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Wings Over Scotland

Predict the referendum

Posted on March 21, 2013 by

Just for fun, then, let’s have our guesses. I’d love to see Alex Salmond stand up in Holyrood this afternoon and announce that the historic first chance for Scots to choose their own destiny will take place on Saturday 25th October 2014, because that means the result would arrive on my birthday the following Monday. But I don’t think he will.

The official Wings Over Scotland prediction is Thursday 2nd October 2014.


Realistically, “autumn 2014” surely means September and October. Most people would consider August to be part of summer, and November is just too late. In Scotland that’s well into winter, and there could be weather-induced chaos as well as the cold, dark, short days discouraging people from going out to the polling stations.

The clocks will almost certainly go back on the weekend of 25/26 October, so we’re definitely ruling out any time after that. And the deeper you get into October the bigger the risk you’re taking with the weather, so we think the earlier part of “autumn” is more likely. We were going to plump for the last Saturday in September, but then we started checking out the half-term school holidays.

ABERDEEN: 13-24 October, plus a four-day weekend 13-17 September.

GLASGOW CITY: 13-17 October, plus a four-day weekend 26-29 September.

DUNDEE: 13-24 October

SHETLAND: 13-24 October

STIRLING: 13-17 October

RENFREWSHIRE: 15-19 October, plus a four-day weekend 21-24 September

etc etc. We just can’t see the poll being held during a school holiday. Lots of people will either be going away or stuck at home looking after young kids, and while there are also some theoretical upsides to holding a poll in the holidays, we can’t remember such a thing ever having happened before, so they’re presumably not that great.

The half-term dates rule out a big chunk of October and also three different weekends in September. That only really leaves the first two weeks in October, and while it’d be a lot of fun to have the poll on Thursday 9th or Saturday 11th, so that the result was immediately followed by a (hopefully) celebratory holiday for much of the country, it could also cause administrative headaches, so we’re picking the safer first week.

Within that, we suspect the issues over having the count on a Sunday in the Western Isles will dictate a traditional Thursday vote rather than a Saturday, which gives us Thursday the 2nd. We’ll doubtless be wrong (our second choice is September 5th), but that’s our thinking. What’s yours?

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    121 to “Predict the referendum”

    1. Ray says:

      I will be a bit silly and say it will be held over two days, a Thursday and a Friday. Not sure when though. And not really thought about it at all. As you can probably tell.

    2. Albert Herring says:

      I reckon it’ll be in the autumn.

    3. Morag says:

      I said on the other thread I’d go for Thursday 24th October, for no better reason than that the day is my mother’s birthday.

    4. BrianMc says:

      I’m with Albert! 😀

    5. Geoff Huijer says:

      2nd October would be good – 4 days before my birthday.
      I agree with your conclusions on weather etc, however,
      I would crawl through broken glass on my hands and
      knees to get my vote in!

    6. Morag says:

      Ah, too late to edit.  24th October isn’t a Thursday in 2014.
      Cancel my last guess, I have to think again.

    7. creag an tuirc says:

      @Geoff Huijer
      Me too. 🙂

    8. Doug Daniel says:

      I agree that I don’t think it will be held on a Saturday after all, although I don’t see why they can’t hold it on a Friday, so that those of us who work during the week can stay up all night watching the results. I’d better book IndyRef Day + 1 as a holiday once we know the date…
      It’s interesting that half-term almost surely rules out the much-trumpeted “leaked” date the Sun published. I’m now even more certain that the 18th is the most unlikely date for it to be held.
      If it’s not the 2nd, I think it’ll be the 9th. But I like your logic, so would say the 2nd seems the most likely date.

    9. Stuart Black says:

      Saturday, 11th October.

    10. Breastplate says:

      Well, according to the unionists it won’t be when Alex Salmond says it is.

    11. Aucheorn says:

      I’ve been counting down on my website and other places for months now. 
      Sat 11th of October will be the day.

    12. JasonF says:

      Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 October

    13. Saporian says:

      I predict Thursday 9th October. 

