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The tipping point

Posted on December 18, 2014 by

The argument that seat projections based on current opinion polling give the SNP (based on uniform swing) a wildly unrealistic number of seats seems at first glance to be compelling. More than two dozen current Labour seats have five-figure majorities, and several are higher than 20,000. Taken individually every single one represents a mammoth task, and capturing the bulk of them looks an absurd dream.

tippoint

We’re deeply sceptical ourselves about the predictions giving the SNP 40 or more seats, partly for that reason and partly because the lesson of 2011 – when the Nats somehow pulled off a 30-point poll shift in around six weeks – shows how foolish it is to call a febrile-looking election that’s still the best part of five months away.

So we’re not going to be doing that. We’re not making any forecasts here. Rather, we were interested in taking a look at how it could happen, and how First Past The Post, for so long the SNP’s mortal enemy, could next year become a powerful ally.

By any rational measure, FPTP is a crude and massively unfair tool of democracy. It often results in governments having huge absolute majorities despite securing the backing of barely a third of voters. In 2010 the SNP, Tories and Lib Dems got almost identical numbers of votes in Scotland, yet got six, one and 11 MPs respectively.

The Nats got MORE votes than the Lib Dems, yet Nick Clegg’s party got almost twice as many seats. Labour only got 2.5 times as many votes as the Tories, but got FORTY-ONE times as many MPs. Sympathy for the Tories isn’t our strong point, but on any fair analysis that’s not a legitimate reflection of how the country voted.

Nevertheless, FPTP is the system we’re stuck with and under which the 2015 election will be conducted. And the unfairness of the system is one which starts to massively favour parties who can get just the sort of vote share that the SNP are currently recording. If the Nats fall just a little short of current polls, Labour will hold most of their seats. If the SNP reach the tipping point, everything changes.

Let’s illustrate how it works. We’re going to use averages – we stress again, this is an illustration, NOT a prediction – and assume that every seat is the same size and (with one group of exceptions) gets the same vote shares across the country. And we’ll give the SNP 45% nationwide, at the low end of their current polling.

We’ll start with the exceptions, and make an absurd assumption just to make the SNP’s life a bit harder – let’s also say the party’s current six MPs all hold their seats, and every one of them gets 70% of the vote, which is basically impossible.

(Gordon Brown got under 65% in his Kirkcaldy seat last time round, and was returned with a vast majority of over 23,000.)

Apply that to their 45% national share and that leaves them with 42.2% of the vote in the other 53 seats. Let’s presume that the 3rd-placed and 4th-placed parties get a modest 10% and 5% in each seat respectively (in reality it’s unusual for the 3rd and 4th place to get that little). That accounts for a total of 57.2% of the vote, leaving just 42.8% available for everyone else, which in most cases in our scenario is Labour.

And what that means is that if just 0.7% of the vote goes elsewhere – to UKIP or the Greens or the Socialists or whoever, or if the #2 and #3 parties pick up slightly more – then that 42.2% is enough to give the SNP every single seat.

Now, of course, votes AREN’T uniform across the country. But these numbers simply illustrate how FPTP’s tipping point works. If you get 45% overall, then – particularly in a four-party system – it’s very hard in any sort of plausible reality to distribute your votes in such a way that you DON’T win the large majority of seats.

(The killer reveal is that Labour did just that in 2010 with almost exactly the national vote share – 42% – that we’ve given the SNP here in their 53 target seats, and with a much more fragmented and therefore weaker opposition than we’ve assumed.)

Drop your vote below 40% and all sorts of gaps open up in your defences, especially if tactical voting comes into play, but somewhere between 40% and 45% you reach the summit of the mountain and you turn into a landslide crushing everything below you – even if another climber was hot on your heels. Getting there first is everything. They don’t call it First Past The Post for nothing.

Supporters of independence have been mocked for adopting the nickname “the 45” to describe themselves. If the SNP can hit that mark next May, or anywhere very close to it, Unionists may find themselves laughing on the other side of their faces.

