RISE with UKIP, Anyone?

I’ve just had a chat with John Curtice. He says in Glasgow I should give my constituency vote to RISE and then vote UKIP on the list. Apparently he likes the idea of a parliament with diversity in which no party dominates. And we all like a bit of colour in our politics, don’t we? It makes perfect sense to me.

The way it’s going with a scramble for second votes, I wouldn’t be surprised if some daft scenario like this does emerge, so complex and daunting are the convolutions from gaming the system.

From what I read of the Herald story, the major flaw is surely in the top line that Professor Curtice says ‘you should vote for a smaller independence party on the list’. The day Professor Curtice tells you who to vote for is the day he destroys his legendary professionalism. You’d have to ask him something like: John, I want all Labour’s policies implemented. Who should I vote for? to get anything like a Vote Labour instruction from him. Even then he’d hedge and suggest a Labour policy is better expressed by another party.

This is why the Herald story fails – no editor reading his reporter’s line that the Professor tells us how to vote should have let it go unchallenged. It isn’t credible. And it’s not true either. The Curtice line is that in some areas it is suggested that it might be worth considering not voting SNP on the list. That’s like saying: If you are a Labour voter who wants to keep the Union, you might consider giving your second vote to the Tories. Turning the Curtice quote to back up a partisan report in which the affiliations of the authors is kept hidden is Daily Mail journalism. Another Herald failure.

But looking beyond, isn’t the answer obvious? It is to vote for your party of choice and stop second guessing the system. If you’re a socialist, vote RISE. Do a Loki and give them both votes, if you have a candidate. Who encapsulates your political priorities? Greens? Vote for them. Don’t apologise. The truth is that nobody knows how many votes each party will get on the first ballot which determines how many seats they win and adjusts the calculations of the second votes. It is a blind gamble and if you get it wrong, you may help a different party. But that’s the serendipity of democracy. (It’s also why we need to look at changing the system. When people don’t know how it works or what to do, even in the best informed electorate, we’re in trouble).

So, if I’m allowed to, I’d like to instruct you how to vote – give the votes to which ever party suits you best. If you do, you don’t take any of the ‘blame’ when we look back at the consequences. However, if your vote went ‘the wrong way’ because you tried to predict other results, you are rather liable for criticism. Be true to yourself.

That’s what I’m doing and my view has changed recently. When the parliament opened, there was a rush of excitement and a second vote led to a colourful collection of parties and individuals that reflected Scotland at that time. I preferred there not to be a majority – consensus and compromise was a fairer reflection of public attitudes.

But I never thought that in such a short time we would be peering over the edge of independence and Holyrood would become the focus of a new public-led movement.

The referendum and the subsequent emptying out of Unionist Westminster MPs made me believe that there was no way Whitehall could avoid addressing the structures of governance – most likely with a constitutional convention for the UK – and a serious discussion of a federal outcome with the nations claiming the powers they felt were relevant to them. Instead we got English Votes in Parliament and the dismal, unambitious Smith proposals which were turned into a fiscal trap by the Tories with only toxic income tax as the main tool of increasing spending while they cut the budget. It beggars belief that Labour, the Lib Dems, Greens and RISE have all marched into the trap and heard the door slam behind them. Mundell must chortle. If only the Nats had fallen into line and left a clear run for Ruth…

We are now a changed nation. (The moaners who say another Scotland isn’t possible under the SNP completely miss the point that hundreds of thousands of Scots are already inspired, energised and engaged in unheard-of ways – and we’ve only got started)

The change is that we have rejected Liberals and Labour and their self-serving collaboration. We have realised, the majority, that if we want real change only one party can deliver that. We know we were lied to and conspired against and that London government will never treat us as anything but an irritant and only then when we cause trouble. I have a respect for Greens and for RISE but I ask myself this question: Who do London fear – more Greens, possibly a single RISE MSP (long shot) or a continuing SNP majority? What scares the pants off Westminster where there is already a huge SNP block – Patrick Harvie and half a dozen Greens at Holyrood or Nicola Sturgeon commanding a Nationalist government with a majority?

It’s a no-brainer. How the Tories – and Labour – would love the SNP vote to go down. Do you think they’d welcome RISE and the Greens as an ‘interesting reflection of democratic choice’ or would they rub their hands in glee at the diminution of SNP power?

