There now seems at least a possibility (again) that Scotland might withdraw from the United Kingdom. Leaving aside what “Independence” means for Scotland in this context, let us examine what it means in practical political terms for England and the rest of the British Isles.
The present House of Commons has 650 Members (to be reduced to 600, possibly by 2020). 330 are Conservatives, 230 Labour (229+1 vacant seat last held by Labour), SNP 54, Liberal Democrats 9, Democratic Unionist 8, Sinn Fein 4 (in abstention; do not vote), Plaid Cymru 3, SDLP 3, Ulster Unionists 2, UKIP 1, Green 1, “Independent” 4 (being MPs such as Simon Danczuk who have had the whip withdrawn), Speaker 1.
It will be seen that while the present Conservative majority is notionally 11 (leaving aside the Speaker, who votes only when there is a tie), Sinn Fein do not attend or vote, so the real majority is 15.
If Scotland leaves the Union, the 650 MPs in the House of Commons will have their number reduced by 59, of which 54 are SNP, 2 SNP MPS but who are suspended (and under police investigation) and 3 LibLabCon (1 each). It can be seen that, on the pure mathematical basis, that would mean that the Conservatives would have, on present figures, 329, with all other MPs (except Sinn Fein and the Speaker) numbering 257: Conservative majority 72.
Most of the Westminster seats presently occupied by SNP MPs were, until 2015, Labour seats, so it can be seen what a mountain Labour would have to climb to replicate its Commons strength or anything like it were Scotland to break away from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
That, however, is not the end of Labour’s catastrophe. The reduction of Commons seats from 650 to 600 is expected to reduce Labour numbers by as much as 30 in any case and to almost wipe out the Liberal Democrats. If that were to be so and if the 59 Scottish MPs were not there, then the Commons would be 541 and might be about 310 Conservative, 200 Labour, 26 others (plus Sinn Fein -4- and the Speaker). Effective Conservative majority of 74.
Labour is at present polling at about 25%. There is no obvious reason why Labour should do markedly better any time soon and certainly none to expect a vote percentage much above 30%. That would, on the new boundaries, probably give Labour about 150 seats, possibly far fewer. It is not impossible that Labour could end up with as few as 100 seats out of 541. However, even if Labour were to have 150 seats out of 541 (effectively, out of 536), that would make Labour little more than a niche party, albeit with the title “the Opposition”.
The existence of the SNP in the House of Commons gives declining Labour the hope that the next general election might provide at least the possibility for a Labour minority government of some kind, with tacit SNP support, assuming that Labour could at least somewhat improve its position electorally. Without SNP MPs in the Commons, that slim hope is dashed and Labour broken with it.
Speculation and Hope
If, sometime around 2020, the Conservative Party has maybe 350 MPs in a 541-MP post-boundary changes, post-Scottish Independence, post-Brexit House of Commons, England (plus Wales etc) becomes a one-party state in all but name. Elected dictatorship. The only hope then for positive change will be the emergence of a new movement based on social nationalism, the only ideology which can unite England as a country and as a people, meaning at least the 85+% who are white Northern Europeans, together with those willing to accept European culture.