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Wings Over Scotland


The sweet spot

Posted on August 25, 2015 by

Stat-pummelled readers will be glad to know that this is the last article we plan to write about the vagaries of the AMS electoral system, and how it might apply to next year’s Scottish Parliament election, for some time. This one also shouldn’t be full of tables and figures, so strap yourself in and let’s get this job finished.

sweetgolf2

What our analysis yesterday and on Sunday concluded was that it’s extremely hard to “game” AMS by voting tactically – which is unsurprising because it was deliberately designed that way.

But advocates of a so-called “Yes Alliance” aimed at maximising pro-independence MSPs argue that there’s a “sweet spot” in which list votes for Yes parties other than the SNP can tilt the balance in the Holyrood chamber.

The reasoning is that with current polls suggesting that the Nats will win 70 or more constituency seats, the AMS divisor mechanism will reduce their list vote so severely that it’ll be too low to have a chance of winning any list seats.

Therefore, runs the theory, any list votes cast for the SNP will be wasted and should instead be “lent” to the Greens, RISE, Solidarity or other parties of the pro-Yes left in order to defeat Unionist parties.

It seems an attractive case. It has the advantage of “truthiness”, which means that it’s easy to get over in a couple of sentences, it sounds logical, and it takes quite a lot of time and detail to explain the flaws in the reality.

By rank carelessness, we seem to find ourselves in a position where that’s our job.

truthy

The argument’s great appeal is that in an abstract theoretical sense it’s true – there IS a statistical point where tactical votes could deliver more pro-Yes seats. The fatal weaknesses are that (a) the window is incredibly narrow and to either side of it you do more harm than good, and (b) it’s absolutely impossible to predict in advance where the point will be and tailor your vote accordingly.

To understand it, we need to start with first principles, namely the fact that under AMS, if you get 100% of the list vote you get all the list seats, even if you’ve already got all the constituency seats.

Now, obviously nobody’s ever going to actually get 100% of the list vote, but what the above fact tells us is that it IS perfectly possible to get list seats even in the case of a constituency landslide. To find out where that stops being the case, we just need to work out exactly where the cutoff point below 100% is.

Unfortunately, there’s no way of doing that, for several reasons.

1. You don’t know what percentage of the vote the landslide party will get.

Polling is a snapshot, not a prediction. Even in the last month before the 2007 Holyrood election, polls found SNP leads of anywhere from 12% to just 2%. In late August of 2006 – almost exactly the same distance we currently are from the 2016 election – a poll had Labour 8% in front.

Basing any sort of 2016 voting strategy on current polls, then, is idiotic. Even days away from the vote, let alone months, it simply won’t be possible to reliably say what any party’s list vote will be. (You’d think the mass failure to predict the Tory majority in May would be proof enough of that, but seemingly not.)

2. A constituency landslide doesn’t prevent list seats.

Even on current polling, though, SNP list seats look probable. The party got list seats in all but one Scottish region in 2011, even where they won most or all of the constituencies – they got one in North East Scotland on 52% of the vote despite winning EVERY constituency seat, and three list seats in Highlands & Islands on just 47% of the vote despite winning six out of eight constituencies.

Earlier this week the Electoral Reform Society projected, based on current polling figures, eight list seats for the SNP on a 54% vote share, even after sweeping up 71 of the 73 constituency seats.

(If you get one list seat in a constituency landslide you’re also more likely to get more, because the ongoing effect of the divisor is much less dramatic.)

3. You can’t predict local factors.

Even amid this year’s overwhelming SNP victory at Westminster, one MP from each Unionist party resisted the Nat tsunami – Ian Murray in Edinburgh, David Mundell in the Borders and Alistair Carmichael in the Northern Isles.

As we discovered on Sunday, any single constituency seat can affect the list outcome in unpredictable ways. In a hypothetical example using totally random figures, we saw how a Conservative constituency win brought the Tories no overall gains, but gave Labour an extra seat at the expense of the SNP.

4. People don’t actually like voting tactically.

The “SNPout” campaign in May’s UK general election was highly motivated, organised and funded, and was also relentlessly publicised and supported by a sympathetic media. Yet its effect was almost zero, despite the fact that in most Scottish constituencies it was incredibly easy to tell which party was best placed to defeat the SNP.

At the end of the day, people are simply reluctant to vote for any party other than the one they really support. You’ll be very lucky to get as many as 5% to do it, and for tactical list voting to start to work you need figures closer to 40%.

Tactical voting is hugely more effective in FPTP elections than AMS ones like Holyrood, but even with every possible advantage the Pouters failed dismally. A tactical Yes vote at Holyrood would be orders of magnitude more difficult.

5. The tactical vote itself is split.

And of course, none of those advantages will apply next year. The pro-Yes but non-SNP vote will be divided among several parties. The small number of voters prepared to vote tactically in the first place will have to decide whether their list vote goes to the Greens, Solidarity, the unknown factor of newcomer RISE, or someone else.

We already know from Monday’s article what happens when an “anti-X” vote can’t agree which direction to attack from – as well as the hilarious slapstick farce of the Pouters, we also saw how SNP and Green votes cannibalised each other at the 2014 European elections and let UKIP steal a Scottish seat.

sweetshop

We apologise if we’re repeating ourselves. And once again, we’re not telling anyone how to vote – if you want a RISE or Green or Solidarity MSP, vote for them.

But “the sweet spot” is a fantasy. It can only be identified in retrospect – standing in the polling booth you have no way of knowing what your vote will do. You may as well lob a brick into a bouncy castle blindfolded and hope it hits a child molester.

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3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 25 08 15 14:43

    The sweet spot | Speymouth

  2. 25 08 15 17:00

    The sweet spot | Politics Scotland | Scoop.it

  3. 26 08 15 15:06

    The Rebel Alliance | A Wilderness of Peace

165 to “The sweet spot”

  1. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Great stuff

  2. Doug Daniel says:

    Prepare for the “yeah but I’ve analysed the polls and crunched the numbers, so I *know* it’s possible” replies…

  3. donald anderson says:

    The heid is nipping and only confirms my idea not to waste second votes on wishy washy, sometimes, pro Independence groups.

    If Independence is really your main priority you cannot afford the split the vote, regardless of what you think of the SNP. It is the only game in town at the moment. Time enough for all these divisions after Independence.

  4. MajorBloodnok says:

    My abiding memory of SNPout and all that lot was Gill Stephenson shouting (on twitter, but you know what I mean) “The wheel is contaminated! The wheel is contaminated!” Happy days.

  5. Tamson says:

    Good summary.

  6. muttley79 says:

    @Rev Stu

    But “the sweet spot” is a fantasy. It can only be identified in retrospect – standing in the polling booth you have no way of knowing what your vote will do. You may as well lob a brick into a bouncy castle blindfolded and hope it hits a child molester.

    You do have a way with analogies!

  7. Les Wilson says:

    Well put Rev, well put.

  8. Roslyn says:

    I have built a fairly basic spreadsheet which allows you to calculate various list outcomes by % vote for each party. I set it up for the Highlands & Islands list, but it is possible to juggle the numbers/parties to make it work for any list. The calculators I’ve seen so far appear to work on a whole Scotland basis which seemed too generalised. Using this I worked out the same as what you’ve said – there’s a point where the balance tips in each area/list, but no definable way to make sure that did/didn’t happen. It now seems perfectly feasible for the SNP to take 3 list seats in the Highlands & Islands even after winning every constituency. Potentially they could take more, but I suspect enough people will remain wooed by the Yes Alliance idea that they’ll vote Green/SSP etc so that won’t happen.

  9. Morag says:

    But “the sweet spot” is a fantasy. It can only be identified in retrospect – standing in the polling booth you have no way of knowing what your vote will do. You may as well lob a brick into a bouncy castle blindfolded and hope it hits a child molester.

    Nice one. I think of it as trying to play pin the tail on the donkey, when you don’t know which wall the picture of the donkey is on (or even if it’s on the ceiling or the floor), and you don’t know which way up it’s fixed either.

  10. mogabee says:

    Nice to have somewhere to refer back. Excellent Stu.

    I’ve just stopped listening to those arguing where my list vote could go…

    Guess what folks..it’s going to the SNP…Clear?

  11. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The wheel is contaminated!”

    That needed editing in, so I’ve edited it in 🙂

  12. Morag says:

    The “sweet spot” doesn’t really exist at all, for one simple and one more complex reason. The simple reason is that the margin of error you’re playing with means that the upper limit of where the SNP gets list seats because it lost a constituency or two and the lower limit of where the party gets a list seat on top of winning all the constituencies actually overlap.

    The more complex reason is that this isn’t one election, it’s eight. The eight regions are treated as entirely separate, hermetically sealed entities. The SNP’s support varies considerably from one region to another, and the predictions you need are the predictions for the region you live in, not the overall average figures for Scotland as a whole.

    And yet all the opinion polls are just that – averages of Scotland as a whole. I don’t see anyone doing full-sample-size polls of the individual regions, which is what you’d need even to begin to figure out whether your particular region was in its own specific “sweet spot” (which doesn’t even actually exist, as I said).

    And then, as Stu keeps pointing out, even if you had these polls, you couldn’t trust them. According to the three full-sample-size individual polls Ashcroft did of DC&T in the spring, the SNP was going to win. The last of these, conducted mere days before the vote, had Emma Harper winning by an 11% margin. She lost by 798 votes. Did some people see that Ashcroft poll (which also caused Mundell to book a holiday in Florida he then had to cancel) and decide it was OK to vote Green because Emma was a shoo-in?

  13. heedtracker says:

    Nice summary. On the upside, those last remnants of red and blue Tory unionists, Fluffie, Murray, Coburn, all are horrible reminders of what unionism really means in Scotland.

  14. Richard Taylor says:

    If the SNP vote is as high in some regions as it was in the NE last time, then certainly (as you point out) you’d expect the SNP to pick up list seats. As usual, the advice must be ‘vote for who you want’.

  15. Craig P says:

    Sweet spot – well put.

    I’ve considered a tactical vote. But after reading James Kelly’s posts, came to the conclusion that a tactical Green vote is only advisable *if*:

    1. the SNP are polling 60%+ on constituency for the three months in the lead up to May.
    2. The Greens are outpolling, at the minumum, one out of Tory or Labour on list for the three months in the lead up to May. (If they aren’t already outpolling a main unionist party, the effect of me switching my vote will just be to decrease the ability of an indy party taking a list seat.)

    At the moment the Greens seem to be unable to reach the second criteria, and it remains to be seen if the SNP can maintain their massive constituency lead.

  16. Gaavster says:

    Great stuff Stu, you’ve hopefully managed to put this ‘tactical voting’ nonsense to bed once and for all..

