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Flying with Wings

Posted on September 18, 2019 by

As the mandate for a second independence referendum currently sits gathering dust in the SNP vaults, discussion has started on ways to generate some movement. One of these has been the possibility of a Wings political party being set up to campaign for Holyrood list seats, which has generated rather a lot of attention.

Various pundits have been loudly vocal about the perceived pros and cons, but I’ve been extremely dissatisfied – in particular with those dismissing the value of a Wings party – with the quality of evidence and analysis that they’ve produced to justify their negative opinion. So I thought I’d use my day-job skills in commercial data science to analyse and understand the benefits, or otherwise, of the idea.

NOTE: I strongly believe in the democratisation of information, so at the end of this article you’ll find the data and the Excel files I’ve used in my analysis. If you think I’ve cherry-picked circumstances that suit my personal views you can play around with whatever scenarios and numbers you want to.

Firstly, I’m afraid we need to dig just a little into how the voting system used in the Scottish Parliament works, to understand the difference between constituency and regional votes and the impact of the first on the second. There’s a good explanation on Wikipedia if you want more depth on it, and if you already know how it works I’ll indent this bit so you can skip past it.

Your first vote, the constituency vote, is a straightforward First Past The Post (FPTP) contest, where you directly elect a single MSP to directly represent your local seat, just as is done at the Westminster UK elections.

For the second vote – the regional assignments – each seat is awarded in a round of calculations. The twist is, the winner of the first list seat in each region isn’t necessarily the party with the most votes in that region. That’s because each party’s regional vote is divided by [the number of constituency seats they won in the first vote +1].

So let’s say Party A has 9 constituency MSPs and 10,000 regional votes, while Party B has zero constituency MSPs and 1,200 regional votes. Who gets the first list seat?

Party A first round : 10,000 / (9+1) = 1,000 effective regional votes
Party B first round: 1,200 / (0+1) = 1,200 effective regional votes

Party B wins the seat, even though Party A has massively more votes.

This a key point of the Additional Member System used in Scotland. The more constituency seats you have, the more difficult it is for you to win regional MSP seats. In the 2016 elections, the SNP’s 953,587 regional votes got them just four list seats (238,000 votes per MSP), whilst the Greens’ 150,426 regional votes got them 6 list MSPs (25,000 votes per MSP). Labour’s MSPs were the cheapest of all, needing less than 21,000 votes each – under a tenth as many as the SNP’s.

So now we all know that people giving both their constituency and regional votes to the SNP was very inefficient in gaining an pro-indy majority. And the question under debate is whether there’s a better way.

One option is for SNP voters to give their list vote to the Greens, but for a variety of reasons many people are increasingly uncomfortable with doing so. At the last election RISE and the SSP also tried to win over SNP list voters with radical left-wing manifestos, without success. So what if there was another pro-indy choice?

To assess the prospects you need to model how the Holyrood system works, so that you can plug in various scenarios and see how they play out. Luckily, Steven Kellow has already done the hard work by constructing an Excel macro workbook, which you can find on his website.

A very important point, compared to what you might have already seen elsewhere from other pollster bloggers, is that this has been modelled at a region level and then totalled up, rather than applying uniform figures across the country. Why? Well, there are significant variations in how people vote across the Scottish regions.

Here’s an example using the regional vote from 2016.

Simply applying percent shifts at a national level will often give very misleading results. Just look at the variance in Lib Dem vote share in particular across regions – from less than 2% in Central to over 14% in Highland.

The method we’ve used here is much more accurate and we can perhaps tweak our strategy a bit by what we learn. So let’s cut to the chase.


As our start point, we’ll use all the data from the 2016 Holyrood elections and pose a simple question:

If we could have persuaded some SNP voters to give their regional vote to a Wings party, would it help to gain a larger majority of pro-independence MSPs? If so, what’s the tipping point and are there ways it could backfire and LOSE the indy majority?

This graph – based on individual regional modelling rather than a national uniform swing – shows the overall result:

Up to 5% of SNP voters (that’s about 2% of the total all-Scotland list vote) switching to Wings in 2016 would have made no difference to the size of the indy majority. Between 5% and 12% we’d have lost one SNP list seat (I’ll get to that in a moment), which would have had no meaningful impact – there’d still be a pro-indy majority of 6.

But at 12% (under one in eight SNP voters) we reach a tipping point where SNP voters giving their list vote to Wings instead starts to dramatically increase the pro-indy numbers (You can find the full breakdowns in the Excel workbooks.)

But how? Where do those Wings seats come from?

At the 12% tipping point, we gain 4 Wings list MSPs, at the expense of 2 SNP, 1 Conservative and 1 Green (so a net pro-indy gain of 1). After this, it becomes a avalanche of Conservative and Green MSPs over to Wings ones.

By the time we reach 35% of SNP voters going Wings on the list (the highest point we counted to), the figures are:

WINGS: +16
SNP: -3
CON: -6
LAB: -3
GRN: -3
LIB: -1

So we’ve turned 6 pro-indy MSPs into 16, a net gain of 10. The pro-indy majority at Holyrood has rocketed from 8 to 28.

But do we have to lose SNP list MSPs to gain Wings ones? Not necessarily. There’s no obligation to stand in every region, and we can be picky about where we run Wings candidates.

These are the actual 2016 results:

If we start shifting voters across, the first loss of an SNP list MSP happens at a 5% shift from SNP regional votes to Wings and it happens in Highlands & Islands (You can plug in the data if you want to see this yourself). The second loss of an SNP list MSP happens at the “avalanche” point of 13% and it’s a loss in the South Scotland region.

But by that point, for 2 SNP losses we’ve gained 4 Wings MSPs. (Workbook “2016 Regional Shift from SNP to Wings.xlsm”, tab “Projection 13pc SNP to Wings”).

So what if we don’t stand any Wings candidates in Highlands & Islands or South of Scotland, the only two regions where the SNP have any list seats?

Now there’s no negative effect for ANY size of Wings vote, and a potential pro-indy gain of eight (trebling the size of the indy majority).

The downside is that because we’re not sitting in two large regions the total benefit is lower, as we’re not eating into the Conservative and Labour MSP numbers in those regions too.

Splitting the difference, let’s say we avoided the South of Scotland but did stand in the Highlands, where there’s only one SNP list seat:

Again we have a worst-case scenario of -1 overall indy seats, but the potential gains go up to 10. (In the case of H&I, at the expense of the Tories and the single Green.)

That’s what would have happened on 2016 numbers. But 2016 is in the past, so what about the here and now?


Luckily for us there’s a very recent YouGov poll (fieldwork 29 Aug to 3 Sep) that we can examine. I’ve used the data from this poll to get estimated constituency seat counts from Election Polling, from which we can base the regional seat assignments.

The projection shows Labour losing all three of their existing constituency seats, which I’ve assumed transfer to the SNP as they were in second place in all of them in 2016 and it shows their numbers increasing by the same amount.

To estimate the regional vote volumes, I’ve used the regional table each party’s list vote from earlier in this post, using the regional variations to calculate votes in each region from the Scotland-wide regional-vote figures in the YouGov poll.

What happens if we plug the poll (including constituency seats) into our model?

As we shift regional votes from SNP to Wings, we initially lose one SNP list seat to the Conservatives, but then, as before, we start eating into the regional seats of all the other parties – the Greens and Conservatives are first to fall. And again we shift the balance of power towards pro-indy parties.

That’s been a lot of data to absorb, so let’s have a pause and a quick summary. We’ve looked at three options:

 – What would have happened in 2016 if Wings had stood all across Scotland.

 – What would have happened in 2016, if it had avoided in standing in South Of Scotland, where 75% of SNP list seats are.

 – What might be the effect if a Scottish Parliament election happened now, going by the latest polling data.

So far we haven’t found a single case where the existence of a Wings party poses any threat to a pro-indy majority, and a strong suggestion that it could very significantly strengthen one. So we need to go further and test some possible scenarios.


If the SNP do as well or better in the constituency seats as in 2016, there’s no conceivable danger to Yes – they’re already pretty close to a majority on those alone. The example cited by those opposed to the idea of a Wings party is a situation where the SNP don’t sweep the FPTP seats in the constituencies.

At the moment, they have 59 FPTP seats, but some are narrowly held, and future events might reduce their vote. So what if we chopped 10 seats off that 59 and give them to the Lib Dems and the Tories? And what if we additionally drop the SNP’s regional vote share by 5% and give that to the Lib Dems and Tories too? (Because there appears to be zero current prospect of a Scottish Labour revival.)

How bad could it be? The SNP would still have a majority of constituency seats and with a lower divisor would surely pick up enough regional seats from their still-huge list vote to compensate for a few constituency losses, right?

(You’ll find the workbook for this scenario in the files as “Simple regional shift from SNP to Wings Tough scenario 1.xlsm”)

The reality is a nasty shock. The way AMS works still gives the overwhelming balance of regional seats to the Unionist parties, even though we’ve lost 10 SNP constituency seats. The small number of additional regional the SNP pick up are swamped. We lose the Yes majority in Parliament.

In this tough scenario, does voting for Wings instead of the SNP on the regional vote help, or does it make it worse?

On first sight it looks bad, as we’re now dropping more SNP seats (7) than we were before. But the Wings increase (16) is also more. So the good news is that yes, with enough of a list-vote swing to Wings – around one in five SNP voters – we’d actually get the pro-indy majority back even if the SNP had a bad night.

The most sobering aspect of all this analysis is that the AMS system used in the Parliament works very hard to not give ANY party a majority, by using a two-stage seat-assignment system with a heavy penalty to any party that’s “too popular” at constituency level and therefore is disproportionately favoured by FPTP.

The multiplicity of Unionist parties versus a single major pro-indy party actually gives Unionism a serious advantage in how regional votes are assigned, by applying fewer/smaller divisors to their vote. A strong second pro-indy party balancing that out could be the difference between holding onto Holyrood’s pro-indy majority or not.

You’ve done very well to get this far, so here’s one last chart, covering the range of possibilities we’ve examined in detail in this piece.

As you can see, it demonstrates that a Wings party would in any currently-plausible circumstances pose no risk whatsoever to the Yes majority, and might well produce some significant or even critical gains. But I’m sure that certain other rather sensitive commentators will as we speak be frantically searching for permutations where it could do damage, in order to justify their increasingly-heated opposition.

The documents are below. I invite them to make their case.


Excel workbooks download

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2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 18 09 19 18:56

    Flying with Wings | speymouth

  2. 19 09 19 05:23

    Flying with Wings –

617 to “Flying with Wings”

  1. wee sandy says:

    Got me convinced.

  2. Bryan Weir says:

    No. Just no!

  3. Brotyboy says:

    Well done. Looks like sound work.

  4. JOML says:

    Simple and straightforward arithmetic. If independence is the goal, the SNP would be daft not to embrace this idea. Then again, I believe the SNP should stand in the next GE on an independence only ticket, removing the need for a referendum. Majority of MPs, plus 50.1% of the overall votes cast – a referendum without pleading with Westminster.
    You’ll have my vote in the lists.

  5. Millsy says:

    Great analysis – I look forward to some in the SNP hierarchy taking note of this and acting on it .
    A correspondence between yourself and the SNP to build on this potential advantage MUST be done !

  6. Tony Little says:

    As usual Rev. a detailed set of examples AND the link to our own calculations.

    I must admit I have always be wary of “splitting” the indy-vote, and the system is specifically designed to avoid majorities by a “single” party, but I think your idea is worthy of serious consideration.

    So, the obvious next question, is how to organize this in practice so we don’t level out at 5% but at least hit the “magical” 12%?

  7. Martin says:

    Yup, it’s a no brainer. But then, I’ve wondered for years why the SNP dont form a breakaway branch that’s not technically the SNP but has almost exactly the same manifesto. SNP could stand constituents and NPS (well spotted, Python fans) could stand only in regional. It could be an open secret about their political alliance and they’d sweep the parliament. I know it’s “gaming the system” but it slightly worries me that they’ve never thought about doing it.

    Arguably same for any party but in recent years LabConDems haven’t gained enough FPTP seats to really benefit from this.

  8. Fergus Green says:

    Nice work Stuart. I have always favoured a pro-Indy list party, not aligned with the SNP and it is facinating to see how the spread of seats would actually play out.

    Whether it is Wings or some other organisation which leads this alternative party, they will get my list vote. Promise.

    Anything that might get rid of Murdo, Wells and Kelly deserves a shot.

  9. Takeourblueback says:

    Brilliant Gavin!

  10. Graeme Hampton says:

    Well done Gavin on a solid piece of work. I might need to read it a couple of times to fully digest.

  11. Fergus Green says:

    Correction – nice work Gavin

  12. Peter Craig says:

    I would bet that a certain dog food salesman is, at this moment orgasmicly trying to debunk all these graphs.I am, however convinced, so bring it on.

  13. Sinky says:

    O/t Bbc uk out a Labour activist who challenged Boris Johnson in hospital ward. Bbc Scotland forgot to mention that Richard Kerley is a Labour activist and former councillor when appearing as expert on hospital construction contracts

  14. peter newling says:

    This is very interesting and a contribution to the debate on this question.
    However it lets itself down badly by the waspish closing comments which are clearly aimed at James Kelly [Scot Goes Pop],
    Debate the issue for heavens sake – making personal jabs is childish and diminishes the case you make.

  15. ahundredthidiot says:

    Thanks Gavin, even though I was convinced first time around, this might bring around some doubters……..remember the prize!

    If we need to wait till 2021

    SNP 1
    Wings 2

    Then we drop out of the Union, no ifs, no buts.

  16. Wynn Thorne says:

    Hello Stuart – The Green vote is going to strengthen over time due to climate change, other environmental stuff and environmental concerns are becoming ‘fashionable’ – they get press coverage. You only use the Greens as fodder for wings but how would an increase in their vote (not just due to independence but beliefs and conscience)splitting the transfer of SNP list votes affect the results? Also, SLab might well make a resurgence, its dangerous to assume that they are not only down but out. what would happen if they has an increase in their vote? I appreciate that you have put out your workbook for us to look at but I do not have the time at present. These are serious questions from me not criticisms. Do we have data on this sort of scenario?

  17. Lenny Hartley says:

    As far as inam concerned its a win win idea, i would rather vote for any other pro indy list party than the greens. I doubt if Kelly will bother getting back to you, his ego is bigger than the arse of the winner of last years biggest arse in the World competition.

  18. Gavin Barrie says:

    Oner point to note; the 2016 Regional vote for the SNP was 945k. There are usually in excess of 250k people reading Wings each month.

    If most of that 250k are resident in Scotland and can vote, lets say 200k, that represents 21% shift already. I believe we have the numbers, its a matter of making the case and persauding people.

  19. TJenny says:

    You get my vote Stu. Bring it on.

  20. Wynn Thorne says:

    Sorry that should have been Hello Gavin.

  21. Lesserpawn says:

    I really like this idea. If the Wings party were to stand, I could see a situation where the SNP could limit itself to FPTP elections only. This would give pro-independence voters more choice, as they could vote for Wings or the Greens or independence supporting independents. I like the concept that we work together for FPTP, but have our views on other issues more accurately represented.

    The failure of RISE and the SSP in recent years has been, in part, due to their lack of policy detail, so I’d be interested if this could be addressed. Perhaps a list consisting of principles (such as support for an independent Scotland, the protection of women’s rights, etc) and another with specific (but potentially changeable) policies.

    One way to test the waters could be to set up an email subscription for those who would consider joining a Wings party.

  22. Sinky says:

    If it was so simple to harvest up list votes for another pro indy party why did Greens not pick up dozens of seats.
    Minor parties do not have the workforce or resources to contact one million voters and SNP activists main priority is to get folk to return constituency MSPs. Greens campaign for our second vote has always had limited success

  23. Proud Cybernat says:

    Rev – isn’t the obvious response to this from BritNat parties to simple ‘game’ the Constituency seats? We’re already seeing, for example, in the pre-campaigning for snap GE that SLabour are having (ahem) ‘difficulty’ in finding candidates for 30+ seats. Aye, right! This, imo, is part of a collusion with other Scot/BritNat parties to game the snap GE in Scotland and if they are prepared to game it at GE then they’ll find (ahem) legal ways to do it in SE. Won’t they?

  24. Morag says:

    Guys, it would never have been legal for the SNP to have formed a list-only party to game the system. Any co-operation between the SNP and a Wings party would also be very questionable. The only way this actually works is if the SNP and Wings are actual, real rivals. In this context it’s just as well that the SNP isn’t going to give Stu the time of day.

  25. Karmanaut says:

    Very interesting.

  26. DiForrester says:

    I think the idea is great! The main concerns I have are that a) I doubt the SNP (or Greens) will want to have anything to do with it b) the new party will be accused of being anti-democratic & trying to scam the system c) it will need a name other than the ‘Wings Party’ & d) anyone brave enough to put themselves forward as a candidate is going to be attacked mercilessly. They will need strong constitutions & empty closets. Vetting will need to be robust.

    The critical factors imo will be the quality of the candidates, the branding / image of the new party & its organisational ability. I’d certainly consider giving my second vote to a strong set of pro-indy candidates.

  27. Gavin Barrie says:

    Peter Newling – again, I state publicly that I offered to share and send all this to other contributors. I wasn’t taken up on that offer but found myself mentioned derogatorily in a blog and ridiculed, using very inadequate analysis.

    I invite *anyone* to use this analysis and learn to their advantage. My comments are not aimed at a specific individual.

  28. Fergus Green says:

    Tartan Pigsty has not posted for a few days and his/her 10000 flags for Indy fundraiser has only generated £10 today, so far.

    I thought it might be helpful to post the link again:

  29. TJenny says:

    Sinky – I fully expect the Greens’ vote to tank, as many, many women who perhaps agreed, reluctantly in some cases to give their second vote to Greens, will now not do so, owing to Greens’ extreme gender self id policy and pro trans exceptionlism.

  30. Geordie says:

    Yes, this looks good in terms of a greater pro Indy majority in Holyrood. BUT…I need to be honest here. The increasing tendency for WoS to savage the SNP (Sturgeon a liar etc etc) makes me doubtful that the WoS party would willingly and consistently work as the junior partner in any arrangement with the SNP, who will always be the most likely vehicle for Independence. The more likely scenario is of bullish personalities looking for ways to throw their weight around.

    I love and value the media work Wings does, but asking me to trust you with my vote? Like it or not, recent blogs have sadly made me much less inclined to do so. In other words, YOU are making it increasingly difficult to vote for you.

  31. Douglas says:

    This is dangerous and I think, despite your detailed calculations, you underestimate the potential for this to backfire badly.

    The main value is forcing the hand of the SNP leadership to get on with a referendum.

    To work it needs to be a credible threat.

    Ironically, to achieve this, dangerousness might be a boost to it’s effectiveness.

    I really hope that this all becomes irrelevant because the SNP get on with a referendum.

    If a Wings Party ever forms it will be a sign of failure by the established Independence parties.

  32. Gordon Keane says:

    I think a Wings type Party is a great idea, and if we need that , if not Independent,, by the time, then Yeah, I would go along with it.

  33. William Black says:

    Lots of thoughts went into this anything that helps the indy cause .notice I didn’t mention snp cause as it’s sadly lacking in fight.

  34. Del G says:

    404 if i click the excel link. ‘Failed – no file’ if I right-click and download …

  35. heraldnomore says:

    I fully understand the numbers but my concern is the badging. In short, and with all due respect to th superb work done on this site, I really don’t think it should be fronted by Stu or badged as Wings. There is a need for the wider Yes movement to progress here, though I appreciate heads above the parapet appear limited to one at the moment. The pioneers take all the arrows…

  36. Morag says:

    a) I doubt the SNP (or Greens) will want to have anything to do with it

    There’s no need for the SNP and/or the Greens to have anything to do with the party for an election, quite the opposite. These are all separate parties and will campaign separately, as rivals. No co-operation required, in fact co-operation definitely not wanted to be on the right side of electoral law.

    If you mean in the Holyrood chamber, after Wings has won a dozen or more seats? I think pragmatism comes to the fore then. If the SNP were to spurn at the very least a confidence and supply arrangement with a Wings group, they should not be the party leading our independence movement, end of.

  37. Gordon Keane says:

    Depends on who they get.
    i have a slew of idea, for example regards Local Government in Scotland.
    Unfortunately, the Scottish Parliament has done nothing on this, nothing of use these past 20 years, and still leave us with the Michael Forsyth inventions of 1996.
    part from that, I think it would push far stronger for Independence, than we see form SNP at present
    Constantly asking Westminster permission is a waste of time.
    And the longer we wait, the more the chance we end up out of EU.
    What then?
    Labour spent nearly 2 decades girning off about the Thatcher-Major policies, but would good was that?
    SNP seem to be doing the same thing today, and is getting nowhere.
    I don’t get the Greens at times either, to be honest.

  38. Daisy Walker says:

    More than anything your analysis highlights how the Better Together Unionist parties have utilised the Holyrood voting system to game it since its inception.

    We are at the stage now where we cannot afford to have all our eggs in one basket.

    My concern is not with the projected numbers, but with the difficulty in breaking through voter apathy to create a new Political Party.

    I think an internal poll to wingers to see what votes you can guarantee and where they are located, might be wise.

  39. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I really don’t think it should be fronted by Stu or badged as Wings.”

    Sigh. The entire POINT is that Wings is a recognised brand. If you do it without that you’re RISE or the Scottish Independence Party. Remember them? No? There you go.

  40. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I really like this idea. If the Wings party were to stand, I could see a situation where the SNP could limit itself to FPTP elections only.”

    That’s really REALLY unlikely. Apart from the fact that the SNP would never willingly surrender a single seat, the Electoral Commission would look on it very dimly, and probably regard it as illegal collusion.

  41. Muscleguy says:

    Waiting for a James Kelly/Scotgoespop SNP are superduper specially delicate butterflies and tampering at all is tewibly, tewibly a bad idea Wings is BAD m’kay? post.

    In 2016 he denied mathematical reality and the reality of AMS to try and persuade people not to vote Green on the List. I called him on it on his blog noting I’m a numerate scientist and you can’t do that to maths to no avail.

    He’s a hardcore SNP Fanboi you see and NOTHING non-SNP can possibly be good, despite the reality of the outcome last time with two more Green MSP’s saving the day rather comfortably. 2016 pretty much establishes your point Rev.

    If you overtly stand on an Anti-GRA (or modify it for PVG reasons) then I’m sure lots of female SNP voters and their male allies (waves) will vote for Wings on the List.

    As ForWomen.Scot have noted Sturgeon has not met them despite promising to do so. But she has met Stonewall and TRA’s instead. So much for a fair consultation. WFI are the same.

    If you can get ForWomen and WFI on your side Wings Party are sorted.

  42. Frank Gillougley says:

    Yes. Absolutely.

    This political period of stagnation is currently reminiscent to me of the behaviour of the Democrat party (whom I would liken to the SNP) in the state of Michigan in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 documentary. So, I would say hell, yeah, even if for no other reason than to give the hierarchy of the SNP a boot up their collective arse.

    DIY Democracy – what’s not to like? Otherwise, I genuinely fear we’ll still be here in exactly the same position in another 5 years time.

    The name (or brand) is a BIGGY. The sooner it gets out there into the public consciousness the better.

    (ps Hell, Stuart, I’ve been following this site from the start. You have kept me going all that time. I owe you personally big time.)

    So GO FOR IT (get your team together) – and let the plodders, plod.

  43. fillofficer says:

    i’m right behind this, rev
    we need to get rid of as many gobshite britnats from holyrood as possible, replacing them with people who have scotlands’ best interests at heart.
    it kills me that they are paid by us to hold us back.
    constant negativity is soul destroying

  44. Skip_NC says:

    If a Wings party becomes necessary, it will presumably be because the SNP has abandoned the fight for independence. In that case, why only stand on the regional list?

  45. panda paws says:

    I don’t disagree with Gavin’s arithmetic and I doubt the unnamed polling blogger would either. Where the disagreement is I think, is in the likelihood of a currently unformed party somehow being able to gather 5% of the vote never mind 12% by 2021.

    WOS has high brand recognition within the politics anoraks but amongst Jo Public??? And is the recognition that exists among Jo Public positive?

  46. Unless Wings wins a constituency seat or a number of seats no other seats will be awarded.

  47. Mist001 says:

    Well, I’m totally in with Wings on this and they’ll get my list vote but it has to be quick. I only have three years left as an overseas voter!

    What is probably a cast iron given though, is that the SNP will cause as much damage to Wings as they possibly can because they’ll see it as a threat to their current cosy little set up.

  48. SilverDarling says:

    Isn’t the point that nobody wanted to vote for RiSE or the Greens in the numbers they might want to vote for WoS Party? That is why this is garnering so much attention. The second vote going elsewhere was always going to be ‘wasted’ if the party you were voting for is a dud.

    As environmental policies become more mainstream the Greens are becoming more strange and out there with their other policies so that I could never give them my vote. As for RiSE, they got a ton of publicity from their pals in MSM based on no real grassroots support or clear message. So that left both votes SNP as the only option.

    While the Unionist parties are fighting to differentiate from each other, Swinson is jostling to establish herself as Queen Bee of ALL Unions. Labour as a fudge of mebbes Aye, mebbes No and the Tories as UKOK, wherever they may be.

    We NEED another serious Independence option.

  49. Willie John says:

    Looks like I can’t see the wood for the trees and missed the relevant chart, but if some of the polling suggestions are right about the SNP getting 50+ seats how would this affect the numbers?

    My simple mind says it would help increase the Wings numbers, or is that too simplistic?

  50. Republicofscotland says:

    Just go for it Stu, many folk will give you their list vote, and removing some of those unionist MSP in the process, will give us all that feel good feeling.

    Id love to see Tomkins/Fraser/Wells/Cole-Hamilton and quite a few other odious bastards out on their arses.

    It woukd be worth that alone, you’ve got my vote.

  51. Skip_NC says:

    William Purves, to state that as an absolute is simply incorrect. Any party that does not win a constituency seat starts with a divisor of one in the list vote.

  52. Stravonian says:

    Sorry Stu – that is the kind of decontextualised analysis for which Kevin Vague is famed.

    Voters and commentators expect political parties to get started to pursue a political objective – not to mop up loose list seats.

    Try scenario testing based on the mixed message created by this initiative harming the SNP constituency and regional votes and let us know what happens then.

    There is no such thing as a risk free approach to political campaigning – certainly not in Scotland at this time.

  53. Ross says:

    This data doesn’t poll wings in any sense. Old data.

    Wings is a fantastic resource, it’s the info not the personality that helps the case. I like him but it would be spun badly in my view.

  54. Helen Yates says:

    To those who think a Wings party would be gaming the system, do you honestly believe the unionists parties haven’t and wouldn’t do the same to take votes from the SNP, they have done it before and they are working right now on how they can work together to take SNP seats. they make no secret of this. personally I can’t understand why the SNP haven’t already done this and the fact that they haven’t concerns me. I do hope if a snap election is called that they stand on a single issue mandate that a vote for SNP is a vote for Independence, if it’s acceptable for the Lib-Dems to do so regarding revoking Brexit why shouldn’t the SNP do this, however if they don’t then this is the next best step for the Indy movement and Wings would certainly get my vote. we’ve pussy footed around for long enough.

  55. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    RISE didn’t try winning anyone over. They spent most of their time slagging off the SNP and attacking their supporters, and totally ignoring the unionists. They had simply jumped on board the indy bandwagon, hoping to gather more votes.

  56. AndyH says:

    Go for it.

    Needs to be done.

    Divide and conquer.

  57. Lekraw says:

    Unless someone can come up with a compelling counter argument, I don’t see any reason not to go for it. This could be just the adrenaline shot in the buttocks that the indy cause needs to spur some action.

  58. Hamish100 says:

    Dreamland at the moment

    More likely to have a general election FPTP – no need for WoS

    For a referendum- no need for WoS

    Come back in 21

  59. Gordon Keane says:

    In response to the post by William Purves above, it is incorrect to claim Wings would need to win a constituency seat, or no other seat will be awarded. The Greens don’t have any constituency seats, neither did the Sheridan Socialists group in previous years,but both groups got List MSPs.

  60. BobW says:

    I think William Purves may be trying to ‘game’ the discussion.

  61. fillofficer says:

    as for gaming the system
    isn’t that how they defeated alex salmond , among others
    if only we could find a dark money tree

  62. cynicalHighlander says:

    @Wynn Thorne

    If you think the Green vote is going to go up Iam sorry but their gender bender view is already losing them supporters especially women who don’t want male genitals in their changing spaces.

  63. galamcennalath says:

    I see positives and negatives.

    A positive. I don’t see anyone else point out that some voters for all parties can be YES. This is particularly true of residual Labour voters where I’ve seen estimates based on polls of sizeable Indy backing. Even the Tories and Libdems have a single figure YES percentage in their voters. If Wings is promoted mainly as an Indy engine, the Labour-YES might be tempted to vote Labour-Wings.

    This is a double edged sword because of course the Unionist parties rely completely on list votes and this would hit them where it hurts! It would reduce their list seats further and boost the pro Ind total.

    Clearly residual Unionist party voters haven’t been willing to vote SNP, but the YES minded among them might offer a Wings boost not mentioned elsewhere, as far as I can seen.

    A negative. I worry about the psychological message. SNP to weak to deliver? It may cast doubts in the minds of some voters. And certainly the MSM and BritNats will pump the idea for all it’s worth.

    Another negative. Rise and greens have failed. This works when SNP-Wings is >12%. Is that really achievable in the wider population?

    My preferred outcome is IndyRef2 soon, we win, the Union is dissolved!

  64. All Of Us First says:

    I’m in!

