The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


Tories Together

Posted on August 12, 2016 by

Annie Wells and Brian Whittle are two new Conservative MSPs. Look how happy and excited they are today at Labour winning a council by-election from the SNP.

wellswhittle

The SNP candidate actually won comfortably on first-preference votes, but was edged out at the sixth count under the Single Transferable Vote system when 78% of Tory voters gave their second preference to Labour (whose own vote fell 7%).

We’re trying to think of a good reason why they’re still two separate parties, but to be honest with you, readers, we’re coming up short.

Print Friendly

    1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    1. 24 08 16 08:20

      Re-Run to the Hills | A Wilderness of Peace

    191 to “Tories Together”

    1. Steve Mitchell says:

      There should simply be a new party created called the “SNP Bad” party and then all Yoons can vote for it without worrying which colour of Tory they are !

    2. Ken500 says:

      In Scotland the winner loses and the 2nd rate rejects celebrate.

      Ridiculous

      The Tories committed electoral fraud in 29 constituencies in a GE and nothing is done about it.

    3. Rock says:

      “We’re trying to think of a good reason why they’re still two separate parties”

      To fool the “plebs”, as has been the case for a long time.

      But even the “plebs” of Scotland can no longer be fooled.

      The end is near.

    4. Bugger (le Panda) says:

      Looks like Red Tory has bought another pup from Blue Tory, just like the VOW and all the promises. We’ll loan you some Tory votes so you can help stop the Nats.

      Red Tory vote takes another drop as whatever real Labour voters give up on them.

      Soon there will be only the Tories voting for Labour.

      That lot should be placed on suicide watch

    5. Arbroath1320 says:

      We’re trying to think of a good reason why they’re still two separate parties, but to be honest with you, readers, we’re coming up short.

      To be honest here I didn’t realise they were still two different parties. After their inglorious joining of the hips operation in 2014 I assumed, quite naturally I thought, that they had, post 2014, morphed seamlessly into one overly fat and outrageous party called the Conservative and Labour party! 🙂

    6. Capella says:

      Time for a seminar on the STV voting system. It’s down to Independence v Unionism.

    7. jimnarlene says:

      It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating;

      They are both cheeks of the same ar$e, spewing the shame sh!te.

    8. harry mcaye says:

      Well done team??? So the orders came from on high to vote Labour, did they?

    9. The Rough Bounds. says:

      Here’s the thing: why on earth would anyone in Irvine want to vote Tory or Labour? It is simply beyond the bounds of reason.

    10. Ian says:

      Does this voting system actually represent what voters want. Seems overly complicated to me. ‘Sixth count’?

    11. Jimbo says:

      The Tories committed electoral fraud in 29 constituencies in a GE and nothing is done about it.

      If the Westminster elite are happy to turn a blind eye Westminster’s kiddy fiddlers, they’re hardly likely to do anything about something as trivial as the circumvention of democracy.

      Undermining democracy is a very old and well practiced Westminster custom.

    12. chris kilby says:

      Team? TEAM? Now there’s an odd (and telling) use of a word…

    13. Proud Cybernat says:

      “We’re trying to think of a good reason why they’re still two separate parties, but to be honest with you, readers, we’re coming up short.”

      To give the illusion in Westminster that we live in a democracy?

    14. Quentin Quale says:

      They are just happy to have another Mini-Me on board to be used when they demand.

    15. Dr Jim says:

      And they’re the ones who complain about a one party state

      They can crow about their wee “Victory” today by hooking the voting system but tomorrow others can use the voting system too

      And you know what, we will!!

    16. Dan Huil says:

      As we said before it’s now a straight fight between pro-indy and anti-indy forces until Scotland regains its independence.

      IndyRef2: There is now no way the bbc and others can repeat IndyRef1 in pitching three anti-indy politicians against one pro-indy politician in TV debates.

    17. R-type Hero says:

      Yet more evidence for me that we have to have the referendum before next May.

    18. Tony Little says:

      @Ian

      Maybe is does maybe it doesn’t. Not sure STV in a single constituency is the best option, although I do favour it in general, but in multi-member constituencies.

      What this does show is there may be lessons to learn before May 2017. In fact there was a swing TO the SNP from Labour although this was negated by the Tory vote split.

      Low turnout (21% I think – down from mid 30s) so it’s unclear just how representative this might be.

      BUT! It’s a warning that May 2017 is more likely to be Pro/Anti Independence rather than based on any party’s actual policies.

    19. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      It’s Edinburgh South all over again. But ultimately at what political cost? At some point people will begin to twig that:

      + The red Tories are living up to their name, supported by the blue ones. At what price for genuine progressive Labourites, their party at the grace-and-favour of Tory voters? They aren’t all fanatical Unionists.

      + The Tories can tactical-vote Labour all they like, but it still doesn’t give them any more seats. Ultimately futile, unless they think they can eventually steal the Labour vote, on the principle “why vote for the Unionist monkey when you can vote for the organ-grinder?”. Which takes me back to my first point.

      The Tories are chipper at the moment, whereas Labour are being pulled apart, first by their own internal left/right split, and in Scotland by a Loyalist/non-Loyalist split as well. The future doesn’t look too rosy for them. For the more forward-looking among them, though, an indy Scotland offers a far better prospect than the alternative.

    20. Paul says:

      It fills me with dread to think labour will have a majority in North Ayrshire again, they’re possibly the worst decision makers you could imagine just call them the selfservatives….

    21. Balaaargh says:

      Hang on, what happened there at stage 5?

      It seems odd to me (he says, without having gone off to check the rules) that a majority of 24 was achieved when there were only two candidates. Why the extra stage?

    22. McDuff says:

      This has ceased to be elections involving the various parties, its now quite clearly the SNP v Unionism.

    23. DerekM says:

      Victory through the back door i hate STV it sucks and is a yoon dirty trick,thanks to that bollocks i have a Labour/Tory council nobody voted for and the real elected winners lose,only a yoon could come up with bullshit like that.

      Though someone did suggest that lots of yes indy movement folks stand in the elections giving us a second vote block to add to the first SNP so when it comes down to coalition time we out number them,dont know if that is possible but i thought it a good idea.

    24. mike cassidy says:

      Scottish Labour seem more concerned with not being linked with Corbyn than being linked with the Tories.

      http://archive.is/20QVc

      Question.

      Would McTernan be pleased or disappointed he never got a mention?

    25. galamcennalath says:

      STV is used with success in lots of countries. It needs multi seat constituencies and does not function well on single seat bye elections.

      There has been much discussion about this on the previous thread. Firstly, it’s now Indy versus Union supporters in every election from here on. Secondly, Labour is Scotland is now just the right wing Blairite remnants because the left has moved on.

      Combined, these two points mean that Scottish politics has evolved into right of centre Unionism versus social democratic Indy.

      I am beginning to think Scotland’s future depends on turnout. In IndyRef1 if Yes area turn out had matched no area’s, we might have won. We need to get Indy voters out in large numbers for the next council election. And in IndyRef2, as well are soft No converts, we need to actually get Yes supporters to get out and vote!

    26. galamcennalath says:

      mike cassidy says:

      “Scottish Labour seem more concerned with not being linked with Corbyn than being linked with the Tories.”

      Definitely. Time was when their tribal hatred was aimed at the Tories. Now, the Blairite rump of BLiS has more in common with the Tories than with Labour.

      Like Blair, BLiS are now trying to be ToryLite. They saw a third of their already diminished vote move to the Tories in May. Looks like they have decided to abandon their traditional supporters, again in the Blair tradition.

    27. Tinto Chiel says:

      The STV system is going to make it difficult for the SNP to achieve a breakthrough next year. It is designed to confuse the electorate and the Yoons may be able to use it to depress the SNP vote. I fear the Irvine result may be replicated in 2017. Ironically, a FPTP system would probably have been to our advantage.

      The future fight may be a simple one, Independence V Unionism, as McDuff says, but STV seems to me to fudge the simple polarising choice.

      Hope someone out there can make me feel better about this. Any thoughts, Yesindyref2?

      Nice to see the Red and Blue Tories hugging each other, though.

    28. brewsed says:

      By-elections always produce odd results, tending to be single issue or personality focussed and, usually, with a low turnout which tends to acerbate the situation. What Rev.Stu has not mentioned is that the SNP candidate was the First Ministers’s Dad, Robin Sturgeon, so it is not entirely surprising the by-election was personality focussed. It is interesting to see where the Blue Tory second preferences went – out of 658 votes, 183 went to the Red Tory party. Headlines avoided: ‘Blue Tories vote for Red Tories’.

      May 2017 will soon be here and, then, the situation may well change.

    29. shug says:

      It sounds like Scottish Labour in in alliance with the Tories, while Westminster labour (the masters) want an alliance with the SNP.

      My head is starting to hurt

      Kezza give us a clue – what is going on

    30. galamcennalath says:

      A lot of people treated the constituency and list votes for Holyrood as if they were a vote 1 & 2 STV style. And we know it suited some people to promote this confusion!

      If the SNP put up more than one candidate per ward, they risk splitting their first preferences.

      I remember in the last council election there was only one SNP candidate in our ward. I put a 1 against her name, and left everything else blank. Literally, there was no one there to vote for, by my reckoning.

      A second SNP candidate would need a large turn out, and the discipline for supporters to put A 1 B 2 and never B 1 A 2. This is exactly what other countries do.

      Unlike Holyrood, perhaps the solution is to vote for two different Indy parties. This requires, of course, a second Indy party candidate in large numbers of wards. Frankly, I’d prefer any Indy councillor instead of a unionist one.

    31. Connor McEwen says:

      Rough Bounds 5.26.
      Well yi see I have the shopping and the garden and the ironing to do an the wee yins wull waant their tea so that wan that is on the telly or the paper fur aw the wrong reasons is the wan ah wull vote fur.
      Second votes ? ach that wan

    32. Seepy says:

      irony on//Well done to the tories, still maintaining that crucial 20% of the vote from the Holyrood elections//irony off

    33. Luigi says:

      Well, the alarm bells should be ringing regarding the council results. The challenge will be for the SNP to get their vote out in 2017 – if they can manage that they are home and dry, if not, the yoons will hold control a number of councils. As others have noted, the 2017 elections are crucial – the last thing the YES movement need is a large number of yoon councils in control during IndyRef 2.

    34. Socrates MacSporran says:

      There are a lot of Breengers supporters living in that particular ward. Brought up perhaps as Labour, but, when push comes to shove, still representatives of Ra Peepul.

    35. heedtracker says:

      My Slovene girlfriend takes the other side of yoonster red and blue tory cunning,

      Adam Tomkins MSP Retweeted
      Ruth Davidson ?@RuthDavidsonMSP 24h
      Ruth Davidson Retweeted STV News
      Labour’s official policy – let’s pal up with the SNP. Not oppose them, not challenge them, but do a deal with them.

    36. Iain More says:

      “We’re trying to think of a good reason why they’re still two separate parties, but to be honest with you, readers, we’re coming up short.”

      Throw in UKIP, BNP, NF, Lib Dems and most of the so called Independents as well and just call them the Scotland Haters Party.

    37. Dan Huil says:

      “The SNP were “defending” the seat in the spite of having lost the popular vote in the ward last time around, and they actually moved ahead of Labour to win the popular vote yesterday.”

      scotgoespop

    38. Stoker says:

      Wouldn’t it be great if we could start our own modern day declaration and get this current shambolic voting system binned. We should call it The Irvine Declaration – Never again shall Scotland promote losers as guardians and victors. The STV system may be many things but true democracy it isn’t.

      NO MORE LIBLABCONS

    39. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      galamcennalath @ 18:31,

      I think you’re dang right about turnout for 2017. Low turnouts can produce dire anomalies like Cockburn’s atypical EU election win.

      Another thing to keep in mind is that Loyalism may possibly still have some traction in that neck of the woods. Which won’t generally apply elsewhere.

      Any PR system will tend to give every party something like their fair share of the support they receive. In that sense it’s the WM wipeout by the SNP that’s the anomaly. So the case for indy parties winning next spring has to be made from now on. Each should aim to garner as much as it can without poaching from the other.

      Looks though like Labour are doing exactly the reverse. “Anti-garnering”. In which context it’s worth noting a wee article that appeared in iThe National yesterday, which mentioned that the GMB union had canvassed its members in rUK (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) about whom to support in the Labour leadership contest, but not Scotland. Seems that the GMB has either signed up to a neo-colonialist position, or has already discounted its Scottish membership from future involvement in rUK affairs.

      Scottish Labour supporters need to wake up and realise where their best interests truly lie.

    40. Capella says:

      The Scot Goes Pop analysis of two by-elections restores the balance!
      http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/sturgeon-sensation-as-swanky-snp-surge.html

    41. G H Graham says:

      It’s now a binary choice between the party on the left; the SNP led by Nicola Sturgeon & the party on the right; The Conservatives, Labour & BBC Shortbread Party, led by Jackie Bird.