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    1. 18 12 14 20:41

      The tipping point - Speymouth

    2. 19 12 14 05:34

      ‘SpAd-U-Like’: Paul Sinclair Talks Openly of Labour’s Westminster Navel-Gazing | 50 Days of Yes

    3. 20 12 14 12:42

      The tipping point | Politics Scotland | Scoop.it

    78 to “The tipping point”

    1. If that does happen, how long do people think it will take before FPTP is changed?

    2. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      I don’t think even the most paranoid cybernat would really imagine a retrospective changing of the electoral system just to shut the SNP out.

    3. Flooplepoop says:

      The 45% moniker may indeed bear fruit

    4. Barry Blust says:

      Broke… needs fixing. The system needs a REAL constitution devised by the people and passed by the people. Until then we are playing at tyranny.

    5. Martin McDonald says:

      we have another potential significant ally. Turnout.

      How committed to turn out will other voters be for a UK general election, compared with the SNP support and Yes minded?

    6. Croompenstein says:

      Used to play the Penny Falls in the amusements but I think the penny has dropped for the Scottish electorate and hope that the SNP can achieve the ‘tipping point’

    7. turnip_ghost says:

      Perhaps not retrospective…but I think it would certainly come into play…

      Wasn’t there SLIGHT suggestions of that when the SNP won it’s majority in 2011?

    8. Lollysmum says:

      Excellent explanation Stu.

      FPTP is accepted in England as being unfair because the smaller parties don’t get a look in. BUT there is absolutely no chance of changing it as too many people in WM are too attached to their seats & turkeys definitely don’t vote for Christmas here.

      Greens are currently on 28000 members but when you spread that across 400+ constituencies they are unable to make a dent at General Elections because they won’t reach that tipping point or anywhere near it. Most often they are seen as the place for a protest vote.

      Scotland is a very different landscape & I look forward to SNP doing well in May.

    9. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      Great analysis Rev,

      I am beginning to like this first past the post system.

      But let’s not keep it for an Independent Scotland.

    10. Morag says:

      I don’t like this “45” malarkey and never did, but in this context the implications are delicious.

    11. Dan Huil says:

      Here’s hoping for a landslide, or avalanche, in favour of the SNP.
      First Past The Piste.

    12. Luigi says:

      And 65% want devomax.

      If the SNP can convince Scotland that voting for them is the only way to secure more powers, they are clearly on to a winner.

      The MSM “keep the tories out” barrage has already started however. The first salvos have been fired. The only way to deal with this is to completely discredit the Red Tories.

    13. Marcia says:

      Luigi

      The problem for Labour is that they convinced many in 2010 to vote Labour to stop the Tories but they still got in. It may not work this time as Gordon Brown is no longer PM and the Scots became a bit clannish in 2010.

    14. keaton says:

      we have another potential significant ally. Turnout.

      How committed to turn out will other voters be for a UK general election, compared with the SNP support and Yes minded?

      Who knows? There was a general assumption that Yes supporters would be more likely to turn out in the referendum, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case.

    15. Nana Smith says:

      Alex Salmond hints at Scottish votes for English laws

      Exclusive: Former First Minister questions convention that SNP MPs do not vote on issues affecting only England

      https://archive.today/wGivK

    16. Julian says:

      I’m proud of my 45 Badge. I was part of something great and the symbolism of a 45% SNP vote would be magnificent.

    17. uilleam_beag says:

      It’s not ‘our’* voting system; we didn’t choose it and it’s been leaving us short-changed at UK general elections for decades.

      Should we feel chuffed that it looks as though the system may swing in our favour for oncw?

      There’s a delicious irony to it, but I’m not sure I’d be rejoicing the SNP netting some 9/10ths of the seats on less than half the vote, as the polls/swing calculators are suggesting at the moment. I don’t for a second doubt the SNP would use that ‘unfair advantage’ to further democracy, but it would still sit uncomfortably.

