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The Eye Of Reality

Posted on January 16, 2016 by

With little in the way of news to chew on, the Scottish political blogosphere has begun to eat itself of late, with an exhausting number of articles on popular sites about how an SNP list vote is a wasted vote and anyone thinking of voting for the Nats in both constituency and region is a deluded cultist/simple-witted idiot (mostly written by candidates/supporters of other parties who are often not identified as such), and now some angry pieces from disgruntled SNP supporters making the opposite point.


All are based, from one perspective or another, on opinion polls and seat predictions based on those polls, some of which appear to be based on very shaky premises.

We’ve already broken down the mechanics of the Scottish electoral system at very considerable length, so readers will be relieved that we’re not going to get into that again. Instead, we thought we’d take a very specific region-by-region look at the scale of the task facing the fringe parties.

Give or take a percentage point here and there, most polls are showing that while the likely constituency vote share for the SNP is considerably higher than the one they got in 2011, the Nats’ regional vote is looking like being around the same: 45 to 46%.

What that means is that we can look at each area in turn, make some educated guesses about the likely state of the list vote, and see what’s needed to capture seats. So let’s have a bash.




2011 minimum: 12,029 votes

The SNP took six constituency seats in 2011, and got three on the list. That means that by the time their final list seat was won, their vote of 108,261 had been divided by nine, making 12,029. To take a single list seat, that’s the target a fringe party would have had to beat.

Were the Nats to have swept every constituency that year, they’d have lost all three of their list seats to Labour and the minimum would drop to 11,780. (Labour’s vote of 82,459 divided by seven, with Labour taking six list seats and the Tories one again.)

How much would each of the three fringe parties have to increase their 2011 vote by to reach that target?

The Green vote in 2011 was 5,634, so they’d need a 109% increase.

The SSP (now effectively RISE) got 820, so they’d need a 1,437% increase.

And Solidarity got 559, so they’d need to go up by a hefty 2,107%.

CONCLUSION: From this one example we can pretty much divine the wider picture. If we make the assumption, for the sake of argument, that the SNP win every Central constituency seat but list votes for the traditional parties stay very broadly where they were in 2011, then nothing much changes. The Nats stay the same, gaining three constituencies and losing three list seats. Labour are the same but the other way round, and the Tories stay on one.

Any significant shift – such as a sizeable drop in the Labour vote or a big increase in the SNP one – lets the Nats start to make net gains long before the fringe parties get a look-in. The D’Hondt divisor on a constituency clean sweep leaves them with 10,826 votes, so if the Labour tally falls from 82,000 to below 65,000 the SNP pick up a list seat and their effective vote (now divided by 11) falls to 9,841 – still more than 4000 above the Greens.

The Greens could boost their 2011 vote by 50% – a Herculean achievement – and still have no realistic hope of getting anywhere near a list seat. The other two fringe parties could get TEN TIMES their 2011 vote and would still be nowhere.

PREDICTION: Zero fringe-party MSPs.



2011 minimum: 10,433

Here we have a different situation but a similar outcome. The lowest seat-winning vote was Labour’s, whose third list seat was won on a 73,031 vote divided by seven (four constituency seats plus two previous list ones). The Greens actually won a seat, with Patrick Harvie collecting 12,454 votes, just 95 behind the Conservatives.

Were the SNP to have taken every constituency seat, their list vote would have dropped to 8,311 and they’d have lost the two list seats they won in 2011, leaving them two better off overall. That gain would come at Labour’s expense – they’d pick up five list seats, leaving their vote at 12,172.

CONCLUSION: To get a second seat, therefore, the Greens would more or less have to double their vote again. Much less and either Labour or the SNP would still pip them to a seat, depending on whether their respective votes increase or decrease.

Glasgow is also the heartland of the other parties of the pro-indy fringe, making their job of picking up left-wing votes harder. The chances of doubling the Green vote to a colossal 12% seem remote.

PREDICTION: One Green MSP, as now.



2011 minimum: 9,453

This is an interesting one. The SNP took six of eight constituency seats in 2011, missing out on only Orkney and Shetland. Those will come under severe pressure this time round in the wake of the Alistair Carmichael fiasco, but it’s far from a foregone conclusion that they’ll fall to the Nats.

Last time round the two Lib Dem wins meant that the SNP picked up three list seats, the last of them on an effective vote of 9,453 (85,082 divided by nine). That looks temptingly reachable for the Greens, who narrowly missed out after picking up 9,076.

The situation is complicated, however, by the fact that Jean Urquhart, who was elected for the SNP last time but left the party over NATO membership and now sits as an independent, is at the top of the RISE list and surely represents its only hope of getting an MSP this year.

CONCLUSION: This one’s all but impossible to call, but the fringe parties will have to clear a whole series of obstacles. The Lib Dems could conceivably hold the island seats, or the surging SNP vote which very nearly ousted Carmichael last year could win one or both constituencies, which would almost definitely see the Lib Dems scoop list seats in compensation, or a strong personal vote for Urquhart could either take her across the finishing line or split the radical left.

PREDICTION: A definite possibility of a single seat for one of the fringe parties, but it’s not clear which one’s in pole position, and don’t bet the mortgage on it anyway.



2011 minimum: 16,510

So far as we can tell, the cheapest list seat in Lothian in 2011 was that won by Gavin Brown for the Tories, with half of the party’s base vote of 33,019. This was the other region in which the Greens picked up a seat, with Alison Johnstone’s 21,505 votes getting her in comfortably. Having taken eight out of nine constituencies, the SNP’s list vote was reduced by the divisor to just 12,328.

Complicating matters further when analysing the outcome for this year are the 18,732 votes cast for the tragically-deceased Margo MacDonald, which are now up for grabs. The Lib Dems also have a relatively solid base in and around Edinburgh, and came close five years ago with 15,588 votes.

CONCLUSION: Lothian must by any reasonable assessment represent the Greens’ best hope of making gains. Nevertheless, the numbers suggest that to double their representation they’ll still have to boost their vote by at least 50%.

The SNP got no list seats here in 2011 so there’s no low-hanging fruit for the pro-indy left. With core votes already down to the bone Labour are almost certain to hang onto their three list seats and the Tories to their two, so the Nats picking up the one Labour constituency (currently held by Malcolm Chisholm) would make little difference.

PREDICTION: One Green gain. Andy Wightman is a strong second-placed candidate on the Green list, and may well manage to snaffle enough of the Margo vote to get in.



2011 minimum: 12,695

A traditional SNP heartland, 2011 saw the Nats take eight of nine constituency seats and still pick up another on the list for Annabelle Ewing, with just a ninth of the party’s base list vote of 116,691. It’s also the home of Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, who gathered 15,103 to scrape home late in the ballot.

The Greens were just about within sight five years ago, with 10,914 votes. Had the SNP also taken Helen Eadie’s constituency seat of Cowdenbeath, their list vote would have been divided down to 11,669 and left the Greens just 755 short.

CONCLUSION: The Labour and Tory core votes, in mining villages and farming areas respectively, are pretty solid, and the Lib Dems will throw the kitchen sink at the region to try to avoid the humiliation of losing their leader. The SNP vote is also likely to increase. It’s going to be a squeeze, and the Green list-topper Mark Ruskell isn’t a well-known face even by Green standards.

PREDICTION: A reasonable chance of a Green gain, but we think they’ll fall short.



2011 minimum: 12,795

The SNP dominated the North-East so totally in 2011 that they took a list seat despite sweeping all TEN constituencies, dividing their base list vote by 11. The second-last list seat went to the Lib Dems with 18,178 and the one before that to the Tories with 18,841. The Greens were a long way back on 10,407.

CONCLUSION: The Greens have a big mountain to climb in Scotland’s most oil-loving region, not helped by the fact that the local party is split in two because of a bitter selection row around top-ranked candidate Maggie Chapman. The chances of them picking up the huge number of new votes they need for a seat are essentially zero.

PREDICTION: No change.



2011 minimum: 14,283

South is the most hotly-contested of all Scotland’s regions, with the constituency and list seats currently split between four parties. The chances of an SNP clean sweep here are extremely remote – the Tories will fancy their chances of hanging on to at least two of their three constituency seats, and tactical voting could conceivably save Labour’s Elaine Murray in Dumfriesshire, although Iain Gray’s 151 majority in East Lothian is surely toast.

CONCLUSION: This is almost as tall an order as the North-East for the Greens, for very different reasons. With just 8,656 votes last time they need to almost double their share to be in with a shout, and the four biggest parties will all put up a real fight in what’s becoming the last redoubt of Unionism in Scotland. A pro-indy Green ticket is a tougher sell there than just about anywhere.

PREDICTION: No joy here for the radical fringe.



2011 minimum: 14,663

This is another region where the SNP will be hoping to make constituency gains, having taken just six out of the ten seats last time round. That meant they got two list seats, the second of which was won with one-eighth of their 117,306 base vote.

As with Central Scotland, should the Nats take those seats then Labour will mainly feel the benefit – their hefty 2011 total of 92,530 was their highest list vote by a distance, and even if quite heavily reduced will still stretch a long way under D’Hondt.

In fact, if anything, because of the strong Labour presence, the more constituencies the SNP manage to pick up here the higher the bar for a list seat is likely to get, and it’s already the second-highest target figure in this analysis.

CONCLUSION: The Green vote in 2011 was just 8,414, their second-lowest. This is another region where realistically it’ll have to double to get anywhere near the prizes, and in polling (going by what little area-specific data there is) it’s one of the party’s weakest. They were below the Lib Dems in 2011 and they didn’t get a seat either.

PREDICTION: Labour and the SNP swap constituency seats for list ones, and the Tories hang on to their two, because really, how much lower can the Tories go?


So what have we learned? Alert readers will have noticed that we’ve barely mentioned RISE or Solidarity/Hope Over Fear, because quite simply the idea of either of them making an electoral breakthrough this year is a fantasy.

Both are starting from bases of hundreds of votes, not thousands, and turning that into the five-figure numbers you need for an MSP in one go is a pipe-dream. Jean Urquhart MIGHT be able to parlay her incumbency and relative recognisablity into something bankable, but sadly we fear the intelligent and principled MSP is on her way out. Tommy Sheridan and Cat Boyd are by far the best-known of the rest, but will still struggle to capture 1% shares, let alone the 6%+ you need for a seat.

And while online “seat predictors” might suggest eight or nine seats for the Greens on current polling, what we see above is that it’s very hard to identify where those seats would actually come from.

(We’re reminded of last year’s UK election, where the predictions of the SNP taking 55 or more seats instinctively seemed outlandish, until you tried to name the ones they wouldn’t win and started scratching your head after five or six.)

As ever, we make no recommendation. Vote for who you want to vote for. But if a “wasted” vote is one that doesn’t result in an MSP being returned, there isn’t much doubt about which side of the debate currently occupying a small but noisy section of the independence movement is correct.

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  1. 16 01 16 18:43

    The Eye Of Reality | Speymouth

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    Every Vote Counts | A Wilderness of Peace

197 to “The Eye Of Reality”

  1. steve cameron

    How much fun did you have chosing those photies?

    I hope just as much fun as I got laughing at them!

  2. Wulls

    Not as concise as usual 🙂 but deep and accurate….
    I’m back to my idea a while ago that we set up an “independence Scotlant” party or a “national Scotland” party separate from the SNP and ask the SNP voters to give it their List vote.
    They would be starting with no constituency MSPs therefore no divider. There is a good chance they could sweep up the list vote or at least keep several unionist MSPs where they belong…….on the dole.

  3. Truth

    I like the photo of the Labour constituency office.

    Reminds me of the advert I saw for Frank Roy’s constituency office which is for sale. He’s paying an annual £10k rent. I do hope he signed a long term lease. Lol.

    The advert is a bit cheeky though as it described him as an MSP.

  4. Clootie

    However none of this addresses the big impact factor of Scotland uniting behind an Independence Party by a significant margin. Big Politics first – Independence. Little politics second

    SNP X 2 for a clear message to London.

  5. Wulls

    Incidentally in my local area ( the North East) the Tory list MSP is the irredeemable arsehole Alex Johnstone. I have witnessed him at a few hustings and a more ignorant arrogant man I have yet to meet.

  6. Croompenstein

    Really disappointed with Bella today not only criticising SNP but our Stu and Ponsonby. I know we are not robots or acolytes but common sense shows us the way and the only way to maintain the road to independence is with voting SNP. Fuck all else until independence it’s just too important to fall out about.

  7. JLT

    Interesting. Still a long way to go, and there is always the potential for some politician to do something daft that gets their name in the paper (if it’s an SNP one …well …we all know what sort of response we’ll get from the media).

    It will be interesting to see how Kezia, Ruthie and wee Willie do in these elections. I expect them to retain their seats, but will their winning margin be greater or less compared to 5 years ago? That would be interesting to note. However, is there a chance that one of them could potentially fall? I just hope that the SNP do do well. Any key SNP MP failing to get elected will no doubt be greeted with bunting and rounds of cheers from our non-biased media (…cough)

  8. K1

    Well, my post on the last thread seems more appropriate here. In light of your breakdown in the remotest of possibilities of RISE making any gains, it does rather beg the question:

    Are RISE the useful idiots of the unionist parties in Scotland?

    I read that piece on Bella. This is what drives ordinary people away from political engagement. Ego’s fighting for position within a ‘manufactured’ context.

