Eck Salmond heid honcho of the Gnats seems to be living in fantasyland if he believes that they can gain at least an extra 14 seats at the next Westminster election. Reasons? Well at the 2005 Westminster election the Gnats won 6 seats and came 2nd in 20. Two of their held seats Perth & North Perthshire and Angus are held by a small majority (Perth 1521, Angus 1601) and are vulnerable to folk voting Tory to oust the Gnat type tactical voting.
Lets have a look at the 20 seats where they are second:
Airdrie & Shotts. Labour majority 14 o84. Swing required 21.2%.
Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill. Labour majority 19 519. Swing required 25.5%.
Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East. Labour majority 11 562. Swing required 14.8%.
Dundee West. Labour majority 5 379. Swing required 7.3%.
East Kilbride, Strathaven & Lesmahagow. Labour majority 14 723. Swing required 15.4%.
Falkirk. Labour majority 13 475. Swing required 14.7%.
Glasgow East. Labour majority 13 507. Swing required 21.8%.
Glasgow North East (Speaker). Speaker majority 10 134. Swing required 17.8%.
Glasgow South West. Labour majority 13 896. Swing required 22.4%.
Glenrothes. Labour majority 10 664. Swing required 14.3%.
Inverclyde. Labour majority 11 259. Swing required 15.6%.
Kilmarnock & Loudon. Labour majority 8 703. Swing required 9.8%.
Kircaldy & Cowdenbeath. Labour majority 18 216. Swing required 21.8%.
Lanark & Hamilton East. Labour majority 11 947. Swing required 13.7%.
Linlithgow & East Falkirk. Labour majority 11 202. 12%.
Livingston. Labour majority 13 097. Swing required 14.8%.
Motherwell & Wishaw. Labour majority 15 222. Swing required 20.5%.
Ochil & South Perthshire. Labour majority 688. Swing required 0.735%.
Paisley & Renfrewshire North. Labour majority 11 001. Swing required 13.5%.
West Dunbartonshire. Labour majority 12 553. Swing required 15.1%.
As they borrowed two seats from us at last year's Holyrood elections they must be added as Westminster targets too:
Argyll & Bute. Lib Dem majority over Gnats (4th) 9 070. Swing required 10.5%.
Gordon. Lib Dem majority over Gnats (4th) 12 910. Swing required 14.5%.
In a YouGov opinion poll which was published on the 8th of April voting intentions in Scotland were listed as Labour 35% Gnat 31%. Bearing in mind that Labour polled 38.9% and the Gnats 17.7% at the last Westminster election this shows that the Gnats have achieved a swing of 8.6% since then. This would mean that of their Labour target seats they would win Ochil & South Perthshire, Dundee West and be quite close to (but no coconut) Kilmarnock & Loudon. Say they also win one seat from us but lose one of their holds to the Tories, then they would have a grand total of 8 Westminster seats. A far, far cry from the 20 that Eck wants - does the man's arrogance and smugness have no end?
Being slightly less controversial, I would argue that voters tend to punish an unpopular government with whatever club available. This in Scotland could see us taking Aberdeen South, Edinburgh South, Edinburgh North & Leith and Glasgow North with the Tories possibly taking Dumfries & Galloway, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh South West & Stirling. Of course this will only happen if the current Government continue with their lack of popularity and remember that Broon will probably, given our current political landscape, continue until 2010. The Gnats also need to remember that people vote differently when voting for Westminster than they do for Holyrood.