ConservativeHome this morning (thanks once again to FD) has published a survey of the political views of the next generation of Tory MPs. 144 of their candidates in the 220 most winnable seats completed a confidential survey and the one result that is most interesting for me is the revelation that only 54% believe that the Union must be “maintained at all costs” with the remaining 46% admitting to (double negative alert) "not being uncomfortable" at the thought of Scotland going it alone.
I’m not sure this is all as dramatic as it looks on first showing.
Firstly, I also don’t think the Union should be maintained at "all costs"- in the unlikely event that a majority voted against the continuance of the UK then, believing in the standard principles of democracy, I couldn’t in all conscience support any resulting extra-parliamentary action or, (God forbid) terrorist campaign to maintain the Union. The fact that over 50% of prospective Conservative MPs apparently would is actually slightly disturbing
So, if I were a prospective Conservative candidate in one of the 220 most winnable seats, I would then be left with that second, "couldn’t give a toss if Scotland goes" option- which, surprise, surprise I also wouldn’t be 100% comfortable with. So along with the 76 other candidates who didn’t take part in the survey, I wouldn’t have been prepared to deliver an answer on this one.
That doesn't make me "barely Unionist" though does it?