  65. CmonIndy says:

    I do like the openness of the assessment and the availability of the macro to test much more scenarios.
    However you have not considered Unionist countermeasures such as tactical voting and some standing down of Unionist csndidates in some regions.
    Or the addition of another Unionist party (Scotbrexit?).
    My overall impression is that this is dangerous territory for a 2021 Indy majority. I can only hope we dont need to hold another Holyrood election.

  66. Derek Rogers says:

    I don’t agree with your conclusion. You say Wings would “in any currently-plausible circumstances pose no risk whatsoever to the Yes majority”, but your penultimate chart, “Balance…depending on % Shift” under the Tough Scenario, suggests just that.

    The chart shows that:

    – if the SNP lose 10 consitituency seats
    – and the SNP loses 5 percent of the regional vote
    – and Wings takes less than 22 percent of the regional vote

    then the Yes majority is lost. Getting 22 percent of the vote is a huge challenge for a new party, so those outcomes don’t seem to me implausible.

    Your manifesto will also play a part. You made the point some while ago that the more policies an indy party has, the more voters it risks alienating. This is because while its voters all support indy, not all will support shedding the monarchy, joining the EU, running our own currency, and so on. So your policies matter.

    I’m full of admiration for your work and for the Wings Party initiative, and your data is first-class, So I’m glad it’s not my call.

  67. Mist001 says:

    When did 2021 become the generally accepted year for another referendum? Last I heard, Sturgeon wanted it in the second half of 2020. Someone’s not playing with a full deck somewhere:

  68. Colin Alexander says:

    Nice one Stu.

    Putting the fear into Kezia’s pals in the SNP and Greens, who thought they will have jobs for life administering the British Empire’s Scotland colony.

  69. Terry callachan says:

    Why can’t we have three pro independence party’s to match the three of Tory labour Lib Dem

    Freedom party ?

    Can we get some mathematicians to check and double check everything

  70. Kenny says:

    Has no one thought of this?

    The SNP withdraws and only stands on the list vote?

    So the “Wings for Scottish Independence Party” stands on the constituent vote (and list vote, if it gets zilch, who cares?)… and the SNP on the list vote.

    Would this not work better? Because the SNP is recognised as a “second best brand”. So Labour (and a small percentage of Tory voters who hate Labour) voters would be more willing to vote SNP than Wings.

    The majority of SNP voters in the constituency are for independence…. does it really matter which party then you for? Especially as people are beginning to wonder if this even what the SNP really wants…

    [I have done some analysis myself, Tory voters tend to favour next Lib Dems, but the next choice as a far second is very often SNP: good government, prescriptions, travel, etc.]

  71. cynicalHighlander says:


    Whit you on about? those pills aren’t working obviously speak to a medic.

  72. BobW says:

    Why would that be relevant? I don’t have to meet them to have an opinion on them or their actions. Opinions can be formed by watching their antics in the HoC, Holyrood and as reported in the MSM. When my late wife was still a member of the Labour Party, I did meet Tricia Marwick, she being one of the politicians I do not have a low opinion of.

  73. Truth says:

    If this got off the ground and was successful, they’d be writing books and filming documentaries about it for years to come.

  74. mike cassidy says:


    No time just now to read btls.

    So in case it hasn’t been mentioned.

    BBC 1 tonight at 9

    The Papers

    First of a two-part look behind the scenes at the Herald, National and Evening Times.

  75. Can`t fault your laser point analysis Gavin,

    SNP/Wings it is.

  76. Shug says:

    The snp cant be seen to be rigging the system and that is what the unionist will say but i have to agree with your summary
    Gwt on with it and do it. Get good people in place now, register your party and get on with it
    You need to pick reliable people with no bad track record

  77. June Maxwell says:

    I’m not politically astute enough to analyse this potential scenario from a critical perspective, but what I appreciate about it is that intentions are laid out clearly, no backroom deals, no nonsense about withholding ‘plans’ in case others get wind of them. I’d also like to see Holyrood spiced up somewhat (Indyref or no, they’re all too comfy for my liking). So, Wings and co, on you come.

  78. TJenny says:

    What would a Wings party bring to Holyrood? Oh, I don’t know, how about support for the OBFA, the Named Persons Act and a voice to support women against big moustachioed and bearded men who demand women allow them into their safe spaces, just because they say they now id as Daphne and they’ve put on lipstick.

    Three reasons enough for me to give Stuey’s party my vote. Oh, and he’s fiercely pro indy. 🙂 So that’s four reasons.

  79. Capella says:

    There is definitely a gap in the market for a pro Indy pro women’s rights party. I will not vote SNP if they promote Gender Self ID – which they are at the moment in spite of promises to desist.

    The Greens are even more bonkers on this issue. Ditto Lib Dems. And Labour were responsible for enacting the GRA in 2004.

    That leaves the Tories as the only party likely to challenge this nonsense. They are already “weaponising” the issue.

    But let’s assume the SNP recover from the spell and run in 2021 on a clear independence campaign (assuming that Indyref2 has either happened and been won or it hasn’t happened and is imminent). What percentage of the popular vote would they need to once more get a majority on their own? It happened in 2011.

  80. findlay farquaharson says:

    cannae believe a read aw that

  81. Famous15 says:

    Only if Jo Swinton and Willie Rennie are not allowed to join!

  82. Bob Mack says:

    Just dropped in to say ,Rev you go for it.

  83. johnj says:

    I didn’t read all the data and analyse the graphs because I’m quite old and don’t have enough time left. But I gave my second vote to the greens for the reason suggested. I would happily vote for a ‘Wings’ party if it published a manifesto which was broadly centre left (or further left) and included environmental issues.

  84. Shug says:

    In fact if you do it againt the snp advice nobody can accuse you of collusion.
    Go forit on the policy of independence and prod the snp on
    Use labourand coservative policies in your manafesto to foil their attacks. The details are all irrelevant provided we focus on indy

  85. Iain mhor says:

    Nice work Gavin much appreciated.
    I have no problem with anyone standing for any reason, even if it is argued by some, that it is somehow “gaming the system” and for ‘reasons’ undemocratic.
    It is not at all, it is exactly democratic. Standing for any reason, on any policy, on any principle, seeking support, seeking to be heard – is practically the definition of democracy.

    My reservations are merely to ponder where the votes come from. RISE, the SSP (others are available) have signally failed to make any inroads in the magic numbers. Though perhaps that is because of how ‘left’ leaning and conflicting, their multiple policies are.
    I’m interested if (even in its natal state) there is a skeletal policy framework on which to stand – or, if it is to be single issue.
    Perhaps indeed, it is precisely the plethora of policies which are hamstringing the current peripheral parties. (The lost art of alliteration, sorry) Would a single issue, policy appeal, where many policies divide? – every chance.

    As for Wings ‘appeal’; popularity is nothing much more than brand awareness and marketing. Wings managed that with the WBB.
    As to potential numbers from Wingers, well only Stu knows his analytics.and potential.
    Yes, there may well be upwards of “X” readers of Wings – how many are multiple visits, behind VPN’s (or for those geeks of a certain age – ‘behind 7 proxies’) overseas, outwith Scotland, non Yes voters, etc etc. Then there will be the agitators against, those attempting to poison the brand in its infancy – the deep pocket brigade, far less those within the ‘Yes’ camp generally.

    Many questions, much to ponder, much of which I am not privy to. However, it is Stu’s democratic right to *ahem, rev up a list party and launch it. If the potential damage we are talking, is the possible loss of Independence because of tiny margins, then Scotland, frankly is not ready to be Independent.
    Independence support should be resilient enough to handle that, the very fact it isn’t, is all the more reason to keep seeking new approaches to get it stronger, to get the message out.

    Holyrood is gamed to ensure it is highly improbable a party can gain a majority – gamed so English Unionist Parties can become Scottish by slapping a badge on it – gamed so they can collude to win seats and receive illegal donations with impunity – gamed so that even with a majority, a party’s manifesto, can never be legally implemented, because the other political parties write the rules – that is the only “gaming the system” as I perceive.
    Stand a Wings Party, whyever not indeed.

  86. Athanasius says:

    It’s too clever. Garbage in, garbage out.

  87. jfngw says:

    If I want to split my vote then why should the Greens, a party I won’t vote for, be the only other independence option.

    Here was me thinking the Ross Thomson was Boris Johnson’s biggest fan boy, turns out I’m wrong and it’s Leni Kuenssberg.

  88. Robert Peffers says:

    @Rev Stu:

    Now while I agree it is a fine idea my old head is always wary of, “Good Ideas”, that have gone wrong. I’ll give a wee example that sticks in my mind. I worked for a while with Yard Services during my working life in HM Dockyard Rosyth.

    Ship refit & repair is, if anything, far more dangerous than ship building. This incident actually happened.

    We were working on a submarine repair ship, (a converted WWI liner). The job was to disconnect the electric cables for deck mounted cranes to allow a floating crane to lift out the now disconnected ship’s crane from the sponson, (a round hollow turret), it was fitted into.

    I was the electrical fitter and we had a mechanical fitter and a labourer in the team. So we got the cables all tagged, disconnected and tied tightly together to allow them to go through the round hole on top of the sponson, (undone by the mechanical guy), so that a floating crane could lift the ship’s crane clear of the sponson.

    So the big moment arrived and the floating crane began to lift the ship mounted crane clear – and that was when things began to go wrong.

    Thing was this job was normally done by a crane on the dockside but as there were no spare berths near dockside cranes management decided on a floating crane.

    So here’s a wee bit of basic mechanics. A floating crane works by using inbuilt water tanks as counter balance as the weight on the crane’s jib pulls the raft like structure it is fitted on down on one side and up on the other side. Things went well until the widest part of the crane being lifted snagged on the hole on top of the sponson.

    This was not in the plans so the floating crane operators were not expecting it and the floating crane began to tilt dangerously.

    Now everything would have been o/k as te floating crane operators would take off lifting pressure and we could then guide the crane being lifted through the narrow opening.

    A this point our labourer sprang into action and grabbing a long steel spiked pole he dived into the sponson and levered the crane being lifted to the side.

    At this the crane swung free and began to go rapidly through the hole in the sponson but being lifted by a floating crane it then shot rapidly sideways hit the labourer who had freed it and he disappeared over the side of the ship and by luck missed the wooden rafts that prevent ships fouling the dockside and landed in the oily and rubbish laden non-tidal basin the ship was berthed in.

    On being pulled from the water and sat down on the wooden rafts I said to him, “What the hell did you do that for”?

    His answer was a classic, “I dunnow – but it seemed like a good idea at the time”.

    It taught me a lesson if not our labourer. The Scottish bard had it right, “The best laid schemes o mice, men and Dockyard managementsgan aft agley”, but they all seemed like good ideas at the time.

  89. archie says:

    Please get this done soon as ,lets give them a wee taste of tactical voting back ,the opportunity to remove as many of those squatters at Holyrood would be welcomed by the vast majority of us

  90. Juteman says:

    I’ll bet 95% of the electorate have never heard of Wings.
    A woman I know that has been on a few indy marches, and lifelong SNP voter had no idea Wings existed, when I asked her if she had seen a particular blog post.
    We are political anoraks, and most ‘normal’ folk have a life.

  91. wullie says:

    We have multiple unionist parties they might call themselves by different names but as far as I can see they operate as one party. tory libs labs media abc etc etc. So why not multiple independence parties maybe different names but operate as one party. Just like those unionist bas &$£

  92. robertknight says:

    Convinced as to why such a move makes sense from the pro-Indy MSP majority point of view.

    Can also fully appreciate why the SNP would balk at the concept of pro-Indy ‘radical’ MSPs stealing their thunder.

    Makes me think of the Brexit Party pulling on the chain of the Tory Party at Westminster post the next GE if the current Brexit date is missed. “They don’t like it up em Captain Mainwaring, they don’t like it up ’em”.

  93. Para Handy says:

    I can understand why another pro-independence party could, given the right policies and pro-Indy support, improve the majority at Holyrood. With all due respect to you, Stuart, you have a following as a result of being a supporter of the facts around independence, the duplicity of the MSM and Westminster politicians among many topics; but is that not what people want from you?

    Setting up a political party under the Wings banner would surely pr vent you from running this site as you currently do. Would it not be better to have a conversation about what organisation, either existing or new, would have a chance, with the support of this and other pro-Indy sites, of making these numbers a reality?

  94. Sandy says:

    Flushing the Murdos out of Holyrood, I love the idea.

  95. Ian Brotherhood says:

    RISE used blatant and crude entryism to cuckoo-nest the SSP. The latter punched well above their weight in the years immediately before indyref1 and made a huge contribution to the Yes campaign.

    All that work was undone by a bunch of ideologues who saw the opportunity to hijack the infrastructure of a well-established (if small) party. I’ve been away from the SSP for a long time and don’t know if it has any policy on GRA etc but my gut feeling is that any ‘Wings’ party would hoover up the votes of many who left SSP after the RISE take-over.

    Gavin deserves great credit for producing this work in difficult personal circumstances and anyone ‘rubbishing’ his observations should get a grip – this is too important for ad hominem shite, against Gavin or, for that matter, Stu Campbell.

  96. Golfnut says:

    ‘re SNP standing on Independence ticket for GE.

    I really don’t understand why the SNP have such a problem with this. It’s the very reason for their existence.
    Why should they go into a GE with a manifesto full of things they would never be allowed to deliver. They can’t win a majority at Westminster and nobody wants to be seen going into a coalition with them. They are treated like lepers, mocked and abused daily, they are not there to make Westminster work, they are there to end it.

    During the last GE, the media spent its time dissing their performance at Holyrood, the fact that they are without doubt the only competent Government in the UK didn’t matter. Why go through all that.

    All interviews should start with, ‘ I’m here to talk about dissolution of the union because we are sick and tired of the total lack of respect towards Scotland and her People. We’ve put three proposals in front of the UK gov, we’ve sent analysis papers to the gov showing how much damage will be inflicted on Scotland and the UK, we’ve put amendments in front parliament, either ignored or voted down, we didn’t vote for Brexit and we have now no other remedy other than ending the political union with England.

    Sometimes it’s better to keep it simple.

  97. Ian B says:

    There is not a cat in hell’s chance that a new Wings Party would command 12% of the list vote.

    Even as a “recognised brand” (lol) they’d be lucky to win 3%.

  98. defo says:

    Taken that we actually need to activate your evil plan…

    If Wings has to fly, and returns high single or better candidates, wouldn’y it be apt if some had something specific to offer the people in return. Valuable additions to committee’s , advocates for particular issue’s, voices from the coalface…
    Not just turning up for morning coffee with the dear leader, taking a few notes & pocketing a fair whack!
    see Murdo et al

    Maybe that nominating people who wouldn’t naturally see themselves as politicians could bear some long lasting fruit?

  99. Confused says:

    so – it’s what we all thought it was; the wings party cannot do any damage to nationalism under any likely scenario, and under most, mild and conservative assumptions, it does a job

    – the excel spreadsheets are okay, but you want to do some hardcore monte carlo simulations just to be sure, to be sure.

    the question of policies and the conundrum – the less policies you have, the less credible you seem, but the more policies you have, the less attractive you become – something will always put off somebody (the brexit party did remarkably simply because of it was one issue only) –

    I have a dislike of representative democracy – it’s a scam really – vote for us (then we do what we want, fuck you); the swiss are regarded as having one of the best systems in the world, and it is heavy with referenda, even on deep and heavy shit, like whether the currency should be gold-backed.

    – instead of saying – this and that say : a referendum on this, and that … that way you can cleverly sidestep all the divisive, bullshit issues that the professional activist class make a lot of noise about.

    – and more subtly, it removes from the public mind the notion of the “specialness of a referendum”. No, they are commonplace, they are practical.

    and with that in mind – here is a policy for the new WINGS LIST SUPER AVENGERS COOL DUDES AND HOT CHICKS Party (or whatever you want to call it)

    – a referendum on independence, EVERY YEAR, to be held on the anniversary of bannockburn, the execution of wallace or archie gemmills goal against holland.

    the celts had a nice tradition, which could perhaps solve a lot of modern problems between men and women, that of the “annual marriage” – two hands together and you’re married for a year and a day – no divorce, of course, coz there’s no need.

    We should think of political unions the same way.

  100. Ian Brotherhood says:

    How can anyone have a beef about ‘gaming’ a system which enables characters like Annie Wells and Murdo Fraser to enter public life? The system itself is a fuckin ‘game’, and not a very enjoyable one at that.

    FFS, it’s not as if we’re talking about cheating at chess or bridge, is it?

  101. Robert Peffers says:

    @Douglas says: 18 September, 2019 at 6:02 pm:

    ” … The main value is forcing the hand of the SNP leadership to get on with a referendum.
    To work it needs to be a credible threat.”

    That is entirely NOT what it is all about Douglas but it does go a long way to explaining why some Wingers do have reservations about the idea.

    The point being the SNP do NOT need threats from you or anyone else. Most sane people know that the professional politicians who have far more, and better, information than we have are far better placed to know when the time is right. Think on Alex Salmond who now states if he had know how things were going right now he would not have called indyref1.

    Alex called it too soon – and lost it. The worst possible thing now would be to call another referendum too soon and lose the as well. I’ve waited nearly 70 years and I can wait a wee while more. I’m as impatient as anyone else and perhaps more impatient than many as I just might not live long enough to die in an independent Scotland. I’m both ill and disabled but Scottish independence is more important than anyone.

    Here are facts – in a previous Stu article a person stated that their intention was to vote ONLY for the Wings party because of the SNP’s stance on the self proclaimed gender issue.

    Truth is the SG and SNP do not have an official stance on that particular issue but why do you imagine there are those making waves over it?

    There is no official SNP policy and the party cancelled any action upon it until more work has been done. There has been far more noise than light about the issue yet here was someone who quite obviously had no idea what Stu was actually proposing but who was one of those causing no end of problems about it.

    I’m no expert about the matter but I do know that much of the shouting, threats and even physical violence over the matter are more ill informed than I am.

  102. Cubby says:

    The National

    Another excellent paper today. The National is going from strength to strength. Why would Independence supporters purchase the Herald or the Record when there is The National.

  103. TJenny says:

    Ian B – ‘There is not a cat in hell’s chance that a new Wings Party would command 12% of the list vote.

    Even as a “recognised brand” (lol) they’d be lucky to win 3%.’

    So, as I don’t see you as a supporter, you’ve got nothing to worry about. 🙂

  104. Terry callachan says:

    Wullie. 8.20 pm

    I agree, why don’t we have three pro independence party’s

    As you say the Labour Tory Lai Dems are three unionists party’s

    And as you say the Tory labour and Lib Dem party’s work together to defeat Scottish independence with their very public tactical voting

    If they can do it so can we

  105. BobW says:


    I think it’s 12% of the SNP list vote, not of the total list vote.

  106. dadsarmy says:

    The Herald / National story is on the BBC, sit back, have a cuppa and enjoy 🙂

    For some, best put away heavy and sharp objects first.

  107. Hamish100 says:

    The tories fighting amongst themselves , labour can’t agree about fighting amongst themselves in the right order, lib Dems are now more right wing with the Tory MP’s joining them,

    Snp playing the right game and has candidates at all levels.

  108. Robert Louis says:

    If a wings party manages to put a raging big rocket under the lardy, self-contented a*ses of the feart, cowardly SNP leadership, then it will get my vote, without a second thought.

    They were elected to get us independence for Scotland, not to prevent England getting the brexit it voted for.

    Meanwhile, the SNP continue in their concerted efforts to thwart the brexit which England ACTUALLY voted for, instead of seeking independence and staying in the EU for Scotland.

    A person might start thinking the SNP don’t really want independence. Any tired old excuse will do.

  109. Gary says:

    As always Stuart, your analysis is bang on. You have my backing 100% the unionists are bricking it!!!!

  110. stuart mctavish says:

    The beauty of the tipping point lying at 12% means you dont even need collusion from the executive, support from the postal voters will suffice.. credible mix of candidates will help though.

  111. laukat says:

    Its a good piece of analysis but I’m not convinced that creating a Wings party would deliver the results without risk as it assumes no counter action by pro-union parties.

    Last GE the pro-union parties were very close to standing aside to allow the pro-union party with the best chance of defeating the SNP a clear run. A Wings party on the regional vote would galvanise the pro-union forces to do something similar and given they will have a higher share of the vote but not win many FPTP they are probably more likely to unite and see a higher return for it.

    There must be a fair amount of Wings readers that are SNP members. Would the better approach not be to galvanise that and have it vote as a mass in SNP conferences and candidate selection to move the party towards a more overt approach to Independence?

  112. Proud Cybernat says:

    Okay – not entirely scientific.


  113. Proud Cybernat says:

    Also not scientific.


  114. No Fun in being good says:

    Excellent initiative, soundly based analysis. Worthy of further consideration. Best idea wins, in my opinion.

  115. Andy Ellis says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood 9.24 –

    She’s not trying to convince anyone on here; just screeching inchoately in spittle flecked rage for reasons known only to herself I suspect. She’s patently congenitally incapable of giving direct answers to questions, just delivering the same tired evidence-free assertion that somehow it won’t work, & that Stu is a liability etc. Best ot just point, laugh, ignore & move on.

    @ laukat 9.15 –

    The problem with your final point is that many former SNP members (like me) & current supporters or folk who will vote for them (also including me) will vote for #WingsParty in a nano second rather than see their list vote wasted. We’re not going to vote Green or RISE/SSP.

    I also doubt yoons will have the nous to co-ordinate an alternative “gaming” scenario; they already have the set up in place with multiple pro-unionist parties to maximise yoon list votes.

  116. Meg merrilees says:

    Robert Louis

    Have you thought that perhaps the SNP don’t want Brexit because it raises the spectre of a hard border between an indy Scotland ( still in the EU) and England (post Brexit out of the EU).

    That would be an enormous stick with which the Unionist argument can beat any non-decided possible pro-Indy voter.

    You know, all the blurb about how difficult the border issue is in Ireland, Immigration and passports at Gretna, needing visas to visit your grandchildren in Carlisle, currency issues, custom delays, consider the border between USA and Canada etc. ( all nonsense but the media would have a field day).

    It’s simply easier and more practical to have your adjoining neighbour in the EU as well – if possible.

  117. Gary says:

    Okay, Stu, I take it all back. You’ve sold me on this being a GOOD idea instead of divisive. You’ve done the hard work and slogged through the figure, well done. I don’t mind admitting I’m wrong. The system is DEFINTELY set up to favour ‘certain groups’ and in no way seems far to the public though.

    There is only ONE concern in this at all, the politics. This ONLY works if the ‘Wings Party’ is the SNP in all but name. Where you have separate parties with similar aims you STILL have differences. Those differences are there to be exploited by a hostile unionist press and other political parties – as you know they will.

    From your writings I know that you feel the same about the ENDS but not the MEANS by which independence is achieved. That could hinder a concerted effort of Holyrood to achieve our independence.

    The other ‘hindrance’ is the name, whilst also being an advantage. It will be portrayed in the unionist press as simply a vehicle for you personally and they will (yet further) vilify you, reraise and misrepresent the Dugdale case and other misrepresentations of words attributed to you from the past along with all the usual smears that have been levelled at you in the past.

    Your high profile is both a springboard for success and a hindrance, a stick with which to beat the, as yet, unborn party.

    You promoting both a party and this idea is excellent, but the name of the party and consequent close association to you personally is a double edged sword. Although this point is more about ‘marketing’ than the data I feel it should carry equal weight.

    Remember, the Carmichael Case proved that politicians are allowed to lie to smear your name, it’s perfectly legal and they would LOVE to do that to you.

    Don’t call it ‘Wings’ and don’t put yourself front and centre, certainly not as a candidate or party official. Whilst the SNP can’t possibly agree to have any pre election agreement with you, it may be that they will have a sympathetic ear.

    Despite the facts and figures, this is still a risky venture, not so much for losing SNP seats but AFTER such a party is successful, the risk lies in it’s success, not it’s failure. It’s a genuinely brilliant idea to overcome a system designed deliberately to keep SNP out of office.

    If you do decide to do this then please give more thought to aftermath of a success and policy than we see here. I imagine you have your ideas, but this is something that would not be one off idea and you would have to sell this VERY carefully to SNP voters like myself.

    Don’t rush into this until you have everything (policy matters) resolved. I’d hate to see you give birth to the Indy version of The Brexit Party.

    Anyway, good luck with this!!

  118. Fergus Green says:

    In 2016 I wasted my list vote in NE Scotland by giving it to the SNP, largely on the advice of indy bloggers.

    In previous elections my list vote always went to the Greens.

    If there had been a Wings List type option in 2016, I would have voted for them.

    If there is no Wings List option in 2021 and we are not independent by then, my list vote will go back to the Greens.

    I think what I am saying here is ‘get it organised Stuart’

    You will have my list vote.

  119. yesindyref2 says:

    @peter newling
    I just noticed the article is by Gavin Barrie, and he got a 7 day ban from Twitter apparently for calling SGP a cunt 3 times. But it seems SGP doubted his capabilities.

    What I saw was this idea of a Wings list part being dismissed on the basis it wouldn’t get more than 3% of the list vote or something – but no supporting evidence, nor any alternates like checking to see how many seats if it managed to get 50% of the SNP list vote, 25%, 10%, 5%, and what was the tipping point?

    This article answers that, and more. Now all it needs is some accurate idea of what percentage of the SNP voters as opposed to activists, might vote for the party on the list.

    It’s about openness and detail.

  120. “I really don’t think it should be fronted by Stu or badged as Wings.”

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    ‘Sigh. The entire POINT is that Wings is a recognised brand. If you do it without that you’re RISE or the Scottish Independence Party. Remember them? No? There you go.’

    Yes. Reason for posting here is to second the BLEEDING OBVIOUS.

    Wings is a brand and Stuart Campbell is the personification of that brand. Campbell has to front the party, has to lead it, has to be seen to embody it. People will support the party and vote for its candidates because they trust campbell, his political judgement and his integrity.

    All of this should be self-evident to any imbued with a degree of political nous greater than that possessed of sedimentary rock.

  121. Andy Ellis says:

    @ Christian Wright – 9.45PM

    Hear! Hear! I’m rather non-plussed you should even need to point this out, particularly in this place. Can those pissing on us and telling us it’s raining honestly look at the leadership of the Tories, LibDems, Labour and Greens in Scotland and think that we can’t do better?

    What sort of person can listen to the assorted intellectual lightweights, sentient spam and sophomoric Wokus Dei nitwits on the opposition benches and think Stu or his reputation could be a problem or a vote loser?

    Good grief, get a grip people!

  122. Alex Birnie says:

    The arithmetic is spot on. Many of us have our own spreadsheets, where we tinker with various scenarios, and every one of the graphs that Stu has drawn is correct. I’ve checked them…..

    The reason why I was initially enthused by this proposal, was because of the reach that Wings has, which makes a Wings party much more of a viable prospect as a “D’Hondt-gaming” prospect than RISE or Solidarity were in 2016. If enough SNP voters are willing to change their votes to Wings, it would almost certainly succeed as a tactic, particularly with the uptick in the polls for both Indy and the SNP.

    And therein lies the problem. Unless Stu has done polling which he is holding back from us, he simply has no idea whether a 3% Wings vote in the Regional vote is possible, never mind the fanciful 35% that he is suggesting might be possible.

    Stu suggested that he would be willing to conduct polls among SNP voters, to determine the numbers who would be willing to vote Wings in the regional vote. As James Kelly points out, the question is crucial. If Stu asks a bullshit question, as “Scotland in Union” did with their latest “poll” offering, then he will be doing a huge disservice to the yes movement.

    The question should be as James Kelly suggests:-

    If the following were to stand in the Regional vote, which party would you vote for?
    Brexit Party
    Change UK
    Liberal Democrat
    Wings Over Scotland

    If that question (or close equivalent) shows that the likely numbers are upwards of 5%, then the Wings party idea is worthy of consideration. If the polls show that the numbers are likely to be 5% or less, then the idea should be a non-starter.

    If Stu asks a bullshit question, designed to get the result he so obviously desires, then we should treat him as a hypocrite for using the same kind of bullshit ideas that Sheridan and the RISE boys used in 2016, and WHICH WINGS RIDICULED!!

  123. Richardinho says:

    Whilst I very much respect Gavin’s number crunching, I’m personally more interested in what I call the psychological impact of a Wings Party. That is, the effect it is likely to have on, to give one example, the SNP, whom I do worry have entered into something of a morass recently.

    I think the Rev Stu’s ideas are somewhat against the grain of mainstream politics and I think it would be good for them to get a larger platform.

  124. stupidactingsmart says:

    Sometimes I feel anger directed at the SNP for not being further forward with the case for independence neglects the party’s awareness and principles regarding the many people who don’t support it. I’m rabidly pro-indy but the SNP have to be seen to be governing for all of those who aren’t, with the same commitment. What’s more, I believe most in the party take that commitment seriously and thus want to avoid riding roughshod over the people not in their corner, as opposed to the likes of BoJo who we all know is pro-Brexit for his own ends, regardless of who gets hurt. I think this is to their credit. I also think they probably see a value in trying to gently, for want of a better word, turn no-voters into yes-voters over time, rather than being seen to ignore or trample on the rights of them (which is how the MSM will portray it, regardless).

  125. jfngw says:

    Jackson Carlaw’s latest musings, a mandate only exists if you obtain more than the opposition referendum vote at an election, well that’s Brexit out the window as the Tories achieved nowhere near 15m votes in 2017.

    This would require the SNP vote to be 95% of the turnout at the last Holyrood election. Here we thought the 2/3rd bar was a move, but it’s now 95% before you can even get to the 2.3rd vote.

    It’s only recently Sillie Rennie said the SNP don’t mention independence enough after spending the last five years telling us the SNP never stop talking about independence.

    I wait with amusement for the next pearls of wisdom from the democratically challenged unionists.

