Labour voters, and 3 in 10 2015 Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives increased their share of this group of voters from two in ten to three in ten between 2015 and 2017.
The SNP also lost ground with this group which is worrying. You would think a pro EU message might resonate with softer No voters. Maybe SNP failure here is unsurprising as this group are probably the least open to any sort of radical political change. Perhaps people in this category want to see Post Brexit UK in action before having to make a choice?
Unsurprisingly, the Tories did best with No/ Leavers.
In 2017 the Conservatives picked up nearly half the 2015 Labour voters, six in ten 2015 Liberal Democrats, and the vast majority of 2015 UKIP voters. Combined this nearly doubled the Conservative share of the vote in this group, with nearly two-thirds voting Conservative in 2017.
If these results show anything it is that Scotland has divided four ways and it is hard to devise a political strategy that will appeal to all four groups.
The SNP can probably write off No/Leavers as a lost cause. However, it might be possible to come up with a plan for an independent Scotland to leave the EU but keep Single Market access. Given that the current UK strategy seems shambolic, directionless and potentially catastrophic, this might be the best way to persuade the majority that Scotland should go it alone.
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