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AMS for lazy people

Posted on August 23, 2015 by

The email we’ve had more than any other since the 8th of May is this one:

“Please can you explain how the Scottish election system works, and whether it’s a good idea for me as an SNP voter to give my list vote to someone else so as to ensure the maximum number of pro-Yes MSPs in Holyrood?”

We’d planned to leave that question until much nearer the relevant time, but to be honest we’re getting fed up of reading them, so let’s see if we can sort it out now.

The Scottish Parliament is determined by a process called the Additional Member System (AMS), and specifically a variant of it using the D’Hondt Method of counting.

It’s actually not complicated at all (certainly not compared to the mind-numbing maths horror of STV), but the calculations involved in allocating all the seats to ensure a roughly proportional represention of the various parties are lengthy, and most people’s attention spans are short. So we’ll keep this as brief as possible.

For the purposes of AMS, Scotland is divided into eight areas. Each has between eight and 10 constituency MSPs, and exactly seven “list” MSPs. The constituency MSPs are elected by First Past The Post (FPTP), just like in Westminster elections, and the list seats are then distributed in such a way as to try to make the total vote shares for each party more closely match the numbers of seats they end up with.

(If Holyrood elections were conducted by FPTP alone, then on May’s results there’d be roughly 123 SNP MSPs, and just seven from the other four parties put together.)

To demonstrate how the list-seat allocation works, we’re going to create an imaginary region, called (since it doesn’t really exist) Brigadoonshire.

brigadoonshire1

Brigadoonshire has nine constituency seats, and in our hypothetical example the SNP take them all in a clean sweep. The list votes for the region, meanwhile, break down – and this is AN ILLUSTRATION NOT A PREDICTION – like this:

SNP: 100,000
Labour: 70,000
Conservatives: 60,000
Liberal Democrats: 25,000
Green: 15,000

What the D’Hondt method does is put those numbers through seven rounds of voting: one round for each list seat to be allocated. In each round, every party has its list vote divided by the number of seats it already has in the region – both constituency and list – plus 1. We call that number (total seats +1) the divisor.

(You have to add the 1 because otherwise when a party didn’t win any constituency seats you’d be starting off dividing by zero, which is mathematically impossible.)

So in Round 1, the SNP’s list vote is divided by 10 (because it has nine constituency seats and nine plus one is 10), and everyone else’s is divided by one, ie it stays the same. So for the first list seat, the adjusted vote becomes:

Labour: 70,000
Conservatives: 60,000
Liberal Democrats: 25,000
Green: 15,000
SNP: 10,000 (100,000 divided by 10)

That means Labour win Round 1 and get the first of the seven list seats. But because it now has a seat in the region, the party’s divisor goes up from one to two. So when we get to Round 2, the Labour vote is cut in half.

(In each round the process is that we take the party at the top of the table out, give them a seat, apply the new divisor to their original vote, and then slot the party back into the table at its new position. It might make it easier to understand if we mark the only party that’s changed position with an arrow.)

The Round 2 table is therefore:

Conservatives: 60,000
> Labour: 35,000 (70,000 divided by two)
Liberal Democrats: 25,000
Green: 15,000
SNP: 10,000

So now the Conservatives have a seat, and their divisor also goes up by one while everyone else’s numbers stay the same. Which means Round 3 comes out like this:

Labour: 35,000
> Conservatives: 30,000 (60,000 divided by two)
Liberal Democrats: 25,000
Green: 15,000
SNP: 10,000

Labour get another seat and their divisor goes up by one again, to three. (Divisors are always applied to the INITIAL number of votes – in Labour’s case 70,000 – NOT to the number carried over from preceding rounds.) So Round 4 runs:

Conservatives: 30,000
Liberal Democrats: 25,000
> Labour: 23,333 (70,000 divided by three)
Green: 15,000
SNP: 10,000

Another seat for the Tories, so their divisor goes up again, everyone else stays the same, and Round 5 plays out like this:

Liberal Democrats: 25,000
Labour: 23,333
> Conservatives: 20,000 (60,000 divided by three)
Green: 15,000
SNP: 10,000

 Now the Lib Dems have a seat, and their divisor goes up. Round 6:

Labour: 23,333
Conservatives: 20,000
> Liberal Democrats: 12,500 (25,000 divided by two)
Green: 15,000
SNP: 10,000

Another seat for Labour, whose divisor now becomes four. So finally, the votes in Round 7 for the last of the list seats are:

Conservatives: 20,000
> Labour: 17,500 (70,000 divided by four)
Green: 15,000
Liberal Democrats: 12,500
SNP: 10,000

And the Tories get their third seat.

So at the end of seven rounds, Brigadoonshire is now represented by these MSPs:

SNP: 9 (all constituency)
Labour: 3 (all list)
Conservative: 3 (all list)
Liberal Democrat: 1 (list)

And that’s how AMS works.

brigadoonshire

So now we have to deal with the tactical-voting issue. The whole point of AMS is that by redressing the unfairness that tends to result from FPTP, it’s designed to make tactical voting both unnecessary and pointless. Indeed, because you can’t know the constituency results in advance, it’s basically impossible.

For example, if the SNP only win eight of the constituency seats in Brigadoonshire instead of nine and the Tories pip them to the post for the other one – we’ll assume that Brigadoonshire is in the Borders – the seats on the vote numbers above then come out at SNP 8, Labour 4, Conservative 3, Lib Dem 1.

So because of/despite that Tory constituency win, the Tories still have three seats overall (one constituency and two list), but now Labour have effectively pinched one from the SNP. See what we mean about it being unpredictable?

We see from that scenario that trying to vote tactically on the list for a second party is a risky business, because you can’t take the FPTP element for granted – even slight changes in the constituency outcome can affect the list results in unforseeable ways. But is it worth the gamble?

brigadoonshire3

We took a look at a real result – the Mid Scotland And Fife (MS&F) region from the 2011 Holyrood election, in which the SNP won eight out of nine constituency seats – to see how it would have turned out if one-third of SNP voters had given their list vote to the Greens instead.

Now, that’s an ENORMOUSLY generous figure for a tactical vote. The large majority of voters on all sides will vote for their preferred party in both ballots, and even those who do want to make a tactical Yes/left-wing vote will find themselves with a dilemma of which party to choose – the Greens, Tommy Sheridan’s Solidarity, the new “RISE” party seeking to replace the SSP, and possibly others.

(You only need to look at the hilarious results the “SNPout” campaign got in May’s general election – with the benefit of massive press hype and explicit backing from the Daily Mail and Telegraph – to see how few people actually tend to vote tactically, even in an FPTP election where it has a much better chance of working.)

So the Greens actually getting a third of the SNP list vote is basically a completely farcical notion. But let’s assume for the purposes of illustration that it happens, which on the 2011 MS&F numbers would mean the SNP vote falling from 116,691 down to 78,183 and the Greens rocketing from 10,914 to 49,811.

If you do the sums on that, the list result changes from Labour 3, Conservative 2, Lib Dem 1, SNP 1 to Labour 3, Conservative 2, Green 2, with the Greens capturing one seat each from the SNP and the Lib Dems.

In other words the Yes/left alliance would make a net gain of just one seat in the region for even an absolutely inconceivably massive tactical vote.

To beef up the data a bit we then applied the same formula to the Glasgow region, home to Patrick Harvie, which returned the Greens’ second-strongest performance in 2011. Again, the net Yes/left gain with a third of the SNP vote switching is just one seat – the Greens go from one to four, but two of them are taken from the SNP.

(The strongest Green region, Lothian, is a special case due to the presence in 2011 of the now tragically-deceased Margo McDonald, so it’s not really possible to even make a sensible extrapolation because we don’t know where her vote will go.)

Finally, we tested the Greens’ weakest region, Central Scotland, where on a one-third switch from SNP to Green there was no net gain at all – the Greens pick up three list seats, but all three of them are taken from the SNP.

brigadoonshire2

These figures are all illustrations, not predictions. We have no way of knowing how many votes each party will get next May – eight months is a long time in politics – and no way of knowing how many constituency seats those votes will translate into.

But what we’ve learned is that even an unimaginably huge tactical list vote will likely at best produce a net gain of a couple of seats for Yes/left parties, and at worst could cost the SNP some seats and perhaps even their majority.

(AMS, we must remember, was also specifically designed to make winning majorities very difficult, and the Nats currently technically don’t have one at all, holding 64 seats out of 128. On our illustrative calculations here they lose six list seats in just three regions, and we can’t be sure how many constituencies they might win to compensate and regain a majority. The most they can gain is 20, as they already have 53 of 73.)

It’s not this site’s business to tell anyone how to vote. What these numbers strongly suggest, though, is that tactical voting – of any sort and for anyone’s benefit – in an AMS election is a mug’s game. You should vote for the party or parties that you most want to see form the government, rather than trying to second-guess the system. Because if you try, chances are it’ll make a chump out of you.

.

Subsequent articles on this subject: Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five.

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286 to “AMS for lazy people”

  1. Morag says:

    Spot on. The best that can happen with this wheeze is that the SNP would lose seats and the Greens gain the same number. No gain for the so-called “Yes Alliance” and arguable a loss, given that the commitment of the Greens to independence is somewhat less than overwhelming.

    Patrick Harvie’s rhetoric recently has been all about holding the SNP to account and providing a robust opposition to the SNP. That’s all very well, but why would SNP supporters want to vote for the opposition?

    In this scenario, the press would paint the result as a loss for Sturgeon – if in fact the SNP secured 69 seats or fewer, so not improving on Salmond’s 2011 result. 70 or more seats from the FPTP ballot alone is a little on the optimistic side, let’s say.

    If the SNP vote didn’t hold up quite so well there would be every prospect of the the next Holyrood government being an SNP/Green coalition. I think there would be zero prospect of another independence referendum if Harvie had a veto (he’d be Deputy FM, remember), never mind the dificulty the SNP would have getting its manifesto through with the Greens playing hardball at every turn.

    Worst of all, it’s entirely possible, indeed probable, that the loss of SNP list seats could see unionist parties come through the middle and snatch them, with the Greens not doing well enough despite the defections. This last is the likely scenario with smaller swings than the impossible figures Stuart has used in his calculations.

  2. John D aka Nkosi says:

    Simple Vote SNP I can say it.

  3. Proud Cybernat says:

    Thanks. Sorted. SNP YES, YES.

  4. jimnarlene says:

    Just vote for which ever party you support, tactical voting doesn’t work.
    For me it’s SNP, all the way to independence.

  5. Morag says:

    One thing I keep reading which is factually untrue is that if the SNP wins every constituency seat in a region, list votes for the party will all be wasted. As Stu said, this is nonsense as the living breathing existence of Mark McDonald demonstrates. He got a list seat in the North East on 52% of the vote, despite the SNP having won all the constituencies.

    So were these SNP list votes wasted? Of course not, as they elected an MSP. If some of these people had decided to vote Green or SSP in that region, the likelihood is that the lost list seat would actually have gone to the Tories, who weren’t far behind the SNP for that seat. Beware unintended consequences.

    The only region where the SNP didn’t get a list seat last time was the Lothians, and this was despite failing to win one of the constituencies. So where did the compensatory list seat go there? The answer is clear. A sizeable chunk of SNP support decided to give its vote to someone else on the list, and that someone got the seat. Margo MacDonald. I don’t think anyone actually has a problem with that, but the current suggestion is to sacrifice a list SNP MSP for some anonymous Green candidate, not Margo.

  6. Doug Daniel says:

    And just to throw another factor into the mix, not all Green list candidates are pro-independence.

    In the North East Region, number two in the Greens list is Martin Ford, who is NOT an independence supporter. We currently have six unionist MSPs in the North East. If the Greens nick the SNP’s list MSP, we’ll still have six unionist MSPs (but our pro-indy MSP will be replaced by someone who doesn’t see independence as their number one priority). If they win two list MSPs, the North East will have… SIX unionist MSPs. The Greens would need about 40,000 extra votes to change the Yes/No balance, which is completely unrealistic.

    If folk genuinely support the policies of the Greens or RISE, then fair play. But SNP supporters should be under no illusion that either party will simply stand behind the SNP against the unionists – remember the furore over the Greens disagreeing with the SNP on FFA.

  7. A2 says:

    “So the Greens actually getting a third of the SNP list vote is basically a completely farcical notion.”

    Is it though? pretty much everyone I know that is intending to vote SNP in the constituency (and is prepared to discuss it) has stated this as their intention.

  8. Willie John says:

    Constituency vote = SNP. List vote = SNP.

    After independence then I may (or may not) change my preferences, but until then a strong SNP is required both in WM and at home.

    Simples!

  9. fionan says:

    Thank you for this, it is a good clear explanation of how the list vote works. I was never too sure, though I did understand that it was best to simply vote for your preferred party for both votes.

  10. Jean says:

    I’m using both my votes for SNP. I had considered using the second vote for the greens or ssp but Patrick Harvie has been an ass recently and ssp need more time to get themselves sorted.

  11. Morag says:

    Someone asked, what is the maximum number of seats the SNP might get, if the party is riding very high. James Kelly refused to commit himself, but I think the answer is probably 81. All the constituencies plus one list seat in each region.

    Or indeed the equivalent, say if the party loses Shetland or Roxburgh, there might be two list seats in the respective regions if the overall vote holds up. (Our branch convener was hinting at the possibility of two list seats on top of all the constituencies if the list vote approached 60%, but I think he might have been smoking something.)

    The “tactical vote” enthusiasts want SNP supporters to throw away up to ten or so list seats (we could well lose Shetland and Roxburgh even if we’re doing eye-poppingly well), without any clear idea of who might benefit. Could be the Greens, unlikely to be RISE, really quite likely to be Labour or the Tories.

    What do you want to hear on May 8th guys (if that’s the right date)? SNP wins unprecedented total of (say) 78 seats in overwhelming landslide that eclipses 2011? Or, disappointing night for the SNP as the party fails to hold on to 2011 levels of support, deal being discussed with Patrick Harvie, more news at six?

    If it’s the latter, by all means vote Green on the list.

  12. crazycat says:

    @ Morag

    The top two Green candidates in Lothians are Alison Johnstone and Andy Wightman – doesn’t invalidate your point in any way, but they are not anonymous.

  13. ellen Hamilton says:

    Thanks for the simple explanation, as a lazy bas it helps aid the confusion ????

  14. Chris Darroch says:

    Thanks for clarifying this into one single reference that I can use on Twitter as I have had so many arduous conversations trying to persuade people who want SNP majority to vote SNP 1 and 2 and persuade those that want the regional vote used for some minor party, that it is effectively gambling SNP chance at majority.

  15. davidb says:

    Aside from the risk involved in trying to game the system. It is an important political message that is sent by staying with the SNP until we secure Independence or Devo Max.

    Any wavering of support will be broadcast as widely as polls showing over 50% support are quietly forgotten by the Ministry Of Truth.

    Its only for a few years. Many people voted SNP all their lives only to see us denied our Independence by a campaign of lies. Keep the faith. We will win this inside 10 years if we do not back down.

  16. Morag says:

    Is it though? pretty much everyone I know that is intending to vote SNP in the constituency (and is prepared to discuss it) has stated this as their intention.

    How many people do you actually know, though? There are hundreds of thousands of voters in every region, most of whom are not political anoraks and will almost certainly do what they usually do, that is vote for the party they basically support on the list.

    Just because a score or two of your acquaintance, highly selected for political anorak tendencies if they’re discussing this at all in August, say they’re going to do something counterintuitive, doesn’t mean a hundred thousand and more people are going to do it.

  17. Stoker says:

    Thanks for your attempt at clarification Rev but i started glazing over roughly halfway through. I detest that system and can’t understand what’s wrong with a genuinely democratic voting system. The AMS system just seems to be a form of gerrymandering.

    If political parties and politicians were honest there would be no need for such systems because people would vote for those who deliver without having to think about keeping out others and the people or party with the most votes would be elected. Simples.

    There would be no unelected persons sitting in the parliament and there would be no playing with figures and peoples votes. Maybe my idea of democracy is just too straightforward.

    I will be voting SNP x 2.

  18. Jamie Stewart says:

    Greens don’t always stand in constituencies so you can vote for SNP in your constituency and Greens on the list justifiably. I wouldn’t suggest that voting for different parties on your constituency and list vote is automatically a tactical vote(mugs game). Indeed all of the scenarios you described above actually sound desirable. It would be better if there were more Green list MSPs instead of SNP list MSPs even at the expense of an SNP majority. That way the Greens would keep the SNP to the left on a vote by vote basis, similar to the SNPs Westminster election mantra.

  19. One_Scot says:

    I have said it before and and don’t mind saying it again, if you want Independence for Scotland you need to vote SNP/SNP.

    Getting the maximum number of seats for the SNP is important, but it is also probably more important to gain the highest vote percentage possible for the FPTP and List votes.

    This is the only way we will have factual evidence for all to see, including Westminster, that Scotland wants Independence.

  20. Morag says:

    The more I see of the d’Hondt AMS system the better I like it. It could do with a bit of tweaking maybe, but it has a number of excellent advantages. It’s far superior to STV, anyway.

    And to think Labour and the Lib Dems gave us this because they thought they’d fiddled it so that the SNP could never win a majority. Thanks, chaps.

  21. David says:

    Thanks for clearing that up. Hopefully, it will stop people being so green about tactical voting for Holyrood.

  22. Morag says:

    I’m really pleased Stu has written this article. (You should see the draft one I sent him, you’d have cut your own throat before you were half way through I tell you.) He’s got a real gift for explaining stuff clearly and succinctly, and this is an excellent example.

  23. Stewart Stevenson says:

    One of the quirks which comes with the arithmetic is that once a party with a large number of seats starts winning list seats, it can keep doing so. This is because the reduction in numbers of votes available as a seat is won is correspondingly small.