    14. FreddieThreepwood says:

      My recollection of the last devo referendum was the result being announced that night … am I right? I presume, Rev, you say the result would be on a Monday only if it’s held on a Saturday and counting ballot papers on the Sabbath is specifically proscribed in the Wee Frees’ Bible?
      In which case, let’s have the thing on a Thursday or Friday. Don’t care which.
      O/T – there’s been much talk of an Indy rally this September. Anybody any idea when exactly? My diary is filling up – I missed the last one and defo don’t want to miss this one.

    15. Morag says:

      I’m getting poised to go into our leave arrangement system and book that week and the week before as holiday time….

    16. Juteman says:

      I would’n want a two day vote. Far too much time for strange going ons in the middle of the night.
      A Friday would be good.

    17. TheGreatBaldo says:

      I predict whatever the date….the Unionists will object as it’s not their preferred date of the 12th of Never.
      Can’t see it being a Saturday (Fitba season n’at), Sunday rules out the Western Isles….so the first Friday in October for me.
      Anyone hear Captain Darling on GMS this morning ?….it was the usual guff firstly he seems to have forgotten he himself admitted the Pound and a Currency Union would be the best for both parties and he claimed Scotland’s budget would have to be approved by Westminister and that’s not really Independence….to be fair Gary Robertson did point out that the Scottish Parliament doesn’t set it’s own budget right now

    18. Peter A Bell says:

      My preference, rather than my guess, would have been a vote held over two days – Friday 4 September and Saturday 5 September with counting on Sunday and Monday to, hopefully, produce a result in time for the evening news bulletins on the Monday.
      I don’t see this happening, however. My guess is it will be a Thursday and, for the reasons given by Stu, Thursday 2 September seems most likely.
      But Eck may yet surprise us all.

    19. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      What fun it would be if the total votes were announced as they came in  which is perfectly possible with any modern system.
      I can just see the Better Together teams scouring graveyards for the names of the recently dead.
      The battle on oil revenues is a double edged sword. If we allow the notion that Scotland is dependent on oil revenues to prevail as our enemies are trying to suggest they only have to convince a significant section of  the brain dead section of our electorate that oil revenues are “volatile” to beat us.
      I actually had this “discussion ” with one of them recently who didn’t seem to be aware that he himself was working for a successful company all paying taxes and supporting the economy and that as many Scots worked and did so as in any other country. We will have to start pointing up the wide and varied Scottish economy.

    20. “Sources” have been telling me for some time that the referendum will be held in November 2014.
      Now, I’d guess soon enough I’ll find out if they are are worth a crap.

    21. Morag says:

      Freddy, the result was only “announced” the same night in 1997 because it was an obvious landslide from the off.  After the first few constituencies were announced, everybody abandoned the carefully-prepared facilities leaving one guy announcing to an empty hall, and went off to the party.

      And Donald Dewar and whoever the LibDem leader was at the time started attacking Salmond within the hour.

      Come to think of it, Salmond is still there. None of the other players in 1997 is a significant political force today.

    22. mrbfaethedee says:

      Dear All.
      Prognosticating – you’re doing it completely wrong
      Later today the First Minister lead the Scottish Government to force through emergency legislation to the effect that the referendum was legally held last tuesday – we won!

    23. Ron says:

      Saporian:  I agree, 9th October.

    24. Dcanmore says:

      Thursday, 23 October, I can feel it in my left knee 😉

    25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      A tweeter suggests that the early-October dates might be out because they’re in the Unionist conference season. I countered that having hundreds (or in the case of the Tories and Lib Dems, dozens) of activists away from home and polling stations could in fact be a boon to the Yes campaign, but it’s an interesting point.

    26. scaredy cat. says:

      I don’t have a clue but I’ll be there no matter what. I just hope it’s not during the school October holiday week because loads of people leave the country.

    27. Albert Herring says:

      I’m pretty confident that the worse the weather, the better for us.

    28. scottish_skier says:

      TGB “Pound and a Currency Union would be the best for both parties and he claimed Scotland’s budget would have to be approved by Westminister and that’s not really Independence”
      So AD is saying it will be sort of like Devo Max? Very reassuring for some I’d guess then.

    29. Frances says:

      Geoff Huijer says:

      I would crawl through broken glass on my hands and
      knees to get my vote in!