  126. Colin Alexander says:

    Meg merrilees

    That’s the FM’s “saviour of England” line about hard border.

    What the SNP don’t talk about is if England / UK stays in the EU, and there is an indyref.

    The Empire colonialists’ line becomes: indy-Scotland will have EU membership vetoed by the rUK EU member, so a YES vote would mean Scotland has a hard border with England and has a trade / customs border with Ireland and rest of EU.

  127. as a person who has been involved in elections for decades, managing elections or getting elected myself – there is one flaw in all this

    The maths are indisputable – Stu is right about that (indeed I argued this case in previous elections while Stu took the opposite tack)

    BUT the flaw is that while Stu is brilliant at what he does- is he the person you would want to be holding the votes for a Scottish Independence Majority over Nicola’s head ??

    Stu is definitely going to think he knows best and disaster could enfold – he may be a brilliant blogger but does not have a record as a competent political capable of working with others.

    BUT if Stu had a list of candidates that were respected and would not be out to ‘get’ the SNP he might have a winner. (eg a post-trial innocent Salmond would be well regarded for instance)

    While the maths are right – how can we ensure that candidate selection would not deliver a mob of splittist nutters that would put internecine political warfare ahead of independence?

  128. Col.Blimp IV says:


    I buy The National, but to be honest it is a bit like a Scots Independent/Morning Star hybrid, which is why it is unlikely to achieve circulation figures in the same ballpark as the Record, Sun, Star etc.

    We could be doing with a paper, more like the short-lived SDN that printed the shite that the masses like to read but gave the independence angle a fair crack of the whip, without coming over as a propaganda sheet.

    No surprise that the Labour Government pulled the plug on it.

  129. remember
    – not a single wings candidate could win a constituency vote
    – our candiates would need to be people who respect and follow the lead of the SNP candidates that got directly elected by the people

  130. Graf Midgehunter says:

    I’m loving this post.

    Gavin’s done a solid job with the data available and lo and behold new (and old) names are turning up to try and bend the data to as negative a form as they possibly can.

    Graphs to follow from K** H**

    You can fairly smell the panic from their fear. 🙂

    The success I think depends on the WOS-list being well enough known in the general population for them to vote for it.
    RISE, SSP etc. were a minority vote because most folk had never heard of them, apart from their immediate followers.

    WOS starts from a much higher acquaintence level due to the blog and Twitter as well as the publicity generated by Kezia and Alex. In the run up to an election of course the PR will need to move in to overdrive.

  131. Golfnut says:

    Apologies if someone has already made this comment.

    2021 is an important date in the Britnat calender, they keep harping on about it, they have set there sights on winning a majority, stop indyref or even reverse the indyref decision. Maybe, like the slimeballs of 1707, they will close the parliament down. They have a plan.

    So whether or not we have and win the referendum, we need a plan as well, and revs proposal would make sure that the Britnats are in no position to interfere constitutionally in the first session of our Parliament, protect our independence by a written constitution and perhaps revamp our election processes.

    A Wings party is needed to counter the Britnat gaming the system in that first Parliament.

  132. Jim McIntosh says:

    Very interesting read, and worth consideration. We certainly need another pro-indy party on the list for the reasons Gavin states.

    My only reservation is how it helps us achieve Indy if the SNP continue sitting on their hands. We can have 100 Holyrood seats but if the SNP keep saying “now is not the time” how does that help?

    And before anyone jumps down my throat for the last comment, this scenario only occurs at Holyrood 2021,meaning they’ve squandered their mandate to hold a referendum in this parliament.

  133. UpFerIt says:

    I’d put myself forward for as a candidate for the Wings party. Would hit me fairly severely in the pocket (yes, I am fortunate (and hard working)) but (a) the maths don’t lie and (b) it is exactly the sort of radical thinking we need to shake up the established order. How much bullshit would the Unionist parties get away with if they had a full Wings party ranged against them? Do it. Just do it.

  134. mogabee says:


    I have painstakingly read all the article (Impressed Gavin!)
    and much of the data AND all the comments so far, PHEW.

    I also know from what Stu has already said that he will do polling, have discussions with folk/readers and wait to see if he actually HAS to implement this proposal.

    What many seem not to ken is that if the SNP DO NOT bring forward an independence vote BEFORE 2021 elections then all of this is moot.

    If after all those conditions are met and no indyref is forthcoming then Stu/ Wings would be fucking remiss in NOT standing candidates on the list in certain areas!!

    Personally, I am delighted to say BRING IT ON. I will vote for one of those candidates.

    I trust Stu implicitly.

    And why not as he has shown over these last few years he is surely worthy of our trust…

  135. AuldAlliance says:

    So why did you tell people it was a waste of time voting Green on the list in 2016??

  136. Big Jock says:

    Stu I was very much against this proposal. However what is going on in the SNP, and your logical explanation. Has completely changed my mind.

    I now think that Nicola has no intention of delivering indi ref 2. So realistically there will be another Holyrood vote before Indy ref 2. We need to maximise the pro Indy majority. We need to give the SNP a good shake. We need to get out of this inertia.

    I think there will be another Brexit extension to February. So there will be no time for Indy ref 2. The SNP don’t even debate alternative avenues. Section 30 is a dead duck. It will simply never be agreed. Or will have more strings attached than a pop up puppet show.

    Anyone who still thinks we just need to sit back and let Nicola sort things out. Needs to wake up. We are being strung along. There is no magic hat.

    She is a great first minister. But she will not get us out of this mess we are in. We need something to change!

  137. Golfnut says:

    The Veinna convention prevents referendums from having unrealistic targets set for a majority win. 50+1 is all we require for the referendum to be recognised by the international community.

  138. bobajock says:

    Do it Rev – I’ll stand in the Highlands and Islands. As a List politician I would align with the SNP/Greens mostly but under the Wings policies if not ‘maniacal’. But utterly pro indy, and would argue with Wings ‘data and facts’ at my side.

  139. Big Jock says:

    I hope the high heidjins in the SNP are paying attention to your post Stu. They need to understand that so many of us feel the same way. We just can’t let another year pass like this.

  140. Gavin Barrie says:

    Gary & others … *cough* Folks, I know it’s Stu’s blog, but come on … I did help ?

  141. Gerry Parker says:

    I see we have some new kids on the block (blog).

    Great idea a Wings party contesting the list. Let’s see the bones of a manifesto soon.

  142. BobW says:

    Sorry Gavin, forgot to say exceptional work!

  143. Hamish100 says:


    Keep pouring cold water on this but to exist the WoS party/ movement? has to consider many factors.
    So who are these candidates you would vote for ? in a party that does not exist?

    Some reject from the former SSP, who spend their time arguing whether they are too marxist bruther and sisters? What about reject snp candidates wanting to get one back for being ignored by some shoe in?. Cactus? aint getting my vote sober or not.

    Does the Rev choose people in his own image? Does WoS support Nationalised Industries?, what about women’s rights? Independence outwith the EU or In?

    Membership a £5 with a free WBB? Difficult isn’t it. Every one of us will have a different take on this.

  144. Cubby says:

    For Scotland the campaign continues and the Dream shall never die.

  145. Capella says:

    Thanks Gavin for doing all this work. Can I ask again – what percentage of the vote would the SNP need to gain a majority themselves, like they did in 2011?

  146. Graf Midgehunter says:

    It may be the Rev’s blog, but…

    the post and data crunching is from GAVIN BARRIE.


  147. robertknight says:

    Rev says…

    “As the mandate for a second independence referendum currently sits gathering dust in the SNP vaults”

    In fairness to the SNP, it’s not as though Yes has been consistently polling 55% since 2014.

    What’s the point in marching your 47% up to the top of the hill just to march them down again?

    If Yes had shown a consistent majority then failing to execute a mandate would be fair criticism. However…

  148. Alan Mackintosh says:

    A good article, thanks Gavin for your work, and sorry that you had to point out you were the author. So much for the #alertreaders…

    As for the detractors, the post indicates the mechanics/arithmetic at different voting levels. What is still to be determined is the likely take up of the “offer” and as Stu intimated earlier the whole idea would be informed by polling to see how the idea is received.

    Seems that some people are getting themselves a bit exercised by the whole thing. I wonder what their motives could be…?

  149. Gavin Barrie says:

    Capella commented,

    ”Thanks Gavin for doing all this work. Can I ask again – what percentage of the vote would the SNP need to gain a majority themselves, like they did in 2011?”

    I will happily look at that and post back here and on my Twitter @jammach account when done. Might take a couple of days, as I’m working through recovery from a very recent total hip replacement op. Thank you ?

  150. Tartanpigsy says:

    Did no one here watch Monkey when they were growing up?
    Its Pigsy not Pigsty lol ffs
    @Fergus Green 15.58
    Thanks for the plug btw, seems Yes merchandise isnt deemed necessary atm probs due to no one having any clue when or if we’ll campaign. Sigh

  151. Daisy Walker says:

    Anyway, on 31/10/19 it looks very likely we leave the EU with no deal.

    Yellowhammer have given an indication of what a ‘worst case’ or base case scenario is, and its not good.

    More pertinent would probably the BlackSwan report – which is likely to contain the Civil Contingency planning, military deployment, and closure of Holyrood.

    Currently Westminster is still prorogued, an its doubtful if SC will come to any conclusion before Monday.

    There is no longer sufficient time now before 31/10/19 to hold either a PV Ref, or a GE, and according to the papers, no realistic chance of passing any deal (good or bad) in WM Parliament – even assuming LBJ does not Prerogue it again – which he is considering.

    The Lib Dems have decided not to go for a PV anymore, but promise to Revoke A50 after winning a GE – which will not be legally possible, since it will fall After 31/10/19 the day of leaving, and would therefore have to be a request to re-join – but the English Remain Press are lapping it up.

    Labour is still sitting on the fence, with the added help from Steven Kinnock who amended the Benn Bill to ensure Terrible Mays awful deal could once again be put before parliament to burn the clock down and make it look like they were really trying.

    The SNP have a triple mandate to hold indyRef 2 if circumstances change substantially such as as being taken out of the EU against our will – which somewhere along the line got interpreted as – we’ll let them do it to us first before we bother our arses.

    The polls for a GE show the SNP stomping ahead – making it an absolute certainty that there isn’t going to be one.

    And all the fancy talk in the world about IndyRefs, PsVotes, GE’s whereby the SNP will take a majority of seats to mean Indy is on…. and even the possibility of a Wings Party.

    All of that is pie in the sky if it actually becomes a state of emergency and Holyrood is shut down.

    And that my friends is but 6 weeks away.

    But the good news is Germany loves Nicola.

    Think that’s about it, don’t think I’ve missed anything have I.

  152. Tartanpigsy says:

    If SNP dont use their mandate for a referendum before 2021 they could face a major backlash at the polls, or at least voter apathy.
    Our options are limited, high profile candidates will help Wings Party
    Could i offer up Alex Salmond and Craig Murray as first 2 candidate options?

  153. Daisy Walker says:

    I did miss something PM Johnston was given 30 days by Chancellor Merkel to put forward alternatives (workable) for the Withdrawal agreement and has produced nothing with only 2 days to go.

    He’s been ordered to contact the EU and request an extension to A 50 and has not done so.

    Parliament have required his staff produce all communications relating to prorogation to see if they behaved illegally and have refused to do so.

    And there is every likelyhood that further legal action will be taken to have the court submit a request to the EU for an extension of A50.

    stock up on emergency supplies folks – we’re going to need them.

  154. Ken500 says:

    What if the Wings Party members start to muck up Holyrood. Vote against SNP (popular) policies. Start creating havoc. They are mavericks. The greens are often bad enough. It creates splitter groups. Then nothing gets done. The problem with PR. Then there is not an opportunity to change the voting system. The parties with the lowest number want it to stay so they get candidates in, Not what the voters want,

    Campaign to change the electoral system to FPTP. One person, one vote. Stop the confusion. Much simpler and easier.

    The unionists illegally, without a mandate, changed the electoral system in Scotland. Lesley Evans. Devolution 2000. To make sure the SNP never got an outright majority. So the unionists could get 3rd rate losers in. They can’t be got rid.

  155. Ken500 says:

    It might work because there would be less unionists. OK go for it. It might work. Hope it doesn’t split the vote. Even one or two candidates could do it.

    Although ‘Wings’ is well known in political circles. Would it be recognised in the wider non engaged electorate.

  156. chicmac says:

    I have not done a full analysis on 2016 but those results are in broad agreement with the analysis I did for 2011, although in that instance I was envisaging SNP list vote transferring to the Greens and SSP.

    For 2011, significant gain or ‘avalanche’ if you prefer thresholds were a little higher because only Labour had a list vote that took them into the 2 or 3 seats per region area, but to a robust level. For 2016 the Tories joined Labour in the 2 to three seat region but both had a lower more vulnerable level than Labour had in 2011.

    So although Labour and Tories actually did get 45 list seats between them in 2016 as opposed to 34 in 2011, many of those were close scrapes making 2016 more amenable to the exercise under discussion.

    I have little to add other than it remains a statistically sound strategy but one which does require a significant percentage of SNP voters to comply to ensure success.

    And there lies the nub regarding a Wings party.

    On the one hand, the brand reach of Wings is such that it could conceivably muster the significant percentage required. on the other hand it has been epitomised as the epi-center of vile cyber-nattery by the MSM, a theme which the MSM would elevate to the level of spiritual frenzy if and when the Wings party becomes a reality.

    So that’s about it except to add the usual warnings that if the Unionist parties also game the system, as they seem to be showing every intention of doing, then that could nullify the effect (but make it all the more necessary), if there are too many parties vying for SNP transfer votes it can be split to below seat attainment levels.

  157. Alex Birnie says:

    Alan Mackintosh @ 11:15 “I wonder what their motives could be?”. I have no idea what other people’s motives are, but with regard to this issue, mine are solely to do with maximising the number of pro-indy seats in Holyrood.

    Three years ago, a similar “pitch” for SNP votes was being made by the RISE folk and by Solidarity. At that time, I argued furiously with Solidarity and RISE supporters about the mendacity of the people pushing this, and I seem to remember a rather important blog called “Wings Over Scotland” attacking the idea as well.

    The ONLY difference between those RISE and Solidarity proposals and Stu’s proposal, is that Wings has a much, much larger footprint within the Yes community than those guys did, which gives the Wings party proposal a much better chance (in theory) of succeeding.

    However, leaving aside Stu’s “Marmite” appeal (IMO he would do everybody a service and increase the likelihood of success, if his name was NOT on the putative party’s list), the absolute crux of this is the polling before the decision to go ahead, and the questions asked have to be honest questions. We have seen what happens when a leading question is asked – as “Scotland in Union” have just illustrated.

    I am DEEPLY sceptical that the number of SNP voters who are likely to vote for Wings in the Regional ballot could reach as high as 10% of the vote. Indeed, if past experience is anything to go by, Wings will struggle to reach 5%. That is EXACTLY the area where maximum uncertainty lies, and where counter-intuitive results happen, and the number of indy seats could go DOWN.

    I am DEFINITELY “exercised by the whole thing”, because it’s possible that the 2021 Holyrood election could be ” the big one” – which decides whether or not we obtain independence.

    I LOVE Stu’s blog, and the way he dissects the lies of the MSM. As a blogger in this area, he has no peers, and he is, without a doubt, the sharpest weapon in the wider yes movement’s armoury, outside the parliamentarians. However, as a politician, he could be a disaster for the yes cause. His belligerence and sarcastic way of talking to people who disagree with him is deeply offensive to me – and I’m a committed yes voter! God knows how he would come across to soft no voters, if TV interviews with him become the norm.

    Let’s wait and see what his polling comes up with. He seems to be in full “election mode”, and in my opinion, he’s putting the election cart before the polling horse…..

  158. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Unless Wings wins a constituency seat or a number of seats no other seats will be awarded.”

    Sorry, that’s total bollocks. You don’t need to win any constituency seats. The Greens never have.

  159. Ken500 says:

    Why is it always negative not to use mandate before 2021. If people are not prepared to support Indy 2021. What’s the point of having it before. It must be continued increasing support for success in an IndyRef. If people are not going to support it later. That could cause problems.

  160. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The chart shows that:

    – if the SNP lose 10 consitituency seats
    – and the SNP loses 5 percent of the regional vote
    – and Wings takes less than 22 percent of the regional vote

    then the Yes majority is lost.”

    Sigh. Yes, it does show that, but NOT BECAUSE THE WINGS PARTY STOOD. If the SNP lose 10 constituencies and 5% of the regional vote, the majority is fucked if we DON’T stand.

    If we get 0% of the vote in that scenario, Unionist parties get 67 seats and indy ones get 62. The ONLY way to get the majority back is for 22% of SNP voters to vote for Wings on the list, at which point we save it.

  161. Ken500 says:

    Ie two years later they do not want or support it. Indy is not just for Christmas. Indy is for life.

  162. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “That is EXACTLY the area where maximum uncertainty lies, and where counter-intuitive results happen, and the number of indy seats could go DOWN.”

    Did you actually read the article? In that scenario there’s a danger that the number of indy seats could go down by a maximum of ONE. That’s not enough to lose the majority.

  163. Al-Stuart says:

    This needs to work. Even if just as an insurance policy in case the SNP drop below critical pro-Indy majority at Holyrood.

    Stuart, this next bit is incredibly personal. Because Wings was created by a force of nature. It has become established because of a major personality with analytical skills akin to the finest QC/Advocate mating with the best forensic data scientist on the planet and giving birth to the persona of Rev Stuart Campbell.

    But, and there is often a big but…

    You have a problem.

    The solution is to accept some received wisdom.

    The best in their field have a Devil’s advocate to game out the bugs and S.W.O.T., ALL of the glitches out of a project to ensure that it WILL work.

    Stuart, the “but” is you my friend. Whether you like it or not, you are a Marmite personality.

    Like the vast majority here, I love Marmite.

    You are spot on with the Wings brand. IF all your supporters are canny about this, add them to the Wings brand and you may get past the nirvana of 12% list vote and accelerate with many Wings pro-Indy MSPs returned to Holyrood.

    The solution?

    May seem odd, but you would need more Marmite to overcome your own anti-fan club and righteous blocklisters out there.

    If you persuaded Alex Salmond to come aboard the Wings IndyList Party, that would be a game changer.

    You would be wise to also bring aboard some other big names to persuade the general voting public that you, we, us here play nice with others. We have all seen what happens when parties fight internally. Labour is repiven and the voters punish them. The Tories are in rebellion with each other and the voters dislike it. A new Wings Indy Party must get on with the SNP and no gratuitous Twitter punches (yes they are often warranted but eye on the prize please).

    Stuart, this post is personal, but NOT meant to be rudely personal. You have managed a Herculean task creating this website. I believe your work and forensic analysis has added at least 5% to the YES movement. You have done the numbers and all the analytical hard work.

    But like it or not, the political dimension has spin doctors for a reason. Possibly your hardest task is to broaden your church sufficiently to get Joe McPublic to buy into this. I am sold on what you presented. Was dubious at first, but will vote for WingsIndy and I shall donate and help as your logic is unassailable.

    But you need to address the personal Marmite issue.

    Not just because that will Bu66er things up if you don’t address it.

    The reason Wings IndyList Party has to work is that Indpendence for Scotland might be lost otherwise.

    Stuart, you are almost there. A wee bit of fine tuning and bringing in some big names and you will have a game changer for IndyRef 2. Plus Holyrood will be absobloodybrilliant to watch with a phalanx of Wings MSPs contributing to the debates.

  164. mike cassidy says:

    Dad’s army

    A troll by any other name would smell as shite

  165. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Campaign to change the electoral system to FPTP. One person, one vote. Stop the confusion. Much simpler and easier.

    The unionists illegally, without a mandate, changed the electoral system in Scotland. Lesley Evans. Devolution 2000. To make sure the SNP never got an outright majority. So the unionists could get 3rd rate losers in. They can’t be got rid.”

    You need to stop posting when you’re pissed, Ken. I’m afraid that’s an avalanche of meaningless drivel.

  166. Stu

    – Maths are good BUT

    – potential candidate(s) are not

    idea wont work without decent candidates that can be relied upon not to piss all over the directly elected constituency FPTP REAL election winners

  167. Liz g says:

    Sorry for going off topic….. I was and am so angry with that guy…
    Won’t happen again…. Well not tonight anyway 🙂

  168. A2 says:

    If this goes ahead, there must be one policy and only one.
    The focus must be on independence only, dabling with other issues would at best be a distraction. this has to pull people who want independence first, their views on the other issues are diverse.

  169. Liz g says:

    Cadogan Enrite @ 12.21
    You could help with that…. You know how to campaign..
    There are a lot of good people around who…. (And I loved the phrase earlier)….. Could do …DIY Democracy… we’re sick to the back teeth of professional politicians and ONLY professional politicians, get some real people into the Parliament!

  170. Alex Birnie says:

    Rev Stuart Campbell – “Did you actually read the article?”…. Thanks for illustrating my point about your sarcastic way of talking to people. Yes, I did read the article, and no, I made no predictions as to seat numbers, or majorities. I merely pointed out that in the area around 5% of the vote, it is IMPOSSIBLE to predict what will happen to the numbers of seats, because of the number of variables involved.

    My main point, is that you have not published any polls on this yet, and, unless you have conducted polls but are waiting to publish, you have NO IDEA what percentage of SNP voters are likely to vote for Wings, and therefore whether the percentage of the Regional vote Wings would reach the “threshold”. As you well know, around 5% of the vote is the “rule of thumb” threshold for winning a seat in any of the regions. We all know what the THEORETICAL arithmetic looks like if 5% or 10% or 35% of the regional vote is won by Wings. We went through these same arguments with Sheridan and his followers and the RISE people last time. What we don’t know is the LIKELIHOOD of any of these figures ACTUALLY coming to pass.

    We await your polling …… and the question you ask…..

  171. Ken500 says:

    With the SNP/Independence support ever increasing. Could the unionist vote be falling. Ie even constituency list. So the SNP could get another majority, Then not archive it because people vote ‘Wings’. Losing an SNP outright majority, again. Achieved once before.

  172. Ken500 says:

    Wings has 300,000? Readers. In Scotland? There is more than enough to get a few candidates in.

  173. A2 says:

    Ooo just read the above and Have to agree , bringing Salmond in to head it up is the way to go (trial not withstanding) there’s the branding, he’s slightly less hated than Stu (sorry have you ever tried to get a persuadable labour supporter to even read an article on here) It also has the advantage of making the SNP appear ummm .. more reasonable, err acceptable to those ” I can’t stand that Salmond bloke” folk (I know what I mean)
    Leaves Stu to concentrate on what he does best here because with the best will in the world it’s not possible to do both.

  174. A2 says:

    Ken, readers does not = supporters
    the unionists would be daft(er) not to be reading this

  175. Liz g says:

    A2 @ 12.24
    I don’t agree…
    There’s a lot,a very lot, of women who will back and campaign shamelessly for a party who will protect their right’s.
    And I really mean will go to town on the GRA,they just need a voice.
    But Wings IMHO would be vulnerable with a two issue manifesto.
    So some sort of stance on other issues would be necessary…
    And a serious lack of political correctness in favour of honesty would also be a winner…

  176. Ken500 says:

    It is not pish. All two, three and four plus votes, system. Means the voters who only want one choice, are diluting their vote. Ie giving it to other candidates who can be opposed in policies their first choice candidate. Voters do not understand the system. They can vote SNP (support Independence) and then vote Tory because they like the candidate or for other nonsensical ideas. They like their vacant coupon. Or how they look or speak. Candidates who do not support Independence. People often believe they have to vote for a different party candidate because they are on the list. It is so confusing. People even try to vote for Parties and candidates they can’t stand. To get their candidate they favour in.

  177. Ken500 says:

    Is it 8,000 votes needed for a list seat? 300,000. Even a lot less would ensure a list seat.

  178. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Lucia Daines, and all comments replying to him, are gone. What have I told you about engaging with malicious trolls, readers? All you achieved was to make a shitload of extra work for me clearing up the mess.

  179. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Yes, I did read the article”

    Then read it again, because you didn’t understand it.

  180. Cubby says:

    Note to the site owner. 11.59pm.

  181. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Sorry Stu – that is the kind of decontextualised analysis for which Kevin Vague is famed.

    Voters and commentators expect political parties to get started to pursue a political objective – not to mop up loose list seats.”

    FFS, we ARE doing it to pursue a political objective – independence. Seats for their own sake are worthless.

  182. Cubby says:

    Support for Scottish independence must be in the majority. The Britnats want to raise the bar. This is a clear sign. Also the Britnat Curtice is saying so. Good news surely. Why so many down in the dumps Independence supporters.

  183. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “WOS has high brand recognition within the politics anoraks but amongst Jo Public??? And is the recognition that exists among Jo Public positive?”

    We addressed this in the previous articles. Does anyone ever actually read anything any more?

    The stats are that around 55% of respondents recognised the Wings brand. Of those, about half had no opinion (ie they’ve HEARD of it but probably haven’t actually read it). The other half split into three roughly equal parts of positive/neutral/negative views.

  184. Breeks says:

    I like the idea, and I follow the logic, and there is no question in my mind we should be encouraging decisive initiative, but all the arguments and number crunching applicable to a Wings Party would also apply to a YES Party.

    I don’t have much sympathy for the opinion myself, but the reality is some Yesser’s are hostile to Wings, and it might lead to damaging acrimony and dissent.

    It feels a bit like the Colditz Story when Mac McGill comes up with a great plan for an escape, but Mac himself is so well known and unpopular with the guards that despite the plan being his idea, which ultimately proves successful, he’s asked to step down and let others go in his place.

    In 2014, I don’t believe YES put a foot wrong, and the brand was spot on and entirely positive, the icons were suitably iconic, and it was a broad Kirk where everybody and anybody was welcome, kids and doggo’s included.

    Ok, so what would a YES Party have that a Wings Party wouldn’t? Well, I don’t know, but I think a YES Party might be more successful in appealing to the other “big dogs” we have, Alex Salmond, Craig Murray, Peter Bell, Lesley Riddoch etc… who’d maybe find a YES Party a better fit than a Wings Party. It’s the Heineken factor…

    Yes, of course, there’s the obvious argument that nobody is currently looking to set up a YES Party, whereas Rev Stu looks pretty committed… but all the same, we need a “Home Run” and I think it’s a legitimate question to ask whether a YES Party or a Wings Party would stand the best chance of winning Independence.

    If we have the discussion, ask the right questions, and do the legwork, maybe a YES Party will prove it isn’t a workable prospect, but with no disrespect or criticism of Rev Stu, I’d be a lot happier with my mind at rest if we’d checked out the YES Party option.

    I feel I’m running the risk of getting my “WingsBad” badge to match my “SNPBad” badge, but for better or worse, when I thinks a thing I says a thing.

  185. Derek Rogers says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell @ 12.13:
    “the Yes majority is lost [under those circumstances], but NOT BECAUSE THE WINGS PARTY STOOD.”

    I agree – I didn’t fully follow your argument. Your passion does sometimes obscure the logic.

  186. Liz g says:

    Rev @ 1.14
    The Women I socialise with are exactly who you describe.
    They are very much aware of you and your support over the GRA They are not reader’s but they are all SNP activists who would happily campaign for a 2nd vote Wings.
    The Wee Blue Book and the GRA being all the reason they need.
    They don’t give a shit what their party line is,they want Indy and women’s rights and mostly in that order.

  187. Alex Birnie says:

    Rev Stuart Campbell – “Then read it again, because you didn’t understand it”. I did understand it, but you obviously don’t understand my concerns, or are deliberately avoiding my central point, which is that unless you have already conducted polling among yes voters on this subject, you have no idea as to how many yes voters are likely to vote for Wings in the Regional ballot, and no matter how good the arithmetic looks in the IMAGINARY 5% – 35% scenarios, the arithmetic is meaningless until you DO know whether the real scenarios are likely to match any of the imaginary scenarios outlined.

    Have you conducted any polls on this matter among yes voters yet? If not, when do you intend doing so? – and when will you share the results with your yes audience?

    If there is no point in conducting polls until you find out whether the formation of a Wings party is going to be required, then there is CERTAINLY no point in publishing theoretical, pie-in-the-sky figures like these, which the cynics amongst us could construe as the start of a putative Wings Party campaign …… before we know whether it will be needed, and – MUCH more importantly – whether it is a VIABLE option.

    I will certainly vote for a Wings party if the polling indicates that it is likely to succeed, but I’m certainly not going to make a decision on the basis of bad – or no – information.

    When will we see the polls?

  188. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Of course we’re going to do fucking polls.

  189. Alex Birnie says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell “Of course we’re going to do fucking polls”. Thank you for your reply. I don’t know about other people, but I will be very interested in the polling question you ask, because the nature of the question is important, and a bullshit “Scotland In Union”-type question will indicate that you are more interested in self-aggrandisement than in independence. Of course, if an honest question is asked, and the answer is indicative that the venture will be a success, then we should all pile in and support it, even if you stand as a candidate yourself, because the cause is more important than individual personalities – no matter how sneering and sarcastic they are. If it is a bullshit question, and you go ahead with the Wings Party anyway, we can safely put you in the same category as Sheridan and his boys and the RISE folk, whose motives for their shenanigans in 2016 were suspect, a position you seemed to agree with at the time.

  190. Iain mhor says:

    It does seem there are a couple of conflated and contentious issues, to whit: Is such a party somehow ‘Undemocratic’ or ‘sleekit gaming of a system’ – Is it ‘harmful to the cause’.

    Well I mentioned before, it’s entirely democratic, there is nothing stopping anyone for standing any party they like.
    Stand a “No to Stu Campbell Party” on a policy of making him eat his beard minced in cat food. Throw some money at it, get a few hipsters with a Mac to print some bio-degradeable, fairtrade flyers and guaranteed you’ll get some votes.
    I’m certainly not going to stop anyone from trying – that would be undemocratic. Argue against policy sure (it should be his dog collar in dog food!) but argue that “it shouldn’t be allowed”? Not I.

