The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Posts Tagged ‘Scottish Parliament election 2011’

The Biggest Irony Of Election Night

Posted by The Futility Monster on May 6, 2011 @ 09:06

A very misleading photo of some guy

One quick thought for you.

Labour, in Scotland, suffered a “shellacking” at the hands of the SNP.

That defeat was magnified to a very large extent by none other than the First Past The Post electoral system.

You know, that system most of them came out and backed.

But wait!

Scotland doesn’t have just FPTP. It has the joyous Additional Member System, allowing additional MPs to be distributed in accordance with the PROPORTIONAL preference of the electorate. And, even better, taking into account seats already won under FPTP, thus correcting for its distortion.


To recap. Labour, facing meltdown at the hands of the First Past The Post electoral system in Scotland, are rescued from utter disaster by a fair voting system, enshrined in proportional representation.

“Lord” Reid, your boys took a hell of a beating.

How do you like them apples, Iain?


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11 For 2011

Posted by The Futility Monster on January 2, 2011 @ 11:11

OK, so it’s hardly the return of the Futility Monster, here, but two posts in two days does mark something of a minor miracle. Even so, it’s unlikely to be repeated. Maybe I will try and write something at least semi-frequently. Maybe once a month or something.

But for now, more to get it down in writing than anything else, here comes my top 11 predictions for 2011.

  1. The AV referendum will pass. Call me a hopeless optimist, but I believe Ed Miliband will drag the Labour Party, kicking and screaming, behind the campaign as a show of his authority and capacity for “change”. This will encourage the Lib Dems to give it their full support. It will scrape home. Just.
  2. The “Other” 2011 referendum – in Wales – will also succeed, but with a larger majority in favour.
  3. Following that, Welsh Labour will win. But perhaps not as big as they will hope. I predict an extremely close finish, with them just falling below the magic 31 seats for outright majority control.
  4. The Scottish Nationalists will lose power in Scotland’s May general election, but they will only be replaced by an enfeebled Labour minority, who may struggle to find partners to get its legislation and budgets through.
  5. Meanwhile, in London, the Coalition will last the whole year, without too many hiccups, despite sluggish economic data.
  6. Somewhere during the year, the Liberal Democrats will hit another low in their post-2010 election opinion poll woes.
  7. In the post-May reshuffle, Nick Clegg will receive a real portfolio in a bid by David Cameron to shore up support for the coalition amongst demoralised Liberal Democrat MPs. Home Office, anyone?
  8. Also to boost the Lib Dems, House of Lords reform (defined here as anything 80% or more elected), will pass the Commons, but die a sad death in the Lords itself.
  9. Looking abroad, Silvio Berlusconi will finally reach the end of his woeful Prime Ministerial career. Having said that, his replacement will hardly be any better.
  10. Barack Obama will have a traumatic year: under fire from the hostile House of Representatives, a ceaseless war in Afghanistan, and unable to achieve anything of great significance. This will seriously damage him running into the pivotal 2012. And if that happens, expect Sarah Palin to run for the Presidency. Whether she gets the nomination, however, will have to wait till next year’s prediction…
  11. Finally, North Korea will come back to the negotiating table at long last. But will a deal be reached? Extraordinarily unlikely. Unless Kim Jong Il croaks it, and his son is, to everyone’s shock, slightly less of a lunatic than his father…

As for who wins this year’s Premier League, alas, it’ll be no one other than Manchester United.

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Scottish (Labour) Power

Posted by The Futility Monster on July 9, 2010 @ 18:12

Wonder if Labour would change this back...

The most boring, and yet the most intriguing, result at the last election was the one in Scotland. Let me explain.

Boring because not a single seat changed hands.

Intriguing because not a single seat changed hands.

The SNP ran quite an ambitious campaign. They insisted they were on course for as many as 20 seats, and there were certainly at least a few within their reach. You couldn’t move during the campaign for Alex Salmond complaining about his exclusion from the debates. And, to be fair, the BBC, ITV and Sky more than made up for it, with fair few Scottish debates of their very own.

Meanwhile, the Lib Dems too were hoping to capitalise on Labour’s perceived weakness. After the stunning by-election win in Dunfermline and West Fife, and a number of easy targets in Edinburgh and beyond, the feeling was good that progress could be made.

The national opinion polls were putting Labour in the doldrums. But little did anyone, or at least anyone south of the border, realise that Scottish Labour voters had not gone anywhere. The national opinion polls hid the greatest variable of them all. Scotland.

The Tories improved on their miserable voting share, but remain with just a single MP. And that is very likely to be their high watermark. Meanwhile, the national Lib Dems, who these days look very English, failed to resonate north of the border, and the Scottish party remains in terminal decline.

The failure of the others to dent Labour expressed itself even further. In some seats, Labour’s vote share actually increased. Not bad for a party apparently at rock bottom after 13 years in power.

All this is very good news for them, especially with crucial Scottish parliamentary elections in May next year. At least, we think they’re in May. And with the SNP not looking quite so good as they used to, their perilous one seat lead over Labour looks in real jeopardy.

Even better, with Labour now out of power in Westminster, the Scottish Labour party can get a boost from the national party’s usual opposition bonus. The aggression of the outsider can be once more turned to their full advantage.

There is just one down side. Iain Gray, Scottish Labour’s leader. Not the best, shall we say.

But, at this stage in the game, I would strongly expect Labour to be the largest party in Holyrood after May 2011.

Then what? Coalitions?

No way. Lab-SNP, a massive joke. Lab-LD, tried in the past, could work again. Oh, but hang on, those pesky Lib Dems are now in coalition with the Tories at Westminster. Which is, naturally, toxic in Scotland. Labour would never touch that.

And even if Scottish Labour were crazy enough to offer, the Lib Dems would surely realise it would just look a little too opportunistic to be in bed with different partners in different parts of the country. Which happens anyway at local council level, but who cares about that!

So a Labour minority government will be in place. Oh well, at least that’s something new!

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