    Thus a 3 percentage point rise in the SNP list vote in North East Scotland compared to 2011 sees the party winning sixth and seventh list seats. And indeed (the non-existant) ninth, tenth, eleventh, thirteenth etc seats.

    But the really interesting point is that if SNP voters decide to transfer their list vote to another independence supporting party – unless they do so to an unlikely extent – it unionist Tory and Labour who benefit from the reduction in the SNP vote and gain a seat not an independence supporting party.

    Caveat – haven’t worked through the numbers for any other region.

    Bottom line. Playing the system probably doesn’t help. Vote for your favourite constituency party (of those standing) and for your favourite party (of those standing) for the list. Be to thyself be true.

  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I detest that system and can’t understand what’s wrong with a genuinely democratic voting system”

    Um, like what?

  25. grahamlive says:

    Very helpful post Stu. I was trying to go over the possible scenarios of what the outcome of giving my second vote to another party would be, but this makes things a lot clearer.

    Cheers.

  26. Kathy says:

    Top of the Green list in my area is Ross Greer. And I’m not voting for him.

  27. Lee MacDonald says:

    Cheers Stu, this should clear up any confusion.

    It must be SNP in both the constituency & list vote.

  28. frogesque says:

    SNP/SNP I’m not going to dilute my message.

  29. Edward Andrews says:

    In the Highlands last time the SNP won all the mainland constituencies and 3 off the list. Lib Dems got the Northern Isles. Now if they don’t, it is still better to have plunged for SNP

  30. Johnny says:

    Why don’t the Greens seem to be trying very hard to win 2nd votes from unionist party favourers? This should be particularly fruitful where their candidates can truthfully say they are unionists (as some above have mentioned some of the candidates are).

    I am also tired of the whining about ‘you’re not a true leftist if you don’t vote RISE/Green/SSP/whatever’.

    While I have some sympathy with those who do not favour an overcautious approach (I think this is an extremely hard thing to judge and being too cautious *could* be be as bad as being too rash if the ‘moment’ arrives and is not seized upon), I am not convinced at all by those portraying Holyrood as ‘the problem’. No, Westminster and its ways remain our real problem.

  31. PRJ says:

    I do agree tactical voting is risky.
    I do think that if you voted SNP;SNP at the last election you should vote the same.
    If you voted SNP;Labour then change your vote to SNP;SNP
    If you voted Labour;Labour then any combination of yes/left.
    If you voted SNP;yes/left then remain the same.
    I’m in a fortunate position as I voted SNP;Margo so my second vote is now free to the right party.

  32. Lesley-Anne says:

    As always Stu an excellent article that explains in plain English how the voting system for next May works.

    I am curious though, dons Village Idiot hat here 😉 . In the article you make the example of about one-third of SNP voters giving their list vote to the Greens instead of voting for the SNP. Does anyone have any idea how the List vote scenario would work out if, instead of voting for the Greens in their second vote the one-third SNP voters voted for SSP, or Solidarity for example. I am thinking here specifically of the likes of Glasgow where no doubt Colin Fox of SSP and Tommy Sheridan of Solidarity will be standing.

    I suspect I know the answer to my query but it would be nice if someone “in the know” could confirm that voting this way would, like Stu’s example, have really no affect on the overall YES supporting MSP’s in Holyrood.

    At the end of the day the “split” voting doesn’t do it for me living as I do in Fluffy country. 😀 We are more concerned with unseating the poisoned Dwarf next May so we are all concentrating on the double SNP vote.

    Whilst I love the idea of a massive SNP presence in Holyrood it does need a competent opposition, not currently present, in my view, which is why I do believe in the having a significant presence of the Greens, SSP and yes even Solidarity. I believe these three parties are
    in no small way desperately needed in Holyrood to bring in a respectable and honest opposition that can and would support the government when support was worth while.

    ranting questions over!

    You will now be returned to normal service. 😀

  33. A2 says:

    “say they’re going to do something counterintuitive,”

    It’s hardly counter intuitive if you actually want some representation by another party.

  34. Cal says:

    Yes, this has been my feeling for a long time now. You must vote for the party that best matches your priorities since it’s practically impossible to vote tactically in an AMS election. My top priority is independence so I’ll be voting SNP/SNP.

  35. Craig P says:

    Are there no unionists the greens can target for the list vote? Surely there are one or two out there who care about the environment. The greens need to have a strong offer of their own, otherwise they are setting themselves up for a big disappointment if they think they can depend on SNP tactical voting.

  36. Morag says:

    It’s hardly counter intuitive if you actually want some representation by another party.

    You’re back in “political anorak” mode. People who want to vote for a party other than the SNP will do so. That’s how the system is supposed to work. That’s not counterintuitive.

    The mad aspect of the scam under discussion is that Greens are trying to get people who want the SNP to win to vote against their own party on the list, by what basically boils down to a pack of confusing lies about what the list vote can and can’t do.

  37. Martyman says:

    @ Margo

    In Lothian, Andy Wightman is 2nd on the Green list, so it may make some people swither.

    I always voted Margo on the list vote, and as you say I can’t see me taking chances on the Green list. Now, if Andy had been an Independent candidate …..

  38. yesindyref2 says:

    There’s a lot about the SNP that annoys me, and I don’t think their game is 100%. I hear from YES supporters that the SNP are too didactic, not able to listen to a contrary point of view without getting angry or nasty. Well, I’ve found the same, and I’m an SNP member.

    But in 2011 I voted SNP and only SNP, and will do the same in 2016. When we get Independence, I’ll think again but to be honest, for me there’s no other party as good as the SNP or, to put it another way, the other parties are even worse! And yes, the commitment of the Greens is not 100% to Indy, it’s not their top priority as a party, though it is of course of many of their members, some of whom post here. Sorry peeps.

    Voting SNP in both constituency and list can’t do any harm, the worst that happens is a wasted vote. But as Rev points out, tactical voting was always dangerous, and I didn’t even know the method which Rev so simply describes – thanks Rev.

  39. Vronsky says:

    “You should vote for the party or parties that you most want to see form the government”

    True, and that should have been your first line. As usual though, a good clear analysis.

    However I don’t share your anxiety about STV. D’Hondt allows creatures to appear in parliament whose names you have never heard before. I know some of those creatures, and not one soul on earth would vote for them if they knew them as well as I do.

    In STV, the voter gets to choose the person. That matters. Or maybe I just wish it did.

  40. Swami Backverandah says:

    The patio furniture on my backverandah just glazed over.

    I’m going to try again after a largish bevvie.
    x

  41. Joemcg says:

    Zero unionist parties at Holyrood is all I’m interested in. Kick them all to fuck.

  42. Stoker says:

    @ Rev (7.01pm).

    Em, he/she with the most votes gets elected and the others don’t.

    I know the current system does not allow for that but there is something seriously wrong with any system which allows someone, which a majority of people did not vote for, to enter Parliament via the back door.

    I understand the current system but i don’t agree with it.

  43. Morag says:

    I have to say I’m becoming very disillusioned about the Greens as a party. I campaigned alongside Green members and cried alongside them at the count on 19th September, but the way the party itself is going on is far from reassuring.

    We know a significant proportion of their senior members are unionists, and the party’s support for independence is conditional. We know their voting record is patchy, for example Harvie playing hardball over a couple of SNP budgets in 2007-11, and Lucas voting against FFA earlier this year. We know that some of the idealism is questionable, and the party has a poor record in actually achieving anything going right back to last century and Cynog Dafydd (who was Plaid and became completely scunnered with his Green sponsors).

    It’s this scam that’s completely put me off them though. They don’t seem to want to campaign on their own party’s manifesto or record, particularly not to get votes from Labour, despite the fact that many scunnered Labour voters will never vote SNP. Instead their entire strategy seems to be to try to hoodwink SNP supporters into voting against their own party on the list, by telling them a pack of innumerate lies.

  44. Swami Backverandah says:

    Ok.
    I’ve got as far as Brigadoonshire, and 170K people have not voted for the SNP.
    Is it in the Falklands?

  45. David Stevenson says:

    Morag says:
    23 August, 2015 at 6:31 pm
    Spot on. The best that can happen with this wheeze is that the SNP would lose seats and the Greens gain the same number. No gain for the so-called “Yes Alliance” and arguable a loss, given that the commitment of the Greens to independence is somewhat less than overwhelming.

    Morag: do you think the SNP’s commitment to Green policies is any stronger?

    Fact is that there is cross-over of certain policy areas across the SNP/Greens/SSP (and other left pro-independence organisations), but as the left alternative to the SNP has weakened, the SNP has drifted to the right. The fact that Labour is a joke has meant that still left them more left wing than them, however.

    I voted SNP in the constituency at the last two Scottish Parliament elections on the basis that they were the least offensive option and I am looking forward to seeing James Kelly get his jotters next year. (The Rutherglen Labour MSP, not the good one).

    Eugene Debs, one-time Socialist candidate for the Presidency of the USA, said “better to vote for what you want and not get it, than vote for what you don’t want and get it”.

    The magic of AMS is that you get to do both, and I predict that I and many others will be doing so.

  46. Swami Backverandah says:

    Ok.
    I’m up to the end of the divisors. I think I’m starting to catch on.
    All those rounds.
    It’s a ceilidh. Those retiring injured get seats.
    Why didn’t you say so.

  47. Morag says:

    Morag: do you think the SNP’s commitment to Green policies is any stronger?

    What makes you think that’s my priority? If it’s yours, then by all means vote Green. My priority is independence, and I’ll be voting SNP until that day. After that, we’ll see.

    Of course people whose main priority is Green policies are going to vote Green. What this is all about is Greens trying to hoodwink SNP/independence supporters into voting against their own party and their main priority, on the basis of a pack of lies based on dodgy arithmetic.

  48. sandycraig says:

    The SNP have by a long way the best group of intelligent debating MPs than any of the other parties.

    SNP/SNP for me.

  49. Colin Dunn says:

    @A2 says:

    “pretty much everyone I know that is intending to vote SNP in the constituency (and is prepared to discuss it) has stated this as their intention.”

    In my experience that’s because people have been accepting the argument going around that an SNP list vote is a wasted one, and that they might as well give it to the Greens instead so it’s not wasted. As this article clarifies, that isn’t the case at all.

  50. RogueCoder says:

    Excellent article Rev, and the best explanation of the AMS that I’ve seen. It’s Wikipedia entry could use an update.

    This echoes what we’ve been saying on social media for some time, that the proposition that particularly the SSP and Solidarity have been pushing, that the list vote for the SNP is wasted, is clearly not true. All parties want to maximise their vote, so I’m not going to criticise anybody for doing that, but… buyer beware, as they say.

    I’m all for a rainbow chamber and one that holds the governing party – which is not automatically the SNP and people should stop thinking that way, because that’s how Labour lost it – to account. Democracy is at its best when majorities are narrow.

    However, if the goal is to get a 2nd indyref and subsequently independence, then we need to maximise our potential for forcing the UK government’s hand – and inevitably that can only mean one thing; voting SNP. Only the SNP has the discipline and the leadership required to back Westminster into a corner and get that 2nd referendum when the time is right. I thought we were very fortunate to have as skilled a politician as Salmond last time, but Nicola is in a whole other league. We need to make sure that her party is returned with a thumping majority.

  51. Grouse Beater says:

    “I fear this system risky”,
    Said the man in the voting booth.
    “I’ll need a shot of whisky,
    Before I pull a tooth”.

    Moral: Vote for the party with policies most likely to increase happiness.

  52. Johnny says:

    I don’t think anyone here is saying that if you like the Greens’ policies best then you must ignore this and vote SNP. In fact, across indy sites they have said to vote Green if that’s the party whose policies you prefer.

    Meanwhile, a good many Greens (on Scot Goes Pop in particular) have, in effect, said, “I don’t care if you prefer the SNP’s policies. You must vote Green’.

    That’s the difference.

  53. Albaman says:

    Naw, it’s S.N.P. and s.n.p. for me, Greens?, naw, they’d have us riding around on “penny farthings”, and hugging trees, along with certain royalty!,
    Still, Stew’s done a good job explaining the system, it just takes me reading it a few times to grasp what he’s telling me.

  54. msean says:

    Thanks for this,a bit of light on a deliberately complicated system.

  55. Jimmy Stewart's binoculars says:

    Here’s an even more imaginary scenario. Suppose in the Brigadoonshire illustration from above 100% of SNP voters voted Green on the list vote, giving the Greens 115,000 votes. Result – Greens take 3 seats, Labour 2, Conservative 2. SNP stay the same on their 10 FPTP. If you think a Yes alliance might have some uses you might find there are things to think about here.

    The list votes for those parties who do well in FPTP don’t count for as much as for those who don’t do well in FPTP. Those 100,000 SNP list votes in Brigadoonshire didn’t achieve anything at all.

    If the idea of a left alliance or working with the Greens strikes you as impractical or wrong, how about forming a sister SNP party purely for the list vote, perhaps just called the Independence party, who have a sole commitment to be the SNP in disguise?

  56. Clootie says:

    We can form a broad range of parties AFTER we gain Independence.
    The ONLY way to gain Independence is a SNP Government with a majority.

    We need to vote SNP/SNP for constituency AND list.

    I can see my vote switching after we gain nation status but we need to fight under one banner until then. The other parties will become stronger post independence.

    Nation status is more important than any of the current parties. Without that power we will never be able to shape a better society as outlined in the YES campaign when we all came together.

    While we bicker over Holyrood seats the Unionists win. They designed Holyrood and the voting system to prevent a united front – don’t let them win.

  57. ahundredthidiot says:

    Patrick Harvie

    Talking defeat to TV cameras with less than 60,000 Indy votes counted

    Measure of the man

  58. Jock Campbell says:

    The fact we’ll be independent before 7th May 2016 kinda nullifies the need to vote SNP.

    Not that I oppose the election of the SNP as the first democratically-elected sovereign state government in Scotland’s history, but if you’re thinking of voting for them in order to win independence, then you’re missing a raft of obvious political threads that are coming together to deliver independence beforehand.

    I’d suggest you keep an open mind as to what kind of parliamentary representation Scotland should have as its first sovereign government. By all means, the SNP should hold the high ground, but Scotland needs political objectivity and rationale. Let’s not turn Scotland into a one-party state.

  59. Swami Backverandah says:

    Ok.
    I’ve made it through the ceilidh, and I’m at the half-time stovies.
    I read this from Stoker
    “Thanks for your attempt at clarification Rev but i started glazing over roughly halfway through. I detest that system and can’t understand what’s wrong with a genuinely democratic voting system.”

    glazer solidarity, mate.

    and then this from the Rev:
    “Um, like what?”

    and I agree that the List system attempts a fair spread, and wondered if you’d ever taken a look at the Oz system of Preferential voting.

    Yours in holinessnessesses
    Swami
    x

    (back to the comments)

  60. Chris Welton says:

    @Lesley-Anne

    Fluffy country

    OMG I love you :-*

  61. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    I recall reading a simple explanation months ago.

    You have two votes. Your first vote is to elect the PERSON you want to represent YOUR constituency as MSP.

    Your second vote, regional/list, is to vote for the PARTY you want to see in government.

    Therefore SNP supporters would vote SNP/SNP. Where it gets hazy is, for example, if you are a Solidarity supporter. Solidarity is not standing for the constituency where YOU live. So YOU have a vote to give to whichever prospective MSP is nearest to YOUR priorities. If your priority is independence, then you vote for the SNP candidate.

    However, Solidarity are standing in YOUR region so you can vote for Solidarity with your second vote. You’re not betraying your supported party – after all, Tommy Sheridan has said to his supporters to vote SNP/Solidarity as the best way to take the struggle for independence forward.

  62. Tam Jardine says:

    SNP,SNP for me.

    The only way the yes tactical voting could theoretically work as far as I can tell would be if the SNP had not stood candidates on the list and agreed a carve up with the SSP and Greens. If all 3 parties had made it clear to vote SNP on the constituency and SSP or Green on the list you could be looking at a mental Yes mega-victory.

    This will never happen of course for a number of reasons. I can see no benefit in trying to work the system- leave that to the pouters and their wheels.

  63. TheWealthofNations says:

    It is worth doing an analysis of the reverse scenario.

    If the SNP can attract votes from those disaffected with the GE result on the promise of a powerhouse Holyrood that will fight Westminster tooth and nail, by hook or by crook, they could start to push their share of the list vote over two thirds.

    Depending on the size of the region as the SNP vote rises it starts to squeeze the maximum size of the opposition vote and disproportionate numbers of SNP wins start to appear in the list.

    Over 80% and you might even see 3 or 4 SNP list wins.

  64. AnneDon says:

    2nd Green list candidate in Lothian is Andy Wightman. If he’d been first, I might have given the Greens my List vote, which I did in 2007 and 2011. I can’t, under any circumstances, see the Greens getting two list candidates in Lothian, but I would like to see Andy Wightman in Holyrood.

    I was intending to give my list vote to the SSP, but I’ll wait and see what this RISE stuff plays out. Otherwise I’ll vote SNP twice.

    I want the SNP to have a proper opposition, but I want it to be from the pro-indy left, and the Greens have too many unionists to fit that description!

  65. Kenny says:

    If it had not been for the RIC we would have never been anywhere near 45%.

    Their selfless efforts, particularly in Dundee and the Glasgow area, surely gave a 5-10% boost to YES, which would otherwise have been “did not vote” or maybe even fallen astray to Labour No.

    The SNP won us the chance to hold a referendum. But they were not the ones who got the vote up from 30%. I remember very poor TV performances by Margaret Hyslop (surely completely overpromoted?) and the SNP may well have LOST the referendum by failings on the currency question and not having it out from the start with Westminster over media bias.

    There is maybe not even going to be a second referendum in the next SNP manifesto. And, even when indyref2 comes, it is always going to be the RIC who will take us over the finishing line, not the SNP.

  66. Swami Backverandah says:

    Dear Rogue Coderperson:
    “Excellent article Rev, and the best explanation of the AMS that I’ve seen. It’s Wikipedia entry could use an update.”