    The other issue is that this potentially splits or harms the Yes movement. I can see that point of view. It’s one that has been around since the inception of the Yes/Indy grass roots and waaay back – since the idea of Scottish Independence in the first place – in case anyone hadn’t noticed or read any Scottish history.

    There can be a modicum of sympathy for those often unsung groups, who work tirelessly for their vision of Independence and feel that others have risen to drain the blood from their cause. (generally, for blood, read money)
    It would be so very lovely, for all Indy supporters to sing kumbaya from the same hymn sheet and be a homogenised behemoth none could withstand – well, none could withstand for five minutes, before the long knives came out to the directorate…We know our history

    Me, I just do what I can and chuck the odd few bob at whatever takes my fancy, including Wings – including even some ostensibly opposed to Wings. I’m not standing for anything – fuck that, I’ve had my fill of stress. Anyone who puts themselves in the firing line, is worth the price of a Chablis occasionally, so I don’t have to. Who gets it is up to me. Democracy, the freedom to choose.

    Like water, these things find a level. Someone or something will rise (ha!) To fill a void, there is an ebb and flow to such things – it’s inevitable – today it’s Wings’.
    I was actually taken a little aback when a ‘Wings List Party’ was first mooted – my bet was on it coming from AUOB or thereabouts. Any outfit which can consistently mobilise thousands of boots on the street, is three clear heads away from a political party…

    Every fledgling movement was branded “delusional” by someone, but not every movement was (*Cough SNP *cough) Well, maybe a Wings list party will indeed wither on the vine – if it does, something else will fill the void. It might even be the “Independence & Forcefeed the Campbell his Beard” party – I might even throw in a vote for a laugh – By the gods, I need one.

  191. dadsarmy says:

    @mike cassidy
    Grudge I think, but enough of that. It’s a bit of a pain when a reasonable suggestion doesn’t get reasonable discussion. I’m glad this article was done, it needs to know the tipping point in general, with an easy way of recalculating for different values of the SNP list vote in 3rd party polls. And I notice it DOES take into account the loss of Green seats.

  192. dadsarmy says:

    @Alex Birnie “If there is no point in conducting polls until you find out whether the formation of a Wings party is going to be required, then there is CERTAINLY no point in publishing theoretical, pie-in-the-sky figures like these,

    Other way around Alex. Opinion polls cost money, maybe a few thousand for the usual 1,020 sample. If the spreadsheets using SNP list percentages showed that the idea was a total non-starter, then the polls would be a waste of money! The spreadsheets are like a simulation – cheap and cheerful, and giving a lot of modelling information.

    On the other hand if there’s marginal value, debate is good and gives data as to whether it’s worth spending the few thousand pounds. Seems to me the potential value is well proven by these spreadsheets, so, obviously up to the Rev, it may be nearly time to go to the next stage – a poll.

    Personally I’d wait a few weeks though, a lot might be happening real soon now to make it all unnneccessary. And then there’s those wee blue books …

  193. Kangaroo says:


    Well like a lot of posters above, I agree that we need a new indy party. Wings brand seems to have pluses and minuses as discussed above.

    What about a “YES” brand, it is already well established and out there with AUOB rallies and it was the Brand for the 2014 indy. To me that’s a better bet and Wings can be behind the scenes. It is also very clear that its all about indy, much easier to get well known personalities to front it.

    My two bobs worth.

  194. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Alex Birnie (1.51) –

    ‘…we can safely put you in the same category as Sheridan and his boys and the RISE folk, whose motives for their shenanigans in 2016 were suspect, a position you seemed to agree with at the time.’

    Utterly disgraceful comment on at least two fronts:

    Tommy Sheridan stepped down as convenor of the SSP in 2004.

    The ‘boys’ you refer to were, in my experience, at least 40% female, if my own Ayrshire branch at that time is anything to go by.

    So you, Alex Birnie, might want to take your time, check some facts, and have a think about what you post here before opening your ignorant fucking trap again.

  195. Alex Birnie says:

    Dadsarmy “other way round Alex”. I take your point about the cost, and I also agree that the timing is important. However, I totally disagree with you about the “simulation”, and the “modelling” is almost valueless, as far as being used to base any decisions on. I am in almost total agreement with James Kelly on this. These models ALL depend on making assumptions of one sort or another – assumptions that are unknowable before the result. Last time, many of the “predictors” were basing their “modelling” on the assumption that the SNP would win a majority of seats on the constituency alone. That went well, didn’t it?

    My only disagreement with James Kelly’s thinking is that he is discounting the Wings “footprint” among yes voters, and that isn’t insignificant, in my opinion. However, I totally agree with him that polling needs to be done, before Wings is floated as a viable concept, and the polling question needs to be an honest one.

    My concern is that Stu seems to be going full steam ahead, before he’s even ascertained the likelihood of success. Before he starts beating the election drum, he needs to find out how many SNP voters are likely to switch to Wings in the regional vote. Even after this has been ascertained, and the LIKELY percentage for Wings is known, these pretty graphs are speculative. Those of us who have got our own spreadsheets are well aware of the possibilities IF a certain percentage switch, and perhaps Wings is providing a public service by publishing this stuff???, but the presentation he has made in this blog is no better than the stuff he has been lambasting the unionist media for.

    It LOOKS good, but it is flawed at its heart.

  196. Alex Birnie says:

    Ian Brotherhood, you really should read people’s comments before you launch into a foul mouth tirade. When I used the term “Sheridan and his boys”, I was referring to the Solidarity folk, not the SSP. I’ve mentioned Solidarity already in this thread, because I’m well aware of Mr Sheridan’s career. As to the “boys” reference, that was not meant to be sexist, I meant it as a generic term for followers, but I apologise if it caused offence. Solidarity supporters and RISE supporters were peddling this garbage about “wasted” SNP votes in 2016, using the same rationale that Stu and Gavin Barrie are employing now, but with less detail than Gavin Barrie is providing. Whatever, unless Stu conducts polling to get a REAL approximation of likely numbers, instead of plucking percentages out of thin air as Mr Barrie is doing here, THESE GRAPHS ARE MEANINGLESS….

  197. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Alex Birnie –

    You, sah, are blowing it full-tilt from your southernmost hole, and you know it.

    I’m sure even Gavin wouldn’t mind me saying this, but fuck the graphs – the overarching sentiment here, as elsewhere, is that the SNP *needs* a like-minded, ‘common-sense’ partner to counter some of the utter nonsense it has appeared to be supporting of late.

    There is no other vehicle currently in existence which could perform such a role. What Rev has proposed is do-able.

    As for ‘foul mouth tirade’, (‘mouthed’, surely?) come back at me again with anything similar and you’ll get the unedited version, ya fanny.

    Now fuck off.

  198. dadsarmy says:

    Don’t be stampeded into spending loads of money and doing a poll before YOU are ready. You do not have to prove yourself to any Tom or Dick.

  199. Alex Birnie says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood. Tempted as I am to sink to your level of profanity, I will refrain from calling you names, and simply say that if Mr Barrie meant to convey THAT “over-arching sentiment”, then it is cunningly hidden. The entire blog is about “gaming” the D’Hondt system, and fiendishly difficult as that will be – nigh on impossible – it will be impossible if we don’t have a starting point of an approximation of the number of “vote-shifters”, and Stu has already indicated that he agrees with that, when he posted his remark “Of course we’re going to do fucking polls”.

    Your opinion that “What Rev has proposed is doable” is simply that – your opinion, and judging by your remarks on here, I don’t value that very highly……

  200. yesindyref2 says:

    @Alex Birnie “However, I totally disagree with you about the “simulation”, and the “modelling” is almost valueless

    Having done stats (including financial) I disagree about the modelling, the channel tunnel for instance would not have been built without a full financial model. As for the simulation, fighter pilots get large amounts of simulator time which, while expensive, is a lot cheaper than crashing a £100 million F35-B.

    Within this thread that is a result of the article with graphs and tables which you can download (the link works), some people have suggested that a different name be used rather than Wings, whereas some think that’s the brand people will recognise. Maybe THAT is a question that should be added to the poll don’t you think?

    Maybe there are more questions that can result of the modelling above – for instance, would voters mind if a) Greens lost seats and b} the SNP lost seats, as long as the overall pro-indy total increased?

    I’m sure you’d agree it’s cheap to talk and work with spreadsheets, but expensive to commission opinion polls prematurely!

  201. dadsarmy says:

    @Alex Birnie “Solidarity supporters and RISE supporters were peddling this garbage about “wasted” SNP votes in 2016

    As far as Tommy Sheridan is concerned, he stood on the list in Glasgow region, and asked for SNP votes in Glasgow. The result for Glasgow in 2016 was that for 44.8% of the votes in the Glasgow region, the SNP got precisely ZERO seats. That’s none at all, as they had won all the constituency seats.

    So if SNP voters HAD given their votes to Tommy on the list, he would have got elected, and the cost to the SNP would have been zero, nil, nada, nothing at all.

    In fact it works out that with less than 11% of the SNP’s list vote of 44.8% (i.e. 4.1% overall) added to the votes he did get, Tommy Sheridan would have been elected, and Annie Wells would not.

    Not the best example to pick to try to pick holes in the Wings party prospects!

  202. clem fandango says:

    I’m in. Heart,soul,wallet

  203. John McLeod says:

    “Your occasional reminder: whatever cheaty tactics we use to stop Brexit will be used against us if we ever win an indyref.”

    This wise statement is the pinned tweet at the top of the Wings twitter account. My interpretation of it is that the public takes a dim view of actions that they believe are trying to subvert the political system. And that this creates a political environment in which other political parties believe they can follow suit.

    The statistical analysis of different scenarios around proportion of indy supporters who would vote Wings on the list, does not take this into account. The response of non-indy members of the public, and unionist political parties, to the Wings list concept will not be passive. It is impossible to predict what it will be, other than there will be some kind of push-back.

  204. Loquacious B says:

    I think it’s extremely unlikely that a third of SNP voters will lend their list vote to a Wings party, Stu. I’m glad you’re doing polling but, even polling can produce a false positive. I think many people who would like to lend Wings their list vote, and I would do so in principle myself, when it comes to marking that X in the box on polling day, they may well revert to popping it in the SNP box anyway.

  205. Ken500 says:

    Tommy Sheridan is a special case. Tommy Sheridan was an excellent politician. His election to Holyrood was much needed. His charisma in fighting for the people of Glasgow was excellent. That is why he carried the vote as an excellent organiser and orator. He connected with the people (voters) like no other because he cared about other people and was genuine. He got things done.

    Labour (Blair) the downright losers decided to stitch Tommy up with total falsehoods and his mates betrayed him. Absolutely appallingly. Tommy Sheridan committed no crime. The criminal Murdoch committed crime to get people convicted. Coulson lied in Court. perjured himself. Did he get convicted? He worked in Downing Street as Cameron’s press officer. Cameron is a lying shyster. A complete nasty liar. ‘Psycho bastards’ their own description. Telling lies to get elected. Then rejecting promises. Killing people off with malicious policies His own supporters. For no reason except self advancement. Making money out of it,

    Murdoch lied to Parliament. Tommy Sheridan was right Murdoch was illegally phone hacking, surveilling people and bribing public officials.Yet that was denied in Court and Tommy Sheridan was illegally convicted. He did end up getting his damages. Having sex is not a crime. Million/billions of people do it every day. Or there would be no people. Illegally destroying the world and killing and maiming millions of people is a crime. Yet Murdoch and Blair got away with it. Bribing public official by US based companies, anywhere in the world is a crime but Murdoch got away with that, Got away with $30Billion tax evaded. He cannot even spend before he keels over. After destroying the world.

    Tommy Sheridan is a working class hero who sacrificed himself for the people of Glasgow. Sacrificed wealth to help other. Poll tax and stopped warrant sales in Scotland. Even people who do not totally support his politics would vote for him as a politician of conviction. Labour crucified him because he was taking votes in Glasgow away from lying Labour, full of shysters. Especially Brown and Blair. They should be in jail for the harm they have done to the world. Along with the reneging greens. Artificial policies. Not conducive to the environment and green policies. That is why hardly anyone votes for them.

    Tommy Sheridan did not get elected because of the illegal Press. The charlatan MSM criminals who wanted Tommy silenced, So they could continue their illegal activities. Discouraged voters from voting for him. Unfortunately, A totally different reason than other voters not voting for him.

    Murdoch shafts people for money and prints utter garbage. Uses women. Thatcher. Aussie /Scottish wife, then Chinese. Now American. Uses relationships for business. Uses people. He is not a good man or companion. Fraudulent gutter Press. Owned by tax evading non Doms. A complete and utter disgrace. Immoral.

    Tommy Sheridan could be a Wings candidate. Now you are talking.

    Change the voting system it is just appalling. An abomination. That does not reflect the voters wishes. Just a manipulation of the voting system to let 3rd losers in and they cannot be got rid. Voters voting against their own choice in the confusion. An appalling system. Voters do not understand the system and neither does anyone else.

    That is not democracy. That is a complete and utter mess. Impose by politicians to give them unfair advantage. A hotch pot of mince. Not suitable for a Scottish Parliament. One person, one vote should represent the electoral system. Give voters what they want. The candidate with the most votes wins. Not manipulation to let the 3rd losers in. Imposing an artificial quota. Third rate losers in. Everyone’s second or third choice artificially manoeuvred by corrupt political parties. It does not reflect the votes intentions. Not representative and imposed without a mandate.

    In any event it does not solve the problem of how to solve the problem of a legally negotiated IndyRef. UDI will not work because it is illegal. An S30 could be obtained through the Courts quite easily because Scotland has been treated unequally in the UK.

    It still remains the case with the increased support for SNP/Independence. The SNP could gain an overall majority. They have done it before and could do it again. Another party could thwart that scenario. Let mavericks in. Even to vote with unionists. Decisions, decisions.

    Alex Salmond was totally stitched up by the unionist establishment. A complete disgrace. Trying to make him fall from grace. The truth will out, hopefully, A unionist cover up. Alex will win again. Leslie Deans imposed the PR system on Scotland without authority. Unelected unionist sychophants. They will get found out. Alex Salmond sacrificed himself to help others. Sacrificed wealth for conviction. He will not be convicted, if there is any justice. The ‘case’ will collapse. A total load of rubbish. Hyped up by the gutter Press. Where is the evidence for any of it. Hearsay is not allowed in evidence. Tales and fairy stories. Bet Alex will prove his innocent. Tommy was not allowed leave to appeal to ECHR by the London Court. A disgrace because the Scottish justice system did not allow him to appeal. Not justified, He still did get his damages, He has got two 1srt class

  206. Ken500 says:

    Honours degrees one in Politics and one in Law. A smart cookie. Does not take many prisoners. Neither does Alex Salmond. One of the greatest Statesman Scotland has ever had. Alex Salmond has done more for Scotland and the world than anyone. Called out malicious liars. He will come back. That’s for sure.

  207. RM says:

    Plenty Independence voters are not SNP members, deep down they might be Labour or Conservative at heart but their looking for Independence, the SNP must realise this to accept people have different ideas on how to achieve it, the SNP have to embrace any idea that’ll put pressure on to ensure a change.

  208. Ken500 says:

    It would be a laugh if unionists, (unknowing, many of them are thick) voted for the Wings Party without realising it. Ie thought it was religious or something. That would be a complete laugh. In fact one good reason to go for it. Arch religious unionists voting for a Wings Party of Independence. The complete irony of D’Hond’t coming back to haunt the folk who set it up for unfair advantage. It would be worth going for it. Just on those grounds, coming back to bite them.

  209. John McLeod says:

    I would like to suggest an alternative to the Wings Party concept. The structure of the Scottish Parliamentary system is designed to operate on the basis of coalitions, in order to promote dialogue and consensus. Rather than try to generate more list seats with a Wings Party, a more creative contribution to Scottish politics might be to find ways to elect more independent MSPs to list seats. Stuart Campbell would be certain to be elected as an independent. Other candidates who were had backgrounds such as ‘pro-indy trade unionist’, ‘pro-independence pensioner’, ‘pro-indy business small business owner’ or ‘pro-indy person who works in the fishing industry’ could help to widen the appeal of independence, as well as bringing valuable perspectives to debates in parliament. Why not use the influence of the Wings over Scotland blog to support the election of independents?

  210. Ken500 says:

    It is just total ignorance for people who support Independence voting for unionists Parties who oppose it. What planet are some folk on. Voting for Parties demonically opposed to their interest. Unbelievable.

  211. North chiel says:

    How about a name change to the “ Yes Wings “ Party?

  212. Fergus Green says:

    OT – Positive effects of the SNP minimum alcohol pricing policy showing up already:

    ‘Data presented at a conference in Glasgow suggested alcohol-related deaths in the city had fallen by 21.5%’.

    BBC not yet able to spin this as ‘SNP Bad’

    Give them time though.

  213. Ken500 says:

    Independents are totally irrational because they do not have a manifesto for a mandate. They can do anything. Not in the voters interest. Not in a reference book. Parties/people need a manifesto for a mandate for voters to make a decision.

    Even though in many cases unionist parties do not stick to a mandate. They lie and betray the voters, Then it can be a matter for the Courts to sort out the mess. Decide if it is unlawful. What is happening now. The collapse of government. Chaos and catastrophe. What a complete and utter shambles.

  214. Ian says:

    19 September, 2019 at 1:05 am

    ‘FFS, we ARE doing it to pursue a political objective – independence. Seats for their own sake are worthless’.

    Exactly. There are many issues to be addressed when (another) mandate is gained, ie being able to hold a referendum and then winning it. The polls for a referendum only show an outcome, accurate only as far as the polls are objective. But if we accept that it’s still too close for comfort, are the reasons for making the key 10% that are open to change their vote, but currently lean to either ‘No’ or ‘Don’t Know’, the same as in 2014? The Pound, Pensions & NHS seemingly being the top three. With what has happened since 2014 it seems unlikely among the 10% that voted No.

    Getting a mandate is a very important stage in the overall desire for independence, but winning a referendum is the key one. So what are the factors that are still keeping just enough people on the wrong side of Yes? Address these and many pieces fall into place.

    If the polls can be shown to be increasing in favour of Yes, that would then help get support for a stronger mandate via a SG election, which would then strengthen the case for have a referendum, leading to a strong liklihood of winning it.

    So what is stopping the key 10% from switching to Yes?

  215. Dorothy Devine says:

    Heart ,mind and wallet too.

  216. Ken500 says:

    The slight increase in drug deaths will be wiped out in the decrease in alcoholic deaths. That was a given. The strife to bring in MUP but worth it. People in drugs need total abstinence, one chance proper rehab counselling. This is not being provided by the councils under social care. It should be kept under SNHS medical care. So Doctors can refer people for adequate treatment. No given repeated methadone prescriptions. A waste of time and money.

    All drug deaths in Scotland are related to people given methadone taking other substances, That is why many Doctors will not prescribe methadone. It kills people. They refer people for proper rehab facilities not provided by Council funding. Councils waste money on other stuff. Empty offices and shops. When they should be providing schools, essential services and proper rehab treatment. It is cheaper than prison and social problems/care. Not endless Methadone prescription. Keeping people on drugs and early death. There are indication young folk are seeking help earlier. Russel Brand affect.

  217. Ken500 says:

    The demographics have changed since 2014. The purpose of waiting for the outright majority. Independence is not just for Christmas. Independence is for life. Even Alex Salmond says so,

  218. Jock McDonnell says:

    Yup, and the palace were content for HMs comments to be presented as -ve to Independence. No denials, no statements of correction. Just left it hanging there.

  219. Effijy says:

    I partially caught a piece on BBC Radio with a female professor
    From Warwick University.

    She explained how Westminster must support Sadia Arabia
    Even when they are bombing innocents in Yemen?

    If it wasn’t for the weapons that they buy from Westminster the UK
    could not afford to build the lower volumes of weapons for ourselves.

    The UK sells the weapons in £Billions, we provide support in Servicing Aircraft etc,
    And We train their pilots, etc

    So there we see as a cast iron fact that the UK is willing and happy to
    See men, woman and children killed if it helps the balance of payments.

    I have never and will never agree to my politicians selling all morality for cash.

    Is Westminster’s next step to kill independence supporters if they are s threat to Scotland’s
    Oil revenues going into England’s pockets.

    I’m a Scottish entity get me out of here!

  220. Juteman says:

    @Fergus Green 7.52am.
    SNP policy leads to redundancy fears amongst undertakers.

  221. Dave M says:

    It didn’t take long (well, five hours, apparently) for James “I’m right, honest” Kelly to come up with what is probably a comical and overly-long rebuttal. I’m starting to suspect that he’s a narcissist.

  222. McBoxheid says:

    You’ve done very well to get this far
    Nice bit of condescension near the end there Gavin.

    Apart from that, the only question I have is will the Wings party get enough votes for the tipping point? If not, then the few percent that have moved their vote from the SNP will risk a pro-indy majority. If that happens, everything the SNP attempts will be voted down if they manage to form a government.

    If a no-indy party get a minority government, they might get support from the other UKOK parties, but might not depending on what Westminster tells them to do. They would probably use it to remove all SNP introduced laws, all the things that help people in Scotland survive the Westminster atrocities and might even lead to a suspension of the Scottish parliament in similar fashion to the NI parliament if the parliament can’t agree on anything.

    Unless Wings have more than at least 15% in the polls that are done pre election, It will not be worth the risk I think. Stuart knows that and probably won’t stand his party unless he gets enough positive feedback from his and others polls leading up to 6th May 2021.

    What happens if the people who decide to vote for wings don’t get the chance, because the polls give a poor showing in advance of the election. Will they vote SNP, Green in the regional vote, or stay at home? It may cause a loss of a majority if the vote is at first split and then withdrawn.

    What of first time voters or ex labour voters that have voted SNP in the past? Will they see what Stuart is trying to do, or will they get fed up at stay at home?

  223. Hamish100 says:

    Plenty articles from 5 years ago saying the Queen would not get involved in politics. Liars

  224. kapelmeister says:

    Just a suggestion. In 2016 there were no pro-independence MSPs returned on the 2nd vote in the North East region. While the Greens won 2 seats in Lothian region.

    An agreement between the Wings Party and the Greens not to run against each other in those two regions, Wings to stand in the North East, Greens to stand in Lothians.

  225. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Apart from that, the only question I have is will the Wings party get enough votes for the tipping point? If not, then the few percent that have moved their vote from the SNP will risk a pro-indy majority.”

    Oh for goodness’ sake. The entire point of the article is showing why that WON’T happen.

  226. Les Wilson says:

    There a definate upside for this, with one caveat.
    We need to analyse what potential move that the yoons will do to try and thwart our intention.

    We need to see their likely reaction and how they could rig it.(other than rig postal votes, obviously, that’s a given)

  227. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “It didn’t take long (well, five hours, apparently) for James “I’m right, honest” Kelly to come up with what is probably a comical and overly-long rebuttal. I’m starting to suspect that he’s a narcissist.”

    Just had a look, and Christ, it’s deranged. No attempt whatsoever to debate the content of the article (presumably because he knows how wildly out of his depth he is against Gavin), and just trying to SHOUT his way out of inconvenient facts.

    “Look, here’s the data, meticulously compiled and explained, along with everything you need to examine and analyse it for yourself if you think it might be flawed or assess other circumstances that might arise.”


  228. Proud Cybernat says:

    Rev – has Gavin given any analysis of how the British Nationalist parties might game the constituency vote in SE 2021 and, if so, what the various outcomes might be?

  229. jfngw says:

    After we have disposed of this union it will then be time to remove the Monarch of England from any interference in matters relating to Scotland. I hope to see this in the Wings manifesto as a future goal. We need to rid ourselves of all the all the vestiges of empire.

  230. Ottomanboi says:

    For many independence is turning into a Scottish version of the Tantalus legend.
    Something needs to be done to break the evil spell.
    A post EU British state I fancy will not be a place for any kind of systemic dissent let alone ‘separatists’.
    The SNP leadership in its stop brexit flights of fancy should take note that its bed fellows are unashamedly unionist.
    An SNP unashamedly, assertively nationalist is rather overdue. Maybe it needs a gentle reminder of the ‘day job’.

  231. brewsed says:

    I am still not convinced this not just kite flying and grandstanding; perhaps with a purpose – putting a rocket up the SNP, but kite flying all the same.

    However, in the unlikely event this is serious, on the ground, where will the activists come from?

    Because, without activists this is going nowhere and those activists who are currently proactively supporting an independent Scotland are probably promoting the SNP at elections and if they divert from doing that there will be less support for the SNP and, therefore, less SNP votes. And votes mean seats.

    Additionally, there will, inevitably, be differing of opinions – my independence is better than your independence – how many independence supporters can dance on the head of a pin. Independence does not need the distraction.

    As has been commented elsewhere, it very easy to construct a spreadsheet and model imaginary figures. Getting out into a cold wet November and walking the streets, leafletting, knocking on doors and hopping from one foot to another while standing at a stall is what makes a successful election, not mucking about with macros in Excel.

  232. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Rev – has Gavin given any analysis of how the British Nationalist parties might game the constituency vote in SE 2021 and, if so, what the various outcomes might be?”

    How might they do that? Their list votes don’t currently get wasted.

  233. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “An agreement between the Wings Party and the Greens not to run against each other in those two regions, Wings to stand in the North East, Greens to stand in Lothians.”

    I think it’s safe to say that the chances of that are… remote.

  234. hackalumpoff says:

    UPDATED Nana’s links here:

  235. jfngw says:

    These are dangerous times for Scotland, I’m of the opinion if we ever return a majority of London based parties to WM representing Scotland again our Claim of Right will effectively be removed without our confirmation, the seats total will be used as a mandate. The will of the people is only relevant if it coincides with the interests of the establishment.

  236. Patrick Roden says:

    First of all thanks to Barry for his analysis.

    The Brand: A lot of people don’t know about ‘Wings’ so what better way to get loads of publicity? We all know how the Wee Blue Book impacted people during indyref1, but the reality was that the WBB was just condensed Wings content aimed at waverers, so if reading Wings changes minds, the Wings Party with all the traffic it will generate toward this site, will hopefully be a big vote swinger.

    Wingers for Swingers! Any of you advertising experts out there want to create a slogan from that! lol.

    Let’s be honest hear folks, the media/political elite’s demonizing of the Rev, has worked itself into the conscience of some people who are regulars on here, making them scared about how Stu might scare off Yes voters because he uses sweary words and is straight to the point.

    I’m not buying into this garbage though, because it’s been the posh voiced, reasonable sounding, soft toned, who have decimated Scotland’s industries, destroyed our infrastructure, and who lie to us about and denigrate us about who we are and what we can achieve.

    ‘Don’t let them full ya, or even try to school ya’ Oh No!

  237. robin says:

    yes but this site gets a lot of clicks from die hard indy supporters who are clued up enough to carry out a simple instruction/request

  238. jfngw says:


    They campaign to split the vote, vote Labour for constituency, LibDem or Tory for list (rearrange depending on area). Can’t see this working in strong Labour areas, if I was strong Labour I would cut off my hand before I crossed a Tory or LibDem box, would work for Tory/LibDem areas as they are basically the same, LibDem’s could already be the Tory rear guard at WM by then.

  239. Bob Millar says:

    One thing which I have not seen mentioned yet about this potential party is the selection of candidates. These would need to be selected in the next few months and whereas the S.N.P.has a slection system which seems to filter out most of the nut-cases and other enemies it would take time and organisation for a completely new party to get this up and running.

  240. Proud Cybernat says:

    Rev – I’m imagining a scenario where the BritNat parties engineer a stand-off where the best placed BritNat party stands against the SNP in most constituencies. If they managed to half the SNP constituency seats then the BritNat parties will also have half the Constituency seats. Of course, as a reduction of Const. seats the SNP List vote will come into play and they’ll pick up a good few of those. But so will the BritNat parties. And with Wings Party reducing the SNP List vote, how THEN might that affect the overall outcome?

    (Yes, lots of ifs/buts there – just throwing it out there).

  241. Colin Alexander says:


    Arguing the toss about hypothetical statistics with Mr Kelly is a bit like the YES campaign and Project Fear arguing statistics about a hypothetical future rUK being more or less prosperous than a hypothetical future indy-Scotland at some undetermined point in time for some undetermined period of time.

    It’s all if, if, if, hypothetical mince. We don’t even know if there will be a Holyrood come 2021.

    But it’s throwing a spanner into the works regarding the SNP’s priority of being the relatively competent administrators of the Empire’s Scotland colony, with independence being an optional aspiration, rather than the overwhelming primary purpose for their existence.

    It also answers the taunt of those with blind faith in the SNP, who see lots of SNP politicians being elected as the measure of success:

    “Well, if you’re an indy supporter, who else are ye gonnae vote for?”

    So, well done, Stu.

  242. Holebender says:

    There is collective madness on display here! It’s as good as impossible for a start-up party in the name of an England-domiciled foul-mouthed blogger to get anywhere close to 10%+ of pro-indy voters’ votes. At best you’re looking at under 5%.

    Now look at the numbers cited in the article; the best hope of a Wings party in terms of winnable votes makes either zero difference or loses the pro-indy parties a seat. And that seems to have convinced so many of you that it’s a great idea. Madness!

  243. Willie says:

    The electoral arithmetic of how we ensure we retain a pro independence majority in Hollyrood is something that every SNP member should be appraised of.

    Quite why this is not ( yet !) being talked about is something we need to address.

    It’s not enough just to trot out the anodyne….” vote SNP one and two ”

    Your analyses starting with 950,000 votes securing 4 seats shows that.

