Britain is facing another major political shake-up in the wake of the Scottish referendum, in another example of European voters looking for alternatives to their failing (and flailing) traditional parties. As the Financial Times reports:
Labour is facing a potential electoral wipeout in Scotland, with a new poll suggesting more than twice as many voters would back the Scottish National party in May’s UK general election.The Ipsos Mori poll for STV found just 23 per cent of voters would back Labour if a general election were held immediately, compared with 52 per cent who would back the SNP. That would imply the loss of almost all the 41 Westminster seats Labour won in Scotland in 2010.Such a result could kill the hopes of Ed Miliband, Labour leader, to form a government and would give the SNP unprecedented influence at Westminster despite the Scottish nationalists’ defeat in last month’s independence referendum.“For Labour this is a massive shock,” said Mark Diffley, Director at Ipsos Mori Scotland….“They need to get themselves sorted pretty damn quick.”
That the Labour party is suffering blowback from the Scottish referendum reflects something that was overlooked in most coverage but that Walter Russell Mead noted at the time: the bungling of the referendum wouldn’t just affect Scotland but would also lead to general dissatisfaction with the incompetent, predominantly English political elite on both right and left.The dissatisfaction driving Scottish Labour voters to the SNP resembles the feeling that is driving English voters to UKIP, even though they stand at opposite ends of the political spectrum. It’s also closely related to the dissatisfaction with traditional European political elites generally, which is why in Germany you see the simultaneous rise of Die Linke on the fringe left and the AfD on the fringe right. The collapse of centrist parties in places like Greece was unsurprising, but we’re now on the verge of major political changes for the Western European stalwarts.