    How will it be spun if the SNP don’t command a majority, or end up with fewer MSPs next year?

    Massive blow for Independence they’ll shout from the rooftops and we’ll only have ourselves to blame for weakening the only realistic vehicle we’ve got to deliver it…

  17. Dr Jim says:

    The “AYE BUT’S” will be on any minute

    Before you can say “Stop it” they’ll start with the alternative universe argument “If, But,in the case of,”

    Aargh

  18. Morag says:

    There is a slight concern that this “sweet spot” idea could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The problem is that it appears there is such a sweet spot if the constituency vote for the SNP is riding eye-poppingly high (say 55%), but the list vote on the same poll is way below that, say only 40%. (We have to bear in mind that at an overall list vote of 44% in 2011, the SNP gained that extra seat in the NE because the list vote in the North East stood at 52%. So anything over about 40% on a national basis could well include a region where it was high enough to repeat that trick.)

    The thing is, that is an extremely unrealistic scenario. The SNP’s list vote has historically only been a percentage point or two below its constituency vote. That’s precisely how it managed to come through and sneak the 2007 election. In 2011, the constituency vote was about 45% and the list vote about 44%. A gap of 10% or 15% is unnatural.

    Certainly, there will be more Green and SSP/RISE supporters giving the SNP a tactical vote in the constituencies this time. But there really aren’t that many of them. For as many as 10% or more of SNP constituency voters to be thinking of switching on the list, you really have to have some penetration of this idea in the first place.

    People who are primarily SNP supporters need to know two things. That the SNP is in with a strong chance of at least one list seat in every region, no matter what the opinion polls say, therefore an SNP list vote is by no stretch of the imagination wasted. And that the SNP is our independence movement – if your main priority is independence, vote for the independence party, and leave dalliance with other options until after independence day. Getting that the wrong way round could mean that independence day never comes.

  19. K1 says:

    I put this at the end of the previous thread, I think it is still relevant to this one, so I hope no one minds me repeating myself: 😉

    We need a very strong hand for Indyref2. We have 56MP’s in Westminster, and we need as many MSP’s as we can muster to maintain and keep the pressure up for Independence.

    Like many, I intend to vote SNP (Con&List) for this reason, and want no ‘risk’ of our current strong position to be undermined by the possibility of ‘vote splitting’ within the Yes movement.

    Many have said: SNP is the ‘vehicle’, well we the people are the engine that powers that vehicle. We drive it forward, we are the grassroots. Let us not get sidetracked by ‘who said what when’. Opinions are just that: points of view.

    Everyone who knows that Independence is the only way forward for us, to secure and maintain the last vestiges of our Country as its own cultural and political entity, is what is under threat here. We cannot trust this Westminster system to ensure any kind of civil or rational discourse when it comes to “what is best for Scotland’.

    The SNP are the only party who have as their core doctrine, Scotland’s Independence. The only party who produced a fully outlined white paper for this country in the event of our Independence. People make up the body of the SNP, it is those people, in the past and now nearly half the population in this country who now see this as the only way forward.

    It is ludicrous, in my opinion, to fall for the narrative of those opposed to Independence, that our country could ever become a ‘one party state’. Firstly, right now, because we are not a ‘state’. Secondly, once Independence is achieved the ‘yes movement’, the grassroots, will splinter into it’s respective affiliations. Then the work really begins in reshaping the constitutional outlook of our country in real terms.

    We quite literally have to become ‘one’ as a movement at this time. This is a practical and pragmatic necessity, it is the only way we show Westminster that we mean to have our Independence. People can and do site the referendum in September as some clear indication that Scotland decided to stay in this Union, permanently. But those that do this without referring to the ‘means’ by which this vote was secured, merely reveal their own myopic viewpoint.

    How do we let the SNP know that ‘it is only when the people of Scotland decide that they wish to have another referendum, that we will have one’?

    We vote for them, in the General elections. We vote for them in the Constituency and the List. We vote for them in the council elections. We place them in the those positions that this so called ‘democratic’ system recognise as the legitimate route to voice the concerns of the citizens they represent.

    Then we watch this great ‘democratic’ system, twist itself into knots attempting to undermine, delegitimise, make a mockery of, by any and all means: From stamping “british’ on foodstuffs and tv programmes, to rejecting every single amendment brought forward by the SNP in Westminster. We look at our newspapers and news programmes constantly contorting anything to do with the SNP as a ‘negative’.

    We keep voting and we keep seeing the effects: the rotten corruption and dishonesty of it all, the deranged opinion pieces telling us we ‘have lost our heids’. The lack of any representative voices of those we placed in Westminster on all the main political programmes in this UK.

    We keep watching this sideshow, and we keep talking to people about it all, because now it’s ‘obvious’. Now because of what we did it is becoming clearer. That’s what our opposition do not understand:

    In less than 3 years, from 20 odd % to 45%, 56 MP’s, and the possibility of a majority at Holyrood. We are winning. Now let’s give the SNP our manifesto to finish the job, and take our country back.

  20. Morag says:

    Prepare for the “yeah but I’ve analysed the polls and crunched the numbers, so I *know* it’s possible” replies…

    And at 2.21 pm, we have our first entrant in that category!

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-sweet-spot/comment-page-1/#comment-2051278

  21. Gillian_Ruglonian says:

    Cheers man, now the next time someone brings this up we’ve got all these articles to refer them to whilst quietly suggesting that they ‘gies peace’ 😉

    (I hope RISE can use the Holyrood election as a platform to build support for the council elections, where progressive voices can really make an impact. Logic dictates SNP/SNP for Holyrood though).

  22. Finnz says:

    I would suggest that if you are an SNP supporter than that is where both your votes should go.
    Not only would this maximise the Constituency returns of SNP MSPs but would also demonstrate clearly the preference for SNP representation in the list constituencies.

    The public will be well aware that the perceived validity of any Labour, Tory or LD MSP will be greatly diminished if their vote share on the List is insignificant..

  23. Peri says:

    What you may be de-emphasising in your desire to unravel the truthiness of things is that many of us genuinely wish there to be more colours than yellow in the parliament. For democracy to be healthy we need an effective opposition. I want an opposition that also believes in independence, so it isn’t unhealthy or unhelpful to vote SNP/Green.

  24. One_Scot says:

    Honestly, if I read any comment from anyone who wants Scotland to be Independent even joking about not voting SNP/SNP, I will physically cry.

  25. Chris Darroch says:

    @MajorBloodnok

    That was a beautiful thing you said.

  26. Ethan Blair says:

    hold on a second though, because reading through these explanations I can’t help but feel that all Ukips claims it would have close to a hundred seats at last ge under a PR vote like holyrood’s as silly at best.

  27. JBS says:

    Nah, I’ll be voting SNP constituency and list.

    Funny thing is, I don’t really even care that much about the SNP. I just want independence for Scotland.

  28. Cookie says:

    All this talk of SNP taking all the constituency seats and so how best to try to game the list votes risks one major damage to the Indy cause.
    And that is that voters start thinking that SNP supporters are taking their votes for-granted. An impression in voters minds that SNP are arrogant and complacent (which is what finally done for Labour after decades this May) could well cause a backlash against SNP with their voters switching to Lab/Lib/Tory.
    So keep it simple:
    If your SNP make the case for an SNP vote based on SNP policies.
    If your Green make the case for a Green vote based on Green policies.
    If your RISE make the case for an RISE vote based on RISE policies.
    If your Solidarity make the case for a Solidarity vote based on Solidarity policies.
    Then let the people decide and we will have a parliament that broadly reflects the wishes of all the people of Scotland.

  29. Proud Cybernat says:

    The main objective is to ensure we get the SNP a majority in Holyrood of 65+ seats on the constituency vote. That should be our priority. Anything else from the List vote is a bonus. Focussing on the List as a means to try and minimise the Unionista representation in Holyrood is nothing more than taking our eye off the ball.

    Nothing has been won yet. We talk about the List as if taking the Constituency result for granted. That’l be our biggest mistake. As stated–we haven’t won a bean yet. Let’s keep focus and concentrate on getting the vote out for the constituency vote and get a majority SNP in Holyrood.

    treat anything else as a bonus but we must concentrate on the constituency vote.

  30. Morag says:

    Funny thing is, I don’t really even care that much about the SNP. I just want independence for Scotland.

    I was a bit like that in 1992 when I joined. 23 years later, many friends, many shared experiences, a lot of crying and laughing (and dancing) together, it’s more complicated.

  31. Capella says:

    I hope that golf course isn’t sitting on a SSSI.

    I’m voting SNP/SNP because it is not possible that any genuine Socialist party would win in rural Aberdeenshire. It’s Independence I want now – even if Jeremy Corbyn does survive his baptism of fire in the MSM. He’s a Unionist so there’s no hope of real progress for Scotland outside the SNP.

  32. Cookie says:

    The talk of voting tactically on the list votes misses another point. If any vote could be tactical it is the constituency vote.

    On the list there are many parties to choose from. And any that can get to about 6% on the list will get representation. So on the list you vote for the party that you like best out of all options. So if you are Green (say) you would vote Green on list. And if you are solid SNP you would vote SNP.

    It is in the constituency vote where you might vote tactically. There you generally have to pick your favourite out of just SNP/Lab/Lib/Tory. So a Green voter might choose then to vote SNP as the best (or least worst) out of those 4. It doesn’t make them a diehard SNP voter. Or in some constituencies it’s a clear 2 horse race (usually SNP v Labour) so a few people might just pick their constituency preference as the best out of those 2possible winners.

  33. Kevin Evans says:

    Just wait till that bald Charles hawtree look alike gets tons of TV coverage with his expert polling stations stats to try and get folk to vote a certain way

  34. david agnew says:

    The problem with the pouters is that they took a leaf out Scottish labour’s book. They took a number and saw more significance in it that was actually there. In the pouters case, they took 55% from the referendum vote, concluded that this was higher than the SNP vote and therefore tactical voting for one party could frustrate the SNP. What they did not understand was that 55% was split between three parties with very different political ideals. They also read too much into the total vote strength for each party, and did not appreciate how it would break down among the 56 regions. The truth was and still is, that there was never going to be enough of the tories and lib-dems willing to prop up labour in the numbers it needed and vice versa. Also when you factor in that a majority of folk who vote labour/tory/lib dem were never going to vote lib-dem/tory/labour just to screw over the SNP, shows you how deluded the scheme was. But as we saw, you could not explain that to them – so like Canute trying to command the tides, they simply ended up looking like idiots.