      I’m with you there Geoff.
      But I’m going for 9th October.  Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and the Homecoming will all have finished. The schools should all be back by the end of August and that will allow for the six week period of the press behaving themselves over September.
      Mind you, I do like the idea of a May vote!

    30. It’s tricky, isn’t it?
      Part of me believes it will take place as close to St Andrew’s Day as possible.  Unfortunately, in 2014 it falls on a Sunday, so it’d have to be Saturday 29/11 or perhaps Thurday 27/11.
      On the other hand, I must admit WoS’s prediction of 2/10 sounds likely, in particular because The Ryder Cup finishes on 28/09 (unless that’s actually too close to allow for proper interest in the campaign).

    31. Jeannie says:

      Aw naw – I’ll need to change my referendum date bet to Saturday November 22nd.  When I said the 23rd, I was looking at the 2013 calendar!   Wotaneejit!

    32. dundee bloke says:

      I’m with you Rev sept 5th

    33. mrbfaethedee says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill
      On the oil –
      I’m hoping that the Yes campaign are letting BT use up all their ammo now on the issues that are easy to muddy – and that once the campaign starts in earnest that will leave ‘space’ to present clear info on economic facts less open to being distorted.
      I think over time we’ll be able to build up the idea that the oil is just the icing on the cake of our economy and that the cake itself is substantial and self-supporting, and though the icing is sometimes thicker/thinner in parts it’s always a delicious topping to our cake!

    34. Gusmac says:

      18th October

    35. Jeannie says:

      I still think the nearer they hold it to the 2015 General Election the better – Labour, Tories and Lib Dems will be finding it harder to present a united front by then and, in addition, will be having to answer questions about their manifestos, which is bound to include questions about powers for Scotland.

    36. Globug says:

      Im hoping the vote will take place on the 9th October which is my 60th Birthday. It will be the best Birthday Present ever if we get our Independence on this day.

    37. Morag says:

      Jeannie said:
      Aw naw – I’ll need to change my referendum date bet to Saturday November 22nd.  When I said the 23rd, I was looking at the 2013 calendar!   Wotaneejit!
      That’s what I did when I said 24th October.  We can be two eejits together.
      I’ll have 23rd October then, but I might as well stick a pin in the calendar.

    38. Davy says:

      Ok my shotte, I am guessing it will be Thursday 4th or Saturday 6th September.
      Either of these days would be very good as I am on my long week-end from EO-shift on the Thursday and will get hammered regardless.

    39. muttley79 says:

      I will go for some date in the latter half of October 2014.  Anytime between the 15th-25th of October. 

    40. FreddieThreepwood says:

      @ Ron
      Cheers! 21 September goes in my diary right noo.

    41. velofello says:

      A Friday would suit those in employment. They can stay up all through the night to watch the count and have a hangover if so inclined. Friday 3rd October is my guess.

    42. Keef says:

      Sat 28th September.

    43. Jiggsbro says:

      18th September, obviously.

    44. Keef says:

      Sorry Sat. 27th September 

    45. Jeannie says:

      Hmmmm……starting to get a bit excited, now.  I just love Scotland, so I do.

    46. AHamilton says:

      Friday 10th of October 2014 or Thursday the 9th and then a party over the weekend! Oh YES.

    47. Luigi says:

      29th November, St Andrews eve.

    48. ianbrotherhood says:

      I bags Saturday Sep 20th.
      Just watching Lamont in full swing. Magnificent.
      She reminds me of a bulldog my neighbour had, whenever it chewed wasps.

    49. Luigi says:

      You can just tell the referendum countdown clock is ready to be set. By this t8ime tomorrow, some of us fanatics will be watching the days, minutes and seconds to go!

    50. Indion says:

      If falling on a W/E, as St Andrew’s Day on Sun 30 Nov in 2014 does, the convention is to move the corresponding Public Holiday to the Monday. But 1 Dec is hardly the ‘trailed’ autumn, so the vote on Sat 29 Nov, church on Sun 30, and Xmas shopping on the Mon gives everyone a long weekend even if at work on the Sat of the Ref.
      That said, I guess the date depends on turnout calculations for the committed Yes being those most known, rather than putting as much political pressure on the UK General Election scheduled for May 2015 at the latest.
      Whatever, i’ll be voting YES. for a new negotiated Union for our family of nations in the British Isles composed of the independent sovereign states of the rUK, Scotland and RoI and therein optimal autonomy all round to deal with deficits and debts.  