    42. Dr Jim says:

      Does this mean they’re going to shorten FM questions again seeing as Red and Blue Tories have outed themselves as the same party now

      Will Ruth and Kezia speak in unison like twinnies with Rowley and Tomkins refusing to sit down unless they can sit down together

      Will there be cuddling and canoodling between the leaders of the same opposition, will they all remember if they’re Red or Blue, will Neil Finlay fight with anybody, will Jackson Carlaw fight with everybody, will Jackie Baillie make a dive for the last pie

      Will Willie Rennie get a question about the police in
      Is Patrick Harvey still a politician
      All these questions and more will be answered in the new series of First Ministers Questions Two (There will be blood) at a Parliament near you from September

      See it wouldnae be sae bad but that’s aw factual stuff ah didnae make up that onybody could predict and if ye saw it in the Sunday Post as a cartoon next tae the Broons ye’d buy next weeks fur the folly up (well, ye’d borry yer neeburs Sunday Post I widnae insult ye be sayin ye’d actilly buy yin wae yer ain munny)

      Terrifying isn’t it

    43. Robert Peffers says:

      What have I been telling everyone for years, Rev Stu?

      Westminster has really always been just, “The Establishment”. Like most families they will fight like rats in a bag among themselves but God help any outsider who dares to pick a fight with a family member. The ranks close and a united front is shown to the World.

      There has, at least to the present day, only been two clear outcomes when the Establishment comes under attack by outsiders. Their combined might is too much for the attacker or the Establishment simply absorbs them and then replaces a weaker Establishment party with the newcomers.

      Labour were once just such a newcomer and they replaced the Liberals. Labour then became just an integral part of the Establishment.

      The question now remains, who will replace Labour when they split and disperse?

    44. Mark Rowantree says:

      Despite this loss of a council seat, I personally think STV is a considerably more representative electoral system than is FPTP: regardless of the idiosyncrasies it may display from time to time. It is quite frankly nonsensical, to moan about losing when that comes about from failure to organise sufficiently.

    45. Smallaxe says:

      Thur’s nae rid n’ blu perty’s noo,thur just aw the wan so thi’
      ur,an thur is Black is thone Earl a’ Hell’s waestket, wance
      thur thi’gither mind,Keech sticks!Ah wan’t thum tae git Nae
      Peace, no tae oor gallus Unicorn cums gallapin hame tae a free
      Scotland!

    46. heedtracker says:

      G H Graham says:
      12 August, 2016 at 7:42 pm
      It’s now a binary choice between the party on the left; the SNP led by Nicola Sturgeon & the party on the right; The Conservatives, Labour & BBC Shortbread Party, led by Jackie Bird.

      No! Its got to be teamGB’s greatest living author, playwright, Scotland botherer, JK Rowling, for leader.

      Just read start of the idiots latest publication, Harry Potter and the cursed Scotland region, waiting for the rain to go off in Vote NO Scotland Morrisons. Its already sold over 3.5 million copies in the states and its fucking awful.

      Why us?

    47. galamcennalath says:

      I am concluding that Labour, Scotland and London, must have been infiltrated with elements whose aim it to cause meltdown to the benefit of the Tories.

      Having read BLiS’s letter to their members, and the fiascos in England, they can be no other logical explanation!

    48. Dan Huil says:

      @Mark Rowantree 7:52pm

      One more time:

      “The SNP were “defending” the seat in the spite of having lost the popular vote in the ward last time around, and they actually moved ahead of Labour to win the popular vote yesterday.”

      scotgoespop

    49. Stoker says:

      There seems, to me, to be only 2 ways of combating this preposterous voting system which is suffocating our progress:

      (a)-Get the system binned and replaced with a proper democratic one such as 51 beats 49 every day of the week, simple but very unlikely to ever happen.

      (b)-The formation of a highly organised set-up where we strictly co-ordinate, via a central point, an area by area voting recommendation advantageous to our cause.

      Something has to be done. Any system deliberately designed to keep failures and losers in power is absolutely ridiculous beyond belief and is suffocating our countries progress.

      These upcoming Council elections will be a very important step in our journey towards independence. We must not underestimate the significance of the results in 2017.

      Fail to send a strong message and i feel we’ll be subjected to London rule for a lot longer than we are currently anticipating.

    50. galamcennalath says:

      Smallaxe says:

      “Black is thone Earl a’ Hell’s waestket”

      … an’ that’s gie black! 🙂

      Haven’t heard that phrase for mony a decade. Possible my father using it to describe my hands when just home from playing and in need of a good scrub!

    51. HandandShrimp says:

      There is a fair bit of mileage in the story that Labour wins with the backing of the Tories. Red Tories and Blue Tories…it is all one…which is why Tories are comfortable voting Labour.

      🙂

      I see the SNP took the other by-election from Labour in Renfrew.

    52. Macart says:

      Probably THE most apt and accurately descriptive article heading I’ve seen this week… anywhere.

    53. One_Scot says:

      Scotland has effectively become a two party State, the SNP and the Yoons.

    54. James Westland says:

      What happened in Irvine is EXACTLY what happened in Oban a few months ago. The SNP candidate, the excellent Breege Smythe won the first round, clearly, but not over 50%. She eventually lost out to an “independent” (independent my arse, SLAB through and through)in the final stages as it became a simple unionist vs nationalist binary dynamic

      However, having said that , there were also “local” factors at play – the SNP had created issues for themselves locally.

      One of the things that distinguishes local council elections is the business of “local” issues plus the number of Independents. Often people are voting for the person rather than the party.

      SNP still need to makes sure that they get the vote out next year. Critical IMO.

    55. Cactus says:

      See this thing with the 130 odd thousand new Labour members not being able to vote.. Is that not like having a season ticket and being barred from the game?

      Either way.. Democracy UK?

      Anyway, looking forward to Nicola’s afterspeech when Yes wins our independence for Scotland. ?

    56. defo says:

      Robert P.
      “The question now remains, who will replace Labour when they split and disperse?”

      The smart money is split between either the People’s Front of Judea, or the Judean People’s Front.

    57. Cactus says:

      Dunno whits happening with these question marks.. that last one was surposed to be a smiley.

      Scotland!

    58. galamcennalath says:

      During the United States bid for independence, they called all loyalists Tories.

      It make perfect etymological sense….

      The term Tory or “Loyalist” was used in the American Revolution for those who remained loyal to the British Crown.

      … in a 21stC Scottish constitutional context, it might seem reasonable to call all those loyal to WM, the Union, and London rule, Tories as our American cousins did 240 years ago.

      It looks like Lab, LibDem, and Cons are all working towards this too!

    59. galamcennalath says:

      During the United States bid for independence, they called all loyalists Tories.

      It make perfect etymological sense….

      The term Tory or “Loyalist” was used in the American Revolution for those who remained loyal to the British Crown.

      … in a 21stC Scottish constitutional context, it might seem reasonable to call all those loyal to WM, the Union, and London rule, Tories as our American cousins did 240 years The term Tory or “Loyalist” was used in the American Revolution for those who remained loyal to the British Crown. Since early in the 18th century, Tory had described those upholding the right of the King over Parliament.

      It looks like Lab, LibDem, and Cons are all working towards this too!

    60. galamcennalath says:

      Opps! 🙁

    61. louis.b.argyll says:

      The 2017 council elections should be seen as the pre-indy warm-up.

      Apathy is unacceptable after centuries of inaction..this is a wake-up call.

      The stats from the example above are simple to explain, even to those less inclined to get into local democracy.

      We need to sell the arguments and rally the nation, the 45% is now nearing 6O%.

      With Wings watching our backs, the front foot is now required. Steady mind, but definitely in a positive direction.

    62. Smallaxe says:

      @ galamcennalath

      ‘Here’s tae us an’ Damn the Yin!’ Peace Always

    63. HandandShrimp says:

      louis

      It would be nice to think so but I fear few care much about local politics. The 20% turnout in Irvine (the weather was poor I concede) suggests that it isn’t a vehicle to launch much of anything.

    64. Fred says:

      Yoons to the backbone! If that’s not a contradiction in terms!

    65. defo says:

      Royal Bank of Scotland to disappear for customers outside Scotland

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-37062980

      Watch (or not) as the implications of de-branding are brushed under the carpet.

      “As the bank itself became a global brand, RBS became the global brand. I’m now saying we no longer have global aspirations, we have local aspirations.”

      “Each one of those brands will stand for something quite different in their own communities, and our staff will work with customers under those brands.”

      Naw-bag jobs are on the line here 😉

    66. george wood says:

      I think people are barking up the wrong tree.

      Unless there is more to the conversation that we haven’t seen, this is simply two tories congratulating the tory party for having increased it’s vote.

      Brian Whittle surely must be talking about the tory party, when he says “Well done team”.

    67. The Rough Bounds. says:

      Irvine has feature in Scotland’s struggle for independence in the past. In 1297 we had the infamous ‘Capitulation of Irvine’ when the Scottish forces fell out among themselves and a lot of the Scots went over to the English side.

      Some things never change.

    68. John from Fife says:

      Excuse this question but with the Westminster FPTP system and Holyrood’s PR system how does STV work and where does it fit in ?.

    69. Ealasaid says:

      Is the problem with STV not that our population does not know how to use it properly for their vote?

      I may have this wrong but I thought that you could make multiple choices in order of preference. Some people feel obliged to list all parties in order of preference and therefore end up voting for them all to some degree, all of which will be used. Is the trick to vote in order of preference only for those parties that you favour? Are the SNP voters also placing in preference the Labour and Conservative candidates and so casting votes for them? Should they not be leaving those options blank if they do not want them at all?

      I do not understand the system myself and agree with the person upstream who was calling for a tutorial on how to use the STV system effectively.

    70. Ghillie says:

      ‘We’re trying to think of a good reason why they are still two seperate parties’

      Well, in Morningside they are not.

    71. galamcennalath says:

      @John from Fife

      STV. Used in many places. It has its advantages, and its cons.

      One advantage is that once people get used to it, it does make sense.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_transferable_vote

    72. frogesque says:

      @defo 9.24

      Don’t see why they don’t go the whole pig and just call it the Colonial Bank

    73. Fraser Coats says:

      I agree the Tories and Labour have been joined at the hip in recent years but let’s be frank; were the SNP governing genuinely for the ordinary people of Scotland, instead of joining the aforementioned two parties in their fetish for neo-liberalism, they wouldn’t have to worry about sixth counts. The results would take care of themselves as would support for independence. Unfortunately many ordinary Scots don’t take kindly to a party which claims to be “fighting for Scotland” yet a) allows a multi-billionaire from Manchester to threaten ordinary working class Scots at Swiss-based Ineos’ Grangemouth plant with their jobs from the comfort of his luxury yacht; and b) takes the side of foreign big business against Scottish workers in the ongoing Scotrail dispute. Like it or not, currently the SNP are doing a very passable imitation of the red and blue Tories, and quite possibly diminishing the appetite for independence as a consequence.

    74. `Scottish` Labour Party,

      Scientific Name: Conservative and Unionist Labour Party
      Family Name: Red Tory
      Common Name: Blairite.

    75. Labour going in with Tory votes is the story and should be repeated and repeated and repeated.

      20% turnout will always harm us as it is the habitual senior party hacks that is turning out at this figure. It is however very easy to produce a result out of such a turnout if you have done an effective canvas and are prepared to follow up with door knocking on election day getting identified support out to vote.

      I do wonder however how wise it was to put Nicola’s father up. Some folk will have seen it as dynasty building as Nicola’s mum is the provost.

    76. Cadogan Enright says:

      This points to need for careful vote management by SNP in West Irvine next year

      If the turnout remains the same, then the quota will be just over 600 given 4 seats

      Each SNP candidate would need to poll evenly at or near that level to prevent the second Labour or the trailing Tory winning one of the SNP’s 2 seats in the area

      This would require careful vote management. Of the kind we do here in Ireland by second nature – it takes planning and disciplined execution

      I hope the SNP’s election team and Councillors are Tuned into this system properly come next year

    77. Hamish100 says:

      SNP must stand more candidates so that 1,2,3 votes are shared or vote once and only once. I know of one person that thought they should vote for ALL candidates at the last council elections. 6 candidates. Effectively she voted her own candidate out.

      North Ayrshire is a funny place for Labour a friend who lives there tells me. Labour have no foot soldiers and with the tories voted to prevent any hustings type material on lampposts etc. Their shadow leader Gallagher who writes in the Herald all the time believes he isn’t Scots but a Viking/brit!! He is involved with the Viking festival which is full of British Army events, WW2 bombers and Union flags everywhere- all public money. Hardly a saltire to be seen.
      Having said that I think Labour will get kicked out next year assuming they still have a party.

    78. heedtracker says:

      Fraser Coats

      That’s hopeless Fraser.

    79. Jimbo says:

      Irvine West result Labour Win!! SNP 2nd and @ScotTories 3rd with 20.5% f vote

      Two exclamation marks. How excited Annie Wells must have been.

      London’s Jocks see a defeat for the SNP as a defeat for Scotland.

    80. Fraser Coats says:

      Maybe you could elaborate heedtracker.

    81. Wee Alex says:

      I’m hearing rumours that Labour in central Scotland where they currently hold 2 seats in a 3 member ward are promoting independent (Labour) candidates to stand in the belief that people will give enough 2nd votes to well known local independents and scupper SNP where It has 2 candidates.

      Instead of 2 SNP, 1 Labour

      You get

      1 SNP
      1 Labour
      1 pretendy independent but really Labour.

      I heard it from a current Labour activist so pissed off with the way they are treating Corbyn, he will leave the party if smith wins.

      I’m wondering if Labour voters would vote Tory if the roles were reversed. Does anyone know of by election results where Labour votes were redistributed and how their vote split?

