Friday, July 3, 2009

"Barely Unionist"?

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?


Aye We Can ! said...

You are doing your best to counter spin this, but a not insignificant survey, i suggest. Close to half of tory PPC not unconfortable with the idea of an independent scotland. I'll take that for starters, whatever the qualifications.

O'Neill said...

"Close to half of tory PPC not unconfortable with the idea of an independent scotland."

You're doing a bit of spin yerself there...approx 70 from 646 candidates is not half the "tory PPC" by a long shot! Question were a leading ones, I wouldn't have been comfortable answering either

Anonymous said...

I agree with O'Neill. If a majority of the Scottish electorate ever voted for independence then the Union should not be maintained "at all costs". And under such circumstances I would be deeply disappointed but by no means "uncomfortable". It's a meaningless survey.

O'Neill said...

SU and Aye we Can

If you check the pdf of how the questions were asked:

the attitudes to the EU, to take one example, is much more nuanced.

wildgoose said...

It certainly is more nuanced - there are a number of Tory MPs who on the quiet are happy to suggest England ditching the expensive and quarrelsome Union as more trouble than its worth - financially at least, England would be much better off.

That's why Alec Salmond's "Social Union" is such a clever piece of marketing, the implication is that nothing much changes but everybody is better off and in control of their own destiny without constant "outside" interference.