    Needs a football analogy for us laypersons.

    “All parties want to maximise their vote, so I’m not going to criticise anybody for doing that, but… buyer beware, as they say.”

    Couldn’t agree more.
    Why would I listen to a rival football team tell me that I might as well send my substitute players on the bench home, as they won’t be needed. 😀

  67. ahundredthidiot says:

    Jock Campbell……are you Sunday drunk Sir?

  68. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Tam.

    As I understand it, it’s virtually impossible to vote tactically in the regional vote. Nobody will know the results of the constituency vote, when placing their second vote, so how will they know where to put the ‘X’?

    A vote, which could have gone to the SNP but is given to another party, COULD allow Labour or the Tories to take a list seat that COULD have gone to the SNP.

    However, it is possible to vote tactically in the first vote, which is ‘first past the post’. Say, for example, the seat looks like it’s gonna be between SNP and Labour; the polls showing, in the constituency, SNP on 40%, Labour on 35%, Tories on 15%, Lib-Dems on 5%, Greens on 5%.

    What are the non-Labour and non-SNP voters gonna do? Are Tories gonna vote for Labour to keep the SNP out, or vote SNP to keep Labour out? Are Greens gonna vote for the SNP to keep Labour out? What about the Lib-Dem votes?

    The permutations could do your head in…

  69. john king says:

    Vronsky says
    “However I don’t share your anxiety about STV. D’Hondt allows creatures to appear in parliament whose names you have never heard before. I know some of those creatures, and not one soul on earth would vote for them if they knew them as well as I do.”

    Oh you’ve met Alex Johnstone as well then?

  70. James Barr Gardner says:

    It’s simple just vote SNP x 2 in May 2016, if everyone did we would independent fairly quick!

    Tactical voting is pish put about by the unionists who are trying hard to stop the momentum of the SNP.
    Well, I am not falling for that one and neither is anyone who is determined to achieve independence.

    Remember the bottom line in the overall percentage of votes cast for each party. I’am hoping for at least 75% for SNP.
    Westminster edgits need telt and no mistaking about it!

    We are not going back in the box, we shall grow and grow in number, the quicker we can achieve Independence.

    The other parties like the Greens et al, will just need to be patient as the SNP has down the years, after Independence as a Nation we will vote for various parties but not at the present, we must continue to build towards Independence.

    Do not be swayed in your resolve, remember if it sounds too good you know it’s a con, don’t be taken in by the unionists.

  71. Stoker says:

    Swami Backverandah wrote:

    “glazer solidarity, mate.”

    “and then this from the Rev:”
    “Um, like what?”

    “..and wondered if you’d ever taken a look at the Oz system of Preferential voting.”

    LOL
    Eh, naw, flip-sake, it takes me all my time to look at our own!

  72. ahundredthidiot says:

    Jock Campbell

    On second thought.

    Love, you’ve had too much cheap GCHQ coffee

  73. Craig says:

    Nope, still don’t get this

    Can you draw pictures?

  74. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “However I don’t share your anxiety about STV”

    I’m not anxious about it at all. Nothing wrong with it. The context of that remark was solely how complicated it was.

  75. A2 says:

    “In my experience that’s because people have been accepting the argument going around that an SNP list vote is a wasted one”

    And in my experience it’s because people actually want some green MSPs.

  76. Lesley-Anne says:

    Chris Welton says:

    @Lesley-Anne

    Fluffy country

    OMG I love you :-*

    Why thank you sir. 😛

    Have no fear I am not alone here either, there are a hell of a lot of us down here. Remember it took Fluffy to squeeze 800 votes out of the ether to win a re-count, he was losing the original count, to actually win in May. 😀

    Be afraid Ms Poisoned Dwarf (Elaine Murray for those not in the know 😉 ), be VERY afraid, WE are gunning for YOU next May! 😀

  77. A2 says:

    “highly selected for political anorak tendencies if they’re discussing this at all in August,”

    Hardly, most of those discussions took place last year with people who don’t normally follow politics that closely.

  78. Morag says:

    And in my experience it’s because people actually want some green MSPs.

    People who want Green MSPs will of course vote Green. And your point is, caller?

  79. TheWealthofNations says:

    During the European election campaign the Greens distributed leaflets suggesting a tactical vote for them was the only way to shut out UKIP.

    My buyer’s remorse knows no bounds.

  80. A2 says:

    “This is the only way we will have factual evidence for all to see, including Westminster, that Scotland wants Independence.”

    Is a referendum not evidence enough?

  81. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Em, he/she with the most votes gets elected and the others don’t.

    I know the current system does not allow for that but there is something seriously wrong with any system which allows someone, which a majority of people did not vote for, to enter Parliament via the back door.”

    I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re on about.

  82. De Valera says:

    Voting for anyone else other than the SNP splits the pro independence vote in my view. Part of the reason we have 56 SNP MPs is that the unionist vote was split into three in May.

    As long as we are stuck in this Union, our best chance remains an SNP vote, whether it be at Council, Europe, Holyrood or Westminster level.

    It will be SNP x 2 from me.

  83. Johnny says:

    Rev @ 9:08

    I suspect the correspondent is arguing that it is people who got beaten in their constituencies who end up getting in on the list.

    This is sometimes true, of course, (see Davidson, Ruth) but I seem to recall that Scottish Labour lost a lot of ‘talent’ (and I hate that word when attached to politicians, let me tell you!) in 2011 because they had failed to foresee their whitewash and what it would mean, leaving us with Dugdale, K and others in positions of authority after having been in politics for a comparatively short time.

  84. desimond says:

    Out there theres loads of folk thinking Labour for my MP and SNP for my government..crazy but true(me thinks)

  85. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “In the article you make the example of about one-third of SNP voters giving their list vote to the Greens instead of voting for the SNP. Does anyone have any idea how the List vote scenario would work out if, instead of voting for the Greens in their second vote the one-third SNP voters voted for SSP, or Solidarity for example.”

    Well, it’d be basically the same, except the left parties would probably get fewer seats because they’re starting from a lower base than the Greens.

  86. Morag says:

    During the European election campaign the Greens distributed leaflets suggesting a tactical vote for them was the only way to shut out UKIP.

    Recently Alan Bissett was attacking the SNP for standing more than two candidates in the European elections. He maintained that if the party had “stood aside” by not naming a third candidate, the Greens would have got the seat that Coburn got. It was thus SNP greed that had allowed UKIP in.

    I’m still slack-jawed at the utter failure to understand the voting system that reflects. We all had one vote and only one vote. Was he envisaging some magic lantern that lit up inside polling stations when the SNP had gained enough votes for two MEPs, to let people planning to vote for the party that they should now bestow their vote elsewhere? Or did he think the returning officer was going to say, “well you got more votes than you needed Mr, Salmond, so now you can nominate another party for the spare ones to be transferred to”?

    Alan said this in the middle of one of these arguments where he was insisting that an SNP list vote was wasted and anyone who voted SNP on the list didn’t really want independence. My only conclusion was that if his understanding of the voting system for the Euro elections was an indicator of his general grasp on these matters, or those of the others arguing the same way, they really ought to butt out until they’ve figured it out better.

  87. Macbeth says:

    If Margo had not stood in Lothians, and all her votes had gone to SNP the SNP would still not have gained a list seat there.

    The way to reduce Unionist votes is to lower votes for Unionist parties. Do not under any circumstances vote Lab or Tory or LibDem. They can expect ~25+13+6 = 44% of list votes, which should get them 4+2+1 (ish) list seats.

    If, as happened in NE Scotland they get 16+14+8 = 38% then SNP can win, as they did, an extra list seat.

    Someone MUST be second party, and be the opposition. Tactically we want SNP to be miles ahead at Holyrood. Strategically we want a pro indy party/alliance to be the opposition. They can oppose on education, on health, on transport but come indyref2 the “opposition” will be with the government and the people in setting us free.

  88. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I suspect the correspondent is arguing that it is people who got beaten in their constituencies who end up getting in on the list.”

    Well, if you don’t have lists you can’t have AMS at all, so you’re pretty much boned. I still don’t really understand the complaint, nor what alternative would be proposed. Banning people from running in both constituencies and on the list? Just a recipe for more diddies in Parliament.

  89. ahundredthidiot says:

    SNP every time

    SNP all the time

    Until we have our Country back, then We, will decide the course of things instead of a bunch of disconnected over privelidged arseholes in Londonshire

  90. Democracy Reborn says:

    @Doug Daniel

    Re the presence of some Unionists among Green list candidates

    Are the Scottish Greens still formally in favour of independence? If so, presumably all individual list candidates require to sign up for and support the party line, or am I missing something?

  91. garyjc says:

    I’ve always thought the system used, although much fairer than FPTP is still a bit of a dogs breakfast and actively encourages this sort of ‘tactical’ nonsense. It strikes me, (although maybe I’m not the first) that a truly proportional system which also allows for constituency representation is easy to achieve. Everyone gets one vote and votes for who they want to represent them in their constituency and it is divvied up as per FPTP; but, and here’s the proportional bit which means no one has to vote tactically; once all the constituency seats are settled the total votes cast (either nationally or regionally) are then sorted proportionally and each party gets an additional bunch of list members to make the end result truly proportional – OK, it would mean that the total number of MSP’s would vary a bit from parly to parly but so what. Lets say the SNP won 95% of the constituencies on 60% of the vote well then the other parties just get an appropriate amount of listers to ensure that they ended up with their overall percentage proportion too, whether or not they were representing an actual constituency – seems simple to me.

  92. Mealer says:

    I’ll put in several hundred hours chapping doors for the SNP.Not for the Greens.Who don’t have anyone chapping doors in this constituency.And who,as a result,got about 2% of the vote in the last election.The SNP are THE political spearhead of a much wider cultural and social movement.Vote SNP and only SNP if you want an independent Scotland.

  93. Vote SNP/SNP and if it turns out these numbers (I will look tomorrow and work it out), I might be a bit over estimating but it is hypothetical.

    SNP : 179,000
    LABOUR : 40,000
    CONS : 30,000
    Liar Dems : 6,000
    GREENS : 15,000

  94. Morag says:

    Are the Scottish Greens still formally in favour of independence? If so, presumably all individual list candidates require to sign up for and support the party line, or am I missing something?

    I understand that although the party policy was pro-independence, individual members were/are allowed their own views. Just like people said Labour and LibDem members and elected representatives should have been allowed to express their own views on independence.

  95. Lesley-Anne says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says

    “In the article you make the example of about one-third of SNP voters giving their list vote to the Greens instead of voting for the SNP. Does anyone have any idea how the List vote scenario would work out if, instead of voting for the Greens in their second vote the one-third SNP voters voted for SSP, or Solidarity for example.”

    Well, it’d be basically the same, except the left parties would probably get fewer seats because they’re starting from a lower base than the Greens.

    Thanks Stu, I had a sneaky feeling that might be the case but being the Village idiot wasn’t sure. 😉

  96. Fireproofjim says:

    All of this is discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
    There is only one way to vote that will help us towards independence and that is SNP/SNP.
    After independence we will certainly be able to have all shades of opinion – Greens , Tories, SSP,, perhaps even Labour, but right now that is just a self indulgence because NOBODY other than SNP can deliver what we all dream of. Don’t be diverted. Keep your eyes on the main prize. Afterwards anything goes.

  97. One_Scot says:

    ‘Is a referendun not evidence enough’

    Eh hello, try and keep up, we have moved on since the o so ‘fair’ referendum.

    Anyone who tries to convince you to split your vote is clearly a unionist troll.

    The result of the Westminster election was a symbolic show of strength from the SNP. We need to repeat this again, now is not the time to take the foot off the gas or be complacent.

    If you want Scotland to become Independent you have to vote SNP/SNP and don’t let any trolls push you off course.

  98. Johnny says:

    Macbeth @ 9:21

    Certainly, I can see the appeal of having a SNP majority and an indy alliance of some kind as the main opposition.

    You only have to look down south at what happens when the main party and its “opposition” espouse the same policies; they become the mainstream (to the point of possibly going unchallenged for long periods) as with the neoliberal consensus.

    So, yes, it could be a powerful thing but the difficulty is that it appears to be nigh on impossible to achieve as all the indy parties are drawing from the same well.

  99. Ealaisad says:

    It will be sad after all these years to not have Margo on the ballot paper, but I will be voting SNP / SNP all the way.

    This will be especially important if the SNP ask for a mandate for a second Referendum, if circumstances require it, in the next parliament.

    I do not know those Green candidates and so have no qualms about not voting for them. After all, I will be voting for who I want to be in Government, not the opposition.

    Incidentally, the Greens had no qualms about splitting the vote against the SNP at the GE. That is how we have Mundell dictating to us.

    If some would like to try and get their favourite Green in here in Lothian, they better be prepared to end up with Ruthie if it all goes pear-shaped.

    The SNP are the best vehicle to get us to Independence and I will keep voting for them until then. After Independence I will consider other options, but I still think I would prefer the SNP, a tried and trusted party that does what it says on the package and at least tries to keep its promises, to guide us through the first few years.

  100. Johnny says:

    garyjc @ 9:28

    I don’t think the system is any more confusing than any other.

    I’d also say that it doesn’t matter what system you use, there would always be some party or other trying to bamboozle voters into voting for them by using misleading figures about ‘who’s into contention here’ or whatever.

  101. call me dave says:

    Thanks for this article. I have also been checking out James Kelly’s blog where this has been featuring over the last two weeks.

    2 x SNP for me.

    PS:
    Salmond having a kick at the BBC and Nick. 🙂

    https://archive.is/mBO81

  102. galamcennalath says:

    No SNP majority in Holyrood = no chance of independence

    The SNP must be given the maximum possible chance of achieving a majority.

    SNP + SNP is the only safe option. Everything else is a gamble.

    And Stu’s examples show, SNP + another Indy party is just as likely to let unionists sneak in!

  103. Betsy says:

    Thank you for explaining this so well and making it clear. Last year I was entertaining notions of trying to vote in such a way as to game the system but got so hopelessly lost in jargon, I concluded there was little point trying game something I didn’t properly understand.

    The last Holyrood election was my 1st double SNP vote. Until then I’d always gone for a tactical 1st SNP vote in an effort to unseat Labour locally and kept my 2nd vote for my conscience (SSP). I’m still not decided what I’m doing come 2016, though SNP 1&2 is looking most likely.

  104. Robert Louis says:

    It really is rather simple, as others have pointed out, if you want an SNP Scottish Government with a majority, vote SNP/SNP.

    Those online trying to make complicated arguments for doing otherwise, are either not very clever, or are keen to ensure the SNP do not form the next government. It is the most pathetic and disingenuous form of electoral jiggery pokery, and a sure sign of those who cannot by fair means hope to get elected.

  105. dakk says:

    That’s that confirmed then- SNP twice- and I’m as thick as mince.

    Jesus, Stuart,how can you be bothered.

    The last paragraph would’ve been fine.

    Did look at the pictures though,gave me the notion for a wee day trip to Brigadoon.:)

  106. Graeme Doig says:

    ” By all means, the SNP should hold the high ground, but Scotland needs political objectivity and rationale. Let’s not turn Scotland into a one-party state.”

    If turning Scotland into a one party state is the way to keep momentum towards gaining our independence then i’m all for that. (there should still be room for effective opposition anyway, it’s just that the ‘opposition’ at Holyrood can’t muster a decent policy or idea between them to attract any SNP support)

    We can all get as creative and diverse as we like once we have ourselves extricated from this poisonous union.

    Full fat SNP for me.

  107. Cal says:

    @Kenny
    RIC did an amazing job during the referendum campaign last year. I worked with a number of their campaigners. I’m certain they raised participation levels and the Yes percentage significantly. I have not forgotten what RIC did and never will. My feeling is that we are forced by the AMS election set up to prioritise our vote and vote for what we feel is most important.

    If in a constituency, one of the other pro indy parties was in a contest with one of the unionist parties and by lending my SNP vote I could help that candidate win then I would without hesitation. But do any such constituencies exist?

    I long for the day when I can choose who to vote for based solely on their policies but that day will only come when independence is achieved.

  108. Fireproofjim says:

    Cal
    Lending your second vote to any other party will simply put at risk the chance of an SNP majority.
    If you truly want Independence then it must be SNP/SNP.
    Afterwards reward those who you feel worthy of your vote.

  109. A2 says:

    “Anyone who tries to convince you to split your vote is clearly a unionist troll.”

    Nonsense.

    “If you want Scotland to become Independent you have to vote SNP/SNP and don’t let any trolls push you off course.”

    No I don’t actually, I will vote for who I wish to represent me, if that doesn’t happen to be the SNP that does not mean I don’t want independence. Apart from anything else it quite simply can’t happen until a lot more people are convinced it’s the right way to go. Up until that point there are also other things the parliament has to do and frankly not every SNP policy suits me.

  110. Morag says:

    Those online trying to make complicated arguments for doing otherwise, are either not very clever, or are keen to ensure the SNP do not form the next government. It is the most pathetic and disingenuous form of electoral jiggery pokery, and a sure sign of those who cannot by fair means hope to get elected.

    Mars bar for anyone who can condense that down into a Tweet. It’s a belter.

  111. Morag says:

    A2, of course you’ll vote for your top priority. However, as many people have pointed out, if your top priority is independence, it’s difficult to see why you would vote any other way than SNP. If independence is less important than Green policies, or just sticking it to the SNP, then that’s different of course.

  112. Morag says:

    I am of course reminded that A2 was the handle of a notorious unionist troll back in the pre-Wings days of the Scotsman comments and so on. 2008-10 or thereabouts.

    Different person entirely, I’m sure.

  113. Stoker says:

    Johnny wrote @ Rev:
    “I suspect the correspondent is arguing that it is people who got beaten in their constituencies who end up getting in on the list.”

    Basically, yes Johnny.
    I don’t agree with a system that lets defeated representatives to take up a seat in Parliament and therefore a position of power via the back door.