Because power is the relevant word. That’s what Scotland needs. Sure we still need debate and challenge but even RISE concede that independence is the only game in town. The British state will never deliver what Scots want, let alone socialist voters.

I was scoffed at recently by those who use phrases like: What’s the point of independence if nothing changes? How blind can you be? It is only independence that produces the platform from which any meaningful change can occur. If Westminster was minded to allow real change, would they have ceded only income tax and welfare powers? Was it RISE or the SNP that had the entire British Establishment wetting its pants only 18 months ago? Was it the Greens who sent a shiver of fear through the EU and made its president lie? Or was it Colin Fox who made NATO issue threats about defence? When the American President broke with protocol and stepped into the debate, was he worried about RISE or terrified at the prospect of SNP success in the referendum?

Self government allows us to run the country anyway we want. That means there could be a Left coalition in government if the people vote for it with nothing to stop policy implementation. Or it could mean Davidson in alliance with UKIP. The point is that it will be up to the Scots to decide that. Those who ask What’s the point? are really saying: I’ll support independence so long as I get my policies implemented afterwards. That’s not how democracy works. If that’s the Left view then they’ve misunderstood what we’re fighting for. My belief in independence isn’t qualified. I want the power so it can be delivered into the hands of the Scots to determine what kind of country they want. But it happens after independence. Without the power we are playthings of the Mundells and Cameron and electing a clutch of small party MSPs won’t change that one jot.

So if your objective is to make devolution more attractive and more fun, give your second (of your first) vote to smaller groupings who’ll make Holyrood appear more consensual. I used to agree with that. But if it’s power you’re after to cast off British control and imagine a renewed nation, you invest in the one party that can achieve that – without qualification and caveat. (I could almost get Professor Curtice to agree…)

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57 thoughts on “RISE with UKIP, Anyone?

  1. Alasdair Macdonald.

    A good piece which slices through a lot of the smoke that is being blown over the process of voting. It has always been clear what Mr Bateman’s views are. It has always been clear that Mr Curtice is a rigorous academic who would not risk his hard earned reputation by telling us how to vote. Like many people I have, in the past, cast my votes differently. But, circumstances have changed since the last Holyrood elections, so, I will change my practice.

  2. “I was scoffed at recently by those who use phrases like: What’s the point of independence if nothing changes? How blind can you be? It is only independence that produces the platform from which any meaningful change can occur. If Westminster was minded to allow real change, would they have ceded only income tax and welfare powers? Was it RISE or the SNP that had the entire British Establishment wetting its pants only 18 months ago? Was it the Greens who sent a shiver of fear through the EU and made its president lie? Or was it Colin Fox who made NATO issue threats about defence? When the American President broke with protocol and stepped into the debate, was he worried about RISE or terrified at the prospect of SNP success in the referendum?”

    it wasn’t about the SNP it was the “YES” movement , much more than just the “SNP” .

    You will be giving “AlexSalmin ” all the credit next .

    • I think you’ve missed Derek’s point Papko? Of course the ‘YES’ movement involved various parties/bodies, but what he’s getting at is there is only ONE party than can deliver what everyone on the ‘YES’ side was trying to achieve.
      Beyond that, then we choose our respective avenues.

      • “Was it RISE or the SNP that had the entire British Establishment wetting its pants only 18 months ago?”

        At the time we were told that Independence was “Not about the SNP or AlexSalmin ”

        Yet the “Yes ” movement did shake up the British establishment , and when it did SO , it was all about the “SNP” , and when it failed it “Wasn’t about the SNP ”

        Sounds bit like Hindenburg’s remark re Ludendorff and the Battle of Tanneberg 1914 .

        “Many people claim the credit for the victory at Tanneberg , but only one man would have lost it ” .

        • Until RISE or Greens stand candidates in constutuency and list then they cannot be gov as numbers won’t allow, so until then snp is the indy party of power.
          As for what’s point of indy if no change….obviously when indy that will automatically mean change..wether it’s change you want or not will depend on the democratic will of the people voting in future Scottish governments but at least you’ll be sure the gov elected will be one elected by Scotland and not rUK, which for me is the point of independence.

