Thursday, 4 September 2014

Two weeks to the IndyRef and London finally wakes up.

In two weeks the polls will open for the Scottish independence referendum, and nobody has any clear idea as to what the outcome will be. There have been just two opinion polls in the last two weeks, but at least three that are concerned solely with Clacton, where the Conservative MP resigned to join UKIP. During the same period there have been any number of polls that have tried to predict the outcome of the May 2015 General Election, and event that possibly will not exist if Scotland votes Yes later on this month.

The lack of polling should trouble all of us, since it is creating an unnecessary amount of panic . The Scottish newspapers cannot afford to commission polls and the so-called national press is so London-centric that those papers seem to be indifferent to a vote that is possibly the most important event that we will ever see.

An increasing number of Tory MPs have finally woken up to what is potentially about to hit Westminster and are calling for the next General Election to be postponed until after Scotland becomes independent. The problem with that desperate idea is that it would involve parliament first repealing the Fixed Term Parliament Act, and there must be some considerable doubt whether the Labour Party will go along with that idea, to say nothing of the House of Lords. If Labour does vote against, then it is inconceivable that the Lords would allow the bill to pass. The Commons could overrule the upper house, but not when an election has to be held by law in eight months.

Could David Cameron survive as Prime Minister? His position may be untenable, anyway, even if there is a No vote. Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader has already publicly admitted that the Tories are on course to lose the next General Election, so the temptation to dump Cameron in a last ditch attempt to shore up the right flank against UKIP may probably be overwhelming. On the other hand, if Scotland votes Yes it is impossible to believe that the man who lost Scotland will survive the post-referendum deluge that will hit an unsuspecting London like a tidal wave.

To make matters even more interesting, the pound is falling thanks to all the uncertainty, and all of this panic has its roots in the failure of the newspapers to commission polls, because when hard information is lacking, the rumour mills take over.

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