The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

The useless Samaritans

Posted on September 15, 2013 by

We’ve been meaning to nag someone to present this data in a super-snappy visual form for ages, then what do you know except that the splendid Stewart Bremner just pops up out of nowhere and does it without even being asked.


Independence will NOT “abandon England to the Tories”. If the people of the rest of the UK choose to vote Tory, we can’t save them from themselves, even were we to be so arrogant as to assume we had any business doing so. If they choose to vote Labour, they’re equally capable of electing them just fine without our help.

Scottish votes are almost totally irrelevant to UK elections. We have no impact on the government England gets. They, on the other hand, force governments that we voted against on us more than 60% of the time. That’s not a union of equals. That’s the political equivalent of domestic abuse. It’s never the wrong time to walk away.


Print Friendly

    1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    1. 20 03 14 09:13

      Independence Scotland/Europe

    75 to “The useless Samaritans”

    1. I’ve made a newer version, which shows the Scottish vote as well.

    2. velofello says:

      Now that is really smart. Well done.

    3. handclapping says:

      Ah but knowing Scots support her gives a warm glow to the Liverpool Granny.

    4. 1992 was a Tory UK win. You’ve also missed off 1997

    5. Morag says:

      I suppose one can’t get too complicated, but using that scribble of a tree for the Tories seems awfully false for Scotland in the 1950s.  The party that was voted for in Scotland back there was about as different from the modern Tories as it’s possible to get.  There was never a time when Scots voted for the sort of party represented by Dave and Gideon.

    6. @Morag
      To be fair, the Labour party now also have nothing in common with the Labour Party as it was back in the day.

    7. muttley79 says:

      Aye Craig’s right we had a Tory government from 1992-1997.  This kind of thing would be great as pamphlets.

    8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I suppose one can’t get too complicated, but using that scribble of a tree for the Tories seems awfully false for Scotland in the 1950s. The party that was voted for in Scotland back there was about as different from the modern Tories as it’s possible to get. There was never a time when Scots voted for the sort of party represented by Dave and Gideon.”

      It’s equally inaccurate to portray 1945 Labour and 2010 Labour as the same party, but what can you do?

    9. Grunt says:

      A third tier with what we actually voted for would complete the 1st picture to incorporate the info of the 2nd.

    10. Marcia says:

      Not another poll.

      Some people tweeting this:
      Boost for Yes Scotland in new Scotsman poll. Scots would vote Yes if particular pledge was guaranteed. More on this story later.

    11. Morag says:

      It’s equally inaccurate to portray 1945 Labour and 2010 Labour as the same party, but what can you do?
      Yes, but now you’re starting to sound like Willie Rennie.

    12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “1992 was a Tory UK win. You’ve also missed off 1997”

      Tsk. 1992 fixed. 1997’s going to be a pain in the nads.

      EDIT: Done, and also fixed the hideous mess that made of the numbers.

    13. call me dave says:

      ‘Scot goes pop blog’ hinted this morning that there would be a new poll tomorrow.
      Like buses three come along in a row.
      He wrote:
      UPDATE : There are also some whispers of another Panelbase poll tonight, although so far I can’t find any details.

    14. Marcia says:

      I think James posted that last night and his mention of the Panelbase poll now we know refers to the Sunday Times poll. The new poll might be Yougov as a few people have mentioned that they were polled by Yougov up until yesterday.

    15. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Doesn’t it give you a nice warm glow inside knowing that the whole of the Westminster political colour is wholly down to how Scotland votes! I am just so pleased to know that every time I vote Tory then I get a Tory government, every time I vote Labour we end up with a Labour government in Westminster, every time I vote LibDem we get……. well I’ll just leave that one alone (Sorry Stu :@lol:)
      Hmm! I think someone has been spiking my cups of tea here. Looks like my alter ego has just suggested I vote Labour or Tory……… only in my nightmares!!!
      As the way we vote here in Scotland has absolutely NO affect on the colour of the Westminster government I wonder why we even bother to vote in General Elections. After all no matter who we vote for you can be guaranteed that the Westminster colour will not reflect our voting intentions! It is only by sheer coincidence, i.e. Labour adopting Tory ideals, that we end up with a Westminster government reflecting the Scottish voters choice.

