The Scottish National Party annual conference in Aberdeen just ended was the last big gathering of the party before elections for a new Scottish parliament next May. The SNP has been in power in Scotland since 2007 and the polls put them on course to win a third straight term next spring. This is extraordinary.
The SNP exists for only one reason: to seek the break-up of Britain and independence for Scotland. It won the right to put that issue to the Scottish people in an historic referendum in September 2014, but Scots voted against independence by 55.3% to 44.7%, so Scotland remains – with England, Wales and Northern Ireland – one of the four constituent nations of the United Kingdom.
The SNP’s defeat in the referendum ought to have caused it traumatic shock. But the referendum losers have emerged victorious in the year since. The 45% who voted Yes to independence rallied to the SNP’s cause, whereas the 55% who voted No are otherwise divided between those on the left (who support Labour), those on the centre-right (who support the Conservatives) and those few who remain in the middle (who used to support the Liberal Democrats). Continue reading Sturgeon’s ‘blame Westminster’ routine hides dismal SNP record as party of government