    The list system looks like it can be gamed, but it really can’t. If you want a credible opposition to the SNP that is pro indy, then vote for that party with both your votes. If the greens, and all the rest want votes – they have to work for them. Sympathy votes to obtain some vision of a diverse system in support of indy is frankly more likely to give the game away.

  35. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “And at 2.21 pm, we have our first entrant in that category!”

    In fairness, that’s a harsh assessment of the comment.

  36. Gary says:

    People should vote for who they want to vote for and however the seats go, they go.

    I don’t think anyone should for a minute be apologising for voting for the Greens, RISE or whoever else if that’s who they want to vote for; the idea that thou must vote SNP is no better than the SNPout campaign or the “red rosette on a monkey” mentality people decried when Labour where the dominant force and those who insist on espousing it are neither going to win many friends for the SNP or for the cause of independence.

  37. Fred says:

    Kat Boyd please take note hen!

  38. McDuff says:

    K1,
    I agree with your post but I also think that the SNP should not shy away from saying that “if you vote for us you are voting for independence“. I am not in favour of inviting people to choose the SNP merely to represent them in Holyrood or Westminster.
    Independence is the goal and voters should be in no doubt that if they vote for the SNP they are voting for Indyref 2.

  39. Fireproofjim says:

    Gary
    It depends what your priority is.
    If you want independence then only the SNP can win it.
    As so many have said, the time for picking your particular flavour of party can wait until it is relevant, which is after Independence.
    It may be that the SNP will break up and wither away, having completed its raison d’être, leaving a whole spectrum of political parties to inherit what it has achieved.
    However only the SNP can deliver Independence.
    Vote SNP/SNP.

  40. ally ence says:

    So you aren’t telling us how to vote but on Sunday it was a big SNP or nobody tirade. Now you are doing the same.

    Here is a thought 50 extra seats because YES voted for SNP i.e. lent them the votes in May. Now this propaganda piece continues in the same vain.

    Well how about this, I LENT my vote to the SNP in May on the expectation of a return in 2016 in the list but since lending has a different meaning in deepest Englandshire I will NOT be voting SNP in the white ballot now.

    If we all do that, after promising to all get behind SNP on the first vote in return for YES support on second then SNP, that party who used to support independence, will lose MSP’s from 2011, when in fact they could have had their majority on the first ballot so easily.

    Well played Rev, well played the new project fear already in full swing. Independence is NOT about any one party. Sick of you trying to make it so, no wonder we aren’t free

  41. Morag says:

    In fairness, that’s a harsh assessment of the comment.

    I guess so, but he did still seem to be trying to find that sweet spot despite all the explanations and demonstrations that you simply can’t.

  42. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I don’t think anyone should for a minute be apologising for voting for the Greens, RISE or whoever else if that’s who they want to vote for”

    Absolutely nobody has said that. Don’t look for a fight where there isn’t one.

  43. Juteman says:

    A split vote could work, but only if it rains on the Wednesday before voting, and an Elmer Fudd cartoon is played on TV at 2pm on the Tuesday.
    In this scenario, watch a dog taking a dump. If it kicks grass over its jobbby, it’s ok to split your vote.

    I’ll be voting SNP twice, as i don’t want to be spotted stalking shiteing dogs.

  44. Terry says:

    I was always going to be SNP/SNP but thanks for these excellent articles. Wings as usual provides the info and rationale in order to help me try and convince others to do the same.

    I’ve one concern – that the SNP will fall between two stools – the unionists pressure to avoid another indyref 2 in next parliament and some impatient yessers who are champing at the bit and murmuring that the SNP just want power as priority and not necessarily independence. I just hope that the SNP manifesto can commit to another indyref. In which case canvassing for 2016 needs to support that standpoint as well as the SNP being a competent administration to run Holyrood. Personally I don’t quite get SNP voters who vote to stay in the union. But they are a significant number.

  45. Luigi says:

    Incredibly well explained, Rev. Surely it is now clear to everyone that, as far as Holyrood 2016 goes, the risk of tactical voting of letting in unionists far outweighs the tiny possibility of small independence party gain. The challenge, as ever, is to get this info out there, at work, in the streets, at the doors. There will certainly be people trying it on, and the BBC will get involved if they think it can hurt the SNP. So, it’s over to you, SNP activists and door-knockers extrodinaire, you know what to do!

  46. gillie says:

    Apologies – this is way off topic.

    We are coming up to the first anniversary of the referendum vote. So what happened to the police investigation into allegations of breaches of electoral law in counting the postal vote?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29359318

  47. green_pedant says:

    We need to stop talking about Green/RISE votes being more efficient than SNP votes AND about Green/RISE votes taking away the SNP’s divine right to rule the entire Yes campaign.

    This may seem radical… but we actually need to look at each parties’ policies and then chose which one is closest to our own views (Greens evr tm obvs :P) and stop shouting at each other about vote splitting/tactical voting.

    The key thing is that the D’Hondt system is roughly proportional. All that changing votes from the SNP to Green will do is change seats from one party to the other. The D’Hondt system means tactical voting and vote splitting do not apply. So SNPers should shut up about splitting the Indy vote and Greens should shut it on tactical voting. Simples.

  48. Midgehunter says:

    Just ask yourself which party in Scotland has the member numbers, the campaign experience, the financial strength, the charismatic leadership and the determination to get independence?

    The Establishment, MSM, the Tories only fear one party whether in Westminster or Holyrood (and hopefully soon in the councils).

    So, SNP + SNP. Nothing else will do until independence – after that you can do what you want. 😉

  49. Donald MacLeod says:

    Makes no difference to me, I’ll be voting Green on the list as I want Green MSPs. I’d vote for them in constituency too if one was standing.

  50. Capella says:

    OT but since there’s a picture of golf at the top!

    If anyone is curious about the Menie estate golf development I can recommend the excellent documentary “You’ve Been Trumped” on youtube. A good exposition of how money doesn’t talk it swears.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV0pscxj5OA

    Alex Salmond doesn’t come out of it smelling of roses either. Let’s hope he learns from his mistakes. The fragrant Mr Trump is now running for Republican next President of the USA.

    You could also see “We Don’t Play Golf Here” which documents developing world opposition to rich Americans ruining their environment with golf courses for the rich man’s game, but it isn’t on youtube and cost $30.
    http://www.roundworldproductions.com/Site/We_Dont_Play_Golf_Here.html

  51. DerekM says:

    yea Rev if they all want to lend me their fucking crystal ball so i can see the future then i might think about it.

    And while i am at it i will be a shoe in to win the lottery will i not 🙂

    What there is no such thing as a crystal ball well who would have thought it.

    now stop talking mince the lot of you there is only one choice and you must ask yourself this do you want independence or do you want party political gain off the back of the independence movement

    one will get your ass stomped into the ground by the majority of the independence movement.

    Dont get in the bosses way or you will feel our wrath and that is not a threat its a promise.

  52. Craig P says:

    Juteman says:
    “A split vote could work, but only if it rains on the Wednesday before voting, and an Elmer Fudd cartoon is played on TV at 2pm on the Tuesday.”

    It seems that Juteman has explained my line of thinking better than I can.

    Now that James Kelly and the Rev have demonstrated the likelihood of list tactical voting not working, in fact, even harming indy representation in Holyrood, what’s the betting the MSM pick up and run with it big time??

  53. David McCann says:

    Remember this.

    It took the SNP 91 years to reach a position where it was able to deliver -against all the odds, a referendum on independence for Scotland.

    How long do you think it will take RISE, Greens, Solidarity to get there?

    Vote for your SNP candidate.
    Vote SNP to get independence.

    Its their raison d’être.

  54. Macandroid says:

    If your 1st priority is Independence vote SNP/SNP.

    ’nuff said.

  55. Robert Louis says:

    As others above have pointed out, to ensure a mandate for referendum 2, you must vote SNP twice. It really is that simple. Anything else is just a gamble. Beware of all these people posting strategic second vote ideas – they likely will not work, and will allow more unionists in.

    The other point is simply this, whilst I share some of the green ideas etc.. the fact is, I want a REALLY STRONG Scottish Government regardless to help defend Scotland from the utter barsteward Tories and their red tory chums in London, and the SNP fill that role very well indeed. They are exceptionally competent in Government (despite their faults, which they do have).

    Nothing, and I really do mean NOTHING, puts the bejeezus up Westmidden than a massive SNP victory. We want MORE SNP votes, not less. Only that can make London squirm just a wee bit more, and hammer home the message that Scotland really sees itself differently now.

    SNP vote 1 and 2.

    Then we have indy referendum 2, and we make damn sure we win this time. 🙂

  56. ahundredthidiot says:

    Anyone who really believes that independence is an achievable aim would not consider for one nano second any other party other than the SNP for each and every democratic vote they have access to.

    Divide and Conquer is our enemies goal to stop us

    United We Conquer – behind the SNP until we get there

  57. Jim says:

    As mentioned, the SNP are the best and only hope we have of gaining our Independence which is the ultimate goal that we all aspire to regardless of whether you agree with all of their policies and beliefs or not.

    Now is not the time for recalcitrant factions within the independence movement, which serves no immediate purpose other than playing into Unionist hands like a turkey voting for Christmas; do that and we are all stuffed.

  58. Snpsoosie says:

    I was all set to vote SNP/SNP as usual, then after the magnificent 56 got in I thought I should share some of the love and was going to go SNP/green. Then Caroline Lucas voted against SNP on FFA and they lost that chance, so I started agonising over whom to bestow my magical list vote on until I realised the only safe option is SNP/SNP. What a waste of angst eh ?

  59. heedtracker says:

    You could also see “We Don’t Play Golf Here” which documents developing world opposition to rich Americans ruining their environment with golf courses for the rich man’s game, but it isn’t on youtube and cost $30.

    Amateurs compared to this dude and his extremely rich no By-pass for Aberdeen financiers

    http://news.stv.tv/north/194836-bypass-protestor-wiliam-walton-is-orchestrating-campaign-from-newcastle/

    The very rich no by-pass for Aberdeen campers delayed the AWPR so long, their opposition has added several hundred million to construction costs.

    BBC didn’t make any vote NO propaganda tv documentaries about it all but you’re right Cappella, money talks in their Scotland region.

  60. Mealer says:

    Glad that’s all put to bed.

  61. green_pedant says:

    ” “I don’t think anyone should for a minute be apologising for voting for the Greens, RISE or whoever else if that’s who they want to vote for”

    Absolutely nobody has said that. Don’t look for a fight where there isn’t one.”

    But what’s the fun in that??

  62. Tam Jardine says:

    I suppose if the SNP wanted they could split into the SNP and NSP and contest the constituency votes and list votes as 2 distinct entities. But it doesn’t seem very democratic.