    51. Vronsky says:

      My analysis after many years trudging around on various campaigns is that optimism fares best on sunny days.  So I hope it will be in September – often a nice month – on whatever date isn’t in a school holiday (can’t be bothered finding out what that is).

    52. Jimbo says:

      I’ll opt for Thursday, 25 September.
      I know we’ll get our vote out. Hopefully NO camp can’t say the same.

    53. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      David Maddox just tweeted this very interesting snippet:

      “3 October 1706 was date last Scottish Parliament met before the union with Wesminster. In 1707 was date of first meeting of a GB parliament”

    54. Dcanmore says:

      Whatever the date, the comments will be open on the BBC website inviting the pro unionist bile and hatred towards AS and Scotland in general.

    55. Jeannie says:

      @ Rev
      “3 October 1706 was date last Scottish Parliament met before the union with Wesminster. In 1707 was date of first meeting of a GB parliament”
      Oh Wow! That’s got to be it! 

    56. Macart says:

      Snap Rev. I was just thinking along the lines of Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th. Although not for any historic reasons to be honest.

    57. Gaavster says:

      I’m with you Rev
      Thursday 2nd October
      Which is of course Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday too…
      But you knew that already right… 🙂

    58. Gaavster says:

      He might try and catch us all on the run…
      How about 1st March or 

    59. Craig P says:

      I’m in the 9 Oct camp, as there are more of us than have picked any other date, it is bound to be incorrect 😉

    60. velofello says:

      At 11.53 I plumped for 3 October, ref Rev Stu’s note that the last Scottish Parliament met on 3 Oct 1706, I’m off to the Wingsland bookie and try and figure out how to place my Indion bet. I’m no IT buff and I only have an hour!

    61. uilleam_beag says:

      Aye, I’d say Thursday 2nd October would be about right, though I wouldn’t rule out late September.
      On a pedantic point, you’ve maybe been living too long over the border: those are only “half-term” holidays in England, surely. Certainly, when I was a lad, they were the tattie hols, and they separated the autumn term (Aug-Oct) from the winter one (Oct-Dec). They may have changed it, but Scotland always used to run a four-term system rather than the three terms they have in England. That was the explanation I was always given for why my cousins got a longer summer break, anyhow.

    62. Cath says:

      I really hope it will be a Saturday. On the consultation I said something about Thursday being better because “people might be away at the weekend”. But I now realise how foolish that was. No one who cares about the referendum will be away on that weekend! It’ll be in diaries with massive stars and colours and countdown calendars to “referendum Saturday” and it’ll be a party day. Also a Thursday would make it seem just like any other UK election, and already feels dull and dreary. A Saturday would be a signal of something new, a different approach.
      So I’m hoping for not just a dull Thursday now.

    63. Albert Herring says:

      He’s going to cave in to unionist wishes and have it tomorrow.

    64. Desimond says:

      Whenever Rupert Murdoch decides! Gotcha!
      Mon the 25th September…would make the great Glasgow Sepetember Weekend Holiday truly one to savour!

    65. Indy_Scot says:

      18th October 2014.

    66. Jiggsbro says:

      Mon the 25th September…
      We’re going to have to wait until 2017?

    67. FreddieThreepwood says:

      Slightly O/T but Blair Jenkins’ interview on Radio Scotland this morning on the referendum date etc. ( actually wasn’t half bad …

    68. Daisy says:

      7 Oct.

    69. Geoff Huijer says:

      Sky News Presenter: “Thanks very much (to reporter outside Scottish Parliament)…we’ll try to stay awake for Mr Salmond’s announcement.”
      Says it all really…

    70. lumilumi says:

