I’m still extremely proud of Yes Inverclyde’s achievement during the referendum: if our almost 20 point increase from predicted result (20%) to actual result (49.9%) was replicated in every Scottish constituency, we would’ve walked it. But while the referendum is over, the struggle for Scotland’s future continues.
So, I’m going to use my wilderness to for a bit of local promotion. On the 13th of December, Yes Inverclyde is hosting a fundraiser to raise money for the next few months, up to about the General Election period.
Now, it’s important to note this is not an SNP night (that was on St Andrews’ Night) but one aimed to benefit all the pro-independence organisations affiliated with the Yes Inverclyde campaign, most notably Women for Independence. There are a few others: the Common Weal is looking to expand in Inverclyde, English Scots for Yes is headquartered here, , our local leader Gary Forbes for the SSP is here, RIC shining light Shaun Paul O’Connor campaigned here, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing even more sprout up in time. Nonetheless, I think all the groups agree that getting as many pro-independence candidates into Westminster as possible is highly desirable. Is that even possible in Inverclyde?
Here are the results of the 2010 general election (you know, that time where Scotland was supposed to vote Labour to stop the Tories, dutifully voted in 40 New Labour MPs, only for it not to stop the Tories at all):
|General Election 2010: Inverclyde|
|Liberal Democrat||Simon Hutton||5,007||13.3||-3.6|
And here are the results from the 2011 by-election:
|By-Election 2011: Inverclyde|
|Liberal Democrats||Sophie Bridger||627||2.2||–11.1|
Seeing your lead plummet from a 14,416 majority to a 5,838 majority within the space of a single year, even accounting for 9,415 less voters (25% lower turnout), is pretty damning for New Labour in Scotland. So, if we at Yes Inverclyde can turn one of the most No-friendly constituencies in the entire country into a hair’s-breadth of a Yes, I think there’s a definite possibility we can get an independence-supporting candidate who will actually represent the people of their constituency into Westminster.
But we won’t do it without hard work. We need to work even harder than we did during the referendum: it was easier convincing the Labour stronghold to vote Yes to reclaim their party than I predict it will be to get one of the last bastions of the Red Clydeside to finally throw off the yoke of New Labour. Likewise, all the forces at the disposal of New Labour in Inverclyde which aided them during the referendum will be back in the coming months. I realise many of us have spent so much on the referendum campaign – many of us, myself included, were decidedly non-party-political during the referendum – but at the end of the day, I want to take the fastest, most realistic route to independence that’s possible. And the only way I see that happening is the “vote pro-indy candidates in 2015” method.
Luckily, I don’t think there’ll be that much politicking at the ceilidh itself! It’s a night of dance, drink and delight, with food and music and all sorts of merriment. If anyone’s in the Inverclyde area about that time, I’d be delighted to meet you, as would all the team. We’ll be having a few special guests, too. There are still a few tickets left, so give us a call.
Also, if you figure out the meaning of the wee lights in the poster, I’ll buy you a drink!