    The system is designed to give a broadly reflective allocation of seats. It works pretty well.

    It’s all a bit academic anyway. We know not what will be in the manifesto(s) or who is standing.

    What if the SNP don’t commit to indyref 2 but the Scottish Greens do (as unlikely as that may be)?

    My point is – telling people who to tactically vote for is a bit premature. And all the talk of 65 constituency seats or whatever… those seats need to be won through some hard graft. AND we need to hammer out the strategy for the next indyref campaign.

    The last few posts are very useful in explaining the system but something tells me this will be revisited again and again before the vote.

  63. Gary says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    25 August, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    “I don’t think anyone should for a minute be apologising for voting for the Greens, RISE or whoever else if that’s who they want to vote for”

    Absolutely nobody has said that. Don’t look for a fight where there isn’t one.

    Who’s looking for a fight?

    The below, taken from the comments on this post, isn’t exactly an uncommon sentiment amongst SNP supporters online:

    “Honestly, if I read any comment from anyone who wants Scotland to be Independent even joking about not voting SNP/SNP, I will physically cry.”

    That’s just nonsense and suggests that people voting for other parties can’t be real independence supporters if they don’t vote for the SNP. There’s a million and one reasons why pro-independence folk may not want to vote for the SNP in one or both ballots and they’re entitled to do so. The “we’re the only option” patter that comes from *some* SNP folk isn’t conducive to the independence cause in anyway…as has largely been proven with the three WoS posts on the logistics of the voting system, before considering the effect it’s going to have on floating voters (a clue: it’s unlikely to be positive).

    As someone further up said, if you’re an SNP supporter then you should champion their policies, likewise if you’re a SGP, RISE, Labour, Monster Raving Loony Party etc. supporter with their policies. People decried the idea of tactical voting when Unionists proposed it to stop the SNP, so lets not start doing the same when it suits.

  64. Mealer says:

    There are various pro independence groupings who simply wouldn’t be at home in the SNP and would cause damage if they were in the SNP.They come and go.They fall in and out.They merge and splinter.They have their opinions and agendas and whilst I will be disappointed if they stand candidates against the SNP I’ll have to accept their right to do so.I think these groupings have a big role to play in the independence movement but I don’t think them standing against the SNP is helpful to this movement.

  65. Daisy Waker says:

    Re Terry’s concern about SNP falling between 2 stools, i.e. the Yessers wanting a IndyRef2 as soon as do-able and those who voted SNP at the GE but want to stay in the Union/and who are/or maybe Devo Maxers.

    So far I’ve thought NS comments about this – that the SNP are always the party for Indy and that it is up to the people of Scotland to identify when, is right.

    This recent pressure for the SNP to declare exactly what and when in their manifesto seems to me like cynical pressure from Onion Parties.

    It is the reason the SNP exists. Can you imagine the criticism they would earn if they try and adapt or water this down, less than a year after asking people to ‘lend them their vote’. Isn’t this the trap Labour fell into, trying to appease the newcomers.

    If they fall for this, I suggest that in less than 10 years they will be engaging in their very own membership purge…’are you now or have you ever been a supporter of Scottish Independence?’

    Likewise, about a year ago at a Yes town hall meeting, I listened to Jim Sillars, and Michelle Thomson re Scotland’s wealth and England’s lack thereof and for the first time ever felt… British and an internationalist, cause I found myself thinking, ‘once we get Indy, we’re going to have to help them’. And by them my thoughts were with the Liverpuddlians, and the Geordies and the other areas robbed blind by WM.

    Have to say this feeling, has worn off significantly post Scotland Act, etc, but hey, it was a new experience.

    And the thing is I’ve been SNP since before I could vote. Obviously I’m Scottish first, that’s a given.

    Thanks for the clear explanation of the voting system. I’m still YES and SNP x 2 for the foreseeable.

    Peace to all.

  66. kininvie says:

    What has poor Mr Cairns done to deserve your wrath?

    (If you haven’t bothered to mouse over the top picture, that’s where to find the Rev’s thunderbolts)

  67. green_pedant says:

    “Craig P says:

    Now that James Kelly and the Rev have demonstrated the likelihood of list tactical voting not working, in fact, even harming indy representation in Holyrood, what’s the betting the MSM pick up and run with it big time??”

    James Kelly is totally deluded. He is the most tribal SNP supporter I have met. He is totally opposed to the Greens/RISE even existing. What he says about voting for the Greens being dangerous is just bollocks. He says that tactical voting doesn’t work, but then screams at any Green voter that they have to vote tactically for the SNP. He is just a hypocrite.

    Wings has taken the sensible position, that the D’Hondt system doesn’t work tactically but that doesn’t mean that voting for the Greens is wrong, it just means it isn’t a magic, vote rigging silver bullet. Wings first article showed that increased Green vote never reduced the total number of Pro-Yes MSPs.

    James Kelly thinks that all Greens/RISE members are evil vote splitters and shouldn’t exist. Which isn’t impartial it is just tribal. What happened to Yes movement solidarity?

  68. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    I’m slightly paraphrasing my own input on a previous page here but this is the version I’ve been posting on Facebook pro-indy pages.

    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.

  69. One_Scot says:

    Gary, you are either very very stupid or a unionist troll. Which one is it.

  70. gordoz says:

    O/T Alex Salmond v BBC Twatspat

    Note to Iain MacWhirter –

    “Yeah its probably that you are too close to the BBC to see any bias Iain”

    Sounds like Iain isn’t one of the 4,000 Scotland 2105 viewers then.

  71. Dan Huil says:

    I am going to vote tactically: SNP and SNP.

  72. Mark J says:

    Rev, the D’Hondt method gives the party with the most votes the first seat before being decided, is this not the case in the Scottish election?

  73. Mark J says:

    Divided.

  74. Mark J says:

    Divided not decided

  75. Wee Alex says:

    Just looking at Dugdales frontbench team, same as Murphys bar one.

    No baggage their then! fresh start, blah, blah, blah.

  76. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Mark J.

    “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.”

    That’s from:-

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/ams-for-lazy-people/

  77. Juteman says:

    @green_pedant.
    As someone that has followed James Kelly for a few years, you are talking bolx.
    I think you will find that James has been posting much the same advice as Stu.
    He has no time for Greens, if they are actually Greens and not unioinist trolls, trying to get SNP voters to split their vote on spurious grounds.
    Away back under your bridge.

  78. Tinto Chiel says:

    Juteman said, “A split vote could work, but only if it rains on the Wednesday before voting, and an Elmer Fudd cartoon is played on TV at 2pm on the Tuesday.
    In this scenario, watch a dog taking a dump. If it kicks grass over its jobbby, it’s ok to split your vote.

    I’ll be voting SNP twice, as i don’t want to be spotted stalking shiteing dogs.”

    Are you Prof. Poultice’s psephological adviser? If not, you should be.

    Tee hee????.

    And thanks again,Rev, for providing the arithmetical analysis even I an understand. In 1964 it was LBJ All The Way to keep out the Republicans. Next year, if you want independence, it has to be SNP all the way.

    Once that’s achieved, we can spit out the pips.

  79. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    That’ll mean a solo Gladys Knight…

  80. heedtracker says:

    What a day, the great Jim Naughty says BBC not unionist biased nuthouse and rancid the Graun’s not a bunch of English nats that hate seps and natz in their Scotland region.

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/ng-interactive/2015/aug/25/ashes-2015-visual-tour-fifth-test-oval

    This is lovely. Makes you a proud but my team England mystery of the day is, why are there no union jacks at their cricket thing, and what on earth is cricket all about:D

  81. galamcennalath says:

    I suspect we may all have this discussion again next year!

    Another way to look at it. If your loyalty lies with the SNP, or your priority is independence then which do you prefer?

    You can have a few extra SNP members from the lists. Or, you can have possibly ( only possibly ) a few more members from the other Indy-ish parties.

    I’ll stick with as many SNP as possible.

    Something else to consider. There are likely to be at least three list vote small Indy parties (Green, RISE and Solidarity). If each get’s its ‘share’, none may pick up seats!

  82. Socrates MacSporran says:

    Gordoz @ 6.21pm.

    Get with the programme(s) pal – Scotland 2015 audience: 5217.

    GMS audience: 7215.

    Keep quoting these numbers.

  83. Dan Huil says:

    @Tinto Chiel 6.38pm

    Great avatar. Happy birthday Thomas Muir – a great Scot never to be forgotten.

  84. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi heedtracker @ 6.50pm.

    Maybe they fell out, trying to work out which way up the flag should be held, and abandoned the project?

    8=)

  85. Tinto Chiel says:

    Don’t know why my smiley face came out as four question marks.

    Is it just me or is it getting a bit trolly around here?

    Folderol!

  86. call me dave says:

    Let’s kiss and make up? Aye right!
    —————————————————————-
    It’s time for both Mr Salmond and Robinson to lay this one aside. As for the BBC, it does need to mend fences with the party that has just won the greatest landslide in Scottish electoral history. You can’t have half the country believing the BBC is biased.
    —————————————————————
    https://archive.is/mYItv

    PS:
    Ruthie hedging her bets here and leaving room for carping on the sidelines.

    https://archive.is/vzcHd

    PPS:
    Footie followers: in a wee while.

    http://neolive.net/28457/1/Watch-Malmo-FF-vs-Celtic-/

  87. Dr Jim says:

    See if I hear “The Scottish Government aren’t perfect” one more time, honest to God, in fact now that I mention God, he’s not proven to be up to much or we wouldn’t be in this shit

    Vote this, Vote that, moan moan, my party’s not getting enough consideration, moan,

    It’s simple, we’re in a fight, we want to win, so, who’s the best fighter, who’s got the best chance to win, insert party name here (——–) why would you put in the Peewee Herman party when you’ve got the Hercules party

    Or are we having the bring a knife to a gunfight moment

    It’s already started with the Scottish media and the Sturgeon must act shit,What’s the Scottish Government going to do about it, The Scottish Government are missing their targets, The NHS is in crisis, Sturgeon is failing our kids

    The Police are shit, Mental Health, Affordable Houses, First time buyers, What about Oil ha ha, Oooh..Bastirts

    Yet still there are folk want to moan about “my party did as much or more than yours”

    I tell you this In my wildest imaginings I could not do the First Ministers Job for any money and still be as flaming nice and tolerant as she is, or any of them

    While we’re all sitting having our tea or in the pub they’re not
    They’re working, and if you’re in the SNP it’s not a forty hour week, it’s all of the hours all of the time

    I’m ranting so I’ll stop before I crush a grape

  88. Jam says:

    Oops posted this on the old thread here for discussion now: Thanks for your thoughts reverend. I’m not sure about the inability to call it in many 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.