      * ‘our/we’ in this context refers to the SNP and various pro-yes parties, who I believe all prefer proportional representation of one form or another.

    18. Morag says:

      I suppose I worry that the SNP will pile up a lot of votes in relatively few constituencies while still allowing the other parties (OK maybe not the LibDems) to squeak through in quite a lot of places. It’s what has happened repeatedly in the past.

      The possibility that Labour really has run out of chances in Glasgow and Lanarkshire is the main cause for optimism there.

    19. Dougie Bee says:

      The SNP and the other pro-indy party’s have got to campaign for Devo-Max in the 2015 GE, with 60+% behind them they would be on a winner..personally I think a YES Alliance would be no bad thing if the unionist party’s are going to tactically vote for each other..might be wrong..but you never know..it would be suicide to campaign for independence at this stage of the game…xxx

    20. steveasaneilean says:

      Be careful what you wish for. FPTP may not be ideal but can anyone really say it’s less democratic than the list system for the Scottish Parliament? Okay, two wrongs don’t make a right but stay with me for a minute.
      The key to true democracy must be that elected members must directly serve and be accountable to the people that elect them. For this reason we must have a constituency-based system so you know whose door to knock down.
      But under the current FPTP arrangements it is possible to represent a community with way less than half of the votes cast. That’s not good enough.
      So instead we need a system where voters rank all the candidates in order of preference with 1 being best choice, 2 for second best, etc. Then the candidate with the lowest number is elected because they polled lots of ones and twos.
      This means that perhaps only 40% get their first choice – just as with FPTP – but another 40% may get at least their second choice and so have some sense of ownership over the person representing them instead of the current feeling of having had no input at all.

    21. Ken500 says:

      The three Unionists Parties split the vote, this let’s the SNP through. The turnout is lower than a Referendum. Referendum 80%+ GE 60%+. Voters in Scotland are far better informed because of the Referendum. That is why the Unionists are squealing like pigs, and the SNP are polling so high.

    22. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      test

    23. Taysideterrier says:

      Yip, fully expect the high polling the snp are showing to be rammed down everyones throats by the media at every opportunity, especially if its anywhere as near as high as now closer to the GE.

      This will of course (purposely) encourage tactical voting and a high unionist turnout.

      No place for complacency, lets vote these red torys out for good!

    24. De Valera says:

      I have always thought it more realistic to expect 15 MPs with 20 being an amazing result. It will take along time to erode the red tory support to the point where the blue tories are now.

      If the SNP cannot make significant gains from the red tories in May, then the independence movement is as good as finished as any Westminster government can point to the result as an endorsement of unionism and deny any further demands for another referendum.

    25. Andrew Walker says:

      There are clearly a number of ’45’s’ who are not SNP supporters, but who now realise that voting in a large cohort of SNP MP’s to Westminster is the best way to have a chance of furthering Scotlands interests. So green supporters etc, don’t be dissappointed if your particular party does not score well in May as your powder is being kept dry.

      I think a large number of SNP are ineviteable, how many exactly is variable as Stu has pointed out.

      What will be interesting is how much could be extracted from a labour government, who will in the back of their mind feel they still ‘own’ Scotland. Luckily we will hopefully have the canniest fox of them all in there providing wise words of wisdom at the very least.

    26. Andrew Walker says:

      Dougiebee.. That is exactly what is being campaigned for. Feet to the fire over devo max/ near to federalism whilst retaining the option of a referendum over EU withdrawal/ poor implementation of EVEL. Let’s just hope UKIP doesn’t get too many seats, if it’s not a labour minority government SNP will be much more limited in how much can be pressed for.

    27. drawdeaddave says:

      All the more reason for an official yesnp alliance if you ask me, but in the absence of such an agreement, can only hope SSP & Greens are canny enough to vote SNP tactically as individuals in their particular constituency. Every little helps..

