Holyrood 2016 Predictions

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:

1st SNP
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.

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6 comments

  1. tris

    I pretty much agree with all that you said.

    Ruth has made much of them being the opposition. If she doesn’t get there she’s going to look very foolish. Unlike Annabel before her she has the confidence of Cameron, so she’ll be safe. And in any case, who else have they got?

    I quite like Patrick, and I agree with some, if not all of the Green’s policies. I wish I could trust them on independence. They seem to waver a bit on it.

    Kezia has an impossible job. I don’t think she’s very good and like other leaders before her she has terrible advice from her policy people. She announces policies that fall apart within minutes of their first airing. Not thought through at all. Jim Murphy left the party in a mess, possibly because he was the most-wrong-possible leader after Johann’s announcement that she was tired of being the leader of a branch office, echoing what the SNP had been saying for years. (It’s almost impossible to believe that they elected him, given the fact that Labour was crying out for a left of centre leader, someone who HADN’T stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories (I mean Alistair Darling looked more at home at the Tory Conference than many Tories), and certainly NOT someone from London, and Blairite London at that!)

    It is a terrifying thought that this bunch once actually ran Scotland, and that they aspire to do so again. Pathetically inept.

    Talking of which, Willie Rennie. I’ve nothing much to say. The worst leader in Scotland, he makes Kez look professional. And that’s a hard job. Alistair Carmichael keeps on being a thorn in their side. Now he’s got £50,000 from a charity to help him out with his political expenses for being a liar and cheat, specifically forbidden under that charity’s rules, people have started looking into other grants to Liberals by that organisation. None of that will do them any good. They are down to core support though and may, because of the system of voting, and people’s disgust with Labour, pick up seats. Wee Willie will be chuffed. Quite wrongly in my opinion.

    The SNP will do well, because they are the only possible government. Seriously, Scots are never going to vote Tory or Green in the numbers required to form a government, and the rest of them are just too pathetic to even consider. The SNP has a hard job to do. They have to work some kind of wonder with the small and inadequate powers which will be devolved in 2017. Of course the Unionist parties would all have made this country some sort of heaven with these powers, or so they say. But it’s an easy claim to make when they know that they won’t have to fulfil it. SNP isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we have. Nicola herself is a complete star.

    As you say Rise isn’t making any mark. UKIP is a worry given all the publicity that the EU referendum is generating. Cameron’s failure to act upon the requests of the three First Ministers was quite terrible. I ahve no problem with people wanting to leave the EU, but UKIP!?!?!? For heaven’s sake, what a bunch of hateful, unrealistic, sometimes downright racist, right wing, stupid head bangers.

    The question it seems isn’t who will win, but whether it will be an absolute majority again, or if they will be in minority government dependent on the goodwill of other parties.

    One thing I’d like to add. And this applies to, I think, all parties.

    There should be be no potential MSPs standing on both a FPTP and List seat.

    If the public rejects you, they have rejected you. Live with it and throw yourself on the mercy of Mr Crabbe. He will doubtless pray for you to get a job.

    The notion that Sarwar, roundly rejected by the people only last year, should be given an absolute certain seat on the list is abominable, but there are people from all parties doing it. It reminds me of people in the English parliament losing their seats and being ennobled and carrying on as before, some even with government jobs.

    It sticks two fingers up at the voting public and it’s wrong and anti-democratic. And although I have chosen a Labour example, as I say, it applies to the entire parliament.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Tris

      Totally agree with you on the list thing, it is an insult to voters that candidates can be on both and people like Sarwar make me sick. Labour have totally lost the plot, being a politician is a job and a middle class lifestyle, the days of going into it for the service are well gone for Labour.

      The Liberals I think will keep what they have at best but they are in serious trouble, the latest revelations (ignored by the unionist media of course) could have an impact if enough people learn about it. This is a party led by people who are neither Liberal or decent in my opinion and I am glad I left. The SNP need to be careful, they really need some good opposition at Holyrood, I would like that to be the Greens as I do agree with a bit of what they say and I do think Patrick Harvie is a good guy. I hope the Tories fail big time as I just don’t want that party to ever start to get real traction in Scotland, they like the Liberals and Labour, are disgusting excuses for parties and have no ones best interests at heart but their own and their own kind.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  2. Derick fae Yell

    Just a wee addendum from the frozen North. The ‘Shetland Autonomy’ group ‘Wir Shetland’, which is rabidly anti SNP, anti-Scots, anti EU, and pro-unionist’, have just come out for Tavish. See Shetland Times and Shetland News. WS have chosen not to stand a candidate of their own, because that would expose them as an astro-turf outfit with as many voters as members (claimed 400).

    • Anonymous

      Derick

      I don’t know much about the Shetland Autonomy’ Group to be honest but I do remember when the issue came up during the referendum there were legality issues around the idea, but as I say I really don’t know that much and you would know better than myself. As my blog makes clear I am a supporter of YES and when Scotland becomes independent I would love Shetland to be a part of that but I am also a democrat and believe that Shetlanders would have to be a part of that discussion.

      Tavish Scott I am less a fan of to be honest, I found him to be a bit of an opportunist during the referendum, esp when things started to swing in the YES preference, I don’t trust him but again you would know better. We are in for interesting times as I really do believe the UK is at an end now and it is only a matter of time before Scotland, with or without Westminster agreement, goes it’s own way.

      Thanks for taking time to comment.

      Bruce

  3. lanark

    I wasn’t aware that the Tories had changed their name in Scotland, all the bumf I’ve had from them seems to be from the Ruth Davidson party. The Conservative and Unionist name is very small. I am not keen on her at all,
    she can barely conceal her hatred for Yes voters/the SNP and all that smiley face/serious face crap doesn’t wash with me for a minute.

    Willie Rennie is really pissing me off – Ruth’s mini me.

    Kezia Dugdale never expected to be branch office caretaker and I suspect she didn’t want to be either. Labour seem to think the answer to their woes is Anas Sarwar FFS! Hopefully their decline and fall continues.

    I think the Greens are the closest we have to a Liberal Party now in Scotland. I like Patrick Harvie the most of all the leaders, I wish he was more robust on Independence – but I’m biased. It’s a pity that they could potentially split the Pro Indy vote at the present time but thats not their fault. I want them to do well and build on it.

    Nicola Sturgeon is less divisive than Alex Salmond and will be an asset come Ref2. The SNP aren’t perfect but they are the best we have. My fear is that if the Tory parties ever get a majority at Holyrood they will find a way to make sure that pro independence parties never get back in.

    RISE are riven by in fighting and many Socialist Worker types have joined who were anti independence. A wasted vote unfortunately.

    UKIP – ??????????? Perhaps it’s fitting to quote a kindred spirit of theirs -Ian Paisley. “Never, never, never!”

    • grumpyscottishman

      Lanark

      I like Patrick Harvie also, I think he is a very effective debater and I have some sympathy for Green policies. Labour are a joke, the Tories I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire. Rennie I can’t stand, he is a yellow Tory and a weasel in my opinion. The SNP will win the election and thank the Lord for that. The unionist parties I wouldn’t trust with my shopping, I don’t know my 1 and 2 yet for definite but have a rough idea. Not watching the debate but recording it, might watch after the football. Sturgeon I suspect will do ok, Harvie might struggle a little on policy as the greens are what Liebour used to be. The rest will just all kiss each other’s arse while talking about the referendum accusing the SNP of talking about the referendum.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

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