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thesweetcheat
thesweetcheat
6058 posts

Re: Jeremy Corbyn
Sep 07, 2015, 16:42
As an English voter I had a clearer view of what Plaid stood for at the GE than I did of what Labour stood for.

Labour failed to engage me at all, even though their traditional values are probably as close as any party's to what I believe in.

I couldn't vote for Plaid and being in the southwest I voted Lib Dem on the basis that the sitting LD MP would keep the Tory out. We all know how that turned out.
Captain Starlet
Captain Starlet
1071 posts

Re: Jeremy Corbyn
Sep 07, 2015, 16:48
I voted Labour for the same reason. Then again, wasn't much of a choice in the last election, tory or tory lite. I usually vote Plaid in the Welsh elections but not the GE as they don't represent the whole country. Might be a bit of backwards thinking there, but that's how my mind works
sanshee
sanshee
1080 posts

Edited Sep 07, 2015, 17:06
Re: Jeremy Corbyn
Sep 07, 2015, 16:59
Captain Starlet wrote:

Well Plaid are the main opposition party in Wales and have been around a bit longer than the SNP, but I don't expect you to know that, or what they stand for as you don't live here, which was the point I was trying to get across.


Yes, but my point is the SNP have had a majority in Scotland since 2007 and the Scottish Parliament has a far bigger remit than the Welsh assembly.
That's a fairly well known fact. The second bit anyway.
Any domestic policies of theirs may not be so well known (a few here will) but since they are now the 3rd largest party in Westminster there will be more interest, thankfully.
Everything I post here regards their policies is true, that I think most of it is atrocious is a matter of my opinion.
I still wonder what benefit any of it (devolution) has done for either Scotland or Wales mind.
If there are benefits in Wales you will know, up here, it's all just been more layers for the sake of it.
Locodogz
Locodogz
265 posts

Re: Jeremy Corbyn
Sep 08, 2015, 14:20
Hmmm at the risk of straying into Dodge type territory I'd counter your 'show me evidence that it did' with a 'show me evidence that it didn't'?!?

The only evidence that I can offer I fear is the huge effort that the Tories (and Tory press) put behind the 'vote Labour, get the SNP card' - almost to the exclusion of any other argument. Grasping, manipulative but not (entirely) stupid - I'd suggest that they wouldn't have done this if they didn't think it would play to their advantage?

I think that most of us here come from a leftist - wouldn't vote Tory if my life depended on it stance. As such its hard to accept/understand that there are (if the polls be believed) many many people who will flit between the parties. For one I find it completely plausible that there were significant numbers of marginal Labour supporters whose fear/dislike of the SNP would be enough to if not change their vote, then persuade them not to cast it.

BTW I agree that - in the myriad of reasons that Labour lost the election, a basic failure to connect with the wider electorate was undoubtedly a major factor. I'd just disagree with your assertion that the SNP performance north of the border had no impact on the Labour vote south of it.
thesweetcheat
thesweetcheat
6058 posts

Re: Jeremy Corbyn
Sep 08, 2015, 16:46
I think from an English perspective, if you have not followed Scottish politics prior to the referendum or the GE, you could probably be swayed by little information or evidence. In which case, personality plays a disproportionate part.

For instance, I think Nicola Sturgeon outperformed all the other leaders in the televised debates, every single time (although I thought Leanne Wood was excellent too). I'm not for a minute saying that performance on TV equates to being to most suitable candidate, or having the best policies, but for an audience who weren't necessarily well versed in (Scottish) politics she was impressive. I don't think Angry Salmond would have come across nearly as well in her place. Let's face it, the electorate can be swayed by the things like how someone looks eating a bacon sandwich, so all this stuff counts in votes.

Conversely, Labour did not sell themselves at all well in the GE. Whereas Sturgeon and Wood came across as calm, measured and capable, with strong anti-austerity messages (whatever SNP's track record), Ed Miliband with his "Hell yes", his pledge to cap immigration as a response to UKIP and his bloody great big stone won't have won over many wavering voters. His message was unclear, he pandered too much to the fears and prejudices of the centre-right and sadly he didn't exactly ooze confidence in the debates.

Labour needs to re-engage its core voters for a start. Corbyn is the only candidate who can even begin to do this.
grufty jim
grufty jim
1978 posts

Edited Sep 08, 2015, 17:34
Re: Jeremy Corbyn
Sep 08, 2015, 17:31
Just to respond to the first half of your post...

Locodogz wrote:
Hmmm at the risk of straying into Dodge type territory I'd counter your 'show me evidence that it did' with a 'show me evidence that it didn't'?!?

The only evidence that I can offer I fear is the huge effort that the Tories (and Tory press) put behind the 'vote Labour, get the SNP card' - almost to the exclusion of any other argument. Grasping, manipulative but not (entirely) stupid - I'd suggest that they wouldn't have done this if they didn't think it would play to their advantage?


I'm going to do my best to answer this in good faith. But let me just start by suggesting that... it's not really a fair question. A person isn't supposed to have to prove a negative in a rational discussion.