    28. ian says:

      Labour has had a vast majority of Westminster MPs and it has changed nothing. Is their argument that they need the 5 SNP seats as well?
      It looks as if Down South may not get the government they voted for if the SNP can hold sway, lets see how they like it

    29. Orlando Quarmby says:

      The Westminster establishment machine knows all of this too, of course. In the wake of the Referendum, how much faith can be placed in the polling and counting system being of enough integrity that the announced result accurately reflects the votes cast? I’m not sure what powers are vested in Holyrood to put in place better invigilation of the General Election than was apparent at the Referendum, but if they can then they absolutely need to do so.

    30. No one mentioned retrospectively changing it, I meant changing it in time for the next elections. Or at the very least it will speed up English votes for English laws which will surely mean Labour will put more resources into English election campaigns at the expense of their (effectively redundant) branches in the colonies.

    31. davidb says:

      Arguably any vote at Waste Monster is wasted. All those who vote for a party which doesn’t win are only nominally represented. In safe seats incumbents can ignore their voters anyway.

      So perhaps the counter to the “logic” of wasting votes is that you are wasting them anyway, but it would be in Scottish interests to elect SNP members because they could well be in a position to force the Lie to be implemented. Importantly, that is not independence – which would come via referendum not UDI.

      And bearing in mind that people expect politicians to tell porkies then so what if we get it by UDI anyway?

    32. John says:

      I agree the YES turnout will be high. But the NO turnout will be back to the usual turnout for elections for the simple reason that they stopped independence and they feel their job is done. There will be some tactical unionist voting but Murphy will ensure labour voters who voted YES will switch to SNP. So 45% will be more like 65%.

    33. ewen says:

      I remember getting very pessimistic on here about a year ago and I’m feeling that way again. We can’t take anything for granted. Will that “silent majority” feel compelled to move against the wishes of Scotland again? Will we feel buoyed up talking in our own bubble, again?

      I’m not meaning to piss on anyone’s parade but we have to get out there on the doorsteps. We need to bus support where it is needed, talk up the SNP as the only party for Scotland and not take a big victory as read.

      We need to win because if we don’t….

      I will be taking a holiday to come home to shove leaflets through doors and campaign. The main advantage we have is our superiority in footsoldiers. Everyone has to get out and work.

    34. Clootie says:

      Ian

      6 SNP seats

    35. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Let’s think ahead to next May. It’s a tight race across the UK.

      Labour needs a huge number of Scottish seats to win.

      The Tories on the other hand need Labour thrashed in Scotland to remain in government.

      Which outcome would the mainly Tory supporting press prefer and how will they produce it. A continuous assault against Labour is my guess in most Scottish papers.

    36. Lesley-Anne says:

      Just an outside the box moment here but I wonder how the number of S.N.P. M.P.’s will be affected if, as has apparently been suggested, the Greens and S.S.P. do not put up candidates for Westminster. (All part of this suggested Alliance thingy.) 😉

    37. Gordon E says:

      I’m beginning to see UKOK stickers appearing on cars again, the Unionists are really rattled and talk of a Unionist alliance in Gordon against Alex Salmond and elsewhere just shows how full of fear they are.
      I would see a formal Yes alliance as an excuse for the Unionists to legitimise their own alliance, which in theory could vastly outnumber any Yes alliance.
      In most seats the SNP could not beat a Tory/Lib Dem/Labour alliance.

    38. Bob Mack says:

      The Daily Retard really going for the bottom of the barrel, with the story of the S.N.P. councillor who claimed for just under seven pounds to go to the funeral of a fellow councillor. Seventeen mile journey. This is the level we need to go to ? God forbid! .I think I prefer the comfort of the gutter before I go down this road. We hear of Murphs expenses but not through this rag

    39. alexicon says:

      Everyone has to get out and work.

      My sentiments exactly Ewen.
      We’ve won nothing yet and if we keep hearing big predictions from the nationalist supporters on here and elsewhere, we will be sorely disappointed if these predictions come to nothing.