    16. eva says:

      that wee green tree doesn’t seem to convey a strong enough message – any chance you could replace it with the Spitting Image caricature of Maggie here and there?

    17. call me dave says:

      Thanks… Bedtime this time!

    18. BuckieBraes says:

      I agree the green tree looks too benign (as does the Labour rose, for that matter!)

      How about simply using images of a red rosette and a blue rosette?

    19. Edulis says:

      O/T    Stuart, can you lob in a question about the Royal Mail sell-off in your next poll? Another benefit of the Union!

    20. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      I agree the green tree looks too benign (as does the Labour rose, for that matter!)

      How about simply using images of a red rosette and a blue rosette?”


    21. Morag says:

      I’ll just delete this, Stu s clearly not in a mood for reader input.

    22. BuckieBraes says:

      No need for thon!

    23. Mosstrooper says:

      Morag,BuckieBraes etc.
      You’ve been invited to a slap up meal, stop moaning about the F—–g napkins.

    24. Doug Daniel says:

      Hey, I don’t think it’s fair to say we have no impact on the UK election results. What about those few months between the two 1974 elections? That surely makes it worth staying in the union.
      Oh wait, no it doesn’t.

    25. Paul says:

      So, you’re saying that 8% of the population of the UK has gotten the government they wanted nearly 40% of the time?

    26. gordoz says:

      ‘Scottish votes are almost totally irrelevant to UK elections’

      Particularly after viewing the cutting lower graphic …….
      Fairer to put the emphasis that all the efforts of the Labour machine in Scotland and ‘Scottish’ Labour voters, are almost totally irrelevant to UK elections’  ???

    27. james says:

      a vote other than yes from scotland at this stage, when english politicians feel they have something to lose, will result in a total obliteration of scotland, because, if scotland votes no now, politicians in westminster will feel they can run scotland and its subjects into the ground, without any recourse for the people of scotland……england has too long held the reigns of power over scotland, and it is time for scotlands people to choose the only option, to have its independance, its own place in the world order…..freedom

    28. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “So, you’re saying that 8% of the population of the UK has gotten the government they wanted nearly 40% of the time?”

      No, I’m saying that 100% of the population of Scotland has.

    29. Bill C says:

      o/t “A Better Together spokesperson said: “This poll, like every other poll that has been published in the past few weeks, shows that those of us who believe that we are better together with the rest of the UK, have a real battle on our hands.” Taken from the front page of tomorrow’s Hootsman. I smell unionist fear!

    30. Adam Davidson says:

      It was Labour’s feeble 50 in the 90’s that made me realise independence was essential for Scotland. I still had my doubts about some of the financials until I read the info of the stuff on Business For Scotland website.
      They are holding a landmark event on 2nd Oct in Glasgow. This will be the first public meeting of Business For Scotland in Glasgow, aimed at business people and the economic case. If you have never heard Gordon MacIntyre Kemp speak then this is essential. He only uses UK govt, EC or CIA figures to make sure the No campaign can’t quibble with his numbers.
      You will come away from this event with your mind spinning. The simple way Gordon presents everything will stick in your mind and helps those of us who struggle with the facts behind the economic arguement.
      I will be easy to identify so I’d love to put some face to names there.
      You can register for this free event at

    31. kininvie says:

      Here’s the archived Hootsman piece:

    32. Holebender says:

      Whenever I’ve been asked why I support independence my answer has always been “democracy”, that Scotland within the UK has no say over its own government. This graphic puts my support for independence in a simple to understand form.