      I’ve had an itch about 9 Oct for a while now… It’s a Thursday.
      However, I kinda like the idea of a Saturday, so that’d be 4.10. (on Sat 11.10. many families might be away because of school holidays.) I hadn’t thought about the fact that counts stretching into Sunday might be a problem in the Western Isles, though.
      In Finland elections (and referenda, but those are few and far between) are always held over a weekend (Sat & Sun) in March – right about this time of year, which is a beautiful time of year: still snow on the ground but plenty of daylight (we call it kevättalvi = springwinter). If you know you’ll be away on that particular weekend and unable to go to your local polling station, you can vote in advance in one of the hundreds of ‘advance polling stations’ (usually post offices, libraries, schools, sometimes even shopping malls) anywhere in Finland. You still have to do it in person, none of these dodgy postal votes! Special arrangements are made for voting in hospitals, old people’s homes etc. These days, 30 to 40 percent vote in advance, which makes election night TV broadcasts pretty boring. They start counting the advance votes as soon as polling stations close (8 pm) and in about an hour they’ve counted enough of the vote that the general result is pretty clear. All the vote counting is usually done and dusted by midnight, none of these all-night marathons we used to have. Sometimes being modern and efficient is a boring thing to be. 🙂

      Edit: I just realised that nowadays polling day is always a Sunday, just one day. I don’t know where I got that idea of two polling days (Sat&Sun). Maybe we used to have that – I have a distict memory of once voting for the president before going pubbing&clubbing with friends, so that would’ve been a Saturday.???

    71. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      Thursday 18th September then!!!
      547 Days!!!! Tick… tock…

    72. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Thursday 18 September, dodging all the holidays.

    73. The Man in the Jar says:

      Is anyone else as disgusted as me at Lamonts behaviour at FMQs? Her opening question “What are the First Ministers plans on this historic day” delivered in the most snide and derogatory manor possible. You would think that just for once she could have at least kept a civil tongue in her head. Well Lamont it is a historic day and that is one little snippet of history that I and many others will remember for a long time. You disgusting excuse for a human being.

    74. muttley79 says:

      18th September.

    75. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      Ha… beat you to it Rev

    76. Ron says:

      Well done, Jiggsbro!

    77. muttley79 says:

      Oh dear Lamont is on…

    78. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Ah well, my reasoning was all sound, just picked the wrong conclusion.

    79. Morag says:

      Oh good.  Not in term time.  I don’t have to do any horse-trading with lecture slots.

    80. muttley79 says:

      Lamont is fucking awful.  She is snarling away in the most negative fashion. 

    81. Jeannie says:

      Well, I’m not always right, but I’m wrong again.  How much have I to pay?

    82. Jiggsbro, you seem to have been the only person here to have picked the right date — how did you do it?

    83. Indy_Scot says:

      Better batten down the hatches, the BBC anti Scottish mob have just been unleashed.

    84. Dcanmore says:

      Yup, I got one prediction right today, BBC comments are open and the bile flows in.

    85. Marcia says:

      For those who haven’t donated anything to the fundraising appeal for this site, please do so now I thank you in advance.

    86. Cath says:

      Let the bile flow in. This is a historic day. It is the first time EVER, Scots have been given a vote on whether they want to be in a union or be an independent country. Many of our long gone relatives spent their lives wishing for an independent country.
      So let as many petty little bile-filled anti-Scottish comments flood in as possible. Every one of them is a little push towards showing exactly why we need that most normal country status: independent.

    87. muttley79 says:

      We have just had ‘contributions’ from Lamont, Davidson, Rennie and Patricia Ferguson.  They have all been of the most snarling, bitter, negativity personified kind.  The Scottish cringe lives on among the Unionists.

    88. Marcia says:

      Yes Scotland people out in Glasgow already with the date. Also in Dundee too.

    89. Jeannie says:

      @ Marcia
      What a great picture!

    90. Grasshopper says:

      It’s not too early for a large Talisker is it?

    91. ianbrotherhood says:

      Well said Margo MacDonald – it’s just a pity this occasion was marred by the graceless turds masquerading as ‘Opposition’. The sooner these wee jobbies are all flushed away the better – 18.09.14 is the U-bend down which they will disappear after the Hand of History has pulled the big chain.