    There is no ‘one party state’. There is no ‘rise in nationalism’. There are no Wings ‘acolytes’.

    This is all intellectual masturbation. You can’t convince people not to see what they see by telling them they aren’t seeing what you think they ‘should’ be seeing.

    We have to have an SNP majority in Holyrood to maintain the trajectory toward independence.

    To use the tiresome but effective analogy one more time: The SNP are merely the vehicle. If we have learned anything in these last few years, it is that we, ordinary folks, can decide who we want as our representatives in WM and Holyrood. From May’s results it is clear that we chose from a wide array of contenders from the Indy movement: stand out candidates who reflected our outlook on social policy and who are 100% for independence.

    Rise, imo, are a distraction and potentially divisive element that has suddenly emerged several months before our own SG election. Rather than produce and promote a clear manifesto outlining their policies in detail…costings ‘n all, the public output from them seems overtly focused on ‘oppositional to the SNP’ just because there ‘has to be seen to be opposition to the SNP’.

    This is why they are being ‘granted’ increased media exposure: they are in essence formulating their existence upon a premise that is espoused ad nauseum by the unionist parties and the corpmedia.

    They are feeding into that ‘meme’ and are now complaining when anyone questions them about this aspect of their ‘campaigning’. Deflecting the attention from this crucial point by accusing anyone who can ‘see’ this aspect as being blinded by adherence to ‘nationalism’, or of being ‘acolytes’ etc etc.

    Now…where have we heard those descriptors before?

    By all means vote for who or what party you feel reflects your views etc. But don’t be ‘manipulated’ by some intellectual contortionists telling you that you’re being manipulated by effective governance whose main raison d’etre aligns with your own: Independence.

    SNP x 2

  9. Walter Hamilton

    I’m a one party man, I will be voting SNP SNP.

  10. One_Scot

    This can be analysed to the nth degree for the rest of time, but the bottom line is simple, if the SNP do not get a majority in May, we are F’cked.

    If you really want an Independent Scotland the only option is SNP x 2, anything else is a risk not worth taking.

  11. Croompenstein

    People are dying, people are fucking dying as we speak because we are governed by a fucking war wank govt in Westminster. But the editor on Bella considers the block list by Stuart Campbell as the most depressing thing he has seen for a decade!!!

    Fuck it I’m out

  12. James Barr Gardner

    We all want our parties to do well but at the expense of Scottish Independence.

    SNP votes will achieve Scottish Independence, the quicker we get away from the wastemonster cesspool the better for the future of Scotland.

    Remember a Great Big Sledge Hammer is just the tops at demolishing structures, a wee toffee hammer is hopeless!

    Vote SNP x 2. Vote for Scotland, Vote for Nicola, Vote for Hope and Vote for a real Future.

  13. Weechid

    “tactical voting could conceivably save Labour’s Elaine Murray in Dumfriesshire,”

    Now I’m depressed.

  14. Alan Mackintosh

    Who’s been a busy boy then? That is very enlightening. Would be good to see Andy Wightman get in. He would be a worthwhile addition to the parliament. This article will be another go-to one. Nae doot, there’ll be some more bleating about the Cultists. But as I’ve said before the left wingers need to target Labour voters who wont vote SNP and the greens need to target Libdems. To stamp their feet and plead for Snp 2nd Votes doesnt change anything. Its the unionist votes that need to be fought and sought for.

  15. Diane

    The North East photo makes me very happy. Good choice Stu ?

  16. Thepnr

    Best article I have seen yet on this topic. There are none so blind as those that will not see.

    There is though the fly in the ointment, won’t happen this time but never say never. If for example Nicola Sturgeon knew she was assured of a majority, she may be wise to elicit her supporters to vote for A N Other pro Indy party to rid the parliament of Unionists.

    Haha, I know, I know, that just aint gonna happen.

  17. Grouse Beater

    Why would I vote for any candidate that did not put Scotland first?

    And why would I encourage another person not to do as I think best for Scotland?

    If Italian, living in Italy, and up popped a ‘Germany is Better’ candidate, what idiot would vote for him unless German? And why would an Italian presume the German wanted anything other than Italy to defer to his homeland in all domestic imports, exports, and foreign policies?

    Do you catch my drift?

  18. Colin Church

    Thank you.

    A lot of toys several feet from prams over last few days on twitter.

    So the question is if RISE’s intent is to maximise independence parties and this plays out, that they make little headway but garner a few k votes. What will be their call in the days before vote?

    Do they advise lending their vote to SNP to maximise independence supporting parties or continue on to a damp squib glory hunt.

    Been here before with Mundell.

  19. jim watson

    What happened to the West of Scotland? Bloody inherent bias against us…

  20. ScottishPsyche

    Anyone who wants my vote(s) has to earn them.

    The newer parties certainly raised their profile during the referendum but do I think they would bring anything other than naïve bickering at this stage? No. To be told you are an unthinking cult follower or acolyte after so many years of real soul searching and resigned tactical voting is so insulting.

    The SNP have plugged away for years and even though in the past I wanted to give both votes, I thought they could never achieve anything near to independence.
    That has all changed now and I will vote both votes SNP at the next election never having done so before. The freedom of feeling able to do that is really empowering.

    Having been burned by Labour I will never go back there but come Independence, everything is up for grabs.

    Just not now.

  21. craig sheridan

    Great! Hopefully people are now clearer that in Lothian, the smart vote is SNP/Green.

  22. schrodingers cat

    it isn’t a question of wasting votes but maximising ones vote. eg, you correctly point out the weakest region the south of Scotland, to maximise your vote it has to be SNP 1&2

    if rise/solidarity/greens position is tenable then the same logic would mean they accept not to stand anyone in the SOS region

    without this, people will remain sceptical of these parties and without a concerted effort and a belief by the snp voters to actually back them in the list, any increases will remain small. eg, the snp is currently polling 42% in the list, if everyone was to switch to backing the greens then the number of seats they would win rises sharply. it wont happen though, indeed, winning a majority for the snp is the goal, changing out wullie rennie and other unionists for greens etc is only a nice to have, it isn’t a be all and end all and wont change very much. even if the greens out numbered slab, the bbc would still dig out foulks for a comment

    the council elections are far more important, we cant even vote tactically there to elect snp councillors, let alone other indy parties. if we don’t control all 32 in 2017, which is extremely unlikely, there wont be an indyref2 even if it is in the manifesto for holyrood.

  23. Free Scotland

    I don’t want to lower the tone of this very thought-provoking article, but I can’t help thinking that the old bird with the fag and the walking stick in the Glasgow pic bears an uncanny resemblance to Johann Lamont.

  24. Pitsy

    The Greens had my list vote until I saw they had picked that wee bawbag Greer. I’m more likely to vote Labour again than vote for anything to do with him.
    Unless there’s a major change it’ll be SNPx2 for me.

  25. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “What happened to the West of Scotland?”


  26. Capella

    As an acolyte of the WoS cult can I just say how grateful I am that our Dear Leader has spelt out the consequences of being smug in the SE. I was planning to vote SNP x 2 and now I will vote SNP x 2.

    I am drinking the Kool Aid. Religiously.

    Nevertheless, I would like to see Andy Wightman in Holyrood. Reporting for re-education.

  27. Fairliered

    Thanks Stu. I never tire of seeing that picture of the only Scottish team to have won two separate European trophies.
    I would like to see Jean Urquhart hold on to her seat.
    I would like to see Alex Johnstone and Elaine Murray lose theirs, and hopefully wee Wullie Rennie as well (although he seems just to be a harmless idiot promoted above his ability).
    Otherwise it needs to be SNP x 2 and hope that the Greens and RISE have a say in an independent Scotland.

  28. NovaScotia

    The smart vote is SNP SNP

  29. Hoss Mackintosh

    Thanks Rev Stu,

    Some simple common sense at last and clearly presented.

    The simple truth is that to win seats the minor Indy parties have to get at least 6% and the Greens are the only ones likely to do that and only in a few areas.

    So unless the wee parties do some hard work in the coming months and get their poll ratings a lot higher than the ~1% they currently are – then a vote for them is most likely a wasted vote.

    After indy we can set up a better PR system that gives the wee parties a better chance at getting represented.

    Until then it is SNP 1 & SNP 2 for me.

    This is also is an insurance in case the SNP lose a few constituency seats as well. So to me it is a no brainer.

  30. TJenny

    Rev – Alert reader, erm, alert – 2nd para ‘we thought we thought’ – but now we’re shure? 😉

  31. HandandShrimp

    because really, how much lower can the Tories go?

    They have a team working on that

    it is what I have heard 🙂

  32. ScottishPsyche

    Have to disagree with myself and agree with Capella.

    Andy Wightman would be a real asset. Land reform is one area the SNP are far too timid. Maybe if re-elected they will be more courageous.

    However I have the opportunity to vote out Jackie Baillie and I will be setting my alarm to be first at the polling station.

  33. msean

    I think in an independent Scotland I would consider giving my second vote to the greens,right now though,independence is important. We are not going away.

    In 2011, I voted for the same party twice for the first time and got what I wanted. I’ll be doing the same again.

  34. MajorBloodnok

    Nice picture of Leisureland on South Bridge. It always looked like that after a Saturday night.

  35. Saor Alba

    1. SNP 2. SNP

  36. Nation Libre

    Quite clearly the second votes the Greens should be going for should be from Labour and the Lib Dems (can’t see the pulling Tories)

    It’s quite clear that they would boost their own chances by weakening their direct challengers for list places, not the SNP

    This seems pretty obvious to me and the fact that they’re trying to gain SNP second votes instead leads may to believe that it’s possibly state orchestrated. The Greens, in their pursuit of SNP second votes, I believe is designed to weaken SNP and cause divisions in the greater Independence movement

  37. Roddy Macdonald

    The Citizen Smiths of RISE will hopefully get a large slap of reality when their pie in the sky £100,000 crowdfunder raises in the region of 2/-6d.

  38. The Isolator

    It’s SNP x 2 for me in Edinburgh,

    Everyone else can throw shite at the moon.Sorry.

    I have 1 Green voter in my immediate circle and they voted no(they apparently remain to be convinced of the benefits of full independence FFS).

  39. Thepnr

    Just so as we don’t lose track of what the SSP did during the referendum. Here’s Wings Ian Brotherhood to explain.

    Sorry Ian, but it needing saying.

  40. Doug Daniel

    One thing that’s loud and clear from this is that all eight regions have their differences, which is not taken into account when folk come out with their “uuuurgh, the SNP vote will be divided by 10” stuff.

    There’s another factor in the North East, which is that second in the Greens list is Martin Ford, who is not in favour of independence. Therefore, there are only two ways to increase the overall balance of list MSPs who support independence here:
    a) the Greens getting three
    b) the SNP getting two

    There is simply no way the Greens are getting three MSPs – they’d be lucky to get that in Edinburgh even – and even two is a fantasy (and as I say, all that’d be doing is replacing one unionist with an anti-indy Green). By the time the SNP vote is divided by 11, dividing it by 12 doesn’t change the “effective vote” very much. Conversely, once the Greens get one MSP, their vote is halved.

    It’s a difficult thing to explain to people, which is why the simplicity of “oh, their vote will be divided by 11” thing appeals to some. But the reality is the D’Hondt formula favours bigger parties – which is why the Greens favour the Sainte-Laguë method.

    Anyway, I’ve yet to hear anyone at canvassing say they’re going to split their vote. The tactical voting stuff is of interest only to those of us who spend ages online arguing about politics – most folk don’t even know about it. It will reach, what, maybe 3% of the population – enough to deny the SNP list seats, but not enough to gift dozens to the other parties like the tactical voting proponents have convinced themselves is possible.

    “Mathematically possible” and “actually possible” are two very different things. You would think folk in Scotland, of all places, would know that – how often have we heard that it’s still “mathematically possible” for Scotland to qualify for a tournament? And when has it *ever* happened?

  41. Dr Jim

    We should all know better, is it fight among ourselves or WIN

    Pick Wan

  42. tamson

    Stu, one factor missing in the above analysis, which I don’t think can be totally discounted, is UKIP. They barely featured in the 2011 election and didn’t contest the lists at all. With the EU referendum now looking a possible for the summer, they’re unlikely to avoid the free publicity of a Scottish parliament election campaign.

    They won’t win any seats, but they may well (hopefully) damage the Tory vote in some regions. Might be a factor in Glasgow, Lothian and the South (the only region where UKIP have any remote chance, IMO).

  43. Kirsty

    Yeah, seeing supposedly pro-indy parties/members taking a massive huff and joining the unionist parties in belittling the SNP and other independence supporters and generally doing their best to cause friction where there shouldn’t be any has been really depressing. Although I’m old enough to know that there will have been more than a little help from the “security” forces with this. It’s too useful to the unionists/establishment to be accidental. Let’s not fall for it and remember what it is we’re trying to gain here.

    Holding government to account is one thing, and we should all be doing that; calling other supporters of independence names (this goes for anyone; SNP/RISE/Greens/SSP/SLP/non-aligned, anyone), creating division, belittling sites that are pro-indy and give a lot of information to people, whining about how you’re not more popular than you think you should be, etc. is Labour/Tory/Lib Dem/MSM/British Establishment’s job. Please don’t do their job for them – it’s not like they need the help. You won’t make anyone vote for you/agree with you and you may just harm the very thing you claim to be supporting. Eyes on the prize, people, eyes on the prize! 🙂

  44. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “Stu, one factor missing in the above analysis, which I don’t think can be totally discounted, is UKIP.”

