It was apathy that hurt the SNP in GE2017
YouGov have just published a report comparing how people voted in GE2015 to how they voted in GE2017.
In the report, we can see that the biggest thing that hurt the SNP was that nearly a quarter of 2015 SNP voters didn’t bother to vote at all.
The SNP had the second lowest turnout after UKIP.
Of the 2015 SNP voters who did vote, 15 percent of them voted Labour and 11 percent of them voted Tory.
I would imagine that the Labour voters were inspired by Corbyn which is something we warned about pre-election as we feared it would help the Tories. Those who voted Tory were no doubt supporters of leaving the EU.
So why did so few 2015 SNP supporters turn out to vote? Probably a combination of factors.
I would speculate that these were the main issues.
- The SNP ran a lacklustre and uninspiring campaign. In my opinion, they should really have driven home the dangers for Scotland caused by the double whammy of Brexit and continued Tory austerity. However, they didn’t really get across a clear message. Much of this was due to dialling down indyref2 rhetoric to try to counter the Tory message. This probably failed to enthuse lots of the core support.
- Conversely, some SNP supporters don’t want indyref2 until later than Sturgeon’s timetable. Those who voted for Brexit would fall into that category. They may still support independence but not if it puts us back in the EU.
- The SNP are seen by many to be performing poorly at Holyrood. There has been a lot of negative coverage especially with regards to education. Also, many within the Yes movement would like the SNP to be more radical with regards to things like local government, land reform and taxation.
- That said, the debate in Scotland focused too much on devolved issues. This was mainly due to the media but the SNP need to get better at setting the agenda. The election was about Westminster and the issues at stake were very important.
- Maybe some within the Yes movement are becoming a bit jaded. Many people have been working hard for years on the independence question and even now, post-Brexit vote, when Scotland’s lack of sovereignty could not be any clearer, support hasn’t increased. Maybe some have begun to think what’s the point?
Let us know why you think there was such a low SNP turnout below and what you think can be done about it.
Going forward I would like to see the SNP being more radical at Holyrood. I’d like to see them working on a plan for an independent Scotland to join EFTA instead of the EU.
I would also like to see them sending a strong message on how damaging a Tory Brexit will be. I would like to see them highlight the lack of control Scotland has over the Brexit process and how the sovereignty of the Scottish Parliament is in danger.
I’d like to see them sell the importance of keeping Scotland in the European Economic Area. I would like to see the SNP sticking up for indyref2 and highlighting how not having one is undemocratic as the Scottish Parliament voted for one.
Regardless of your view on independence, it is only right and proper that we are given a choice once we know the details of the Brexit deal.