Voting analysis

Moral majority: an election by numbers

SNP membersSo, which is the bigger, 55 or 56? Trick question? Well, more a case of which one represents the moral majority.

These are numbers seared on the minds of Scots, the first being the percentage who voted to save the union in the referendum, the second the number of nationalist MPs sent to Westminster.

This is no trifling matter. Numbers are playing a big part in the political mind games being used to score points against enemies and “settle” arguments. The SNP won 95% of Scotland’s 59 seats in the Commons, not surprisingly giving rise to the view that “all” Scots are opposed to the Tory government in Westminster.

Of course, this is as much a quirk of the voting system as the fact that the Tories command an overall majority with only a third of the total vote across the UK.

While Scotland turned brightest yellow, the numbers tell us that less than half of Scottish votes were for the SNP, 1,593 fewer than the total cast against the party.

Far from being wiped out and lacking any support, the Tories received 434,097 votes in Scotland. Labour, the party that “no one” loves any more, scored 797,147 votes – almost half the SNP total – and the LibDems 219,675. Despite their vast difference they each won one seat. For the record, the SNP tally was 1,454,436 votes.


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