    I did think about them, but I really couldn’t see anywhere they might make a meaningful difference.

  45. Des

    Was speaking to a leading Indy Councillor on Highland Council today, he’s no stranger to politics and pays attention but hadn’t heard a word about RISE, he knows who Jean Urquhart is though. They’ll be lucky to get Natural Law Party level of votes. Greens however, they might get two on the list here if they get a bit of momentum. Islay O’Reilly No2 on list had a good General Election. This is my problem, will wait and see how it is going as we arrive at the day, I might just go SGP on the list if it is looking rosy for SNP on constituencies.

  46. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “Although I’m old enough to know that there will have been more than a little help from the “security” forces with this.”

    I do wish people wouldn’t say stuff like this. Whether it’s true or not all it does is make it easy for people to say you’re a zoomer. You might as well say we’re all being brainwashed with chemtrails.

  47. heedtracker

    RISE or Solidarity/Hope Over Fear,

    Both are starting from bases of hundreds of votes,

    Yet our chums in all UK media have feighted them like major playing big hitters in Holyrood, in the democracy of their Scotland region they openly detest. Funny that.

  48. call me dave

    Wee history extract leaving the religious thing to the the side:

    Swarkestone Bridge near Derby was the farthest point South reached by Bonnie Prince Charlie’s troops, for against what the prince believed was his better judgement it was decided by the council, led by his commander Lord George Murray, that in the face of advancing government troops, they should retreat.

    Charles’ own words tell of his disappointment and disillusionment:

    “In future, I shall summon no councils since I am accountable to nobody for my actions but to God, and my father, therefore I shall no longer ask or accept advice.”?

    Little did he know that just 126 miles away in London, the King had packed his belongings and was making hasty preparations to leave the country and take ship for Holland because he feared a resounding defeat!

    Such are the vagaries of history and the affairs of men.

    Don’t split the vote by arguing amongst ourselves SNP x 2 or Independence is very much at risk.

  49. Kirsty


    I really don’t care if that’s how you think I seem. The security forces will be keeping an eye on all things indy. They infiltrated environmental groups to the point of getting women pregnant not that long ago, if you remember so I think it’d be naive to think that they weren’t active online in this case.

    Anyway, that wasn’t my point; my point is that we need to remeber what it is we’re trying to achieve and not fall into silly, unwarranted divisions that will only cause harm and be doing the unionists’ job for them when we’re at this most crucial stage. I don’t think that’s too far out or zoomerish a view.

  50. colin mccartney

    Is that how much mini-unionists cost in Glasgow? any 3 for 85p? Thank god Lord Janner is dead.

  51. schrodingers cat

    chemtrails.? you mean the alien lizardoid space ship vapour trails?

  52. call me dave

    Jerry and the Deputy Dug in Glasgow trying to save the Union in Scotland where 2/3 of it’s members voted for the SNP.

    Sturgeon gets her go at them tomorrow and I hope she has a good day.


  53. Wullie

    The land belongs to all of us. Andy whightman will hand the land over to people who happen to live nearby. To hell with that notion.
    SNP X 2

  54. schrodingers cat

    because really, how much lower can the Tories go?

    I heard a jack Russell

    stu, fancy doing an article on tactical voting in 2017 council elections. snigger

  55. Ian Brotherhood

    Colin Turbett is a long standing SSP member, and is currently a member of the party’s Executive Committee.

    I wrote to him earlier today and asked for his thoughts on what’s happening.

    Here are the pertinent passages of his reply, which he has just given me permission to copy:

    ‘We went into RISE because of short term opportunities it might give us and there is evidence this is working for us – some media attention and support beyond our fairly thin ranks. No decision will be made by us about continuing RISE (sic) until after May election. For all those who are critical of our democratically arrived at decision to be part of RISE until May, there are just as many and maybe even more who support it and have come towards us because of it. I don’t know much about Wings but the tactic is certainly supported within Bella Caledonia.

    The argument coming from within SNP and being deliberately fostered that we (and Greens) are splitting the independent movement is an old one. It’s just as daft as the jibes we used to get from Labour that we were splitting the anti Tory vote. The fact is that the SNP have made no commitment to an INDYREF2 and are VERY unlikely to in the Holyrood manifesto despite Nicola’s hint that they might. I would put money on this. Our pledge is that we will organise an INDYREF within the life of the next parliament if polls show we will win it. We are quite unequivocal on that – unlike the SNP. In the meantime there is evidence on land reform and fracking (to name but 2 issues) that suggest working class needs a left and socialist opposition to SNP in Holyrood – Labour past being able to do this of course. We need that now – not after some maybe in the distant future INDYREF2! Socialists have always operated on principles like this which is partly what makes us different from the Greens.’

  56. schrodingers cat

    The land belongs to all of us. Andy whightman will hand the land over to people who happen to live nearby. To hell with that notion. SNP X 2

    um….so you didnt get to the point about the introduction of lvt, a land register etc?

  57. cearc

    To me an important factor is to imagine the orgy of gloating that we would be bombarded with if the SNP ended up with even 1 less seat. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

    I think that the time for new parties is after Independence. Had we won, I would be seriously looking to see who was promoting policies that I like but we didn’t. We could certainly do with being a bit less softly, softly but now is not the time, especially as we do not have the powers to make all the decisions.

    A party that most people have never heard of is unlikely to make much impact unless the beeb start promoting them. Whereas the SSP may well have been able to take some forever labour voters who would never vote for the SNP.

    Here, in Highland, I think (and it is only a personal feeling) that Jean Urquhart would have been more likely to keep her seat as an independent than standing as RISE.

  58. Muscleguy

    So Rev, no actual attempt to calculate what might happen based on current polling then. Just your gut instinct based on living in? Bath.

    Sorry but as a scientist colour me highly unimpressed by your ‘analysis’. Taking a look at the numbers raises the expectation in me that there might actually be meaningful numbers.

    The Greens are polling much higher than last time on the list and the unionists are much lower. So, using my gut instinct those two things together suggest to me that the Greens have a much better chance than last time. If you had actually plugged the numbers even assuming an unchanged turnout that might have been mildly interesting. That might even have constituted something approaching an ‘analysis’ but no, not even that.

    I would have a go but without regionally split polling it would not be illuminating, but it just might be. I suppose I should crunch the numbers myself, at least for NE Scotland where I am. And BTW we are not all right wing oil workers up here. That particular slur just shows how out of touch you are.

    Sorry to bring your place of residence up but if you are putting yourself forward as a gut feeling prognosticator then your personal experience becomes very relevant.

    Yours Muscleguy BSc, PhD.

  59. Taranaich

    I’m quite confident we have a good chance of replicating the General Election in the West of Scotland on the constituency vote. Inverclyde, North Ayrshire & Arran, West Dunbartonshire, Kilmarnock & Loudon and East Renfrewshire all got well over 50% of the vote, while the others roughly analogous to the West Scotland region all did pretty well.

    Then considering the four constituencies the SNP didn’t win were hardly thumping majorities for the Other Party (2,587/9.6% for Renfrewshire South, 2,012/6.3% for Eastwood, 1,639/5.7% for Dumbarton, and a measly 511/1.8% for Greenock & Inverclyde) and I think it’s doable – certainly far less of a mountain than the crazy gains necessary for 2015.

    Just a shame that we’ll probably end up returning Jackson Carlaw and Jackie Baillie on the list if not constituencies. Argh. Sorry, everyone.

  60. Iain

    I don’t know about anyone else but I’m not visiting bella Caledonia again as they have turned into a yoon site and I am no longer interested in their shite. We can get that shit from any of the bum , so why would I be interested in visiting a fake indy site.

  61. Thepnr

    I would be EXTREMELY surprised if their is no commitment to a second referendum at a point of their choosing in the SNP’s referendum.

    Surely they can’t be that confident of winning another election in 2020. They don’t need to announce a second referendum just have the mandate to do so. i think that this implies putting a clear statement to that effect in their manifesto.

    It would be negligent not to in my view. EU referendum anyone?

  62. schrodingers cat

    Our pledge is that we will organise an INDYREF within the life of the next parliament if polls show we will win it.

    which is what the snp will also have on its manifesto,
    a conditional commitment to an indyref2

    fracking, 20 constituency snp groups are bringing forward a notion for spring conference to ban fracking in Scotland

    it is the snp who are introducing the land reform bill

    not sure the little digs at the snp are really neccessary

    come may, rise’s manifesto may look an a lot like the snps

    what I really wanted to hear from rise is some answers to some of the questions that have been asked on wings. since policy and politics isn’t really an issue and it was the question of tactical voting people wanted answers to.

    eg will rise not stand in the south of Scotland constituency and regional list? Stu’s article shows quite clearly that this region is the weakest for indy support in Scotland, if tactical voting takes place then we cant really afford to do anything else than vote snp1&2 in this region??

  63. Macart

    I think the tories can go lower…

    … oh, you mean electorally.

    DOH! 😮

  64. Thepnr

    OK shoot me please. SNPs manifesto not referendum I have referendum on the brain 🙂 Gimme gimme one more time!

  65. schrodingers cat

    the pnr
    They don’t need to announce a second referendum just have the mandate to do so. i think that this implies putting a clear statement to that effect in their manifesto.
    It would be negligent not to in my view. EU referendum anyone?

    spot on, I wouldnt want to commit out right to indyref2 until I see the result of the eu ref

  66. schrodingers cat

    BTW we are not all right wing oil workers up here

    you mean Ex oil workers…..

  67. Frank Wright

    Perhaps we (Wings) could crowd-fund moeny to do an opinion poll in each of the eight regions?

    We could than have some excellent data to let people make an informed choice.

  68. schrodingers cat


    except many snp voters would monster raving loony if they thought it would keep out the unionists

    it really isn’t about policy, it is about keeping the indy dream alive

  69. heedtracker

    And BTW we are not all right wing oil workers up here. That particular slur just shows how out of touch you are.

    There’s no WoS slur Muscleguy, RISE are totally pointless in the north east, the Greens here are very unionist, especially that dude Ford.

    So what’s really yanking your chain?

    Worked hard to lose the ref, not getting at least one MSP?

  70. Onwards

    I read the Bella article.
    I have some sympathy with the RISE folks because it is what the SNP went through for years. But the prospect of a wasted vote is the reality. It took the SNP 80 years to get to this point. RISE are at ZERO percent in the latest poll.

    I can understand they feel it is payback time for YES support during the referendum, but it just isn’t practical given their tiny support.
    Any independence supporters urged to vote tactically for RISE are not just wasting their list vote, they could be actively preventing an independence majority by denying the SNP vital and achievable list seats that could well be needed.

    I will always put independence first.
    SNP+SNP is the only logical choice with this voting system.
    It worked last time to get a referendum, and if we stick together it can work in May.

  71. Ian Brotherhood

    @Schrodingers cat –

    I did try.

    Colin’s reply isn’t an ‘official’ SSP statement, but I have huge respect for the man I don’t believe that he’d have replied to me at all unless he was presenting a fair reflection of the EC’s position. I asked for permission to use his comments, and that was given. I also double-checked whether or not he was happy to have the comments attributed to him, and that was also okayed.

    This is my original message to Colin:

    ‘I don’t know if you’ll have the time or inclination to deal with this, but I’d be very grateful for your thoughts, and any advice you may be able to offer.

    As you know, I’ve been staying away from branch meetings and streetwork since way last year. I felt I was going to start becoming very negative regarding RISE so I thought it best to take myself out of it.

    My own situation is neither here nor there, but you’ll also be aware that I’m very active on the social media side of things, particularly via Wings, which is now getting much better readership figures than most newspapers, and continues to grow apace.

    I’ll try to keep this brief, so please avoid the blunt language: we (and by ‘we’ I mean the SSP) are taking a total hiding over the coming election. It’s become well-nigh impossible to defend our position now that we’re ‘tied’ to RISE. Prior to the GE last year there were perhaps a dozen regular commenters on Wings who were known to be SSP members (indeed, I personally know of at least half a dozen who joined the SSP after establishing dialogue with existing members via the site and various Wings social events). It’s worth remembering that less than 1% of the Wings readership ever post comments, so the actual number of SSP members reading the blog must be in the hundreds, and, exponentially, the number of potential supporters/members may well run into thousands.

    Those ‘regular’ voices have all-but disappeared. Each and every time the question of tactical voting arises, the same argument erupts – you’ll be far more familiar with the stats than me, but the raw fact that Mundell saved his seat is the one which pulls the rug out from under us every time this comes up. It was as well for us that the Greens were blamed for his survival, but it could just as easily have been us – the reputational damage suffered by the Greens after that result persists, and has fostered a distrust of smaller ‘pro-indy’ parties to which we were previously immune. We had a great reputation, even amongst those who totally disagree with our policies – there was genuine respect for what we did in the run-up to the indyref. That’s now gone.

    I don’t know anyone who is a genuine RISE member (by that I mean ex-RIC people), so I don’t want to resort to generalisations or indulge in any conspiracy theories, but it’s telling that even Wings has NO regular commenters who are prepared to defend RISE, outline its policies and speak in any detail about the prospects in specific constituencies. The ambitious work which RIC did during indy-ref has also been overshadowed thanks to the rebranding, and we are being tainted by association. In short, it’s a mess.

