First outing for my Alex Salmond cartoon, after I read today in the Spectator that according to a new Ashcroft poll the SNP could win 55 out of 59 seats in Scotland at the General Election now just 3 months away.
The Spectator has two maps of Scotland. One shows the results of the 2010 election, the other what the result could be in 2015:
Blue is Conservative, red Labour, orange Lib Dem, and yellow Scots Nationalists. Labour is the biggest loser. I think this would mean that Labour is unlikely to win the election. And losing all their Scottish seats would contribute greatly to the expected collapse of the Lib Dem vote.
But the political mood south of the border is almost equally volatile, with the rise of UKIP. Yet the third UK map (right) in the Spectator doesn’t seem to show any UKIP wins predicted at all. Another view:
What are the chances of Ukip gaining a lot of seats?
It all depends on how long their surge in popularity lasts. Recent polls put them on between 13 and 23 per cent, with an average figure of about 17 per cent – a stunning increase from the three per cent share of the national vote they achieved at the 2010 general election.
However, Britain’s first-past-the-post system does not favour minority parties. Indeed, the Electoral Calculus website suggests that Ukip will win no seats at all if their share remains at 17 per cent. But if that national share continues to rise, everything changes – and Ukip are not far off the tipping-point.
An Electoral Calculus table suggests that with 20 per cent of the national vote, they could win eight seats; 24 per cent would produce 46 Ukip MPs and if they could hit 28 per cent they could become the second party – ahead of the Conservatives – with 140 seats.
Since UKIP are given 23% in a recent Survation poll, they might be getting quite near the point where they could get 50 seats.
But if The Scots Nats make a clean sweep of Scotland, that’ll put Scottish secession from the Union back on the agenda.
And now for an outing for another cartoon I created today, of Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s new ‘rock star’ finance minister. (I’ve now also got Alexis Tsipras, Mario Draghi, Angela Merkel, and Vladimir Putin cartoons).
I have no idea what’s happening with Greece, but they seem to have broken the ECB/IMF/EU Troika that has been in control recently. Latest news seems to be that the ECB may cease propping up Greek banks:
The European Central Bank has increased the pressure on Greece by banning the debt-stricken country from using its bonds as collateral for cash.
Officials at the eurozone central bank has said a waiver that allowed Greece to swap its junk-rated debt for money would expire on February 11.
The move means Athens will now have to provide its banks with tens of billions of euros of additional emergency liquidity in the coming weeks almost certainly at less attractive interest rates.
Interestingly, Yanis Varoufakis (who studied economics at the University of Essex) has his own WordPress blog. On which we may read Heard the news? Greece’s finance minister is no extremist – THE TELEGRAPH.
His blogging seems to have slowed up a bit in recent days, but there’s plenty to read there.
I’ve started adding sub-menus to my References page under the banner at the top. One of the sub-menus is Nicotine, and I’ve added a link to a comment by Rose yesterday. It’s the first link in the References section. This might be quite a good way to start to link to stuff in the comments.
If people have any comments, or posts of mine, or other links they’d like to see in the References section, let me know. Perhaps we can start to build an interesting reference section.