    I would much prefer a system which only allows the “victors” to take up positions within the Parliament. I don’t go a great deal on all this “balance” and “fair” thinking.

    Surely if a majority reject someone and their policies it is anything but “fair” and “balanced” to then gerrymander that person into Parliament.

    If the majority vote for a person then it is that person alone who should enter Parliament. I can’t understand how people who have been rejected at the ballot box by the majority get rewarded with a place and position of power.

    As for an alternative system, i’m not clever enough to design or propose one but whatever that system may be it should be designed in such a way which prevents rejected reps being given a place within Parliament.

    Even if it meant the redrawing of boundaries to produce the required numbers to fill the Parliament, would that not be a more honest and straightforward way of doing things with one victor from every constituency being elected into Parliament?

  114. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi A2.

    You typed,
    “No I don’t actually, I will vote for who I wish to represent me, if that doesn’t happen to be the SNP that does not mean I don’t want independence.”

    That’s exactly the point I made in my post at 8.21pm.

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/ams-for-lazy-people/comment-page-1/#comment-2050862

    Here’s a snippet…

    “Therefore SNP supporters would vote SNP/SNP. Where it gets hazy is, for example, if you are a Solidarity supporter. Solidarity is not standing for the constituency where YOU live. So YOU have a vote to give to whichever prospective MSP is nearest to YOUR priorities. If your priority is independence, then you vote for the SNP candidate.

    However, Solidarity are standing in YOUR region so you can vote for Solidarity with your second vote. You’re not betraying your supported party – after all, Tommy Sheridan has said to his supporters to vote SNP/Solidarity as the best way to take the struggle for independence forward.”

  115. marcia says:

    In 2011 by voting SNP on both constituency and list in the North East we obtained a list seat despite winning all the constituencies in the electoral region. It could happen in the other regions so we should vote SNP in both constituency and list.

  116. Morag says:

    Stoker, in 1999, 2003 and indeed 2007 most of the SNP’s MSPs were elected on the list, and most of them had stood in and lost constituency seats – sometimes narrowly. Nicola Sturgeon was one of these. She won Govan eventually, but only after standing several times and losing, but becoming a list MSP regardless.

    This is a positive of the system, not a negative. It allows the brightest and best of the second party’s representatives to come into parliament despite being pipped to a constituency seat, and to work there to show what they’re made of and if they’re good enough eventually attract the constituency vote. It’s exactly how the SNP got its experienced team, and Nicola in particular.

    I remember in 2003 hearing Labour MSPs complaining that their opposition was in Holyrood and list MSPs were “undermining” them in their constituencies, sneakily trying to win these away from their rightful owners. You just bet they were! SNP list MSPs were working hard and showing the Labour constituency MSPs up as lobby fodder. And the voters liked it, and that’s how we got the 2011 landslide.

    What’s not to like?

  117. Stoker says:

    Cal wrote:
    “If in a constituency, one of the other pro indy parties was in a contest with one of the unionist parties and by lending my SNP vote I could help that candidate win then I would without hesitation. But do any such constituencies exist?”

    Ditto!
    And i think this is what’s behind a lot of peoples thinking, that and the fact that a lot of people (myself included) momentarily wanted to help return that support the other parties have given us.

    It’s the only time in my life i’ve thought that way but realised pretty quickly that i was jumping-the-gun way way too soon and to continue to vote SNP all the way to independence because that is exactly what i desire most and with the SNP it’s non-negotiable.

    Besides, in my area (part of the Borders) there is absolutely no chance of anyone other than the SNP giving the Unionist reps a good metaphorical kicking. The story may be different in other parts of Scotland, i couldn’t honestly say.

  118. muttley79 says:

    @Jock Campbell

    The fact we’ll be independent before 7th May 2016 kinda nullifies the need to vote SNP.

    Utter, utter horseshit. That is the most ludicrous thing I have read on Scottish politics in a very long time, and that is up against extraordinary high (low?) competition indeed (think of McTernan, Kelly, Smart et al).

  119. green_pedant says:

    Just being picky, but why are the libdems ahead of the Greens in Brigadoonshire? The libdems are polling 3-5% now and the Greens are on 7-11% for Holyrood list.

  120. Cal says:

    @Fireproofjim

    Sorry, my last comment wasn’t clear. I was refering to the first, i.e. constituency vote where, because it’s FPTP,tactical voting can be successful. My point was that I don’t know of any constituencies where tactical voting would be of any use because the other pro indy parties have such a universally low percentage of the vote.

    We are singing from the same hymn sheet. I will vote SNP/SNP until independence is achieved and then I will remember my fellow campaigners in RIC.

  121. Onwards says:

    Doug Daniel says:
    23 August, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    And just to throw another factor into the mix, not all Green list candidates are pro-independence.

    Very good point.
    Many are not even for Devo-Max.

  122. Faltdubh says:

    I am an SNP member (a recent one, 19th of September).

    I admire the RIC movement and this RISE party will be very interesting, I was very tempted to join the SSP on the 19th, but opted for the SNP as I’m somewhere bang in the middle of being maybe centre as a Socialist supporter, or one of the furthest left in the SNP. I opted for the SNP.

    And again in 2016 I will vote SNP/SNP. I was tempted and may well be tempted to vote for RISE. I’m in the North East (from the SNP heartlands – Dundee East and Angus South).

    I see it as this.

    I want independence to stay on the agenda. I believe that best bet at present is to stay with the SNP. I will take a lot of interest in to RISE and follow their conference/news to see the exciting group they may well turn out to be.

    I cannot bare to see on the 2nd Friday in May on Reporting Scotland/STV the sham of “SNP/Independence vote falls heavely”

    If that means a few more years of a comptent and decent over a possibly much more progressive left-alliance opposition or even government, then that’s what I’ll be doing. The SNP are not perfect, but are by far the best option for me at present.

    I’ve never really been impressed with the Greens. I liked Harvie during the Indyref at times, but my loyality was always more with the SSP than the Greens. They have some excellent policies, and some absolutely insane ones.

    I thought last year I may well have split my vote SNP/SSP, even Indyref time the Greens were a strong third behind SSP and SNP, but right now, and I cannot see it changing it’ll be SNP/SNP – I do hope RISE win a few seats from disgruntled Labour Yes voters.

    Met three pals last weekend and 2016 came up – around Christmas – all were toying with SNP/SSP(Green). Well, all three are voting SNP both times. 2 are non anorak types, and basically think the SNP are doing a good job in Westminister and Holyread.

    The minute Indy is delivered. I will re-asses my commitment to the SNP, and for any Unionist doubters who seem to be astonished and a few even mentioned ‘brutal slayings’of cureent parliamentaries, that some SNP MSPs won’t be returning to sit for parliament in 2016 – that is robust, political discussion. That is democracy, and that’s why many joined the SNP.

    George Foulkes had the cheek to even say the current MSPs being non-selected for the FPTP vote next year were the more “moderate” SNP ones.

    The Unionists do not have a clue. They are so far behind the game. And as much as I quite like being an SNP member, and admire them plus the RIC movement.

    I like nothing better than seeing glum Unionist politicians, commentators, newscasters and journalists.

    That is a big enough incentive for my vote to be SNP/SNP next year.

  123. Foonurt says:

    Thoan heids ull bae burrlin, oan yoan jyeint-the-githurr erses, wunnurrin hoo tae pauchle it cum Meiy.

    Ta! S. Campbell Esq.

  124. Midgehunter says:

    Germany has a voting system which is very similar to Scotland.

    A first constituency vote and a second list vote.

    The first vote is a personal vote for the person who you think will best represent you in Parliament.

    The second vote is for the party/group that you would actually like to see govern the country. THIS and only this is the important vote.

    At the moment the SNP is riding high on a wave and could take all the constituency seats, but what happens if it doesn’t get a majority? Politics can still be good for surprises.

    For every missing first seat the SNP MUST get a list seat to compensate for the loss.

    With the exception of a few “guest” trolls, we all want independence and the only party IMO that has any chance whatsoever of getting us there is the SNP. 🙂

    So vote SNP + SNP

  125. MJT says:

    I voted SNP/Green last time around. Not this time. SNP/SNP.

    And I don’t think anyone needs to worry about Scotland becoming a one party state, now or when we become independent.

    I’m only worried that the longer we stay part of the Union the more damage to Scotland, and the longer it’s gonna take to do the repairs.

  126. Paula Rose says:

    For those worried about an effective opposition – do what I do, if you have concerns go and talk to or write to your MP, MSP or MEP.

  127. heedtracker says:

    Great democratising of democracy. Next up, the Scottish Constitution. Even the next Scottish election turnout will be interesting.

  128. Morag says:

    It would be better if there were more Green list MSPs instead of SNP list MSPs even at the expense of an SNP majority. That way the Greens would keep the SNP to the left on a vote by vote basis, similar to the SNPs Westminster election mantra.

    Seems as if some people really think like this.

    The Greens aren’t even particularly left, and they might do better if they went after what’s left of the LibDem knit-your-own-organic-sandals brigade. Whatever.

    It seems to be more important to some people to oppose the SNP, or to push them one way or another on the political spectrum, than it is to achieve independence. If so, that’s their prerogative, but it boggles my mind.

    To say that you don’t mind if the SNP loses ground on 2011 and indeed loses its majority, is staggering. If that happens, bye-bye independence in my lifetime, certainly, and perhaps for a good few lifetimes.

  129. MJack says:

    I thought that the largest party in the second vote got 1 seat before being divided by the number of MP’s from the first vote plus one which would mean that the snp would only be able, as it looks, to get 1 more seat through the AM system and so voting for another pro indy party would make sense as the snp would only be able to get 1 more msp but another indy party would also be able to get an msp therefore increasing the pro indy msp’s.

  130. Paula Rose says:

    @ MJack ?

  131. Lesley-Anne says:

    Here are links to a couple of sites from the Herald and Telegraph concerning Alex Salmond and his thoughts on wee Nicky and the BBC. 😉

    https://archive.is/mBO81

    https://archive.is/U9sXE

  132. Stoker says:

    @ Morag (10.54pm).

    I see your point Morag but i can’t support that system for my reasons given previously at 10.40pm.

    You ended your post with “What’s not to like?”

    High blood pressure Morag every time i see obstructive London lackies sitting in our Parliament. Lackies who entered via the back door.

    I suppose it could be argued that by being there they serve to reinforce our argument and show themselves up for what they are but that does not help my mental and physical wellbeing.

    Goodnight all.

  133. Yesitis says:

    Thanks for the explanation, Stu.
    It helped a lot, and is something I can whip out on the ipad to show others.
    Nice 🙂

  134. Doug Daniel says:

    Democracy Reborn: “Re the presence of some Unionists among Green list candidates

    Are the Scottish Greens still formally in favour of independence? If so, presumably all individual list candidates require to sign up for and support the party line, or am I missing something?”

    Nope. The Greens made sure that the top candidate in every list is in favour of independence, but from there onwards, it’s a lottery. I don’t think many of their candidates are anti-independence – it’s only a handful, and may be as low as two, I’m not sure – but really, even one is enough to make the blatant pitch towards SNP supporters more than a tad dishonest.

    Here’s the Greens’ list candidates: https://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/news/scottish-greens-confirm-regional-lists-for-holyrood-2016/

    Anyone thinking of voting Green needs to ask their local candidates where they stand on independence first, basically. The likes of Patrick Harvie, Alison Johnston, John Finnie and Andy Wightman are obviously pro-indy, but there are a lot of names on those lists that I’ve never heard of, never mind knowing if they’re pro-indy or not. As I say, their second candidate in the North East is known to be against independence, so who’s to say there aren’t others similarly high placed?

    (Or just vote SNP on the list to be on the safe side…)

  135. Flower of Scotland says:

    For a few weeks now there have been posts on Facebook of people demanding that second votes go to Greens is SSP. I’ve had many arguments and tried to explain it but those Greens get terribly annoyed. I usually ask them to read Scot goes Pop, but I got dogs abuse and was unfriended from the Bellacaledonia page for saying SNP/SNP if you want to be sure to keep the Unionists out!

    Thanks for this Rev. I makes things clear and I will send them here if they want a rational explanation.

  136. cearc says:

    I rather like this voting system but it could perhaps be improved by being able to vote list candidates up the list.

    The Netherlands’ voting forms have column for each party with their candidates all listed in order. So you can either just place your cross at the top of the column for the party or, if you like a particular person on the list you can place your cross against their name.

    The personal votes serve to move the candidate further up the party list.

    The voting paper is huge!

    For example: if you have an Andy Wightman, who inexplicably is not first on the list, you could vote against his name. It would be a vote for the Greens’ list but if enough voters did it he would be propelled to the top of the list.

  137. charlie says:

    I think a lot of this confusion has come from the decades-long debate about STV, where you vote LibDem but knowing they won’t get in, you indicate you would prefer the Monster Raving Loony Party to get in on the grounds that they are more electable and preferable to the other alternatives.

    AMS is not STV. STV involves tactical voting.
    Cheers
    Charlie

  138. Dr Jim says:

    Don’t you just love it when folk come out with this “We need an effective opposition stuff”

    There’s no such thing, it does not exist, it is a dead parrot The biggest party makes the rules, that’s how it works

    How do you oppose when there are less of you to vote against something, all you can do is go Ya Boo Sucks, moan moan

    If all the opposition parties in Westminster say No to something it doesn’t count because the Tories have the majority

    So for those who want opposition to work, that’s coalition we’ve had that and it wasn’t much cop was it

    Folk are free to vote for who they want, but given that this is an Independence seekers site then there’s only one party actually offering that very thing without reservation and not likely to change their mind in a deal with somebody else

    SNP+SNP Gets you the best shot at any hope of Independence

    What you might vote after that is for a future we don’t have yet

  139. Lesley-Anne says:

    Well, well, well.

    Who knew?

    I mean … WHO knew?

    https://archive.is/CySph

    Oh aye that’s right … all the naysayers knew … didn’t you? 🙁

  140. DerekM says:

    personally i hate the version of PR we have as it was set up to make sure we could never rid ourselves of those deadbeat unionists,so that no matter how bad they are they always have a foothold in our parliament.

    But it is what it is and we just have to deal with it.

    As for all the other indy parties i respect them however they have not proved to me they can govern, to do this they must first work their way into the councils of Scotland and field candidates in every constituency in Scotland then i might take them as a serious political party.

    In 2016 they will be a hindrance to the SNP and a vote for them is a wasted vote,their turn will come in 2017 so to all you others be patient,work hard show us you can run a council then we might think you can govern.

    Dont try and jump above your level all you will do is put more onions in our parliament vote SNP/SNP not for the SNP but for the independence movement and the people of Scotland.

  141. Dr Jim says:

    @Flower of Scotland

    The party you mention in your post is trolling every site there is trying to cajole people into voting for them

    If folk want to vote for something then they will but this type of sneaky talk is being seen through + it’s a complete waste of a vote, there I’ve said it

    Now I’ll get dogs abuse for being honest SNP+SNP means a definite chance
    All this other stuff is just cross your fingers

  142. ali s says:

    Wings Over Scotland, I think we have to start NOW letting people know that if we want an SNP majority led government in Edinburgh we have to vote SNP1/SNP2. I don’t think I’m excessively thick but it took me some time to work out what implications the D’Hondt method would have for Scotland.

  143. MJT says:

    @Lesley-Anne

    Does this mean Boxer the Carthorse will have to work even longer hours for less pay? Such a shame, he’s so loyal and such a hard worker.

  144. yesindyref2 says:

    Yes, the key thing about the SNP overall majority in 2011 which made the referendum possible, was that though they won 53 of the constituency seats, they got the majority needed in the face of total unionist opposition to a referendum, by getting 16 LIST seats.

    Anyone trying to sell the idea that the list vote is wasted on the SNP would be at home selling the Brooklyn Bridge, Tower Bridge, or snake oil. Con merchants, in other words. Del boy without the charisma and “relative” honesty.

  145. scotspine says:

    Morning all,

    Switched on the Radio in the car this morning. It lasted about 5 seconds on Radio Scots region before it was promptly switched off.

    Straight away, they were attacking the Scots Govt over something.

    They should change the name from GMS to the anti SNP, pro Labour show.

  146. Grouse Beater says:

    “Straight away, they [BBC Radio Scotland] were attacking the Scots Govt.

    The BBC regurgitates press releases without cynicism. We will have to get used to the SNP getting criticised, but can still complain when we know it isn’t justified or its obvious propaganda.

    The thing to look for is news of successes, invariably missing from a broadcaster joined at the hip head with Westminster.

    Section Five on the BBC is interesting:
    https://grousebeater.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/still-angry/

  147. Majestic12 says:

    It’s beyond me why any regular on this site (trolls excepted) would even consider voting for any other party than the one that has been unconditionally committed to independence for decades.

    The Green profile has been raised solely by their slithering along on the coat-tails of the SNP, in some sort of convenient semblance of a left alliance. If, in an alternate universe, they were in a position to form a government, they wouldn’t even know where to start. They are an “issue” party who espouse some quite unrealistic and barmy policies, and certainly Scottish independence is just a handy bandwagon upon which to jump.

    It seems to me they are rather like the LibDems, courtesans floating about the corridors of power looking for a dynamic lover. In that alternate universe, where the Liberals or Labour or even, God forbid, the Tories, were in a powerful ascendancy in Scotland, do we honestly believe that the Greens would be sitting on the sub benches with the SNP showing solidarity, waving the saltire and crying “Freedom”. Not a chance.

  148. Les wilson says:

    Watching RT news this morning, there is a biggie.

    Amnesty International has evidence, some reluctantly admitted by the UK government about UK collusion in hundreds of murders in Northern Ireland during the unrest there.

    Uk death squads active, all UK agencies involved with possibly several thousand operatives working in the shadows.
    Amnesty says major investigation needs to be done to expose the UK agencies involved.