        • Frankly Papko, I personally don’t give a damn who takes the credit? This [for me] is a means to an end, all I know, is the fact that the SNP have been the consistent independence party from the word go. Had RISE, Solidarity or Greens been around for as long as the SNP and had already shown themselves to be a party to be trusted to deliver independence with the backing of the majority of Scottish voters, then this would be worth a conversation?
          However, you know as well as I do, that all these other parties are doing is splitting the vote for the ONLY party than can actually deliver, and for that reason I simply do not care to take a chance on a political roulette. SNP X2 for this guy.

        • I live in NE Scotland – Aberdeenshire to be specific. My choice for Constituency is SNP or Conservative. Conservative may well hoover up the Lists.
          If I am at all left of centre, far less indy-minded (and I am both) SNP is the only credible choice.
          RISE has no chance on a list vote; Green remains to be seen.

          What exactly am I going to do? (I get so cheesed off with the Loki position because most of Scotland do not have Yes Variety in the Consituency seats).

          If you do not like the SNP or its policies, these are your options:

          1) join the SNP and chance the party from within moving it leftwards and to implementing small units of more greatly empowered local government:

          2) join SSP/RISE or Green and work your vegan footwear off and your voice horse in making them a mainstream, credible, realistically electable political force (sadly I have found this to be a challenge if you do not live in the central belt, less yet if you live in a small town).

          Although an SSP member the incorporation into RISE took me by surprise as I had not been asked about this, nor received any mailings – virtual or otherwise – despite it being known I cannot get to meetings.

          I have my suspicions that there are those amongst both contingents who wear the outlier, eccentric, fringe/extremist label with pride (for all they refuse to endorse labelling)

        • your childish alexsalmin remark more or less sums up your whole click-bait post “SHIT” . Why waste your time , are you lonely ? try something more productive like playing on the nearest Motorway .

          • @Robert
            I did use quotes around my
            “Alex Salmin ” reference , it was oft heard during the referendum .

            I happen to enjoy reading the blog author , whom I consider a very fine writer . whose perspective and interpretation of Scottish politics , is different to my own , and I assume the blog author invites comments on his articles .

            Your reply to my comment does sound very foreboding , and I find it ironic , that one of the themes of this thread is ” only the SNP can scare the British establishment ”

            as well as any one else who has a different view it seems ?

            In many post-mortems on the referendum (by YES bloggers ) , reference is made frequently to “No voters being scared ” , for whatever reason ,come indryef2 , do you think scaring them more will do the job .

    • No SNP majority in 2011, no referendum in 2014, no Yes movement.

      No SNP majority 2016, no referendum…ever, no Yes movement.

    • without Alex Salmond former first minister , there who have been “NO” yes movement , no referendum or has silly me missed something ? .

  3. Spot on Derek [as ever] The whole sneaky ploy of the ‘divide and conquer’ brigade, seem to be actively promoting the idea that your second vote will [ very obviously, they’d like you to think] be reflected in the overall outcome of seat allocation, IF you just vote for someone other than the SNP? This of course has absolutely no guarantee of ever being delivered, while at the same time dilutes the chances of the SNP getting a majority government, in spite of what polls are telling us?

  4. Wot the professor actually said om his website is different from the Herald spin

    Don’t take an chances. SNP 1 & 2.

  5. kailyard rules

    SNP x 2 SNP x 2

  6. Precient post, Derek. This isn’t a game; this is about power and the future of Scotland. Why risk giving succour to unionists? Very disappointed with the Sunday Herald. I won’t be buying it again.

    SNP x 2

  7. There is no “second vote”. There is a ballot for a constituency member, and there is ballot for a Regional party or individual. There is no order in which the votes have to be cast.

    • True, but there is an order when it comes to the count. The constituency result affects the regional list seats not the other way around, so in that sense the regional vote IS your second vote.

  8. Steve Asaneilean

    There is only one party whose founding principle is independence for Scotland and which would cease to exist without that principle.

    RISE and The Green Party are only pro-independence at this moment in time. But there is nothing to stop them taking a polar opposite view in the future and still remain legitimate political parties. Neither relies on the principle of independence for its existence.

    So if you’re main political objective is first and foremost independence there is currently only one party guaranteed to retain that principle.

    It is also the only party with a fighting chance of actually delivering it.

    I want independence first and foremost and I know where my two votes are heading.