A claim was made - namely that the SNP had a significant impact on the election result south of the border (it's somewhat self-evident that they had an impact north of it - I don't think that's in question!) They "created divisions that allowed the Tories in", according to the original claim.

But a claim like that isn't just personal political opinion (of which this forum is filled, and that's totally legitimate), it's also an historical assertion. It's saying "this (controversial) thing... happened". And when you make a statement like that - on a forum where such things are discussed and challenged - it's not unreasonable to imagine that it's up to you to provide some evidence.

If I respond with "I haven't seen any evidence for that. Indeed most of the analysis suggests it's just not true", then it doesn't suddenly become incumbent upon me to prove the evidence does not exist. As I say; it's not up to someone to prove a negative.

----

All that said, let me explain exactly why I think the SNP did not have a significant influence on the English vote. And also why I believe there's a compelling argument that even if Labour took every SNP seat, the UK would still have a tory government.

And look, I'm not saying we should instantly reject as mad or stupid or biased the claim that the SNP had an effect. As we know, the tories did use the Scottish Nationalists as a stick to beat Labour (though we'll have to agree to differ if you say it was "almost to the exclusion" of everything else). So it's reasonable to ask - after the election - whether that strategy was successful. Did the SNP, in fact, influence the outcome in England? Did they "allow the tories in?"

Firstly to political analysis. The witterings of columnists do not a "proof" make, but every single thinkpiece I read after the election came to (roughly) the same conclusions about why Labour lost. I didn't read a single one at the time to suggest that the SNP played a major part in the voting intentions of English people.

To refresh my memory I did a quick search on the phrase "factors in outcome of 2015 UK election" and skimmed the first 10 news results. 8 of them literally don't mention the SNP (except when specifically discussing Scottish results of course); one suggests the SNP probably had a negative effect on the Labour campaign and claims Miliband himself blames them for his defeat, and one mentions the SNP specifically to dismiss them as a factor.

Even the article that lays some of the blame at the SNP's door is really just saying that Labour failed to counter the tory PR... which once again is far less about the SNP than it is about Labour's inability to communicate effectively with the electorate (hint: the main reason for that was because they had nothing worth saying, and it's that fact that makes Miliband want to cast around for someone else to blame - but that's a discussion for another day).

Anyway, I'm not going to link to every article that doesn't blame the SNP, but they range from The Guardian (even The Letters page!) to The Telegraph to the New Statesman and beyond.

You will - of course - find outliers... columnists who will blame the SNP. But if you read the analysis - right, left and centre - it tends to uncannily reach a near-consensus. And it's not that the SNP had a measurable effect.

Because if we move from political to psephological analysis - there are clear reasons for the larger than expected tory majority. This is a decent article. But there are literally dozens of bloggers out there who have crunched the numbers and presented the data.

The collapse of the LibDems - and the fact that the tories appear to have taken the vast majority of their seats - is probably the single biggest factor that pre-election polls failed to fully account for. That factor alone likely accounts for a tory lead over Labour almost equal to the number of SNP MPs! On top of that, the UKIP vote hit Labour hardest in marginals, while it hit the tories hardest in safe seats. You would need a seat-by-seat analysis to fully explain that one; but I'd be willing to bet the farm on the SNP not being a crucial variable there.

Obviously Labour lost a large number of Scottish seats; and if the tory majority had been within that range, this discussion might be different. But the tory majority in England alone is more than twice the total number of Scottish seats.

As you say yourself - "the only evidence (you) can offer" for the SNP being a measurable factor in this English near-landslide is a tory PR campaign. Might I suggest that the links and analysis I've provided trump that? And that just because the tories shout loud enough about something, it doesn't automatically mean it's a real issue that will affect the real world?

If you're still convinced that the SNP are significantly responsible for the tory government, based on zero evidence and a tory PR campaign... then we'll just agree to differ.
grufty jim
grufty jim
1978 posts

PS .. ... ....
Sep 08, 2015, 17:43
Just struck me that I linked to several analyses and suggested they reached a "near-consensus" but never really explained what that consensus was.

You can - of course - read the pieces yourself... and there are a lot more where they came from. But the basic gist is this:

1. The LibDems shed most of their seats rightwards.

2. The distribution (as opposed to the actual size) of the UKIP vote damaged Labour more than the Tories.

3. There was a perception that the economy was recovering (and people are ansty about changing governments in those circumstances).

4. Most importantly, and perhaps largely responsible for all 3 previous points... Labour failed to offer a coherent alternative to the tories.


There's no way of knowing whether a more leftwing Labour would have done better; but so long as they were offering "austerity light" (to use one of Corbyn's favourite phrases) they could never hope to hit the tories where it hurts.
grufty jim
grufty jim
1978 posts

Edited Sep 08, 2015, 20:53
Re: Jeremy Corbyn
Sep 08, 2015, 20:52
Locodogz wrote:
Hmmm at the risk of straying into Dodge type territory I'd counter your 'show me evidence that it did' with a 'show me evidence that it didn't'?!?

The only evidence that I can offer I fear is the huge effort that the Tories (and Tory press) put behind the 'vote Labour, get the SNP card' - almost to the exclusion of any other argument. Grasping, manipulative but not (entirely) stupid - I'd suggest that they wouldn't have done this if they didn't think it would play to their advantage?