    I’m not writing this in anger Colin. I really miss being involved, and wish I could do something to assure the many online readers who, right now, are being encouraged to view the SSP with the same suspicion and contempt being voiced about RISE. We don’t deserve to be viewed in that way, but the whole SNP 1&2 push is a very difficult one for us to counter.’

  72. JBS

    SNP 1 & 2 for me in May.

    The increasingly desperate puff-pieces for RISE over on Bella are…well, they’re risible.

    What’s happening to Bella Caledonia is a bit of a shame.

  73. cearc

    Ian Brotherhood,

    Thanks for publishing that, which I did not see until after I posted. It is pretty well what I thought their thinking would have been. I can’t agree with it though.

    Everybody knows of the SSP. There are a lot of voters out there who have voted for them before the ‘Sherry’ incidents. I rather assume that they would have been labour voters who went back to labour and there must be voters who would rather vote labour in the forlorn hope that they may return to more socialist policies than vote SNP who are more centrist.

    I am not at all convinced that RISE would attract those groups in the same way but hey, I know nuffin’.

  74. Christian Schmidt

    Interesting attempt to talk the Greens down. Especially neatly forgetting that the Greens too have a sitting MSP in the Highlands. And the attempts of talking up Labour and Tories was actually quite comical. The swipe at Scotland Votes somewhat funny, too – don’t you think they also do a (more thorough) number crunching by region?

    And cross-check their results, because if the Greens get 7% instead of 4.5% somewhere they will need to increase their vote by well over half. Sure, it could all be in the wrong places. More likely it will be similar to 2003, the last time they had just under 7%

  75. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “So Rev, no actual attempt to calculate what might happen based on current polling then. Just your gut instinct based on living in? Bath.”

    Sigh. If I had 10p for everyone who didn’t understand how opinion polling works I’d have a team of highly-paid staff replying to this shite instead of being sat here on a Saturday night doing it myself.

    The Greens thought they were getting 7-9 seats in 2011 too based on the polls. How did that pan out again?

    Greens at 7% a few days before the 2011 election:

    (Belter of a headline, in fairness.)

    And again a week earlier, with a prediction of 7 seats:

  76. cearc


    My 18.47 is in response to your 8.03.

  77. Breastplate

    There is a psychological aspect to this election coming up that Clootie and others mentioned already.
    Sending a clear message to Westminster that their days here in Scotland are numbered.
    This means increasing the SNP vote in region and list, not decreasing it.
    Just my tuppence worth.

  78. ScottieDog

    Being a bear of little analytical brain I just have to go with my gut which is SNP/SNP.

    I would however like to see SNP more openly in support of Mr Corbyn. We are fighting on two fronts after all and I think some of his policies will resonate with many folk up here.
    We need allies in Westminster and also to be seen as being constructive in changing the UK – which to my disappointment, we are still part of.

    The success of YES ( and in my book it was a success) was down to positivity and I want the SNP to continue that. Let’s rise above WM politics and sweep up a few labour votes North of the border.

  79. Thepnr

    You do the best you can. That’s all any of us can do or expect from others. We are making inroads, slowly. I can put up with that.

    Slowly is better than nothing, I may be dead before Independence is won but as long as it is won that will do for me. Contrary to how the Mail would describe us I don’t believe I am a lunatic, a member of a cult or a despicable cybernat.

    I’m just me, someone that believes that Westminster corruption has poisoned politics in the Uk. Someone that believes the Scottish electorate should get the government they vote for.

    Despite losing the referendum the Independence movement has come so far, it will not stop now. There will be at least one more vote, we can’t risk losing that so I am in no hurry. A bird in the hand and all that. Independence supporters must stick together at least to be seen to stick together here on Wings.

    That’s a start and sets an example.

  80. scotsbob

    Labour activists posing as Green supporters on the Internet to try to split the SNP vote. Am I being too cynical??

    I will play safe, for me it’s SNP/SNP

  81. yesindyref2

    Well, based on the TNS poll with no figures available for RISE, and using uniform Swing, and to make it easy having the SNP getting all constituency seats, I have Greens on 9 list seats. Glasgow 2, Lothian 2, H&I 1, Mid Scot 1, NE Scot 1, South Scot 1, West Scot 1.

    SNP total 7 list, Lab 25, Con 13, Lib 1, Green 9, Other 1 which is Margo’s seat and no idea what to do with it.

    As I saod before I can make the spreadsheet available if any interest, but I’d have to clean it up and add instructions first.

  82. Ian Brotherhood

    @cearc –


    Noted, with pleasure.

    @Thepnr –

    ‘I’m just me’

    🙂 Hey, man, is that the profound statement you promised us last night? It’ll do for me anyway…

  83. One_Scot

    ‘Yours Muscleguy BSc, PhD’

    Apologise up front, but when I see people listing their qualifications on their post I always think they are trying to add some sort of false weight to their comment or compensate for something.

    I am sure that many people on here could add their qualifications, but don’t feel the need. With the greatest of respect I don’t think it does anyone any favours.

  84. Kirsty

    Thepnr@ 9:04

    Yep, that’s exactly it.

  85. call me dave

    Some light relief before bedtime.

    Dugdale economics finally explained.

    SNP x 2

  86. Brian Doonthetoon

    I’m slightly paraphrasing my own input on previous pages here but here goes…

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

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

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

    I prefer to use the terms “Constituency Vote” and “Regional Vote”. That’s what they are.
    The various “lists” are put together by individual parties, to rank their candidates for the regional vote.
    So, vote SNP for your constituency and SNP for your region.

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

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

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

    What are the non-Labour and non-SNP voters gonna do? Are Tories gonna vote for Labour to keep the SNP out, or vote SNP to keep Labour out? Are Greens gonna vote for the SNP to keep Labour out? What about the Lib-Dem votes? Remember how Murray got in with blue tory votes…

    The permutations could do your head in…

    I’ve said it umpteen times.
    Next year, if you are a member of the SNP, or an SNP supporter, you vote SNP/SNP, whatever.
    However, if your primary allegiance is to another pro-indy party, it’s up in the air. If YOUR party is standing in the constituency and you think it has a chance of winning, you vote for it.

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

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

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

  87. peter

    Forget all this tactical voting nonsense because thats all it is,someone is attempting to plant seeds of doubt here, its subterfuge nothing more nothing less.

  88. Macart


    “I may be dead before Independence is won”

    Mmmmm Naw ah’m no havin’ that.

    Two reasons. 1. We’ve yet to share a dram and 2. Its going to take our best players to be fit and on the pitch to win the game.

  89. Iain

    Why can’t everyone vote SNP,SNP in May and freeze out the unionists. We can go our separate ways once we are independent. It’s so important that we don’t split as such an important moment in Scotland’s history is looming. To split would be playing into the empires hands, we deserve better than wastemonger. Think of the big picture. Scotland needs patriots not political martyrs.

  90. Wulls

    Doug Daniel says:
    16 January, 2016 at 7:24 pm
    There’s another factor in the North East, which is that second in the Greens list is Martin Ford, who is not in favour of independence.

    Oh please…….if there is a god please keep that absolute arsehole out of Hollyrood.
    Seldom have I had the pleasure of meeting a politician so divorced from the opinion of the electorate who put him on the council.
    Even they had the sense to remove him from chairing the planning committee.
    If he’s not good enough to be given responsibility on a council what the fuck makes the greens think he is MSP material ???????
    Absolutely astonishing.

  91. Clootie

    I haver never used my academic qualifications in a debate unrelated to the topic subject – nor should you. You continue to tell us how intelligent you are. I suggest to confuse education and intellect is a major error.

    Many of the most intelligent and visionary people on this planet have/had very little formal education.

    I try to respect the opinion of all who post here but your arrogance regarding “your intellect” is making that very difficult.
    E.g. Jimmy Reid had more vision and wisdom than a roomful of “”academics”
    The ability to retain information and regurgitate it a few months later is not a sign of wisdom.

  92. yesindyref2

    If you google “holyrood scottish elections 2011” and take the BBC link it has full results for the regions, with links on the left hand side of regions summary page for all 8 regions. You can get the party results there, and just take say the 2011 party % multiplied by opinion poll overall list percentage divided by 2011 overall list percentage, to give the uniform swing percentage for that region, per party.

    It’s rough but gives a guide.

    Yes, the Rev is right, an opinion poll is just that, it’s the election that counts, but at least any of this figuring and calculating can be done on a mathematical basis. Seat of the pants don’t do it in terms of arguments.

  93. Iain

    If we are united we will win. It’s as simple as that vote SNP,SNP in May and we will win. Independence will follow England is a nation of realists and will recognize that we are not going to subsidize them in perpetuity. They have recognized over half the world leaving their empire. So what is so different about Scotland, we were in their empire and we leave.

  94. cearc


    I wasn’t very impressed with his, ‘… democratically arrived at decision to be part of RISE until May,’.

    So what happens after May? If they campaign as RISE and win seats they will then decide to stay with it or stand alone as SSP again? It sounds a tad dishonest does it not?

    I am afraid that they have damaged themselves with this which is a shame. I would not describe myself as a socialist but I think it is important for there to be a real socialist voice. Integrity is more important than short term electoral gain.

  95. Ian Brotherhood

    Few years ago I happened to be in the company of two ‘professors’. Very charming men, one English, t’other was Swiss. Three other people, including me, were present, all holding glasses of wine like life-belts.

    The ‘English’ professor (a man of short stature) regaled us with a fascinating anecdote regarding his early career, when HE was in the company of professors, one of whom happened to be very tall. It was all delivered perfectly, with many Corbettesque asides, as one would expect of a ‘professor’ who has had decades to polish a favourite tale…the punchline, when it finally arrived, was in Latin (or it may have been Greek?)

    Oh, how the two professors did laugh… 🙂 😉 😉

    (Does anyone know what the Latin is for ‘No-one Likes A Smart-Arse’? It could make a good motto for a private college or suchlike…)

  96. Ian Brotherhood

    @cearc (9.50) –


    I hear you.

    I just hope that people with more clout than me also hear you, then do something about it.

  97. Iain

    We have to win in May. Any thing else is a distraction. The bottom line is we must win. Vote Snp,Snp. End of.

  98. Dave McEwan Hill

    Brian Doonthetoon at 9.27

    I think the campaign should concentrate on getting majority of the vote on both FPTP and the list and your suggested description of the votes (“constituency vote” and “regional vote”) would help in that.

  99. Valerie

    What makes me a bit sick about all this bickering and whining from alleged Indy supporters, is the lack of thought or strategy applied.

    If they are as against the Tories, and their actions, disgusted at Cameron’s lack of respect for Scotland, the removal of monies etc., they ain’t seen nothing yet if the SNP are not in full control.

    Seriously, if SNP are not in charge, I think a lot of people will leave the country, before it looks like a post apocalyptic landscape.

    More Trident subs, the Chinese will be sent in to erect a new nuclear plant, Barnett?? Aye, we used to have that.

    I will have nightmares tonight 🙁 like a scene from The Road.

  100. galamcennalath

    The Unionist battle plan seems clear. The objective is to deny the SNP a majority and kill Indy stone dead.

    The tactics are to to try to hold on to some continuencies by smearing individuals associated with the areas. Also, to split the Indy list vote to get as many Unionist seats as possible and prevent the SNP gains.

    I suspect some people whose motives are genuine are being used in ways they don’t seem to appreciate.

  101. Thepnr

    @Ian Brotherhood

    I was in the company of a very similar chap during the Arms-to-Iraq trial in 1992.

    I was with 3 other guys all Scottish in a London hotel and this guy with sideburns bigger than Noddy Holders took us for a meal. Trying to sell us something of course, he was.

    Anyway after a few glasses he boasted “if I could do it all again I would come back as an arms dealer! They money they make is just, well, fantastic”

    Having had 1 or 2 by then myself I turned, looked him in the eye and said “why not come back as a drug dealer? You’ll make just as much money and kill just as many people?”

    Boss wasn’t that happy:(

    Ah well, that was the end of that meal that evening LOLOLOL. FRO.

  102. Scunterbunnet

    Crivvens, Stu! Whit a set of photies!

    Thanks for the analysis. Just keep doing Wings, and don’t join the tourist board…please 🙂

  103. Glesca Keelie

    Ian Brotherhood, could I ask. What do you think Colin Turbett is meaning with this section of his letter to you

    (The fact is that the SNP have made no commitment to an INDYREF2 and are VERY unlikely to in the Holyrood manifesto despite Nicola’s hint that they might. I would put money on this. Our pledge is that we will organise an INDYREF within the life of the next parliament if polls show we will win it. We are quite unequivocal on that – unlike the SNP. In the meantime there is evidence on land reform and fracking (to name but 2 issues) that suggest working class needs a left and socialist opposition to SNP in Holyrood – Labour past being able to do this of course. We need that now – not after some maybe in the distant future INDYREF2! Socialists have always operated on principles like this which is partly what makes us different from the Greens.’)

    Does he think Rise will have a majority at Holyrood, or hold a balance of power somehow, and that they, alone, will organise a Ref 2.

  104. Bob Mack

    I had voted Labour all of my adult life. Just a few years ago I finally considered that Scotland could govern itself quite successfully,and so switched my vote to the Party I felt could achieve that aim, which was the SNP.

