As I See It
Sturgeon sent home to ‘tae think again’
Have the wheels finally come off the Nicola Sturgeon bandwagon? The once seemingly insuperable nationalist leader, now beloved around the world, is facing the prospect of being brought down to earth with a crushing bump, if the opinion polls are to be believed.
After a series of inaccurate forecasts we have all learned to be sceptical about opinion polls, but this weekend’s swathe of predictions indicate a pattern that will prompt a few alarm bells to ring in Bute House.
Ms Sturgeon’s hitherto confidence, built on a surge in anti-Tory sentiment, will be tested by data suggesting the Tories could not only land a big majority in Westminster but may also return up to 12 MPs in Scotland.
That represents a huge comeback for the so-called nasty party who the SNP have spent years demonising for being irrelevant in Scotland.
Should this forecast be translated into a result on 8 June then that particular mantra will have to be laid to rest.
In truth the Tories have been a much bigger party in Scotland than their opponents have tried to claim. Times and circumstances may change quickly, but it should be noted that as recently as the 2010 General Election 491,000 Scots voted for the SNP and 412,000 for the Tories, the party that supposedly ‘no one’ in Scotland supports.
Ms Sturgeon has built her campaign for a second independence referendum partly around this myth of the absent Tories. Yet it is only because of the quirk of the first past the post voting system that the Tories have just one seat in Scotland.
She has also effectively seconded the 62% of Scots supporting Britain’s continued membership of the EU, treating them as a vindication of her campaign without acknowledging that a large number of those voting remain included supporters of other parties, including the hated Tories.
The polls have to be treated carefully, of course, and Mrs May has told her supporters to take nothing for granted.
They should also provide Ms Sturgeon with a reminder that she also cannot take Scots for granted when she claims to speak for the nation.
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