      I agree that the SNP should stand on a ticket of FFA and if they get elected in good numbers and Westminster doesn’t play ball then the SNP should threaten another referendum. After all they’ll have the backing of the Scottish public for more powers and it will be a slap in the face of the FFA supporters if Westminster refuses.

      No predictions folks, just keep working on family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues etc.

    40. boris says:

      Excellent coverage of the 2 main topics of today’s press outlets, in particular the BBC distortion of the truth

      http://www.thelyonyawns.com/?p=563

    41. ClanDonald says:

      Anyone fancy contributing to a couple of fun crowd funders?

      The first is to pay for a UKOK alliance leaflet to go to half the households in Gordon saying the only way to defeat Salmond is to vote Tory.

      The other is to pay for a UKOK alliance leaflet to go to the other half of households in Gordon saying the only way to defeat Salmond is to vote Labour.

      🙂

    42. alexicon says:

      Sorry for the O/T Rev.

      Folks the National is touting for events information, publicising political and cultural events .
      They’re also planning to introduce a column linking interesting blogs. Page 25.

      Also they’re in need of some advertising. I seen Bella Caledonia being advertised in there last week.
      What about some wings adverts Rev?
      I’m sure the funds would be readily available if you ask 😉

    43. jaygee says:

      Slightly O/T
      Like almost everyone else on this forum I am buying the National.I could go on about previous Scottish newspapers
      starting up and lacking style and character even with accurate recording of events and failing.
      At present this paper has an almost guaranteed readership so will not easily react to market forces,ie falling readership, so I worry that our only good hardcopy contact with the electorate may die of inertia.
      It’s a bit like Blair Jenkins style when when running the Yes campaign.

    44. heedtracker says:

      Payback’s a bitch eh teamGB. Well all the proud Scot buts going I’ll be voting NO, had bettertogetherise all their blue Tory friends for another last big push. It will be interesting to see Project Fear 2 though. BBC liggers really earning their vote Labour or else money for another 6 months.

    45. yesindyref2 says:

      I agree with the article, I agree about the tipping point, and strangely enough, I agree it’s about 45%, though I think 42% is about the tipping point for a simple majority of SNP MPs, rather than a near walkover.

      Mmm, agreeing doesn’t be very agreeable for me.

      Scotland as a whole isn’t very tactical voting though in general. Getting rid of the Tories was different, way different. The SNP have never had a Margaret Thatcher.

    46. Faltdubh says:

      I think we have a lot to be excited about for the GE. There’s absolutley no way turnout will be as high as the referendum. The worry is we’ll lose out by some unholy form of alliance, but that is also is a strange one – for hardcore Unionists it matters not who is in Govt as long as it’s not the SNP, but many Unionists will want to see THEIR party in power and we have many areas where it’s a dogfight between 3/4 parties.

      I wouldn’t want to predict anything at all either. We don’t know what will happen in the next 5-6 months, and we’ll only hear ‘vote SNP get Labour/Tory’ by whoever’s agenda it fits along with the hyped up Labour v Tory crap we’ll hear and see on TV.

      I’m aiming low for a modest doubling of SNP numbers, but if we can get over 20 it’s definitley a great night for the SNP. We have some large majorities to turnover in the cities, central belt – along with the hardcore Unionists who may be Tories, Libs, UKIPers but hold their nose to not let the SNP in (when it’s a 2 way battle like in most Scottish seats).

      100,000 or near enough members now. It must be around that if not officially. I’m thinking we’ll get a Christmas announcement maybe of that large number.

      My SSP and Green pals are all voting SNP. We have the benefits of ‘scratching their back’ next May in return on the list system. And the folk I know in both parties are hoping for an SNP return in May. They’ll certainly get it from me.

      Imagine in 2016 – near a ton of pro-Indy MPs in Holyrood.

      A long way to go to then and to 2015’s election and there’ll be a ton of twists, but come the year’s turn. The SNP is in great shape.