    The scenarios that you have cast Stu should be part of SNP branch discussions up and down the country.

    Then, and truly then will SNP members be able to steer thinking towards what is best for independence and not just the SNP party elite.

    Very good work Stu to set the challenge stimulating informed debate about our electoral system.

  244. Colin Alexander says:

    Constitutionally, the Monarch must remain politically neutral.

    If Mr Cameron is telling the truth (for a change), HM Queen deliberately politically campaigned for the NO campaign in 2014 so breached political neutrality. Then HM Queen’s spokespersons apparently lied about this.

    Will HM Queen be called to either the Scottish Parliament or Westminster to answer these allegations that suggest she betrayed her constitutional obligations to the people of Scotland?

    Will Joanna Cherry and the rest will now take HM Queen to Court? That was the legal argument in the Supreme Court, that in Scotland, as laid out in the Claim of Right, that nobody is above the law, even the Monarch is answerable to the law.

    But remember: Innocent until proven guilty.

  245. Alex says:

    Why don’t the Greens (pro independence) already fulfill the role of second vote alternative?

  246. Iain mhor says:

    I’ll stick my head above the parapet then…

    I’ve hinted previously, that standing a ‘Wings list party’ must be inferred as tacit (at least grudging) acceptance of ‘long game’ Independence – We’d be looking forward (with Mike Russell) to contesting it.

    Given, Rev, your recent frustration with the current speed direction and tactics by the SNP for achieving Independence; can we expect an article outling how you envision the political situation at 2021 and how a (hopefully) successful result for Wings would advance Independence chances after the election.
    I’d be interested in how a potentially far larger Indy majority is expected to have a more novel approach in 2021, as opposed to “Right, now can we have an S30”? Maybe I’m overthinking this and the reason to stand, is purely to keep the fires lit during the almost inevitable leaking of SNP support by that period, due to (possibly) a failure to hold an Indyref2.

  247. mike cassidy says:


    Time for a laughbreak.

    Brexit Party MEP with a schadenfreudian slip.

  248. Gavin Barrie says:

    ” McBoxheid says:
    19 September, 2019 at 8:54 am

    You’ve done very well to get this far
    Nice bit of condescension near the end there Gavin.”

    My apologies, it really wasn’t meant that way, it was an honest comment recognising it was a long article, with a lot of material. I’m sorry it offended you.

  249. Cod says:

    I liked the article, and I’m not averse to a new pro-indy political party (even if I disagree with some views – after all, it’s not like I agree with every SNP policy).

    However, this entire analysis starts on the position that a Wings party could actually get 2% of the vote. Now, in 2016, RISE managed to get around 0.5% of the regional additional member vote, and SSP (or Solidarity to give them the correct name) did slightly better at 0.6%, and that’s likely as a result of having someone who a lot of Scots had heard of at the helm in Tommy Sheridan.

    Further, the data used takes no account of the Brexit Party, who may or may not pick up seats. Certainly in the EU elections they had the second largest voting percentage in Scotland behind the SNP, although there is an argument to be made that it was a protest vote by the pro-Leave Scots against a Conservative party they did not believe would deliver Brexit.

    I have not yet seen any data which suggests that a Wings party would be able to reach or breach that 2% share of the vote, and frankly discussions of 35% strike me as equivalent to talking about how to take care of a stable of unicorns.

    Additionally, what would a Wings party actually stand for, other than a slightly more hardline approach to independence? Would it be the SNP but with a differing and vocal opposition to gender laws, and a slightly abrasive frontman? Could it have Stu as a leader? Would neutral voters find his style to be welcoming or a turn-off? And, quite importantly, would a Wings party supporting the SNP in independence matters, be tempted to equivocate that support with movement from the SNP on gender issues to fit the beliefs of the Wings leader? Because that could cause some problems.

    It needs to be remembered that the rarefied atmosphere of the Wings website is not the real world, and that mistaking the sometimes slightly echo chamber-ish support of Stu on here does not necessarily translate into real world support from non-Wings aficionados.

    I personally believe the SNP will be putting Independence front and center of the next campaign, and that they will return at least 52 MPs. I don’t believe, for one second, that the SNP leadership, from Sturgeon down, are de-listing Independence as an aim – many of those people have fought for independence all their political lives. I do believe that it’s unlikely a S30 will be granted regardless of who is in power in Westminster once the dust settles and regardless of how much of a mandate the SNP have, and that it will need to be tested in court.

    Now, none of this is a reason for there not to be a Wings party, but let’s be rational about the chances of success. Maybe we should run the numbers again, but include the possibility of a RISE / Solidarity level return on percentages for a new Wings party, to see the result, and / or factor in the effect of those in Scotland who do not wish to remain in the EU but who are no longer convinced about voting for the Conservatives. And, possibly, get some voter intention polls which included a potential Wings party done.

  250. Ken500 says:

    Stu might have to move to Scotland. For residency qualification? Get a Scottish permanent address. Give up Wings (impartial) and income. Take less income possibly. It could be quite an expensive project.

  251. Ken500 says:

    It could all end in tears and lose of political influence. A shame. Bit like poker. Over playing the hand.

    Like Cameron Too much self belief. Cameron should never have held an EU IndyRef. EU membership is too important.

  252. mike cassidy says:


    Thanks for the link to Willie Rennie auditioning for the sequel to ‘Stan And Ollie’

  253. Robert Peffers says:

    @cadogan Enright says: 19 September, 2019 at 12:21 am:

    … idea wont work without decent candidates that can be relied upon not to piss all over the directly elected constituency FPTP REAL election winners.”

    Indeed, Cadogan Enright, and I already asked the questions of who will be the candidates, who would choose them, who would vet them, who would ensure they stuck by the party lines, who would pay the deposits, where would the party head office be and so on. Running a party is not an undertaking to be taken lightly.

    A read through Wings on almost any topic will show that Wingers most certainly do no all agree on almost any topic. Indeed if they all did so Wings would die off. Turning Wings into a political party will kill Wings. Just look at the Labour party that has that very problem.

    Gaining seats would be the easy part. Controlling the successful candidates at Holyrood is the bit that will be problematic. Running a party is not easy and the larger the party becomes the harder it is to keep the party sticking to its core values.

    Far as I can see there is a majority of Wings regular commenters whose main purpose of commenting on Wings is to force the FM/SG/SNP to immediately just declare Scotland independent, hold an immediate referendum or call for the Westminster SNP MPs to walk out of Westminster. Imagine them all sitting together as a party at Holyrood not only arguing among themselves but each one attempting to hold the SNP’s collective feet to the fire but all for different reasons.

    So there you go – winning some list seats would only be the easy bit – what then?

  254. bowanarrow says:

    ( The revs blogpost in 2016 stating that attempts to,
    “game” the Holyrood voting system were a “mug’s game”.)
    What has changed?
    Its going to be the same system, that hasn`t changed.
    The only change is that you now belive you have found
    a diffrent way to “GAME” the system, but to whos
    “benefit”? It is a high risk game you want to play.

  255. callmedave says:

    Short shrift from the judges for the NI lawyer as he sets out his brief and meanders somewhat from the crux of the matter. 🙁

    He recovers his loose threads and then makes some positive inroads regards the prorogation matter. 🙂

  256. Fergus Green says:

    @Tartanpigsy 1139

    Apologies my friend for the accidental slip of the digit. Relieved to hear you see the funny side of it. Pigs and pigsties get a bad press, undeserved in my opinion.

    Important thing is your fundraiser is creeping upwards:

  257. mr thms says:

    If someone asked the Queen what she thinks about IndyRef2?

    I expect she would raise her thumb.

    I am not expecting this much ?

    A quarter of inch will be enough.

  258. callmedave says:

    Judges are indicating that the NI submission is ‘something up with which they will not put’… Not much relevance! 🙁

  259. mike cassidy says:


    What’s changed is

    the recognition that the list vote of independence-minded voters is being wasted

    there is a way to realise the potential of those wasted votes to increase the numbers of independence-supporting MSPs at Holyrood

    No one’s claiming its a slam dunk.

    Just a clear examination of the possibilities.

    And if its just Stu roasting the SNP’s chestnuts

    And making unionist listers scared they’ll fall of the gravy train

    That’s ok with me!

  260. Effijy says:

    Too many indoctrinated Scots look up to the Queen like a God.

    She should be out on her ear for interfering in Scottish politics to favour England but
    Now isn’t the time for that.

    Perhaps when independent we can rewrite our relationship with the Royals.

  261. Sarah says:

    “YES Wings” party? Good idea, Kangaroo – instantly recognisable and appealing.

    That is not to say that the arithmetic isn’t a potential problem – but the Rev did say there would be no need for this party if all was done and dusted before 2021.

    It would be good if the debate on here got a little less “personal”!!

  262. Effijy says:

    Still a strong surge on the First Minister’s Independence Petition!

    Some 6,000 joining in over the last 2 days.

    Just about to reach 285,000- 95% of the target.

    Wonder if the Queen would sign?

  263. callmedave says:

    But I saw it reported that Queenie ‘was worried about the upcoming Referendum’ and was ‘therefore compelled’ to seek from Cameron the current state of play. So she was minded to get involved.


    NI lawyer shown the yellow card by judges not to abuse the court.

  264. ian stewart says:

    Try this arithmetic the vast majority of voters in Scotland have never heard of Wings over Scotland. Let alone vote for such a party. Stick with the Greens is the obvious and sensible option.

  265. Cubby says:

    The Supreme Court

    The Justices being totally dismissive of the N. Ireland QC. They say they are not interested in the context/ impact on the proroguing decision on N. Ireland. Yet during the previous days they asked many questions about the impact of shutting down Parliament on bills being binned etc etc. Was that because these bills related to England.

    How many times does it have to be demonstrated that Scotland, Wales and and N. Ireland are seen as a bloody nuisance down south. Just shut up and stay in your box and we will close the lid.

  266. Alex Birnie says:

    @ dadsarmy 4:33 am “if SNP voters had given their vote to Tommy, he would have got elected”. That is 100% correct, as is the statement “If your aunt had testicles, she’d be your uncle”, but both statements aren’t based on the real world.

    Nobody is arguing with Gavin Barrie about the numbers of seats which would accrue to pro-indy parties IF his ASSUMPTIONS turned out to be correct, just as nobody disputes that Tommy Sheridan would have won a seat if more SNP voters had switched in 2016.

    The operative word is “if”. These models are only of use if the assumptions turn out to be correct. Garbage in – garbage out. If Stu asks a proper question, and the answer comes back that one of Gavin’s “arbitrary” figures turns out to be correct, (let’s say 35%), then wow!! Let’s go for it! I’m in!!

    However, if Stu asks a bullshit question, designed to reinforce his obvious prejudice for the idea, and the result shows that one of the (arbitrarily chosen) figures is “correct”, then he will be in exactly the same position as Tommy Sheridan was in at the 2016 election ….. touting for SNP votes on a hope and a prayer.

    All I’m proposing, is that Stu asks a properly weighted question, such as the one James Kelly has suggested, so that we have a clear idea, before we jump.

    My only interest is in bringing Independence closer. I’m not interested in becoming a MSP. Stu clearly IS interested in becoming a MSP, and his motives and methods should be examined as forensically as he examines the MSM propaganda, and as critically as HE did when Tommy Sheridan and the RISE folk were trying a similar stunt in 2016.

    I hope that Stu’s party does come into being, tontake seats from unionists, but only if it is done with feet on the ground, using ACTUAL and ACCURATE polling figures for voting intentions, rather than the fanciful figures being used by Mr Barrie as the basis for his graphs. I’m certainly not going to jump up and down, just because some guy shows me a picture of what will happen if 35% of SNP voters switch to Wings. Great if they turn out to be true, but, I suspect that, like your aunt’s testicles, they will turn out to be imaginary.

  267. Iain mhor says:

    Oh noes! Moderation. I had a feeling the beard quips were going to be trouble. I jest. Mere mockery of the anti-brigade and their venom – no more, no less. It’s a fine beard, a thrice-noble beard, which pet food should ne’er sully.
    That or my prior, admittedly verbose ramblings, are soporific to the verge of antagonising.
    Ahhh it’s true, brevity is the soul of wit, Mea culpa.

    Ohh wait, now I see it: “par*pet” – D’ohhhh! The filter strikes, not the hammers…relief.

  268. James Barr Gardner says:

    Rev. Stu Wings Party has my vote no ifs or buts !

  269. callmedave says:

    A man in a hurry and confident too, Mike Fordham QC – the Welsh government’s chief legal adviser.

    Not asking…telling the judges. I like the cut of his jib! 🙂

  270. Scozzie says:

    Politics is a gamble – but it’s worth the gamble to put forward a Wings party. Coz let’s face it the SNP aren’t exactly charging ahead with independence with gusto!

    Selection of high quality candidates will be the biggest hurdle and those candidates will need to be able to hold their own like Jeanne Freeman when interviewed / under scrutiny – coz the MSM will throw all they’ve got at a Wings party. Some serious media training will be required!!!!

    And I don’t think the MSM will ignore Wings candidates probably with some doorstepping tactics to boot, they’ll look to find every avenue to discredit them or to make them look amateurish so they’ll need to be on top of their brief – how many times have we squirmed when an SNP MP / MSP has made an own goal or not jumped on an open goal!!!

    But that being said, if Wings can put together a credible set of candidates (with no skeletons in the closet) then to my mind go for it.

    I’m sure Stu is well aware he’ll be under intense scrutiny so dotting the t’s and i’s will be essential in setting up a legal party within our electoral system.

    I have no problem with Stu being the leadership of the party but I have to say I’m in two minds of him standing as a candidate. I think his skills are in strategy, direction, analytics and tactical decision making.

    Manifesto – I reckon keep it simple:
    1. A vote for Wings means triggering independence negotiations if a majority of independence MSPs are elected (SNP / Wings (Greens – although debatable if they’re pro-indy these days!!!).
    2. Push SNP to drop GRA reform.

    If it was legitimate for Ruthie to fight elections on a single ‘no surrender to independence’ manifesto why should Wings need to have a string of manifesto pledges???

  271. Cubby says:

    The Queen as head of state/the Crown does not get involved we are told. Patently not true. But if it was true then what the hell is the point of the monarchy. A head of state that does nothing whose role is to do nothing.

    So either we are lied to about the role of the monarch (my opinion) or we pay for a tourist attraction that reminds and reinforces the UK of its class structure and inherited privileges.

    Of course the Queen of Scots is supposed to protect the Scots so if the Queen does nothing then can she be said to be carrying out this role.

    Just another example of Britnat lies. There is no shortage of them.

  272. Bill Hume. says:

    Alex Birnie….in this day and age, your Aunt may well have testicles.

    Anyhoo….Wings party taking list votes from Unionists sounds good, but a word of caution.

    What is to stop the unionists doing exactly the same?

  273. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    9,436 signatures so far on petition for “Official observers from OSCE ODIHR to monitor the next Scottish referendum.”

    “Not only will the OSCE send a large team to observe the conduct of the campaign and physical balloting and counting process, they will send an advance team of experts with international experience in monitoring media bias in campaign situations, with a particular emphasis on state media. These experts will produce a careful and scientific quantitative and qualitative analysis of the extent of media bias, and this analysis will be presented to all the member states of the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe. The very presence of the international monitoring team will be a strong deterrent to bad media behaviour, and will boost public confidence in the process.”

  274. callmedave says:

    From WoS twitter:

    Mike Fordham QC – the Welsh government’s chief legal adviser.

    Fordham is the author of the most detailed practitioner guide on judicial review

    He may be only barrister to have read and considered every single judicial review case ever


    He’s doing well. 🙂

    PS: Queenie:

    I think it is safe to assume that the Royals have their own team of advisors running data networks that permeate throughout all facets of the way power and influence affect their status in the UK and abroad.

  275. Sarah says:

    O/T To paraphrase hugely:

    “So long as but 201 of us donate to gofundme the return of 10000 flags for yes” those flags will remain unclaimed somewhere in China, I understand.

    The total to date is £4351 from the 201 donors – tartanpigsy needs £8000 at least in order to secure the order. So another 180 donors need to step up quickly.

  276. Normski says:

    @Gavin Barrie says:

    “…but found myself mentioned derogatorily in a blog and ridiculed, using very inadequate analysis.”

    LOL. Can’t possibly think who you are talking about.

    Any discussion that uses more than secondary school arithmetic, e.g. basic stats or probability will see him collapse on his arse and resort to ad hominem abuse – typically with comments like “you’re trying to make yourself out to be an expert…you smell of poo…everybody knows I am the Indy movements polling god”.

  277. Terry callachan says:

    Can I just check that I am getting this right

    My understanding is that the wings party would only be looking for us to give them the second vote of the two votes we get in a Holyrood election.

    I do remember the great deal of discussion and differences of opinion last election about whether or not it was a good idea to give both votes to the snp or your first vote to snp and give your second vote to the greens.
    I think many many people gave both votes to snp last time but it got them hardly and regional ( list) seats because of the system and the way that they divide the votes you get by ten if you win the first vote contest.

    I can see the attraction of just giving the first vote to snp and the second vote to a wings party by doing this snp would get as just as many local constituency seats because it is a first past the post count.
    The attraction of giving the second vote to the wings party instead of the snp is that because the snp get so many seats in the local constituency first past the post vote their votes in the second regional count for LIST seats is divided by ten so as to give the party’s who got fewer seats in the first local constituency vote a chance to get these LIST seats.

    They call this proportional representation but it is in fact a swizz , those party’s that fail in the local constituency first past the post vote get rewarded in the second vote because the snp have their true number of votes divided by ten which reduces their chances of LIST seats considerably.

    I see that the scotgoespop blogger Mr J Kelly says that if the wings party claim were true that more LIST seats could won by the wings party than by other party’s , the likes of SSP , Rise , greens would be doing it but what J Kelly says is incorrect because the SSP and Rise and the greens don’t campaign on just one thing like the wings party and many people might not like the other policies that SSP or Rise or the greens have.

    I imagine that the wings party would campaign for the people to give them the second vote which is the LIST vote , for regional seats.
    I think they would campaign with one policy which is give us your second vote we want Scottish independence just like snp and we can get more LIST seats than snp can because of the dhodnt voting system.End Of.

  278. RobertTheTruth says:

    Imagine anyone having the temerity to tell the Rev that politics is a difficult and dirty business, as if he doesn’t know first hand. No need, the usual playing by the SNP rules peeps are trying to frantically put a damper on things.

    Parliamentary politics is apparently best left to those who have paid their SNP dues. Policies, candidates – it’s all so difficult, apparently. I mean goodness, who would you stand as candidates when all the best people are SNP? I wonder how many of these naysayers are failed candidates or agents of failed candidates?

    Well I say GTF, in for a penny in for a (Scottish) pound. Nothing worth doing comes easy in politics. If it makes the complacent SNP lifers up their game, then all the better.

    If it is not doable the Rev will pull the plug, that is what these exploratory articles and polls will be about.

  279. dadsarmy says:

    @Alex Birnie
    You’re still missing the point when you talk about “fanciful figures”. They’re figures used to prove if a basic concept would actually work if the situation was favourable.

    And conversely they show if the concept wouldn’t work at all and isn;t even worth bothering about. For instance, if the model showed that even if 50% of the SNP vote voted Wings, but the overall total of pro-Indy seats stayed the same or even went down, THEN the whole concept would fail and that’s it, end of story.

    But Gavin’s tables show that the conecept itself works, and worls very well, AND they give the tipping point of around 12% of SNP list voters switching to Wings.

    That;s very important data, and a rigid poll then can show if that is achievable.

    What the table don’t show, and nor can they and stay easy to follow, is the effect of a reduction in the constituency vote of the SNP. But the tables COULD be applied to the 2011 situation where the SNP achieved an overall majority – with a lot of seats on the regional lists. THAT would probably be a negative for the Wings party concept.

    I had an insulting reply from that other blog because I forgot to sign off with my moniker, considering that my wordpress signon doesn’t work, and I’m not doing google accounts whatever they are. His blog makes it hard to be named – not something that’s my fault. My similar mildly insulting replies using the same word “cowardly” (plus dickwad in the first) were deleted three times.

    So that blogger won’t be getting the benefit of my time and what would have been sensible and detailed criticism of his insensible and knee-jerk article – an article which dismisses a concept without meaningful data, unlike this article which does have full data – and gives access to the spreadsheets to game it yourself.

    You reaps what you sows.

  280. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    The obvious flaw in your logic of “ Stick with the Greens is the obvious and sensible option.”@ian stewart says at 11:36 am

    Some Indy supporters will never vote Green again due to their policies around GRA, hostility to bringing rural transport infrastructure up to 20th Century standards, leaving oil and gas in the ground and retraining workers as lumberjacks rather than using it during a transition period to establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund like Norway and for voting to repeal of OBFA so vote SNP 1 and 2 (which doesn’t pay off).

    Others hold their noses and vote Green on the Regional vote despite objection to policies as per above because they are the only other pro Indy Party at Holyrood.

    Both these AMS/List votes are ripe for an Independence supporting Party which also defends against the Woke Policies of some in the SNP and Greens which will cost the wider Indy majority at the next Holyrood Election.

  281. Ken500 says:

    Willy Rennue is such a dunce Awa and boil his heid. He wants public with additions needs left out and not get the help they need. Willy Rennie should get help.

  282. highseastim says:

    Go for it Stu, would definitely get my second vote!!

  283. Famous15 says:

    Two things on FMQ.

    What was that question on personal emails about?

    How can you validate teaching of P1 etc without testing that your methods are effective.?

  284. HYUFD says:

    Jfngw The Queen’s ancestry includes Mary Queen of Scots, Robert the Bruce etc. She is as much a monarch of Scotland as she is of England so nothing whatsoever to do with the Empire Scots played a big part in building and whatever Cameron may have advised she said nothing either way in the referendum other than the neutral statement to think carefully

  285. Ken500 says:

    Vote green get help.

    Campaign to change the voting system in Scotland. Ridiculous to favour unionists without a mandate. Scotland would be Independence now without that ridiculous system

    Unionists would never have built hospitals. They overspend the public money on HS2/Hinckley Point. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. Wasting £Billions. Brexit is costing £Billions.

    Don’t mention the building of the Scottish parliament under Unionist control.

  286. ahundredthidiot says:

    I don’t believe in gaming the System

    I believe in gaming the f*ck out of the System

  287. DW says:

    Interesting analysis

    But I do have some concerns

    It does require a Wings party to get over 10% to start having any impact and that is quite a high bar for a new party.

    But more significantly, any “gaming” of the system will just be used by Westminster to say there isn’t a real majority for independence in Holyrood and that independence voters have cheated the system.

    And this will be the message the media bang on & on about.

  288. Ghillie says:

    Of course Stuart Campbell and anyone one else like minded must do what they feel is right.

    On which note.

    I will continue to vote SNP SNP 🙂

  289. Peter A Bell says:

    I didn’t buy the magic beans when RISE was selling them. I’m not buying them now that they’ve been rebranded Wings Extra Special Super Magic Beans (Guaranteed Free From Unwanted Side Effects).

  290. dadsarmy says:

    @Bill Hume. says: “What is to stop the unionists doing exactly the same?

    The list is where the unionist parties get most or a lot of their MSPs from, exactly because the SNP do so well on the constituency vote. So the chances of them cutting their own throats to try to squeeze out another anti-indy MSP on the list are very small.

    They really would have to co-operate on a large scale over the constituency vote and aim themselves at that more than the regional vote. Well, could Labour or the LibDems trust a Tory? are they THAT stupid? Don’t answer that 🙂

  291. IhearrScotland says:

    This is a great premise…it needs to be backed up with polls that prove that the ‘Wings’ brand will provide the votes required. Otherwise…love it!

  292. Iain mhor says:

    @Bill Hume 11:51am

    “In this day and age…”
    Thanks, tea down the nose. I needed that! 😀

  293. Gerry says:

    Well said Peter @1:00. Speaking for many a wise head there.

  294. Terry callachan says:

    This is interesting
    A report by prof John Robertson
    On the bias in media coverage

  295. Cubby says:

    The two favourite words of British Labour in Scotland:

    cut and cuts.

  296. Cubby says:

    The two favourite words of the English Conservative party in Scotland:

    tax cut and tax cuts.

  297. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Wings party taking list votes from Unionists sounds good, but a word of caution.

    What is to stop the unionists doing exactly the same?

    The fact that their list vote DOESN’T currently get wasted, unlike the SNP’s, so there’d be nothing for them to gain from doing it.

  298. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “There is not a cat in hell’s chance that a new Wings Party would command 12% of the list vote.”

    Not the list vote. THE SNP’S list vote. So more like 5% of the actual vote.

  299. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Try this arithmetic the vast majority of voters in Scotland have never heard of Wings over Scotland. Let alone vote for such a party.”

    Simply not true, I’m afraid. The last poll on the subject showed that 55% of people had heard of us, and that was more than a year ago – before the widely-reported YouTube shutdown story (several front pages), before the Dugdale case and indeed before the avalanche of media coverage of this very proposal. (See the first image in the post.)

    “Stick with the Greens is the obvious and sensible option.”

    If you want to elect a bunch of pious, pompous wee dicks, sure.

  300. Gerry says:

    “If you want to elect a bunch of pious, pompous wee dicks, sure.”

    But that’s not what you said though is it Stu ? You said C***S. Did you not mean to call them that ? Why change it if that’s what you think of the green party candidates ? You should be honest with your electorate.

  301. jfngw says:


    You may find that many 18th century Scots disagreed with your view that succession to the throne was less than legitimate. Royalty had nothing to do with empire, I’ll leave that to the Empress of India to answer.

    The Queens ancestry to Mary was almost as tenuous as Danny Dyers, Arise King Danny of Scots.

  302. Scozzie says:

    Peter A Bell @ 1.00pm
    Why do you say this is magic beans?
    You more than most are critical of the SNP and their lackluster approach to securing independence. A second pro-independence party with enough votes could give us the majority that we need in HR.

    If we don’t take the gamble (and I recognise it is a gamble) we will probably hover around just below the watermark number of seats needed + therefore needing the few seats Greens might gain to squeeze pro-indy seats over the line; or we take a gamble to try to maximise pro-indy seats.

    Let’s not forget there’s many women who will be loathed to vote Green and will probably have to hold their nose to vote SNP due to the GRA mess. These votes should not be taken for granted. Wings could probably hoover them up.

  303. BobW says:

    I’m puzzled by those on here, who contend that standing another Indy party in the list is ‘gaming’ the system. It’s what politics is all about, don’t like/ agree with what is happening in politics, one of the solutions is to found a party, then put that party’s stance forward in an election. That is NOT gaming any electoral system. As I said that’s politics. The party may not garner enough support, but that would be up to the electorate, not those decrying the idea.
    As to the unionist parties trying to ‘game’ the system, where will their votes come from? Each other? They don’t have any other pool of voters who are like minded and possibly willing to lend them their votes.

  304. Heartsupwards says:

    Can Wings not promote an already established Green Party to be the list vote primary (Vote SNP first Green second) for the better result of having the already established Greens vote plus the Wings vote?
    If it is all about independence then this ought to suffice?

  305. Andy Ellis says:

    @ Scozzie 1.00PM

    Peter Bell & his chum James Kelly simply aren’t open to reason on the matter. It’s as pointless trying to argue with faith based positions like theirs as it is with yoons convinced that GERS is a a slam dunk argument against independence.

    You are of course correct; many women (and not a few men) will not vote Green due – amongst other things – to their stance on GRA. A Wings Party stands to gain votes from those people, but also from SNP members and supporters dismayed at the party’s timidity (pace Robin McAlpine’s excellent piece in Common Space today), not to mention large numbers of convinced Wings supporters.

    The idea that such a party is less capable of securing the kind of percentages that allowed the Greens to pick up 6 seats is frankly for the birds.

    The bloviating Mr Bell wouldn’t recognise a good buy if it jumped up and bit him.

  306. Alex Birnie says:

    @ dadsarmy 12:27. If Gavin Barrie’s figures of (for example) 35% turn out to be not fanciful, but are shown to be likely, (even possible), then I’m in.

    However, and I can’t believe I’ve to keep reiterating this, we need accurate figures (or as accurate as polling will allow), and, for that to happen, the polling question has to be meaningful. For example, if Stu asks SNP voters “Would you be prepared vote in the regional ballot for “Wings”, to increase the number of pro-indy seats in Holyrood?”, then even I might say “yes”. It is probable that such a question would result in a huge majority of “yessers”.

    However, that would give almost no indication – at all – as to how many of those SNP voters would actually switch to Wings in the regional ballot.

    I read your exchange with James Kelly, and I was amazed at how upset you became, when he gave you a “snide” reply. These bloggers – or at least, the vast majority of them – are hard cases, with big egos. They have to be, to keep blogging, week after week, month after month, putting up with opinionated twats like you and me. You’ve obviously never disagreed with Stu. You should try it sometime, and you’ll get a reply that makes James Kelly seem polite. Both James Kelly and Stu Campbell have a lot to offer the independence cause, in different areas, but neither would get a job in the diplomatic corps.

    On this issue of the Wings party. James’s criticism of it is obviously tainted by the animus that now exists between him and Stu, but he has no personal interest in whether or not it fails, and his opinion on it is much more neutral than Stu’s. James gains nothing by criticising the idea, whereas Stu has a dog in the fight, and has a lot to gain if it IS successful.

    Although I come from Aberdeen, I am not a sheep. I have no “loyalty” to either Stu Campbell or James Kelly. I just follow the logic. The idea of voting “Wings” in the regional ballot starts off from a more advantageous position than the RISE or Solidarity were in at the 2016 election, because of Wings huge “footprint” in the yes movement, but I’m not going to get too excited about it, until I see the polling question, and the result it produces.

