A new set of data is out predicting a Scottish National Party (SNP) sweep in the national elections, to be held throughout the United Kingdom in May. While the SNP holds a majority in the Scottish Parliament, they have never done well in general elections. There is a very real possibility that they will hold the balance of power after an election that seems set to produce no majority party.
Since the September independence referendum, Scottish politics has been perplexing. On the one hand, the three major parties united in support of a No vote, and won a convincing majority. On the other hand, all the growth in party membership has been in the SNP, along with the Greens and the Socialist Party- the three important parties to support independence.
So why is all the momentum for a party that recently lost a serious defeat? The Yes voters realized that they have work to do, and mobilization on a fuller scale is needed. This energy means more resources and manpower dedicated to supporting the SNP and its allies, to the detriment of the parties that backed No. Since there is a feeling that another referendum is going to happen in the next decade, making the national parties pay for their opposition is a great way to keep them out of any future independence campaigns. And to ensure a referendum, making the SNP a kingmaker is key.