    This has huge implications, and evidence is there on just how involved the UK was involved across the board in the murder of individuals including collusion with paramilitaries.

    Catch it on RT news.Wow!

  149. One_Scot says:

    ‘Nonsense’

    Sorry my friend, nothing personal but I have a policy of not engaging with trolls. You will need to take your trolling trash elsewhere I’m afraid.

  150. CameronB Brodie says:

    To all ‘Green’ voters. The UK is intrinsically unsustainable economically, environmentally and socially. Scotland has the potential to lead the world in all of these developmental aspects but not while in union with England.

    If sustaining the Union is a priority to you, then I suggest you are not ‘green’. Why don’t you just vote Tory and deal with your personal guilt in private?

  151. scottieDog says:

    O/T
    Richard murphy on radio 4. String case put fwd for people’s QE yet winning the argument doesn’t seem to matter these days…
    http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2015/08/24/john-cridland-on-radio-4-this-morning/

  152. Robert Peffers says:

    @Martyman says: 23 August, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    “I always voted Margo on the list vote, and as you say I can’t see me taking chances on the Green list”.

    Let’s face it, Martyman, In Margo’s case it was no contest. For to my mind Margo was more SNP than the SNP.

    There have been few things I have ever disagreed with the SNP about but Margo pushed outside of the official party was most certainly the biggest of them all.

  153. CameronB Brodie says:

    P.S. It also implies that one who is ‘green’ must logically seek the development of an independent Scotland. The key being INDEPENDENCE.

    Regardless if one is ‘green’ or not, it is clear that UKOK hasn’t a snowball’s chance in Hell of achieving a ‘sustainable society’.

    http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

  154. galamcennalath says:

    Preparation for Indyref2 has inevitably begun already. The establishment knows it and is behaving accordingly. The next step on the road for everyone is Holyrood GE. The best outcome the Unionists can achieve is to deny the SNP a majority. This is their priority and we can expect to see …

    1) smearing of SNP candidates for individual constituencies
    2) attempts at tactical voting in the constituency FPTP vote
    3) media talking up the Greens and others perhaps to split the pro Indy list vote

    An ideal world would have an independent Scotland with parties like the SNP, Greens and RISE in parliament representing their different viewpoints. Plus others from rump of the old unionist parties like a new conservative style party. True democracy and a parliament which needed a great deal of consensus to operate.

    We don’t have that. If independence matters then you need to focus on the SNP for now. Attacking and thwarting the SNP will be what the establishment focuses on!

  155. Robert Kerr says:

    The ONLY reason we would have no effective counter to the SNP is that the other parties candidates/policies/honesty/integrity/history are so bad.

    It is not the SNP’s fault!

  156. PRJ says:

    One factor that will influence any outcome is the hemorrhage of voters from Labour and the Liberals.

  157. bjsalba says:

    I used to think the Scottish Greens were an option.

    The more I read of what they say, and hear and see, the less impressed I am.

    It’ll be SNP/SNP for me.

  158. A2 says:

    ” Morag says:
    23 August, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    I am of course reminded that A2 was the handle of a notorious unionist troll back in the pre-Wings days of the Scotsman comments and so on. 2008-10 or thereabouts.

    Different person entirely, I’m sure.

    Indeed it is, if you can be bothered to “troll” back through the site for my (not very frequent posts) over the last two years, including, if I recall a couple of conversations you’ve been involved in yourself you’d be satisfied of that.

    Majestic12 says:
    “where the Liberals or Labour or even, God forbid, the Tories, were in a powerful ascendancy in Scotland,”

    but they arn’t and if they were both my votes would be going to the SNP based on what i feel is the best thing to do given the situation at the time.


    Morag says:
    23 August, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    A2, of course you’ll vote for your top priority. However, as many people have pointed out, if your top priority is independence,…”

    My top priority is what independence has the potential to bring about, a fairer society which is why I support it, not for it’s own sake that arguments been done to death of course. I do however want to see other voices in parliament which is why i’m voting exactly the same way as I did in 2011 which was SNP/Green. I don’t see any possibility of the SNP not having a Majority in the current conditions my Green vote on the list isn’t going to change that one bit, it can have some effect on who sits on the other side, I’m not voting tactically, I’m voting for how I want to be represented. For the record, I’m not 100% in support of all the greens policies either. Also at least the first four in the glasgow greens list are on record as active indi supporters (I havn’t checked further than that) and Martha Wardrop happens to be one of my councillors who I have no hesitation in supporting.

    ” One_Scot says:
    24 August, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Sorry my friend, nothing personal but I have a policy of not engaging with trolls. You will need to take your trolling trash elsewhere I’m afraid.

    Crickey, Not sure whether to be amused or insulted.

  159. AlanBissett says:

    Morag, you claim – “Recently Alan Bissett was attacking the SNP for standing more than two candidates in the European elections.”

    That has to be placed in context. It was in response to SNP supporter claims that it was the Greens standing against the SNP in the Euro elections that ‘let UKIP in’. I was pointing out that the argument could be applied the other way too, especially given the Greens were standing one candidate and the SNP several.

    “Alan said this in the middle of one of these arguments where he was insisting that an SNP list vote was wasted and anyone who voted SNP on the list didn’t really want independence.”

    I said absolutely no such thing.

    My argument about voting Green/RISE on the list was to do with diversity in the parliamentary profile of the Yes movement, which is beneficial to us all long-term. The ferocity with which you rejected this only added to the worries that the pro-Yes left have about the SNP dictating terms to the rest of us. Seems as though some are happy for it to be ‘not about the SNP’ when they need campaigners for a Yes vote, but ONLY about the SNP the rest of the time. Sorry, but it doesn’t work like that.

    The plurality of Yes was its strength; the Unionists were only able to win by successfully isolating the *SNP’s plan* for independence and destroying it. Many SNP supporters recognise this and so welcome the diversity. Given Green/RISE would always back the SNP on a motion for another referendum, quite why others like yourself, Morag, act as though the pro-Yes left is some kind of threat to be neutralised (until such time as you require us to campaign for Yes) is a little disappointing.

  160. X_Sticks says:

    There may be a couple of bicycles or even a tandem from the Greens (and others) heading for Scottish independence, but there is ONLY one bus travelling in that direction.

    Until we achieve independence I will be staying on the bus SNP/SNP is the only way to go.

    Post indy things will inevitably change and who knows if even the SNP will survive in its current format. I’ll save any kind of tactical voting until that time.

  161. Morag says:

    I’m not voting tactically, I’m voting for how I want to be represented.

    Well that’s fair enough. There has been a lot said on this subject which is not fair enough though. Shameless attempts to inveigle a “tactical” Green vote from people who would normally vote SNP/SNP by lying to them about how d’Hondt works and falsely telling them that the SNP will get no list seats so an SNP list vote is “wasted”. Also a pack of unrealistic fantasy as regards the number of list seats the Greens might conceivably win.

    It’s that sort of behaviour which is putting people off the Green party at a rate of knots.

  162. Dorothy Devine says:

    hey A2 – I’d change your moniker if I were you- the chap referred to was an incessant, obsessive OBE style character as haunts the Herald , along with Sam Spade and some eejit calling him or herself Penny Farthing.

    They can congratulate themselves on whittling down the number of comments as most have stopped bothering in utter disgust ,leaving it like the Scotsman – bereft of intelligent and informed comment.

    Only the heavily committed persist and I sincerely wish they would not bother.

    Having been lead to the DT and comments ,I was delighted to see that it was almost wholly spiteful unionist comments – they have their orraquine and other dribblings – which ,when seen in isolation ,read as truly deranged.

  163. A2 says:

    “Dorothy Devine says:
    24 August, 2015 at 10:32 am

    hey A2 – I’d change your moniker if I were you- the chap referred to was an incessant, obsessive OBE style character as haunts the Herald”

    That’s the name I’ve used here for the last 2 years,nobody’s mentioned it before now so I’ll be sticking with it. I’ve never frequented the scotsman pages so this is the first I’ve known of it.

  164. A2 says:

    “Until we achieve independence I will be staying on the bus SNP/SNP is the only way to go.”

    I’m campaigning for an increase in good public transport 😉

  165. Robert Peffers says:

    @Stoker says: 23 August, 2015 at 10:40 pm:

    ” … I don’t agree with a system that lets defeated representatives to take up a seat in Parliament and therefore a position of power via the back door.”

    I’m with you all the way on that one, Stoker. It should be made the rule that no one who stands as a candidate for a seat should also be allowed to stand on the list.

    We have seen enough of Holyrood positions of power being filled by candidates the electorate already rejected. There should be no chance of a rejected candidate then being returned and then becoming a main spokesperson for a party, (and that includes the party that ultimately gains power).

  166. Majestic12 says:

    Morag@10.40

    Not quite sure what your rather brusque response to my comment means, other than that you agree with me that it should be SNP all the way, and the Greens are an opportunistic distraction.

    Perhaps you should read my comment again.

  167. bugsbunny says:

    I remember A2. A more thoroughly repugnant individual I ever argued with. If that’s not you, then change your nickname.

    If that is your real name/nickname, and you are this same person, may I suggest getting to fuck out of here. I remember A2 and a more disgusting individual I have yet to come across.

    I hope for your sakes that is not you? We have long memories.

    Stephen.

  168. heedtracker says:

    I went off the Greens watching them use Trump’s galf course to monster Scottish democracy via this bloke, Martin Ford ex chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee.

    It wasn’t Green party opposition to Trump, it was WTF is different from Trump, to all the other developers building hideous housing estates in Aberdeen’s rapidly diminishing green belt.

    Its unlikely Councilor Ford was a YES man and if you had any idea of the chaos of Aberdeen’s transport infrastructure, compared to say York or Newcastle or Sheffield, you’d maybe realise that Scotland was merely a plaything for UKOK imperial masterdom and they use anything they can to block Scotland developing, incase we do vote YES to get away from the gits.

    And so, Trump bad for Greens, UKOK BBC media creepshow leapt right in there.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nln7g

    Project Fear went completely apeshit over this BBC vote NO Scotland offering alone.

  169. Michael McCabe says:

    It is SNP SNP for me. Kaye Adams said on her show today she has never had a nickname. Someone should tell her that most of Scotland know her as UNION KAYE.

  170. Flower of Scotland says:

    What a fantastic site this is.

    I’ve been struggling to counteract the attacks on Facebook from other supposedly Indy folk wanting 2nd votes to go anywhere but SNP.

    They are at it again this morning but because of the Rev and some great comments on here I’ve got lots of good ammunition!

    Thanks folks.

  171. Luigi says:

    PRJ says:

    24 August, 2015 at 9:54 am

    One factor that will influence any outcome is the hemorrhage of voters from Labour and the Liberals.

    The Greens are completely wasting their time if they try going for SNP/YES supporters to vote tactically next May. If they really want to boost their support, they should be targeting disaffected Labour/LibDem voters – there’s a bigger potential harvest there, methinks.

    As a potential green supporter/member, I will probably vote SNP+SNP next year, because I realise that the most important outcome at this stage is for another SNP majority with Nicola at the helm. I appreciate that for others, the environment trumps all, but IMO the environment has no chance until we achieve independence.

  172. Fergus Green says:

    I think the ‘incessant, obsessive OBE style character’ who was prominent on the Scotsman threads a few years back was called AM2 and if I remember correctly, was outed as a Labour member/activist, possibly a councillor. AM2 changed moniker several times after this, but the bile remained the same. I expect AM2 is still contributing to the Scotsman threads under some guise or another. I haven’t been there for years.

  173. @heedtracker

    Martin Ford if Iremember was a LibDem before turning Green over the Trump issue so Federalism is his max.

  174. Luigi says:

    If the SNP managers want people to vote for them on constituency and list next May, then they better start planning an effective campaign for explaining this on the doorsteps.

    With the SNP possibly still riding high on the polls early next year, you can bet your bottom dollar that the greens and a number of other parties will not be shy going round, chapping doors trying to persuade SNP voters to “lend” them their second vote.

  175. @Michael McCabe

    I thought Kaye Adams nickname was Tokyo Kaye named after Tokyo Rose the WW2 radio broadcaster that used the radio to spread fear, undermine and lower moral of the Allied troops in the Pacific.

  176. heedtracker says:

    cynicalHighlander says:
    24 August, 2015 at 11:17 am
    @heedtracker

    Martin Ford if Iremember was a LibDem before turning Green over the Trump issue so Federalism is his max.

    Its just infinitely more than this though. Red and blue tory unionists created am economically dysfunctional loony bin called Aberdeen and only really hits home when you go anywhere say Leeds or Manchester. The sheer scale of transport development alone in English cities and towns compared to Europe’s oil capital Aberdeen, is just appalling.

    Then up pops Trump, invited to Scotland by just one more red tory buffoon and all of a sudden even a golf course at Balmedie is an abomination against Green Aberdeen. Meanwhile Stewarty Milne builds anything anywhere he likes.

  177. Ken500 says:

    Martin Ford was always a Green but infiltrated the LibDems to get power. Stopped the AWPR for years, the airport expansion. The Trump Development opposition was a step too far. The Tory landowners often masquerade in Parties (LibDem) to get power. The collusion between the Greens and the landowners is laughable.

    Anyone can buy a bit of land in Scotland but can’t build a hut because of Scottish Planning Law. The Greens would be the first one’s protesting. They stop development on public land. Scotland have a ‘right to roam’, for a few £quid anyone can roam where they like.

    The ‘right to property’ is on of the clauses enshrined in Human Right Law @ Lallander Peat Worrier. Any Landowner would have to be bought out. Cost £Billions. Scotland was depopulated by Westminster economic policies. The barren land at Leith could be compulsory purchased by Edinbugh Council and landscaped.

    ‘Scottish education is one of the best in the World.’ ONS. Bateman. ‘Additional needs’ should be included in teacher training.

    Who was AM2? What happened to ‘Meths’?

  178. Because the over heated expansion of the Chinese economy has stalled and is now starting to go into contraction it looks like the banks and hedge funds around the world are on the verge of yet another financial crisis.

  179. Majestic12 says:

    I think I may owe Morag an apology. A2’s post at 10.02 was so confusingly presented that I mistook A2’s comment on my comment as coming from Morag.

    If that is the case, then it might behove A2 to read comments properly before jumping to respond, and to structure his ripostes in a less chaotic way.

    I’m tempted to think, “Who cares what response there was to my comment – it’s not important?”, but I suppose it actually is quite important that we know who has said what so that people, like me, don’t have a mild go at the wrong person. 🙁

  180. Wills says:

    the most fearsome thing I have seen in Scottish politics is the ( slim) possibility that Martin Ford could get a list seat for the greens.
    This is a guy who spearheaded the campaign to refuse planning permission for the Trump development at Mennie.
    I am no fan of Trump but at the time he was the only person prepared to invest in the north east and that arsehole Ford tried his best to shitcan it.
    He has never heard of representative democracy and were it not for him hiding behind the greens popularity he would be working in McDonalds.
    I sincerely hope his next speech starts with ” do you want fries with that”

  181. Les Wilson says:

    Scot Finlayson says
    You are right Scot, but there are many causes to a coming severe financial breakdown.
    Yes, the slowdown in China is a biggie, the drive the world commodity markets and at the moment need less.

    These are also governed by the US dollar, appreciation of the dollar is crushing the commodity markets and emerging economies.
    There is the US itself, it is essentially bankrupt, it can never pay back it’s debt.

    Throw the UK, France and many other countries who are in the same boat, and you have a catastrophe waiting to happen. The across board falls over the last week will be creating havoc to investments across the globe.

    This could turn into the biggest financial disaster the world has ever seen, no country, no citizen will be exempt.
    This of course, may not be the big one, but it sure as hell is coming, and sometime soon.

  182. A2 says:

    “I remember A2. A more thoroughly repugnant individual I ever argued with. If that’s not you, then change your nickname.”

    Well it’s not me and I will continue to use the name I’ve consistently used here. There’s nothing I’ve written above that in any way could be described as even unpleasant never mind repugnant.

    An attempt to villify me and tell me to change the name I’ve always used for simply giving reasons that i’m voting Green on the list and based on Morag’s assertion that i have the same name as someone on another forum is quite frankly pathetic and really rather counter productive.

  183. YESGUY says:

    Best explaination yet REV.

    Big thanks for this. SNP/SNP for me – No arguement. Any weakness in the votes will be trumpeted throughout the land as Scotland coming to her senses…. Aye that will be the bloody day!.

    SNP/SNP.

    Afterwards we can see whats on offer. What we get from this union is worthless in comparison.

    SNP/SNP 🙂

    P.S. A2 is not a troll folks. Wrong A2. And he’s allowed his opinion although i am with most here. We cannot falter now so why split the vote.

    Divide and conquer ?? be wary folks.

  184. Capella says:

    Donald Trump proposed to build a golf course on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The dunes were shifting dunes, a relatively rare formation. In other coastal areas dunes are stabilised because they are used for development, caravan sites,etc.

    You can buy a SSSI site at a reduced price because you are not allowed to develop on it unless you can somehow evade the legal restrictions.

    Martin Ford, a Liberal Democrat, chaired the Infrastructure Committee. The committee vote was equally split. Ford, as Chairman, correctly cast the deciding vote for the status quo ante.

    His Liberal colleagues then turned on him and sacked him from the Infrastructure Committee chairmanship. He was replaced by a more compliant Chairman.

    Ford resigned from the Liberal Democrats and joined the Greens.

    Donald Trump could have built his golf course anywhere along the lengthy Scottish coastline but chose a SSSI to mount his vulgar assault on environmental protection.

  185. DerekM says:

    @ A2

    dont take it personally A2 i remember your good self from the past however the others are right your name has been compromised by an onion troll.

    If it were mine i would change it pronto style,here is an idea how about Ayes2 😉

  186. heedtracker says:

    Donald Trump could have built his golf course anywhere along the lengthy Scottish coastline but chose a SSSI to mount his vulgar assault on environmental protection.