    82. Grouse Beater says:

      Next essays:

      Irish Jail Their Bankers
      A review of ‘The Shallows’

      …coming to a thread topic near you soon…

    83. heedtracker says:

      Fraser Coats says:
      12 August, 2016 at 10:27 pm
      Maybe you could elaborate heedtracker.

      OK, your vote NO bleh is terrible.

    84. TheWealthOfNations says:

      I feel the need to point out that we lost this election fair and square by failing to get our vote out.

      The threshold was only about 1553. We only needed a thousand more first preference votes to win outright and we almost certainly had around 6000 more folks come out and vote SNP in that Ward in May.

      We did not lose due to tactical voting.

      BTW I don’t think that it matters how many candidates you stand in STV or what order voters rank them. So long as nobody votes for a Unionist party with their 3rd, 4th or 5th (etc) preferences NO VOTE IS WASTED.

      Seriously, go dig out the rules and analyze them.

      SNP 1, 2, 3…

      That’s the line I’ll be using on the doorsteps next May and what I will be actively pushing our Liaison Committee to adopt.

      We need to get good and angry about the way the Unionist parties have abused Local Government over the last ten years to oppose the will of the electorate and then go out there and sweep them all away.

    85. Proadge says:

      Dan Huil says:
      12 August, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      ‘IndyRef2: There is now no way the bbc and others can repeat IndyRef1 in pitching three anti-indy politicians against one pro-indy politician in TV debates.’

      Sorry Dan, but that is exactly what the state broadcaster will do in IndyRef 2.

      And this goes a long way to answering the Rev’s question as to why the Unionist parties continue to remain separate even although the dividing line in our country’s politics is now clearly between the forces of self-determination and those of British nationalism: having three pro-Union voices against one pro-independence spokesperson suits the British Establishment just fine.

      The BBC, and Unionist TV and radio more broadly, will adhere relentlessly to this formula to the bitter end. Just look at the state broadcaster’s recent post-Brexit debate in Scotland in which the British Labour Party, the third placed party in Scotland with 20% of the vote, provided two of the four panelists, the Tories one of the others. Or the way that the SNP remains massively under-represented on Question Time, rarely featuring despite being the third biggest political party in the UK.

      Although pro-independence parties represent over 50% of the electorate in Scotland and have around 95% of the seats in the Westminster parliament, you won’t see a panel on the BBC with a pro-independence majority – although Unionist majorities are of course routine. And that’s because one of the primary aims of the BBC is to preserve the idea of the United Kingdom as normal and mainstream, the notion of Scotland as an independent country as abnormal and radical.

      So in Indyref2, just like in Indyref1, just like always, we can expect nothing from the BBC but propaganda and a very skewed playing field.

    86. heedtracker says:

      http://archive.is/20QVc

      “I’m absolutely furious about it,” said Duncan Hothersall, who runs Labour discussion blog Labour Hame. “Judging by the messages I’ve received and seen elsewhere, I’m far from alone.”

      Silly old Duncan on the coming Labour/SNP pact, that not been even mentioned outside Lab, now on the way to oblivion.

    87. heedtracker says:

      Not much in that SNPbad NewStatesman thing, Duncan’s very angry and SNP are very bad too, “More than anything, she suggested, winning back Scotland simply meant putting in more work: “Hard yards. Sometimes in politics there is no substitute.”

      Only a two years ago but where are they all now?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiMXuEmqAHA

    88. Ghillie says:

      Heedtracker = )

    89. Hamish100 says:

      Is it true the tories didn’t even leave their care homes to vote? Mainly postal. Some tory worthies go around the nursing homes to get the votes in.

      On balance snp unlucky to lose but still shouldn’t have.

    90. stonefree says:

      @Hamish100
      “Their shadow leader Gallagher who writes in the Herald” he sems to have coverted to the forum, previously he relied on “letters to the editor” He is virtually the same stuff that NA has had forever , good at filling the expenses sheet
      The area he’s in doesn’t tend to have Tories standing , some do stand as Independents across NA, so as not to be linked to the Conservative and Unionist Party and none are on the ballot.
      That said I wonder if the mere fact that NS’s father was the SNP candidate could have been too much for the unsure , with the mother being the Provost and daughter the FM , maybe a touch too much

    91. Clootie says:

      …trying to think of any circumstance in which I would select a Tory candidate on my preference list…Nup not going to happen.

    92. Clootie says:

      …of course if I was a Red or Blue Tory it wouldn’t matter a good unionist Tory is all that matters!

    93. Moonlight says:

      As I understand it only one mark must be made on the STV ballot paper. The second, third, fourth etc are not required. Therefore if in the case of second and third counts you have marked only one candidate no one else gets an unintentional boost.

      Just a thought.

    94. scotspine says:

      @ Rough Bounds

      “Scotland’s struggle for Independence”

      Please don’t misunderstand my motives here, but that phrase just doesn’t have any force.

      Struggle? yes, I’m up for the struggle, but I doubt very much whether most folk in this country are up for it in any meaningful way.

      Most folk are apathetic and couldn’t give a flying f*@ck, otherwise there would have been tens of thousands on the streets in Glasgow recently, not just 5000 odd.

      I’m on the verge of ditching this place for a proper country.

      If Scots continue to bend over for Westminster, then we deserve all that’s coming and can simply resign ourselves to being a Yorkshire like region of a superficial, celebrity centred, “cool Britannia”, Sun – Daily Star – Daily Record – Daily Mail/Express,Carry on, Dads Army, Are You Being Served parody, Orange order, Gawd Bless ya Maam, Kate n Wills centric, nasty little xenophobic shit hole of a World pariah.

      If folks want to vote for continuance of farther away and diminishing pensions, imposition of weapons of genocide, suppression of cultural identity, less and less grudging Westminster hand-outs (Barnett), Industrial/Employment destruction (Clyde, HMRC, Oil jobs), Ill fitting immigration policies etc, then fuck them.

      I will move away to a proper Country and kill off my heritage by forgetting all about Scotland as a Country, because it simply wont deserve to be called such an entity.

      This really is the last chance saloon folks. If we fluff IndyRef 2, its over.

    95. robertknight says:

      “The Yoon Party”

      Simples…

    96. yesindyref2 says:

      OT
      Dear God the Herald. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the headline:

      Family’s delight at son’s gold medal peddle power

      I thought it must be a p-take but no, just a howler.

    97. Grouse Beater says:

      The luck of the Irish: http://wp.me/p4fd9j-8qW

    98. call me dave says:

      Worry not folks Hammond has heard Sturgeon telling him to remove the digit! 🙂

      A promise for after Brexit no immediate help though.

      Treasury confirms it will match vital EU pay outs after Brexit

      http://archive.is/A3pnN

      Brexit ‘horrified’ Scots businesses with EU workforce

      http://archive.is/5Shnw

      Here’s a laugh!
      Berwick-Upon-Tweed would be “new Calais” after independence
      Says Coburn! 🙂

      http://archive.is/8Hxlf

    99. Sandy says:

      Re. council elections:
      For those resident north of the Central Belt, I should like to inform voters that at least 90% of “INDEPENDENT” candidates are POLITICAL Unionists who, if they stood under the Tory/Lab/Libdem banner, would greatly decrease their chances of success.
      Please warn friends & aquantainces.
      This message will be repeated occasionally right up until the elcetions 2017.

    100. Fraser Coats says:

      I voted Yes heedtracker and will do so next time. You don’t have to support the SNP to support independence you know; that’s a mistake usually associated with unionists. Maybe this isn’t the place for rational debate.

    101. Ghillie says:

      Scotspine @11.54pm

      You are wrong. Come what may, we keep fighting for Independence, whatever it takes, and for as long as it takes.

      Independence is coming. And Independence is worth it. However long it takes.

    102. One_Scot says:

      The thing to remember is, Scotland undoubtedly wants to be Independent, the problem is the British State, media and elite are always trying to make it look like we don’t.

    103. Clootie says:

      Hamish 100 10:19pm

      I think you have the wrong maths going there. The worst thing you could do is stand another candidate. The selection of councillors is based on individual votes received as each award section is passed (candidates knocked out). If you split the base vote across 3 nominations you risk all the seats.

      The total party votes count for nothing.
      …and trying to get voters to vote 12 in one ward and 21 in another ward is almost impossible never mind adding a third into the equation.

    104. louis.b.argyll says:

      Note to Tory, Labour, Lib tactical voters.

      Everyone can see your false politics.

      The results will show that your parties are hollow facades..
      Pretending to have difference when their are none, good luck with that long term.

    105. louis.b.argyll says:

      Terrible grammar, it’s early / late.

    106. Effijy says:

      First priority for all the Westminster parties is to hate the SNP, Suppress the Scots, and keep the finances gained from their richest colony by lies, deceit and covert collusion.

      As posted above, I can visualise the BBC Propaganda channel at Indy Ref 2 having a “Debate” with Jackie Burd, Millionaire Unionist, hosting the show,

      Participants, Ruth The Mooth Davidson, Kez Dipity Dug, Weee Willie Police are Bad like SNP, David Coburn UKipper, McTernan and someone from the Street with an SNP Badge.

      Thanks to everyone signing the Blatant BBC Bias Petition!
      Now at 90,759 Scottish Signatures and heading up to 91,000.

      https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/independent-enquiry-into-bbc-bias-regards-scottish-independence-referendum

    107. Breeks says:

      I’m getting increasingly concerned about the general health of our electoral system.
      Postal ballots seem riven with inconsistencies, strange numbers and known results ahead of schedule. Vote counters bussed in from far off places…
      We have PR voting for our devolved parliament which was designed to hamper any outright majority. (Why?)
      We now have STV for Council elections which ostensibly has 6 rounds, and can overturn a large majority.
      Why all this sudden experimentation and interference with how we vote? Who is making it happen?
      Then we have Labour candidates posing as Independents only to throw off their Independent flag of convenience once elected.
      We have the whole business monitored by the Electoral Commission which seems uncommonly feckless in maintaining the integrity of our democracy, and downright partisan in the way it passes the buck about media bias.

      This is an Electoral Commission with nothing to say about Unionist parties presenting themselves as sworn enemies to the electorate, by morphing into bossom buddies to share votes to confound the SNP, but we are asked to accept if YES had politicised itself to provide a second option on the ballot for an Independence friendly second vote the Electoral Commission would shut it down.

      It has brought us to a crossroads where the SNP is desperate to get people engaged and out to vote in an electoral game show which seems to be more and more afflicted by underhand interference, backdoor manipulation and routine “fixing” of the process.

      We had a YES Referendum in 2014 dominated by the Unionist agenda and monopolised narrative, and a constitutional debate which rarely if ever picked up an any constitutional argument. The whole point of having the referendum was all but nullified because the disussions which needed to happen to form the basis of a legitimate informed referendum were manipulated and compromised, and as a direct result the result only bears credibility to those with selective blindness.
      Then we have Brexit. I won’t even go into the study of hypocrisy it was, nor the re-run of project fear agendas or the media’s xenophobic hysteria, but pause for the moment on the most recent occassion where Scotland has sailed through the turbulent seas of a buggered about electoral process to somehow deliver a clear and unequivocal result which Westminster can once again ignore. Even when democracy works, it doesn’t.

      From top to bottom, side to side, every objectional aspect of Scotland’s electoral jiggery pokery is sugar coated by the Unionist propaganda machine. Resistance isn’t futile, but it will be vilified.

      We are asked to believe we are living in a healthy democracy? It looks ravaged by disease and malnutrition and on its last legs frankly. 20% turnout speaks volumes.

      I believe in Democracy, I just don’t think what we are being exposed to now counts as democracy. This is something ugly, dirty, and malevolent. It is spiv democracy.

      I am at the stage that Scotlands popular sovereignty, and popular in the sense it is democratised and held by you and me and not some divine overlord, now colours every opinion. Scottish democracy is such a dirty screw-up, we need a modern day Hercules to divert a river through our own Aegean Stables to wash away the filth so we can start again.

      Scotland’s popular sovereignty, and our legendary Declaration of Arbroath could be the key. I know before you say it, it isn’t democracy either, but it is compatible with democracy as every modern republic like USA or France will attest. The democracy can follow on behind a war or a revolution. Why shouldn’t it follow on behind insirational 700 year old legislation?

    108. louis.b.argyll says:

      Just one in twenty dodgy postal, deceased, nursing or holiday-home ‘votes’ being straightened out, will give us a level playing field in IR2.

    109. bjsalba says:

      @Fraser Coats

      a) allows a multi-billionaire from Manchester to threaten ordinary working class Scots at Swiss-based Ineos’ Grangemouth plant with their jobs from the comfort of his luxury yacht; and
      b) takes the side of foreign big business against Scottish workers in the ongoing Scotrail dispute.

      Please explain how the Scottish Government can stop Ineos threats.

      Please explain how the Scottish Government has supported foreign big business (Abelio)

      I think you are twisting the facts to suit your NO agenda

    110. Famous15 says:

      The electorate Register is being “revised”.

      This is not the routine updating as in time past,it is a “revision” to cause concern.

      An urgent measure must be brought in to challenge any addition or removal of names.I would go further requiring an independent check on such changes.

      I am worried as back in the day I was involved in checking some voter registration and what is happening now would send the alarm bells sounding.

    111. louis.b.argyll says:

      Dugdale says the old line..
      ‘the SNP’s whole reason for being is to break up the UK, not make it a fairer place to live.’

      She means..
      ‘the SNP exist as a national party, seeking independence, to make the UK a fairer place to live.’

    112. louis.b.argyll says:

      Re Ineos etc..

