THE BOTH VOTES SNP ARGUMENT

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I am going to look at this closely based on what happened back in 2016 and what looks likely to happen in May 2021. I will look at it in each region of Scotland and express my view.

For those short of time however let me spell out what my final view is before I go into that detail. Who benefits best from that strategy? Who or what loses out?

My analysis is quite certain. The big winners if people do vote both votes SNP ARE SURPRISE, SURPRISE….THE SNP! But they are not the only winners a number of Unionist MSP’s will also be winners as well because in huge areas of Scotland, based on both past and current polling, there was never any possibility that the many hundreds of thousands of SNP list votes would ever help elect anyone OTHER than Unionist MP’s. People in these regions voting both votes SNP could take a match to the ballot paper and achieve the same effect.

Seems daft does it not, why would the SNP prefer an outcome that makes it easier for Unionists to be elected RATHER than other pro Independence MSP’s from other parties?

Well it is those words “from other pro Independence parties” that is the root of the problem. The SNP currently enjoy a virtual political monopoly on the topic of Independence. As long as that continues even when the SNP are behaving very badly and proving a huge disappointment many people are trapped into continuing to vote for them because they are reluctant to vote against Independence. At least that argument stands for the constituency first vote. I forecast it will not be anything like as effective on the list vote this time round. This is where Independence supporters will take the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with the current New SNP and look for a new home where they can express serious disquiet about the current SNP but still vote in favour of Independence as part of that process. It also offers the happy prospect of electing more pro Indy MSP’s rather than Unionists by default.

This will be the first time this option will be available to voters. Every other previous leader of the SNP has managed their years in office without the creation of other pro Independence parties springing up all around them. More sensible members of the SNP might like to question why it has now happened under Nicola’s watch? Answers on a postcard.

Now it is not as simple as I have outlined, the mathematics are, but the alternative political choice has yet to be established. I am hopeful a clear option will emerge but as yet that is still to happen so for those hoping for a steer or a recommendation in this article I will have to disappoint. The Greens, the ISP ,AFI and Scotia Future have still to convince me that they are the best option but I will make my judgement nearer the time. I am sure I am not alone in that.

So let’s have a quick look round each region, examine what happened with both votes SNP last time and make a judgement based on the latest polling what is most likely to happen in May. Let’s start with my own region, the West of Scotland. But before that let’s look at what the National polls were saying immediately before the 2016 election and what they are saying now

Constituency Vote 2016

SNP 48%

Labour 22%

Tory 19%

Liberal 7%

Constituency Vote Now

SNP 54% +6

Tory 23% +4

Labour 16% -6

Liberal 5% -2

Regional Vote 2016

SNP 41.7%

Tory 22.9%

Labour 19.1%

Green 6.6%

Lib 5.2%

Regional Vote Latest poll

SNP 43% +1.3%

Tory 21% – 1.9%

Lab 18% -1.1%

Green 10% +3.4%

Lib 6% + 0.8%

What is clear from the above is that the level of SNP support is even higher than the last time so the SNP are likely to win more constituency seats than last time making it even LESS likely they can win many lists seats, or to be precise ANY in most regions.

WEST OF SCOTLAND

The 136,000 votes cast for the SNP on the list elected ZERO Msp’s

Just over 72,000 Labour list votes elected 3 Labour Msp’s

Just under 72000 Tory votes elected 3 Tory Msp’s

Just over 17000 Green votes elected 1 Green MSP.

The SNP RECOMMENDATION IS BOTH VOTES SNP AND LET SIX UNIONISTS BE ELECTED.

MY RECOMMENDATION IS DON’T BE SO STUPID.

MID SCOTLAND AND FIFE

128,000 SNP votes cast on the list elected ZERO SNP Msp’s

Just over 73,000 Tory votes elected 4 Tory MSP’s

Just over 51,000 Labour votes elected 2 Labour Msp’s

Just under 18000 Green votes elected 1 Green MSP.