      The 45% club. I have no issue with it. I had a 45 badge that was given to me, but unfortunately lost it. I don’t think I would wear one myself, but I have ordered an SNP pin badge for my jacket, but each to their own and I don’t like the dismissing of it. Let people wear 45, I’ve seen 5 people I think with a 45 badge and gave them all a warm smile or thumbs up knowing to let them ken I was with them on Sept 18th.

    47. Lesley-Anne says:

      Nana Smith says:

      Friday’s National front page

      https://twitter.com/Independent_SCO/status/545705111453184000/photo/1

      Brilliant front page thanks for the link Nana. When you tie this story to the news that the Met police are now, apparently, confirming the link of 3 murders allegedly linked to Dolphin square in London, around 10 minutes or so from Westminster, to a Westminster paedophile ring and there is only one thing that springs to mind … there is a whole lot of shite floating around Westminster these days. 😉

      If we can keep this sort of pressure up from now till the General Election then I think these sort of stories will have a SERIOUS affect on how people will vote, throw in the *ahem* suggestion about the death of Willie McRae and I think we have a blunderbus effect pointing directly at the unionists just begging for the trigger to be pulled. 😛

    48. Nana Smith says:

      @Lesley-Anne

      My thoughts exactly Lesley Anne. What with the abuse scandal and rendition flights surely decent people will be thinking Westminster really is a corrupted place.

      Exaro is bringing out further revelations in the new year. Let us hope there is nowhere for those involved in covering up these scandals to hide.

      http://www.lbc.co.uk/explosve-revelations-about-child-abuse-dossier-on-lbc-100186

    49. On November 5th this year, we launched a communications portal. It’s called “scot2.scot”.

      “We” are a collection of people who were heavily involved in the online campaign for independence in the run up to the referendum. Scot2.scot is our response to the feelings of those people who felt cheated and wish to see the positive change that we felt was inevitably coming for the people of Scotland.

      The takeup and interest has been steady and as it is now we may make a small marginal difference next May. We want to do better than that. The idea of the communications portal is to promote “pro-Scotland” tactical voting as opposed to “pro-Westminster” as in the case of those attached to the London centric parties.

      It’ll only be successful if we get the high numbers of people involved in all areas. That’s the reason I mention it here and hope the good Rev doesn’t mind too much.

      I don’t expect a huge surge just before Christmas by merely mentioning its existence on here now but if you at least check it out now, perhaps come the new year, you’d like to get involved.

      There’s a website, youtube, twitter, google+, two main facebook groups and 59 constituency community pages.

      The website gives connection to the entire system and its address is;-

      http://www.scot2.scot

      Give us a shout if you’re passing our way. Our sole aim is to get as many pro-Scotland MP’s elected as possible knowing that the bulk of them will be SNP MP’s. It won’t be easy to unseat the pro-Westminster MP’s and appeal for any campaigning support you might offer at a constituency level.

      We still need to fill many editorial positions on some of the constituency community pages and need strong players to get involved at that level.

      The portal belongs to anyone who wishes to get involved and see a strong pro-Scotland force being returned to Westminster in May.

      Join us and help make scot2.scot part of the solution. It’s not over, not by a long chalk.

      Westminster, there’s a storm coming….

      Kindest regards,

      David Milligan

    50. M says:

      O/T but regarding The National. If anyone would like to petition the National to hire Wee Ginger Dug see this link:

      https://www.change.org/p/wee-ginger-dug-in-the-national-sign-this-to-make-sure-we-get-our-writers-in-the-national

    51. AnneDon says:

      I think we need to manage expectations for the General Election. The way things are going, Labour will be playing the underdog even though they have the majority of seats.

      However, as long as the SNP get 12 seats or more, they will have improved on their best ever Westminster performance in 1974. Apart from that, cutting Labour majorities and making them feart for their jobs might well produce better results for us re DevoMax.

      Anything more than 12 seats will be a huge bonus, but there are five months to go, and we need to ca’ canny.