    33. Patrick Roden says:

      isn’t it strange that we didn’t have any polls for months and bang! Wings does one that doesn’t look good for the No campaign, so within a few days we have a flurry of polls coming out.
      Someone with a fertile imagination, might think that Wings has put the MSM on the back-foot and they are ‘dancing to a Scottish Jig’
      Which is nice 😉

    34. lumilumi says:

      Democracy… Well, Scotland can never expect to have its democratic or societal voice heard when it’s only less than 10% of the whole UK electorate.
      What struck me about these graphics was how deeply undemocratic the UK election system (FPTP) is. It results in effective one-party dictatorships almost all the time, and that’s regarded as a good thing. Huh?
      The irony is that since 2010 the UK government has been a coalition because no one party could win a majority, even with FPTP. And then in 2011 the bloody jocks returned a majority government in a PR system! Didn’t they know it wasn’t supposed to be possible! They’re doing it deliberately!
      Because a democratic PR majority in Holyrood is a terrible terrible bad bad thing, a dictatorship akin to Zimbabwe or North Korea (because it’s an SNP majority, the Establishment wouldn’t have a problem with a Labour majority).
      United Kingdom and democracy. Two words that don’t mix.

    35. Tamson says:

      “What struck me about these graphics was how deeply undemocratic the UK election system (FPTP) is. It results in effective one-party dictatorships almost all the time, and that’s regarded as a good thing. Huh?”
      The graph doesn’t even tell the full story of just how appalling a system FPTP is. It can’t even guarantee giving the right result in a 2-party system.
      Take the UK General Election of 1951: it was basically a 2-party vote – between them Labour and the Tories secured over 97% of all votes cast. The Conservatives won a majority of 16 – even though Labour got a quarter of a million more votes than them!
      A system that can’t reflect even the most basic democratic scenario can’t be called democratic.

    36. DanTDog says:

      Well done Stewart Bremner…this is exactly the kind of “cat sat on the mat” simple example we need to get the message out to the undecideds/blinkereds…keep ’em coming, please!

    37. bunter says:

      Rennie on GMS given carte blanche to spout all sorts of pish on extra powers should we vote NO. The BBC ”journalist” made sure no difficult questions were asked as to why was a third option excluded, why would Scots voters believe ”jam tomorrow. Also was allowed to hint at something nasty with the SNP not condemning the Farage farrago, suggesting that the SNP does a good job with their inclusiveness but then hinted that something orrible  lurks within. The ”journalist” accepted this rubbish without challenge. Truly pathetic.

    38. DerickfaeYell says:

      Great graphics Stewart.  Duly shared

    39. call me dave says:

      GMS allows RENNIE to blether about pigs in pokes without asking any hard questions.                             I despair, if he thinks that folk can believe in new powers after a NO vote. 

    40. john king says:

       thanks for that info yesterday,
      wife booked the shuttle bus and now definitely going 
      only trouble is I don’t get to go to the pub,
      but hey ho we’ll meet everyone on the hill

    41. Derick says:

      why am I on moderation? ‘
      And hello again Norsey zzzzzzzz

      PS ah, I see. Differentish UN

    42. dee says:

      BBC Scotland GMS guest, Willie Rennie, commenting that there should be less anti-English sentiment and more condemnation coming from the SNP, like Nigel Farage being chased out of Edinburgh. Also he is as Scottish as any Nationalist and that we have no right just to feel Scottish, etc, etc… The guy is an out and out fruitcake.  How did he get into any position of authority in a public office. Who thought he was qualified enough to give him the job in the first place and WHO is voting for him to become their MSP????.