  89. green_pedant says:

    Juteman,
    But the reason for Scot Goes Pop’s hatred of the greens is based on false logic. He says that Greens reduce the chances of a pro-Indy majority, which is plainly not true. Any vote the Greens get will elect Green MSPs, not Labour or Tory ones.

    Anyway the last poll had the SNP on only three list seats, so even if the Greens took all three then the SNP would still have an absolute majority.

    Also there is a chance that the Greens can get more MSPs than the Tories, further reducing their credibility in Scotland, who wouldn’t want that?

  90. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Och Jam!

    I’ve just replied to you on the “old” (two days is old?) page. Could you not wait a few minutes to see if you got any responses before repeating on a new page?

    So, I’ll just offer you this:-

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/ams-for-lazy-people/comment-page-1/#comment-2051374

  91. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi call me dave.

    An interesting quote from your Ruthie link…

    “Two weeks ago, the SNP made the entirely populist decision to ban GM crop development in Scotland.”

    So, there it is. If the people of a country feel that some sort of action is required by their government on some matter, that government should refuse, because it’s what the people want???

    Jeez, I despair at the logic of some of our politicians, specially as they want to be elected, whilst uttering mince.

  92. heedtracker says:

    Brian Doonthetoon says:
    25 August, 2015 at 6:59 pm
    Hi heedtracker @ 6.50pm.

    Maybe they fell out, trying to work out which way up the flag should be held, and abandoned the project?

    Well its very weird mixed ukok message time from our imperial masters. England flag good, Scotland flag v v bad and vile nationalist.

    So from endless vote NO or else stuff this from rancid the Graun

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cartoon/2015/jan/22/steve-bell-cartoon-david-cameron-leaders-debate-scotland-nicola-sturgeon

    to the cricket dude fondling the England flags held up by the girls in the “to the crease” photo.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cartoon/2015/jan/22/steve-bell-cartoon-david-cameron-leaders-debate-scotland-nicola-sturgeon

    To be fair, as ever!, rancid olde Guardian’s best attempts at shutting down Scottish democracy are pretending Scotland doesn’t actually exist and if it does, its a shithole run by vile seps. Actually that’s not fair, rancid Graun pretends Scottish people don’t exist. Actually that’s not fair either, rancid the Graun pretends all Scots that vote YES are vile, the rest are lovely, like Jim Naughty, who says that BBC nutters like Nic Robinson are not lying ukok creeps at all, and on it goes in the land of UKOK media.

  93. Lenny Hartley says:

    O/T Labour London Leadership Election.

    Harman has stated on more than one occasion that if somebody who has infiltrated and already voted, then their vote won’t be counted.

    I understood it was a secret ballot, how can they identify how an individual votes?

  94. Onwards says:

    I think Point 5 is the clincher.
    If the smaller parties end up with 5% each, they could end up with no seats at all.

    It’s a huge risk to take if you want another referendum in a few years.

    Besides, The last thing I want to see is a single Green MSP with the balance of power when it comes to making up a majority.
    Blackmail time.
    No new roads getting dualled for starters.

    A YES alliance is fine in a referendum situation, but remember it was the SNP who got us that vote in the first place.

    SNP/SNP worked last time, so if more powers for Scotland is a priority, why risk splitting the vote?

  95. Gerry says:

    Good to see this issue dealt with so clearly. The whole point of the system is that under normal circumstances you would indeed have to be psychic in order to vote tactically. However, there is a tactical vote that is possible here, and that is for smaller pro indy party supporters to get behind the SNP. If I were a scottish green supporter I would be voting SNP until further notice in order that my party should have a more meaningful voice in an independent Scotland sooner.

    I am an SNP member and supporter and will be voting SNP/SNP so perhaps this colours my judgement a little here. Perhaps it would be more appropriate for the Greens etc to clearly state their position clearly on the issue as this would clarify where they stand on the matter to their members and others.

    People should of course vote for the party that most closely represents their political ideals. However, if independence features in that list if ideals, then it could well be argued that it makes sense to play the long game and unite behind the SNP in order to achieve the common goal of independence. The long term reward for the s hort term pain would be an independent nation where their political ideals stand a real chance of being attained.
    An additional payback would be a deep and lasting respect from the majority of the scottish electorate. Given that independence was the sole reason for many of the new SNP members late last year, potentially there are a whole lot of future voters up for grabs.

  96. Juteman says:

    You must have them worried, Rev.
    The trolls are trying their best to disrupt the thread.

  97. Husker says:

    I believe Solidarity is only fielding list candidates at next years election.

  98. dakk says:

    The minutae of party policies is of little consequence when the freedom and sovereignty of our country is still to be won.

    We will never be able to fully shape Scotland to reflect our wishes until we have the powers of an independent country.

    Putting party politics before independence would be akin to rejecting independence on grounds of the current low oil price,no more than a snap shot of of our political/economic landscape at a point in time.

    No country would ever countenance forfeiting the chance of independence on grounds of short term politics/economics,so SNP twice is a no brainer for anyone who wants to put Scotland’s best interests first.

  99. Jam says:

    Well I’m not a troll and I give the strategy a qualified backing. Brian, yes I understand this risk. Green need to give a clear yes steer in practice to get significant numbers shifting tactically. I’d prefer snp but if I calculate to the best of knowledge that an snp vote will let a nawbag in then I’ll shift it especially if Greens say yes.

  100. Tinto Chiel says:

    @ Dan Huil 6:58pm.

    Amen to all that, Dan. What a man and what a life! The staff at Bishopbriggs Library allow you to photograph Sandy Stoddart’s wonderful piece of sculpture, if you’re ever in the area. Bring a flash.

    In any other country he would be a household name.

    Oh, well, after the revolution…..

    I give it three years, D’Hondt or not.

  101. heedtracker says:

    call me dave says:
    25 August, 2015 at 7:07 pm
    Let’s kiss and make up? Aye right!

    That Herald thing’s mad as well. Mr Salmond might feel he was the BBC, Nick Robinson and co’s target but he’s never said so.

    “This is deeply personal. Mr Salmond feels he was targeted by the BBC’s then political editor, Nick Robinson, and has accused the corporation of “behaving like Pravda”.

    Whether or not you think the BBC is anti Scottish democracy, is one thing but its interesting that MacWhirter is personalising his thing too. Maybe he has to attack Salmond in everything just to get paid by toryboys at Heralds

  102. Dan Huil says:

    @ Jam 7.49

    “…but if I calculate to the best of knowledge that an snp vote will let a nawbag in then I’ll shift it…”

    I’m sure I’m not as smart as you, Jam, but your strategy is very risky. I would never presume to use the “best of [my] knowledge” if there was a possiblility of me getting it wrong and allowing an anti-independence candidate to be elected. This up-coming election is too important to put personal hubris above all else.

  103. Onwards says:

    green_pedant says:
    25 August, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Anyway the last poll had the SNP on only three list seats, so even if the Greens took all three then the SNP would still have an absolute majority.

    The next Holyrood election is a LONG way off in political terms.

    We can already see the groundwork getting laid for a full scale assault on the police, education etc.
    Labour will try to win back their traditional voters with a higher top rate of income tax, which the SNP would be foolish to match if it would lose us jobs and investment to England/Wales.
    They won’t expect to follow through on it, so that’s a trap right there which could lose many votes.

    So in no way can it be assumed that the SNP will keep up their current ratings. Just imagine running a tactical voting campaign suggesting the SNP have constituency seats in the bag!
    There would be a huge backlash for taking voters for granted. That will never happen.

  104. Dan Huil says:

    @ dakk 7.45 pm.

    Well said. First things first: independence.

  105. Alan Mackintosh says:

    It may be better for the Greens/left to try and cultivate an increase in their vote from those who would not vote for the SNP, either disgruntled Libdems or Labour, rather than trying to lure SNP voters over to them. If there was some effort put into their campaigning along those lines, there would be some useful increases in pro-indy votes and a corresponding decrease in unionist votes, but as long as they trail both Lab and Tory and Libdems in the polls they should attend to that in order to increase their vote, before playing games with tactical voting.”

    Whilst I have been “green” since before it was fashionable, people need to ask themselves are they more likely to enable green policies under westminster or iScotland. If the latter, then Indy is the priority which will then allow these to come to fruition.

    Post ref, I had looked at voting snp/green, but that’s because I didnt really understand D’Hondt. I had found out a bit from James K at Scot goes Pop about a month or so ago, but Stu’s articles have brought great clarity to the subject.

    Ta Stu!

  106. John Jones says:

    It’s just confirmed what I’ve always done, voted SNP all the way, tactical voting doesn’t work & I just detest voting for anyone else.

  107. Jim says:

    Mealer says:
    There are various pro independence groupings who simply wouldn’t be at home in the SNP and would cause damage if they were in the SNP.They come and go.They fall in and out.They merge and splinter.They have their opinions and agendas and whilst I will be disappointed if they stand candidates against the SNP I’ll have to accept their right to do so.I think these groupings have a big role to play in the independence movement but I don’t think them standing against the SNP is helpful to this movement.
    _____________________
    The problem is they can’t see beyond their differences with the SNP although they have the same goal of independence.

    They are quick to try and disenfranchise the SNP from the independence movement stating it is not about the SNP, but without the SNP as the catalyst, none of them would of had that platform for there would have been no referendum.

    Surely they realise that as much as they like to imagine it, they cannot attain their aims without the SNP as they would end up as nothing more than a shiver looking for a spine because without the SNP, the bandwagon would not exist for them to jump onto.

    The unionists know that strength in numbers will be their downfall, not a multitude of factions who want independence but cannot come together to attain that goal because they disagree about certain aspects of SNP policy.

    Strength in numbers is the key to achieving our aims then after that they can concentrate on how they wish to achieve their ideals in an Independent Holyrood parliament.

    As the great philosopher, Belinda Carlisle said:

    We dream the same thing
    We want the same thing …ooh…
    And all that we need is to
    See it together.

  108. Quinie frae Angus says:

    Thank goodness for Wings, and its intelligent and informative readership, whose comments are just as enlightening and entertaining as the Rev’s searing analysis.

  109. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    It has to be SNP/SNP.

    If,for instance, the UK government decided to implement a range of Green policies would all the Greens in Scotland still support Scottish independence?
    Many of them would not

    If the UK government was taken over by a seriously socialist one would many of our socialist friends stay true to Scottish independence?
    Many of them would not.