And another thing...!

Yes, back again. I'm genuinely sorry if it looks like I'm unfairly jumping on your post. That's not my intention. But there was something about your second paragraph that was bugging me, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I kind of alluded to it in my previous post; but it's definitely worth its own post.

Firstly let me just say that just because a political party thinks a certain strategy will play to their advantage, does not mean it actually will. History is littered with bad campaigns that backfired badly.

Much more importantly though... I've realised that your argument basically runs like this:

The tories campaigned, partly, using a "vote Labour, get the SNP" strategy (to use your words). As I've argued already; there is no evidence that had a significant impact on the English vote. But let's say for a minute that there was. Let's imagine that a post-election poll suggested that large numbers of would-be Labour voters in key Tory/Labour marginals were influenced by that campaign.

So because of the Tory "SNP campaign" the UK now has Cameron as PM.

Except, even that does not demonstrate (or even imply) that the SNP are the cause of that vote transfer. It demonstrates that the tory PR / propaganda was successful. It says absolutely nothing real about the SNP, unless you want to argue that Tory advertising can be considered generally truthful?

To make a very relevant analogy, drawn from the same election... much of the UKIP campaign used "immigrants" as a bogeyman in much the same way the Tories used the SNP. Right? Does that say anything truthful or relevant about immigrants? Or does it speak to the nature of UKIP?
Locodogz
Locodogz
265 posts

Re: Jeremy Corbyn
Sep 09, 2015, 11:32
Sorry Grufty this allegory makes no sense to me

You say "Let's imagine that a post-election poll suggested that large numbers of would-be Labour voters in key Tory/Labour marginals were influenced by that campaign." I know better than to infer from your posts but hopefully we can agree that this influence would have manifested itself in people shifting their votes away from Labour. (or not voting at all) - unless you think it might have influenced them to vote for Labour.

You then propose "Except, even that does not demonstrate (or even imply) that the SNP are the cause of that vote transfer. It demonstrates that the tory PR / propaganda was successful." Somewhat splitting hairs, yes you could argue that the Tory PR was the cause but only because it was rooted in the truth of a strong SNP showing. I can't imagine that a 'Vote Labour, get the Orkney Independence Party' PR offensive would have yielded similar results.

You also say that "History is littered with bad campaigns that backfired badly." Its also littered with many that worked quite well 'Labour isn't working' and 'Yes we can' being just two that readily spring to mind?

Just to correct one final point - you're now talking about a "significant impact" south of the border. My initial post was made in reply to your assertion that "There is absolutely no evidence that the people of Bolton West shift their political allegiance based upon the perceived popularity of the SNP."? "Absolutely no".Indeed if you read back you'll see that in my first post I wrote "to answer your question the SNP (or the spectre thereof) may well have influenced a vote or two in Bolton West...." - note, a vote or two.

You can always 'win' an argument by posting a welterweight of website links - although a cursory Google search on 'people put off labour by fear of SNP' also throws up numerous pieces (allegedly back by polls) which could pass muster as evidence of people's votes being influenced by the 'vote Labour, get SNP' message.

Please don't conflate my posts with other peoples. I've never (nor would I have) claimed that the SNP were the reason Labour lost the election - indeed I think my posts made that clear. I've merely stated my view that the strength of the SNP in Scotland was a card seized upon by the Tories, that IMHO will have had some (negative) impact on the Labour vote south of the border.

Like I say its only an opinion - and not one that I thought was ridiculously contentious - I recall a news piece in the run up to the GE (filmed in Berwick upon Tweed IIRC) which had vox pops of people claiming to be Labour voters who wouldn't be voting for fear of putting the SNP "into power". Unsubstantiated, anecdotal, undoubtedly........beyond possibility....I don't think so
drewbhoy
drewbhoy
2504 posts

Re: Jeremy Corbyn
Sep 09, 2015, 12:24
sanshee wrote:
Captain Starlet wrote:

Well Plaid are the main opposition party in Wales and have been around a bit longer than the SNP, but I don't expect you to know that, or what they stand for as you don't live here, which was the point I was trying to get across.


Yes, but my point is the SNP have had a majority in Scotland since 2007 and the Scottish Parliament has a far bigger remit than the Welsh assembly.
That's a fairly well known fact. The second bit anyway.
Any domestic policies of theirs may not be so well known (a few here will) but since they are now the 3rd largest party in Westminster there will be more interest, thankfully.
Everything I post here regards their policies is true, that I think most of it is atrocious is a matter of my opinion.
I still wonder what benefit any of it (devolution) has done for either Scotland or Wales mind.
If there are benefits in Wales you will know, up here, it's all just been more layers for the sake of it.







Thankfully there is more interest in the SNP (it seems a lot of the electorate south of the border like them as well) and Scottish Greens who see a bigger picture by being separate. They have more influence on the governing party in Scotland which is very clear to see whereas the Greens (in England and Wales), unfortunately, don't get listened to by any of the Unionist parties.

Certainly in the North East of Scotland we appreciate what the present Scottish Govt have done for us.
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