      The way that infrastructure, tax/trade/tarrif deals and big public money projects are sourced is an impossibly immoral procedure.

      Governments (and councils) often look for the least damaging option, so poor is the ethical profile OF ALL LARGE COMPANIES.

      The rich pickings made available to corporations are preserved as a right, in law.

      ‘Value for money’ (including working conditions) only starts once the profit margin is reached, and a means to skim the profit is legally sound.

      It’s so unfair, that we presume there must be nothing we can do about it.

      We need to re-write the rulebook. But how can we do that in the modern world?

      Well…

    113. Tinto Chiel says:

      Interesting comments, Breeks.

      “We are asked to believe we are living in a healthy democracy? It looks ravaged by disease and malnutrition and on its last legs frankly. 20% turnout speaks volumes.”

      Voter turnout is low in council elections because in the past the dead hand of Labour controlled most councils and the reason for its self-serving existence was to maintain power at all costs and do as little as possible to improve our lot. Latterly, when the SNP became something of a threat, the sub-text was “Scotland is crap and it would be a lot crappier with independence.”

      It’s all about managing expectations downwards to induce apathy, despair and reduce self-belief.

      “Seriously, go dig out the rules and analyze them.

      SNP 1, 2, 3…”

      I’m with you on that, TheWealthOfNations, except not enough people beyond here will dig them out. I’m sure many voters think that you have to rank your vote and show a relative preference for all candidates. I said a few months ago that it would be very helpful if the SNP produced a leaflet which set out the options clearly. You can be sure the Yoons will be intent on sowing confusion for what could be the Last Stand for The Union.

      In other words, we need An Idiot’s Guide for someone like me.

      You can be sure the Yoons will be intent on sowing confusion in a process which could be the Last Stand for The Union. The gloves will be off.

    114. This is the only way that the toxic Tories can maintain control and govern over Scotland.

      to do that they need the help of their Labour Stooges as a front.

      Try as I might I can’t find the quote,
      though I do remember Thatcher being interviewed on TV and was asked a question by the reporter as to where she got her mandate from to impose her policies on Scotland.

      Her answer to him was, from the people of Scotland who had voted Labour.

    115. One_Scot says:

      In reality to overcome the weighting system of the British State/Media, for Scotland to look in front for Independence, the level of support would probably have to be over 70%.

    116. Breeks says:

      @Tinto Chiel 9:56

      Know what else is spooky? If YES did pick up the political cudgels, they might legitimately adopt the “Declaration of Arbroath” approach towards Scottish sovereignty to make themselves distinct from the SNP which engages with Westminster via the UK’s democratic fudge.

      Scotland would then have a Republican Party and Democratic Party both fighting for a democratic Scotland with a republican constitution to emerge from an overstretched and increasingly defunct British Empire. Errrr…

      Y’all have a nice day now.

    117. Breeks says:

      Imagine too if the emergent United States had had a vast European Trading organisation right on its doorstep which was enthusiastic to recognise American Independence and fully engage with it from the off?

      And yes, I know the US quickly plunged into a vicious civil war, but the root cause of the US civil war is complex, but it was not a direct legacy of collonial government, at least not in the sense of pro and anti British factions.

    118. schrodingers cat says:

      I never liked the STV vote for local elections, i even tried to introduce a motion at conference to reform the local electoral system, but I failed. C’est la vie I suppose. STV has its uses, for a GE or HE election perhaps, It helps to even out the representation of all parties across the country etc, but local elections are just that, Local. Folks here couldnt care who the folk in the rest of fife vote for and what party a candidate belongs to fades into irrelevance when the biggest issues affecting the community are, potholes, bin collections and dog shit on the pavement. Whether the candidate is SNP lab or tory, shouldnt affect their ability to deal with such issues.

      What folk want is a councillor to represent them, a recognisable figure, someone with a high profile in the area. There is nothing quite like being able to chap on the shoulder of your local councillor, in the local coop, pub or in the street, and asking them what is happening about the potholes in the high St. What we have got at the moment, is 3 councillors, elected by the totality of votes across the ward, using a system no-one understands, not even the councillors, and the nearest councillor lives 10 miles away!.

      But I digress, there is no point in crying over spilt milk, this is the system we have and the one being used in may 2017. So, what follows are a few pointers

      1. May 2017 will be the most politically charged local election. EVER.

      2. GOTV.

      3. Wards are sometimes 4 candidate (~14k voters) but typically 3 candidate wards (~10k voters)

      4. On an average of 33% turnout, that is 3-4k voters for 3 candidates. The snp got 1 councillor elected in St Andrews (population 14k) with 700 votes !

      5. You may have a vibrant and busy snp group in your area, great stuff. but these elections are fought on a ward by ward basis and their attention may well be focused on other wards. not yours

      6. Get in touch with the Indy supporting candidates in your ward. You may well find the only people canvasing and leafleting your ward will be the candidate and yourself.

      7. If you are out Leafleting, ditch the hi-vis vests, yes2 saltires and big yellow foamy hands. the idea is to noise up indy supporters in your ward. not the unionists.

      8. Find out about the “Independent” candidates standing in your ward. Many, if not all will be unionists. Inform all indy supporters in your ward, on NO account should they select a unionists as their 2nd, 3rd, 4th choice. they should vote for Indy candidates and NO ONE else.

      9. In most cases, the only Indy supporting candidates in your ward will be SNP. If this is the case, inform all greens, ssp, rise, solidarity etc, supporters in your ward to vote SNP and NO-ONE else.

      10. In a few wards, you will find a greens, ssp, rise or solidarity candidate. Inform their supporters that if they vote for eg. green as 1st choice, then vote SNP 2nd (and perhaps SNP 3rd) choice. And NO-ONE else.

      11. In the few wards, mentioned above, where other Indy supporting candidates are standing, Inform SNP supporters that if they vote for eg. SNP as 1st choice, (and perhaps SNP 2nd) choice. then vote greens, ssp, rise or solidarity 2nd/3rd choice. And NO-ONE else. it will invariably be the smaller Indy supporting candidates who are eliminated during the counting process, before the SNP candidates, so this tactic will tend to favour the SNP.

      12. In both 3 and 4 candidate wards, it is unlikely that the SNP will stand more than 2 candidates. This is to avoid “diluting” their vote over 3 candidates and allowing unionists to sneek through during the counting process. Standing 3 candidates risks getting only 1 elected. Depending on previous results in your ward, It may be that the tactic employed will be SNP 1&2 in one half of your ward and SNP 2&1 in the other half.

      13.wrt the smaller Indy supporting parties, efforts should be made to convince them that only one smaller party candidate should stand in any ward. This is likely to happen anyway, but exceptions should be avoided.

      14. Looking at the 2012 results, indy supporters “tended” to vote for other indy supporting candidates using 2nd and 3rd votes but this was also the case for unionists supporting other unionist candidates. the recent by elections highlighted this, no surprises there, the fact there were only 1 candidate to elect in each ward brings this reality into sharp focus. While many on this thread decry them for being red and blue tories, because they are not yet a scottish unionist party, they are unable to limit the number of unionist candidates standing in each ward. This is a big DISADVANTAGE for the unionists. Having 2 or 3 major unionist party candidates, and 1 or 2 independent (unionist) candidates, may well allow a 2nd SNP candidate to sneek through during the counting process. In the St Andrews ward, one SNP candidate was able to sneek through because of the large number of unionist candidates in that ward.

      Summary
      fully, 1/3 of all seats will effectively be uncontested by the SNP so taking control of councils will be very difficult. While James Kelly on Scot goes pop, points out that SLAB may well lose overall control of GCC, a unionist coalition will most likely keep the snp out. See Stirling and Fife councils. So little will change, (more OO walks in the post)

      After saying this, this advice is designed to maximise the number of indy supporting councillors, maybe stop Stirling Council raising the butchers apron over the chambers and organising brit nat celebrations etc. (see armed forces day). More importantly, it is the councils who are responsible for organising elections and referendum, ballot boxes, polling places etc. So think how you will feel if the rest of Scotland votes during indyref2 and you cant? think how that will affect the validity of the result?

      Success in 2017 will depend on your ability to GOTV in your ward.No one else will be coming to do that. only you.

    119. schrodingers cat says:

      PS
      the more unionist candidates standing in your ward, the better, if by chance, there are only 2 SNP candidates and 2 unionist candidates standing in your 3 candidate ward, consider resigning from the SNP and standing as a Unionist Independent candidate with a union jack as your logo. If you can convince a friend to stand along side you as a Independent Unionist candidate, even better 🙂

    120. Hamish100 says:

      schrodingers cat

      would they be called labour?

    121. Richardinho says:

      I’m going to start calling them the ‘Conservative and Labour party’.

      Not sure in Yoon speak whether this is ‘anti-semitic’, ‘homophobic’ or a ‘death threat’.

    122. Tinto Chiel says:

      @schrodingers cat 11.39.

      Great post. I feel I’m going to be referring to this a lot before May 2017.

    123. Fraser Coats says:

      Oh dear djsalba, you too make the (usually unionist) mistake of conflating support for independence with support for a particular political party.

      Nevertheless, the Scottish government allowed Jim Ratcliff to threaten Scottish Ineos workers, that much is undisputed I take it. They could have stated support for the workers and either taken the plant into public ownership where it should be anyway or told Ineos to maintain the terms and conditons of the workers or they would take it off them.

      They have taken Abellio’s side over Scotrail workers by taking council from the company but not the unions and parroting the company propaganda, as Sturgeon did, about it being a matter of who presses buttons. Additionally, as a 2012 Infrastructure and Public Investment report makes clear, they awarded the rail franchise with a view to the franchisee (Abellio) implementing the recommendations of the McNulty report, a vicious UK government-produced document which recommends all-out attack on rail unions and workers.

      You should do your research. This is my last comment on what seems to be nothing more than an SNP fan club, rather than a forum for any balanced debate on independence and how best to get there.

    124. Ealasaid says:

      I admit to not being sure about STV when the party with most votes does not win. I do not think people in general are clear about how to vote in STV and make it count.

      Apparently the YES groups are looking for material to deliver. Would it not be possible for people cleverer than me or sites like this to produce neutral fliers on STV voting with Parties like:

      Like them
      No Bad
      Who are they?
      Never heard of them
      Don’t like them
      Not under any circumstances

      in random order on a mock voting paper and indicate how people should make or not make choices. If posted for downloading in A4 or A5 format they could then be delivered previous to and just before the elections.

      Just a thought.

    125. K1 says:

      ‘This is my last comment on what seems to be nothing more than an SNP fan club, rather than a forum for any balanced debate on independence and how best to get there.’

      Seriously? Must try harder. Your post had nothing to do with ‘balanced debate on independence and how best to get there’. You are here to ‘preach’ and berate not debate.

      If you are going to launch into your ‘views’ regarding Ineous and Scotrail, kindly provide all the links to the relevant ‘research’ and present your evidence that supports your ‘case’, then some posters can choose or not, to debate the ins and outs of whatever it is you are concerned about, that’s kinda ‘how’ debating works? Else you just come across as a bleating anti SNP eejit, having a ‘strop’ and ‘blaming’ this forum for ‘not listening’ to ‘you’.

      It’s ‘you’ who is going on about the ‘SNP’ here, do you honestly ‘think’ no one can see what you are typing?

      Put up or shut up.

    126. Grouse Beater says:

      Fraser Coats: “This is my last comment on what seems to be nothing more than an SNP fan club, rather than a forum for any balanced debate on independence and how best to get there.”

      You jump from, ‘here’s my opinion’, to, ‘anybody who disagrees isn’t rational’, and then take another leap of logic to say, ‘this place isn’t about balanced debate. I’m off.’

      Do you think this is the place to publish criticism you feel necessary that requires backed up with example and quotations? Putting it to your SNP MP is step one.

      How do you expect anybody to agree let alone disagree with you when they don’t have the information they need, and anyhow, your comments appear out of the blue?

      How is a curious reader like me supposed to react to this specific accusation?:

      They [SNP?] have taken Abellio’s side over Scotrail workers by taking council from the company but not the unions.

      Is that so?

      Are readers expected to make an intelligent judgment on the basis of a one-sided opinion? Are you suggesting the government didn’t consult the unions?

      The reader is left none the wiser, but only sees someone venting.

    127. Alex Clark says:

      @schrodingers cat

      Very good post and I agree with almost all of it, however I am puzzled by your summary.

      Summary
      fully, 1/3 of all seats will effectively be uncontested by the SNP so taking control of councils will be very difficult.

      In 2012 the SNP had no candidates in only 7 wards, one candidate in 100 wards, two in 225 wards and three in 21 wards.

      The link is an analysis of STV in Scottish elections 2012 from our favourite psephologist Prof. Curtice.

      http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/2012-Scottish-Local-Government-Elections.pdf

      As can be seen all but 7 wards were uncontested in the literal sense, did you also count those where there was little chance of having someone elected?

      As you can see, most wards had two SNP candidates, and in this case it would make sense to vote SNP for 1st and 2nd preferences followed by an other Indy supporting candidate if on the ballot paper.

