Was the result such a catastrophic disaster for the Labour Party? There are innumerable headlines to choose from. Here's is one from the International Business Times:
SNP destroys Labour in electoral disaster for Ed Miliband as Conservatives set for Commons majority
OK, are there any members of the Labour Party left in Scotland? Are there any Labour councillors? MSPs? Of course. Are there any Labour MPs representing Scottish constituencies? Just one, a loss of 40 Westminster Parliamentary seats. Even if Labour had retained all its Scottish seats the Conservatives would still have been the largest party in the House of Commons with a small majority.
Labour won more votes than in 2010. According to the House of Commons Library:
Labour polled 9.3 million votes, 30.4% of the vote. This compares with 29.0% in the 2010 General Election.
And according to one vivid diagram in my Twitter feed today, Labour won more votes that any other party among voters in every age group expect the over 65s. I am still waiting for information about the source.
According to the HoC analysis:
Compared with the results of the 2010 election:
- The Conservatives gained 35 seats and lost 11 (a net change of +24).
- Labour gained 22 seats and lost 48 (a net change of -26).
- The Liberal Democrats lost 49 seats.
- The Scottish National Party gained 50 seats.
We know Labour lost 40 to the SNP, so Labour suffered a setback. But hardly one from which it can't recover, if it appreciates and can agree the lessons that need to be learned, and does something about it now.