Fun with numbers

November 26th, 2006 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

The British Labour Party has come out swinging at the SNP at their national conference:

The home secretary’s attack followed an ICM survey for the Sunday Telegraph which suggested support for Scottish independence had reached 52% among Scots and 59% in England.

Yes, that’s right – more English people favour Scottish independence than do Scots. Wouldn’t that indicate that really it’s English independence that’s in question?

More seriously, one concern for the Labour Party is that while they dominate representation in Scotland and Wales – sitting at about 40% in each, with the Lib Dems and Conservatives each sitting under 25%, and in some cases below 20% – in England in 2005 they held just the smallest of percentage leads over the Conservatives, leading them 35.7% to 35.5%. Of course, given the first-past-the-post system employed, they did much better in terms of seats, but that could easily reverse. Even if the Scottish/Welsh/Northern Irish seats do only amount to around one fifth of the English total, the party doesn’t want to risk losing the Scottish cushion.

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