A long night, but here we are. Labour lost that election all by themselves. Even if all the SNP seats – all of the Scottish seats – the overall outcome of yesterday’s election would still stand.
If they’d spent less time dismissing the SNP and more time dismantling Cameron’s – promises? – things might look very different. Labour had already sacrificed their hold on Scotland during the independence referendum, but Miliband’s and, in particular, his Scottish colleagues’ constant attempts at framing Sturgeon’s party as a democracy-threatening ‘other’ only helped to strengthen the story the Conservatives were trying to tell about politics in the UK.
The result for Labour in Scotland could have been the greatest lesson in the consequences of negative campaigning. The fact that the Conservative vote has held strong – or flourished – elsewhere, shows that a bogeyman – or tartan- clad lady – will always keep a scared, frightened and weakened electorate from making a change.
I would say that it’s surely going to take more than 5 years for Labour (and the Left in the UK generally) to re-group and offer a viable alternative at the next general election. 8 months ago, however, a scared, frightened and weakened electorate held back from making a change and put their faith in their leaders.
And look what that same electorate delivered last night.