    43. Boorach says:

      Looks like taxation with but token representation to me and we all know what that resulted in back in the 18th century. We may be set on a different method but the outcome will be the same vote YES

    44. scottish_skier says:

      RE the Scotsman poll.
      I’m looking forward to the tables. Who are the 15% which would switch to yes if you could reassure them they’d be better off under independence?
      Also, the 43 No / 39 yes for ‘independence would make you neither worse off nor better off’ can be taken as a good gauge of current VI for a referendum tomorrow. Yields 47 Y / 53 N which is just like the panelbase ‘tomorrow’ result of 48 Y / 52 N (DK’s excluded in both cases).
      The evidence that we’re approaching parity is building…

    45. ianbrotherhood says:

      Gary Robertson Nicked My Tardis‘ by Jackie Baillie.
      He did indeed, and he just used it on GMS to try and find out how much stamps will cost in an independent Scotland IF there’s a Yes vote, and IF the Scottish govt then decides to re-nationalise a privatised universal mail service.

    46. Harry Shanks says:

      RE: Good Morning Scotland.
      Willie is the only Rennie that GIVES you the boak.

    47. Doug Daniel says:

      lumilumi: “What struck me about these graphics was how deeply undemocratic the UK election system (FPTP) is. It results in effective one-party dictatorships almost all the time, and that’s regarded as a goodthing. Huh?”
      Yes, here in the UK we like STRONG governments. We don’t like the terrible uncertainty of coalitions. It doesn’t matter how many people voted for you, all that matters is you’re able to act with carte blanche at all times. Well, according to the media, anyway.
      It may seem strange to someone from a grown-up country like Finland, but that’s the reality of the British state, in all its infantile glory. At least Scotland can free itself from such juvenile attitudes after next year.

    48. scaredy cat says:

      Re democracy –
      I had a conversation with a colleague recently and commented that we never get the government we vote for unless the English voters happen to want the same thing.
      The response? Well that’s democracy!
      I replied, only if you see Scotland as a region of Britain rather than as a country.
      I just got a blank look and the person said, eh I have to get back to work now!
      Sometimes I despair…

    49. kininvie says:

      The Times headline: ‘SNP claims “risk rise in anti-English sentiment”. Yes, its Oor Wullie bringing up this old canard by saying that anyone speaking of ‘Scottish values’ is stirring up anti-English sentiment. “To say we all have to believe in independence or we are not Scottish is a dangerous thing to do”.
      Quite apart from the fact that no one has said this, it’s nothing if not ironic that Rennie came up with this garbage at a fringe meeting — on identity!

    50. Albalha says:

      Just a reminder that the Five Live Debate from Glasgow is on today between 10 and 12. On the BBC News Channel as well, I believe, 10-11 and 1130-12.

    51. O/T: I had a look at Fettered Together’s much-heralded Big Push ‘grassroots’ campaign to mark 1 year to go. I’ve just looked at Edinburgh, others may wish to throw a spotlight on their own areas: Photo Opps for Lonely People.

    52. heraldnomore says:

      stonking stuff from Mr Bateman today; you know where to find him

    53. BeamMeUpScotty says:

      Scotland ALWAYS gets the government England decides on.

    54. Caesar!lha, it’s on the telly, channel 503.  

    55. Gillie says:

      The English elect governments.
      The Scots only elect MPs. 

    56. Albalha says:

      @Tree of Liberty
      Yes avidly watching on my red button!

    57. Morag says:

      If Derek Bateman is going to keep this up, and it looks very much as if he’s on a roll, Stu really really needs to get him on the blogroll right there beside BBC Scotlandshire.

    58. Gillie says:

      Radio 5 Live farce in full flow.
      Anas Sarwar is in the audience. How did he manage to escape his handlers?

    59. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Gillie – How is that Anas Sarwar can create such hostility and a very public smack on the wrist, even from Victoria Derbyshire? Rabbit in headlights springs to mind. 