    There were no other Parties which offered that as an alternative. Pre and post referendum ,I became aware of the SSP and others who purported to support that same aim.

    I have no idea how they would govern,or indeed what their policy base might be. There is no need for me to know. The Party I have chosen to vote for is doing quite nicely in my humble opinion.Why should I consider anything else?.

    To me ,this is an unashamed attempt to acquire power whilst hanging on to the coat tails of the Party everyone knows for certain will move us towards independence. They are almost demanding that supporters of the SNP and independence give them their Regional vote, as if somehow their contribution entitles them .

    It does not.A democracy can be a cruel mistress as we have found out over the past few years.Nothing or no-one on this planet will now deter me from my aim of liberating my country.I like countless others work hard to achieve that aim without thanks, recognition or reward, and have no sense of entitlement.

    Politicians can have inflated egos,and in this case it shows.

  105. Fred

    Our academic chum spat oot the dummy and tells us he would spoil his ballot-paper rather than vote for a party whose health minister voted against Margo’s bill. That was a free vote where folk exercised their conscience as they’re fully entitled to. Mebbes the lassie’s a Christian/Catholic and has reservations on this, is he telling us he couldn’t vote for a Catholic?

    Defenestration of teddy bear to follow!

  106. Thepnr

    Look guys and gals who support Independence and the SNP. Just get on with it, give it an SNP 1 & 2. You are right!

    Ignore the moaning from the sidelines, it’s your vote so use it to elect as many as possible of your party.

    Just wish there was such a thing as an Independence alliance, for my second vote, there isn’t so I’ll use my own judgement on the day to decide what to do with my regional vote.

    My constituency vote will be going to SNP, no qualms.

  107. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “Interesting attempt to talk the Greens down. Especially neatly forgetting that the Greens too have a sitting MSP in the Highlands.”

    No they don’t. I assume you mean John Finnie, who is still officially listed as an independent on both his own website and the Scottish Parliament one, although he’ll be standing for the Greens in May.

  108. Dr Jim

    Do we enjoy reading the crap the Yoons constantly come out with
    Their sneering put downs and racist remarks
    Every time you read any article they’re there sniding away with their vile comments about how useless Scotland is and it’s people, and the thing is it’s not just us Natz as they like to label us, it’s all of us Black, White, Pakistani whatever, anything to do with Scotland must be derided to the lowest

    In a different time I’d be cutting their damn heads off wholesale, but we’re not allowed to do that anymore so what have we got to shove up their Arses

    We’ve got a vote, so lets stick our vote right up every Yoon Bastirts Arse so far their eyes will bulge and get ourselves Tae Fukc Away Fae these Imperialist head cases and leave them tae sink intae the sea

    I’m a tad miffed at Yoons and do not care for them, this side, or the other side of the border

    #My country my business

  109. Ian Brotherhood

    @Glesca Keelie (10.45) –

    I wish I could help you on that one.

    I can’t.

  110. Iain

    I used to believe all the crap the bbc used to produce about the Falklands, Iraq ,Afghanistan and then they lied about the referendum. I then realized that all they say is a croc of shit and automatically disbelieve. The bbc and all the bum are liars. Don’t trust them about anything, they lie.

  111. Gary45%

    I remember back in the day when a vote for the SNP was regarded as a wasted vote, I still voted for them.
    It has taken them many years to get where they are, they have proved to be an honest, reliable party of government.
    There is no other option in Scotland than to vote SNPx2 in May.
    Someone mentioned earlier about the RISE crowd funder.
    Don’t be surprised if funding comes in from ALL the unionist parties, if they think they can get votes from the SNP, even Dave the pig Fu**er will fund them.
    As far as Bella goes, I have not read the comments on the site, but it seems to be in Scotland’s genetic makeup, that is, when we have a real chance at scoring the winning goal, we Fuck it up with squabbling and in fighting much to the amusement of the imperial masters.
    Imagine for a milli second Dugdale representing Scotland.
    That says it all.

  112. schrodingers cat

    Ian Brotherhood
    @Schrodingers cat
    I did try.

    thanks for your efforts this subject generates more heat than light

    and yes, your critisim was valid, I am a troll, self confessed, even the yes supporting bloggers on the guardian and telegraph used to accuse me of such.

    (Does anyone know what the Latin is for ‘No-one Likes A Smart-Arse’?) aye, ah do

    romanus eunt domus 🙂

  113. Inverclyder

    I’ll be doing the tactical voting here in Inverclyde.

    SNP for both votes.

    Remember how the SSP or whatever they called themselves imploded after the infighting and back stabbing. Isn’t it the same people involved in RISE? Wait and see how long it takes for them to implode again as any sort of political power seems to go to their heads and they can’t handle it.

    The sensible option is always going to be SNP x2.

  114. Dave McEwan Hill

    All of us in politics make choices. Mine was simple. I decided that if we wanted to be a better country we had to be in control of it. Anything we wanted to do could be done if we were independent. What we wanted to do could not be guaranteed to be achieved it we weren’t in control. Therefore we had to be independent.

    If you joined or supported the SNP for that reason you could walk with others who did not share all the same ambitions for Scotland as you did as long as you all agreed that Independence was critical and necessary.
    When we got there we could disagree.

    As the SNP success grew others with very particular visions saw independence becoming possible and recognised the potential and they joined the SNP. There are many in the wider political family in Scotland I wish had done the same but I respect their positions on many things and I appreciate their support when they give it. The door is open.

    I also understand that many have a vision of Scotland and the world that does not in their eyes include independence as a necessity. They are entitled to hold that position and I respect it. Many Greens openly do not support independence. Some of the other members of fringe parties do not either. If they openly and honestly hold that position I have no problem with it.

    My concern is the cuckoos in the nest -those who have adopted support for independence as a convenience to their own political progress. I suspect those “Indy” supporters who are seeking electoral support by attacking the SNP are mostly in that camp.

    The election in May offers our unionist enemies huge opportunity to create argument and division on the independence front. I will judge many people who have hitherto had my support very harshly indeed if they allow the unionists to enjoy this opportunity. Let RISE and other fringe parties seek election honestly on the basis of their policies and we can join again on the best of terms after May on the journey to independence.

  115. Valerie

    As someone over on Bella commented – they are a bag of egos just waiting to burst.

    Hurry up already.

  116. Flower of Scotland

    Have voted SNP all my life to get Independence for Scotland.

    When I first joined there was lots of squabbling because there were socialists and conservatives (with a small c) all in the same party. However we all came together because Independence was the goal. It’s not been easy, at times, for the hierarchy of the SNP to keep the party together. Remember the 79 group?

    Scottish Independence is the prize, so until we get there it has to be SNP X 2.

    Then we can vote for any other party

  117. Grouse Beater

    Gary: “I remember when a vote for the SNP was regarded as a wasted vote.”

    That’s a very good point!

    It’s true. It was drilled into us by Labour and media pundits, an SNP vote was wasted.

    The idea they should finally be given a chance to fight for our interests and then we ditch them with tactical voting is plain idiocy, if not malicious advice.

  118. ronnie anderson

    There are many on WoS who will remember the debates on Devolution the the Voting system we were lumbered with ( that no one party can have a overall majority ) designed to keep the SNP from having that majority, its worked well up to now.

    We’ve shown that we can gain a majority, we need to get back the Yes alliance & lose the ego,s.

    Independence 1st & foremost, then the smaller Indy party’s have a chance of gaining some ground, but that will never happen with Labour/Tories/LibDems still in the political framework in Scotland.

    Snp 1 & 2.

  119. schrodingers cat

    the Greens here are very unionist, especially that dude Ford.

    I find that strange heed
    the greens here in nef, pounded the same pavements as me, were some of the most commited yes campaigners we had in the yesnef

    oddley enough, the green membership tripled after the ref, I don’t think these new members came from the better together campaign.

    I don’t disbelieve you or others who tell stories of unionist green candidates, I have experience of some of them myself

    but ask yourself, if it was andy Wightman or Patrick who was asking questions at fmqs and not kezia, would it be the same snpbad mince we are used to? were it tommy Sheridan and not wullie rennie asking questions, wouldn’t that be better?

    I have mentioned many times on this thread,

    fuck solidarity, fuck the greens, fuck the ssp and fuck the snp.

    my war is with the unionist, im still campaigning for a yes vote

    even the monster raving lunatics are a better option that the unionists

    if you believe that having prof Tomkins in holyrood is better than having colin fox… are a moron

    if you believe that having ruth davidson in holyrood is better than having andy wightman… are a cretin

    and if you believe that having jacky baillie in holyrood is better than having tommy sheridan … are on the wrong blog site and you must have been asleep for the last 3 years

    wake up and smell the coffee

  120. James D

    “But if a “wasted” vote is one that doesn’t result in an MSP being returned, there isn’t much doubt about which side of the debate currently occupying a small but noisy section of the independence movement is correct.”

    Is it just me … or is that last sentence, of this excellent article, “grammatical” mince – seriously I don’t understand what you mean.

    What’s the number of the Grammer Police? Thur’s been a murrdurr!

  121. schrodingers cat

    designed to keep the SNP from having that majority,

    wrong, it is designed so that nobody can have a majority

    then again, a coalition of unionists can keep the snp out

    the council system is designed in the same way and is doing that very effectively in many councils at the moment

    the snp must bring forward a motion to include a review of council election voting systems in the manifesto for may2016, we need a mandate for this folks, once may has come and gone, people will start to focus on the 2017 council elections. only then will people realise that the holyrood tactical voting issue is a distraction. the councils are the last line of defence of the unionists and they have the power to veto indyref2. without total control of all 32 councils, there can be no indyref2

    wake up at the back there folks, this is a far bigger issue that the holyrood election

  122. Rock


    “The increasingly desperate puff-pieces for RISE over on Bella are…well, they’re risible.

    What’s happening to Bella Caledonia is a bit of a shame.”

    Wait for the same to start on The National soon.

    In fact if any National supporter has noticed, it has subtly been going on for a while.

    Bella Caledonia supports independence does it?

    The National supports independence does it?

    The vast majority of lawyers, especially judges, are the lowest of the low.

  123. Dave McEwan Hill

    FFS Rock give it a rest.
    I’m away to bed to read Mhairi Black and Gordon McIntyre-Kemp in today’s National (not to mention four good pages of very varied readers’ letters)

  124. Onwards

    @Brian Doonthetoon

    “As I understand it, it’s virtually impossible to vote tactically in the regional vote. Nobody will know the results of the constituency vote, when placing their second vote..

    This is what it comes down to.
    The SNP are leading the polls right now, but a LOT can change in a few months, even in a few days. If our focus is taken up arguing amongst ourselves then it could all be lost.

    Only 2 months before the 2011 Holyrood elections, Labour were ahead in the polls, but a strong showing by Alex Salmond during the campaign helped to turn it around, and then Iain Gray hiding in the subway shop turned Labour into a laughing stock.
    I hope Nicola is prepared for similar situations.

    And as you say, who knows what will happen with tactical voting and Labour and Tories uniting again.

    Any constituencies lost, will need to be made up by the SNP on the regional vote.

    The easiest way to see it is that SNP+SNP worked last time. It’s a crucial time in Scotland’s history to take risks with losing a majority, in a gamble to get a couple more indy MSPs.

    Another SNP majority this year, and winning a few big councils in 2017 could provide a better platform for another independence vote in a few years time if the opportunity arises.

    It’s encouraging that independence support is still roughly 50-50 despite the current oil price slide. Shows that the wider argument is strong.

  125. Rock

    Dave McEwan Hill,

    “I’m away to bed to read Mhairi Black and Gordon McIntyre-Kemp in today’s National (not to mention four good pages of very varied readers’ letters)”

    Let me know when you read a headline news article in The National written by the Rev. Stuart Campbell.

    Every single article he posts here would make an excellent headline news article in an ‘independence supporting’ paper.

    Could you perhaps ask The National why it has decided not to invite the Rev. Stuart Campbell to write articles for it?

  126. woosie

    Not being famous for over-thinking stuff, I don’t get why indy-minded people would want to start fighting over careers at this crucial stage. Shades of “Life of Brian”s piece about the Judean Peoples Front calling the Peoples Front of Judea wankers.

    SNP exist for one reason, to achieve independence. More of a movement than a political party. I tend to look beyond the latest torylab sniping about education, NHS, etc, and concentrate on the main goal. Once that’s won, we can vote for specific Scottish parties.

    I’ve always voted SNP – now I can do it twice!


  127. Rock

    What would help the independence cause more?

    60% overall vote for the SNP and an SNP majority of 1.


    50% overall vote for the SNP and a minority SNP government needing support from Patrick Harvie and his Green MSPs?

    SNP+SNP in my view.

  128. Grouse Beater

    The editor of the Sunday Herald, Neil Mackay, left-wing to his toe nails, has just chided me for daring to suggest his newspaper might be more neo-liberal than liberal, and not at all a hundred per cent certain independence regained is the right thing ideal.

    Mackay doesn’t equate left-wing agenda’s with neo-liberalism.

    To prove the newspaper’s credentials he cited his book on the Iraq war, which wasn’t what we were talking about at all. He was not the subject. His newspaper’s political ambivalence was the subject.

    The previous editor of the SH, some will recall, stated his paper was supporting independence although many Herald staff did not. They were against the move.

