If a measure of how progressive you are, is your top rate of tax, then is it possible that an independent Scotland could end up being more right wing than the rest of the UK?
Well, we now know that taxes won’t be rising under John Swinney in an independent Scotland.
And we know that Labour, if elected in 2015, would bring back the 50p rate.
But if Scotland is independent, won’t that make it impossible for Labour to win? Well, no, it won’t. The latest YouGov survey, gives a Labour lead of 9 points – on the low side of other recent opinion polls, but perhaps more representative. In Scotland, however the lead is 22 points over the SNP, reflecting the different voting strategies of Scots when it comes to elections at Holyrood and Westminster.
Putting these numbers into Anthony Wells’ swingometer gives us an overall Labour majority of 96, with gains for Ed Miliband across the country, including Scotland. The SNP would surely be disappointed to only gain Gordon from the Lib Dems, while Labour makes 5 gains, all at the expense of the coalition.
But if you take out the Scottish seats, and just look at the rest of the UK, Ed Miliband sill wins 324 seats, giving him an overall majority of 58 in the reduced House of Commons.
If Scotland votes, Yes in 2014, it’s difficult, if not impossible to see anything other than an SNP Government taking control at first in Edinburgh. And since John Swinney has said he wont increase the personal taxes, nor those of companies, especially in the North Sea, while Ed Balls would not only be increasing the top rate to 50p, he might also extend its reach.
So which country would be closest to the utopian ideal of wealth redistribution?