    • That is a very good point – did I not recently hear Patrick Harvie backtracking on independence for Scotland? Without it being their raison d’etre, there is every concern they could drop it and seek to join with the Green party in England.

      Same with RISE – have we not been told often enough that Labour’s (ex) socialist view was a global solidarity with like-minded socialist governments, not division and “nationalism” (in quotes since Labour’s view of nationalism is not the one I believe in).

  9. I’m an indy supporter. Campaigned long and hard, knocking on doors, leafleting, standing at stalls etc.

    But you know what? I’m getting really fed up of this “only the SNP can deliver independence” spiel that’s doing the rounds. It’s extraordinarily arrogant and frankly deceitful, not to mention downright disrespectful.

    I don’t remember SNP supporters saying things like that during the referendum campaign when they welcomed with open arms Greens, SSP, Labour for Indy and a hundred other organisations and individuals who weren’t SNP supporters/members. In fact, they were delighted to share platforms, stalls, door knocking duties etc. with them because they knew that having different organisations/people offering different but pro-indy messages helped persuade voters to vote Yes instead of no.

    It’s my belief that a Scottish Parliament with a diverse pro-indy majority is much healthier than one dominated by one, single pro-indy party. Having Greens and perhaps RISE (although that’s looking unlikely) in the Parliament alongside the SNP means we can reach more people and convince them to vote Yes in a future referendum.

  10. I read that the author of the Herald piece is a former advisor to Anas Sarwar. A coincidence? Perhaps 🙂

  11. It’s incredible you have to argue your point. It seems such an obvious argument, regarding independence and what you THEN do with it when you have it, that i worry about the “games” that some seem to want to play.

  12. My view has always been to vote for the candidate you wish to represent you in the constituency ballot, and the party you wish to represent you in the regional ballot. As a member of the SNP, I fail to understand why someone wants me to vote against the party I belong to just so their party can get a seat in Parliament instead. If the Greens/Rise/Solidarity/SSP/whatever want votes, they should go out and campaign for them on the basis of their manifestos, not expect votes from SNP supporters ‘just cause’.

  13. Robert McCleneghen

    Absolutely on the money Derek, so astute and clear cut!. SNP x2 for the reasons you have so succinctly mentioned.

  14. I want a majority SNP government until independence is achieved so I’ll vote for them on both ballot papers. Simple. As a rational human being, I neither want nor need someone to tell me how to vote.

    Come indy, my vote is up for grabs again (Tories need not apply).

  15. “if it’s power you’re after to cast off British control and imagine a renewed nation, you invest in the one party that can achieve that”

    This is a simple assertion – a dogma which relies on force in order to become lodged in our minds not an argument which survives on its own, self-sustaining merit.

  16. Every comment here apart from Papko’s is spot on. It is a brilliant article by Derek, and the comment about Anas Sarwar’s former adviser being the author clarifies the position for me, although John Curtice is also viewed as something of a Labour apologist by many. It is absolutely true and verifiable that if we do not vote SNP 1 and 2 we may let Labour or Tory list candidates in by the back door.

  17. I don’t object to the Sunday Herald including an article by John Curtice. I do object to John Curtice’s point of view.

    Have at it folks. Tell him why he’s wrong. Get writing and spell it out for all the SH readers next week. We want debate and argument and different points of view and we’ve got them; John Curtice would expect nothing less than to be challenged. So challenge.

    Aim at the message, not the envelope it was delivered in.

  18. Who do London fear – more Greens, possibly a single RISE MSP (long shot) or a continuing SNP majority? What scares the pants off Westminster where there is already a huge SNP block – Patrick Harvie and half a dozen Greens at Holyrood or Nicola Sturgeon commanding a Nationalist government with a majority?

    The British establishment fear the SNP the most, that is obvious. They are certainly not going to fear the likes of Patrick Harvie, who lest we forget, was quoted in a newspaper prior to the referendum vote as saying he would be disappointed for a couple of days if there was a No vote. Can you imagine Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney etc coming out with that line? No, because they have each put in decades of work and commitment into trying to achieve independence, as have many others in Scotland.

  19. The big dilemma for the yoons must be leave the EU, but somehow keep Scotland subsidizing the uk . It is ripping them apart. They know that following a Britexit that Scotland and Northern Ireland are certain to leave the union. And they have no answers. Yoondom is nearing it’s end. There is nothing they can do.