    When I tried to point out that you don’t need to be a professor of linguistics to see the paper has a long way to go to give readers full confidence in its integrity he decided the ‘debate’ – a misnomer in itself – was over.

    Lesson: A newspaper editor’s indignation trumps a reader’s questioning every time. (For reader substitute the derogatory ‘cybernat’.)

    Today’s front page has a ‘news’ story of Tories planning to recruit ‘cannon fodder’ in Scotland’s poorest areas, as if somehow this is a new development. Good the SH points it up, but deary me, that’s been Labour’s recruitment for generations.

  129. geeo

    I want everything.

    I want every constituency seat and as much over 50% of the votes cast as possible.

    I want as many list seats as is possible and a vote share as much over 50% as possible for the SNP.

    To have vote share majorities as well as seat majorities in both WM and Holyrood makes a huge statement, The majority of Scotland rejects unionist politics and unionist policies.

  130. Vronsky

    I was in the SNP a million years ago when electoral success was a ridiculous idea. I can remember a meeting where we were told that we should aim for 20% support, and everyone in the room fell about laughing. No way could we do that. But not so long afterwards it was John Swinney, out in the Golden Lion in Stirling saying we had to try for 30%. We all fell fell about laughing at that as well. Utterly impossible. And yet see where we are now.

    I won’t be voting SNP at all, constituency or list. It will be socialist or Green, just on principle, with no expectation of winning. Just as I once was with the SNP.

  131. Grouse Beater

    Geeo: “I want as many list seats as is possible and a vote share as much over 50% as possible for the SNP”

    So long as the SNP’s core policy remains autonomy so long will I second your sentiment. Abandon it, or stifle it, and it’s time to let Scotland to find its own way. I’ve seen too many good people fight the cause, struggle on, and die unfulfilled and disappointed. Life is too short to cut it short.

  132. geeo

    Also to add..

    Will unionist voters be that motivated to ACTUALLY vote in May ?

    They expect a beasting, so many may not turn out as it is seen as pointless, they are not going to win.

    We need to get as many supporters to vote as possible to ram the message home in May.

    I am busy telling everyone i can to make sure they use their SNP x 2 vote and not be complacent thinking its a done deal already.

    To quote the celtic fan on only an excuse…”the only team that can beat celtic, is celtic….well ahv checked the fixture list, and we dinnae play them this season” !

  133. Grouse Beater

    Vronsky: “I won’t be voting SNP at all, constituency or list. It will be socialist or Green, just on principle, with no expectation of winning. Just as I once was with the SNP.”

    How much do those hair shirts cost?

  134. crazycat

    @ cearc at 9.50

    So what happens after May? If they campaign as RISE and win seats they will then decide to stay with it or stand alone as SSP again?

    I was at an event addressed by Colin Fox a couple of weeks ago and he explicitly stated what you have suggested – though it wouldn’t be up to him alone; that was just his expectation.

    He also answered Glesca Keelie’s question at 10.45 (since Ian Brotherhood has said he doesn’t know, I assume he will forgive me, a non-member of the SSP, for replying!).

    I pointed out that since they are not contesting constituencies, the absolute maximum number of MSPs they could get is 56 (he is predicting 8), so how would they guarantee a referendum? His response was that even 1 RISE MSP could introduce a Bill in the Parliament. The SNP would be expected to support this, but could not introduce one themselves if there is no manifesto commitment.

    I wasn’t convinced.

  135. Grouse Beater

    By sheer accident, via Neil Mackay’s twitter, I’ve come across a hate site attacking Wings and Stuart in the most hideous terms, including reams of seriously scrambled bile. Yuck!

    You’d think there exists some law banning hate sites.

  136. Petra

    Rock I see that you’re STILL bleating on about The National. How wearisome is that for us all on here? Your latest comments more than just wearisome are now clearly attempting to upset Stu and in turn, in support of him, irate us. Please take note that it will take more than your extremely transparent, manipulative ‘chirrups’ to influence us in any way at all Rock. It’s just not working.

    IMO if The National actually decided to publish Stu’s articles you would go into status epilepticus. In other words that’s the LAST thing that you would want to happen.

    Trying to stir things up on here? Trying to dissuade us all, CONSTANTLY, from buying The National? Why? Are you working for another newspaper? Getting paid Commission? Hoping to halt its decline? Are you actually Torcuil (Westminster’s Creep …. ing Man?) hiding behind a pseudonym? Whatever the case your constant castigation of The National is now, conversely, actually promoting their sales.

    Additionally I and thousands of others read, enjoy and are extremely enlightened by the contents of The National but will still monitor it looking for signs of bias (we’re all experts now) and when we detect that, if ever, we’ll let them know.

    Therefore no need for you, a seemingly ardent Independence supporter, to worry about the publications of the only Daily Newspaper on the Planet promoting Scottish Independence. As an Independence supporter your time and energy would be better spent on berating newspapers such as the Daily Record, Mail et al and yet for some strange reason, especially being such a worry wort, I’ve never heard / read you say ONE word against any of them. Maybe you could let us all know, in your next post, what you actually think of them? Warn us all what to look out for such as covert, or more likely overt, propagandists.

  137. Derick fae Yell

    Just as a point of information.

    The author of this article

    Is a member of the Labour Party.

  138. Glesca Keelie

    Ian Brotherhood 16 January, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks Ian. It might be wan o’ they parallel dimension things I’ve read aboot.

    Now to catch up from last night.

  139. Robert Louis

    What is becoming very clear now, is that their is a definite coordinated campaign of disrupt and divert underway, in order to attempt to split the unity of pro indy voices. It is sad to see some people I previously respected jumping on that bandwagon, with hardly a thought that perhaps they are being played (quite literally). Anybody who supposes that Westminster saw the referendum as the end of the battle, is quite, quite, wrong.

    Day by day, bribes and coercion will be employed by Westminster (via MI5 – it’s what they do, btw) upon individuals, to encourage dissenting ‘voices’. In addition, I have long suspected their are people who during the referendum were notionally pro-indy, yet in the final days, in my opinion, showed their hand.

    All who support independence need to question the motives of those trying to split the pro indy vote and cause internal division. Make no mistake, this is EXACTLY what Westminster via special branch and MI5 have been doing throughout history. The miners strike, previous extreme right wing parties, Northern Ireland, and now their focus is preventing Scottish independence. Split the unity, split the vote, divide and conquer, call it what you like, it’s what London does.

    Come the election, I shall be voting SNP x 2, for the simple reason that a strong, majority SNP Government is much more powerful and scary to Westminster, than any rag-tag semblance of various small radical parties that happen to support independence. Think of the glee after the election, when the BBC proudly announce Sturgeon no longer has a majority.

    London does not do reason or do pleasant teatime chats when it comes to Scotland. It only responds to REAL power and UNITY. Those in Scotland suggesting otherwise, really need to think hard.

    As regards tactical voting, it doesn’t work, for the simple reason that most voters do not indulge politics the way we political anoraks do on here. Their decision making process is much simpler. The notion that such tactical voting could take place en-masse is absurd. It is dreamy stuff.

    I love politics and political debate, but their is a need for those advocating tactical voting to kind of sniff the electoral coffee and wake up. It is only the few engaged on sites such as this who would understand it, never mind actually put it into action. Need proof? Take a wee look at the result of the UK election in Scotland. Many, many attempts were made to encourage tactical voting, and it didn’t work.

    At the end of the day, Scots can vote for who they like in the election, but need to understand one thing, London wants nothing more than to prevent an SNP majority. That is what scares them, and that is what keeps them awake at night. As David Cameron once said at the dispatch box in the house of commons, he will do anything to prevent Scottish independence. He is being true to his word.

    P.s. just for the record, upon independence, I would vote for the most left wing government possible, as that is my political view point. Right now, however, the SNP is the ONLY chance we have of securing an end to London rule, and so they get my vote until we are independent. It is that simple.

  140. Grouse Beater

    Tactical voting is the ‘weaken by division’ equivalent of giving Scotland diluted powers while demanding those weak powers are scattered thinly among councils.

  141. Grouse Beater

    Robert: “Right now, however, the SNP is the ONLY chance we have of securing an end to London rule, and so they get my vote until we are independent. It is that simple.

    That’s too much like common sense. Can you crumple it up a bit, make it complicated?


  142. Alison Rollo

    In my extreme nativity and eternal optimism I would love the Greens to become the ‘Green Alliance for Independence’ incorporating all the other pro Indy parties and then we all decide to give them our 2nd vote and they become the main opposition party in Holyrood ………… I know!!! — Dream on Alison!!

  143. Glasca Keelie

    crazycat says:
    17 January, 2016 at 3:16 am

    Just seen this reply, obliquely to me.

    Seems I was right about the SSP et al parallel universe.

    And I don’t give a FF about SNP policies. Well, not too much, the Land Bill I really approve of. I used to vote Conservative till the mid-70’s when I got a wee bit smarter.

    As long as the SNP don’t propose terminating the auldies at 70, or something, there is no contest.

  144. Ken500

    SNP all the way

    C’mon Tommy

    Unelected twa faced McCluskey should butt out

    Greens enough said

  145. Lenny Hartley

    Petra 3.54

    Agree 100%

  146. Ken500

    Rev Stu doesn’t need the National. The National needs him. Rev Stu has more hits, more readers, more sense, more research and more honest, than the lot of them put together. Sheer genius.

  147. Macart

    Heh, party politics. Gotta love it.

    The parties are still trying to dictate public perception… with one exception.

    Parties, all of them, count on and manipulate party loyalties to advantage. Hell, Labour especially made an art form out of it. When you have a superb publicity machine, a fair dose of dogma and party loyalty, oh and a believeable bogie man, you can pretty much name your agenda and achieve it. You can literally get away with decades of abuse of power because people are willing to trust your word and why not? I mean, we created them.

    They ALL work on trust.

    That’s a lot of power and responsibility right there that is.We empower parties to act on our behalf according to our conscience and TRUST that they represent and reflect our moral compass accurately. Therefor when they tell us something is so, then we take it on trust that they wouldn’t lie to us or mislead us.

    Except they do, ALL of them. Its the nature of politics and basically its human nature. We, all of us, put our faith in parties or individuals in politics. Instead of instructing them and have them carry out our wishes, people would buy into their party lines and agendas. Instead of the electorate telling them what was right and what was wrong, they’d tell us. Instead of the dog wagging the tail…

    … you get the drift. We let it get this bad. We gave our administrators too much trust, too much faith and too much leeway. So folks being folks, they naturally took advantage of that to their own best advantage.

    Anyroads, the exception I mentioned earlier would, in this instance, be the SNP. I don’t think they’re suffering under any illusions. They know they have their current popularity on the back of competent government and the ability to appeal across a broad spectrum of society. More importantly they stand for something that spectrum can all get behind and that terrifies the establishment. The Scottish government radiates unity and a unity of purpose. They have an innate belief in ALL the peoples of Scotland and their right to determine their own future.

    I’d say they are more aware than anyone what awaits politically, on the other side of independence and yet they carry on supporting folks right to that choice regardless. THAT is what separates them from the rest.

    I’d say the SNP are perfectly happy allowing folks to use them as a vehicle toward a purpose and that is as it should be. Had the establishment parties out there followed that example rather than attempting to manipulate people’s perceptions for their own ends, they might still have some relevance (shrugs).

  148. Ken500

    Who’s ‘we’. The Politicians used the Official Secrets Act to try to destroy the Society. They acted criminally. They still do. We, the people are fighting back.

  149. Golfnut

    “When the government fear the people, you have democracy.
    When the people fear the government, you have tyranny”
    Jefferson or Lincoln I think.

  150. Ken500

    Can the list no be changed? So anyone who gets voted out can’t come in again through the has to be a new one. They can stand again in later elections or other elections. Get rid of the same old stale politicians. The list unelected stalwarts start to look like the unelected HoL’s applications. Unconstitutional.

  151. ahundredthidiot

    Haha, Petra whips Rock, and right too!

    He/she, clearly after reading previous posts and on a sub conscious level, has given me extra energy to go out of my way to find and buy The National when I can.

    Keep up the good work for The National, Rock.

  152. galamcennalath

    Looks like an interesting article in the Sunday Times

    “Scottish voters warn Cameron: No EU, no UK”

    They seem to have polling evidence that an IndyRef2 prompted by EngExit would return a Yes win.

    However, you can only real the first few sentences then you need to pay!

  153. Robert Kerr

    @Robert Louis

    Hat off Sir!

    Well done.

    Perhaps the real palpable fear of the SNP that exists in the British Establishment is that they have no leverage to subvert and assimilate them as they did so successfully with the Labour Party.

    The Untouchables!


  154. Al Dossary

    Maybe UKIP I’d the bull in the ring that is needed. They will not by any means appeal to Nationalist voters, but they certainly will appeal to many of the right-wing, UKOK voters that align themselves to a certain football team and parade around clad all in red, white and blue.

    These self same persons who were fed from on high by the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland that a “vote for the SNP is a Catholic vote” jus 3 GE ago. This alone could take a lot of votes away from the Unionist parties on the list.

  155. galamcennalath


    The full (alleged) quotation from Jefferson is ..

    “When governments fear the people, there is liberty, When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

    It is often used by the US pro-gun lobby. And, with the second sentence, it hopefully doesn’t actually fit into the Scottish context! We want to avoid actual physical violence!

