I’VE always heard people use the phrase ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’ but Wednesday was the first time I actually saw it happen as Labour MPs shuffled in line with their Tory counterparts through the voting lobbies in what could only be described as mass political suicide. We all know the Parliamentary Labour Party are desperate to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn as their leader but to effectively give up their jobs as MPs so that Labour heavily loses the UK General Election, leading to Corbyn finally resigning or being forced out is a bizarre way to run a political party.

The decision by Prime Minister Theresa May to call a snap UK General Election certainly caught most people by surprise. Ever since she inherited the job she has been adamant that there would be no early General Election and that she would see out the current term of Parliament. I think she’s ruled out a new election about seven times but clearly she didn’t believe what she was telling the public.

There have been many rumours as to why she suddenly made her U-turn, it could be that with the UK being sidelined in international affairs with Boris the Buffoon being told by the USA not to meet Russia or that the UK’s Brexit strategy, if there is one, failing badly with the remaining EU countries starting to play hardball that the Prime Minister thinks an early election before things start to fall apart too much will bolster her chance to keep her job. It may also be purely coincidental that around two dozen Tory MPs are about to get an invite to their local courts to explain their alleged election expenses fraud also had something to do with the snap General Election.

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The Prime Minister was already facing the weakest official opposition anyone can remember with Labour at war with itself and more likely to either vote with or abstain on any issue than to actually oppose the Tories. If the polls are to be taken seriously we will see Labour facing massive losses as the Tories increase their numbers and their majority in Parliament. The comments from the Prime Minister that the country has come together and that politicians have not is bizarre. I don’t see many people in Scotland coming together to support a Tory Government that supports the Rape Clause, attacks Women’s Pensions or intends to drag Scotland out of the EU against the wishes of the majority of its voters. But even if that part was true, does she not understand that a Parliament is meant to represent the whole country and that there would always be diverging opinions and voices arguing on the opposing side of each debate? It sounds like this is a very unstable Prime Minister who can’t accept that people are entitled to hold other views or to express them. It sounds very much like a Prime Minister who is fearful of any opposition and any opposing voices within Parliament.

However, now that we are facing a new UK General Election there is much to do. We will have to work hard to repeat the result of 2015 but the new alignment in Scottish politics has developed in such a way that the question is less of ‘left or right’ but now also between ‘independence and unionism’. That creates challenges as well as opportunities. In some areas we will probably see British Unionist coalitions as Labour voters switch to voting Tory to keep the SNP out. We’ve even seen Labour’s last MP in Scotland, Ian Murray, making an appeal to get Tories to back him so that he can keep his job.

So much for supporting Labour principles. The guy who walked out on his party leader now looks to walk out on any Labour principle as long as he can hoover up some Tory votes to keep himself in a job.

As for the LibDems, their refusal to rule out a coalition with the Tories is all you need to know. Apparently, they have learnt nothing from their last coalition and, yet again, the lure of a Ministerial car is too much for them to refuse.

For the Tories it now looks as if there is a rush from the Scottish Parliament so that they can try their hand at Westminster with no fewer than four of their MSPs already eyeing up potential constituencies. This includes a number who were only elected last year – it doesn’t say much for their commitment to the Scottish Parliament.

For the SNP we will fight to win every seat we can. 2015 was a tremendous result and one which will be difficult to repeat. At that time no one could be certain we would win as many seats as we did but this time around the main opposition will come from Unionist alliances as Labour and Tory voters join together to try to beat SNP candidates. No doubt any reduction in our number of MPs will be portrayed as a defeat by the mainstream media. I know many of our activists are working hard in the council elections and I would encourage them to keep focusing on that campaign, but for everyone else — whether you’re an SNP activist, member or just a supporter — we need your help to get out campaigning for the SNP, let’s work to win as many councils as possible and use that as a springboard for success in the UK General Election.