  20. As usual the Prof plays about with hypothesis…If this happens, that may happen, but if that happens, this may be the outcome. What he does is hedge his bets, and no way did he say “should” , He wouldn’t leave himself open in that way.

    I have have had my own say in this matter, and I see it more as playing 2nd vote Russian Roulette.. Nobody knows for sure, how it will all turn out. From a YES perspective, it would appear that in some areas where SNP are particularly strong, a vote for Green in the second paper may possibly grab an extra Indie seat in that region.
    While in other areas where the SNP traditionally are having a battle to get the constituency seats, SNP 1&2 would be the way to go..

    The problem being of course, who is smart enough to make an educated guess?
    I suspect not many… thus SNP 1&2 is the failsafe.

    Vote how you feel you want to vote….and worry about it later!

  21. Excellent stuff.

  22. Get independence first, before voting for any other pro/indy party.

    Vote SNP x 2

  23. perfectly reasonable to vote for your 2nd choice on the list if you think it’s going to stop a unionist being elected. I think in some regions it’s a very reasonable tactic particularly Lothian and maybe Mid and fife, Glasgow, and Highlands. I think it’s not so good in South, West, Central And NE. The two conditions required are a high SNP consitituency vote in the area and a high green vote in the region. the green vote holds up in young liberal affluent areas and highland for different (partly immigrant partly reasons).

    You may posture that the green list vote risks an SNP majority. I would qualify that with I’d only entertain it if reasonably confident of SNP dominating on the constituency and obtaining a high green list vote in the region concerned. In which case it’s unlikely to do that. And further in such a situation you are definitely at risk of letting a nawbag in by not voting green on list. The real question is can we identify whether we are likely to be in such a situation. I think we can. A succession of polls including at a regional level point to these areas as being fertile ground for such a tactic. They also have exactly the right type of green profile of the voters in the area and it’s no accident. So gibberish about vote for what you believe in on the 2nd vote is just that. there is much more at play and by trying to 2nd guess it I am not guilty of anything you claim I am.

    • Ref Highland the candidates first on the lists for Green and Rise are the two SNP list MSPs who resigned the whip over NATO membership but did not resign the seats. They kept their noses in the trough for a few more years and perhaps stopped better people working for the country. I very much hope they will not be elected again.

  24. The SNP are not only the best option to deliver Independence long term but they are the most competent option short term.

    Good governance increases confidence in managing our affairs.

    An increased SNP vote and a falling LibDem vote gives the possibilities of list seats – If you vote SNP X 2

  25. Excellent and objective article, Derek. You have said things which need to be said about the smaller parties and the midden that is the Holyrood voting system devised by Westminster parties.

  26. It seems like so many bloggers , this article is pushing a vote that Guarantees Unionism dominates the Opposition Benches once again at Holyrood… Saying that a “Vote for the smaller parties ” will be playing into the hands of Westminster completely misses the point that the SNP ARE the smaller party in the regional vote. With D’Honte attached to the SNP vote share , there are at least 5 regions where the SNP effective vote share is well below the threshold for a single seat.

    If the measure of success is for an SNP 1 and 2 vote to maybe possibly but probably not return a single regional seat in most of the regions in Scotland with the resultant domination of Unionism coming through, then I would seriously question the meaning of success….

    The system is not being gamed and it is really that simple… there is no gaming to be done in knowing the basic rules of the AMS system and the D’Honte method. The more constituencies you win , the less seats regional seats you win.. and the SNP are a the point of having their regional vote made totally irrelevant by their constituency results.. if the argument that every single poll carried out so far cannot be trusted , then please add in the explanation of the SNP’s constituency landslide at the last election just 11 months ago – predicted by every poll – and now apparently all that vote support has now disappeared – in 11 months ?!

    So simply vote for the policy of Independence itself in both sections… as people did in 2014 and 2014, if that is your priority…… and the SNP regional vote is very toxic to that policy. The thought that you have to vote for one single party regardless of whether they have polices you do not agree with is not a constraint of the Scottish electoral system.. you do have the ability to vote for a policy in both sections if that policy outweighs party self interest.