    There are doubts Jefferson actually said this.

    However, is part about who fears whom is spot on!

    You can just feel the fear pouring out of Unioniists, Westminster and the Establishment.

  156. Marie Clark

    I’ve been watching all this back and forth stuff about list votes.Two things strike me really.

    1. Why are Rise in particular targeting the SNP vote. Their aim, they declare, is to provide strong opposition to the Government.Well, since the opposition that we allegedly have are a useless shower, and opposed to independence, why don’t they target the unionists? That to me would appear to be the logical way to go. They all, unionists included, need to come up with some policies to put in their manifestos to present to us, the voters.SNP BAAAD just won’t cut it.

    2. I’ve read the reply to Ian Brotherhood from Colin Church, and it left me a bit slack jawed to be honest.If I remember correctly
    the last time that we had so called left wing socialists in our Parliament, they did what the normally do, they fell out amongst themselves. Will happen again, you can almost put money on that.

    These ” parties” need to get real and look at the big picture.They also need to be honest about what they are doing,and why they are doing it, not just clinging on to the coat tails of the SNP. Yes they were great and did a lot of work in the referendum, but so did a lot of other folk. We oh so nearly made it because we all worked TOGETHER for something we believed in.
    Nothing has changed, we still need to stick together till we achieve the big prize. Independence for Scotland.

    All of us have the right to vote for what we believe in,but I can’t see RISE getting anywhere in the elections in May. It cannot be stressed enough the importance of an SNP majority to send the message to Westminster that we mean business.They are the only party who have the interest of Scotland at the heart of what they do.

    Feel free to disagree with me if you like, that’s you perogative,but please don’t throw away this chance to get rid of these unionist parties who hold Scotland back.

    Independence first, then we can sort out our Parliament with I hope a good mix of smaller parties as well.

  157. Effijy

    I have unsubscribed from Bella as IMO they are there to attempt to counterbalance the 99% plus Unionist media’s distortion, lies, and deletions.

    We don’t require additional SNP Bad and Unionist Great articles.
    They are offering a glass of water to the drowning man.

    By no means do I say that we don’t require constructive criticism of our Independance objectives, and the ramifications of what
    comes along with it, but we are already certain that we must be free of Westminster control and its corruption.

    Give me ideas of how we might reach our goal and information that supports that cause or else you become just another brick in the Unionist wall.

  158. Capella

    Bella has a good article on the farce of New Labour. Worth reading IMO.

  159. Stoker

    OK, folks, it really is this simple, you can continue to vote for the dirty redcoat agents of The Piggery (Warminster) or you can deliver a massive blow to those who shafted us at our referendum.

    And what about that poor wee pig.
    Strike a blow for pigs everywhere – vote SNP x 2

  160. Ken500

    Unelected McCluskey funded illegal wars, tax evasion and banking fraud. McCluskey is resonsible for £1.5Trn of UK debt. Unelected MCcluskey supported secret and lies under the Offical Secrets Act. Union Leaders who collude with politicians and bosses against the workers to line their own pockets. If Westminster Unionists want Trident they should site it on the Thames beside Westminster and pay for it. Will that happen or keep them safe?

    MCCluskey should try and pursuade the English working class to stop voting Tory. There are more of them.

    It is a question of tax evasion and tax havens run by Westminster politicians not question of land ownership. Independence will change it.

  161. Grouse Beater

    The Bella Caledonia Conundrum

    Effigy:“We don’t require additional SNP Bad and Unionist Great articles.”

    We’ve had over 300 years of England’s domination in all things. Stop being a conduit for ill-thought out unionist recycled indoctrination, and ill-thought out, muddle headed amateur articles.

    Just bloody explain why the people of Scotland need full democracy, how it will improve matters, where the gaps are now and how those omissions undermine prosperity and happiness. And stop calling dissenters ‘dangerous’ to democracy.

  162. WRH2

    schrodingers cat says that he hopes RISE won’t have candidates standing in the South of Scotland. Unfortunately there was a piece in the local unionist press this week about the list RISE SoS candidates. The Berwickshire News is not known for its support of independence so why the third of a page item. Divide and rule and hope this allows the local Tory to retain his seat. They don’t give two hoots about RISE.

  163. Clootie

    Robert Louis 8:51a.m.

    Summed up perfectly – well said!

  164. HandandShrimp

    Listened to Bill Whiteford this morning. Clegg from the Record and Taylor from the Herald were reviewing the papers. They both seemed to take the view that the Times poll showing a strong in vote for the EU in Scotland and an out vote in England is bad news for the SNP, blow for Sturgeon etc. Too soon or something.

    However, given polling showed an Indy Yes vote would rise to about 52% to 53% if that happened I am not sure why it would be too soon.

  165. alasdair galloway

    Still pushing the same old line Stuart and alleging that other opinions are “based, from one perspective or another, on opinion polls and seat predictions based on those polls, some of which appear to be based on very shaky premises”. Yes, I agree some are.
    But could the same not be said of your own? For instance how shaky is the premise that the minimum number of votes needed for a fringe party to win a regional list seat can be based on an election five years ago? Have things not changed a wee bit since then? Would you not have been locked up for suggesting then that the Labour Party would be all but wiped out at the next WM election? In 2011 how many thought that there would be a 45% vote for indy?
    I cant say that come next May you will be wrong. Equally, just now, you couldnt insist that you are right. But it does seem a shaky premise.
    More importantly your entire argument is based on the premise that the “fringe parties” are going to slug it out, battering each other to death, perhaps taking votes from the SNP and allowing the Unionist parties to prosper. But as I pointed out on my blog, if the forecasts for the constituency votes are right (or even nearly right) the SNP are going to win about 7 regional list seats, if they are lucky. James Kelly (Scot Goes Pop) failed to notice that between the TNS poll (just before Christmas) that gave them 2 (two) regional list seats, and his own poll of polls (last week) that gave them 4 (four) seats, the SNP regional list vote went up by 6% from 42% to 48%. In short, either way, on the regional list the Unionist parties are going to prosper either way. Your argument seems intent on concealing (or ignoring) that.
    In a blog I wrote of a website “Yes we can” that
    ““Yes we can” notes tactical voting – voting for the SNP in your constituency, but someone else for Regional List – “would be greatly reduced in effectiveness since there are a number of pro-independence parties standing and the votes would split amongst them.”, and it is the case that if the pro-independence regional list vote is split then this would be likely to be ineffective. At the same time, we have to ask how much less effective than voting SNP twice, and ending up with a single list MSP (or 8 if we gross it up), while Labour and the Tories clean up the rest of the regional list seats, splitting 48 between them? That’s not exactly a great outcome either, is it?”
    Let me be clear that I am not arguing for a mass transfer (and it would have to be massive – somewhere between 30 and 50% of the SNP constituency vote)for the regional list vote, where the fringe parties fight it out with each other for precedence. There needs to be a single beneficiary on the regional list, and as I have argued on my own website (, I think that Sillars’idea of a “Yes Trust” has considerable merit, harnessing at least some of the energy of the Yes campaign, but for now more, and more importantly, standing a list for election as Regional MSPs.
    There is clearly insufficient time to do this for next May, but lets be clear for now, that there are two ways for anyone who votes SNP at constituency to waste their regional list vote, and one of these is to vote SNP (I suppose there are three – to vote for a Unionist party). What we are headed for is a continuation of what we have now – with Dugdale and Davidson being presented as important political representatives when the fact is that they will, if they are lucky, have one third of the vote between them. Had there been an alternative for the Regional List then there might have been 90-100 independence MSPs elected, creating Sillars’ “Independence Parliament”. Instead we will get the same old bile, misleading arguments, hypocrisy and negativity without alternative that we have become used to for the last 5 years and the msm will lap it up as they always do.

  166. Grouse Beater

    Alsdair “More importantly your entire argument is based on the premise that the “fringe parties” are going to slug it out, battering each other to death, perhaps taking votes from the SNP and allowing the Unionist parties to prosper.”

    Forget Wings and Stuart. Only the voters matter. If they think a candidate’s party has no chance of gaining power, unelectable, they will rarely vote for them.

  167. alasdair galloway

    Grouse Beater, history suggests that you are right. But there are two possible outcomes to the election in May,
    1. some of the SNP constituency vote goes to “fringe parties” on the regional list, the vote is split and the Unionists profit. You are right that some of the SNP will be deterred because they dont think such as the Greens or Rise can win, but some of it will leach (check out the polls and ask yourself why the SNP constituency vote tends to be very close to the SNP regional list vote + the vote for the Greens, who are about the only ones registering just now) There is much to be said for Stuart’s argument there
    2. hardly any of the SNP constituency vote goes to fringe parties on the regional list, the SNP x 2 advice sticks and the Unionists profit. That is what Stuart tends to avoid.
    Only if there is a sufficiently attractive offering – and for full benefit it has to be ONE – that will attract large numbers of the SNP constituency vote to vote for it on the regional list can we get the “independence Parliament” that we need. I think a Yes Trust, running candidates, could have done that, and perhaps we should be thinking about it for next time?

  168. Tony Little


    You may well be right, or wrong. And that’s the problem. There is no sure fire way of coordinating the pro-Scottish vote (by which I mean Independence) in the elections without an open ‘pact’ or agreement between the pro-Indy parties.

    I will assume that the SNP will be pushing for SNPx2 vote, so what about the others?

    Will RISE stand aside – or recommend their voters to vote for the Greens, and viz. versa, in those constituencies that APPEAR to offer them a chance of winning one or more Regional seats? And even if they do, how many people will do so?

    I agree with you that for this to be effective there needs to be ONE recipient and a massive movement of 30% or more of SNP votes to this party on the Regional list. I just don’t think that is a realistic possibility.

    I was going to do some number crunching of my own (Stu got there first) and I may yet do so nearer the time, work permitting. But my assessment at the moment is that any transfer of voted FROM the SNP is unlikely to be consistent, and the net impact of that would be a divided vote with Unionist parties slipping through.

    If the polling remains high for the SNP, we also run the risk of voter apathy, and the “SNP are going to win for sure, I’ve got something else to do today” attitude taking the Constituency vote down, with possible lower wins than the Polling suggests. This, coupled with a transfer of SNP votes to other non-wining parties puts the SNP (and Indy) majority at risk.

    We are in a high stake game. I am not convinced that anything other than SNPx2 is worth the risk.

    Finally, why are RISE/Greens etc. targeting SNP voters? There seems to be ample numbers of persuadable Labour voters – why not go after them?

  169. yesindyref2

    @Macart: “Heh, party politics. Gotta love it.”

    Indeed. I think perhaps a good thing for some of us to do is go around the various blogs, and make this kind of point time and time again.

    There’s an election on, and every political party is seeking advantages. Some use tricks and tactics, some don’t, but at the end of it, it’s all about seats in Holyrood, for them at least. For most of us though, I think, it’s about Independence First.

  170. Grouse Beater

    Alasdair: “history suggests that you are right”

    Speaking personally, the only secondary candidate I’d vote for is Andy Wightman. I’d do so because his curriculum vitae is without parallel in his specialism, exclusively benefitting Scotland.

    He has an identifiable track record of advocating radical land reform, publishing evidence, and actively discussing it, all for the good of an equitable, better society.

  171. Macart


    In a nutshell dads. 🙂

  172. Dan Huil

    First things first: independence.


  173. Onwards

    @alasdair galloway

    You are right in that a YES alliance may have stood a chance on the list, assuming the SNP was sweeping the constituency votes.

    But that was never going to happen. Egos get in the way. Patrick Harvey was never going to disband the greens for example.
    The only realistic alternative would be for RISE and the socialists to join the Greens and influence it from within. Make independence more of a focus. That might have been a good idea, because they are so similar anyway.
    But again, egos get in the way, and that would mean some of their candidates not being selected as candidates.

    The reality is that we have several minor parties splitting the vote amongst themselves.
    RiSE are at ZERO percent on the latest poll. Pro-Indy votes are simply going to be wasted there.
    And can the greens really be trusted on independence?

    SNPx2 is the safest way to get a pro-Indy majority, as we have proof that it worked last time.

    Sure, everyone would prefer more Indy MSPs to unionist MPs but looking at the numbers, it is taking a huge gamble that could backfire.
    Getting a majority, even a small one is so important.

    Without a majority, there is not even a chance of a second referendum on the horizon, and all momentum is lost. We could give up on any more devolved powers also, and we would have no clout to do anything about it.

    The unionists know this also, which is why some of the figures on the far left are being given publicity, patronised, and treated as useful idiots to split the vote or give nationalists a bad name.


  174. Fred

    A lot of time for Andy Wightman but what’s he doing in the Greens. He should be in the SNP fighting his corner on the land issue, the Greens are an irelevant sideshow!

    As for Colin Fox & co getting into Holyrood, last time they were in it was a pantomime and the voters bombed them out. Sheridan was the star turn but they won’t share a platform with him. SNaP2.

  175. Petra

    @ alasdair galloway says at 11:06 am ……..

    Thanks for taking the time to post on here Alastair especially as it’s absolutely crucial that we should all be aware of the counter argument / alternative opinion.

    Some (most) of the ins and outs in relation to this issue just go right over my head. At the end of the day all I want is for the SNP to do extremely well to rid ourselves of as many Unionists as is possible and send a clear message to Westminster. I thought that this would be straightforward and not too much to ask for: Seems not to be the case.