    92. Doug Daniel says:

      Hey guys, look who the most recent contributor to the site is…

    93. Laura says:

      Now we have the date, any chance of having a wee count down clock?

    94. Doug Daniel says:

      What we saw after the announcement today was the true face of unionism – snarling, bitter negativity. They will only get worse as time goes on. They are going to find it impossible to keep a lid on their true feelings about this referendum, and I expect Johann Lamont won’t be the only person to pretty much say “I can’t wait to get this silly nonsense over and done with”.
      I don’t think this will play out well with voters… So let’s just stand back and watch them implode.

    95. Indion says:

      Congratulations Jiggsbro.
      I’m off with delight to add my £100 pledge to the WoS pot.
      Jeannie at 2:12pm, you pledged £25.
      In 4 days time we’ll have 543 counting down to 2 then 1 before the day itself.
      It’s going to be the fastest time of the committed’s lives, and they will need all the help and support going to get there and the result I’m assuming most if not all here favour.
      One of the many who are fully committed as has shown by his outstanding, excellent example is undoubtedly Rev Stu.
      There are 5 days left to meet his target with indiegogo. Let’s help him all we can so that he can help us – as he has and is continuing and will continue to do – without breaking anyone’s bank.
      We’ve got what it takes. Sharing it is what it all is going to be about for a meaningful worthwhile future.

    96. The Man in the Jar says:

      Sorry! I am watching the announcement on a recording but I have to say. Well said Margo Macdonald!

    97. Dcanmore says:

      @Doug Daniel …
      Last week there was contribution from Councillor Terry Kelly ! :O lol!

    98. ianbrotherhood says:

      Blair McDougall has just said the BT campaign is going to do something ‘first thing tomorrow morning’ which is ‘a first not only for Scottish politics and British politics, but in world politics’ and it will come as a surprise to 300,000 Scots – ???
      Can’t wait.

    99. Doug Daniel says:

      Ian – I think he means that tomorrow morning, for the first time EVER, a unionist will tell the truth.
      HAHAHA!!! Nah, I’m just kidding, of course that’s not going to happen.

    100. Dcanmore says:

      These Bitter Together lot have proved once again they are not fit for Parliament and have shown their disgraceful attitude towards not only at their fellow parliamentarians but democracy in general. Pathetic!

    101. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Doug Daniel-
      The mind does boggle, and one has to wonder who the lucky 300k are.
      BTW, McDougall and others keep banging on about their campaign on the streets, going around the doors etc. Has anyone seen any of these people in the flesh? Have any of them turned up at YOUR door?
      Maybe that’s the surprise tomorrow – 300k of us will get doorstepped by BT, first thing in the morning? I do hope they don’t knock this door – it’ll be more ‘gardy-loo’ than toodleoothenoo if they do.

    102. muttley79 says:

      The Unionists performance in Holyrood today was noticeable by the hatred, bitterness, and dearth of any kind of a vision for Scotland.  It was shambolic, you could hear the hatred they have for Salmond and the SNP.  What I have been wondering about for ages is are they aware of how they are coming across to the electorate?  Salmond gave a measured talk for about 10 minutes, which was followed by the snarling antics of Lamont, Davidson, Rennie, Ferguson, Kelly and Findlay.  The Unionist core of Scottish Labour have still not come to terms with their defeat in 2007, let alone 2011. 

    103. Jeannie says:

      Bet paid in full 🙂

    104. John Lyons says:

      Don’t get me started on Scottish party leaders being undemocratic by sneaking into parliament on list seats!
      You would think after a No vote the bitters might have a chance of wresting power from the SNP. Once defeated in the independence referendum the SNP should just fall apart and go away, and yet, you look at Lamont, Davidson and Rennie and you think who on earth is going to vote for any of them?
      On the other hand A Yes Vote and the Torries will almost certainly implode with Murdo Fraser trying to create a new Right wing or Right of centre party, Labour who completely lack leadership at Scottish and UK level will not know what to do with themselves and Lamont might very well have a power struggle on her hands with Sarwar and the LIB DEMS well, yeah, enough said really. The threat to the SNP might be the SDA and the Scottish Socialists, but they are not going to become major parties overnight. (Or even in the 18 months between referendum and election)
      Win or lose the SNP will form Government in 2016. The only credible threat to them is that the vote is dilluted by new parties to the point where we have a hung parliament, but even that might well be ruled by the SNP the Greens and an independant or two…