    52. Ken500 says:

      Resisted buying newspapers forever. Most just recycled, waste of trees, rubbish. That Friday ‘National’ is an irresistible 50p read.

    53. AnneDon says:

      I was at a meeting addressed by Patrick Harvie last week. The Yes Alliance isn’t going to happen, however much we would have wished for it. Harvie wants every Green voter to have the chance to vote for a Green candidate, which is fair enough, but the FPTP system is not our friend here.

      Independence isn’t actually the Greens’ priority, as much as we would hope for – they don’t see next year’s general election as different from any other.

    54. Ken500 says:

      Some shops have posters up. ‘Get your National here’.

      Still YES signs up. Maybe folk will be putting them up again for the GE.

    55. Doug Daniel says:

      Nice illustration, Stu. As others have pointed out, not all the 45% who voted Yes support the SNP, but there is of course another 45% – the 45% who voted for the SNP in the constituency vote in 2011 (and 44% in the list, of course).

      And that’s exactly why I think people were making a mistake thinking a Yes Alliance would be the key. It’s not getting all Yes voters to back the SNP that will get the SNP seats – it’s retaining their support from 2011 that will do it. And some of those folk will have voted No in September.

      (Granted, 45% in 2011 is fewer people than the 45% in September, but we won’t get an 85% turnout in May, and there’s every reason to suppose that there will be a lot of SNP supporter amongst those who do decide to come back to the ballot box.)

    56. Morag says:

      Today I went into the staff room at work for free mulled wine and mince pies. I don’t usually take my breaks there as I’m more often using the time to be on Wings or other indy sites. Anyway I found myself sitting reading my National, right next to a fairly new staff member I don’t know terribly well, who was reading the Scotsman. I sort of sighed inwardly.

      It took me about five minutes to realise he was drinking his mulled wine from a Yes mug! (And it was a design of Yes mug I’d never seen before.)

      Then he saw my paper and started asking about it, saying he’d heard it had been launched but hadn’t seen it on sale and how easy was it to get and where could he find it and was it a good read and so on.

      I’ve seldom done such a fast about-turn in my assessment of someone as I did at that moment. It does show that the National may not be reaching all the parts other papers reach, as yet.

    57. snode1965 says:

      I think this worry over tactical voting has been over-egged. My dad is a life long Tory ( I know ????), but always gets a Labour MP. When I suggested he should vote Labour to keep the SNP out, his face was a picture! There is no chance life long Labour and Tory voters will flip, never go a happen.

    58. dakk says:

      Morag
      Thats some cushy number you have there with wine and Yes colleagues.In my work I cant get a lunch break and have wall to wall No voting cringers for customers.Fancy a job swap?

    59. Kevin Evans says:

      If the UK goverment took a voting system that’s not fptp and changed to something similar to scotlands proportion vote lindem and UKIP would get massive amounts of seats and Tory labour don’t want that.

    60. Rock says:

      Murphy has predicted that Labour will not lose a single seat to the SNP.

      If anything close to that happens, I am sure even Morag will have to say that the election was rigged, even if her ‘analysis’ cannot provide any ‘evidence’ or ‘possibility’ of that happening.

      I hope we have a Plan B ready.

    61. MJS Dundee says:

      Interesting numbers Stu. Localised anomalies aside, looks to me as though you’d need getting on for 48-50% nationally to more or less guarantee the clean-sweep scenario.

      That’s a tough call and much will depend on how UK Lab/Con numbers are looking in the days before the vote. If it’s as tight as it is now, anything could happen.

      20-25 seats might prove more than enough to cause merry havoc down-by if it is tight – but the more the merrier and it’s certainly all there to play for. Game on …

    62. Ally says:

      As I have said, time and time again. Expect 25 seats! Anything above that is a bonus!

    63. Haggis Hunter says:

      See labour have taken to celebrating the price of oil on Facebook, are they really this stupid?