    128. schrodingers cat says:

      “most wards had two SNP candidates”

      there are 3 and 4 candidate wards.

      if the snp only put up 2 candidates in a 3 candidate ward then the 3rd candidate place is uncontested, there is no way of winning this 3rd seat if they dont put up a candidate?

      it is true that the snp will contest most if not all wards, but they will not contest all of the seats/candidate places in each ward.
      ergo, about 1/3 of the seats/candidacies will not be contested

      the snp went from about 1000 candidates to 400 when this system was introduced

    129. Alex Clark says:

      @schrodingers cat

      Cheers, how could I confuse seats and wards? So obvious now 🙂

    130. Proud Cybernat says:

      “the snp went from about 1000 candidates to 400 when this system was introduced.”

      Sounds to me the SNP didn’t understand the STV system by putting up so few candidates.

    131. yesindyref2 says:

      “Just one in twenty dodgy postal, deceased, nursing or holiday-home ‘votes’ being straightened out, will give us a level playing field in IR2.”

      IR1 total vote about 3.6 million, postal votes 800,000, NO majority 400,000. 1 in 20 even of all NO votes is 100,000, not enough to overturn a 400,000 majority. A duff vote removed does not go to YES!

    132. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Tinto Chiel @ 09:56

      Latterly, when the SNP became something of a threat, the [Labour] sub-text was “Scotland is crap and it would be a lot crappier with independence.”

      Hah, that’s SLab in a nutshell there!

      —–

      There seems to be a worrying amount of ignorance about STV, even here where you would expect better somehow. But there will be voters who think (a la WM elections) they must only make one mark, and others who think they must rank all candidates. Both views are mistaken.

      As schrodingers cat kindly points out, the important message to get across is to vote indy, and only indy.

      As he mentions, there is a tricky issue between several candidates of the same party, which is true, but unlike TV for Holyrood, there is thankfully no issue of “poaching”, since supporters of other pro-indy parties (yes, including you Fraser Coats!) can in good conscience vote for their allegiance as first preference then pro-indy for the SNP for second, third, etc. Vice-versa for SNP supporters. The way all the votes come in from everybody will decide which preference prevails.

      Votes are not wasted with STV, which is precisely why you have to be so very careful how you line them up. But there’s no need for a repetition of any of the friction that somewhat marred the ScotGE.

      Don’t forget, in some places like Glasgow the Unionists will be trying the same trick if they are not challenged in attempting it: “Labour propped up by Tory votes!”. (There’s surely a Chris Cairns cartoon in that: a tottering Labour figure with a Tory wooden leg.)

      As the cat also correctly points out, having multiple yoon parties still puts them at a disadvantage, although only where they are fairly equally strong. (I just loved his PS on inventing other spurious yoon parties! Their platform would have to be “I’m the real yoon, vote for no-one else!” =laugh=)

      It is no coincidence that he puts at the head of his list: GOTV. In the end, you just have to convince voters that what you are promising works for them, both on the national stage in this upcoming very political election but also locally where councillors are well-known. There’s just no escaping that. STV makes you work for every preference vote.

    133. Chic McGregor says:

      When I predicted over 20 years ago on s.c.s and Scotpol that if we got devolution the Tories and Labour diehards would unite to try to keep out the SNP it was roundly ridiculed at the time by the Us and by many indies as well.

      Just call me Cassandra.

    134. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      schrodingers cat @ 14:24 :

      if the snp only put up 2 candidates in a 3 candidate ward then the 3rd candidate place is uncontested, there is no way of winning this 3rd seat if they don’t put up a candidate

      I seem to recall we’ve had this discussion before, the conclusion of which was that the SNP should field a whole gamut of candidates, but have a clear 1-2-3 preference story to hammer home to voters in their leafleting. (I think Cadogan Enright may possibly have some experience of this kind of thing.)

      With their present membership, the SNP surely has the numbers to be able to do it, no?

    135. Martin Richmond says:

      The SNP in Scotland are as the Tories are in the rest of Britain. Unbeatable at the polls, but hated by a militant, cross party opposition who are ideologically opposed to their very existence. Carrying huge popular support but unable to persuade it to mobilise and deliver their key goal in a national referendum. For the Tories it was Europe, for the SNP it was independence; neither remotely able to understand or address the reasons for this ideological divide. The only (largely inconsequential) difference is that the Tories reflect this divergence in their parliamentary party, the SNP do not.

      Worth remembering that those votes that transferred to other than the SNP were not transferred as part of some “SLAB” back room deal or by a “Yoon conspiracy”. They were transferred at the express wishes of your neighbours and co-workers.

    136. ann says:

      Notice there has been nothing said about the SNP winning a by-election in Ayrshire where they took the seat from Labour.

      The unionists only boast when they win, and black out the losses.

    137. schrodingers cat says:

      Candidate 1st EX 2nd EX 3rd EX 4th EX 5th EX 6th
      Cochrane SocLab 131 2 133 13 146 -146
      McCormick SGP 94 6 100 100
      McPhater SLAB 1029 17 1046 14 1060 58 1118 183 1301 396 1697
      Smith LIB 48 -48
      Stephen Tory 639 11 650 5 650 3 653-653
      Sturgeon SNP 1164 4 1168 39 1207 19 1226 51 1277-1277
      non votes 0 8 8 29 37 66 103 424 527 881 1305

      1. N. Smith LIB is eliminated,

      8 voters had no 2nd choice, 4 went to SNP, 17 to SLAB etc

      2. J. McCormick – Scottish Geen Party is eliminated,

      29 voters had no 2nd choice or voted for N. Smith as a 2nd choice or the 6 x 2nd choice ballots he received from N. Smith in the previous round did not have a 3rd choice

      39 voters voted SNP as 2nd Choice, 14 for Slab, 5 for tory

      3. B. Cochrane – Socialist Lab Party is eliminated,

      66 voters had no 2nd choice or voted for an already eliminated candidate or the 2nd choice ballots he received from other candidates in the previous rounds did not have a 3rd choice

      58 voters voted SLAB as 2nd Choice, 19 for SNP, 3 for tory
      NB. B. Cochrane – Socialist Lab Party picked up 15 votes from other candidates 2nd votes. These figures may include 3rd choices

      4. A Stephen – Tory is eliminated

      424 voters had no 2nd choice or voted for an already eliminated candidate or the 2nd choice ballots he received from other candidates in the previous rounds did not have a 3rd choice

      183 voters voted SLAB as 2nd Choice, 51 for SNP
      NB. A Stephen – Tory picked up 14 votes from other candidates 2nd votes. These figures may include 3rd choices

      5. R. Sturgeon -SNP is eliminated

      881 voters had no 2nd choice or voted for an already eliminated candidate or the 2nd choice ballots he received from other candidates in the previous rounds did not have a 3rd choice

      396 voters voted SLAB as 2nd Choice
      NB. R. Sturgeon -SNP picked up 113 votes from other candidates 2nd votes. These figures may include 3rd choices but at least 283 voters who voted SNP 1, vote SLAB 2

      6. L. McPhater – SLAB is elected

      the damage was done by the tory voters voting SLAB as 2nd choice, but had the 23 greens who had no 2nd vote, voted SNP instead, then it would have needed only two of the 6 voters who voted 1 N. Smith LIB 2. J. McCormick – Scottish Geen Party to vote 3 SNP and we would have won this seat. The SNP supporters should know not to vote for unionists with any of their votes

    138. schrodingers cat says:

      West Irvine by election 12 Aug 2016

      Candidate 1st EX 2nd EX 3rd EX 4th EX 5th EX 6th
      Cochrane SocLab 131 2 133 13 146 -146
      McCormick SGP 94 6 100 100
      McPhater SLAB 1029 17 1046 14 1060 58 1118 183 1301 396 1697
      Smith LIB 48 -48
      Stephen Tory 639 11 650 5 650 3 653-653
      Sturgeon SNP 1164 4 1168 39 1207 19 1226 51 1277-1277
      non votes 0 8 8 29 37 66 103 424 527 881 1305

    139. schrodingers cat says:

      Robert J. Sutherland

      glad you liked the PS… snigger, then again, we might have a problem explaining to our friends what we were doing sporting a union jack rossette 🙂

      Proud Cybernat says:
      “the snp went from about 1000 candidates to 400 when this system was introduced.”

      Sounds to me the SNP didn’t understand the STV system by putting up so few candidates.

      I think they did which is why they didnt stand 3 candidates in each ward

      Robert J. Sutherland says:
      the SNP should field a whole gamut of candidates, but have a clear 1-2-3 preference story to hammer home to voters in their leafleting.

      With their present membership, the SNP surely has the numbers to be able to do it, no?

      to be fair to you both, it isnt absolutly certain which tactic is better, eg SNP 1&2 in one half of the ward and SNP 2&1 in the other.
      It isnt clear from this West Irvine election with only one seat up for grabs, but in a full ward election or eg 3 seats, where 2 SNP candidates are standing and the quota to be elected, (ie, total No of Votes divided by 3+1= 4) is say 1000, then using a tactic of only SNP 1&2 across the entire ward the SNP 1 candidate gets 2000 votes on the 1st count, the extra 1000 votes are then distributed amongst the other candidates. in this senario the other SNP 2 candidate would pick up all 1000 extra votes and also get elected.

      if you had 3 candidates, the unionists would likely win the 3rd seat before any 3rd choices were counted on any SNP ballots at all. Also, using a SNP 123 in one part of the ward and SNP 132 in another etc, its likely that votes will be cast for SNP candidates already elected during the count and as such, wont be transfered

      Indeed, voting SNP 1&2 and green 3 is unlikely to help the greens very much since in almost every ward, any greens will get elected before any of the SNP 1&2 3rd choices were counted. getting the greens to vote green 1 snp 2/3 would help the SNP, see the results above.

    140. schrodingers cat says:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fife_Council_election,_2012

      look what happened to the libdems in St Andrews in 2012 when they stood 3 candidates

      In any case, each ward will be different, we cant really run a national campaign, or indeed make comments which will apply to all. A few wards will stand 3 candidates and good luck to them, most will only stand 2 and most wards will be aiming to win 2. If we did this across the board, we would win control of all councils

      *Indy in the following means other indy supporting candidates, greens, ssp etc, not Independent which invariably now adays means closet unionist. You need to check all Independent candidates in your ward to confirm this, It might be a disgruntled de selected former SNP councillor. As i said, their are over 300 wards, It is up to you to find out these details, the SNP cant run a nation wide campaign which covers all eventualities

      so with that in mind, in wards with

      1. 1 x SNP candidate, no other indy supporting candidates
      vote SNP 1 and no one else
      all indy supporters regardless of party affiliations should support and campaign for this

      2. 1 x SNP candidate, 1 x Indy candidate
      vote SNP 1 and Indy 2 and no one else
      if SNP voters and supporters pursue this tactic, and the Indy supporters pursue the opposite tactic
      vote Indy 1 and SNP 2 and no one else
      this will help both parties
      NB, efforts should be made to ensure only one indy candidate stands in any ward. this shouldnt be a problem as the greens, ssp etc are unlikly to stand candidates in every ward.

      3. 2 x SNP candidate, no other indy supporting candidates
      vote SNP 1&2 and no one else
      all indy supporters regardless of party affiliations should support and campaign for this
      NB, depending on the ward, a tactic of SNP 1&2 and SNP 2&1 may be deployed

      4. 2 x SNP candidate, 1 x Indy candidate
      vote SNP 1&2 and Indy 3 and no one else
      if SNP voters and supporters pursue this tactic, and the Indy supporters pursue the opposite tactic
      vote Indy 1 and SNP 2&3 and no one else
      this will help both parties, but especially the SNP

      NB, efforts should be made to ensure only one indy candidate stands in any ward. In cases where their are 2 SNP candidates, Indy candidates should consider standing in a nearby ward where only one SNP candidate is standing. This would be of more benefit to the Indy candidate

      5. Where there are 3 x SNP candidates….good luck, I hope you win all 3, hopefully at least 2, but you may risk getting only 1 and the majority of councillors from your ward will be unionists.

    141. schrodingers cat says:

      soz this read
      any greens will get elected before any of the SNP 1&2 3rd choices were counted

      this should read

      any greens will get “eliminated” before any of the SNP 3rd choices were counted

    142. K1 says:

      Cat?

      Can’t you write an article for Wings about STV?

      It would be so helpful to have a wider audience for some in depth understanding about how we approach next May’s elections. Maybe it’s a bit soon…but could ya prepare something?

    143. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      schrodingers cat @ 16:45, 17:16:

      then again, we might have a problem explaining to our friends what we were doing sporting a union jack rossette

      Yeah, that’s the fatal flaw. I couldn’t even explain that one to myself!

      Hmmm, that story of the Green voters in Irvine is a somewhat underwhelming one, if I have their 2nd preferences right as:

      39: SNP
      29: LibDem or none
      14: Slab
      5: Tory

      (Not forgetting that a few may also have put SNP as a later pref.)

      The Scottish Green Party of course has no direct control over their voters’ preferences, but that’s not especially convincing indy support from their prime voters there. I’m a “broad church” person myself, but I would like to see much more concrete pro-indy results next year from the Greens than merely some fine pro-indy words in the odd article in The National.

    144. schrodingers cat says:

      K1

      I just did
      🙂

      Dear Cassandra
      yup, they have united to keep out the snp, on a fair few councils too. thing is, even at ward level, the unionists are now tactically voting for other unionists and not the SNP

      The unionists real weakness here is that they are not united yet into a scottish unionist party and as such, they have little control over the number of unionist candidates standing in one ward, eg slab + tory + lib+ 2 xindependent(unionist), which as we now see, really makes no difference as they will oppose the snp collectively once elected. look at fife unionist majority councillors threatening to unfreeze the council tax, or stirling voting to fly the UJ above chambers.