    105. lumilumi says:

      Well, my guess for the referendum date was off the mark by about three weeks but no worries, the most important thing is that there is the referendum!
      Johann Lamont really was dire, responding to the First Minister’s statement. All that negativity and hypocricy, and seeming to wander back to her script for FMQs earlier today. Personifying Scotland’s referendum as Alex Salmond’s referendum…
      Many other unionist MSPs did the same, talking about Alex Salmond’s referendum. GRRRR!!! It’s the Scots’ referendum! The people’s referendum!
      I liked Patrick Harvie’s question of what would happen in case of a NO vote. Alex Salmond, quite rightly, didn’t rise to bait, stressing the positive message of independence, but hopefully PH’s question planted some seeds in the minds of people – if his question ever was reported/shown in the MSM. 🙁  I wouldn’t be suprised to learn that the YES parties in parliament had agreed on PH’s question to highlight the badness of a NO vote.
      Margo MacDonald made a brilliant contribution, and AS’s short answer (“I agree.”) made a point.
      The unionists were dire, negative, snarling, hypocritic… Alex Salmond came out as statesmanlike, reasonable… Though he was a bit patronising towards Ruth Davidson, as he usually is.
      Well, 547 days to convince Scots that they really can stand on their own two legs, run their own affairs and be a prosperous, fair country, and take their place among other independent countries in the world.

    106. heraldnomore says:

      There’s a countdown clock running on the SNP website

    107. Jeannie says:

      Well, 547 days to convince Scots that they really can stand on their own two legs, run their own affairs and be a prosperous, fair country, and take their place among other independent countries in the world.  
      Stole your words and posted them on Facebook.  You said just what I wanted to say.

    108. lumilumi says:

      @John Lyons, 3.31 pm
      You and some others commenting on WoS have mentioned how “undemocratic” it is that MSPs “sneak in through the back door” by being elected on regional lists. In fact, their election is more democratic than FPTP constituency seats, because list seats take into account the %-share of the popular vote.
      Of course, it’s a bit embarrassing if a party’s “big-hitters” can’t win constituency seats, and SLab committed a monumental blunder by not standing their “big names” on lists. If they didn’t win their constituencies – like many of them didn’t – they were out. Other parties stood their “big” candidates on constituencies and lists. That’s how the Conservatives managed to avoid a wipe-out in 2011.
      I believe this misconception of list seats being somehow less democratic is a legacy of the fairly undemocratic FPTP electoral system and the political culture it has engended.
      The Holyrood system is a mixture of FPTP and proportional representation (PR), PR being a system where seats in parliament are allocated based on the popular vote, percent-wise. A more democratic system, aye?. So, in some regions of Scotland quite a few people voted for the LibDems, for instance, so it’s only democratic and right that a LibDem (Willie Rennie…) was elected.

    109. The Man in the Jar says:

      Hands up if you think that the BBC / MSM will beat a track to Margo MacDonalds door to ask her opinion on today’s proceedings.
      I don’t know much about modern education but surly there would have been schoolchildren watching this historic announcement as part of their curriculum, or at home with their parents. What impression will the usual suspects have given to these young minds? That this is how elected responsible adults behave in the parliament of all places. No wonder kids have little respect any more.
      If I were a parent or teacher I would have rewound the recording and pointed to Margos quetion regarding bitter togethers attitude and said. Now see that lady there, that is a proper parliamentarian!

    110. Richie says:

      I’m confused (again)
      The SNP’s countdown clock says one thing…
      And bitter’s says another
      There’s something dodgy about bitter’s clock too. Watch the seconds tick by.

    111. Morag says:

      The two clocks seem to say the same thing now.  Which isn’t what Sneekyboy said earlier – did he find an extra day somewhere?