    Here we go.

    How many SSSI’s have golf courses or hotels like the Donald’s? Dozens.

    Somehow all those SSSI golf courses go unnoticed until the UKOK britnat vote NO creep show decides Balmedie must be saved from vile separatists. Trump’s galf course is just one of dozens up and down the north east coast of their Scotland region but oddly enough britnats chose this one en masse to block and so on.

    Anyhoo, just caught BBC vote SLab Scotland radio news very angry at Salmond for talking back at them over their very creepy style of UKOK Project Fearing.

    Apparently Salmond has “targeted” Nick Robinson, just one more self confessed red or blue tory lying huckster, and all paid for by you dear sucker taxpayer.

    Its the teamGB way don’t you know.

  187. yesindyref2 says:

    @Dorothy Devine (re Herald) “Only the heavily committed persist and I sincerely wish they would not bother.”

    I do it these days as a break from working flat out, and to push the occasional button. But there are one or two new contributors whose style is more suited to the current phase of the Indy struggle than mine, I feel kind of washed up now!

    The journos at the Herald are better than most though, or should I say less worse. It’s difficult to give up on what used to be the best paper in Scotland, a must read years ago when the Glasgow Herald, which it should have stayed by name.

  188. Morag says:

    Majestic12, I can’t figure out which comment of mine you’re referring to. I certainly didn’t intend to be brusque, but I don’t actually know what you’re talking about.

  189. Morag says:

    Oh sorry, I just read the clarification. As you were…

  190. Capella says:

    @ heedtracker
    “How many SSSI’s have golf courses or hotels like the Donald’s? Dozens.”

    Evidence?

    For info in SSSIs see the SNH website and booklet.

    http://www.snh.gov.uk/publications-data-and-research/publications/search-the-catalogue/publication-detail/?id=271

    The point about the dunes at Menie is that they are shifting sands. Trump’s golf course has stabilised them. Therefore they are no longer shifting.

  191. Tinto Chiel says:

    Thanks, Rev, for this excellent Lazy Person’s Guide, which suited me perfectly. I think it will be a useful tool in my future debates with the confused/misinformed.

    It has confirmed my view it has to SNP/SNP. Any diminution of support will be used by MSM to try to stall the momentum for independence.

    This must not happen if we wish to achieve our goal any time soon.

  192. Morag says:

    I’m with you all the way on that one, Stoker. It should be made the rule that no one who stands as a candidate for a seat should also be allowed to stand on the list

    Really? We wouldn't have had Nicola then, or a good few of the SNP big hitters. They all cut their Holyrood teeth as list MSPs after narrowly losing tough constituency fights (usually in Labour heartlands). It's precisely this progression that laid the foundation for the rise of the SNP.

    Good, diligent, hardworking list MSP gains good reputation. May force lazy Labour lobby-fodder actually to do some work, but in the end, the SNP candidate has won the electorate over and won the constituency. Happened all over Scotland, and lef to 2011. Happened right here, where Christine Grahame worked her socks off as a list MSP from 1999 to 2011, and as a result won the constituency in 2011.

  193. Morag says:

    Oops, sorry about the formatting boo-boo. Everything after the failed code attempt is my comment.

  194. Lollysmum says:

    Darn it! Forgot to trim the Youtube link I tried to post earlier -duhhh 🙁

    2nd try for a message to Nicola
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQtgFB8eC-g

  195. call me dave says:

    Ah! This is better news, Kezia must applaud this initiative… surely… What?

    https://archive.is/ckFjE

    PS:
    Announced in Oban where my partners parents (Sunday Post stalwards) and Lib Dem voters live. Charlie’s darlings they were.

    Still waiting for them to ask to speak to me on the phone since the election in May. It was a twice a week chat I looked forward to. Ach Well!

    Their world and vision of Scottish shortbread tins and kilted dancers and the Queenie all evaporated when the results came in.

    I said that Scotland was changing a few days before the vote, I was more right than I thought. But they just smiled at me as they knew better.

    I’m supposed to give a speech at their 60th this weekend, a wee letter from the Queen too.

    Don’t worry I won’t mention the war!

  196. Lesley-Anne says:

    Rather than stick this at the beginning of the latest post from Stu I’ll just stick this here instead. 😉

    I want ONE! 😛

    http://www.terrafugia.com/

    Now where is the nearest bank, I feel the need … the need for LOADS of cash! 😀

  197. schrodingers cat says:

    We see from that scenario that trying to vote tactically on the list for a second party is a risky business, because you can’t take the FPTP element for granted – even slight changes in the constituency outcome can affect the list results in unforseeable ways.

    But is it worth the gamble?

    this is probably the crux of the matter
    I argued that the ssp and the greens should not stand in the ge, some of the greens i know in my constituency even argued they would take unionist votes ???, i argued that there was no way of knowing this and that regardless of this fact, if the greens were seen to split the vote the reverse would be the case. and i was right, ask anyone from mundells seat. since then, the greens have really left others to defend them, and the comments by ross greer and deborah storr on the bella caledonia FB site have not helped. a word of warning to the greens, your membership tripled after the referendum and your new members didnt come from the BT side of the debate. there was a chance that the indy supporters could have propelled the other indy supporting partys into holyrood at the expense of the unionists but this chance has now been blown. you blew it, not the snp supporters. As for the SSP, they got 800 votes in 4 seats at a cost of £2000 (£2.50 a vote)and your subsequent attemps to unite the left are a complete joke as the first thing you did was to exclude solidarity (including Lindsay Jarrett the lassie who scaled edinburgh castle with an iron lung to hang a yes sign, remember her?) a word of warning to the ssp, no one in the greater indy movement gives a toss about the socialist internecine strife, you werent asked to kiss and make up, just come to some electoral agreement amongst yourselves so that you wouldnt be competing for the same votes from the other indy supporters. you couldnt even do that. When the unionists hoover up all the list votes in scotland the blame will be at your doors guys. the rev is wrong about the figures, it would be possible to replace the unionists with other indy supporting groups, but there is a risk for us. presently social media is telling us that the ssp and greens are not worth the risk
    the happiest people in scotland today are the unionists

  198. heedtracker says:

    The point about the dunes at Menie is that they are shifting sands. Trump’s golf course has stabilised them. Therefore they are no longer shifting.

    Just like all the rest of the Trumpian developers have done here along this one stretch of Scotland region coastline, from this one at the mouth of the Don

    http://www.royalaberdeengolf.com/

    all the way up and past Trump galf at

    http://www.newburghgolfclub.co.uk/

    Poor old the Donald. If it wisnae for red and blue tory anti independence camping, he’d have been welcomed with open UKOK arms, no doubt with a gorgeous welcome to Scotland tv documentary from the ragin britnats in Pacific quay too.

  199. jackie g says:

    call me dave says:@1.43pm

    Ah! This is better news, Kezia must applaud this initiative… surely… What?

    Dave just After reading that link my first thought was Kieza will be bealing!

    🙂

    Go Nicola.

  200. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Just being picky, but why are the libdems ahead of the Greens in Brigadoonshire? The libdems are polling 3-5% now and the Greens are on 7-11% for Holyrood list.”

    Brigadoonshire does not exist. The numbers are meaningless, chosen for clarity of explanation not any relationship to actual events.

  201. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Here’s an even more imaginary scenario. Suppose in the Brigadoonshire illustration from above 100% of SNP voters voted Green on the list vote, giving the Greens 115,000 votes. Result – Greens take 3 seats, Labour 2, Conservative 2. SNP stay the same on their 10 FPTP. If you think a Yes alliance might have some uses you might find there are things to think about here.”

    Only if you think there’s the remotest chance of 100% of SNP voters voting Green on the list, in which case I have a very reasonably-priced bridge to sell you.

  202. Ken500 says:

    The only mention of !shifting sands’ was a 1984 Aberdeehnshire letter which wasn’t even signed. Martin Ford used insider council information (illegally) to campaign against the Trump Development as soon as the plans went in. Why did Martin Ford write to the British Geological Society in London to try and make the Menie estate land an SSI. If it was already one? There was no time because two geologists have to give an account. The letter is in the Inquiry evidence. The SSI was for rare plants – ‘lizard tongue’? On one even knew about. It was probably an attempt by the estate owner to get a Grant. The Greens and objectors were using the issue to get publicity and money from America.

  203. Morag says:

    the happiest people in scotland today are the unionists

    The thing that would make the unionists ecstatically happy, even happier than they were when UKIP won a seat in Scotland, would be if there was a huge haemorrhage of list votes away from the SNP.

    Not only would that leave the party entirely dependent on constituency seats (of which there are only 73, with the SNP requiring at least 70 to demonstrate that Nicola can deliver a better result than Alex and secure a working majority), it would allow the unionist media to have a field day attacking the SNP’s loss of support and what a blow this was for the independence movement.

    There is absolutely no advantage in sacrificing half a dozen or more SNP seats to “gain” the same number of seats for small parties with no experience in government or administration. It took the SNP 80 years of hard graft to get where it is, and the benefits are non-transferable.

  204. Morag says:

    the rev is wrong about the figures

    How?

    (Hint: he isn’t.)

  205. Ken500 says:

    Ford did not resign from the LibDems. Ford and Storr were chucked out because it was LibDem policy (along with all political parties etc) to support the Trump Development. Ford then forced a public Inquiry in total arrogance, about his political position. Or so he thought, until the Reporter told him to STFU at every opportunity. Devious and sleekit doesn’t even come into it.

  206. Ken500 says:

    If the sands had not been stabilised they would be ‘shifting’ no more. They would have eroded into the sea. Conservationists can’t afford to retain the sands. Grass is planted to retain the sands and protect the coast.

  207. Ken500 says:

    While Martin Ford was cycling along to Council meeting financed by the taxpayers, people can’t get to work because of the traffic chaos.

    ACC are universally despised not because they are Unionists (it doesn’t help) but because they are so stupid. The majority are in agreement on that.

  208. Dougie Blackwood says:

    I live in the Scotland west constituency and looked at the figures for there last time. Labour won all but 1 seat which went to SNP; SNP were the largest vote on the list but a Tory was first elected on the list and SNP got 4 in all, Labour got no list seats.

    I believe SNP will win almost all seats this time and rather than Labour or Tory MSPs I’ll vote either green or Rise on the list and I hope most people do likewise. It may not work but if I can help get pro-independence people elected rather than unionists so much the better.

  209. Muscleguy says:

    The solution which is better for minor parties is to change AMS to a pure MMP. The difference is seen in New Zealand a similar sized polity to Scotland. There the lists are national, there are no regional lists. Nationally the Greens, if their regional votes are totted up, would get more list seats out of their votes. Under both systems a constituency acts like a magnet. In NZ the bar to get over on the list for a minor party is 5% but you can duck that with a constituency. It works like this: with 4.5% of the vote your party’s votes count for nothing in the list apportioning. They are discarded. BUT if you have a constituency then your party list votes are not discarded. Since there are 120ish seats (the number can vary due to overhang) your 4.5% entitles you to 5.4 seats out of the total, you have one constituency but you drag 4 others into parliament off it.

    This encourages minor parties to work REALLY hard to target individual constituencies. The Greens for eg power base is Christchurch. In NZ then second vote tactical voting works much better because the national opinion polling tells you the rough percentage of your second party’s vote.

    The system can however be gamed. There is a constituency in Auckland, Epsom where the right wing National party stands aside to let the Libertarian ACT party candidate have a clear run as ACT will only support a National govt in the parliament so doing so inflates the size of that bloc. Without Epsom ACT would not normally get a list seat at all.

  210. Capella says:

    @ heedtracker
    The sites you link to are not SSSIs. Menie was a SSSI, that is the point.

    @ Ken500
    The dunes at Menie were a SSSI because they were shifting sands. If you stabilise them they are no longer valuable. Trump makes the same mistake that you do. He stabilised them claiming that that “preserved” them whereas it destroyed them.

  211. tartanarse says:

    Dorothy at 10.32

    Ref Orraquine from DT. She’s a grade1 cringer. Doesn’t have a clue how the voting system works and even forgot what she did for a living.

    She forgets what lies she has told and can be easily caught out. I frequently posted in DT until September then I couldn’t bear to even have a peek. Cochrane, even though insane, is still too much too soon.

    I almost neve admit to living in England until the anti English card is played then I explain that I’ve been here 20 odd years and still managed to not become a cringer.

    Truly horrible people

  212. Jam says:

    These are not realistic scenarios in which to split your vote. The realistic scenario is where snp have 60% or so constituency and will likely take every seat. They have 50% list and will likely take nothing. In that scenario voting green is very much more than 1 seat or so. It could produce 10 plus greens and all you are removing are unionists. Comparisons with2011 are not fair. Snp won 45% then. That is not a landslide. They got 53 constituency seats. The split vote rationale is sound in a landslide constituency scenario. The problem is identification of it and that is consistent polls as we near the time. In a landslide snp constituency scenario you will likely get a unionist I’d you vote snp on the list.

  213. heedtracker says:

    At least Ford was elected

    http://www.martinford.org/

    Mr Ford worked at Oddbins in Union Grove afore becoming a cooncilor.

    His opposition to Trump temporarily ended Balmedie getting destroyed by Trump but in Aberdeen, a lot of people were like WTF!

    Those going WTF at Ford, made no difference to the UKOK vote NO propaganda lie machine but one of the main rule Britannia bosses at the BBC, Nick Robinson says he

    “also refutes that media coverage of the referendum had a direct impact on the outcome. “Why the referendum was lost [by the Yes campaign] was because, as in any choice around change, those who were advocating change were not able reassure people that it was a risk worth taking,” he says. “Fear wasn’t created by ‘metropolitan journalists’ coming up to Scotland. The fear had been there for decades.”

    Decades of fear Scotland, decades of it, you chickens.

    Honest Nick also says

    “My old mentor [late Today presenter] Brian Redhead used to describe the job as ‘dropping a word in the nation’s ear’,” he says. “There’s something nice about being at the beginning of someone’s news day.”

    All in the Herald, where honest Nick explains how he has left the BBC and now presents the BBC r4 Today show, because he’s so honest and British.

    Oddly enough, BBC vote SLab Scotland says a couple of dozen Herald journos got the sack today. If only they’d joined the BBC and that grand old job for life at sucker tax payers expense.

    All the very best in your future endeavours ex Herald journos. Remember, its “do you want fries with that?”

  214. Capella says:

    @ Ken500
    Also, Wikipedia thinks Martin Ford resigned from the Lib Dems too.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Ford_(politician)

    Note that he has joined a group supporting the SNP on Aberdeenshire Council on a confidence and supply basis.

    “He had been a member of the Lib-dems for 20 years, but resigned from the party in January 2009. Six months later he joined the Greens, who two years previously had made a public invitation for him to join them.
    In May 2015, it was announced that Ford, as part of the Democratic Independent and Green Group (DIGG), had agreed to lend support the Scottish National Party (SNP) council group on a confidence and supply basis.”

    You are entitled to you opinion. But I do think it unwise to mislead other readers of this blog and alienate supporters in Aberdeenshire for what is beginning to sound like a personal vendetta.

  215. Christian Schmidt says:

    Not sure about your example. But having crunched lots of numbers myself, I would say if the SNP is on the 2nd vote above 50% across Scotland, they’ll get additionally list seats (as they did in the North-east in 2011) – and because of d’Hondt easier than the other smaller pro-independence parties.

    If the SNP is below 45%, a list vote for the SNP is completely wasted and should be given to other pro-independence parties. (And this should true for all regions because of the interaction between constituencies and list seats).

    So watch the polls and act accordingly.

  216. heedtracker says:

    Capella says:
    24 August, 2015 at 4:15 pm
    @ heedtracker
    The sites you link to are not SSSIs. Menie was a SSSI, that is the point.

    Well you’re wrong.

    http://www.newburghgolfclub.co.uk/ is built on a SSSI

    Quick google and

    https://www.where2golf.com/scotland/machrihanish-golf-club/dunes.asp

    even proud of being a golf club on an SSSI, and there are at least a dozen more in Scotland alone.

    There’s UKOK vote NO propaganda and then there’s the real world.

  217. jcd says:

    I’d thought that maybe I was oversimplifying things by intending to vote SNP/SNP in May ’16. Maybe it turns out that there’s some hidden pro-indy advantage to voting Green or whatever as a second choice.

    I know now that my instincts (as an independence supporter) were correct.

    I really can’t understand how anyone who supports independence could even for one moment consider voting for any other party. What exactly would be the point?

    Only in an independent Scotland – and not before – will the likes of the Greens, SSP etc get anywhere at all.

  218. @Ken500 says:

    If the sands had not been stabilised they would be ‘shifting’ no more. They would have eroded into the sea. Conservationists can’t afford to retain the sands. Grass is planted to retain the sands and protect the coast.

    In two words Ken ‘Utter bollocks’

  219. Rock says:

    “But what we’ve learned is that even an unimaginably huge tactical list vote will likely at best produce a net gain of a couple of seats for Yes/left parties, and at worst could cost the SNP some seats and perhaps even their majority.”

    The Greens would hold an SNP minority government to ransom if they held the balance of power.

    SNP supporters, don’t take any risks – give both votes to the SNP to make sure we re-elect an SNP majority government.

  220. Ealasaid says:

    @Christian Schmidt

    Since when have the polls been reliable? Do you not remember the GE when all thought there would be a hung Parliament?

    The SNP are very likely to put some kind of request in their manifesto for a mandate for a second referendum, in case circumstances should change. They are going to need the highest vote possible. If their share of the vote goes down the Unionists will all be shouting that they have lost support.

    If you want Independence and a second IndyRef as soon as circumstances permit then the vote May 2016 has to be SNP/SNP.

    The SNP is the only party that has been chasing Independence for decades. It is their reason for existence.