      The SNP can limit its numbers of candidates and the other indy supporting parties are (no offence intended) not major parties and dont have a large core support. Indeed, they are unlikely to stand candidates in all wards. Some clarification from the greens and the ssp wrt how many candidates they are standing and where, would be helpful for the SNP activists in planning their ward specific tactics.
      If the various indy supporters can stop bickering long enough to come up with a plan we all agree on, then we can all concentrate on what really matters

      as ever, GOTV

    145. schrodingers cat says:

      good sites Brian

      but neither, or indeed any site I can find explains the exact algorithm used during the count

    146. schrodingers cat says:

      Greens 94 + 6(libdem)

      Soclab 13
      Slab 14
      Tory 5
      SNP 39

      non 29

      As I said, I have been unable to find the exact algorithm for the scottish council elections
      ie
      did they count the 3rd choice of the 6 libdem votes they got?
      how many of these 6 Libdem votes didnt have a 3rd choice?
      did they count 3rd choices of those green who voted
      Green1 Libdem 2 ? I think they dont are but still waiting for confirmation from fife (yet to meet anyone who knows, including councillors, a computer counts the votes !!!

      what we can say is, few greens vote tory
      some vote slab, but in the same amount as SOCLab
      More have a tendency to vote SNP than anybody else

      quite a few didnt vote for a 2nd choice at all, but you are correct in that we cant tell how many voted lib dem as a 2nd choice

      This may be due to a lack of understanding on the part of the voters, understandable. at least 300 snp voters voted SlAb as a 2nd choice. My point is here, it is easier to come to an agreement between the various indy parties, much easier than for the holyrood election, and then go out and inform the various electorates how to vote. Most folk wont understand or care about the ins and outs of the electoral system, including activists, but if we could reach an agreement on wings, we can then roll it out to indy supporters who, hopefully will vote the way we want them to,

      eg
      rule number one
      Never vote for any Unionist on any ballot paper in any ward anywhere in Scotland
      rule number two
      First Learn rule number one

      🙂

    147. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      schrodingers cat @ 19:10

      did they count 3rd choices of those green who voted
      Green1 Libdem 2 ?

      Well, they should have in all such cases. The basic algorithm is simple: your voting preferences continue to have effect so long as any of your preferred candidates remain in contention, in your chosen order of preference.

      The complication, where there may be one, is being able to see how the later preferences are operating, since sufficient information about those preferences may not be made public. (I don’t know about that.)

      Your basic rules are an absolutely essential start. Parties also need to make very clear in their literature how their supporters should act. I don’t see a problem, for example, in having a single 1-2-3 across a whole ward.

    148. schrodingers cat says:

      rules for voters

      No 1
      Never vote for any Unionist on any ballot paper in any ward anywhere in Scotland

      No 2
      First Learn rule number one

      No 3
      If there are no Indy candidates on your ballot paper, Stand as a candidate yourself or destroy your ballot paper or don’t vote at all

      No 4
      If there is only one Indy supporting candidate on your ballot. vote for him/her, regardless of which party or none they represent.

      No 5
      If you are an SNP supporter, and there is 1 SNP candidate and 1 Indy candidate standing in your ward vote
      SNP 1 & Indy2

      No 6
      If you are an Indy supporter, and there is 1 SNP candidate and 1 Indy candidate standing in your ward vote
      Indy1 & SNP 2

      No 7
      If you are an SNP supporter, and there are 2 SNP candidates and 1 Indy candidate standing in your ward vote
      SNP 1&2 & Indy3

      No 8
      If you are an Indy supporter, and there are 2 SNP candidates and 1 Indy candidate standing in your ward vote
      Indy1 & SNP 2&3

      For Activists

      No 9
      If there are insufficient unionist candidates on your ballot paper, consider standing as an Independent Unionist candidate with a UJ as the logo next to your name on the ballot paper. Even better, convince a friend to stand as a Unionist Independent candidate with a UJ logo too. the more the merrier 🙂

      No 10
      Avoid standing more than one indy candidate against SNP candidates in any ward. Consider standing in a neighbouring ward with no other Indy candidates other than SNP candidates

      No 11
      Indy candidates should avoid standing in wards with 2 SNP candidates, Standing in a neighbouring ward with only 1 SNP candidate will improve your chances

      No 12
      Identify all Independent candidates to ascertain whether they are Unionists or not

      No 13
      Contact your local Green/SSP/Solidarity/Rise party and find out how many and where they are standing. Help negotiate to avoid conflicts of interest

    149. schrodingers cat says:

      I doubt many folks are reading this thread but im enjoying the setting out my thoughts and the input from the few who are reading

      Robert J. Sutherland says:
      did they count 3rd choices of those green who voted
      Green1 Libdem 2 ?
      Well, they should have in all such cases. The basic algorithm is simple: your voting preferences continue to have effect so long as any of your preferred candidates remain in contention, in your chosen order of preference.

      I believe this is correct Robert

      The complication, where there may be one, is being able to see how the later preferences are operating, since sufficient information about those preferences may not be made public. (I don’t know about that.)

      The computer spits out various info for the election officer but the stats dont enable people to see exactly how people voted
      have a look at yesterdays other by election results.

      http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/article/4194/Result-of-by-election-for-Ward-2—Renfrew-South-and-Gallowhill

      whether these figures are accessable, I dont know either Robert, difficult to find even if they are and doing this work for all wards is unfeasable

      for example, in having a single 1-2-3 across a whole ward.

      if there are 3 snp candidates, then i would ask indy candidates to stand in neighbouring wards
      Very few wards will have 3 snp candidates, only 7 last time out of 300 odd wards. probably wards with 4 seats. the majority of 3 seat wards will only have 2 candidates
      difficult to run a nationwide campaign in such circumstances. Where there are 3 candidates in a 3 seat ward, an SNP 1,2,3 would appear to be the only option, varying the tactic across could result in 2nd options going to snp candidates already elected, thus wasted

      with 2 candidates, some wards will chose the SNP 1&2 only option as a tactic, others will chose SNP 1&2 and SNP 2&1, It depends on the ward and it will be up to the respective activists to decide what is best for them. In either case, I cant see the harm in asking SNP voters to put a 3 next to an indy candidate whether he/she is Green SSP etc but I doubt it will help the indy candidates very much. Conversely If the Indy voters, greens etc, vote indy 1 and SNP 2&3 this could help the SNP a great deal. Where there is only 1 SNP candidate and 1 Indy candidate, such an agreement may help both parties

    150. TheWealthOfNations says:

      @shrodingers cat & clootie

      Clearly I am understanding this system differently to you.

      I read the rules recently but may not have totally grasped their consequences.

      As I understand it, first you elect anyone that exceeds the threshold. Excess votes for that candidate are transferred proportionally to the second preference candidate. Should a second candidate exceed the threshold because of this transfer then the excess votes remaining from candidate one are transferred proportionally to third preference candidates and so on and so forth.

      This process continues until all of candidate one’s excess votes are distributed or all the seats are filled.

      Should there still be seats to be filled the candidate with the lowest total of votes is eliminated and their second preferences transferred.

      I had assumed that a second preference in this circumstance for a candidate that has already been elected would be transferred to the voters third or lower preference just as it would have been had they voted for a candidate that exceeded the threshold on first preferences.

      I may well be wrong about that but assuming that I am not that ought to mean that no vote is wasted.

      (check out the detailed breakdown available here)

      Transfers after eliminations are not discarded, they pass over any candidates that have already been elected and the next preference is transferred.

      As far as I can tell the system is as near as dammit mathematically perfect. If the threshold is 1500 votes and between three candidates you get 4500 votes you get three seats. It does not matter what order you promote them or what order the electorate actually choose them, all of those votes are eventually distributed evenly amongst the candidates.

      In fact I suspect all that farting about trying to promote different voting patterns in different parts of the Ward is counter productive. It might come closest to costing seats by precipitating eliminations before all potential transfers have accumulated to a particular candidate and it certainly muddies the message you are trying to transmit to your voter base.

      If you are able to give the same advice to SNP voters across the ward and across the entire local authority they will have a much clearer idea of what they should do to maximize the SNP presence on the Council. Costs will be lower so more leaflets can be printed and those leaflets will be more effective.

      You are certainly right that we need to GOTV and make sure nobody gives any votes to unionist parties or unaligned independents. Yes candidates only.

      I’d far rather see some greens elected in Fife than have SNP transfers precipitate another Unionist coalition.

      All of which I will be putting to the Fife Liaison Committee at their next meeting….

    151. Alex Clark says:

      @Robert J. Sutherland

      The information on the 2012 election is available to the public and is facinating to read though still complicated.

      I’ve chosen as an example a ward in N.E. Fife, schrodingers cat stomping ground. For example in Howe of Fife and Tay Coast (linked) there were two SNP candidates though only around half made these candidates their number one and two choice.

      You need to download the excel spreadsheet “preference profile” also read the guide accompanying this or you will not have a clue as the spreadsheet is just a list of numbers. Well worth a look if you are interested in this stuff.

      http://www.fifedirect.org.uk/topics/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.display&p2sid=29963E87-F2B3-29CA-EAE3037D44681E3C&subjectid=38C06F66-0A9C-4033-9551-ED43C8E9D11C&themeid=2b892409-722d-4f61-b1cc-7de81cc06a90&appaction=election.ward&election_id=E3A4C006-65BF-00F7-DCCFA4FCBEE717EF&ws_postcode=&wardno=17#election

    152. schrodingers cat says:

      thanks for that Alex, i’ve been looking for this info, much oblidged

      either way, the electorate does need educated, no doubt about it

    153. TheWealthOfNations says:

      @Alex Clark

      Thanks for that link.

      Confirms what I thought.

      There was controversy over the 12 21 nonsense in my ward last time. We got a total of 1500 votes in a ward with a quota of 1292.

      We literally had no chance of getting two seats.

      We needed 1100 more first preference votes to get two seats. There were no other independence candidates so no possibility of getting those votes as transfers from eliminated unionists.

      It did no matter one iota what order people voted for our candidates.

    154. Fraser Coats says:

      Okay Grouse Beater, fair comment. I was going to finish with my previous point as criticism of the SNP does seem to be met with accusations of some sort of No agenda.

      However if your criticism is that my argument in respect of the Scottish government’s attitude vis a vis the Scotrail dispute lacks detail, then that’s fair and I will happily rectify that.

      On May 21st 2012, the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee published its report on the future of Scotland’s railways with a view to the awarding of the new franchise. It recommended “paving the way for progress towards meeting the efficiency targets recommended by the McNulty review”.

      The McNulty report was commissioned by the UK Labour government in 2009 and accepted and published by the UK Con/Dem government in 2011. It is consistent with the union-busting agenda of Tory and Labour governments down the years and recommends huge cuts in staffing; closing booking offices, imposing driver only operation to get rid of conductors, thousands of job losses on the track maintenance side, higher fares at peak-time and much, much more along those lines. The May 2012 report was the Scottish government’s acceptance of McNulty’s and the UK government’s plan to attack rail workers, trade unions and passengers.

      I’m a bit novicey when it comes to posting links but both the McNulty report and the May 2012 report are easily found online.

      Upon awarding the franchise to Abellio, a train operating company with a particularly aggressive reputation in terms of industrial relations, the current Scottish government had an opportunity to rewrite the franchise agreement. The Labour administration which had written the previous franchise agreement had disgracefully inserted an indemnity clause which financially compensated the company in the event of industrial action (with taxpayers money of course). In the new franchise agreement – in the full knowledge that they had awarded it to an aggressive employer with McNulty’s agenda on the cards – the SNP government, with ‘fighting for Scotland’ as its slogan, decided to write the same indemnity clause into the new franchise agreement.

      Of course the inevitable has now happened and Scottish rail workers are now in dispute with a Dutch multi-national. Abellio’s MD dismisses it as an argument over who pushes buttons to close train doors, the rail unions argue that the issues are more complex and that the strike is about safety. Nicola Sturgeon consults Abellio, doesn’t consult the rail unions and answers a question put to her by a Labour MSP at FMQ’s with “this is an argument about who pushes buttons”, repeating exactly the lie of the Dutch multi-national without even having had the courtesy to ask the opinions of the representatives of the Scottish workers. Again, all a matter of public record.

      When Labour, the Tories or the LibDems in cahoots with the Tories have similarly overseen attacks on Scottish workers we’re quite right to condemn them out of hand. I don’t see why we should start making exceptions for the SNP just because we agree with them on independence (unless of course, we agree ideologically with cuts, closures, privatisation and attacks on wages, conditions and jobs).

    155. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      TheWealthOfNations, Alex Clark,

      Thanks for the useful reminders. I went back to a very helpful pdf file I downloaded ages ago from the Electoral Commission called “How STV works” to refresh.

      With STV there is first a calculation of the “quota”, the number of votes any candidate needs to get elected. I keep forgetting that then there may well be, as you say, one or more wins and consequent proportional redistributions of other preferences for surpluses over the quota. (My fading memory has evidently been too influenced by the list part of AV.) As I understand it, no preferences are thus “lost”, they are instead diluted as they are successively transferred in proportion. Only after that part is complete are candidates eliminated and their preferences redistributed to fill any remaining vacancies.

      So it shouldn’t matter in which order preferences go to several candidates of one party, provided they all stay in contention by receiving each other’s (and indeed anyone else’s) “downward” then “upward” redistributed preferences, such as there might be.