    Why is that the case ? Because Scotlands Constitutional policy of Independence needs to be argued , not simply just voted on… the SNP cannot vote with their majority to make Scotland independent as they can to introduce new Tax rates, or decide on NHS spending. We had a majority SNP Government in 2014 and we have one today, and yet we lost the referendum in 2014 nd are still losing the arguments today.

    They ( pro Independence MSP’s) need to win the arguments at Holyrood on Scotlands Constitutional status within the UK before they can even ask the Independence question again… and that argument will be stacked with Unionists on the Opposition benches with the Unionist parties themselves outnumbering the SNP once again by three to one in the top four. The irony being that those Unionists can only get elected through the list and only on the back of the SNP 1 and 2 vote. A second pro Indy party in the top four would only serve to reflect the split in Scotlands electorate and rebalance the arguments – not impinge on Unionist representation of those arguments – which have been unfairly prioritised due the umber of pro Unionist parties instead of MSP’s.

    This election will shape the Parliament for the next 5 years in terms of those Constitutional arguments and the media will reflect the views of the elected parties at Holyrood… 3 Unionist views to one pro Indy view .. and that will be broadcast across Scotland …

    If I were Westminster would I be pleased that the SNP polling to win a majority on constituency sets alone, did not quite reach that height ( which again goes against both every poll done in the last 6 months and directly contradicts the GE 2015 result just 11 months ago) or would I be more concerned at the collapse of the Westminster Unionist parties at Holyrood ?

    If the constitution is not a priority then vote accordingly for the domestic policies of your choice… baring in mind the constitutional arguments for the next 5 years will be shaped by this election …

  27. In my constituency of Edinburgh Southern Jim Eadie (SNP) is defending a slim majority. This is the same territory, roughly, that delivered Ian Murray as MP in May last year by only 800 votes. (Edinburgh South). There was a high No vote in Edinburgh and some evidence that unionists might be voting tactically for the strongest anti-SNP candidate on the constituency vote. So, there is every possibility that Jim might not be returned for the constituency.

    If that is the case, and meanwhile all the SNP and Yes voters have been seduced into voting ‘tactically’ for Green or Rise on the regional list, then there might not be enough list votes to return many SNP members for the region either.

    We risk losing both ways. So much though I’d like to see Andy Wightman get in for the Greens in Lothian as well as Alison Johnstone I feel I might be throwing away my lifejacket. I don’t think Edinburgh is safe. It’s too tight to risk.

    I think the yoons are also voting tactically. That seems to be Ruthie’s pitch anyway. ‘If you hate the SNP, and don’t want another referendum, lend me your vote’ seems to be her clarion call.

    • You are assuming that if the SNP lose a constituency, they will pick up a list seat.. Have another look a it,…. Labour and Toiry polling equally in Lothian …. so if Labour pick up the constituency seat, the Tories get the extra regional seat – Not the SNP..

  28. Perhaps people on the left in Scotland, like the 66% who joined the wrong party in the SNP after campaigning for Yes now see the SNP as a really poor choice, with no plans for a referendum in their manifesto. It should be 45% of their manifesto. 45% of everything since September 18th should have been independence focussed, nothing else. Instead the left has all but disappeared in Scotland to the openly celebrated glee of the SNP.

    The SNP have no plans for independence, look into their financial ties, ever-reliant 100% on the UK that we can never pay alone to keep foreign investors interests here. The socialism Scotland seeks will never come about if they have anything to do with it, they are the bankers puppets, this has all been a nonsense to keep us at bay, keep contributing but it’s never going to happen this way.

  29. am I the only person who hugely appreciates the shift Derek, Newsnet, Wings, Bella, National, Wee Ginger Dug, Pop goes Scot, Sunday Herald (except Tom Gordon) are putting in?

    Derek’s argument is sound and I am totally supportive of those voting SNP/ SNP. I am s Green and will be voting SNP/ Green, because for me having a liveable planet is not about the environment, it is about my kids survival. That doesn’t make me against someone voting SNP twice – I think your struggle is my struggle, and we – the movement – are stringer together, just as they – the establishment – are ‘Better Together’.

    However, as I noted on Pop Goes Scot and Bella, having Tom Gordon in charge of Politics at the pro-Indy Sunday Herald is like Corbyn having Hilary Benn in charge of Laboir policy on nuclear weapons. Someone needs to replace him as Politics editor at the SH or they will see their readership vanish. He’ll still have a job at the Herald where readers expect them to be anti-Indy.

