One way of looking at this is that it\’s not about the SNP winning, nor the Lib Dems imploding (and the Tories are irrelevant outside the Borders anyway).
Rather, the Labour strongholds, where they weigh the votes rather than count them for any old dead donkey with a red rosette, have revolted. The client state has collapsed.
OK, perhaps a tad over-dramatic but not all that much. And yes, it was a Scottish election, on Scottish issues, not a Westminster one on the wider UK issues.
But here\’s what I think is the interesting question.
What if the same happens to those Labour fortresses in the NE, Mersey and the West Midlands?
It\’s something that the BNP tried (and thankfully) failed to do. But does anyone really think that the generational Labour tribalism is going to continue? That these places are forever Red?
Now yes, I am a UKIP partisan and it would be all too easy for me to claim that UKIP are going to do it at the next GE. But of course I don\’t think that\’s probable: but I do think that it\’s possible.
One matey who lives and works in one of these one party states says that he\’s amazed that people don\’t realise quite how fragile they are from the inside. He gives himself a 50/50 chance of taking one of these Northern Labour seats if he can just get the £40/£50k to give it a real go over the next couple of years. His analysis is that you don\’t particularly have to persuade people not to vote Labour: you need to get them to understand that you don\’t have to vote Labour nor for the despised and hated Tories. There really is a viable third option.
Again, being realistic and taking the UKIP partisan hat off, that same matey doesn\’t say that UKIP is the only possible solution, nor that it will inevitably be the beneficiary.
The heart of his analysis is that those Labour heartlands, just as those in Scotland last week, are capable of being shifted away from Labour. To is more difficult, from he thinks is eminently possible. Cutting those 20 odd seats in the NE away from Labour would cut the national party off at the knees. He thinks.
OK, dreamtime over, but wouldn\’t it be absolutely fascinating if he were correct. If those heartlands do implode?