      I don’t think any of that alters schrodingers cat’s ground rules, however. Basically pro-indy votes should be encouraged to stay within the pro-indy camp, yet pro-indy candidates should also try to attract (eg. by personal reputation) later preferences of other voters on top.

    156. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      I should add that one of the great advantages of STV is that because voters are more free to choose “no-compromise” preferences, their first preferences give an excellent view of who is exactly gifting lower preferences to whom!

      Post-hoc, of course, alas!

    157. Alex Clark says:

      @schrodingers cat @Robert J. Sutherland

      “either way, the electorate does need educated, no doubt about it”

      “I don’t think any of that alters schrodingers cat’s ground rules”

      Totally agree with you both, if your an Indy supporter then only list Indy supporting candidates as your preferences else risk the Unionists getting elected by your vote.

      We need to get that message more widely known before May next year.

    158. Jason King says:

      In the PR system, this is right. If you look at it from the point of view of a Unionist versus Nationalist fight then it is no great surprise that a Unionist candidate won. It is FPTP that is undemocratic, not PR

    159. TheWealthOfNations says:

      I have the same Electoral Commission pdf.

      It is a good overview but is unfortunately light on the crunchy details that are so important.

      The link I posted above on the Scottish Government site is heavy going but covers all the important bits very explicitly.

    160. Grouse Beater says:

      Fraser Coats: “The current Scottish government had an opportunity to rewrite the franchise agreement. The SNP government, with ‘fighting for Scotland’ as its slogan, decided to write the same indemnity clause into the new franchise agreement.

      Here is what I understand is-was the situation:

      Before the Holyrood elections Sturgeon announced that her party would enact legislation, under devolved powers of the Scotland Act 2016, to alter the “absurd” franchise rules that excluded the public sector in the UK from running trains but allowed a Dutch state firm to operate ScotRail instead.

      As for allegedly not consulting the unions, I know this: Sturgeon told the unions: “We have long argued, with your support, against the absurd position that sees public sector operators from other countries able to bid to run public rail services in Scotland, but our own public sector unable to do so.”

      Sturgeon is recorded as saying, “A recommendation of the Smith commission was that Holyrood should have the power to change that. We will continue to have to tender services – it will not be within our gift to change that. But our manifesto will make clear that a re-elected SNP government will use new powers to change the law to ensure that in future a Scottish public sector body will be able to bid to run Scotland’s railways.”

      [My emphasis to remind suggested powers were deleted or watered down by Labour and WM.]

      Keeping in mind the main Scottish franchise, ScotRail, (fined for lack of cleanliness and punctuality) may not come up for renewal until 2025, where can you show me that the Scottish Government was given the powers by the Smith Committee endorsed by Westminster that you say they did not employ?

      Moreover, where was it, exactly, that Sturgeon failed to consult the unions?

      There appears to be a large division between what you think and what appears to be the reality.

      Specifically, do you know if the indemnity clause (I take this at face value) is legally free to be altered under current contractual obligations? Or are succeeding administrations tied to it until the franchise comes up for complete renewal?

      And lastly, what makes you think the SNP administration will not deal with Abellio aggressively if that company comes up short, or tries to harm working conditions as agreed with the unions?

    161. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Fraser Coats,

      OK, so you’re not sure if the current SG is doing exactly what you would prefer to see them doing about some particular issues right now. So what?

      I’m not myself a member of the SNP, but how actually do you propose to achieve independence without it? How does attacking it, however obliquely, achieve anything positive right now at this very critical juncture?

      It merely undermines the case for indy, which is why people here might suspect you of being a NO troll.

      If you have a positive case of your own to make for indy, go ahead and make it by all means. We’re a broad church, and the more converts we can each make the better. But please don’t try it at the expense of others, or saying things to dissuade potential converts, or using this forum as a handy political platform for some grouping that’s really only using indy to promote its own agenda.

      If you really want independence as you say, argue your utmost for that until we get it, then we can all elect a government of our own choosing with unfettered powers to make the necessary (hopefully progressive) changes. Then you can judge them accordingly, as we all will.

    162. Grouse Beater says:

      And as a PS to Fraser Coats: I add this:

      DEMANDS that the Scottish Government be given greater powers over how it runs Scotland’s railway were rejected by Westminster, provoking a furious response from the SNP.

      UK Transport Secretary Justine Greening claimed it would not be sensible to break up what she said was a coherent GB structure and insisted the power of Scottish ministers to set fares and specify services was adequate.

      Greening’s refusal follows calls by the SNP to alter UK-wide rail legislation to allow for reforms to be introduced in Scotland.

      Okay, I’ll get my Fraser Coats.

    163. Grouse Beater says:

      As a political party seeking election in a colonial nation you must, nevertheless, espouse your ideals and your goals, knowing full well, that the administrating nation will sure as hell do all it can to frustrate those goals, or block them completely.

      Invariably, it’s a frustrating defeat when that happens, but more so when it allows opponents to rewrite the record, saying existing powers are more than enough, and the ‘uprising’ promised more than they could deliver. It also allows people to exploit our short memories.

      To the Fraser Coats of this world – that is why it always comes back to independence regained and nothing less. There is no substitute to radical constitutional reform.

      Without it Scotland remains a satellite province of Greater Britain – which is exactly the inference we can take from Greening’s refusal to give Scotland full powers over railway legislation..

    164. Alex Clark says:

      @Grouse Beater

      The colonial government ruling from Westminster already despise the limited powers that the Scottish government so far use so wisely.

      They despise no tuition fees and free personal care in particular as the English electorate really would like to have the same. This is where the belief of Scots being subsidised comes from.

      Never mind giving Scotland more powers over the railways, this Tory government would prefer to remove more Scottish power from Holyrood and it will try to do so unless we secure Independence first.

      Those that comment on Wings complaining that the Scottish government “is not doing enough” should first look to Westminster as to why we maybe “can’t don’t enough”.

      It is not in our power to do so. Why some are so scared of having the power to run their own country totally baffles me.

      That Scottish cringe must be deeply ingrained in these folk.

    165. schrodingers cat says:

      TheWealthOfNations says:

      As I understand it, first you elect anyone that exceeds the threshold.
      If on the 1st count someone does exceed the “Quota” this is what happens. If no one does, the candidate with the least votes is excluded

      Excess votes for that candidate are transferred proportionally to the second preference candidate. Should a second candidate exceed the threshold because of this transfer then the excess votes remaining from candidate one are transferred proportionally to third preference candidates and so on and so forth.

      If a candidate does pass the quota, his extra votes are transfered to the other candidates on a proportional basis, using % generated from the entirety of his votes
      eg, if quota 1000, candidate has 1300, if 50% of all 1300 1st votes voted for eg SNP candidate as 2nd choice, then 100 (half the excess 200) votes will be allocated to the SNP candidate.
      (in reality, the algorith generates a coeficient factor to multiply the votes, same thing)

      If these 100 votes causes the SNP candidate to surpass the Quota, then his is indeed elected. eg to 1050, these extra 50 votes will be passed onto the other candidates.
      Im unsure if the distribution of these 50 votes is based on the proportion of the SNP 950 2nd votes or the initial candidates 3rd votes

      This process continues until all of candidate one’s excess votes are distributed or all the seats are filled.

      Should there still be seats to be filled the candidate with the lowest total of votes is eliminated and their second preferences transferred.

      correct, but the process of elected candidates votes being distributed to other candidates takes priority

      I had assumed that a second preference in this circumstance for a candidate that has already been elected would be transferred to the voters third or lower preference just as it would have been had they voted for a candidate that exceeded the threshold on first preferences.

      This was the point of some of the earlier points on this thread TWON’s but I believe, eliminated or elected candidates who receive 2nd or 3rd preference votes during the counting process are, such votes are effectively dumped

      I may well be wrong about that but assuming that I am not that ought to mean that no vote is wasted.

      soz m8, i think they are lost

      (check out the detailed breakdown available here)

      Transfers after eliminations are not discarded, they pass over any candidates that have already been elected and the next preference is transferred.

      they dont

      As far as I can tell the system is as near as dammit mathematically perfect. If the threshold is 1500 votes and between three candidates you get 4500 votes you get three seats. It does not matter what order you promote them or what order the electorate actually choose them, all of those votes are eventually distributed evenly amongst the candidates.

      mmm, SNP 123, quota 1500, snp 1 4500 votes, snp 2&3 zero,
      yep a snp 123 in this case will win all 3 seats

      except, if 2 snp candidates stand in one ward, people will vote snp1&2 and SNP 2&1 regardless with 3 candidates it would be even more difficult and disruptive with snp 123, folk would vote vote every which way.
      it risks letting a unionist through and their second votes getting other unionists elected and those SNP 2&3 candidates with few votes getting eliminated.
      Increasing the turn out of only snp candidates will increase will increase the Quota,

      However, your idea does have some merit, maybe in some wards the snp 123 tactic may well work, But I maintain that they will be in the minority

      In fact I suspect all that farting about trying to promote different voting patterns in different parts of the Ward is counter productive.

      perhaps, but it is a tactic which has been used in some 2 candidate wards before, and will be used again in some wards regardless of what you or I think about it.

      It might come closest to costing seats by precipitating eliminations before all potential transfers have accumulated to a particular candidate and it certainly muddies the message you are trying to transmit to your voter base.

      as I said, 3 candidate wards will be very few

      If you are able to give the same advice to SNP voters across the ward

      difficult in council elections, as far as I am aware few people canvas or campaign in council elections

      and across the entire local authority they will have a much clearer idea of what they should do to maximize the SNP presence on the Council. Costs will be lower so more leaflets can be printed and those leaflets will be more effective.

      Im not sure the snp can print snp 1&2 green3 leaflets.. only snp1&2, the activists on the ground can still ASk snp voters to vote green 3 though. as can the social media
      national leaflets wont work, they need to highlight the candidates in each ward, so you will need over 350 different leaflets for the whole of scotland.
      bear in mind, the only people ever to deliver leaflets in past council elections are generally the candidates 🙂

      except in the 5 wards in nef, the snp wont even be standing the same amount of candidates in each ward ???, I would imagine only one in St Andrews. how will an SNP 123 national campaign work there? snp got 700 votes total there in 2012, (population 14k)

      the only advice I could give across the all the wards and all the constituencies is “dont vote for any unionists”

      You are certainly right that we need to GOTV and make sure nobody gives any votes to unionist parties or unaligned independents. Yes candidates only.

      yup, no disagreement with this

      I’d far rather see some greens elected in Fife than have SNP transfers precipitate another Unionist coalition.
      it is difficult to predict exactly what will happen in every ward, we can only really make general comments about the best tactic to get the most indy candidates elected. it isnt a zero sum game, it a few cases such general comments might have the opposite effect. It is a question of probabilities. not absolutes

      It is difficult to ask snp voters, or members or activists to vote anything else but snp1&2, indeed, it is probably against party rules, same for the greens i suspect, that’s why my proposal only asks them to vote SNP 1&2 green 3 or and green party members the reverse vice versa.

      All of which I will be putting to the Fife Liaison Committee at their next meeting….

      good, find out exactly how many candidates the SNP intend to stand in which wards at the same time. this info will help us going forward. eg, if they can only find one candidate to stand in a certain ward, then that ward can plan accordingly.

    166. Fraser Coats says:

      Yes Grouse Beater, the indemnity clause could have been changed. The Scottish government chose to protect a foreign multi-national from striking Scottish workers.

      Further, as I demonstrated, the Scottish government planned well in advance of the awarding of the franchise to implement the anti-trade union agenda of successive UK governments by volunteering to adopt the McNulty report.

      Finally, anyone who thinks we should be uncritical of this sort of nonsense because it’s the SNP who’s doing it and we won’t achieve independence without them, as Robert J. Sutherland suggests, is missing quite a serious point. The 45% was achieved by offering Scotland something different from Westminster. I don’t see that great a difference now, and not coincidentally, I don’t see the appetite for independence growing terribly much either. People will not be attracted to independence if it involves little more than a change in the headed notepaper.

      And you can either dismiss me as a No troll for that, or read James Connolly on the subject.

      Cheers

    167. schrodingers cat says:

      TheWealthOfNations

      i just saw your post regarding the 12 21 nonsense….

      I didnt say I supported it, only that it has been used in some wards in the past and will be used again in some wards

      if it doesnt work in your ward, fine, dont use it, stick with 12.

      but some wards where the 2nd snp candidate missed out getting elected by only a few votes, the activists may chose the 12 21 option. Especially if there will be a green standing in 2016 when there wasnt in 2012.

      unfortunately with over 350 different wards. one size doesnt fit all

    168. schrodingers cat says:

      Alex Clark says:
      Never mind giving Scotland more powers over the railways, this Tory government would prefer to remove more Scottish power from Holyrood and it will try to do so unless we secure Independence first.

      its worse than that Alex, this tory government is actively trying to destroy scotlands economy, in the hope they can blame the snp and kill off the drive for independence

      we have no choice now but to win our independence. without which we are goosed

    169. Grouse Beater says:

      Fraser Coats: “the indemnity clause could have been changed. The Scottish government chose to protect a foreign multi-national from striking Scottish workers.”

      I published evidence that they were not given that right.

      The British government refused that detail in the Smith recommendations, aided and abetted by the Labour representatives on the committee. It was in the back of my mind that they were frustrated about having to accept the franchise but I had to check my notes on file.