  30. Great article and comments (bar a couple of usual suspects).

    I’ve never understood why Slab don’t support independence. Maybe it’s because they think they are a socialist party and that socialism can only be realised globally (Marx) rather than in One Country (Stalin). Of course, their history in government shows they are simply capitalists with a different name – although the Attlee government did introduce many social reforms (which the Tories and Blair/Brown have almost completely reversed).

    But if Slab are interested in real social change do they not realise it’s never going to happen in the UK, even if (UK) Labour form another government sometime in the future. Therefore, if they are realists, surely it’s in their own interests as social reformers to support Independence where in a new Scotland they might have the opportunity to bring that about.

    I can only assume they are not really interested in social fairness, equity, justice etc, and indeed that’s what their recent history demonstrates unequivocally.

  31. Heidstaethefire

    There is a sweet spot where any voter could vote differently on a list vote to elect a a second party -.the problem is that we won’t know where that WAS until all the votes are counted. There is also no guarantee that the S.N.P. will win all the F.P.T.P. seats. The unionist vote could, for example, coalesce round the closest challenger to the S.N.P, the S.N.P. core vote might become complacent, problems like the ones affecting the S.NP. in part of Lanarkshire can arise from nowhere, to mention just three possible scenarios. Each of these could slow a unionist party through the back door. The last thing we want to do is give the U.K parties any excuse to claim a weakening in support for independence.
    You asked the crucial question, Derek. Which outcome does Westminster/Whitehall fear the most?

  32. Spot on Derek , absolutely no diluting of the vote , it has to be SNPX2 .Diversity can come after Independence .

  33. I don’t think anyone here understands just how toxic the SNP regional vote is to the arguments on Scotlands constitution . Do the calculations yourself – Take the SNP out of the regional vote all together and see the effect it has on the Unionist seat numbers….

    That sounds counter intuitive but it just happens to be true.. even if the SNP lose constituencies, the regional seat numbers fall for the Unionist parties…

    So in effect , taking a pro Indy party ( the SNP ) out of the regional section will lead to a vast reduction in Unionist MSP’s getting elected to Holyrood … in fact their seat count collapses ..

    That should tell you how toxic the SNP vote is for pro Indy MSP’s as well as the SNP themselves.. – because even of they do win a regional seat , a real SNP MSP will go to Holyrood, with 6 Unionist MSP’s elected in the same region on the back of the SNP 1 and 2 vote to argue the case for the Union over the next 5 years…..

    And the SNP members will call this a success ? Really ?

    • But it isn’t that simple is it? Imagine the political fallout. The MSM would have a field day. SNP so arrogant they don’t think they need list seats. SNP take Scots for granted etc. The SNP mantra for a long time now has been ‘we must never be complacent’! It’s never been ‘go back to your constituencies and prepare for government!’

      See what I did there?! 😉

      • By all means leave the SNP candidate there, .. If no-one on the pro Indy side votes for them , them the Unionist seats collapse ….The more pro Indy supporters vote for them ,the bigger theishare of the pro iNdy vote, the more Unioists get elected.. That is just the system we have .. not opinion .. just fact…

    • The other interesting point about using the 2nd vote to vote along constitutional grounds (i.e. me voting Green on list even though I prefer SNP as the real independence party as they are more committed to it) is the principle of doing so could filter through to the broader electorate. it’s beginning to now among some SNP and of course has done so for a while for the smaller pro-indy parties like green and rise etc. but once it filters through to the broader SNP it will also filter through to the broader electorate.

      This begs two questions. How viable long term is D’hondt? Probably not very especially in the context of reason ##2 which is…What is the likelihood of Labour/Tory and Lib shifting their votes en masse? Surely much less likely as it would spell the end for Labour being formally aligned with Tories etc. It would open up huge potential for the next ten years to remove swathes of unionists from the opposition benches forcing air time of the debate at a more representative level.

      Much of the electorate is fickle and much is busy and has low information. The more we can bring the debate to them the better the chance we have. More pro-yes MSPs can do that.

    • Hi. You said the same thing is six emails. I deleted five. Thanks.

    • Illogical!

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