General Election 2015: Lord Mandelson's firm predicts that whatever happens, the SNP win

 
Guy Bentley
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Mandelson's firm forecasts life after 7 May (Source: Getty)

The SNP will try and ensure conditions for a second independence referendum victory, driving a "political wedge" between Scotland and England, according to new new research note from Global Counsel entitled "why the SNP will win whatever happens on 7 May."

What the makes the note especially interesting is that it is from a firm chaired by none other than Lord Mandelson. The former New Labour minister and spin doctor has recently taken efforts to be more supportive of Ed Miliband than he has been in the past.

Regardless of which party ends up coming out on top after the General Election the SNP modus operandi will be the same, according to Global Counsel.

"The SNP strategy will have a common element in all scenarios – to drive a political wedge between Scotland and England, which makes up most of the rest of the UK," the note said.

If David Cameron returns to Downing Street, there will be three areas of conflict with the SNP. Nicola Sturgeon may revive the argument over whether a Conservative government that has one or zero MPs in Scotland is seen as legitimate particularly in a time of continued austerity.

The Tories have pledged English Votes for English Laws but SNP MPs could put up a fight over exactly what laws only affect England. Lastly, Global Counsel draws attention to the radical differences between the two parties on the EU.

The SNP are committed to remaining within the EU but the Conservatives are promising a renegotiation of Britain's terms of membership followed by an in-out referendum.

Nicola Sturgeon has said an EU referendum should only be seen as legitimate if it is carried in all regions of the UK. Ed Miliband has ruled out a formal coalition with the SNP after the election but Labour could be dependent on SNP votes to pass a Queen's speech.

The research note says the SNP would aim to "pull the Labour party to the left, away from the centre ground of English politics". Sturgeon's strategy when propping up a Labour government would be to create "English dissatisfaction with current constitutional arrangements".

If Labour is perceived as being propped up by the SNP, Global Counsel warn that "Labour has much to lose as it has historically found it harder to win a majority of English seats than the Conservatives".

But the aim of Scottish independence is still high in the minds of the SNP leadership and a change to Britain's relationship with the EU or significant constitutional reform could trigger another independence vote:

This means that a second referendum is more likely, in the short term, if there is a Conservative-led government after 7 May. But even if a justification does not emerge quickly the SNP will have plenty of opportunities to foster the political conditions under which a second referendum can be held and possibly succeed in breaking up the UK.

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