  307. jfngw says:


    The Rev can promote the Greens if he wants, seems unlikely though, but I still would not vote for them, never vote for a pig in a poke (for any Tories this probably translate as always vote to poke in a pig).

  308. Patrick Roden says:

    The SNP have created a political vacuum in Scotland with the way they tried to push through the GRA.
    The Greens can’t fill because they took the same approach.

    I am committed to Yes, but have lost a lot of confidence in the SNP.

  309. Peter A Bell says:

    Andy Ellis says:
    19 September, 2019 at 2:02 pm
    @ Scozzie 1.00PM

    “Peter Bell & his chum James Kelly simply aren’t open to reason on the matter.”

    My chum? I shunned the lying little turd long ago. You know nothing.

    “The bloviating Mr Bell wouldn’t recognise a good buy if it jumped up and bit him.”

    That being an example of your “reason”, I’m sure readers will understand why I’m not open to it.

  310. Peter A Bell says:

    Wings Party supporters keep informing me of the party’s policies and positions. For example,

    As many of these policies and positions seem incompatible or even contradictory, perhaps an authorised spokesperson for the Wings Party could clarify.

  311. Ghillie says:

    PR, as a well seasoned and mature voter, it would take a great deal more than a single difficult issue to turn my vote away from the party of Independence =)

    It is SNP SNP for me 🙂

  312. Peter A Bell says:

    Scozzie says:
    19 September, 2019 at 1:43 pm
    Peter A Bell @ 1.00pm
    Why do you say this is magic beans?

    It seems perfectly reasonable to express scepticism about any claim to be able to game the voting system.

    You say the purpose of the Wings Party is to ensure a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament. That’s what RISE said too. And how can the purpose be to secure a pro-independence majority at Holyrood if the Wings Party won’t stand candidates unless that majority is already secure?

    The Wings Party supporters need to get their story straight. I will continue to be sceptical until they do.

  313. dadsarmy says:

    @Alex Birnie
    I read your exchange with James Kelly, and I was amazed at how upset you became, when he gave you a “snide” reply.

    Actually I didn’t. I gave like for like for interest, and his ego didn’t let it stand – he deleted it. Over-inflated egos for a blogger are pretty dumb, it means all they get left with are people who agree with them, or like being abused. Or GWC! So they don’t get to see hard but constructive criticism.

    And yes, Campbell is the same, worse in fact. This is my older moniker, I’m banned under a newer one, or at least, pre-moderated until nobody gets to see my posting apart from the big ego when it looks at the moderation queue.

    Unlike the two of them I don’t let my own ego get in the way of any possible idea that will help us get Independence.

    YOU incidentally, manage to keep a civil tongue in your head even when attacked, something both bloggers could learn from.

  314. joe says:

    I’d vote if it was a two policy party that (i think) Stu is all about. Independence and Protecting Womens rights. Party should either propose to abstain or vote with SNP on all other issues and once we succeed in seceding from the rUK then new elections and up to electorate and your new policies if you decide to continue.

  315. dadsarmy says:

    @Peter A Bell
    I will continue to be sceptical until they do.

    So it’s a maybe then?

  316. Scozzie says:

    Andy Ellis @ 2.02pm.
    I agree entirely with your comment and Robyn McAlpine’s article made for grim reading.
    I usually find him quite middle of the road (a bit vanilla) and certainly not bullish; but if even he is perplexed by SNP stuck in a state of inertia then some of us here who have been scratching our heads with the SNP are perhaps not the trolls, britnats, underminers etc that we’re often accused of.

    I think there’s too many SNP party faithfuls on here who do not recogise the strength of feeling amongst women about being flung under the bus over GRA – and I don’t doubt many will agonise over their decision when marking x on the ballot paper.

    Hell, forgetting independence if Wings set up a Wings Women’s party to stop the GRA it would probably garner an army of women to campaign for it. We didn’t fight tooth and nail for over 100 years to have all our rights stripped from us.

  317. mike cassidy says:


    This idea is not about taking votes from the SNP.

    It’s about the possibility of the best use of SNP voters list votes

    With the modest ambition of ensuring there is a pro-independence majority at Holyrood.

    Something near impossible to gain when so many SNP list votes go to waste.

  318. BobW says:

    @Peter A Bell

    Please explain how giving electors another choice is ‘gaming’ an electoral system.

  319. The media know that Nicola has said we will have another Ref ., when the polls show yes is ahead so do you think they would ever report on a poll that said it did the British gov., have already refused to disclose the result of a poll they held on this so we can guess what the result was ??? So how are we ever going to have another Ref., under these terms of approval ???

  320. Cubby says:

    Over inflated egos for posters are very common.

  321. Capella says:

    @ Peter A Bell – The Wings Party supporters need to get their story straight. I will continue to be sceptical until they do

    That sounds petulant Peter. We are discussing our “story” here on this thread and everyone is able to join in.

    I wouldn’t vote for Rise because I saw it as a left wing Glasgow party. Nothing against either but I had almost no information about it, who was standing or what their policies were. If you lived in Glasgow then you probably could go along to meetings.

    I won’t vote for the Greens because of their stance on GRA and SelfID which is a misogynistic ideology. I will vote for any party which pledges to protect the rights of women and girls.

    The SNP is becoming problematic on account of their support of SelfID.

    That leaves me with no party to vote for. A YES party backed by WoS would be a welcome option. Policies? For me:

    1 An independent Scotland in Europe
    2 Protect human rights of everyone and that includes women and girls.
    3 A written constitution which guarantees…
    4 A fair and just society (can be expanded with priorities)
    5 Protection of the environment/flora and fauna/planet

    In this digital era, we can do what the Icelanders did and develop our constitution online where everyone can contribute.

  322. Colin Alexander says:

    Peter A Bell

    As a regular reader of your blog which is regularly critical of the SNP’s indy campaign, I’m surprised at your criticism of an idea which could put pressure on the SNP to deliver an indyref or alternative means of securing indy during their mandate of 2016-21.

    So, what’s your answer if the SNP continue to insist on an s30 that will probably never happen if YES has a reasonable prospect of winning?

  323. David McDowell says:

    HYUFD @ 12:43 pm

    “she said nothing either way in the referendum other than the neutral statement to think carefully”

    Yet we now hear of “displeasure at Buckingham Palace” – precisely because the idiot Cameron has revealed the Queen’s statement wasn’t neutral.

  324. Scozzie says:

    Peter A Bell @ 2.24pm
    I don’t quite understand your line of argument – so do you only advocate SNP 1st and 2nd vote? We know that results in thousands of wasted votes (based on previous voting trends and the HR electoral system).

    Surely with good analytics, a second pro-independence party can maximise those votes. And I don’t see that as gaming the system any more than what the other parties will be doing as part of their strategy in an election campaign.

  325. Cubby says:

    The Brexiteers want to take back control to the UKs Parliament but only when the UK Parliament will do their bidding. These are the same people who claim the EU is undemocratic.

    Scotlands excellent FM taking very difficult questions today in the Scottish parliament. Yesterday there should have been a PMs question for Johnston to have to do the same. A PM with no majority shuts down parliament to try to force through his policy. Only mad Britnat Brexiteers can think this is acceptable in a democracy.

  326. Tam Fae somewhere says:

    Is Westminster normally prorogued during the 3 weeks of party conference season (or just nothing normally scheduled during those weeks)?

    If Westminster isn’t normally prorogued then no need for it this year…..unless you are Boris!

  327. callmedave says:

    Jings! A deal seems to be getting discussed!

    If Court finds the advice to Queenie was/is unlawful lawyer for the appellants asks Court to use its power to ‘suggest’ what happens next if prorogation is deemed ‘null and void’

    Parliament then can reconvene and work it out.

    Apparently ‘null and void’rules out prorogation again another time by Boris. But Boris is perhaps allowed to escape with minimal affect. Maybe aye maybe no! I’m getting confused now.

    Hope the Scottish lawyer is in on the deal when he speaks later.

  328. Clydebuilt says:


    Craig Murray has lodged this petition at the UK gov Petition Site.

    Official observers from OSCE ODIHR to monitor the next Scottish referendum.

    A Scottish Independence referendum determines the relationship between two potentially separate states. The official body for monitoring democratic procedures within the OSCE is its Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Monitoring includes media balance and ballot conduct
    More details

    Only a current state member of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe can request an official observer mission. Competence therefore lies at Westminster not Holyrood.
    This petition witnesses public concern at the fairness of postal ballot conduct of a future Scottish Independence referendum and especially that broadcast media are biased.
    ODIHR send an advance team weeks or months ahead to monitor media balance.
    If there are no problems, why not get ODIHR confirmation?

  329. Frank Gillougley says:

    Pannick would definitely give Joe Beltrami a run for his money.

  330. Andy Ellis says:

    @ Colin Alexander 2.58PM

    The answer of course is that Mr Bell & others frothing about how this will never work, are unwilling to face facts. Neither SSP/RISE or the Greens have the broad appeal to break out of their existing tramlines. If they had that kind of reach, why hasn’t it already happened? RISE/SSP are likely to be less of a threat, not more going forward. Given the well publicised and heated debate about GRA and Greens invitation to anyone who refuses to subscribe to the “Trans women are women” mantra to leave the party, it’s hard to see them making much progress in HR 2021?

    Look at the figures for previous Holyrood elections: minor parties (Green, SSP, Independents like Margo & the Pensioner party) have all gained list seats with %’s ranging from 5-7% in their regions, often with 16-18K votes. Now folk can argue all they like that a Wings Party will never work, but if they’re honestly trying to say that it will have less recognition, reach or resources in 2021 than some of these parties had, they patently haven’t being paying attention to Scots politics since 1999, not have they examined the figures.

  331. defo says:

    Younger, or older Joe Frank?

  332. Frank Gillougley says:

    Clydebuilt OT 3.19

    Just signed this important petition currently heading towards 9,500 signatures

  333. Frank Gillougley says:

    defo, … the late Joe, the elder.

  334. Wynn Thorne says:

    Hello Stuart – I still think this is a duff idea. About sticking with the Greens you say “If you want to elect a bunch of pious, pompous wee dicks, sure.” It still gives the result you say you want with a wings party – so why complicate things? Lets stick with the pious, pompous wee dicks.

    No need for all this agro and competing analyses.

  335. callmedave says:

    Sorry: appellants (are Scottish group) who won their case.

    Should have said ‘Miller’s group’ who were appealing their loss in the (English Courts).

  336. Jack Murphy says:

    Apologies. This afternoon and Off Topic:

    BBC Scotland Politics

    “Scottish government scraps named person scheme”

  337. dadsarmy says:

    Yes, Cherry & Co are the respondents in this case as the Scottish Court of Session Inner House won. Err, I mean they won their case there 🙂

    It’s UK Gov appealing, though to be frank that’s a damn lie, nothing appealing about them!

  338. SlimJimmy says:

    A Wings Party is the best suggestion I’ve heard since the idea of Scotland becoming a normal Independent country again.

  339. cynicalHighlander says:

    Robin McAlpine: This is a moment for honesty – we haven’t made enough progress in the past 5 years

  340. HandandShrimp says:

    Not sure I agree worth the decision to withdraw the named person bill but I appreciate one cannot spend an eternity in litigation and courts and the government may be clearing the decks for something major.

    The Opposition will no doubt be cheering, not because the idea was wrong but because they got a bill withdrawn. They won’t be cheering as much as those who were feeling the long arm of the law reaching their way though.

    Cue the cries of “Oh the humannity! Won’t someone do something?” at the next egregious case of unidentified systematic abuse….from the same people cheering today (politicians not predators obviously)

  341. Ali says:

    All sounds good from perspective of a “a second Yes party” but, branding aside, who are the candidates and what does the manifesto look like?

    If someone is prepared to write off voting SNP or the Greens on the basis of one piece of social policy how will they be persuaded? Any single policy could diminish support by as much as 50% (Nukes, NATO, EU membership, gender laws or whatever else). Candidates whose public discourse includes playground swearing at anyone who disagrees on even minor points is hardly likely to win friends and influence people.

    The best thing Wings can do is keep on focussing on exposing Unionist media nonsense while staying out of hot button issues that have no bearing on the question of independence.

  342. Colin Alexander says:

    I have been a regular critic of the SNP’s Named Person Scheme and have been subjected to abuse by the SNP-can-do-no-wrong-brigade on Wings.

    Now the SNP finally accept it is unworkable whilst remaining WITHIN the law. Well done SNP for FINALLY listening to reason and scrapping it.

    It was a well-intentioned idea that would do more harm than good. That’s why I opposed it. Not as an excuse to have a go at the SNP.

    As for the Wingers who subjected me to ad hominem abuse for opposing the Named Person Scheme:

    Time to eat humble pie.

  343. K1 says:

    I hope we wipe those fucking Tory bastards and their handmaidens Labour and LIbdems fuckers out of our parliament, Wings forming a party even with moderate left wing socially progressive policies would be a sight better than these rank low life sectarian loving couldn’t give a toss about children’s welfare bastards who are currently rejoicing at their vacuous ‘wins’ wrt to named persons and obfa.

    Shower of fucking cunts, the lot of them.

    And….breathe 🙂

  344. HandandShrimp says:

    On the idea of a Wings party, I think the idea could work but the difficulty would be in securing a good list of identifiable and recognised moderates that prop!e would like to see as MSPs. The press would paint Wings as more niche than Rise or the Greens when clearly the opposite is the aim. In presenting as safe hands to complement the constituency seats won by the SNP it would go a fair way to ensuring voters could participate in maximising the system with confidence. However, if it ends in a bun fight between independence supporters then SNP voters may just close ranks.

    Of course if it looks like it might be working and polls indicate 55 plus seats for the SNP and a dozen or more for Wings then the Unionist parties will go ballistic. I could even see attempts to change the system to disallow list only parties.

  345. K1 says:

    Fuck off Coco…you sanctimonious little prick.*

    *confident I’m expressing the view of many on here.

  346. dadsarmy says:

    But apart from that, what’s your actual view of the Unionist parties in Holyrood? Don’t hold back!

  347. K1 says:

    😉 yesindy

  348. K1 says:

    Rev just tweeted this article form Donna Babington on the NP act, from 2016.

    I again once again state those who are celebrating this as any kind of ‘victory’….staring at you Coco…are merely rejoicing in the welfare of children being put at risk.

  349. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    “David Cameron has caused “an amount of displeasure” in Buckingham Palace after admitting to seeking the Queen’s support during the Scottish independence referendum.”

  350. dadsarmy says:

    Indeed 😎

    It’s all in a good cause.

  351. K1 says:

    Aye displeasure at him no keeping his arrogant trap shut. Like all others before him have. If any one believes Queenie wisnae a willing accomplice I’ve a shed load of gold in ma back garden tae sell tae ye fur thruppence.

  352. callmedave says:

    Too many unresolved issues clogging up the system in Scottish politics no progress, reserved matters, ‘human error and confusion’ over hospital builds, impeded by numbers,in Holyrood etc.

    One step back maybe even two clearing the boards temporarily to fight the Brexit / GE / Independence matters, once settled then begin again with a stronger mandate.

    As the judge today says…It ain’t easy when your hands are tied and we are being made skint by WM policies!

    We will get there. 🙂

  353. Ken500 says:

    Get D’Hond’t out of Scotland

    The named person was to protect vulnerable people, The unionists have mucked that up. Like they muck up everything. They care for no one but themselves. It was a point of contact so not to waste time helping people. The unionist propaganda.

  354. Terry callachan says:

    To Rev Stuart Campbell..

    I am in favour of your idea , why didn’t we think of it sooner !

    A note of caution
    Some SNP voters might worry that once the wings party gets into Holyrood with SNP voters second votes it might vote against SNP policies

    Is that likely possible or is the wings party likely just to fall into line behind the SNP and vote with them on everything
    If the latter , I think the negative responses will stop

    Of course it’s difficult to say yes we will support them on everything just in case they introduce a crazy policy but excepting something crazy is it likely the wings party will just vote with the SNP on everything

    Or is there a problem with that

  355. Lenny Hartley says:

    Callmedave heard at a talk last week the issue with ventilation at Edinburgh was due to local health board’s design Not the contractors.

  356. Ken500 says:

    Cameron trying to flog the book. What a parasite. He is an alcoholic. Drinks too much red wine. Alcoholics make poor decisions without proper total abstinence, rehab counselling.

    Cameron should never have advocated an EURef. It was too important for the economy. Make changes if required but not Brexit. Incredible beyond relief. Now threatening the State monopoly. Three home Cameron, imposing austerity on others. Such a hypocrite. He could not give a damn. Telling lies. Elected to support NHS cut the budget. Now upset £400Million a year, interfering Royalty. Of Into obscurity. Back to milking HS2, Hinkley Point public revenues. The Tory slush fund.

    Deja Vu. Thatcher. Geoffrey Howe. Some people never learn. Will Johnston last to October? Doubt it.

  357. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “It does require a Wings party to get over 10% to start having any impact”

    More like 6%. The figures in the article are all percentages OF THE SNP VOTE, not of the total vote.

  358. callmedave says:

    @Lenny Hartley

    Not surprised by that. But the opportunity opens for those that might not have built a hospital , or a bridge in the first place to carp with false indignation. 🙁 So it goes sometimes.

  359. Doug says:

    @callmedave 4:32pm

    Aye, I think it’s a spot of house-keeping before GE and Indyref2. Makes sense.

  360. Robert Louis says:

    Effijy at 1133am,

    And what happens when the ‘target’ is reached? NOTHING.

  361. shug says:

    Just watching the news about David Cameron’s book and the queen’s comments.

    He is beyond stupid to have mentioned it!! Even to sell his book.

    I can’t imagine a nationalist now considering retaining the monarchy after Indy Ref 2.

    It looks like having trashed the union he is now trashing the monarchy.

    What interesting times we live in

  362. Alex Birnie says:

    In all of the spreadsheet work that Gavin Barrie has put into this, all of the conclusions are correct, within the strict parameters of the scenario that is portrayed. Even if was valid to use current polls and use those figures, there is one thing that Mr Barrie doesn’t mention ….. the likelihood of each of his assumed levels of vote-swinging. He starts off each time with 2% of the SNP vote switching to Wings, and we can ask ourselves “How likely is that?”. I guess that most people would (like me) sagely nod there heads and think “quite likely”. As he goes up the scale to say, 12%, how many people are still nodding their heads? (I know I’m not!). By the time he gets to 35%, I would guess that he’s on his own, because those sorts of figures seem to me to be fantastical…….

    And there’s the rub. Because, being optimists by nature (if you’re a yes voter, you are, by definition, an optimist), we are looking at the delicious prize of double digit seat gains from the unionists being dangled in front of our eyes by Gavin Barrie, but we should stop and ask “Which is the more likely figure for vote-shifting? 2%? – or 35%?”. While we would all love to see a scenario where 35% of SNP voters vote Wings and we gain 13 pro-indy seats, we need to keep our feet on the ground, and realise that 2% is far more likely than 35%, and at 2%, Wings is in the same territory as Solidarity and RISE were in 2016.

    I really hope that Stu asks a “real” question in his promised poll, and that the result surprises me, because an increased majority in Holyrood is ideal for independence, (if we haven’t already won it by then), but I’m not going to get carried away by Gavin Barrie waving shiny graphs in my face, particularly when the figures he is using for the level of vote-changing are completely arbitrary and based on mere speculation.

  363. Alex Birnie says:

    “Nod their heads” …. damn!

  364. Tony Hay says:

    Cameron throws queenie under the bus……get in!

    First day as an independent country the FM should announce a referendum on whether to become a republic. It’s all we ask for!

  365. Terry callachan says:

    The thing is Alex Birnie ..

    You don’t provide any evidence to back what you say
    So it can only be accepted as an opinion based on zero evidence

    Perhaps you should provide some evidence to back your position

  366. Cubby says:

    Happy to confirm that any abuse sent in Mr Alexanders direction from me has been due to the fact that he is a phoney independence supporter, a Britnat and nothing to do with NP policy or any other specific Scotgov policy.

  367. Proud Cybernat says:

    If Nicola can ask Labour voters in Scotland to “Lend us your vote” is that gaming the system?

    Well, it’s no different to the Rev sqaying “SNP voters – lend us your 2nd vote.”

    Hey Ref – any chance you could get The National on board? They were happy enough to support RISE so why not ‘rise with Wings’? Any chance your pal Paul Kavanagh could be persuaded to run as a Wings candidate?

  368. Breeks says:

    Doug says:
    19 September, 2019 at 4:52 pm
    @callmedave 4:32pm

    Aye, I think it’s a spot of house-keeping before GE and Indyref2. Makes sense…

    I was thinking along similar lines, but a bigger theme… a big YES pro-Indy summit where all our big dogs can privately put their heads together, and devise a cohesive strategy for progress and get everybody singing from the same hymn sheet.

    I mean everybody; the SNP obviously, YES representatives, AUOB organisers, high profile dissenters like Craig Murray, Peter Bell, etc, Bloggers, media people from Paul Kavanagh to Lesley Riddoch, Derek Bateman too,… be nice to see Alex Salmond there too… I think we need Constitutional Lawyers there too, and perhaps even the eyes and ears of Europe there too.

    We all need to work together, listen and hear each other, and know what opportunity looks like when it presents itself… We are beginning to see cracks and deeper fundamental differences, many of which are threatening to mature into acrimonious deep rooted disputes which won’t be easy to work out. It’s not good. It needs nipped in the bud.

    Are we fighting Brexit or rolling with the punches? Is an IndyRef 2 next year a feint to wrong foot the BritNats, or are we really going to squander Brexit??? Do we have a red line beyond which we’ll use the Constitutional route? What threshold of recognition for Independence is our objective?

    How many Plan A’s do we have?

    Join the dots, and what emerges is a YES Party Conference, or at least something which resembles it…

    We need root and branch coordination, and we need it quickly. We need festering arguments sorted out. We need to refresh our common purpose and shared goals and start helping each other rather than tearing ourselves apart.

    We need to focus ourselves like the sun through a magnifying glass… we are strongest when focussed on a single point.

  369. defo says:

    But then, who was the “well wisher”?

  370. Doug says:


    Sounds good to me.

  371. Pete says:

    Well done Colin.
    Right from the start you opposed the NPS and, like myself, we have been vindicated.
    Also, well done to the SNP for admitting they got it wrong and now scrapping it.
    How about the same for the Gender nonsense?

  372. twathater says:

    Can I make a suggestion Stuart , could you run a post ONLY on voting intentions of the wings crowd , no other comments allowed , simply I would vote for a wings list party with my second vote or not , ( example ) I would vote yes plus 1 wife = 1+1 , I know that it would not be scientific but it may give some figures + anyone posting on wings has to have an email address. Just a suggestion

  373. callmedave says:

    Aye there’s a story there right enough seriously!

    Nick Robinson in a wig maybe wearing a pink carnation carrying a bible.

    Rule nothing out. 🙂

  374. Alex Birnie says:

    @Terry Callaghan sorry mate, but I’m hopeless at determining whether someone is being serious or tongue in cheek. Just in case you’re being serious, what kind of evidence can I supply to support my position? – when I have no idea which of the two vote-swing positions (2% or 35%) will be more accurate, except common sense and history tells me that the lower figure is far, far more likely?

    The question that Stu asks in his polling is all-important. If he asks a bullshit question, like the one I outlined earlier, then it will remove all doubts as to what his motive is for this Wings Party stuff, and we can all ignore his obvious search for self aggrandisement. If he asks a real question, then it will indicate that his protestations of selflessness are sincere.

  375. Colin Alexander says:


    Well done Pete and completely agree with your comment @5:40pm.

  376. defo says:

    How can one give one’s well considered opinion, without the ? being carefully crafted & asked?

    BTW I think Nick was busy in the finance dept of Project Fear that weekend, panic had set in, and it was all hands to the pump.

  377. chicmac says:

    @Terry Callachan
    “why didn’t we think of it sooner”.

    Erm, I thought of it as soon as the d’Hondt AMS system was announced for the SP and have been pointing out the potential advantages and the large percentage of SNP transfer votes required ever since.

  378. Confused says:

    – it’s amazing how, when a practical, useful idea is mooted, even in its pre-feasibility stage – all these folks come out the woodwork


    – with a bullshit list of shrill, hysterical reasons why it should not be done.

    perhaps we should just contemplate castles in the air, angels on a pin, warm and fuzzy in cloudy blanket of Hassanist dribble –

    Scotland needs to have a national conversation about what Scottishness means in a modern context, in order to channel the progressive energies towards a new definition of nationhood for the 21st century which incorporates a diversity and inclusiveness ….

    A wings party, is allowed, it is within the rules, so why not?

    A while back I said DHONDT was rigging the game at the outset; precisely because these systems are created, made up, analysed and studied – researchers have probably done the equivalent of 1000s of GavinBarrie style analyses of it – and the conclusion is well known – it creates the tall poppy, nail that sticks out phenomenon; anyone who is going to sweep the seats, gets hauled back, hits a brick wall. And this is why it was chosen. It keeps the unionist parties in a game, they keep losing.

    – it was also obscure, and even explained on paper, the emergent result is unclear. No one before really had a handle on it.

    All this heat for – wanting to “do democracy” – is bizarre. If wings wanted to do something genuinely underhand, try this –

    – 10000 wingers join and takeover the Green Party
    – remove Patrick Harvie and stick someone else in who is not an irritant
    – chuck out the ret4rded bullshit end of its policies, while keeping the reasonable environmental stuff, the land reform and so on

    then we can enjoy the spectacle of the pseudo left dilletantists urging folks to “vote Green on the List” – seething, through clenched teeth. You’re getting called a cheat anyway!

  379. RM says:

    Scotlands better being a republic get away from this kings and queens antiquated farce.

  380. jfngw says:

    Media feeding BS again, independence would had had no effect on the monarchy, she would still have been Queen of the United Kingdom (referring to monachy only). What was done was to undermine the independence referendum to ensure Scotland remained under England’s control, and the monarchy capitulated in this subterfuge.

    This is why I refer the monarchy as England’s royalty, that’s where their loyalty lies. We need to be shot of them asap after independence.

  381. Hamish100 says:

    So the Queen is upset she got found out supporting the tories.

    I await her royal apology for being political– again

  382. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    As we move into critical political times is pretty obvious to me that a massive and frantic campaign across the unionist media has just started to try to undermine Nicola Sturgeon by insisting she is losing her popularity in Scotland.
    This goes hand in hand with continuous distorted attacks on everything Scottish and every area of the Scottish government’s operation.

    Sadly, with the SNP and the case for independence at its highest ever point, some of this bile is being repeated on all social media by a variety of sources.

    She is being undermined by the proliferation of false friends we now see online.

    She is being undermined by our naive and easily led who are swallowing their rubbish

    And, worryingly in my opinion, she is being undermined by some on our side who know exactly what is going on and are part of it.

  383. Cod says:

    @mike Cassidy at 2.47:

    “With the modest ambition of ensuring there is a pro-independence majority at Holyrood.

    Something near impossible to gain when so many SNP list votes go to waste.”

    Errr, there’s been a pro-independence majority at Hollyrood for the last two iterations of the Parliament. With, admittedly, a slight reduction at the last election – but it’s looking likely that trough will be replaced with a peak at the next election.

  384. Terry callachan says:

    Alex Birnie , sorry, it was a serious question.

    I agree with your response , let’s wait and see what the poll is like.

    Chicmac..well done

    If you thought of the 2nd vote going to a 2nd separate Indy party you were ahead of the game but
    one thing missing, you didn’t have a big shiny website to use for its promotion

  385. dadsarmy says:

    It’s all very simple.

    If Sturgeon has the Indy Ref 2 by end 2020 as promised, then there is no need for the Wings party. If on the other hand she doesn’t, then we need stronger and genuine Indy-supporting politicians.

  386. jfngw says:

    Not a good day.

    GCC are paying the ransom.

    Floods of crocodile tears will be shed when the next badly abused child is found dead.

  387. Capella says:

    Surely if the Queen has made an unlawful intervention in the referendum, and the PM unlawfully asked her to do that, the result is null and void?

  388. Alex Birnie says:

    @ confused @6:23 “bullshit list of shrill hysterical reasons why it should not be done”. I’ve read quite a few shrill hysterical comments from people trying to shout down reasoned objections, but they are not working, I’m afraid.

    Your comment about the D’Hondt system intrigued me. You ARE aware that the system was adopted by Labour, because they thought that their constituency seats were “safe”, and that the system would prevent the SNP from ever gaining power? That’s why the system is weighted towards the constituencies 73/56. In spite of this, the system IS fair, and is designed to prevent any party from seizing power with under 40% of the vote, which happens fairly regularly in Westminster.

    Our campaign is entirely dependent on a majority of Scots desiring independence, and instead of concentrating on achieving an “artificial” majority in Holyrood, we mustn’t lose sight of the ultimate goal, which is an independent Scotland, with a population that is a majority in favour, rather than a country riven by division, where no voters feel that they were “cheated” of their Britishness by political chicanery.

    Idealistic? Naive? Perhaps ….. but I don’t want to live in a country where proroguing parliament (or an equivalent manoeuvre) by an overweening Executive is seen as even remotely acceptable. We want to be different, no?

  389. William Habib Steele says:

    It seems to me that the SNP has abandoned acting for independence. They have embraced Britishness. Listening to some of the Supreme Court arguments, the Court of Session lawyer argues on the basis of the supremacy of the English parliament of the UK as the key to the Constitution of the UK. It is the key to the Constitution of England, but not Scotland. Lord Cooper of Culross asserted in 1953 that that is a English notion that has no counterpart in Scots Law.

    Within the Constitution of the UK there exists two constitutions, the English Constitution with the Supremacy of Parliament, and the Scottish Constitution with the Supremacy of the People of Scotland. Thus these are two incompatible constitutional principles in the Constitution of the UK.

