At the time I suggested: A new Scottish right of centre party? in February, UKIP were languishing in the polls, the Scottish party had just been stabbed in the back by UKIP in England and it looked almost impossible that UKIP would get an an MEP. Likewise, the Tories were at the end of a very long run of appalling election results.
The diagnosis was simple: “parties of the right never do well unless they are nationalistic – and in Scotland that means being run from Scotland”.
As it looked very likely that both UKIP and the Tories would have another dismal result in Scotland I felt it was the right time to try to get something going. And 2014 looked the idea year. The opposition were completely obsessed with the independence vote. There was a good year to the first “outing” at the general elections. This would have been an ideal springboard into the Scottish elections. And if the collapse of Tories/UKIP had supplied the members, it would have meant at least a few MSPs.
However, instead of a collapse as was needed, whilst UKIP in Scotland only got a very poor third the vote of the party in England, the election of an MEP is bound to enthuse members. At least for another few elections until they too realise that there’s a glass ceiling that they cannot break through as long as they are directly controlled from England. Likewise, the rise in Tory votes rose which will be enough to keep the die-hards believing that if they grimace through another few more election defeats … magically the Scots will grow to like them.
So, paradoxically, the relative swing toward parties of the right – was about the worst possible thing that could have happened to the right: it now means Scotland has no chance of its own home-grown right of centre party for the 2016 MSP elections.
Indeed, the most likely new parties are now a Scottish “we love the EU, don’t know what VAT is and want to be nice to everyone – unless they disagree with us” party to replace the LibDems and a split in the SNP after their nasty anti-Scots campaign for a “yes” to SNP dictatorship.