  176. crazycat

    @ Glesca Keelie at 9.13

    Glad you noticed – I should have @’d you, or written two separate posts, but it read better as one.

  177. alasdair galloway

    Tony Little – good to hear from you Tony away from the herald – maybe we will get more freedom to say what we have to say here than there. Let me be clear (perhaps I could have been), I have pretty much written this election off. I cant see any scenario other than an SNP majority (dont know if you have seen the Tory party ppb which is predicated on the Tories being second behind Labour?) with Labour second and the Tories third (could be close though). I reckon the SNP will get around 75 seats, so a nice comfy majority. Add in, maybe 8 Greens (one of whom I hope would be Andy Wightman who would be a considerable addition to the Parliament) , 4 Lib Dems (hopefully not including that sanctimonious twerp Rennie who should be put in a box marked “not to be opened till after independence”), maybe Tommy Sheridan (to add a bit of “colour” – he has, despite everything, got a strong following), maybe one or two from RISE, The remainder would go Labour/ Tory , mostly list though the Tories might hang on in at least 1 of their seats (hopefully including Tomkins who, as someone said, if they can make sure he takes his tablets every morning would also be an asset). So on the basis of the above numbers Labour and Tory would take around 39 seats, on, I suspect a 2:1 ratio for Labour (ie 26 to 13) but the Tories could push them harder than that.
    So where would that leave us? Pretty much where we are now, with Labour “leading” the opposition, so whenever there is anything the msm can find to say against the govt, cue Dugdale, Baillie etc with Davidson bringing up the rear. Its what we have now with some adjustments to the numbers (the above means Labour would lose upwards of a net 10 seats, but I suspect this wont be focused on either).
    The problem is Tony that whether we vote SNPx2 or the vote is distributed among the “fringe” parties – and you are right, it would be distributed – mostly Green then RISE thought Solidarity with score better in Glasgow – the outcome will be similar. Voter apathy I suspect is the biggest risk to the SNP, though in the past I have experience at their ability to get the vote out.
    I am simply thinking past next May to May five years from now, when I would hope for a well-established Yes Trust that would have carried some of the burden of developing the case for independence and indeed provoked debate (is debate about how independence might be achieved an indication of chaos or an indication of strong and varied thinking?). That Trust could put a slate of candidates on the Regional list to which the SNP constituency vote could transfer to, without encountering the limitations of the DeHondt system as the SNP will do this time round.
    Onwards, you are right about big political egos, but first of all we wont know unless we try, will we? Also those egos werent a problem during the referendum campaign. Moreover see my comment above about debate. Perhaps my old trade as a Uni lecturer makes me more comfortable than some (including politicians) about a political grouping having open disagreements on specific policies, but, with an absolute commitment to independence, I have no problem with Yes Trust being a focus of debate between, say Greens and the SSP.
    Creating an organization like this would need lots of diplomacy, care and patience, but if we dont manage it then we dont make what could be a significant contribution to the case for indy.
    I think you will get your majority – my focus is on what kind opposition? As above, I am certain it will be dominated by Labour and the Tories. How much better would it be, if it was dominated by MSPs committed to indy, even if they have some different views on tactics about getting there (should we not be discussing this?) and what the possibilities could be once we get there?

  178. green_pedant

    This is ridiculous. The Greens are on 9% on the latest poll, which is more than double their 4.4% list vote in 2011. SO they can obviously achieve more MSPs

  179. Proud Cybernat

    SNP x 2 = IndyRef#2.


  180. Karmanaut

    Seems to be an awfy lot of squabbling going on.

    I’ll be voting SNP x 2 mainly because I want a pro-indy majority in Holyrood and I think that’s the best way to get one.

    All this “we need to be critical of the SNP and hold them to account” is puzzling because from what I can see, they are the most criticised party in the UK. No other party gets anywhere near as much criticism.

    I’m not going to tell my pro-indy friends and allies not to vote for the parties they want to vote for because if I did that they probably wouldn’t be my friends and allies for much longer. People should vote for who they want to vote for. I certainly would never call them idiots for doing that – even if I thought they were idiots, which I don’t.

    I’ll also forgive my pro-indy allies for calling me an idiot. That’s not helpful, but it’s only destructive if I let it be.

  181. KOF

    You want a worker socialist republic, a treehugger utopia, an independent Kingdom of the Scots or whatever? Well, it ain’t going to happen within a devolved parliament, that’s for sure. Only independence can offer even the chance of such things and only the SNP have the nowse to bring about the necessary political machinations required to gain independence.

    The upcoming elections aren’t about independence, they’re simply about managing Scotland. Who do you trust to manage Scotland’s affairs the best? Radicalism can come with independence, but right now give me the prudence, pragmatism and sanity of a party who want to make the lives of everyone in Scotland better. SNP/SNP for me.

  182. Tony Little


    Indeed we can talk more ‘freely’ here than on the Herald 🙂

    I suppose that my ‘concern’ comes from two things. Firstly I do not trust the pollsters (I am sure Stu will tel me they are professional etc. but they are there to do their clients’ bidding, and their clients DO have their own agendas).

    The Unionists aim in May is to (ideally) prevent another SNP majority, but failing that, to reduce either the share of the vote or the number of seats. The Corporate Media will be THE key protagonist in that. As we see from the Herald (one of the slightly less obsessively Unionist papers) ANY SNP-Bad story is spun for maximum impact on a daily basis. If they have less than three SNPBad stories a day, someone is slacking!

    I know that the Corporate Media’s impact IS falling, but they are used by the BBC to continue the SNPBad narrative. this will get progressively worse in the next few months, and I would be “astonished” if it didn’t have some adverse impact on the final SNP vote – particularly on the Regional list.

    So all this fluff about ‘lending’ an SNP vote to the Greens (who I distrust) or RISE (who are basically going nowhere) or Solidarity (who?) is being ‘influenced’ by something or someone?

    Paranoid, me? Yes, a bit!

    You remark that you are looking ahead to May 2020/21 (whenever the next Holyrood election will be) and that’s fair enough – time for the SNP opposition (but Indy supporting) politics to get their act together. But there are a lot of egos who won’t be up to that challenge I rather suspect. I may be wrong, but …

    Does the SNP need a more radical, “left-learning” party? Yes I think it does. It seems that Nicola is a little bit more radical than Alex, but would be have got to this point with a different strategy? Not sure.

    This will be THE most important election since devolution. I fear that any dilution of the SNP’s strong position will become a major target with the obsessed media we have. For me, this is simply too important for new tactics. We need to win SNP BIG and show Westminster a powerful, “in your face” support.

    Take care. See you ‘on the other side’. 😉

  183. Vestas

    CommonSpace are the clueless section of the left who spend all their time fighting each other/everyone else and achieve nothing. I’ve heard them compared to Zanu-PF/ANC but I’d prefer to think of them as the Jewish groups in “Life of Brian” as that seems a little more charitable.

    Bella Caledonia live on another (happy-clappy) planet where everyone honours their promises.

    As far as the greens go – my brother-in-law lives in Brighton (green council & Caroline Lucas) & he wouldn’t vote for them again if they were the last party on the planet. This is from someone who has been a member of Greenpeace long before the French were blowing them up!

    If you want independence then SNP/SNP is the way to vote.

    If you want to play silly games then do vote for whatever pointless wanabee on the list but do remember that if the SNP don’t get a majority in Holyrood then it IS your fault.

  184. Dave McEwan Hill

    green_pedant at 3.24

    Two of the three latest polls have the Greens at 6%,the same sort of figures that UKIP have achieved.

    My prediction is that the Greens will fade away during a fiercely fought election as they are not fighting individual seats and never do the work on the ground, relying on generous press coverage. They may get some of this as the media will try anything to blunt the SNP but this time there is also RISE and Solidarity and these peripheral interests are all likely to damage each other’s votes. I hope this does not accidentally help Labour and the Tories

  185. michael diamond

    Definitely a campaign going on by the msm to split the snp vote( more than likely bankrolled from london). Got to be snp x2.

  186. yesindyref2

    @alasdair galloway
    I think without an overall SNP majority there will be no second Independence referendum in the next term of Parliament, and if that happens support for the SNP could well die away and we never get another Indy ref.

    So for me it’s one step at a time, Holyrood in May first, help to secure the overall SNP majority – not a “pro-indy” colatiion majority because that’s useless, Westminster wouldn’t recongise its mandate to call for a Reg.

    Get Independence and then anything is possible. Without it we’re doomed. ‘a doomed.

    Peter Piper

  187. Bill Fraser

    Very inspiring and well listed out Thank-you

  188. Rock


    “He/she, clearly after reading previous posts and on a sub conscious level, has given me extra energy to go out of my way to find and buy The National when I can.”

    On a sub conscious level, you have chosen the right pen name for yourself.

  189. alasdair galloway

    Tony I have some sympathy with the view of pollsters. Far too much is put on one or two polls and some marginal shifts. Really there use is limited to trends and degree of change over relatively long periods. I dont know if you remember about a year ago – he said shamelessly – but on the Herald I was getting pelters on the Herald for suggesting that the SNP might get 30 or even 40 seats. Even by people who would vote for them. But, not only the trend but its degree suggested to me that something major was happening (though even I didnt imagine 56). If you look at the Scotland votes website. You can put in any poll and it will tell you what the outcome is likely to be. But it opens with the 2011 result, and if you compare even that – and remember it gave the SNP a majority – you can see that things are still on the move. The SNP got 45% and Labour got 31% in the constituency vote. The recent Surcation poll suggests that the SNP will get 53% and Labour 21%. Put in that most of the constituencies that havent fallen to the SNP are held by Labour, and what does that tell you?
    Moving on this – ironically? – puts the SNP at an enormous disadvantage when the Regional List seats come to be allocated. If the SNP win 8 there they will be doing well – it could be fewer. Moreover unless Labour and the Tories go into further, almost unimaginable meltdown, more percentage points on the SNP regional list wont help that much. James Kelly observed the other day that with the SNP regional list vote standing at 42%, that the SNP might be worried. The Survation poll shows them at 48%, but those additional six points takes them from two list seats to four.
    You put your finger on an important point when you refer to share of the vote. I have been wondering what the basis of the SNPx2 is and I think you are right there. But this is a “heads they win tails we dont” one since if there is a substantial SNP vote share that will be ignored and Labour and Tory lauded as now as their opposition. If a tactical vote could be organized it would be their failure to win more seats that would be targeted. In a way they cant lose.
    I regret that Yes was closed down so quickly – I really think that Yes Trust candidates on the Regional List would be an attractive proposition for SNP constituency voters. Certainly egos would have to be put to one side, but if they cant do that for indy ……………………..

  190. alasdair galloway

    Peter, you here too? Need to get Douglas on board – he got deleted on the Herald yesterday for suggesting (in jest) that “hanging was too good” for an SNP MP.
    I take your point about the need for an SNP majority, but unless something terrible happens they could well get this on constituency votes alone. Wont repeat it again – its in my reply to Tony – but unless the polls are just telling lies the trend and degree of difference strongly says last May, perhaps with nobs on.
    My concern is what happens on the Regional list, where if they have done as well as forecast, the SNP will struggle – to put it mildly. Also, the Regional list is where the opposition is going to come from. Do we want business as usual with the Kezia and Ruth show, carping, negativity etc, OR would we be better served by an independence Parliament that as well as running the country under the present rules, could debate how best to get to indy and what might be possible in a independent Scotland? To me the answer to that is obvious. Too late for next May, but another election in five years, and getting a Yes Trust up and running is not a short term task.

  191. Ken

    It’s really disappointing to see an article that is both statistically and factually incorrect. It contradicts almost every other poll that has been published so far, as well as exposing a complete lack of understanding of how the D’Hont voting system works.

    D’Hont is based on a mathematical equation, whic is used to determine the allocation of the list seats. Put simply, if a party wins a constituency seat, their list votes are divided by six, then compared with the other parties’ actual number of list votes in order to determine the seat allocation. This process it then repeated until all seats are allocated. The consequence of voting SNP 1 & 2 would be to then allow the second and third parties in the list vote to get seats, which would then be Unionist parties.

    If WOS is truely a YES campaigning website, surely it would prefer to see a YES Government AND a YES Opposition. Voting SNP 1 & 2 will almost certainly result in a Unionist opposition.

    For the avoidance of doubt, I am not a member of any political party, but I am an avid supporter of Independence. I was under the impression that WOS was also not associated with any political party, but merely a platform for pursuing Independence. Unfortunately, this article appears to suggest that you are an SNP front, which can only compromise your standing in the cross party YES movement.

    I would ask that people stay away from petty and simplistic political party sectarianism and take the time to learn how the D’Hont voting system works. If you do this, you’ll realise very quickly that giving you first vote to SNP and your second vote to another YES party, will result in a YES Government and a YES Opposition.

    Surely that’s what all YES campaigners want….

  192. Janet

    The job is not yet done and I don’t need to split my vote.

    In May, SNP / SNP.

  193. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “It’s really disappointing to see an article that is both statistically and factually incorrect. It contradicts almost every other poll that has been published so far, as well as exposing a complete lack of understanding of how the D’Hont voting system works.”

    I’ve written five articles explaining in detail and depth exactly how D’Hondt works. You can’t even SPELL it. Now fuck off.

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