    SNP/SNP and a significant majority SNP vote on list as well as FPTP keeps these unreliable friends on board.
    Politics is an unforgiving business

  110. Capella says:

    Update
    Found a copy of “We Don’t Play Golf Here” (34 mins):

  111. Graeme Doig says:

    Finding it hard to get my head round anyone who’s priority is independence for Scotland not voting SNP twice. They are the only show in town for another chance at this.

    Ach well there ye go. I’ll just need to try harder.

    Cheers for all your work on this Rev.

  112. Daisy Waker says:

    Re McWhirters article – you can’t have half the population thinking the BBC is biased.

    Quite – about time the other half learned it too.

  113. Tinto Chiel says:

    @ Dave McEwen Hill.

    Indeed.

    Although many of us chapped the doors with Pro-Indy Greens during the Referendum (and grat in the aftermath), there is a significant number who do not see the I word as a prerequisite. Actually, the only chance they have of getting any of their policies implemented is in an independent Scotland. I wish they could see that. And Cat Boyd’s article today in The National was disappointing: it seems the SNP are now the opposition. Message to all: independence first, then we can skail.

    And despite all the sterling analysis the Rev has provided, I feel we will return to this again and again as the unionists persist in their desperate divide and rule tactics before the 2016 election.

    Scotland: Tin foil hats on!

  114. HandandShrimp says:

    There is a lot to be said for voting for who you actually feel represents your views the most.

    That goes for Greens as well as SNP supporters.

  115. davidb says:

    @ Brian DoonTheToon

    What will Ruthie the Weightwatcher make of this – unlikely to be a headline near us any time soon :-

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-25/germany-joins-scotland-in-seeking-ban-on-gene-modified-seeds

  116. Morag says:

    Prepare for the “yeah but I’ve analysed the polls and crunched the numbers, so I *know* it’s possible” replies…

    … and …

    I’d prefer snp but if I calculate to the best of knowledge that an snp vote will let a nawbag in then I’ll shift it especially if Greens say yes.

    Where is the wee smilie of the head banging on the computer monitor when you want it?

  117. snode1965 says:

    Brian doonthetoon @7.33, Regarding Ruthie and GM crops.
    Germany have just announced that they will use new EU legislation to ban GM crops….following Scotland’s lead.

  118. call me dave says:

    @Morag

    Wheest Morag! Everybody knows that the 2nd vote, when it goes into the election one-arm bandit gambling machine is sure to get three bells for an extra green seat. 🙂

    We need green seats in order to check the mighty machine which is the SNP. It must be true it’s in the National today says Cat Boyd!

    I’ve got news! The only way to rid ourselves of the labour party and move on to independence is a 2 X SNP vote. The greens think it’s all over but there is a long way to go yet.

    I’ll consider a green vote in an independent Scotland not before.

    So no eating the shortbread before we get rid of the empire biscuits.

  119. ronnie anderson says:

    @ davidb just posted your the GM crops piece on Scot2scot

  120. Jam says:

    @dan huil
    I’m sure I’m not as smart as you, Jam, but your strategy is very risky. I would never presume to use the “best of [my] knowledge” if there was a possiblility of me getting it wrong and allowing an anti-independence candidate to be elected. This up-coming election is too important to put personal hubris above all else.”

    I’m not. I’ve given the reasons and the strategy and the caveats of when I think it applies. So less ae yer groundless accusations.

  121. Gary says:

    One_Scot says:
    25 August, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Gary, you are either very very stupid or a unionist troll. Which one is it.

    Both, you’ve got me. Every single person who doesn’t give their unbridled backing to the SNP is both a Unionist and a troll.

  122. Out of 4.2 million electorate I would be surprised if 1% new how the regional vote is calculated into actual seats.

    How do you explain to 99% of the electorate the pitfalls of tactical voting when they have no idea of the fundamentals of the voting system.

    If you think I am being harsh on the electorate just go out tomorrow and ask family/friends/colleagues how the regional MSP`s are elected.

  123. yesindyref2 says:

    8 regions, 73 constituencies call it 72 for ease, 9 in each region. 56 list seats, 7 in each region. Forget regional variations, just go for the latest opinion poll 62% SNP constituency vote, and assume 62% list vote. Yes I know it was 54%, but stick with 62% as by next May everyone in Scotland will know how AMS works!

    I make it that in that average region, presuming the SNP get all 9 constituency seats, they win the 4th and 7th list seat. Lab win 1st, 3rd and 5th, Con win 2nd and 6th.

    That’s the average position if all SNP voters can be perusaded they should vote SNP / SNP. The mathematical average surely totally disproves the “second vote for SNP is wasted”, as though in some regions it might be just 1, in others it could be 3.

    Quickly done on a scrap of paper, please tell me if I got it wrong.

    Reason for bolding the part of the first paragraph, is that must be a prime target in leaflets etc.

  124. Morag says:

    You’re not factoring in the significant variations between regions though. Hermetically sealed units, and far from identical.

  125. Luigi says:

    You may as well lob a brick into a bouncy castle blindfolded and hope it hits a child molester.

    I reckon that you would have a pretty good chance of success if you lobbed the said brick into the House of Lords.

  126. yesindyref2 says:

    In my calculations, I just divided those rounded percentages by number of seats + 1, to one decomal place that was all that was needed, in a table across a sheet of A6 landscape, pairs of columns with number of seats and resulting percentage.

  127. green_pedant says:

    The SNP aren’t radical, SNP people here have said that. So if you want the few powers we do have with devolution to be used well you need to vote Green. The SNP are scared shitless of failing due to the negative impact that would have for IndyRef2 so they are timid and plaster up problems rather than open them up to solve them.

    I think this is ultimately bad for the independence movement as it stores problems up for later. So I see the Greens as a way to get radical change now, to prove that Scotland can be different to the No voters. The Greens are an essential part of proving to Scottish voters the need for independence, and also showing in a small way (e.g. Replacing council tax with a Land Value Tax) that Scotland can be better with more powers/Independence.

    So I don’t vote Green because I am a unionist troll, but because I think the Greens are helpful to the independence movement. So please stop calling us all ("Quizmaster" - Ed)s 🙂

  128. Clootie says:

    We can unite and fight on one front for a strong voice for independence at Holyrood or we can be split once again as has happened so often over the last 300 years.

    The SNP is a broad church. It is a political party that has a range of supporters from those who align fully with every policy to those who only give them their vote at present to push Independence.

    A split vote now will delay the achievement of Independence because a divided vote lets in a unionist politician.

    I do not want a one party state in the long term. However it is a worthy condition for ONE term of Holyrood in order to push the unionists off the scene.

    We will see a dramatic increase in the other parties who champion the left and environment BUT it would be better after a clear message is sent as a nation to Westminster.

    It would be amazing if we could unite for once instead of repeating history. Nothing, nothing is more important than Independence because without that NONE of the policies of the left and the greens or the SNP will be delivered.

    If we had a YES Party it would happen BUT we don’t have time.

    Independence FIRST then deliver YES values.

  129. Morag says:

    So I don’t vote Green because I am a unionist troll, but because I think the Greens are helpful to the independence movement.

    Nothing wrong with that opinion. I disagree, but nothing wrong with that either.

    What is wrong is this garbage about “if the moon is in Jupiter and the wind is from the north-north-west and you see a black cat on your way to the polling station and the polling clerk’s auntie’s name is Jeannie, then you can safely give your list vote to the Greens knowing it won’t let a unionist in”.

  130. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    I defer to your own opinion of your status, Green Pedant but, unfortunately, your input on this site, to date, has appeared as potentially divisive trolling.

    It’s quite simple: next year, if you’re green, vote green/green.

    Don’t try to confluzzle us who intend to vote SNP/SNP, because WE see that as the best route to independence.

  131. Barbara McKenzie says:

    Here in NZ we have a similar system, MMP or Mixed Member Proportional. In order that small parties have their votes counted, they must get over 5%, OR have one elected MP. This is where tactical voting comes in.

    As far as I am aware, it is not common for people to vote against their preferred party in order to get an allied party into parliament. Most people would consider that a very risky practice.

    However, it frequently happens that voters will vote their preferred party on the list, but go for the electorate MP of an allied party, sometimes because of personal appeal of course, but also because that will get the allied party into parliament with several MPs when it otherwise might have none.

    This is a delicate matter for larger parties. A party tends to be on the back foot if it doesn’t stand in all seats – look at the weak position the SNP was in in the GE, in terms of participation in television debates, because it wasn’t standing in all the English and Welsh seats!

    On the other hand, it makes for bad blood if a party stands a candidate and then publicly makes it clear it wants the electorate to vote for the allied candidate – both party activists and the candidate tend to get hacked off.

    Furthermore allies are not always reliable. It works well in NZ in the case where the ‘centre’-right party, National, is propped up by the decidedly right-wing party, ACT, which is never going to support the opposition.

    In Scotland, a formal accommodation between SNP and the Greens is a possibility, but only if there is a firm commitment to independence on the part of the Greens. However when it comes to the list, SNP supporters would be mad to vote for any other party.

    (Didn’t someone do a very funny summary of tactical voting thinking before the GE, in which he concluded that the only way to support the SNP must be to vote UKIP? Except that he had a nasty suspicion that a vote for UKIP would actually mean a vote for UKIP …)

  132. yesindyref2 says:

    @Morag
    Yes, I said that in my post, it’s an “average” region, not an actual region. The point is to make the point that on the basis of a 62% list vote, the SNP would get 3 list seats in that average region. If you build in regional variations, you might get 1 or 2 SNP list MSP in one region, but 4 in a couple of others.

    The thing is that the difference in the resultng % for a divisor of 11, from a divisor of 10 is small, 62% goes from 6.2% to 5.6% leaving them still in for a later round.

    So a high list vote % for the SNP greater than 50% will inevitably result in list seats for the SNP, not just because their vote is small, but because the remaining parties total is less than 50%, split between Unionist and YESist parties. The moment one of them wins a list seat, their % halves for the next seat, and thirds if they manage to get another. In other words winning one seat drastically cuts their chance of winning another, and even more for another.

    In other words the myth that voting SNP in the list might let in a Tory for instance, is exactly that – a myth.

  133. yesindyref2 says:

    @Jam “but if I calculate to the best of knowledge that an snp vote will let a nawbag in …

    Jam, if your detailed breakdown of your region’s polling percentages shows you that in round 6 in mathematical terms the Cons will have 5.5%, the SNP 5.4% but the Greens 6.0% for instance, then the best of your knowledge is sufficient to risk a tactical vote. Not forgetting round 7.

    Otherwise it ain’t.

