SBR 25: SNP on the rise; independence not so? Plus, Jack McWhatsit

Hello there! As you can see, I’ve decided to experiment with that mid-week roundup idea. Just an experiment for the moment, mind. What swung it for me was the number of great posts that caught my eye over the past few days. Sorry if this has caught you by surprise, but I’m sure you’ll find that there is plenty to sink your teeth into. We’ll see if there is enough left over for Sunday…

Most recently has been the big news of some very encouraging poll results for the SNP. For the constituency, the Times / Populus poll shows the SNP standing at 38%, with Labour only on 28%. Overall, the prediction is that the SNP will get 50 seats come election time.

What the SNP bloggers haven’t been quite so quick to point out is that, as James Graham notes, the same poll shows levels of support for full independence at an almost unbelievably low 27%. This story fits my personal view that the SNP’s current ascendancy is mostly down to the need to have somebody — anybody — other than Labour in power, not necessarily because everybody’s suddenly gone in favour of independence.

At least you wouldn’t expect any SNP members to get Alex Salmond’s name wrong. Patricia Hewitt managed to elevate some mysterious figure called Jack McDonnell to the position of First Minister during an interview with STV. Tartan Hero Grant Thoms has uploaded the footage to YouTube and the video has spread across the Scottish blogosphere like wildfire.

The Conservatives have caught a bit of attention for their odd stunt designed to show how powerful their voice is… by using megaphones without batteries in them. Brian Taylor said it was surreal and looked like a Pink Floyd album cover.

Anastasia Beaumont-Bott was one of those with a megaphone, and has criticised the press for missing the point. But Bookdrunk is as nonplussed as the media.

The relatively new blog Waxing the Lyrical considers Labour’s failure to reduce child povery.

Another new blog is Red Squirrel’s Lair, with a perspective from the left. Korakiuos has a cynical view of the SNP’s proposed referendum question on independence.

On that same subject, Holyrood Watcher is unconvinced by The Scotsman‘s claim that multiple referenda would be needed for Scotland to gain independence. As he points out, “Since when did constitutional change ‘require’ a referendum?”

Kevin Williamson is even more unimpressed by it, although I’m not at all sure about his suggestion that people have “never heard of” John Curtice. I don’t watch an awful lot of the television news any more, but he always seems to be as omnipresent as Scottish political commentators get.

My own guess would be that any UK-wide referendum would be met with mass indifference south of the border. Ask English people what they think about Scottish independence and I guess most would probably just give a shrug of the shoulders.

Richard Leyton has given a broad overview of the positions of the major parties from the perspective of a floating voter. He’s disappointed at the lack of distinctive choices, and it’s no wonder the SNP are so far ahead.

Richard Thomson has noticed some strange goings on at the Solidarity offices in Holyrood. What are they trying to hide?

Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting is not entirely sure about the SNP’s generous offer to dump all student debt. He considers the interesting system used in Australia.

Are the Conservatives really passionate about the union? Mcgellie at Scotswahey has an interesting theory:

The underlying electoral logic remains overwhelming. If the Tories ‘respect’ the ‘yes’ vote of Scots in a referendum for Indpenedence, they will conveniently dispose of 40 Labour MPs for the cost of one Tory – and look at the quality/threat of some of those MPs – Handy! You get to resolve the West Lothian question and you get to laugh as Gordon has to choose to further his commitment to ’serve’ in the Scottish Parliament or find a seat in England (oh the humiliation!) so he can still play with the big boys.

Angry Steve has a typically swift response to the news that the expenses procedure for MSPs will be overhauled.

British sailors have found themselves in a spot of bother in Iran. David Farrer has an interesting take on what the future might hold.

Away from politics, Robert Sharp has a few thoughts on the photographs people use as avatars on social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo. I have to admit that I hate avatars with more than one person in them. But I’m afraid my Facebook photo is one of those “wacky” party photos. In my defence, it really is the only decent photograph of me from about the past two years…

Finally, Colin Cameron brings us a sneak preview of what to expect from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

And that was the first mid-week roundup! How did it go? Sunday’s roundup might be at a new home (see the discussion in the comments to the post below). But I’ll make sure to let you know about it. In the meantime, get those nominations in at Seeya later!

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