Labour is facing electoral oblivion in Scotland

The Scottish National Party (SNP) launched its election manifesto as opinion polls point to a SNP landslide at Labour’s expense, on 7 May. Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland, reports.

What Scotland Thinks website indicates that Labour will lose 36 of the 41 seats it won in 2010. The SNP, according to the polls, will win 53 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster MPs.

Even if Scottish Labour restrict its losses to avoid losing every seat, it’s clear that Scottish politics is approaching a watershed moment.

A TNS-BMRB poll found that the increase in SNP support has occurred primarily amongst working class and younger voters. 57% of working-class voters say they will vote SNP and 71% amongst those aged 18-34.

This coincides with the televised debates involving the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon. Strenuous efforts have been made by the SNP leadership to claim the mantle of an “anti-austerity” alternative standing to the left of Labour.

The SNP manifesto opposes the renewal of Trident nuclear weapons, calls for an end to cuts, a minimum wage of £8.70 an hour by 2020 and cuts in tuition fees in England and Wales.

The huge growth in support for the SNP in Scotland following the TV debates shows the potential for a genuine anti-austerity alternative to be built. The SNP’s membership has grown still further to 104,000 in Scotland. Thousands of people in England have also applied to join the SNP as well.

However, the SNP in power have carried out Tory cuts in Scotland since 2010. Their proposed public spending increases, even it they were fully implemented, would leave over 90% of the austerity programme intact.

Their support for big business and capitalism mean the SNP are not be a sustainable vehicle for working class people seeking a struggle against austerity. PCS, Unison and Unite union members in Scotland are currently involved in strike action against cuts, a direct result of the SNP’s role in austerity. Nor do the SNP leadership support public ownership, even of the privatised utilities.

In contrast, TUSC is 100% anti-austerity, pro-public ownership and stands for socialist change.

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