  134. Jam says:

    @yesindyref2


    yesindyref2 says:
    25 August, 2015 at 10:47 pm
    8 regions, 73 constituencies call it 72 for ease, 9 in each region. 56 list seats, 7 in each region. Forget regional variations, just go for the latest opinion poll 62% SNP constituency vote, and assume 62% list vote. Yes I know it was 54%, but stick with 62% as by next May everyone in Scotland will know how AMS works!”

    Theywon’t as around a minimum of 7% of folk will likely vote green a number of whom are voting snp on 1st vote. More interesting I think is to take that 60% figure and split it 53 7, then 50 10, then 45 15 and then 40 20.. and look at your results for the list. Anyway there are problems of identification(not insurmountable at all in my opinion) but the main ones are probably getting the info out there and getting folk on board…also there are likely local considerations say in highlands and islands and south Scotland where MAYBE a green list is less advisable to keep a nawbag out. I personally will keep an open mind to it and will judge the evidence at the time as I do think it’s possible to predict the result although it has risks. It’s not that voting snp on the list doesn’t though.

  135. yesindyref2 says:

    Sorry, I meant 2 list seats in that average region, not 3. Mind on other things.

    An average of 2 per region would give 16 list seats, strangely similar to the number of list seats in 2011, regardless of the difference in constituency wins. But it could be 1 in one region, but 3 in another due to regional variations. It could probably be fitted to a statistical distibution, I vaguely remember student’s T would do that.

  136. Jam says:

    I would count all rounds..someone posted a decent calculator on here or scotgoespop that allows it which I have. happy to share…in your scenario I’d vote snp list as I prefer snp.if it’s close I’ll vote snp list. I think it’s likely a strategy for 6 regions polls dependent. North east has a higher list vote and could get a seat there and highlands and south are risks for nawbags on the constituency…Anyway it needs landslide on constituency evidence and significantly lower list for snp for it to work in some areas. Mid Scotland and fife my area is one of those areas of snp takes all constituencies a green list vote is probably a good idea…

  137. John Moss says:

    Okay, I got myslef a few chums and I want to get into the Scottish Parliament but I’m f***ed if I can actually win an election outright.

    No worries.

    Where their’s a way there’s always a list.

    Just sell people the idea that because the SNP will win almsot everything that they should give their second vote to parasites who can only hope to get in to parliament through the back door.

    It’s a strategy that I would use to get a free ride at the public expense.

    Long live Wolfie Smith!

  138. Al Dossary says:

    SNP / SNP. What other choice is there if independance is our aim ?

    Much to my shame I voted one time and one time only for the red Tories. Despite my hatred for them and all things Westminster, Bliar (or should I say Charles Lynton aka Miranda) was the one who was promising a Scottish Parliament.

    That much they delivered and it was a means to an end.

    Interesting one today on Radio Scotland on the way to St Andrews (programme was around 2pm) Programme on the rise of the SNP in Scotland I think. The quote was from a man who in the 1950’s joined the SNP as a schoolboy.

    Unfortunately for him, a Special Branch officer then contacted his father who was at the time a police Sergeant to tell him that someone of his second name had joined the SNP that week. All of this in the 1950’s – just think of the files that are held in this technological age on all us modernday subversives.

  139. Johnny Farrell says:

    I want a proven prudent, pro-independence, socially just and fair government for Scotland. Therefore I vote SNP in constituency, SNP for the list. Any other combination would be unthinkable.

  140. Marco McGinty says:

    Is there any point in discussing, debating and falling out over this issue, especially as the election is more than eight months away? A lot could happen between now and then, and the fates of any of the contending parties could change drastically.

  141. pitchfork says:

    @green_pedant

    I’m sorry but as a regular reader of James Kelly’s scotgoespop blog I have to say that your portrayal of James is a complete distortion.

    James has argued (quite convincingly in my opinion) that attempting to vote tactically on the list for Hollyrood is a complete shot in the dark. There is no way to preduct the likely outcome. It is just as likely to result in an extra seat for the best placed unionist than for the greens/SSP/Rise etc.

    It is the mathematical examination of the issues on scotgoespop and here that have convinced me of this. Cat Boyd (who I very much admire) is guilty of gross oversimplification when she points out (more or less correctly, but only part of the picture) that an individual SNP vote in a region where the SNP win all constituencies is only worth 1/10th of the vote for e.g. RISE (but also for tories, lab etc). Howvere there is no consideration of which party is most likely mathenmatically to pick up one of the list seats the SNP (at 1/10) or one of the smaller pro-independence parties.

    I am far from an SNP tribalist, since I stopped voting Labour 25-30 years ago I have voted SSP or CPB (when I lived in Govan). I voted SNP for the fist time in my life in Hollyrood 2011 after I moved to Paisley and was dismayed to find no left (or green) candidate in my constituency. On the spur of the moment I surprised myself by voting (tactically) for the SNP in the constituency ballot (SSP in the list). I have never regretted doing this.

    I would still consider myself closer to the SSP than to any other politcal party, but for Hollyrood 2016 I will be voting SNP/SNP. My current priority is to keep up the pressure on Westminster and keep independence on the agenda. To my mind the only way to do this wothout losing unregainable momentum is to vote SNP.

    I respect and like both the SSP and the Greens (but I don’t trust the latter as much as the former to consistently support independence)

    But if you are primarily a supporter of the greens or SSP etc by all means vote for those parties and argue for others to do so based on policy. (A position which btw James Kelly has repeatedly stated himself). I believe it has been demonstrated that the current arguements based on gaming the second vote however have been clearly demonstated to be at best overly simplistic and at worse potentially harmful.

    I have been won to the idea that the only place to vote tactically with any guarantee of not harming the cause of independence is in the constituency ballot (which effectively means vote SNP in that section).

    Chris

  142. nycgype says:

    Just to bring some perspective. Over 1.6M people in Scotland came to the conclusion we should become an independent nation. That was against a barrage of opposition. Those same people elected 56 SNP MPs against a barrage of opposition.

    People frequenting this site and Scot Goes Pop have a deep interest in politics not shared by the majority of voters. Any campaign to have the electorate understand AMS to this level and vote tactically is doomed to failure quite frankly. My prediction and hope is that most will continue to vote SNP/SNP until the job is done and we can all start fighting amongst ourselves…..

  143. Doug Daniel says:

    Jam: “Mid Scotland and fife my area is one of those areas of snp takes all constituencies a green list vote is probably a good idea…”

    Excellent, so you’ll go into the polling booth, look into the future to see if the SNP wins all the constituencies in Mid Scotland and Fife or not, and then make your list vote accordingly? Is that the plan?

  144. Doug Daniel says:

    Marco McGinty: “Is there any point in discussing, debating and falling out over this issue, especially as the election is more than eight months away? A lot could happen between now and then, and the fates of any of the contending parties could change drastically.”

    Yes, because that’s eight months for this meme to get stuck in people’s minds, so that even when the SNP’s poll ratings start slipping (as they undoubtedly will), SNP supporters still convince themselves that it’s safe to give their list vote to someone else.

    This “vote anyone but SNP on the list” nonsense has been gathering momentum recently, so it needed to be snubbed out now.

  145. A2 says:

    Ok so for the benefit of those of you who think I should vote SNP/SNP regardless of my actual preference, I will clarify what I will actually be doing.

    1. I will be voting SNP/Green as I did before because I want a Green MSP (as advised by Stu and some of the more reasoned contributors)(primarily based on land reform & fracking)

    2. I will be advising those indi supporters that I know who are not primarily Green supporters that they should vote SNP/SNP – NOT be voting Green on the list based on a “tactical” vote. This is of course advising against my own preference but based on what I think is the right thing to do.

    3. If I catch Green supporters advising people who might not otherwise vote green to do so based on a tactical basis, I’ll point out that this doesn’t hold water and that they should base their discussions on actual facts.

    4. I will however be prepared to encourage people who I see as natural Green supporters to vote Green on the List.

    (As stated before , I am not 100% in favour of all green policies but don’t feel that the sillier ones are likely to gain any traction as a minority anyway)

    Happy? probably not… tough.

  146. Iain More says:

    I think the tactical vote of the Brit Nat Brain Dead helped Mundell and Murray retain their seats. I will stick my neck out and say that it also helped Carmichael.

    The Brit Nat Press and Media has a problem with Holyrood though and that is they cant really afford to fragment the Brit Nat vote or the lets keep Scotland in the kiddy fiddler haven that is the UK campaign. Any tactical vote campaign they run will only fragment the vote the Brit Nats who I suspect usually stay at home during Holyrood Elections.

    OT

    I am enjoying the squealing of the Zimmer frame wielding and Daily Mail reading Brit Nats about their pension funds and shares this week due to what is apparently happening in the crooked Stock Exchanges of the world. I thought that was only meant to happen if there had been a Yes vote. Karma is a bitch isn’t it folks?

    OT again sort of

    Well it was a pleasant surprise to get SNP canvassers chapping on my door for the forthcoming Heldon & Laich Moray Council by election last night.

    STV voting is one place where tactical voting can come into play with avengeance. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Brit Nat hypocrites started squealing like stick piglets to have STV voting introduced for Holyrood Elections.

    I fear that the SNP candidate will not get over the 50% barrier in the first round and will see the Brit Nats transferring their votes in later rounds to keep her out and thus keep their grubby mitts on the Council as well. An SNP win could change the balance on the Council enough to remove the inept corrupt Brit Nat Coalition presently running it from power.

    It is easily one of the worst Councils in Scotland. I rate it as badly as I rate the present Aberdeen and Glasgow City Councils if not even worse.

  147. pitchfork says:

    @A2 for what it is worth that sounds more than reasonable to me.

    chris

  148. Jam says:

    @doug Daniel

    Excellent, so you’ll go into the polling booth, look into the future to see if the SNP wins all the constituencies in Mid Scotland and Fife or not, and then make your list vote accordingly? Is that the plan?”

    Yep that’s right I’ll just saunter in and do that.I’ll just look into the future and won’t use any polling trends or historical wm constituency data at all. And despite not using any of these data I bet you a tenner I get every constituency seat in my region correct.

  149. Doug Daniel says:

    Excellent. So you predicted the 2015 result with 100% accuracy then, right down to the specific seats the SNP didn’t win, and the Tories getting an overall majority? And that was done based on the available polling data etc?

  150. Orla says:

    This idea was based on the immediate post-referendum period when people assumed that the 45% Yes vote would translate into a 45% combined SNP/SGP/SSP vote for many years to come. It only works at 45%.

    On those figures there is an anomaly in the *FPTP* vote (not the list) which could conceivably be gamed by tactical voting on *both* votes. In FPTP 45% is a ‘sweet spot’ at which a party could sweep the constituencies and so get well over 50% of the seats in parliament. If the redistribution works, they shouldn’t then get any list seats at all if they get less than 50% on the list. So those votes might as well go elsewhere.

