The Campaign for the Holyrood Elections 2016 is barely a week old and I am very bored by it already. Politics as we know is not the most exciting thing in the world, it is very important, but in the wider scope of exciting things politics would be near the bottom. So you kinda hope that the parties when campaigning will make it interesting, they don’t.
However, let’s look at the party leaders and what they are saying so far with my predictions for what they are worth:
Ruth Davidson, Conservative and Unionist Party. If you go on to the Conservative website (I know you are not that mad) you will see that it’s Ruth Davidson for a strong opposition. Oh well, they have really given up before they have actually started. At least give the impression that you actually want to win the election no matter how unlikely that might be.
Ruth Davidson in this campaign is promising to keep tax at exactly the same level as the rest of the UK and pitching for the right of centre unionist vote, this makes sense given that Scotland has divided along the Yes and No camps now in the main and if you are a unionist you might as well go the whole way if your passion is the UK. Where I think she will struggle will be Conservative Westminster Policy around Welfare and EU referendum splits in the party.
Prediction: Given that the Tories mostly rely on the list vote and the polls are saying they could take 2nd place and form the main opposition it looks like they may have made some inroads. Not based on anything other than my own opinion I think they may just fall short when push comes to shove and will remain in 3rd place behind Labour given that they would need Labour voters to back them and for many voting Conservative is as appealing as a dose of the piles. I think they may increase their seats but not by much, maybe 1 or 2, certainly not enough to claim second in my opinion. The Conservatives are the nasty party after all.
Willie Rennie, Scottish Liberal Democrats. So far Willie Rennie has offered to put up everyone’s taxes if you earn over the massive amount of £19,000 per year you millionaire you. This tax increase will be used to fund education from nursery to universities. We have seen virtually constant attacks on Police Scotland and big Government. The Liberal Democrats, according to Willie Rennie, will reverse years of SNP cuts.
Willie Rennie believes that the Liberal Democrats will increase their numbers at Holyrood from their current 5 MSPs. Willie believes this because, as noted above, the Liberals have rubbished Police Scotland, want to put up your taxes, champion mental health and will champion climate change. The SNP according to Willie are sleekit, cowering, and timorous. Willie likes to moan about things and can’t stop going on about the referendum while accusing the SNP of constantly going on about the referendum.
Prediction: Again, given the list system the Liberals won’t be wiped out but they won’t do well given the Carmichael issues, the coalition and defintely their partnership with Better Together. They will probably remain around the 5 or 6 MSP mark and Willie Rennie will call this a huge success when really what it will show is that the party is all but insignificant in Scotland because no one is listening. Willie Rennie is one of the worst party leaders in Scotland in my opinion; he comes across poorly and is just not liked by most voters.
Patrick Harvie, C0-Convenor the Scottish Green Party. Patrick is promising more community focused policies, a carers wage, a ban on fracking, better housing and employment, training and education for all young people. The Greens would like to see a much bolder policy on tax and look like they favour increasing the rate of tax for high earners.
The Greens Come in We’re Open Principles are very aspirational and appealing. From local democracy, accountability to the environment, the Greens in many ways are trying to come across as the sensible party in Scotland and Patrick Harvie does well in the debates and comes across well to voters.
Prediction: Again, the list system might just favour the Greens, their support for independence and their common sense left of centre policies will appeal to a lot of people. I’m not so sure of their pitch for everyone’s second vote (they should go for all the votes) as that pitch could backfire, but I really think they could increase their seats from 2 to maybe 5 or 6 MSPs bringing them in line with the Liberals, but whereas no one really listens to the Liberals anymore Patrick Harvie does get listened to.
KeZia Dugdale, Leader Scottish Northern Branch Labour Party. Where do you start lol. The Scottish branch of Labour also plan to put up your taxes while giving some of you the money back via local authorities but don’t actually know how to do it. Scottish Labour will continue on the SNP bad mantra over hospital waiting times, school attainment, scrap council tax without actually scrapping it at all while supporting the union and getting rid of trident by actually replacing trident.
I have actually struggled to find that much on Labour plans’ other than taxing us more, SNP bad and the in fighting for list placings to ensure that the same old same old get returned and failures like Sarwar get a second shot at politics after being rejected by the voters in last years General Election. This is where the list falls down, people like Sarwar get another shot but are cowards by not standing in a constituency vote.
Prediction: I think Labour will do badly in all of the constituency votes as they did last year in the general election but the list will save them. I just don’t think enough people can stomach voting for the Tories and enough old labour hate the SNP so will stick with them. Dugdale is very poor, Grey is poor, Bailie is loathsome, Marra is vacuous and Sarwar terrible and annoying but they will get enough seats to remain second. They currently have 38 MSPs and I suspect the list will return around 25 to 27 seats based on current polls. Labour are a joke and pretty much finished in large parts of Scotland but will sadly continue on life support to annoy us for another 5 years.
Nicola Sturgeon, Leader Scottish National Party. We saw in John Swinney’s budget pretty much what the SNP will be doing over the next few years and it will be pretty much the same with some tweaks here and there. There will be modest investment in education, policing, continued mitigation of welfare cuts from Westminster, and the slight variation in Council Tax and Income Tax already announced.
I think the SNP will pretty much avoid the I word during the campaign and will play on the difficulties of the three unionist parties, esp around not being Scotlands Parties. Nicola Sturgeon, being head and shoulders above all of the other party leaders, will get through this election pretty much unscathed, even with the wall to wall SNP bad coverage from mainly the BBC in Scotland but all the media in the main. I think the continued centralisation of control in Edinburgh is unsustainable in the longer term but that is just my opinion. There is a danger though that the SNP could become stale due to the lack of any credible and serious opposition at Holyrood and that is something they will have to guard against.
Prediction: The SNP will win, will win big and will probably increase their seats from the 64 they currently have to around 74 or 75 and a clear majority.
So and very predictably is my list as it stands now:
2nd Scottish Labour Northern Branch
3rd The Conservative and Unionist Party
4th The Scottish Green Party
4th The Scottish Liberal Democrats
I don’t think the other parties such as UKip or RISE will amount to much at all. They are not very good or have zero profile so I just can’t see them having any real impact on the seats in Holyrood.