So you think Scotland has lost its momentum? Well, “momentum” is an equation, and if you’re thinking that we’ve lost it then we should take a look at the numbers. We think you’ll find that when it comes to real momentum Scotland has it in bucket loads.

Someone commented on the Butterfly Rebellion Facebook page yesterday that they felt the momentum had gone from the independence movement in Scotland. Now, with the buzz of the 2014 referendum all fading into the past, we can appreciate where a comment like this comes from. The cut and thrust of hyperactive street politics has settled down into the more mundane business of a distant parliament and politicians, and, yes, we have the feeling that we’ve somehow lost momentum. Thankfully when it comes to momentum, however, we have the work of a truly great Englishman to turn to – Isaac Newton. Newton’s second law of motion states that Force equals mass by acceleration or F=ma (where mass by acceleration is the change in momentum over the change in time).


So let’s consider the change of our momentum over time. From 1929 to 1966 the National Party of Scotland and its successor the Scottish National Party failed to win a single Westminster seat in the ten general elections in which they stood candidates. In 1970 the SNP won a single seat, and between then and 2010 never gained more than eleven seats. All in all, that’s 52 seats won over 81 years, an average of 0.64 seats. Yes, in Westminster’s Scottish benches that is a negligible momentum.

Yet between 1999 and 2011 within the elections for the newly reopened Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh a powerful change was effected that shot the SNP from 35 seats to 69 and a parliamentary majority that led ultimately to the party taking 56 of the 59 Westminster seats in the 2015 general election (the largest proportion taken by a single party with the largest voter turnout). There can be no mistaking the fact that this is a serious increase in voter mass happening at an accelerated rate; an equation which, according to Newton, amounts to a significant force with considerable momentum.

Actually, what we have witnessed in Scottish politics is the formation of a juggernaut of public opinion; a groundswell in support for independence that even Ruth Davison can’t deny. While we on the ground may have felt the party atmosphere fizzle a bit, what the phenomenon produced has become nothing less than Westminster and the British establishment’s worst nightmare. In thirteen years we have seen a 233% increase in support for independence. If this growth continues at even a quarter of this rate for five more years independence is inevitable. In fact, as Westminster well knows, independence is already the only logical outcome of this colossal momentum.



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