    60. Morag says:

      Bizarre piece on GMS today.  Salmond attacked for demanding that the privatisation of the post office should be delayed until after the referendum.  The “attack” is from someone who believes the whole idea needs to be squashed completely.  Well, yes, good luck with that.  So then Gary goes on to hector the SNP spokesman about “putting the country on hold” until the referendum, and trying to make everything about independence.
      He then started demanding a commitment to renationalising it after independence.  In principle, yes, but how can anyone give such a commitment?  If something is about to be smashed, and you don’t know exactly how or how badly, an open-ended commitment to restoring it as new is a bit rash.  How about trying to stop it being shashed in the first place?  Oh wait….
      I see the Hootsmon headline today is “Salmond: Royal Mail sale should follow referendum”, which makes it sound as if he is advocating selling off the post office in Scotland after a Yes vote.
      I’m getting tired of this.

    61. Andy-B says:

      Well done Stewart,in highlighting Scotlands insignificant clout in the UK vote.

    62. tartanpigsy says:

      tasmanian- 9:25am, if you altered the ‘scotland votes’ column image,
      as we clearly never voted Tory in those 3 elections,
      that is a cracking graphic,
      we are going to need as many simple, easy to understand images as possible,
      also we are going to need to produce and distribute these through our local groups as nothing effective or hard hitting like this looks like coming from the central Yes office

    63. Tasmanian says:

      My point is a vote for New Labour was a vote for Tory policies coming from Tony Blair’s mouth – PFI, privatisation etc. Not that there was any alternative.

    64. John Lyons says:

      I had this problem for a while, the guilt of abandoning the poor obeg gland. Then one day, I simply realised the best thing we can do is create an independent Scotland. That way, if they can’t changmerge uk, they’ll have somewhere else to go.

    65. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      We must not make the mistake of implying that a Labour government would be good for Scotland. That could seriously damage our prospects. Please be careful everybody

    66. Franariod says:

      Whom does this country have the option of voting for? Historically, its Labour because we see ourselves as a fair nation, willing to help those who need help, deserve help( the party of the worker has forgotten the worker).But this should not be at the expense of enterprise and business because its these type of people that bring wealth to a country and hence distributed among the masses in the form of jobs and taxes. If the country has the guts to vote yes next year, will we get a decent calibre of politician in the Labour, Conservative and Lib-Dem parties ? This is vital to a democratic country as small as ours, wee Eck and his crew are not immortal. Competition is vital in politics as in business, who offers the consumer the best deal ( without getting us up to our eyes in debt!) wins.   

    67. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Historically the Labour Party has never gained a majority of electors in any Scottish election but the FPTP system of voting has in recent decades given them a majority of MPS.
      Labour has never achieved the percentage of votes that SNP got in 2011 so we should be very careful about imagining that anything other than the central belt was a Labour fiefdom.                                                                                                       Scotland may be less right wing than England but is very far from being a very socialist country. Many parts of rural and Highland Scotland have disliked Labour as much as they disliked the Tories 

    68. Just a thought like! says:

      However, don’t forget, Scotland had voted in a socialist government in 1974 and the SNP went into the division lobbies WITH Margaret Thatcher to bring down the government that Scotland elected.
      And in the past 20 years Scotland has had 13 years of Governments it voted for and only 4 years of Tory rule. added to that Scotland has had devolved power.

    69. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “the SNP went into the division lobbies WITH Margaret Thatcher to bring down the government that Scotland elected.”

      Oh God, not that tired old pish again.

    70. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      And its a good job that they did. They told the Labour Party that if it cheated Scotland again it would withdraw its support. Callaghan obviously thought they were kidding. Labour cheated scotland and the SNP withdrew support from the most unpopular UK government since WW2
      Strange how Labour hacks forget that everybody in that Parliament including NI MPs and LibDems voted Labour out. Funny that. There were a lot more LibDems voted than SNP but Labour went into coalition with the LibDems quite happily.
      As Stuart says “not that tired old pish again.”
      And if anything showed intelligent Scots that they needed independence it was Thatcher. Job done

    71. Morag says:

      And it’s HISTORY.  It happened nearly 35 years ago.  Most of the people involved are DEAD.

    72. Dave McEwan Hill says:


    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

    ↑ Top