    On that scenario, it did make sense to talk of SGP/SSP lending constituency votes to the SNP and vice versa on the list, not least because no one imagined the SNP could get to 45% on its own. But as soon as the SNP vote goes above 50%, there is no longer a FPTP anomaly to be gamed.

    So the whole discussion has been superseded by the political developments since May.

  151. Effijy says:

    Did anyone listen to Andy Burnam on HHP, Haw Haw Propaganda Radio this morning.

    He contradicted everything that he said throughout the
    entire interview.

    SLAB would have powers beyond Westminster control but it would need to follow the majority decision within the party.

    The people need to know that they come first. Wait for it!

    He is fighting on anti-austerity policies, but he and his party abstained from voting on the next round of austerity? He initially denied they did this, as they put forward an amendment, but on hearing how ridiculous that sounded he suggested it was Westminster Speak for being against it, and on hearing the absurdity of that, he agreed they should have voted against it, but stick with the party line came before the poor sods who will suffer.

    Tell me more about the people coming first, not the party?

    He would give Corbyn a job in his cabinet, but he goes on to say that he doesn’t agree with most of what Corbyn stands for?

    This is the man Labour, and the UK media will make “Leader”?

    No talent, no leadership qualities, a Yes man willing to back both sides and the middle if necessary to get a vote and keep that exclusive seat on the Westminster gravy train.

    Afterall look at the previous failures that have lead labour, Brown, Blair, and Kinnock- all £millionairs from
    salaries well below their private sector equals?

  152. yesindyref2 says:

    @A2
    Sound.

    @Marco McGinty
    As Doug says, the meme has to be stopped now before it becomes deep-rooted. People might not understand AMS, but the point has to be that UNLESS they absolutely fully understand it themselves, they should not vote tactically on the list vote, nor should they believe the charismatic pro-indy pundits who say that “a list vote for the SNP is wasted”.

    That’s a simple message – understand AMS fully or don’t vote tactically. I think if you do fully understand AMS, and I do now Rev explained the rules and his Brigadoon example, you wouldn’t vote “tactically” on the list, as it just doesn’t stand up to analysis.

    In other words, vote for the party you think best suits your particular priorities, bith in constituency and list.

  153. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Well played Rev, well played the new project fear already in full swing. Independence is NOT about any one party. Sick of you trying to make it so, no wonder we aren’t free”

    I really do despair sometimes.

  154. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I want an opposition that also believes in independence, so it isn’t unhealthy or unhelpful to vote SNP/Green.”

    What part of “if you want a Green, Solidarity or RISE MSP, vote for them” are people interpreting to mean “if you want a Green, Solidarity or RISE MSP, then FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T DO IT! VOTE SNP!”, exactly?

  155. WellKeith says:

    I have to admit, I have found these articles interesting. Probably because I have run a number of statistical exercises myself using the AMS calculator I designed on MS Excel. I was taken in by the whole SNP/Green thing too, and was curious about how tactical voting might affect the outcome of the election. In the end, I came to much the same conclusion: voting Green actually gives a medium net loss of pro-independence MSPs where the additional votes come from the SNP.

    The reason for this is set out very elegantly in the article, The narcissism of small diferences. That is to say, the drop off in votes for the Greens after their first list seat is acquired is far greater than the drop off in votes for the SNP after their first list seat. There is no caveat to this. It will always happen unless the Greens actually win some constituency seats – a statistical improbability, even if they stood.

    Whatever the outcome though, the truth is that the most list seats the SNP can realistically hope to win in a region where they take all of the constituency seats is three. Depending on the spread of the votes for other parties, this is achievable with a vote share of between 65% and 75%. That type of share is almost impossible, I’m sure you would agree. Yet it shows the importance of voting SNP/SNP – even a reduction in vote share to 55% reduces the number of SNP list MSPs in such a region to one. Yet a steady 60% should almost always give two. Considering that we are polling around 60% in the constituency vote, it would be madness for an SNP supporter to try to game the system by switching their second vote to another party, no matter how logical the arguments for doing so may sound.

    Although, again, if you do want to see a Green/SSP/RISE/Solidarity MSP elected, then by all means vote for them. The whole point of this exercise was to prove that you can’t realistically hope to influence the list section of an AMS election with tactical voting.

  156. Taranaich says:

    I’ve followed both Scot Goes Pop! and this latest series with great interest. I started out as a “vote SNP in the constituency, Yes Alliance on the list” man, but I’ve started thinking about it a different way: why should we settle for divvying up what we already have?

    Depending on the poll, there’s around 50% to 60% of the electorate of Scotland who didn’t vote SNP. By next May, there’ll be a whole generation of 16 year olds who’ve never voted at all. At the same time, polls still don’t show an inversion of the referendum result, and I think everyone here agrees that regular polls showing a strong Yes majority would bring a second referendum much closer.

    https://wildernessofpeace.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/the-rebel-alliance/

    When Alexander the Great died, his empire was divided among his great generals: Ptolemy, Seleukos, Antigonus, and Attalus. Instead of looking to expand outwards, they started to squabble with each other over, and engaged in internecine warfare. Within a few decades, they started to splinter, then shrink, and by the time Rome came knocking, all Alexander’s empire was gone.

  157. Topher Dawson says:

    Green voters will not in most cases have a Green constituency candidate to vote for, so their constituency vote will go to the SNP because it’s the best alternative. These “SNP voters” don’t belong to the SNP, they are voting tactically for the SNP.

    In the list vote we will vote Green because we want Green MSP’s. The climate has not stopped melting down while we decide Scotland’s future. The number of our votes will not be watered down by us having won a lot of constituency seats, which undoubtedly will happen to the SNP vote under the d’Hondt system. The more Greens, RISE and SSP, the fewer unionists. Roll on Independence!

  158. Ealasaid says:

    As Taranaich was speaking about the polls for the SNP can I insert a note of caution. Not only Yes voters vote for the SNP at the Scottish elections. The elderly are very keen on SNP governments because of policies that are not promised by other parties.

    Free personal care (should they need it)
    Free prescriptions (as they need more medication)
    Free bus pass (allows them to meet friends, keep active and get about)
    Frozen Council Tax (Protects them against large increases year on year when they only have a state pension that does not increase.)

    These things are very important to senior citizens and may also cross over to some other sections of society.

    However many of the people that vote for these will be Unionists. If the SNP put in any sort of mandate for a second referendum, if circumstances change, many of these people polling for SNP currently may switch to Unionist parties. I actually heard conversations during the GE where they were confirming there was no Independence Referendum in the manifesto, so it was alright to vote SNP.

    So beware a late drop in the polls for this election. But many will be torn, so note the above reasons for voting SNP if knocking on doors.

  159. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “In the list vote we will vote Green because we want Green MSP’s”

    As you quite properly should do, and nobody has suggested otherwise.

  160. Marco McGinty says:

    @Doug Daniel
    This “vote anyone but SNP on the list” nonsense has been gathering momentum recently, so it needed to be snubbed out now.

    @yesindyref2
    As Doug says, the meme has to be stopped now before it becomes deep-rooted.

    Fair points, both of you.

    As a result of some ill-informed and truly disrespectful comments from all sides, I can see fractures appearing in the pro-Indy side, and it will do us no good in the long run.

    I agree that tactical voting for the Holyrood elections cannot be done with any degree of accuracy, and this approach should be dismissed by the smaller pro-Indy parties, with those parties concentrating on their own policies to see them through, or launch a dedicated campaign for votes amongst the non-SNP voters.

    However, the SSP, the Greens, RIC, and others, all campaigned tirelessly during the referendum, and they really did push the Yes vote up by a considerable margin, so for others (not you) to refer to these groups/parties as “parasites” is utterly disgraceful.

    This type of behaviour should also be stamped out, as we are all fighting for the same cause.

  161. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Marco McGinty.

    You typed,
    “However, the SSP, the Greens, RIC, and others, all campaigned tirelessly during the referendum, and they really did push the Yes vote up by a considerable margin, so for others (not you) to refer to these groups/parties as “parasites” is utterly disgraceful.

    This type of behaviour should also be stamped out, as we are all fighting for the same cause.”

    Agreed. I know that in the Dundee area, RIC did sterling work – including supplying a pair of pandas for the greater Scottish good!

    https://sites.google.com/site/webgaffer/home/badge-designs/RIC-Pandas-1-crop-sample.jpg

  162. A2 says:

    @Rev. Stuart Campbell

    ” “In the list vote we will vote Green because we want Green MSP’s”

    As you quite properly should do, and nobody has suggested otherwise”

    I know you really haven’t the time to read all of the comments but a number of posters have done exactly that.

  163. Jam says:

    @well Keith

    Whatever the outcome though, the truth is that the most list seats the SNP can realistically hope to win in a region where they take all of the constituency seats is three. Depending on the spread of the votes for other parties, this is achievable with a vote share of between 65% and 75%. That type of share is almost impossible, I’m sure you would agree. Yet it shows the importance of voting SNP/SNP – even a reduction in vote share to 55% reduces the number of SNP list MSPs in such a region to one. Yet a steady 60% should almost always give two. Considering that we are polling around 60% in the constituency vote, it would be madness for an SNP supporter to try to game the system by switching their second vote to another party, no matter how logical the arguments for doing so may sound.”

    Yes well I’ve done the same analysis which is why I if I think snp will be below 50% in my region I’ll be voting green on the list

  164. Tom Platt says:

    Cookie has it quite correct in a nutshell IMO:- Voting tactically only ever makes sense for the Constituency vote. For SNP voters this will usually go straight to the SNP local candidate without passing “Go” and with no need to collect £100 en route.

    Whilst attempts to cast the list vote tactically will usually be foolish for reasons given in these articles and comments, a straight SNP vote on the list by SNP supporters still needs much more consideration IMO. This is in the light of the situation that a pro Indy, non-SNP vote will effectively probably count for as much as 2 or 3 times the vote if cast for another Indy party rather than SNP. That Scots have voted heavily in the past at Holyrood elections for parties headquartered outside Scotland is astonishing. That I have done so, and worse, is becoming a matter of personal shame and regret. The wisdom of voting for non-Scottish parties surely needs to be strongly challenged by all Scottish based candidates and parties. If the intention when voting is to reduce the power of Westminster based parties in Holyrood then the destination of the personal list vote needs to be made with greater than usual care. The target Yes2 situation surely must be to have the Scottish Greens or RISE or Hope over Fear or any other Scottish based party taking over the opposition media slots currently allocated to the Westminster headquartered Conservatives, Labour and LibDem spokespeople.



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