    Even Joanna Cherry in an interview asserted the Supremacy of Parliament. To accept that notion is contrary to the Scottish Constitution which holds the People of Scotland to be Sovereign in Scotland.

  390. mike cassidy says:


    Remember that recent furore over Scotland’s drug problem making us the sick man of the UK.

    Drug use in England and Wales is up for the fourth year in a row

  391. ahundredthidiot says:

    Next time round the SNP need to tell HM ‘tae keep her snib oot’ and maybe we’ll keep her on the payroll.

  392. John A says:

    It’s a good idea IF rival parties to not launch an alternative initiative.

    It’s hard to see how that might happen though as there doesn’t seem to be a Wings style rallying point for Unionists.

    Not sure why SNP would so readily write it off. Perhaps they are concerned about the way it might be play with the broader electorate, you know, exploiting the foibles of our voting system?!?! Perhaps it’s important for them to be seen to oppose it (while privately supporting it).

  393. defo says:

    …because, if there really wasn’t a “well wisher”, and it was a nod from her people directly to a compliant media chum…

    Eyebrows maybe raised. Eyes passim even. 😉

  394. Col.Blimp IV says:

    William Habib Steele says

    “English Constitution with the Supremacy of Parliament”

    Now, I am not a Supreme Court judge but I have this notion that parliament is only sovereign because it is acting on behalf of the monarch.

    So as it was actually The Queen who prorogued parliament, Boris will soon be proclaimed free from guilt.

    This will leave the Remainiacs little alternative but to plunge England into civil war in order to restore their hallowed Parliament to its pre-restoration status.

    In Scotland, Royalist Unionists and Parliamentarian Unionists, Will flock south to assist their lords and masters.

    Paving the way for the Scottish Government to elect a new king as per the terms of the Declaration of Arbroath.

    Could be all done and dusted by Halloween.

  395. callmedave says:

    Thanks for noting that.

    I mentioned the ‘null and void’ option earlier when it was discussed in court near the end of the proceedings.

    Seems to solve a few conundrums for the judges if the go that way.

    Black’s Law Dictionary defines “void” as: Void.
    Null; ineffectual; nugatory; having no legal force or binding effect; unable, in law, to support the purpose for which it was intended. which means there is no legal obligation therefore there will be no breach of contract since the contract is null.

    Smiles all round and hey presto! etc etc.

  396. Jock McDonnell says:

    @William Habib Steele

    I think the claim of sovereignty of parliament is in relation to the UK government. The sovereignty of the people over parliament was part of O’Neil’s argument, explicitly yesterday.

  397. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Council by election in Thorniewood North Lanarkshire tonight. Very good luck to Eve Rowan Cunnington (SNP).

    If you live here get out and and vote for Eve. Get out now.

    Had a vist from a SNP activist councillor Junaid Ashraf intelligent pleasant young chap, if this is what is coming through the SNP pipeline we are okay.

  398. Confused says:

    I hate using wikipedia for anything, but I was curious as to whether DHONDT was used anywhere else – short answer, yes, sortof – there is a whole bunch of electoral systems used across the world to make the vote “fairer”

    – it is worth having a quick look at

    – and here is a good joke : the article explaining AMS is itself flagged up as being, ahem, “confusing” … why not just allocate seats based on the fourier transform of the eigenvalues of the hamiltonian – it will make as much sense

    Important BIT : where we are now, is already a known phenomenon – read the bit on DECOY LISTS, and the italian results. I think it is highly relevant to us, but I have not digested it properly. The article is not that good TBH, a common problem with wiki.

  399. Dan says:

    @Capella at 7:21 pm

    No doubt those holding privileged (private law) positions, either through hereditary or elected status aren’t accountable to the laws in the same way us commoners have to adhere to them.
    The legal lens gives differing views depending on which side you are allowed to look through it…

  400. jfngw says:

    BBC running a hour long advert for David Cameron’s book, how very accommodating. I think the subheading is how I was right on everything and the rest were not up to the job.

  401. Sinky says:

    Saw on twitter claims that The Queen interfered in the 1979 devolution referendum. Before my time. What did she say?
    Given the big story of the week is the Supreme Court case, why is Joanna Cherry not on BBC Question Time panel tonight.
    Lib Dems on again but no rep from third party in House of Commons and in terms of uk membership.

  402. Capella says:

    @ CMD @ Dan – Her Majesty can blame David Cameron in 2014, after all he has confessed, and Boris Johnston in 2019, as the Scottish Court of Session has proclaimed him acting unlawfully.

    So Indyref1 is null and void, prorogation is null and void. So they should be brought back to Parliament to sign a S30 order forwith so that Indyref1 can be retaken.

    New balls please.

  403. Effijy says:

    The Queen has better think very carefully about putting England first over Scotland.

    One of the Scots lackeys working for the No camp said at the time
    The Queen had agreed to stage manage a question suited to Cameron’s
    Stated reply.

    Not to worry her clan can give up Scottish Donations to her family welfare plan.

    The Scottish Crown Estates £Millions can now be redirected to Education and the NHS.

    Apartments in Balmoral Castle will bring in plenty too.

  404. Sinky says:

    Good article about the queen’s 2014 Indy Ref comment here

    Nicholas Watt : And for those who’d like to re-read the long read I wrote with Severin Carrell and Patrick Wintour on the Queen’s role in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum

    Seems that the “well wisher” to whom Queenie made her remarks was a journalist and Buck House then released it to all London based journalists.

    To-day’s deflection and spin from Buck House is just another Royal cover up.

  405. Hamish100 says:

    Wm habit Steele

    I ken yir big brother Wullie the orange. To say that the snp is no longer pro Independence is stupid. 110000 members will disagree.

    The siu are busy the night. At least 3 underminers are on tonight l

  406. @ Robert Peffers 11.02am

    Our questions on selection of respected candidates that would not spend all their time attacking the FPTP Indy candidates seem to lie unanswered.

    Strikes me that Stu may not actually understand why this is important. Asperger spectrum? Numbers making sense but social and political ramifications not?

    Or maybe he has a sensible suite of candidates sorted but cannot say publicly.

    Former more likely

    The admin and logistics of setting up a new political party or administering and existing one with the EC are not hard. I have done it before and know it backwards. Maybe it looks too beguilingly easy to resist.

  407. Cubby says:

    Personally, I prefer a republic but if you have to have a hereditary monarch as head of state it would be nice if the monarch looked after the interests of your country. We have the worst possible situation a monarch who favours another country over Scotland. Truly the pits but that is par for the course for Scotland in Union with England.

  408. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Effijy.

    As far as I’m aware, Balmoral was bought by Victoria, as a person, not bought by the Crown Estates, thus has become an “inheritance”, owned by her successors, ie Liz the wan.

  409. Terry callachan says:

    Confused 8.54pm

    Dhondt is used in Northern Ireland imposed by Westminster of course in Stormont
    Stormont also have this other rule whereby any objection by 30 or more of their MP,s in Stormont to a policy or law is unable to proceed I think they only have about 90 MP,s

    So loads of stuff is rejected by this 30 objectors rule

    I reckon the brexit deal being proposed by Boris at the moment to bypass the backstop will involve decisions going to Stormont which the DUP will love because they just use the 30 objections rule to stop everything.

    It will be interesting to see how that develops
    It’s all fine having an agreement between Boris and the EU but Dublin and the nationalists will have to be included and I don’t see it happening because Dublin is already in the EU and a majority of nationalists want to remain in fact a majority of people across NI want to remain

    Interesting , I wonder how it will progress

  410. Colin Alexander says:

    Count me out of serving for a Wings Party or any other party in Holyrood, for as long as Holyrood remains “a glorified parish council” created by Labour, (as Alex Salmond used to refer to it, when he was giving a more realistic assessment).

    I want to help END the Union, no help run it better for the Empire.

  411. Heart of Galloway says:

    I wasn’t planning on stepping into this bourach mainly on the grounds that I do not believe Stu’s master plan will ever be needed. Nonetheless, I’ll make a couple of observations.

    First, there have been lazy assertions made that the d’Hondt system is rigged against us. This is keech, because it’s not.

    In 2016 the SNP scored 59 FPTP seats on 46.5% of the vote and picked up just 4 on the regional list with 41.7% of the vote.

    Yet because of the way the seats are weighted – 73 constituencies and 56 list – it is impossible for the disproportionately high number of SNP FPTP wins to be wholly and proportionately balanced out by the corresponding low number of regional seats awarded,

    IOW, the system deliberately designed to block the SNP, because of the very flaws built in to achieve that objective in perpetuity, has in fact done the precise opposite.

    On an average 44.1% across both votes the SNP actually took 48.6% of the seats – 63/129.

    Paradoxically, given Stu’s aversion to the Greens, their performance on the regional list suggests the arithmetic for his plan stacks up.

    Because the party effectively ignored the constituencies (although they stupidly stood in the tank commander’s seat) they were able to win 10.7% of the list seats – 6/56 with just 6.6% of the vote.

    My conclusion? On paper this idea looks to have merit. However, the reality could be very different – human fallibilities, ignorance and prejudices are inconvenient truths which we ignore at our peril.

    And my second point? I have studied much about the Spanish Civil War. Pondering this proposal I cannot help but think of the tragic May Days in Barcelona, 1937. But maybe that’s just me.

    United, we win. End of.

  412. Colin Alexander says:

    “Queen of England cautions Scots ahead of independence vote”

  413. Colin Alexander says:

    See also:

    “Scottish independence: Queen urges people to ‘think carefully about future’ “.

  414. Robert Peffers says:

    @Cubby says: 19 September, 2019 at 10:35 pm:

    ” … We have the worst possible situation a monarch who favours another country over Scotland. Truly the pits but that is par for the course for Scotland in Union with England.”

    Well Cubby, you must look at things from Auld Lizzie’s point of view. Much like the first Scottish Monarch who became King of England Her Maj has two distinctly different rolls to play in each of her two kingdoms.

    In her English realm, (Kingdom), she is legally sovereign but has to legally delegate her royal powers to her Kingdom of England Parliament, (which legally has not existed since 30 April 1707 when her English parliament at Westminster put itself into permanent recession but she retains legal sovereignty without the bother of running the UK but gets paid handsomely for carrying out the pomp and circumstance stuff.

    While in her Scottish Kingdom she is the subject of the legally sovereign people of Scotland which means in legal terms we are all her superiors. What’s more she is legally supposed to be the protector of our legal sovereignty.

    So her problem is that her Parliament of England really doesn’t exist legally but has managed to convince everyone for 312 years that Westminster is the de facto parliament of England but now the Scots have finally woken up to the truth Auld Lizzie is in deep trouble for we can legally, “drive her out”, and replace her while her English Parliament has also been rumbled and Westminster, not actually being the parliament of England Lizzie could well be out of her cosy wee job and nice little earner.

    Today we learn that Lizzie colluded with Cameron and we saw, just a few days ago, her colluding with Boris the clown. Methinks it might be royal squeaky bum time.

  415. Robert Peffers says:

    @AuldAlliance says: 18 September, 2019 at 10:37 pm:

    ” … So why did you tell people it was a waste of time voting Green on the list in 2016??”

    Err! Excuse me, AuldAlliance but Stu is not the author of this article. Gavin Barrie wrote it.

  416. Big Jock says:

    The royal family are corrupt to the core. Like Westminster they window dress themselves in quaint clothes. But when those clothes come off. The thing underneath is a corrupt ugly monster.

  417. Robert Peffers says:

    @Big Jock says: 18 September, 2019 at 10:38 pm:

    ” … We need to maximise the pro Indy majority. We need to give the SNP a good shake. We need to get out of this inertia.”

    Oh! Aye! Big Jock, would you care to explain where this inertia is? Last time I looked, a wee while ago, the polls show that the YES support is steadily going up at an increasing rate, SNP membership is going up as is support for independence.

    What was that you were saying about inertia again?

    Have a wee read through Scottish history Big Jock and you will see that many battles between England and Scotland were lost, even when Scots troops outnumbered those of England just because the leadership were unable to control the Highlanders effectively and the Highlanders charged before they were ordered to and got mown down by English bowmen or later by musket or gunfire and the battle lost.

    Bruce, on the other hand gained Scottish independence by two things – the first was he was a master strategist who employed guerrilla tactics and secondly his great control of Scotland’s troops often routing the Englanders when English forces very much outnumbered the Scots.

    More battles of every kind are lost by premature attack than for any other reason.

  418. crazycat says:

    @ Terry callachan at 8.54

    Stormont does not use d’Hondt. The MLAs are elected by Single Transferable Vote – hence the “vote till you boke” slogan.

  419. Colin Alexander says:

    @Robert Peffers

    Can you remind us again of your great strategic political skill when meeting Mr Heseltine?

    How did that go Mr Peffers? A bit like the FM asking for a s30, it seems.

  420. Robert Peffers says:

    @Golfnut says: 18 September, 2019 at 10:39 pm:

    ” … The Veinna convention prevents referendums from having unrealistic targets set for a majority win. 50+1 is all we require for the referendum to be recognised by the international community

    You’re talking mince, Golfnut. Fairly recent history is littered by cases where the international community has ignored solid cases where justice dictated a country or a, “recognisable group”, have been ignored by the international community because it did not suit the international community.

    Palestine, Flemings and the Walloons in Belgium, Catalans in Spain and what of the coloureds in South Africa or the Afro-Americans and native Americans in the USA or even the Romanies in the UK to name but a few. The International Community has been extremely fickle in regards to supporting those they don’t want to recognise. Speaking of which – what of the Chagos Islanders?

  421. HYUFD says:

    Jason Smoothpiece Thorniewood result now in, a Labour hold and a 2.55% swing from the SNP to the Liberal Democrats

  422. Dan says:

    @Capella at 10:15 pm

    Some might be inclined to think that many aspects of the past 5 years should be null and void due to ethical & moral practices, laws, and science seemingly no longer worthy of being upheld.

    Project Fear, Dark Money donations, Cambridge Analytica, breaching of various campaign spending rules, lies on the side of buses, Self ID…

    There is of course the school of thought that we should be very happy to witness such ridiculous happenings, because it has really put the spotlight on, and raised awareness across society, of the appalling actions of the individuals and organisations that are desperately trying to hang on to power and their ill gotten gains as their empire continues to collapse around them.
    Divide and Rule is a right royal pain in the ass when it comes home to roost with those that have used it on others for so long.

    The Revolution Will Not Be Televised!*

    * And especially not on BBC Shortbread…

  423. dadsarmy says:

    Pants on fire. The swing was from Labour to LibDems, with a small swing from Labout to the SNP.

    Thorniewood (North Lanarkshire) first preferences:
    LAB: 44.3% (-5.9)
    SNP: 39.1% (+0.4)
    CON: 9.6% (-1.5)
    LDEM: 5.5% (+5.5)
    GRN: 1.5% (+1.5)
    Labour HOLD.

    Jings, always with a lie when the truth is good enough.

  424. Elmac says:

    Re Hyafud @ 12.01

    You are being deliberately stupid. Even assuming the source is accurate the figures quoted show an increase of 1.9% for pro indy parties – and that presupposes all lab and lib supporters are anti independence which you know is not the case. You just shot yourself in your unionist foot.

    I don’t know why I bother to respond to gutter crawling garbage. I should know better.

  425. Elmac says:

    Re Big Jock at 11.24

    You may well be right. We await the all revealing exposure of Andrew in the days ahead – with or without his clothes. Roll on the good old constitution (written) of the USA. If there is a buck in it they will expose him over there, warts and all.

  426. chicmac says:

    @Terry callachan

    ” you didn’t have a big shiny website to use for its promotion”

    No, because I do not possess Stuart’s journalistic skills or powers of persuasion. I wish I did.

  427. Robert Peffers says:

    @Big Jock says: 18 September, 2019 at 10:46 pm:

    ” … I hope the high heidjins in the SNP are paying attention to your post Stu. They need to understand that so many of us feel the same way. We just can’t let another year pass like this.”

    You have noticed, Big Jock that Stu is not the author of this article, don’t you? What is more, if you have been reading comments here on Wings you will have saw more than a few written by people who quite obviously haven’t a clue of just what Stu is proposing.

    Some even to the extent of saying they would vote for a Wings candidate but never, never, never vote for the SNP. These obviously don’t get the point that a Wings party won’t have any other object of being elected on the list than to boost the SNP’s vote in Holyrood. These nutjobs are against the SNP but want to vote for Wings candidates. The entire reason for standing Wings candidates is to enable the SNP vote in Holyrood not to oppose the SNP at Holyrood.

    Just how will Stu get a political party together composed of Wingers to stand on the list only that will sit at Holyrood and support the SNP when from what I’m reading on Wings is that there is a great many Wingers who imagine the idea is to force the SNP’s hand to either walk out of Westminster or call referendums before the time is ripe.

    Face facts – SNP membership is increasing as is support for independence. A basic rule of politics or battles is to never change tactics when you are winning the battles. So if party membership is going up and support from non-party members is increasing is it not stupid to change the tactics you are using to get that effect?

    There is no one more impatient for independence than a disabled and sick OAP in his 80s who has supported independence for as long as he can remember but I’m not stupid enough to want the FM/SG/SNP to change a winning tactic at a time when we are not absolutely certain of winning a referendum or even an election.

    Who knows what the unionists, who will without doubt work together as they always have. How many times do you think I have pointed out that The Westminster Establishment not only includes the unionist Westminster Parliament parties but the armed forces, the Civil Service, the security services, the churches, education systems and the MSM, big business, wealthy individuals and old Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all and all.

  428. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Peter A Bell at 1.00pm

    A succint and straight to the point post. This has been a most distressing collection of fanciful nonsense interspersed with offensive behaviour, none of which does our cause any good whatsoever.

    First point. If we have referendum as we are promised before the end of 2020 (and earlier perhaps) we will not need to be looking at the lists. Some folk have been asleep as the various figures in power in the SNP have repeated endlessly over the last month that we are going for an Independence referendum and as our leader said today she is certain we will win it. (Just as long that is as the plot to undermine her that is obviously going on is effectvely dealt with.)

    The only similar option that could possibly work is an Independence Coalition to contest the lists. This would mean that the SSP, the Greens,the SNP, Solidarity, a Wings Party if such came about and well respected independents all contested under the one banner.

    Were they all to stand individually as they did last time and with the further addition of a Wings Party (to further split the YES vote) the only result would be more Annie Wells.
    That is fact.

    A progressive plan – an Independent Coalition – can only sensibly come about with an SNP assent and the idea should have gone to the SNP as a priority. As it is it is reading as hostile to the SNP which is generating a lot of applause on here from our false friends and plotters.

    Sad stuff indeed.

  429. dadsarmy says:

    So, the key events are the UKSC decision “early next week”.

    Followed by the Court of Session Inner House case to force BoJo to sign the letter asking for the extension till 31st Jan 2020 – something the EU Parliament has already voted yes to by a large margin (544-126). This is the exclusive power of “nobile officium”, and I wonder if there would be any appeal to the UKSC possible against its awarding by the CoS, as it’s unique to the CoSIH. It would happen around 19th October, if Bojo doesn’t obey the Benn Act.

    If this all went well, then the UK Brexit is not until 31st Jan 2020, giving us all a short reprieve, and who knows, some more action at the Court of Session who may be feeling their oats and barley. Or even the UKSC, with the prospect of O’Neill sweet-talking them again, Scottish style.

    I wonder if there will be any MSPs would put forward a motion in Holyrood for the Queen to be called before Holyrood to explain herself, being as how it’s Holyrood was responsible for the conduct of the Indy Ref? Cameron could be hauled over the coals first.

    All pretty boring, frankly.

  430. chicmac says:

    On the continent list alliances and joint lists are permitted between different parties. The UK/UK Electoral Commission though? I have been unable to find out whether such arrangements here would be declared ‘illegal’ although I suspect not given prior experience of British ‘justice’.

  431. chicmac says:

    err I meant suspect ‘they would’

  432. kapelmeister says:

    The civil service, the state broadcaster, the monarchy, all now known to have been very far from impartial. No official foreign observers to ensure fair play with the polling. The cynical Vow that broke referendum rules. The fearmongering.

    All Better Together promises broken since. Enforced loss of EU citizenship. Power grabs from Holyrood. Unionist parties now conspiring to take away Scotland’s right to self-determination.

    Some festival of democracy 2014 was for Scotland.

  433. dadsarmy says:

    Just reading (skimming) Sumption and the Reith lectures transcripts, and this is an interesting one from the 3rd of 5 I’ll placemark here:

    It is a basic constitutional principle that international treaties have no effect on people’s legal rights or duties without an Act of parliament. In theory, this means that parliament always has the last word on the contents of our law, even when it originates in a treaty.

    Anyways, the first of the 5 lectures is here:

    and anyone interested can read the lecture transcript linked down the page a bit, and then navigate to the next and the next.

    From arguments in the CoS / UKSC, including the recent one about the US which really has no place in the Scots courts, it’s clear the QCs for “the other side” have read the Reith lectures, and are piggy-backing on Sumption. Hopefully that’s a mistake, as he is for politics rather than courts, and doesn’t seem to like the Strasbourg Court at all (ECHR). There’s 11 judges, not just one.

    Basically perhaps it comes down to this from that 3rd lecture, taken slightly out of context:

    Parliament could abolish elections. It could ban opposition parties. It could forbid criticism of official policy. It could transfer its powers to a dictator, as the German parliament did in 1933 and the French one in 1940.

    Fine – so what is the solution to that? Just accept it, let it happen, or have the courts do politics and stop that happening? Because earlier in his lecture he has said:

    Judges exist to apply the law. It is the business of citizens and their representatives to decide what the law ought to be.

    But how can we, if Parliament is prorogued and our representatives are not allowed to even debate what the law ought to be, let alone decide?

    Seems to me the UKSC is fsked basically; when they talk about 3 possible outcomes, it’s the absolute hardest they have to take, the most severe.

    Otherwwise BoJo can do to the UK, what was done to Germany in 1933.

    Sorry about the length, time for bed said Zebedee!

  434. Derek Rogers says:

    James Kelly on d’Hondt:
    There is no “skewed formula”, there is no “cap” on larger parties, smaller parties do not “get many more seats than their proportion of votes”. – Scot goes Pop, comments to Flying without Wings, September 20, 2019 at 12:09 AM.

    Such knowledge! Such power! Let him guide us!

  435. dadsarmy says:

    Mmm, Bow your head with great respect,
    And genuflect, genuflect, genuflect!

    Possibly a better example to show the skew is the overall 2016 region result.

    SNP 41.7% – 4 seats (953,587 votes)
    Green 6.6% – 6 seats (150,426 votes)

  436. Cactuscheeks says:

    On the one hand yes! Amazing a bigger or sustained pro Indy majority in Holyrood.
    Sounds great!
    But will no voters be suitably impressed by the fancy political footwork to change there vote in a future referendum?
    Dose fewer unionist msps mean fewer unionist voters? Or would the perceived reduction of representation harden opinion and isolate them further?

    I don’t know obviously

    We need to change the minds of voters to win first but also to succeed in future,
    How will gaming our supposedly farer system help to achieve that?

    Ok I’m finished now and ready to be shot down!

    Fire away

  437. Ghillie says:

    Dave McEwan Hill @ 12.53 am

    Well said.

    And pretty much my way of seeing this too.

    Though it has been interesting to see who has jumped on the SNPbad band wagon =)

    Our Mr Campbell has either deliberately or inadvertently, drawn out some, now more, transparent characters 🙂

    A cunning plan indeed.

  438. Sinky says:

    Very good article by Ian Mcconnell in Herald on latest Scottish lack of economic growth figures.

  439. Giving Goose says:

    Dave McEwan Hill

    The answer then is to lance the boil and work for a coalition of the like minded as you suggest.
    There is no need for the SNP to give approval.
    All that is required to get the ball rolling is a room and some chairs.

  440. Robert says:

    I worry that when I vote, I’m interested in a whole slew of issues, independence being only one of them. My party vote goes to the party whose overall policies I like – after all, they may be running the show. So I’m still SNPx2. Or maybe SNP/Green ….

  441. Golfnut says:

    @ dadsarmy

    I’m sure Adolfs legal team gave him a similar opinion.
    His opinion of course is based on English Constitunional law and as usual doesn’t consider westminsters legal obligation to adhere to the Articles of Union regarding Scots law. Scots Constitunional law is unambiguous. The Crown and Parliament are not above the law.
    When the EU withdrawal bill amendment included the ‘ we assume consent whether you agree, disagree or don’t respond ‘, they breached the parameters set by the Treaty of Union. In other words their action not only confirmed that they require consent, but that their action was unconstitutional and brings both the UK Parliament and the Crown within the scope of Scots Constitutional jurisdiction. We haven’t yet reached that point where it can be auctioned, but we are getting there.

  442. Breeks says:

    The d’Hondt system doesn’t strike me as unfair, actually quite the reverse, BUT, it seems unbalanced with too many list seats. The emphasis should be on weaker voices being properly heard, not strong voices being improperly or artificially silenced.

    The balance is wrong when proportional representation excludes or even tries to exclude the proportional representation of an outright majority. Emphatic victory should never be artificially engineered or reigned in to the point of stalemate or a hung parliament. That is actually intrinsically dangerous and undemocratic.

  443. Colin Alexander says:

    Dave McEwan Hill

    Regarding your discussion of a YES coalition for List votes. For Holyrood it would exacerbate the one indy party problem, only worse, as no Green list seats.

    But one way or another, say we did get Holyrood stuffed with pro-indy MSPs, whether Wings, YES or SNP, so what? The Scottish Parliament already voted for indyref2 and the Empire does not give a fig. LEGALLY, Holyrood is a devolution parliament; legally, NOT sovereign.

    As Ms Cherry and the others have argued, UK Parliament is sovereign within the UK constitution (for as long as, we the people, accept it to be).

    That is the biggest problem: what if UK Parliament, including unelected Lords, NEVER give consent for any indy process?

    Just keep voting SNP, Wings, Greens etc in the hope that one day they will be shamed into recognising and accepting Scotland wants indy?

    We have an Empire where, even with a s30 and Edinburgh Agreement, the Empire broke all the rules. Even the PM and Empress Elizabeth joined in, if Mr Cameron is telling the truth.

    The Empire’s only rule that it sticks to is: stop Scotland from becoming independent.

    I believe the only real solution to that is the SNP seeking a clean break. The assertion of Scottish sovereignty by democratic mandate. So, Scotland plays by Scotland’s rules, not the Empire’s rules.

    That is not anti-SNP. It is basically the policy you and the other indy supporters believed in most of your life, until 20 years ago, when devolution came in.

    There should be a YES coalition. A coalition that seeks a mandate for one policy only: to declare Holyrood the supreme parliament for Scotland. Make Holyrood the parliament that represents the sovereignty of the people of Scotland.

    If they don’t get a majority? Refuse to take the vow of allegiance to England’s Empress Elizabeth so they don’t take seats as subservient administrators of the Union.

    Indy only. No more devolution.

  444. Terry callachan says:

    Ho crazy at..your post 1140pm thurs

    Stormont Dhondt method

    The MPs ( called MLAs) are FPTPnbut they then choose the executive ministers using DHONDT

  445. admiral says:

    “The number of children leaving school without basic qualifications by the age of 18 has risen by nearly a quarter in the past three years, according to a report by the children’s commissioner for England.”

    I wonder if our wonderful Britnat MSM (Scotlandshire branch) will give much prominence to this.

  446. McBoxheid says:

    Robert Peffers says:
    18 September, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    @Douglas says: 18 September, 2019 at 6:02 pm:

    Alex called it too soon – and lost it.
    In my opinion, from a far,(Germany)he had to call it to get the conversation started. It took the actual threat of possible victory for project fear to rear it’s ugly head and to get the majority of people to realise how poisonous the unionist parties actually are for Scotland. He lost that referendum, but it hasn’t faded away and people now take the SNP seriously. That is a victory of sorts.

    I’m no expert about the matter but I do know that much of the shouting, threats and even physical violence over the matter are more ill informed than I am.
    Well said Robert. People that use those tactics tend to be on the losing side of the argument anyway.

  447. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    That is 1 in 5 (or 20%) of kids in England @admiral says at 8:21 am

    Radio Shortbreid will ignore this as there’s no “Scotland Shite ‘cos EssEnnPeeBaaad” angle.

  448. Ken500 says:

    Without D’Hond’t Scotland would be Independent now.

    Get rid of D’Hond’t Scotland is Independent. It will happen anyway it just takes longer.

    It was not introduced for consensus it was introduced for prevention. More Unionist corruption.

    1/2 preference votes go in the bin to let 3rd losers in. Same in the Councils STV. Mucks up democracy. One person, one vote. Not 2 or more. Cancels out the vote.

  449. Ken500 says:

    20% of the pop have additional needs with help abs support they are much better and can achieve

    Another insulting Press report. Done without research or sympathy. The lying MSM A bunch of ignoramuses. Just despicable. A disgrace to society.

  450. McBoxheid says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    19 September, 2019 at 9:23 am

    Oh for goodness’ sake. The entire point of the article is showing why that WON’T happen.
    When are you going to make the decision to pull the party if it looks like you won’t get the necessary &age of voters? Are you going to gamble a possible chance at independence if low figures begin to creep up at polling? I wish you well, but please don’t fuck up any chance we might have of crossing the line with a majority. What if your party is not recognised by the powers that be in Westminster? Aye, you are a independence party, but if the SNP don’t want your support, the point will be argued (by Westminster)that your type of indepence is the wrong type and not in the nation’s interest. The BBC will spin it in every which way they can 24/7. They will use you twitter feed as an example of what type of person you are, put you down continually and they will make it very personal. You will become a demon and the MSM will have a field day making up bollocks about you. You can sue them, but the court date will be after the referendum. I think you need to get the SNP on side first. The SNP are almost there anyway, why risk that with the possibility of manufactured doubt to cause confusion in the BBC watching swing votes? To me, as abraisive a character as you are, you should stick to being any independence blogger. You do that very well. The indyref will not be about facts only, it will be also be very much about spin.