      You ignore what I’ve written to repeat your assertion, and then toss in apple pie philosophy about no government is above criticism, (where did I say it was?) allowing you to make another false assumption that there is no change now the SNP are here. That’s arrant tosh, and you know it.

      I challenged your initial statement which by all evidence has no validity and all you do is repeat it.

      A pointless exercise.

      But at least you hung around in case I answered you.

    170. schrodingers cat says:

      Fraser Coats says:

      The 45% was achieved by offering Scotland something different from Westminster. I don’t see that great a difference now,

      if you were a student at uni you would
      if you were sick you would
      if you were elderly you would
      if you were against trident you would

      Grouse Beater says:
      Fraser Coats: “the indemnity clause could have been changed. The Scottish government chose to protect a foreign multi-national from striking Scottish workers.”

      I published evidence that they were not given that right.

      owned 🙂

    171. Grouse Beater says:

      If any reader has followed Fraser Coats pious repetition about railway betrayal by the SNP and not fallen asleep, allow me to develop my refutation of his claim:

      Labour would have done exactly what the Scottish Government did – given the contract from 2015 to 2025 to the best tender from the available private-sector bidders (public ownership being currently forbidden by UK law, in the shape of a 1993 act not repealed by Labour during 13 years of Westminster power).

      And because of the Westminster imposed limitations on its railway powers, Labour could not have red pencilled unwanted clauses in the franchise. It’s arguable they would never reorganise it because they are so far neo-liberal it would be against their natural intuition.

      Labour would have done nothing differently to the SNP for at least 11 years, which in political terms might as well be forever.

      Labour’s “Powers For A Purpose” document from March 2014, outlining the party’s proposals for further devolution, spends just two of its 298 pages discussing the subject of the railways, with most of the content cribbed from a Co-op Party paper last year.

      It supports some misty notion of a not-for-profit franchise – starting AFTER the end of the period just awarded to Abellio.

      So, what’s all this crap about the SNP doing less than Labour would have done, and certainly nothing like the Tories would have imposed?

    172. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Taking him purely at face value, I think we’ve just had a brief glimpse of that rare species, a RISE supporter.

      Or of that even more exotic species, a TUSC supporter.

    173. Grouse Beater says:

      Schrodinger: “owned”

      Good time lost for sleep before a heavy day’s work in the early hours, and all for my forbearance is another version of “Independence will be great for Scotland if only the SNP wasn’t in charge of it.”

      Aye, right.

      Even the few civil rights we do have enshrined in the Treaty are usurped with impunity – Scots Law prevails… erm no, it’s trumped by England’s Supreme Court.

    174. TheWealthOfNations says:

      @shrodingers cat

      soz m8, i think they are lost

      Read the link I posted.

      It explicitly says the exact opposite.

    175. schrodingers cat says:

      i could see your link, eyes not so good, but yes you are correct TWON

      the extra votes transfered are calculated from both 1st votes and 2nd votes, a % of each is calculated

      elected candidates who receive transfered votes are not lost, the next choice on those ballots is used

      i stand corrected.

      let me review and get back to you

    176. Stoker says:

      Alongside a highly organised advisory campaign on voting suggestions, area by area, i think (WOS) should be running our own leaflet campaign, something along these lines with a few tweeks: http://archive.is/mDju6

      For starters, we replace the butchers apron with the Saltire and replace the words “Ballot Paper” with ‘Scottish Council Elections 2017’. We could easily crowdfund this project.

      The Yes movement has a wealth of experience, know-how and determination. We can make it happen, we have to make it happen! No use sitting waiting on guidance or someone firing the starting pistol. After-all, the BUM spouts its lying propaganda 24/7 all year round.

    177. tamson says:

      Said it before: STV is nearly as bad as FPTP as a voting system.

      The ONLY plus point is that it’s proportional. Against that, it’s overcomplicated, forces parties to second-guess their support in a ward, is useless for by-elections, encourages tactical preference voting, and doesn’t provide you with a direct representative (i.e. “your” councillor).

      With the Holyrood system, I get “my” MSP, but I also get 7 regional list MSPs to turn to if that MSP isn’t shaping up. It’s still proportional and fairly simple.

    178. schrodingers cat says:

      agreed with that Tamson

      It might be useful for national elections but it robs communities of direct representation, that it is proportional is irrelevent to people. Once, local elections were much less political, it was about the person, not the party and people didnt care what or who folk in other nearby towns voted for. While there are now only a few communities that dont vote for political parties, the essential function of a local councilor remains the same so I think that local council elections are the one election that doesnt benefit from a system of proportionality.

      this kinda leaves your comment with no plus point at all 🙁

      It is complicated, I have already been picked up on a minor point in my calcs on the transfer of votes by TWON, but it is quite clear from analysing the results that the vast majority of people have odd ideas as to how it works. eg, 30% of people who voted for robin sturgeon snp in irvine, voted slab 2nd choice. This system also high lights some of the stranger choices made by people, we have rational, logical even heated debates btl on wings, but it is clear that a few in the population would quite happily vote 1. fluffy bunnies 2. Vlad the impaler. What goes through their tortured minds when in the polling booth is anyones guess. There’s nothing as queer as folk etc.

      The set of rules i posted is perhaps useful as a general guideline for everyone, they need tweeked though, not bad for a first attempt, hopefully others will come in and improve them. I could also redo the explaination of how the system works so that it is clear in peoples minds. But most folk arent interested in such details what it comes down to and what activist really want to know, as TWON pointed out is…. how many candidates should we stand in each ward?
      I maintain, except in exceptional cases, 2 SNP candidates max in all wards. eg, in 2015, SNPNEF won this seat with just over 18k votes, in 2012, st andrews,(pop 14k) the biggest of 5 wards which make up NEF got 700 votes???
      Now logic tells me there must be more than 700 snp voters in st andrews and that the other 17.3K dont all live in the east neuk. But gut feeling is the only thing we have, the results of ward elections in 2012 , for most of scotland, dont tell us anything.
      there were only 7 wards with 3 snp candidates in 2012, this is likely to be repeated in 2016, with the rest being mainly 2 candidate wards. this decision will be based on peoples local knowledge and to a large extent, gut feeling.

    179. tamson says:

      @schrodingers cat:

      “While there are now only a few communities that dont vote for political parties, the essential function of a local councilor remains the same so I think that local council elections are the one election that doesnt benefit from a system of proportionality.”

      Proportionality is really, really necessary – the lack of it before 2007 was precisely how the Labour fiefdoms were built in the West of Scotland.

      Obviously your local experience is different from mine, but in Glasgow we got used to over 90% of councillors being Labour based on half the votes. This was a major source of all the corruption.

      I don’t particularly like STV, but it’s still better than FPTP or AV, in my opinion.

    180. schrodingers cat says:

      fair point Tamson

      but we do live in different types of community
      I live in the Howe of fife ward, which has 6 royal burghs, each of which had its own town(burgh) council. Until 1975, it was these town councils who decided on, eg planning permission, the use of common ground, dealt with the roads and infrastructure in each of their respective areas. Where the best place to build new houses in the burgh where I live, and the worst, ie the flood plain, is known by everyone, regardless of which political party they belong to. What the councils in the other 5 burghs decided to do was their business.
      We now have 3 councillors for the whole of the ward of the Howe, who travel each day to Glenrothes and meet up with councilors from every ward in Fife.
      These councillors have
      1.sold off the common ground in my burgh. without telling anyone. Illegal but probably now irrevesable.
      2. Granted planning permission for new houses on the flood plain
      3. Used our council taxes to build infrastucture elsewhere in fife.
      4. Favoured their unionist, landowning friends over the rest of the community
      5. Made decisions that directly affected this community which are opposed by almost everyone here

      It is perhaps the centralisation of authority which has removed the power at a local level from the people not the electoral system. scotland has roughly one councillor for every 3300 voters, the lowest anywhere in Europe by a factor of at least 50%. And we in this burgh dont need PR to decide who our councillor is. We just need the power devolved back to us.

      (see Andy Wightman… the poor had no lawyers)

      This isnt a historical curiosity, It is still happening Now

    181. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Re STV, I found a very useful analysis by John Curtis of how it went in Scotland in 2012 at the Electoral Reform Soc website:

      http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/2012-Scottish-Local-Government-Elections.pdf

      There are several very relevant comments in there about various issues. (Besides the old chestnut about some voters still not aware that they don’t put a cross in one place but numbers in as many places as they like =sigh=) One apparently is that people tend to list their party preferences in order of appearance, which in the Scottish case is strictly alphabetical. That is why a third one tends to lose out disproportionately. (Thus presumably the reason why some voters may be encouraged to vote in a different order from others. In some systems, apparently they randomly order the individual ballot papers.)

      There’s too much in there to digest into a simple few sentences, alas. Grab a copy and discover for yourself.

      PS: Living in what used to be the Glasgow Labour one-party Stalinist statelet (which the Graun never found any need to criticise), I need no convincing that STV is overall far better than FPTP. Despite comments above about individual reps, which are not without merit, there remains the issue of overall control, and how responsive to citizens’ concerns an administration will be as a whole. In the case of Glasgow, besides the most nit-pickingly of minor issues, it was none at all. Which is why, when they thought their little fiefdom was going to be all over, they hived off a lot of their functions into ALEOs (arms length external organisations), local quangos run by guess who…? Alasdair Gray had a good pop at that in The National a while back. But I digress…

    182. TheWealthOfNations says:

      While I am going to push to stand three candidates in every Ward we are certainly going to stand two without exception.

      The only reason that might change is if we can’t get enough ‘volunteers’ through vetting to make up the numbers.

      You can’t win a majority if you don’t stand for more than half the seats…

      My feeling is that planning using the 2012 results is a fools errand. We need to be using the data gathered in the SP16 campaign and the by-elections we have had since the referendum.

      We stand a fighting chance of winning 2 seats in 3 seat wards and 3 in 4s. We stand an outside chance of winning all the seats if we can get GE2015 levels of turnout. Even in that scenario if you don’t get the last seat the transfers from the eliminated candidate shore up your other candidates and could tip another pro-independence party over the line.

      I want to focus on GOTV to achieve a unionist shutout.

      We probably won’t succeed but we will get a lot closer than if we don’t bother to try.

    183. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      schrodingers cat @ 12:57,

      I think you’re almost making a different point here. The same as Lesley Riddoch has been making of late, not a voting issue as such at all really, but rather the fact that executive power currently often resides at too high a level, and should be made more local. Rural areas especially, Argyll and Bute being one of the more notable examples of how things can go very wrong.

    184. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      TWON 14:58:

      My feeling is that planning using the 2012 results is a fools errand.

      That’s right, as far as raw numbers are concerned. We’re in a completely different post-indy1 universe now. But the lessons from 2012 of what kind of thing can happen with STV are still worth learning, hence my link.

      Yes, absolutely, GOTV is the essential fundament without which all else is nothing. But voting behaviour matters too, as we could see from Irvine. Tory voters are already savvy enough to be willing to prop up Labour where they think it will hit indy. Dammit, there seem to be far too many Green voters willing to give a second pref to anybody but SNP. I know that in local elections more than anywhere, personal reputation counts, but (as has already been well said above) the message to SNP voters needs to get out loud and strong: vote indy, never vote Labour.

      It would be different if SLab were to wake up and see where the future lies. Who knows with Brexit lurking in the wings? But somehow I can’t see it happening before May of next year.

    185. schrodingers cat says:

      Robert J. Sutherland says:
      I think you’re almost making a different point here

      perhaps, but if power is devolved back down to us, why do we need PR to elect 1 or 2 councillors?

      maybe different areas need different solutions, eg i live in a town of 2500 pop, the nearest similar sized town is 8 miles away and isnt considered to be local

      “as far as raw numbers are concerned. We’re in a completely different post-indy1 universe now” it is also the low turnout in some areas which affects the Nos

      TWON
      We need to be using the data gathered in the SP16 campaign and the by-elections we have had since the referendum,

      you will need the info gathered at the count to identify in which wards you are strongest and weakest. the by election last week in west irvine has a 26% turn out, i doubt this info will be of much use to anyone

      Standing 2 candidates in a 3 candidate ward, where I live, is designed to ensure we produce a majority from the ward. Your post seems to infer that there is no detriment to your chances by standing 3 candidates. Doing this in any of the 5 nef wards would definately run the risk of ensuring only one candidate was elected from each ward, and not the 2 which gives us a majority. We are not scared to try and win, just maximise our chances of winning the most we can

    186. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      You can’t have “PR” in a by-election.

    187. schrodingers cat says:

      You can’t have “PR” in a by-election.

      i think the point being made was the STV system gives odd result when used in a ward with only one seat,

      the case in point being Robin Sturgeon last week.

    188. schrodingers cat says:

      also, devolving local powers back down to the town/burgh councils were 3300 voters elect 1 or 2 councillors, wouldnt need an electoral system with PR either

      this is andy wightmans proposal in The poor had no lawyers.

      by all means keep the regional councils, where towns can contribute and share resources, but devolve the power over things like planning permission

      It is this power which funds much of the nepotism in regional councils like fife and glasgow. the source of party donations to SLAB

    189. schrodingers cat says:

      actually, the system we have is the one we will be using in 2017, however imperfect, the reform of this system is really an issue which will be dealt with at a later date.

      how, and what is the best way to win the most councillors in 2017, should be our main focus



    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. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.




    ↑ Top