    The Green party split the vote at the GE and let Mundell lord it over us. Not all Green party members are YES supporters. At least one of their MSP candidates banned WOS literature during the Referendum. Along with the SSP and others they do not have enough support to gain many/any list seats. The SNP would likely just be giving most list seats away to Unionist parties, which the Establishment would love.

    The Establishment saw what our votes can do at the GE. Our 56 SNP MPs are already making the Conservative Government withdraw legislation for a rethink. Unionists will do anything to stop the SNP/Independence surge and this scam with the list vote could well be due to their trolls. We can spread the votes after Independence but not before. There is already so much lined up against us in this uphill struggle for the right to run our own country, why give the opposition gifts.

  221. Morag says:

    If the SNP is below 45%, a list vote for the SNP is completely wasted and should be given to other pro-independence parties.

    That’s entirely false. Bear in mind that the overall list vote for the SNP was 44% in 2011 but they somehow managed to get 13 list seats. That totally gives the lie to your assertion.

    The two things you left out were the level of the list vote in any particular region, which is the important part, not the overall list vote, and the number of constituency seats the party wins.

    If all constituency seats in a region are won by the SNP, the 2011 experience suggests that anything over about 52% on the list in that region will net another list seat. Irrespective of what’s happening in any of the other regions. Unless polling companies plan to conduct full-sample polls in each of the regions, there is no way to predict what the list vote will be in your region from the national average.

    If the SNP is polling as low as 45% on the list, the likelihood is that it’s not that much higher than that in the constituencies. In that case constituencies are inevitably going to be lost, and so list seats will certainly accrue. Just as they did in 2011 with the list vote of 44% overall.

    You see the dangers of making blunt assertions without taking everything into account? This electoral method is impossible to predict in advance with sufficient accuracy to allow anyone to game the system, and anyone who tries it is likely to find himself bitten on the bahookie.

    To put it simply, the margin of error is such that the band of support where the SNP needs list seats to compensate for missing out in constituencies, and the band of support where the party is very much in contention for at least one list seat even if it wins all the constituencies, OVERLAP.

    There is no sweet spot where any voter, in any region, can be confident that the SNP is going to sweep the constituencies but still not be in line for a list seat, so there’s no use looking for one.

  222. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “These are not realistic scenarios in which to split your vote. The realistic scenario is where snp have 60% or so constituency and will likely take every seat. They have 50% list and will likely take nothing”

    Simply not true. According to the Electoral Reform Society, on current list polling they could take seven or eight.

  223. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “It may not work but if I can help get pro-independence people elected rather than unionists so much the better.”

    It’s unlikely that it will, and it might do the opposite.

  224. Morag says:

    The Greens would hold an SNP minority government to ransom if they held the balance of power.

    Zactly. That and what Ealasaid said.

  225. Morag says:

    These are not realistic scenarios in which to split your vote. The realistic scenario is where snp have 60% or so constituency and will likely take every seat. They have 50% list and will likely take nothing.

    To expand on what Stu said, the SNP will certainly get multiple list seats with an average of 50% on the list across the country as a whole.

    This will be made up of some regions which are lower than that, but in which some constituencies may have been lost too, making list seats a certainty even on 40% or less in the region, and some regions which are higher than that, and the party breaks through the barrier of about 52% necessary to get list seats even when all the constituencies are won.

    I’m getting bloody sick of people who simply haven’t thought through all the ramifications of this system in the way Stu (and some others of us) have done, and make these pronouncements which are definite, dogmatic, and WRONG.

    If more than a few voters listen to this misguided, innumerate nonsense in May, it could cost us another independence referendum.

  226. Jam says:

    Highly stylised is electoral reform society modelling and I wouldn’t place that much weight on it. Snp has a good chance of taking every seat in Scotland on the constituency. It wasn’t far away from it at Westminster on 50% which included 2 of the 3 losses having particular circumstances associated with them that won’t be there in holyrood and might actually be reversed. Snp average on the constituency is high 50s. Snp average on list is around 48 or so. Under 50 if they take all the constituencies they get 0-2 seats on the list at those levels. We need an open mind to consistent polling but if it’s landslide on the constituency and below 50 on the list you will be contributing to electing on unionist by voting snp on the list as opposed to green.

  227. Morag says:

    You didn’t read any of the comments then, did you? Especially the one immediately before yours?

    There is NO SWEET SPOT where voters can be at all confident that the SNP will ace all the constituency seats in a region, but still not be in line for an extra list seat. It doesn’t exist, so there’s no point trying to figure out what it is.

    For a start, opinion polls only give an average for the whole of Scotland. Without individual full-sample-size polls for each of the regions, it’s playing pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey when you don’t even know which way up the picture of the donkey is. Even with individual regional polls though, there’s still no sweet spot.

    Any giveaway of SNP votes is at least as likely to let a unionist party in as not. Anyone who has read this article and the one before it and still doesn’t realise that, needs to read them again, this time repeating to themselves, “I might actually have been wrong about this.”

  228. Jam says:

    Morag

    I’ve thought it through considerably and know I’m right. I’ve been very clear on the scenario of a split vote. It requires landslide constituency and considerably lower on the list. There is a problem of identification but it’s currently pointing to it. if it consistently points to it then we should consider the strategy. If you’re sick of people claiming this then perhaps you should do some basic research as this is a direct product of AMS. Snp got 16 list seats last time. That was not a landslide scenario and I wouldn’t be advocating a split vote in such circumstances. The comparison is therefore not relevant.

  229. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    I’ve said it umpteen times.

    Next year, if you are a member of the SNP, or an SNP supporter, you vote SNP/SNP, whatever.

    However, if your primary allegiance is to another pro-indy party, it’s up in the air. If YOUR party is standing in the constituency and you think it has a chance of winning, you vote for it.

    However, if you think the SNP has a better chance of winning the constituency with YOUR vote, you lend the SNP your vote. Similarly, if your party ISN’T standing for the constituency, you lend your constituency vote to the SNP and vote with your heart on the regional/list vote.

    You have to decide,
    a) is the primary objective independence for Scotland,
    or
    b) Electing an opposition to the SNP, that cannot be guaranteed to be pro-indy?

    Keep your tinder dry. Achieve independence then we can vote for whoever we like, including the Monster Raving Loonies!

  230. Jam says:

    Any giveaway of snp votes to green is at least as likely to let a unionist in is it Norah? in a landslide constituency snp scenario Norah as reverend likes to say, “that is a flat out lie”. You do your argument few favours by telling lies… There is definitely a sweet spot and it’s landslide constituency

  231. Morag says:

    The idea that huge numbers of people are going to vote SNP in the constituencies and then not on the list is delusional. Consistently, over all the Holyrood elections, the party has campaigned for both votes and by and large got them. That’s why we’re where we are now. It isn’t going to change that strategy this time.

    Of course primary Green and RISE supporters are going to give the SNP a tactical constituency vote, but there aren’t that many of them. The SNP will only lose significant support on the list if a significant number of people believe this innumerate bollocks, and it seems that more and more voters who were originally somewhat dazzled by the idea are seeing through it.

    Stuart has explained it pretty clearly. People who claim to have thought it all through and “know they’re right” haven’t thought it through at all. They’ve confined their thinking to the scenarios that favour their preferred outcome and turned a determined blind eye to the much more probable scenarios that cost the SNP seats that will be vital to securing a mandate for a second referendum.

  232. Ealasaid says:

    @ Jam

    I am not going to argue percentages with you. I can only conclude that you do not want Independence.

    As I said before, the SNP will be asking for a mandate from the Scottish people to be able to hold a second Referendum in the next session of Parliament, should circumstances change. That mandate is only for the SNP, no other party.

    The Conservative government has said that it will refuse to allow a second referendum. Only the largest vote possible from the Scottish electorate in both the constituency and the list votes will have a chance of over-ruling that Conservative pronouncement.

    Anybody that wants that second chance of a referendum in the near future needs to vote SNP/SNP. If you split the vote now you can forget any chance of Independence for the foreseeable future.

  233. Morag says:

    Ealasaid, I’ve seen people saying the same thing to Jam on Scot Goes Pop. He just gets sulky and surly and insists he’s right.

    There a few people who have inexplicably become so emotionally invested in this “tactical list vote” scam that they’re impervious to reason, and when challenged simply adope a mulish expression and refuse to work through the counter-arguments they’ve been given. Jam is one of them. (Mind you, I’m seeing encouraging signs of second thoughts in a couple of other people I previously thought were beyond help, so who knows.)

    The important thing is that this madness doesn’t gain traction among thousands or tens of thousands of voters. I think enough people are seeing sense now that that’s unlikely to happen.

  234. Ealasaid says:

    @ Morag

    All we can do is post the facts and hope they see sense. Wings is not so bad but I found Dr Jim’s post above 02:43am worrying. But Flower of Scotland seemed to be revelling in the challenge. I think Wings commands some respect with most though.

  235. Morag says:

    I’ve been avoiding the argument on most other sites because there’s only so often I can patiently explain this situation to the intentionally deaf before I lose the rag completely. So I don’t know what Flower of Scotland has been saying. I used to like Bella Caledonia but the place has become weirder and more bizarre by the month recently.

    Wings, Scot Goes Pop and Munguin have all tackled the issue sensibly. These are the sites that have the outreach beyond the “indy luvvie” bubble and I think that’s important. My sense of the situation is that all but the blindly committed are realising that splitting the SNP vote is a daft idea. I don’t think it will get much traction come May.

  236. Ealasaid says:

    @ Morag

    I think that when the SNP ask for the mandate before the Scottish elections that will concentrate minds. It will get a lot of publicity as the MSM will be appalled. By that time we should all be in pre-election mode.

  237. Morag says:

    Indeed. The SNP hasn’t even got out of bed yet, as regards the 2016 campaign, but the party is well aware of what’s going on. The reasons why the party needs list votes are going to be spelled out very clearly.

    Mean time, it’s up to sites like Wings and the others to present the true facts, and hopefully prevent the madness getting too much of a hold.

  238. Ian Brotherhood says:

    A wee shout-out to (the great majority of) WOS readers who feel trepidation about commenting here –

    I don’t fucking blame ye’s! 🙂

  239. Morag says:

    What, is it only OK in threads where your narrative dominates, Ian? What is it about other posters who are well informed and post that information that intimidates you so much?

  240. Ian Brotherhood says:

    P.S. to my last – from the final paragraph of Rev’s post:

    ‘It’s not this site’s business to tell anyone how to vote. What these numbers strongly suggest, though, is that tactical voting – of any sort and for anyone’s benefit – in an AMS election is a mug’s game.’

    That, presumably, includes the SNP/SNP option which some are forcing down everyone’s neck – if the ‘tactical’ stuff makes no difference, why bother? FFS, is it so hard to just leave people alone to vote for who they want? – so long as they’re not voting for unionists, who cares?

    So far as I’m aware (despite all the nasty MSM rumours) this site is not funded by the SNP, and other legitimate, democratic pro-indy political parties still exist.

  241. Morag says:

    I only just noticed Alan’s reply to my earlier post about his comments on the Euro elections, sorry. There are two separate points here.

    First, I don’t have the slightest problem with people whose primary political alignment is Green or SSP or anything else voting for these parties on the list. I’ve never criticised anyone for doing that. If I’ve been “ferocious” about anything, it’s about the dishonest misrepresentation and lies about the d’Hondt system that have been and are being peddled in an effort to bamboozle people whose primary political alignment is SNP into damaging the SNP by not giving them their list vote.

    This isn’t being done honestly, by saying “I think it would be better if there were fewer SNP MSPs and more Green (or whatever), won’t you agree with me and vote that way?” It’s being done by saying, dishonestly, that the SNP won’t get any list seats so not voting for the party on the list won’t damage them. They will and it will.

    The dishonesty goes on to suggest that even if voting Green on the list might cost the SNP the odd MSP, that’s all OK because many more Green MSPs will be elected as a result. This rubbish about a vote for the Greens being worth four times a vote for the SNP or something like that, which Stuart has exposed for the simplistic nonsense it is in this and the following post.

    That’s what I get riled about, though Twitter isn’t necessarily the best place to explain the nuances. If you’d rather have “diversity”, a weakened SNP and more Green MSPs, then just say so. Don’t try to trick people with lies about votes being wasted, or worth four times as much. When you say that you show you don’t understand the system at all.

    The second point is the one I was really trying to make in my original post, and it seems from his reply that Alan still doesn’t understand how the European elections work. This was what I was stunned by, and still am. That anyone who put himself forward as a pundit was so lacking in understanding of the electoral system.

    I can’t believe anyone was criticising the Greens for standing a candidate in the Euro elections. If they were, they were brain-dead and really shouldn’t even be replied to. But Alan’s reply is incomprehensible.

    The only way to withdraw from the Euro elections is to stand no candidates at all. You either stand or you don’t. If you do, people can choose to vote for you with their single and only vote, or not. Same for every party, irrespective of how many candidates they have on their list. Presumably the critic was suggesting that the Greens should have stood down entirely. As I said, that’s ridiculous, and would be expecting the impossible of any political party. But it’s a point of view.

    Alan’s response isn’t a point of view, it’s a nonsense. He seems to have been suggesting, as a counter, that maybe the SNP, the party in government in Scotland, the party with a clear plurality of the vote, the party that was expected to (and in fact did) win most votes, should have stood aside in favour of a small minority party. On which planet might this have been a reasonable idea?

    The only way to stand aside is to field no candidates at all. Even if you only field one, you’re in the race, and everybody has the opportunity to vote for you. The Greens only selected one because they knew damn well they didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of having two elected.

    But Alan somehow dreamed up the idea of the SNP limiting itself to two candidates, as if there was some way of saying, after two are elected, please pass any extra votes on to the Greens. I kind of hoped he’d have figured out how bad this misunderstanding was, but it kind of seems not.

    Alan, you’re a fantastic playwright and actor. (I still haven’t got that book perk, so I can’t judge your prose writing, but there you go.) Just – don’t pile in with the punditry when you don’t understand what you’re talking about.

    I think in the end the main gripe about the Greens and the Euro elections wasn’t that they stood a candidate, which surely nobody imagined they wouldn’t, but the dishonest attempts to inflate their vote by falsely suggesting that if only exactly the right percentage of SNP voters would kindly vote Green instead, UKIP could be frozen out of the last seat. Some people apparently fell for that scam and are now regretting it. Stu has shown on the next page just how wrong it was.

    Now the Greens are trying the same thing with the list vote in 2016. Please give it up and campaign honestly.

  242. Morag says:

    FFS, is it so hard to just leave people alone to vote for who they want? – so long as they’re not voting for unionists, who cares?

    If everyone was doing that, this article and the similar ones on Scot Goes Pop and Munguin’s Republic wouldn’t have been necessary and wouldn’t have been written.

    The “tactical” stuff could make a difference, as James has repeatedly pointed out on Scot Goes Pop. The problem is that the difference it’s likely to make is to weaken the SNP without electing more Greens or other pro-independence candidates. It’s possible it could cost the SNP its majority, and thus cost us the chance of another referendum.

    This post and the others I mentioned are reactive. They’re a response to a highly damaging scam that’s being punted all over the internet by people who are grossly distorting how the d’Hondt system works in order to trick SNP supporters into voting for a different party.

    If these people would leave others alone to vote for who they want, then articles like this wouldn’t be necessary and wouldn’t be written.

  243. Ian Brotherhood says:

    If there’s a song lyric which sums-up ‘small parties’ frustration with the SNP, it’s this:

    Elvis Presley (vs Junkie XL): ‘A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action’ –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx1_6F-nCaw

  244. Jam says:

    Imagine wanting to split the vote in a landslide scenario to elect green instead of nawbags..

  245. Paula Rose says:

    Hi Jam – not quite getting your point – could you elucidate?

  246. Morag says:

    Ian, despite occasional appearances, I like you and I admire what you did on the west coast, and I think you’re an excellent public speaker. But I think you need to take a step back and figure out where a huge number of independence supporters are coming from.

    Lots of people have said it in clear, in this thread and others. The SNP, for them, isn’t a political party, it’s Scotland’s independence movement. I came to that conclusion in 1992, after the shambles of Scotland United and the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly and Democracy for Scotland and so on. None of these organisations, however well-intentioned, energetic or self-sacrificing, made the slightest progress towards getting a Scottish parliament. This was only achieved by the SNP making electoral progress and putting the fear of God into Labour.

    I joined all these organisations in 1992. The SNP was the only one that continued and made progress. It had the organisation and the game plan, while the others were toothless pressure groups or demonstrations that could be and were ignored. I vowed to stick with the SNP unless the party did something entirely unconscionable (the example I gave was Alex Salmond declaring that he’d push the nuclear button).

    Now, many other independence supporters are coming to much the same conclusion. The SNP isn’t a party to them, it’s our independence movement. Progress towards independence is measured by SNP support, not SNP+Green+RISE, like it or not. The SNP got the 56 seats in May precisely because the unionist vote was split and the independence vote essentially wasn’t.

    Many people are saying, SNP until independence, and then we’ll see. They’re saying that only after independence will the smaller pro-independence parties be in contention for their vote. They’re saying, patience.

    I understand this is frustrating for you. I know how it feels to some extent because I was campaigning for the SNP when we had only three MPs and were sitting on 14% in my own constituency. You get tired of coming last.

    But this isn’t a picnic, with the sandwiches being shared out equally or else it “isn’t fair”. It’s a struggle to the death with the British state. Many people, including me, believe that only by uniting behind the SNP with all its real or imagined faults, can we hope to defeat that formidable enemy.

    I know you’d prefer to make progress for your own party, but circumstances are against that objective at the moment. I’m not expecting you to like it, but look at it realistically. For most people it’s about winning, not about idealistic principles of plurality and diversity. Win first, then these will come.

  247. Morag says:

    Imagine wanting to split the vote in a landslide scenario to elect green instead of nawbags..

    Imagine wanting to split the vote so that a landslide doesn’t happen, and causing nawbags to be elected instead of SNP list MSPs. That’s what your scheme could easily do.