    64. Luigi says:

      snode1965 says:
      19 December, 2014 at 12:27 am

      I think this worry over tactical voting has been over-egged. My dad is a life long Tory ( I know ????), but always gets a Labour MP. When I suggested he should vote Labour to keep the SNP out, his face was a picture! There is no chance life long Labour and Tory voters will flip, never go a happen.

      I would love to see the face of a typical, hardcore “always voted Labour, like my father and grandfather before me” type, when someone tells then to vote Tory!

      As yo u said, it ain’t gonna happen.

    65. john king says:

      Haggis Hunter says
      “See labour have taken to celebrating the price of oil on Facebook, are they really this stupid?”

      In the immortal words of Stu
      LINKS PEOPLE LINKS? 🙂

    66. Croompenstein says:

      @johnking – LINKS PEOPLE LINKS?

      I prefer square sausage masel john 🙂

    67. Hobbit says:

      @Haggis Hunter
      Better to describe the fall in the oil price as a mixed blessing, although agreed, it will cause some significant localised issues.

      http://www.scotsman.com/news/bill-jamieson-oil-price-sits-well-in-our-pockets-1-3637586

    68. Hobbit says:

      @Haggis Hunter
      Better to describe the fall in the oil price as a mixed blessing, although agreed, it will cause some significant localised issues.

      http://www.scotsman.com/news/bill-jamieson-oil-price-sits-well-in-our-pockets-1-3637586

    69. Hobbit says:

      @Haggis Hunter
      Better to describe the fall in the oil price as a mixed blessing, although agreed, it will cause some significant localised issues.

      http://www.scotsman.com/news/bill-jamieson-oil-price-sits-well-in-our-pockets-1-3637586

    70. Derick fae Yell says:

      “keaton says: 18 December, 2014 at 7:51 pm
      we have another potential significant ally. Turnout.”

      And demography. If not one single person changes their mind, by May there will be a net reduction in the September 2014 No vote of 70,000. Yes yes, it’s tasteless, and the No vote and the anti-SNP vote is not exactly the same thing, and a lot of people the ‘Silent No’s’ came out to vote No in the referendum but don’t usually vote. But.

    71. Macca73 says:

      There’s a fear alright, Just look at the way they are trying so hard in the media to simply ignore it!

      Our newly elected first minister has stated that due to membership numbers that nearly 1 in 5 is now an SNP member.

      Meetings all over the country over subscribed and a heck of a lot more footsoldiers at every doorstep in every consituancy in Scotland. Oh they are afraid alright. The storm front is moving in..

    72. Karen says:

      BUT – how will we know the vote is not rigged (again)?

    73. MJack says:

      On the topic of voting, do we know for sure that the postal votes for the referendum went to England (as suggested) before coming back up to Scotland and will that be the same for this GE?

    74. Morag says:

      The story about the postal votes going to England has been officially denied, I believe. I don’t think it happened, going by the accounts of the people who were present when the postal votes were opened and verified. I suspect crossed wires or Chinese Whispers.

    75. Morag says:

      Thats some cushy number you have there with wine and Yes colleagues. In my work I cant get a lunch break and have wall to wall No voting cringers for customers. Fancy a job swap?

      Well the mulled wine is only once a year and there are No voting colleagues as well, but it’s OK. (No I don’t fancy a job swap!)

    76. Morag says:

      If anything close to that happens, I am sure even Morag will have to say that the election was rigged, even if her ‘analysis’ cannot provide any ‘evidence’ or ‘possibility’ of that happening.

      Just can’t give up on the snide comments, can we?

      If something that hasn’t happened, actually does happen, then we can discuss what we think about it.

    77. hector says:

      Will the lib dem vote implode or not? i think it will.
      Tories have nothing to offer, and labour are on a donkey cart to nowhere. The other bloke or boyack could have perhaps saved SLAB , but not murphy.They are doomed. The founders of the labour party must be fair birlin in their coffins at the antics of blair/brown/murphy.
      The livingrent campaign protested outside holyrood on thursday, and not one labour msp came out to talk.



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