    112. Holebender says:

      Lumilumi, I think many people find the regional lists undemocratic because they are closed lists with the ranking decided by the parties. People are unable to vote directly for the list candidates (unless there is an independent standing on his/her own) and that’s what many find objectionable. If, for example, Willie Rennie is rejected by the voters of a constituency but is none-the-less returned to Parliament via the regional list many people see that as a snub to the voters of his constituency.
      The solution is to elect the entire parliament by PR (most probably STV-PR as that is what people are now used to for council elections) and I have no doubt this will be introduced soon after independence.

    113. Jiggsbro says:

      We have a party-based democracy. We vote for individuals, but as individual representatives of their party and their party’s policies. So when Willie Rennie is rejected by voters, was he rejected or was his party rejected? Even if he was personally rejected by one set of voters in one constituency, if sufficient voters across Scotland voted for his party, and his party want him to represent them in parliament, I can see no reasonable, democratic objection to him being there. There’s no snub to the voters in his constituency, but there would be a snub to LibDem voters in general to prevent him representing them. I would certainly rather see him there than have a FPTP system which allows no representation at all to parties with significant, if small, proportions of the vote.

    114. Indion says:

      Jeannie at 3:29pm
      Me too, but it took me until 6:45pm ‘cos of my traffic light controlled broadband switching between go, slow and stop. And goodness knows where my 4 x IndyRef & YesScot tweet messages (to Predict the Ref Date & Donate to The Final Countdown at WoS) went unless by dropped dead pigeon post.

    115. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Agree entirely. 43 three member constituencies will be fine but the constituencies should coincide with local government units and the MSPs should be members of the councils as well as members of parliament.

    116. The Man in the Jar says:

      Not only can you predict the future you are a poet as well.

    117. lumilumi says:

      Holebender at 7.32 pm 21.3.2013
      Ah! I forgot the Scottish system has closed lists. So a party can “push” their preferred candidate.
      The way it works in Finland is that parties field candidates but they’re listed alphabetically on the list, given a number, and you vote for a specific candidate = write his/her number on the ballot card. The candidates within a list are then ranked according to the number of votes they got (= voters decide the ranking), and the total number of votes each different list (party) gets is allocated to the first ranked on each list, the second ranked gets 1/2 of the total number, the 3rd 1/3 and so on, according to the d’Hondt method. The next stage is comparing this allocated figure and the candidates with the highest figures across all lists are elected. I should point out that all constituencies are PR multi-member constituencies, no FPTP single-MP constituencies in Finland.
      This method results in fairly accurate proportional representation, though it does slightly favour bigger parties. The good thing is that voters decide the ranking within party lists, not the parties.
      No-one I’ve ever voted for has been elected but at least my vote has helped someone else on that particular list to get elected. I think of it first and foremost as voting for a party (as my vote counts towards the list’s total) and secondly for my very own, preferred candidate. It’s not a perfect system, but way more democratic than FPTP.
      To slightly misquote Anas Sarwar. “Westminster is not a democratic place in the conventional sense.”

    118. Indion says:

      I’ve noticed* the last sentence of my entry on 21 Mar at 12:15pm was incomplete. It should have read:
      ” Whatever, by virtue of the Befast and now Edinburgh Agreements, I’ll be voting YES for a new negotiated Union for our families, friends and fellow folk in our family of nations throughout the the geographical British Isles.

      IE a re-Union comprising the sovereign independent states of the rUK – England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Channel Isles, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland sharing optimal autonomy all round.

      This, so as especially to deal with the UK Public unLimited liability Corporation’s  democratic and financially induced deficits and debts, that were brought about by its failures to prevent predatory banksters let loose to plunder our and our children’s children futures by Big Bang under (un)succesive Conservative and Labour maladministrations that hitherto had also called in the IMF and later were bust out of the ERM on Black Wednesday for wont of fiscal discpline in a practical political economy. ”

      [ *Noticed on checking when I’d paid in my pledge of £100 on 23 Mar was 6:45pm so that I could sort out a glitch arising with indiegogo and PayPal as it does not appear to have been credited to the Wos fundraiser which I’m about to put right.]  

    119. Indion says:

      [ PayPal confirmation shows paid in £100 on 21 (duh) Mar at 6:40pm, but indiegogo quirk not showing on their WoS funder list and previous donations are in now you see them, now you don’t mode!? ]    

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