    If you don’t understand what Stuart has been at some pains to explain to you, better not say anything at all.

  248. Ken500 says:

    The truth is a ‘personal vendetta’.

    The Pathetic lying, wasteful Greens.

  249. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “High blood pressure Morag every time i see obstructive London lackies sitting in our Parliament. Lackies who entered via the back door.”

    What’s your point? If they weren’t there they’d just be replaced by someone from the same party who was less competent. If you actually WANT more idiots in our Parliament, fair enough.

  250. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “That, presumably, includes the SNP/SNP option which some are forcing down everyone’s neck – if the ‘tactical’ stuff makes no difference, why bother?”

    It’s quite hard to see what scenario exists in which SNP/SNP could be a tactical vote. If you’re (say) an SSP supporter and you have no constituency candidate, then it’s plausible you’d vote SNP there. But if you’re SSP and you’re not voting for them (or RISE or whatever) even on the list, then you’re a funny sort of supporter.

  251. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’ve thought it through considerably and know I’m right.”

    Well, you’re not, so think it through some more. It’s absolutely possible for the SNP to get 8-9 list seats even if they win every constituency (which is unlikely – Labour’s collapse won’t do much to dent the Tories in the Borders, for example).

    It’s pretty much impossible for the current level of Green support to produce more list seats than that. So at best you’re going to do no damage, but at worst you’re going to hurt Yes parties.

  252. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “in a landslide constituency snp scenario Norah as reverend likes to say, “that is a flat out lie”.”

    No, it’s not. It depends entirely on what percentage of the list vote they get. If they get 100% of list votes, they get all the list seats even if they’ve also got all the constituencies.

    They won’t get 100%, of course, so now your calculations come down to (a) what share of the list vote they do get, and (b) how many of the constituencies they have. Neither of which you can actually know when you’re standing at the ballot box.

    You literally don’t know what you’re talking about. Your entire argument rests on the delusion that you can not only predict every individual constituency, but also the share of the list vote.

    But polling for the 2007 and 2011 elections over-estimated the SNP vote both times. And local factors can save individual constituency seats even in a landslide – see Ian Murray, Alistair Carmichael and David Mundell.

    We saw yesterday that the D’Hondt system favours the bigger parties, so Labour and the Tories are more likely beneficiaries of any SNP losses than the Greens. Those are the facts. You’re fixating on one very specific “sweet spot” that you can’t possibly predict or rely on. Anywhere either side of it and you damage the Yes parties.

  253. Jam says:

    The scenario requires 2 components. Landslide snp 1st and considerably less on the list. The stylised huge assumption based electoral reform society that produced 8 list seats had 54% of the vote. How snp didn’t pick up every constituency seat using their model surprises me given 62% was the constituency vote for this scenario. A landslide scenario for me is consistent 60% constituency and below 50ish on the list. I’ve mimicked the ams system and I believe snp will get bigger all in such scenarios on the list. It is a strategy yes but I think 60% nationally picks up every list seat. 50% nearly did and there were particular circumstances in Orkney and Shetland and Edinburgh south that are unlikely to prevail indeed in Orkney and Shetland may well be reversed. If people want to slight me as some have then up to them. Whether or not I’ve argued the same on scotgoespop is of zero relevance to its validity. The only relevance is whether or not in such a scenario it would work and whether we can identify such a scenario. I believe the answer is yes to the 1st and probably if we err on the side of caution consistent such polling over time as the election approaches. perfectly reasonable strategy.

  254. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Rev (11.00) –

    Agreed.

    (FWIW, I may end-up voting SNP twice, but that’s beside the point.)

    This thread, and the one following, are providing ammunition for the Steve Bells, Cochers and Clare Lallys – accusing fellow indy-supporters of being innumerate, deceitful, backstabbing liars cannot be anything but damaging, and talk of small-party supporters ‘splitting’ the SNP vote (?!) smacks of the hubristic entitlement which finally did for SLab.

  255. A2 says:

    @Ealasaid

    ” Not all Green party members are YES supporters. At least one of their MSP candidates banned WOS literature during the Referendum. ”

    This happened across the board though there’s been several posts on here about “official YES” people not being prepared to touch wings with a barge pole for fear of it’s nasty MSM generated reputation.

  256. A2 says:

    @DerekM

    “dont take it personally A2 i remember your good self from the past however the others are right your name has been compromised by an onion troll.

    If it were mine i would change it pronto style,here is an idea how about Ayes2 ;)”

    Thanks for that but I’m not going to be Bullied. If the name was a problem, it should have been brought to my attention a long time ago rather than waiting till I said something Morag disproved of.

  257. Ealasaid says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood

    For the record I would not expect you to vote anything but SSP/SSP. But it is your vote to use as you wish.

    For me actions always speak louder than words and in that respect I personally have been disappointed by some Yes parties since the Referendum. However, although SSP is a bit too far to the left for me personally, I have nothing but respect for you and other SSP members on here.

    I admired how your representatives acted in the run up to the Referendum and the tremendous amount of work you all put in. I also recognised that you all spoke very loudly and clearly for a section of society that is badly in need of a strong voice. I was therefore disappointed to discover in checking Holyrood that you had no representatives in the Parliament.

    I have therefore promised myself that I will at least once vote SSP on the list (you are not likely to stand in my constituency) AFTER Independence. The SNP play the gradual game to get votes, it can work for the SSP too. But if you are desperate for action I would suggest speaking to Labour voters at the moment, especially if Corbyn is knocked back. Good luck.

  258. Capella says:

    @ heedtracker 24th 4.57
    I don’t see any reference to Newburgh Golf Course being on a SSSI. But even if it was, the reason for the designation would dictate the activities that can be carried out. The nearby Ythan SSSI is specifically for the varieties of birds which nest there.
    http://gateway.snh.gov.uk/sitelink/siteinfo.jsp?pa_code=8592

    Menie, however, was a SSSI because of the shifting sand dunes. Stabilising them to create a golf course destroyed the shifting nature of the dunes.

    A map of the SSSI area and the designation of the area as a mobile foreshore and links, designated in 1984, can be accessed from here:
    http://gateway.snh.gov.uk/sitelink/siteinfo.jsp?pa_code=659

    The link to Machrihanish – well done for finding one – is a SSSI but the blurb notes that there are “significant restrictions on cutting and chemically controlling the vegetation here.” This affects the amenity of the course.
    List of prohibited activities can be accessed here:
    http://gateway.snh.gov.uk/sitelink/siteinfo.jsp?pa_code=1120

    So a SSSI is for a specified reason and that determines what activities can be carried out.

    I don’t see any connection between Environmental Protection legislation, Scottish Natural Heritage and British Nationalist propaganda. If you do, please explain.

  259. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Ealasaid –

    Nice one. Cheers amuch! 🙂

  260. Capella says:

    For information, I checked the Wikipedia entry for Newburgh Golf course and found it was built in 1888 well before Nature Conservation Scotland Act 2004.

    “Newburgh On Ythan Golf Club was founded in 1888 by John Udny of Udny and a band of “founding fathers” and is one of the oldest golf courses in Scotland.”
    (Wikipedia).

    You can see on the map which can be accessed from its SNH page that the SSSI appears to skirt the golf course but there may be some stray golf balls which disturb the odd nesting bird.

    http://gateway.snh.gov.uk/sitelink/siteinfo.jsp?pa_code=1404

  261. Stoker says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell wrote:
    “What’s your point? If they weren’t there they’d just be replaced by someone from the same party who was less competent. If you actually WANT more idiots in our Parliament, fair enough”

    Nonsense, of course i don’t and under a system which i previously clearly stated a preference for you, nor anyone else, have no idea the calibre of representative we would get.

    Basing it on the current political climate and recent election results in Scotland i would imagine that it would be reasonably safe to presume far more ‘Yes’ leaning representatives would be voted in and almost zero Unionists.

    There would be no back door entrants and everyone, whether worthy or not, would have earned their place in parliament due to winning the arguments within their own areas.
    _____

    Morag wrote:
    “Really? We wouldn’t have had Nicola then, or a good few of the SNP big hitters. They all cut their Holyrood teeth as list MSPs after narrowly losing tough constituency fights”

    You have absolutely no idea, Morag, of who we would or wouldn’t have. By the very same token i could say that if we had a different system, who knows, we could be independent by now.

    This is one of those arguments which could repeatedly go round in circles and the only thing it will achieve is a higher post count on this thread.

    Bottom line is, and no amount of explanation will change it, there are quite a few of us who don’t like the current system. I understand the current system a bit better now that it’s been explained on here but you’re never going to convince me to like it.
    _____

    One final point to both Rev & Morag. When quoting from someones post can you please state who it is you are quoting from? It is extremely annoying and time consuming to have to trawl all the way back through threads to see who it is you’re responding to.

    I like to read the quote in the whole context of that persons post and then refer back over your reply to it but when i’ve got to go hunting for the quotes origins it’s a bit off putting.

    Example, earlier today i was trying to find the source of one of Morags quotes and after going up and down the full thread 3X i gave up and lost the will to live.

    Jeez, now look what you’ve gone and made me done, create a post which requires scrolling down to read. Damn you all to hell!

  262. Morag says:

    Ian, it’s up to you who you vote for, and I think the logic for independence supporters of voting SNP is very strong, but there is a different logic.

    You’re very committed to the SSP and you’ve worked hard for the party. If your party is standing, it needs some votes. If it receives bugger-all, it’s not great in the longer term. If such a strong supporter as yourself doesn’t vote for them, who will?

    I’d be sorry to see the SSP do extremely badly, after how well they supported the Yes campaign. While this doesn’t extend to wanting SNP supporters to hand them a “pity vote”, I think committed SSP supporters should think about it.

  263. Morag says:

    This thread, and the one following, are providing ammunition for the Steve Bells, Cochers and Clare Lallys – accusing fellow indy-supporters of being innumerate, deceitful, backstabbing liars cannot be anything but damaging, and talk of small-party supporters ‘splitting’ the SNP vote (?!) smacks of the hubristic entitlement which finally did for SLab.

    If people, whether or not they identify as independence supporters, are actually advancing innumerate arguments that amount to deceiving people into voting against their own party, how are we supposed to discuss the issue?

    And for about the 15th time, nobody is accusing small-party supporters of splitting the SNP vote. Nobody is expecting people who are primary Green or SSP supporters to vote for anything but their own party.

    The argument is against spurious arguments aimed at persuading primary SNP supporters to split their own vote. This isn’t hubristic entitlement of any description. It’s an attempt to explain to the SNP supporters who are being targeted by this deceptive argument that splitting the SNP vote in a way damaging to the party would be the outcome of such behaviour.

  264. Morag says:

    Example, earlier today i was trying to find the source of one of Morags quotes and after going up and down the full thread 3X i gave up and lost the will to live.

    Control-F is your friend.

  265. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Or Command-F on a Mac…

    8=)

  266. Donnie says:

    Disappointed with this. Problem with the predictions you give is that you base the results on the 2011 election results which skew the outcome in the direction you want, unless of course you think the opinion polls are wrong and that the snp will get the same number if fptp seats as 2011. Do you really think support for the snp will slump before next may? Or would you like to give your readers a more accurate prediction based on the likely outcome of the 2016 vote?

  267. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    I’ll just type…

    When I’m responding to somebody’s input, I type the same format as I’ve been typing on various web forums since 1999.
    ————————————————

    Hi Poster’s name.
    You typed,

    “Blah blah Rhubarb, 42.”

    I disagree with your premise. Blah blah carrots work better.
    Meaning of life? Bah!
    ————————————————

    Alles klaar, der Kommissar? Onnyhoo, that wee “@” from Twitter worming its way into decent typing gies me the dreh boke.

    8=)

  268. Jam says:

    Thanks for your thoughts reverend. I’m not sure about the inability to call it in Manu regions argument. With the caveat of consistent constituency landslide below 50% list and greens holding up I’d gamble that they’d take every seat in my region of mid-Scotland and fife. They did it on 50% at wm they’ll do it on consistent 60% polls in holyrood would be my calculated gamble. Greens poll 6-10% snp mid 40s to 54 on the list. Taking the mid-points greens would be far more likely to take a seat on the list with 8% than snp with 49%. If that 8% was to rise by 5 percentage points the likelihood of green claiming more seats from unionist parties rockets. This same logic would apply in most regions. There could be greater risk in highlands with northern isles and south Scotland where snp both might be wise.

    How do we know we are in the scenario. We don’t for certain but we do have this:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Parliament_election,_2016
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9b/Scottish_regional_opinion_polling_2014-2016.png

    We’ll have future information on this and I wonder if we will get any likely marginal constituency and list based information? Hope so but not sure if there is appetite from Ashcroft.parties do their own canvassing and of course there is the reverend stu! ???????? I’m sure he has more pressing matters for his wings funds! I appreciate this is the information gap.

    For greens to tap into this they’d need to reiterate yes credentials. I understand the argument that those venture for not voting green as they’re not yes enough. Fair enough. I’d only do it on the list using the information I’ve explained above if I thought it would get 1 or more fewer nawbags on the list.I’m an snp supporter not green.

  269. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Jam.

    It’s simple, as I have posted here, there and everywhere (good Beatles song).

    “The other thing we should realise is that next year’s Scottish election isn’t only about electing a parliament for Holyrood.

    We the electorate, will also be sending a message that shouldn’t be diluted in any way. That message to Cameron et al, is that we are still on the journey to independence and the more SNP MSP’s we send to Holyrood, the stronger the message, and then reinforced with a massive share of the overall vote for the SNP like, say 60+% they would be $h!††!n’ themselves.

    After all, the PRIMARY aim of the SNP, as defined in their constitution, is INDEPENDENCE.”

  270. Morag says:

    What Brian said.

  271. yesindyref2 says:

    What Morag said.

  272. David Allan says:

    My own view is that my list vote will go to the Candidate of which ever Indy party is best able to get off their arse in the chamber and create a positive public profile for themselves.

    Regrettably there are to many anonymous SNP backbenchers who remain below the radar who are not worthy of the honour of representing their constituents.

    There will be folks like Ross Greer,and many others who did more work promoting the YES Campaign than some of these anonymous ineffective SNP MSP’s. If Scottish voters are to continue to gain confidence in the Parliament’s ability to govern effectively there can be no place for those who play little part in the proceedings.

    A parliamentary chamber with many voices will best earn the respect of voters. Consider the candidates and use your list vote wisely!

  273. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    David Allan…

    I think, by your input here, you have outed yourself.

    Next please…

  274. David Allan says:

    Brian Doonthetoon

    For many years the Labour Party enjoyed an ability to present voters with poor candidates expecting their vote on every occasion.

    I merely wish to suggest that there is no victory in delivering MSP’s of a poor calibre.

    If we are to win over those who voted NO, a strong and Competent SNP/Indy Group where any weaker underwelming MSP’s were replaced would be a step in the right direction.

    The Unionist Parties are not alone in possessing careerist Politicians.

  275. Doug Daniel says:

    David Allan: “There will be folks like Ross Greer,and many others who did more work promoting the YES Campaign than some of these anonymous ineffective SNP MSP’s”

    Those “anonymous ineffective” SNP MPs were most likely out every evening in their constituencies, chapping doors and speaking to potential Yes voters directly, rather than sitting in an office telling local Yes groups to pulp their leaflets because they mentioned this website on them…

  276. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “There will be folks like Ross Greer,and many others who did more work promoting the YES Campaign than some of these anonymous ineffective SNP MSP’s”

    Hahahahahahaha!

  277. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Problem with the predictions you give is that you base the results on the 2011 election results which skew the outcome”

    The article repeatedly points out that it’s not making any predictions.

  278. Donnie says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    26 August, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    “The article repeatedly points out that it’s not making any predictions.”

    Ok you don’t make predictions you just say if the same votes are cast in 2016 as were cast in 2011 this would be the outcome. Trouble is some folk seem to take it ashot some form of prediction so perhaps you could do a follow up article explaining, using the same methodology, what might happen if the figures you use are not based on 2011 figures but on the most recent opinion polls?

    If the snp win, as looks likely, every constituency seat in Scotland then voting snp on the list can only help the unionist parties

  279. yesindyref2 says:

    “If the snp win, as looks likely, every constituency seat in Scotland then voting snp on the list can only help the unionist parties

    A bit missing at the end there:

    “If the snp win, as looks likely, every constituency seat in Scotland then voting snp on the list can only help the unionist parties into oblivion.”

    Ah, that’s better.

  280. Donnie says:

    Lol, but there is a serious point, if the left and greens could join forces for this one election and stand on a unified ticket then yes the unionist parties could be obliterated, Patrick harvie could be leader of the opposition and the unionists reduced to a rump. Voting snp on the list paradoxically will only help the unionists (albeit with the big assumption that the snp win all the constituency seats)

  281. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Voting snp on the list paradoxically will only help the unionists”

    You didn’t actually read the article, then?

  282. Donnie says:

    I did, I said your results were wrong because you took as your basis the 2011 election results, these will only give an accurate reflection if you think the snp support will fall back to 2011 levels between now and may, you might as well use the 2007 or 2003 results to show how the arithmetic would work.

    Like I said earlier if you wrote the same article but used current opinion poll levels in place of the 2011 figures you’ll get a very different outcome, one which would leave the snp with an overall majority and could see a single pro-indy left/ green party as the largest opposition group

  283. LiamG says:

    More fun with numbers.
    We need 65 MSPs who are willing to vote in favour of a referendum in order to get one.
    We need 51% of voters to vote in favour of independence in order to gain it.
    An SNP majority is unnecessary.
    The SNP are not leftist enough to be the leftmost major party in the parliament.
    It is imperative that we have socialists in parliament to counteract the conservative voices.
    I’ll be voting socialists 1 and 2.

  284. Cameron says:

    Now I know why RISE supporters are saying this article: it tells the truth. Thanks Rev.



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