  451. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    SNP lose out by 160 votes to British Labour in Scotland!

    Eve Rowan Cunnington, Scottish National Party (SNP) – 1,202

    Rosemary McGowan, Scottish Green Party – 46

    Norah Mooney, Scottish Labour Party – 1,362

    Lorraine Nolan, Scottish Conservative and Unionist – 296

    Colin Robb, Scottish Liberal Democrats – 168

    Total number of first preference votes: 3,074

    Apparently SNP still not getting the voters to turn out when it matters!

    Green, Tory and FibDem vote very, very poor.

  452. GaryMc says:

    As much as I have enjoyed being informed by WOS over the past few years, I won’t vote for a wings party. I’m more convinced by James Kelly’s analysis and reasoning that this is an unwise venture.

  453. galamcennalath says:

    D’hondt isn’t perfect but it is a system of delivering close to PR. It is used in other countries.

    If you look at the percentage votes received overall by parties and percentage seats allocated, there’s a reasonably good match. Because it’s done on a regional basis it’s precise at a national level, but still close. That is an indication of success in PR terms IMO.

    As I see the real issue in Scotland is the numpties Unionist parties populate their lists with. I think it comes about almost intentionally. The last thing they want are free thinking Scots being elected. They need stooges who will present the party line unquestioningly. People who will not challenge the many failings of the UK overlords. People who are dedicated to opposing anything which makes Scotland look more capable than London, and that includes their own personal political capabilities! Unionist MSPs must be seen as inferior to MPs at the ‘big parliament’.

    If each party’s regional list was made up of constituency candidates who failed to become elected, in percentage received order, then the lists would be chosen by voters. People who received a lot of votes and had proven their popularity, but just failed to come first, who become list MSPs. Simple.

  454. Clydebuilt says:

    Right now BBC Scotland are running an hour long phone in encouraging the school kids climste strike.

    Is this happening in other bbc local radio stations.

    In recent elections in Germany the Green vote increased significantly, this was put down to school climate strikes.

    In Scotland this would reduce the SNP vote. Surely the BBC aren’t trying to reduce the SNP vote.

  455. Lollysmum says:

    1. I hate the fact that my list vote is always wasted due to SNP success in the Constituency vote.(Not a criticism just an observation) I would dearly love to put it where it can do most good & give an ‘up yours’ to the unionists.

    2. This could seriously disrupt Michael Forsythe’s plans for a permanent unionist presence in Scotland.

    3. I’m in & yes I’m an SNP member but I also have serious concerns re self-identity & won’t support it under any circumstances.

    4. Like many other female members I am considering leaving SNP due to no 3 above & lack of movement towards Indy.

    So definitely count me in. I’ll even volunteer to stand if you don’t mind an English voice.

  456. jfngw says:

    I hope someone has stashed away that tweet from the Tories celebrating the scrapping of the Named Person scheme. It just celebrates the SNP defeat, no interest in the consequences, it will be needed in the future when they are pouring out their emotions out when the next child atrocity happens.

  457. @Jockanese Wind Talker,

    don`t know the demographics of the area but it looks like the British Nationalist parties/voters all jumped on the `best` candidate to beat the SNP.

  458. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Pretty sure North Lanarkshire is “Fans of the Citrus Fruit” country @
    Scot Finlayson says at 10:02 am so you’re probably correct.

    A pity though for the sake of 161 votes (whether through voter apathy or a complacent perception that SNP would win comfortably so their vote wasn’t crucial)!

  459. ahundredthidiot says:

    Clydebuilt @9:47

    Nooooo……the Great Scam is a lot bigger than Scotland

  460. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Why don’t the Greens (pro independence) already fulfill the role of second vote alternative?”

    For the reasons it says in the article.

  461. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “It’s a good idea IF rival parties to not launch an alternative initiative”

    It wouldn’t work. Their list vote isn’t currently wasted, so they’d have nothing to gain and a lot to lose.

  462. Davy S says:

    Before this thread winds up I’ll put in my tuppence worth. First of all it’s great to see RP back posting regularly. I tend to skim through most comments but always read RP’s posts – generally always a voice of reason and common sense. By the way I always read SC’s responses too.

    I believe that Stu and the Wings site have been major drivers for the independence movement. I only became aware of Wings in the lead up to the 2014 referendum and since then visit the site on a daily basis. The forensic analysis undertaken and the exposure of media bias and lies are vital for our understanding of events and help underpin the arguments we make with those of a different persuasion.

    Do I think a “Wings” party on the list vote would hasten independence? Initially I thought it was a great idea and a clever way to “game” the system. However, having considered it further I’m less certain. For example, I’ve no doubt that first time around there would be a large Indy majority at Hollyrood and if Independence is not gained immediately then what? The Wings party (like the Greens) will demand leverage and will probably comprise a disparate group with many different views (as clearly seen by comments posted here). The media will lap it all up and give them ammunition for further bad press for the SNP with possibly a decline in their constituency share of the vote. Also, would Wings be another Scottish party with HQ out with Scotland? Maybe Stu should consider returning home? Let’s hope the steady increase in support for the SNP and Scottish Independence continues and this all becomes academic.

  463. Graf Midgehunter says:

    Clydebuilt says:

    “In recent elections in Germany the Green vote increased significantly, this was put down to school climate strikes.”

    The school strikes only played a minor role in as far as they were new and thus still fresh in the mind.

    The main reason for Green Party success was the green politics of the last 40 years. They’ve been fighting the same agenda of world-wide environmental protection for so long and the population have started to understand why the Greens were right due to the ever increasing climate change and realisation that more cars, more roads, more pesticides etc. is not always good.

    Also, having been in government as moderating partners or providing the Minister Presidents/ruling parties of large German States such as Baden-Württemberg and doing it very well, has without doubt boosted their credenials.

  464. manandboy says:

    “The U.K.’s Supreme Court will aim to announce its ruling on Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament “early next week,” President Brenda Hale said at the close of three days of hearings. “None of this is easy,” she said. “We will have to decide what the answer is and we will have to decide one way or the other what the consequences are.” (Bloomberg)

  465. Alex Birnie says:

    Derek Rogers @ 2:01 and dadsarmy at 2:25. Sorry chaps, but if you are going to post publically on a blog, you should give facts, or if it is opinion, say so. Derek, you went on to Jemes Kelly’s blog, said a couple of things that were not factual, and James (rather rudely) figuratively skelped your arse. (Neither James nor Stu would get past the first interview for a job in the diplomatic service). You should stay and argue with him, if you think he’s wrong, rather than running here and sniggering at him.

    Dadsarmy, your illustration of the “skew” as you call it is entirely misguided (at least in the example you used). Yes, the SNP did get 41.7% of the regional vote, which gave them only four seats, but that was because they had already won a huge proportion of the constituency seats (59 out of 73), and the D’Hondt system kicked in to make the number of seats more accurately reflect the overall vote. Over the two ballots, the SNP got 44.1% of the total vote, and won 63 seats (48.8% of the total). The Additional Member System didn’t work perfectly, but it CERTAINLY didn’t “favour” other parties over the SNP.

    Another thing. Why mock James Kelly (“Such knowledge!, Such power! Let him guide us!” And “Genuflect! Genuflect! Genuflect!”), when what he says is factually correct? You may not like his style of delivery, or his rudeness, but, to my knowledge he has never been factually wrong when it comes to polling analysis or the voting systems used throughout the country.

    I DO bow to his superior knowledge on these issues ….. because he is a reliable source of factual information. Similarly, I bow to Stu’s superior forensic skills when it comes to ferreting out the lies told to us by the MSM. I’ve tried to follow Stu’s advice, to do my own ferreting, but I am so bad at it, he is SO good at it, and I’m lazy….

    We have two giant egos here, who have fallen out. IMO, they are both being incredibly childish, but they are still both valuable assets for us yessers, and I recommend that, instead of forming “sub-tribes” of “Stu-followers” and “James-followers”, we use both of them as assets. James for his particular skills and Stu for his particular skills.

    Last thing. In my opinion, Stu’s idea of a Wings party has got potential, but I’m worried that he’s building up a head of steam for forming this party BEFORE he finds out if it has even a slight chance of succeeding in taking unionist regional seats in the Holyrood election….. Like virginity and Brexit, there’s still time to think about a Wings party. Once the decision is made to go ahead, then it’s too late to think again. The damage could be done, if the decision is made without reliable data.

  466. manandboy says:

    Albeit with a very sore arm, I am flying with Wings. In season and out.

  467. Cod says:

    @Lollysmum 9.58am:
    “3. I’m in & yes I’m an SNP member but I also have serious concerns re self-identity & won’t support it under any circumstances.

    4. Like many other female members I am considering leaving SNP due to no 3 above & lack of movement towards Indy.”

    With regard to self-ID, this has been shelved by the SNP. If you disagree with the policy proposals, use your voice as a member of the SNP, along with other members of the SNP who feel similarly, to make your disapproval felt and to propose your own policies on the matter. As a fellow member of the SNP (something I did not enter into lightly, never having been a fan of pledging my allegiance to a single party, and because I disagree with the SNP on some things) I know that I’m always getting emails and letters asking me to take part. As my dad used to say, shit or get off the pot.

    With regard to the alleged lack of movement towards Independence – tell me, what do you think the SNP should be doing? Bearing in mind,they are not just the party of those who support independence, but the government, and therefore representatives, of those who do (or did) not? The latter group, I will remind you, sadly was in the majority last time there was a vote on the matter.

    Further, if you think the SNP should not gain a Section 30 to hold a referendum, what do you think they should do instead? I’ve pointed out innumerable times previously that a unilateral decision to hold a referendum, without an S30, would mean that every single Unionist controlled local authority in the country would refuse to take part, thus depriving a sizeable proportion of the people in the country their right to choose. And don’t even get me started on UDI – same problem as the latter point, but with even bigger ramifications, court cases, legal challenges, refusals to engage, etc.

  468. Socrates MacSporran says:

    I note a good number of posters mentioning the ongoing Campbell v Kelly dispute. This is fairly standard behaviour in Scotland. We don’t need to have Auld Boab’s knowledge of Scottish History to know, when we are not fighting the common enemy – England – we fight all the harder among ourselves – this is our default position.

    I personally hope, the Wings party never has to happen, and that we are Independent before we have to have another Holyrood Election under the current rules.

    I would hope an Independent Scotland would, while continuing to have a fair proportional representation system for electing members of the Holyrood Parliament, scrap the unfair d’Hondte system.

    In an Independent Scotland, I would expect the SNP to fracture into smaller special interest groups, without the glue of securing Independence, it will be difficult to hold the various parts together.

    In fact, the days of the large “Broad Church” political parties is surely ending.

  469. Graf Midgehunter says:

    Also from the Rev’s Twitter and very well worth watching:

    There are only two sexes, male and female.

    Any man/male who wishes to be and identify as a woman can do so by receiving counselling, undergoing surgery and support afterwards. They are doing everything they can to cross the line from the male domain to the female domain and deserve our respect.

    A man who just self-ids and is not prepared to cross the line by undergoing the necessary surgery, is IMO still a biological male with a problematic attitude to women.
    They are “pretenders” and should not be allowed anywhere near the safe spaces of biological women or in direct competitive sports. Full stop.

  470. manandboy says:

    Let’s be absolutely clear. The core issue of Brexit for the English Ruling Class, is keeping the Tories in power.
    It is for that reason that the Withdrawal Agreement remains stuck in the mud.
    The tie-up between the Tories and the DUP-UDA had that purpose in mind, hence the leverage the DUP has. Otherwise, there would have been a border in the Irish Sea and the WA would have been a done deal.
    Although the DUP are now virtually irrelevant in the House of Commons, the objective for The Establishment remains the same. Retaining Power.

    Which leaves the question unanswered as to why remaining in power is so vital to the Ruling Class AT THIS TIME.
    Or, to put it another way, WHAT ARE THEY UP TO which they are keeping a closely guarded secret. Whatever it is, it must include Scotland’s vast wealth of resources, and offshore Establishment money & assets.

    Just don’t tell me that the Tories have nothing to hide, and that they are doing their best for the ‘country’.

    Oh for a Sherlock Holmes.

  471. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Giving Goose at 7.26

    Yes,but the idea won’t work if the SNP stands on the list.
    SIC would be the ideal vehicle as it includes all elements.

  472. Derek Rogers says:

    Scot Goes Pop going apeshit here:

    – muddle-headed and thick as a plank. (That description isn’t an insult: I stand by both parts of it as factual statements. He’s a serious loss to indy.) But the people commenting there are talking about Wings as a serious initiative, disobeying his official instruction that Wings is crap. That must piss him off.

    People’s grasp of how the system works, as shown in this debate, is disappointing, but we should keep plugging away. I hope to put something on


    in the next couple of days. Yet another explanation won’t do any harm, and might be the one that turns a light on in somebody’s head.

  473. Confused says:

    DHONDT is used, in many variants, elsewhere in the world.

    I came across the term “DECOY LISTS” last night I had not seen and asked if anyone else knew about this.

    – it looks to me a manifestation of the phenomenon we are currently addressing.

    – while this system is quite widespread, its characteristics are already well-known to everyone who uses it and :

    they ALL try to “game the shit out of it”

    – it’s routine. What is being proposed is nothing new, and the other side don’t like it because they probably cannot counter with anything similar.

    I read James Kelly’s blog last night on this and for a “numbers guy” I was disappointed – it was just a screed of tortured arguments, this could happen, that could happen, what if; I could almost see him with the tea cosy on his head and two pencils up his nostrils.

    – all he had to say was : “this needs more detailed modelling.” (- and models are not the real world!)

    Fair enough. I say : “monte carlo the shit out of it”

    – GavinBarrie did, what 100 datapoints – why not 1million?

    – and if it looks like it -might- damage the cause, bin it.

    and of course if we win the indyref next year, we won’t need it …

  474. Daisy Walker says:

    Had a wee look at ‘s latest article. Here is a quote,

    ‘Cameron’s ignorance of the fundamental principles of how the EU operates is testimony to the enduring hold of one of the most powerful narratives in British politics. This idea that RULES ARE FOR OTHER PEOPLE, that the EU’s insistence on the integrity of its legal order is an alien and unnecessary continental obsession, CONTINUES TO HOLD AN UNSHAKEABLE GRIP OVER A LARGE SWATHE OF BRITAIN’S POLITICAL CLASS, despite all that has happened over the past three years. ‘

    And there in is the rub.

    So we have breach of purdah, broken vow, dark money, election fraud, the monarch breaking its own rules and politically interfering, lies on a bus, Ministers openly talking about binning the GFA (an international peace treaty), Cambridge Analytical, lies on a bus, civil service interference, BBC Bias, Ministers openly talking about breaching a withdrawal Agreement days after they signed it, Prorogation of Parliament (when they said they wouldn’t) (probably done illegally) open defiance on a HoC instruction to negotiate an extension to A50, open defiance to a Humble Address HoC order to disclose communications relating to prorogation…

    Can anyone tell my why we are pursuing a S30 order from this bunch of liars. It would not be worth the paper it was written on or last longer than the ink drying.

    Meanwhile this is day 30 of Angela Merkels – come up with an alternative to the W Agreement. There is no longer the legislative time to get an organised deal properly scrutinised and voted through parliament.

    No Deal is weeks away.

    Oh and the polls show that the SNP are leading in Scotland – and Labour are doing appallingly bad in England, making it extremely unlikely that there will be a GE any time soon.

    And why would they… No Deal leads to chaos, (and saving the tax havens) chaos leads to state of emergency, which leads to shutting down Holyrood, which leads to no sweeties getting a vote on Indy ever again. With or without a Wings party.

    As Boris said, ‘shit or bust’ – quite possibly the only time he told the truth ever.

  475. SilverDarling says:

    @Graf Midgehunter and @Lollysmum

    Sadly hard facts are still being submerged by the feelings and the demanding of ‘rights’ by TRAs that impinge on existing women’s rights – I refuse to call women by any other subset name imposed on them by the woke groups.

    The SNP have done a damage limitation exercise in extending the consultation on GRA reform saying they will seek further clarification. However they have so far only spoken to the stakeholder groups involved in the original review ie Stonewall, TIE etc. – the organisations IN FAVOUR of the self identification changes.

    None of the newer women’s groups formed since this monstrous legislation was proposed have been invited to speak to either S-A Somerville and Nicola Sturgeon. Attempts to meet are ignored and rebuffed.The SNP Youth have been vocal on social media questioning the legitimacy of the newer women’s organisations, asking who funds them etc in an attempt to cast aspersions.

    The constant attempts here by SNP men who say that the SNP are listening to women are farcical and I would ask those who claim that to read the mission statement of and follow their attempts on social media to engage with the ‘listening’ government. :

  476. Rev

    why not explain how
    – the governance over the selection of wings-party candidates
    – the rules over their conduct in parliament
    – their acceptance that their votes are ‘borrowed’

    will guarantee that internecine warfare with the properly elected FPTP Indy candidates will not be the main feature of their election?

  477. Daisy Walker says:

    And another thing. Terrible May wrong footed the SNP last time out with her out of the blue GE.

    I think the current bunch are wrong footing them again, with the added benefit that the SNP will be spending a lot of its hard earned money on brochures just now, in anticipation of a GE coming up soon, when it is not in the Government’s interest to hold one.

    I’ve had several SNP leaflets this month (all good I might add) but none from the LibDems or the Tories… and that is their preferred method of communication. Go figure.

    So folks what is our plan? If a state of emergency is declared – this site will be shut down – and others with it.

    Any and all Scot Gv plans for dealing with a crisis will be appropriated by Englandshire.

  478. skintybroko says:

    O/T From BBC article on Harriet Harman – “So far eight MPs have announced their candidacy for the job: Sir Henry Bellingham, Chris Bryant, Ms Harman, Meg Hillier, Lindsay Hoyle, Eleanor Laing, Sir Edward Leigh and Shailesh Vara.” Anyone missing?

  479. Alex Birnie says:

    Derek Rogers @ 11:42, despite your pejorative description of James Kelly’s intelligence, your statements “Large parties have their seats capped” and “small parties get many more seats than their proportion of votes” are both demonstrably wrong, or at the very least hyperbolic.

    At the last election, the SNP got 48.8% of the seats from 44.1% of the total vote. The tories got 24.0% of the seats from 22.5% of the total vote, Labour got 18.6% of the seats from 20.8% of the total vote, the Lib Dems got 3.9% of the seats from 6.5% of the total vote, and the Greens got 4.6% of the seats from 3.6% of the total vote.

    The word “capped” COULD be twisted to describe what happened to the SNP, but you have to be generous to you to agree that the SNP were “capped”. As to your remark “small parties get many more seats than their proportion of votes”?? That is just arrant nonsense.

    This is what happens, when folk allow their biases to affect their judgement. The FACT is that the SNP were in no way “capped”, because they got A BIGGER proportion of seats than the proportion of the vote. If you think that getting 4.6% of the seats from 3.6% of the vote (as the Greens did), or getting 3.9% of the seats from 6.5% of the vote constitutes “many more seats than their proportion of votes”, then you and I will have to agree to disagree.

  480. Hamish100 says:

    daisy walker

    keeping thinking up the conspiracy’s, you should get one right eventually.

    Go figure

    whats your plan?

  481. heraldnomore says:

    DMH – SIC, I’ll tick that box

  482. Colin Alexander says:



    How does electing more devolution administrators help achieve independence for Scotland?

  483. jfngw says:

    @Alex Birnie

    Your data indicates the Greens received 27% more seats than there vote, the SNP received 11% more. That would seem to indicate that small parties do receive substantially more seats than their votes in this system.

    Your raw data doesn’t work of course because of the regional aspect of the list system. The LibDem’s suffer presumably because their constituency and list votes are mostly in the same region (not checked this as it just takes too long and I don’t have enough left to waste time on this).

  484. Flower of Scotland says:

    @ Daisy Walker at 12.06

    I’ve had 4 LibDem leaflets through the door via Royal Mail. They have to pay for that!

    So LibDems don’t think there is going to be a GE either?

    Who knows what will happen next week, tomorrow, in the next hour? Stu goes out shopping and all hell breaks loose!

    The SNP needs to be ready for everything. I’ve been out leafleting. Don’t tell me it’s not worthwhile?

  485. Iain mhor says:

    I think a political party is a natural progression for Stu & Wings, understandable too.
    Scotland is as well served now by bloggers and commentards as it has ever been. Stu has been giving it laldy for years (by 2021 it will be a decade)
    If he still has the willpower and is not thoroughly jaded with politics, then he must be thinking: ‘this has been a good platform, but it’s limited, there has to another way to get the message out’.

    Certainly it’s his life to lead. How many here think daily – ‘I wish I could get in amongst ye and get ye telt!’ every time you hear the shit spewing from politicians. That used to be journalisms job, cerebral interviewers jobs – no more. I believe Stu said Wings was formed precisely for that reason -to rebut the bollox. Perhaps the thinking is that Wings blog has taken it as far as it can go and it’s time to get in amongst them.

    So, It’s interesting floating a ‘Wings Party’. By 2021, if a referendum hasn’t been held, the SNP will be haemorrhaging numbers and they’ll have to go somewhere. They already don’t have support from a large demographic (including women) There’s no doubt about that. A.’Wings Party’ may be another platform for getting the message out and might give Stu continued focus in his life, for what must be becoming a jaded day job.

    Maybe it will work, maybe the real talent and benefit is political commentary with the Wings blog and actual politics will be to the detriment – who knows. So many folk screaming for some material change for the Independence cause and when one is offered, pissing themselves and bubbling about it.

    The disenfranchised and jaded had no difficulty throwing themselves behind Farage, the Brexiteer parties and single issue politics (albeit with enormous propaganda support from the MSM) but don’t underestimate the electorate’s capacity to view politics with a laser precision. My auld mither will “vote for anyone who lets me keep my free bus pass’. Simplicity frees people from having to think about politics.

    It would certainly help me. The Greens, SNP, SSP etc – aye but I dislike a lot of their policies, it hurts to vote for them – A party with no policies bar Independence and a couple of basic human rights? Aye nae bother.
    If it ever gets within reach of actual government, I may want to know specific policies on returning to the gold standard and the situation in Abyssinia – but not before then.

    Ultimately we don’t own Stu, however much some think.
    The donations and support, were for me at least, for work done and potentially for work to come (certainly my donations are nowhere near commensurate with what I received) If I don’t like the direction, I can stop supporting it. I won’t be feeling betrayed. Much like I can stop supporting the SNP, if I feel they are turning into the Labour Party – decades of pin a rosette on a dug.

    I look forward to the next installment (maybe ‘Wings Party’ material will go out with the WBB2) but I’m especially looking forward to finding out what Stu thinks the political situation will be by 2021, Wings potential place in it and how S30 died a death and is no longer an issue.

  486. jfngw says:

    @Colin Alexander

    It is a point, if they ignore 69 MSP’s why would they pay any more attention to say 79. That’s why the s30 route seems a dead end and if the SNP won’t push any other agenda then the Wings MSP’s would just be impotent, except to be independence agitators.

    I’m not saying I would not vote for them, certainly a better option than the Green’s but the unionist will just move the goalposts again. After all Mr Carlaw was effectively saying the SNP would need to obtain 95% of the vote just a few days ago (on 2016 turnout).

  487. Clydebuilt says:

    Graf Midgehunter.

    Stephen Jardine was very encouraging towards climate activists and school strikers who phoned in. Did this occur on other BBC stations . . . . Or did they just report the events.

    BBC sources claimed that the Green success in Germany was due to the school strikes.

    The BBC will see it as job done for the SNP to shed votes to the Greens, any party except the Wings Party.

  488. Ahundredthidiot says:


    rugby world cup conspiracy already!! Japan shouldve saw red….tv pundits didnt even talk about it

  489. Daisy Walker says:

    @ Flower of Scotland – absolute credit to you for what your doing, and I do not think any worthwhile efforts are ever wasted.

    A GE at this time however, is not in the interests of the Government at Westminster. Allowing voters in Scotland anywhere near the Ballot box just now, is not in their interests at all.

    Fair do’s to the SNP for being prepared this time, since they got caught out the last time. I’m very sorry if it sounds like damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

    It’s just why on earth would the Govt go for a GE when they are weeks away from a no deal Brexit, saving their tax havens and closing down Holyrood.

    @Hamish100 says:
    20 September, 2019 at 12:44 pm
    daisy walker

    keeping thinking up the conspiracy’s, you should get one right eventually.

    Go figure

    whats your plan’

    Well Hamish, about 2 years ago, I said Brexit was all about the tax havens, creating chaos, shutting down Holyrood and making a buck selling the NHS. Even I never anticipated they would shut down the House of Commons – my bad.

    Of course that was 2 years ago, in which time, they could have revoked, had a PV, or even voted through some form of Deal – instead we got theatre and the clock ran down.

    Guess we’ll find out in 41 days who was correct?

    As for my plan, my plan is to tell people what it is really about, try and get them to forward plan for a worst case scenario – and we can all hope it never becomes necessary. No-one will be more delighted than I am, if I’m wrong.

    I guess one persons conspiracy theory is another persons contingency planning.

  490. Heart of Galloway says:

    Re Alex Birnie@10.34 and 12.34, see my post September 19 @11.14pm.

    That was my final and only contribution on this topic. There is far too much energy being wasted on this issue at a time when we should be beginning to prepare to fight for Scotland’s very survival.

    I sent this to a senior SNP politician today:

    “I was at my local branch meeting on Wednesday night and from a membership of around 130, 12 people attended.

    I know the past few months have been difficult for everybody in our movement in waiting for the stars to align, so to speak, for IndyRef2 to get the green light.

    At the branch there was total understanding that the SNP must wait until the Brexit gunsmoke clears to be able to move.

    However, there was also degree of unease at the continued perceived passivity regarding Scotland’s ongoing treatment at the hands of the Johnson junta.

    These people do not play fair. They will never play fair. Scotland is their possession and they want us to know it.

    Our rights are getting trampled, our EU citizenship is being removed against our will.

    The branch was hugely encouraged by a belief that a lifeline has been established with the EU which will activate the second the UK is out. Is this a fair assessment?

    If so, I understand why such a strategy must remain under wraps until the time is right.

    Meanwhile, there was zero support for or understanding of Pete Wishart’s bid to become speaker.

    It won’t happen of course, but if his decision is simply to stick a finger in the eye of Westminster, I can tell you it has not played well among the troops.

    At this moment there is not so much a loss of will, rather a disinclination to give all until the route to IndyRef2 is cast in iron.

    Morale is everything, and along with that goes an unshakeable belief we can win. Hope to see you at conference.”

    And lo and behold, skintybroko@12.31pm reveals a very strange – and welcome – development.

  491. Graf Midgehunter says:

    Clydebuilt says: 1:24 pm

    “Graf Midgehunter.

    Stephen Jardine was very encouraging towards climate activists and school strikers who phoned in. Did this occur on other BBC stations . . . . Or did they just report the events.

    BBC sources claimed that the Green success in Germany was due to the school strikes.

    The BBC will see it as job done for the SNP to shed votes to the Greens, any party except the Wings Party.”

    Now I understand, as soon as I saw “BBC” then I knew it was establishment mentality bulls**t. The world of fantasy according to the BBC bubble… 🙂

  492. Breeks says:

    Heart of Galloway says:
    20 September, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Our rights are getting trampled, our EU citizenship is being removed against our will.

    The branch was hugely encouraged by a belief that a lifeline has been established with the EU which will activate the second the UK is out. Is this a fair assessment?

    If so, I understand why such a strategy must remain under wraps until the time is right.

    The SNP on Brexit Day +1

  493. Cubby says:

    It won’t be long before the Britnats are saying a yes vote for Scottish independence will need to get 101% of the population alive or dead to vote for it. In other words these Britnats are not democrats. They demonstrated that in the 1979 referendum.

  494. Liz g says:

    Silver Darling @ 11.52
    Well said and that’s the way I’m seeing things play out over this issue too.
    These women have formed groups,tried to present their case and play within the party rules.
    They were numerical enough and vocal enough to prevent the GRA being waved through,but it is only officially a pause.
    As you’ve said these women are still struggling to get a hearing.

    The GRA had cross party support,but I suspect that, the new Tory leader will change tack.I have wondered if that’s the real reason Ruth the Mooths stepped aside. Because this issue is a real hot button issue for women.
    If even half the stuff the Rev digs out over it is a quarter true then it’s a potential deciding issue during a campaign.
    When the women who are aware of the GRA and have organised to stop it hit the general public with the facts of it emotions will run high!
    Someone up thread said that a lot of this campaign will be about spin??? Which would make the GRA a dream to weaponise against the SNP. It might be that come the Holyrood election we not only WANT an alternative party ….. We’re going to NEED one …. and it’s going to need to be Wings!!
    The commitment to Independence from Wings is a given and his credentials over the GRA with the women campaigners is beyond dispute. They have noticed and appreciated his support.
    None are “fragile” enough to be phased by a bit of internet profanity and would be insulted to be thought of as so!
    In my experience they prefer and value an honest man above all other considerations.
    And I am at a loss to see why the SNP don’t seem to understand what a danger this one issue has the potential to be for them…. And by extension Indy….
    I think you would be a fantastic candidate and would help you in any way I could…
    Please submit your name to the Rev….

  495. Cubby says:

    The vehicle to achieve Scottish independence is the SNP. People like Flower of Scotland are always filling up its petrol tank. Others are always letting air out its tyres. You may hate this particular vehicle but if you want it to get to its destination what do you think helps – petrol or letting air out the tyres.

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