SNP RECOMMENDATION BOTH VOTES SNP

MY RECOMMENDATION ARE YOU COMPLETELY MAD?

LOTHIANS

Just over 118,000 SNP VOTES elected ZERO SNP MSP’s.

Almost 75,000 Tory votes elected 3 Tory Msp’s

Almost 68,000 Labour votes elected 2 Labour Msp’s

Just over 34,000 Green votes elected 2 Green MSP’s

SNP RECOMMENDATION BOTH VOTES SNP

MY RECOMMENDATION ONLY IF YOU LIKE ELECTING UNIONISTS.

GLASGOW

110,000 SNP list votes elected ZERO MSP’s.

Just over 59000 Labour votes elected 4 Labour MSP’s

Just under 30,000 Tory votes elected 2 Tory Msp’s

Just over 23,000 Green votes elected 1 Green MSP.

SNP RECOMMENDATION BOTH VOTES SNP

MY RECOMMENDATION DON’T BELIEVE A WORD OF IT!

CENTRAL SCOTLAND

Over 129,000 SNP list votes elected ZERO SNP Msp’s

Just over 67,000 Labour list votes elected 4 Labour Msp’s

Just over 43,000 Tory list votes elected 3 Tory MSP’s.

SNP RECOMMENDATION BOTH VOTES SNP

MY RECOMMENDATION YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!

NORTH EAST

137,000 SNP list votes elected ZERO SNP MSP’s.

Just under 86,000 Tory list votes elected 4 Tory Msp’s

Just under 39,000 Labour list votes elected 2 Labour Msp’s

Just over 18,000 Lib Dem list votes elected 1 Lib Dem MSP.

SNP RECOMMENDATION BOTH VOTES SNP

MY RECOMMENDATION YOU COULD BURN THEM. IT WOULD HAVE THE SAME IMPACT.

SOUTH SCOTLAND

Just over 120,000 SNP LIST VOTES ELECTED 3 SNP MSP’s

Just under 101,000 Tory list votes elected 2 Tory Msp’s

Just over 56,000 Labour list votes elected 2 Labour Msp’s

SNP RECOMMENDATION BOTH VOTES SNP

MY RECOMMENDATION MAKES SENSE TO ME!

HIGHLAND AND ISLANDS

Just over 81,000 SNP list votes elected 1 SNP MSP’s

Just over 44,000 Tory list votes elected 3 Tory MSP’s.

Just under 23,000 Labour list votes elected 2 Labour MSP’s.

Just over 14,000 Green votes elected one Green MSP.

SNP RECOMMENDATION BOTH VOTES SNP

MY RECOMMENDATION TRICKY, ON CURRENT CONSTITUENCY POLLING NO!

So, as you can see above it is absolutely pointless using your list vote for the SNP in six out of the eight regions of Scotland. Those votes have no prospect of electing anyone from the SNP but they will make it easier for Tories or Labour MSP’s to be elected than if you used those votes for other pro Indy candidates.

In South Scotland it does make sense to use both votes SNP even though in current polling it looks as if only one SNP list MSP would be elected rather than the three that were in 2016.

Highland is the most difficult to judge. It is marginal. Current polling suggests that the SNP will win so many constituency seats in the region it makes it unlikely any list seat would be won , however the polls could change, so I would suggest leaving any decision to the last minute.

FLY IN THE OINTMENT TIME

Just advance notice that I have a story coming that I feel will discourage a lot of people from voting for any SNP candidate on the list. This is not just because the SNP NEC have fixed the selection lists to exclude more than 75% of Scots having any opportunity to win the first spot in every region, reserving the places for minorities. It will be coming along tomorrow.

The SNP are being very selfish with their both votes SNP strategy. They know that they are encouraging huge numbers of Scots to effectively burn their vote rather than encourage them to vote for other pro Indy candidates and help create a super pro Indy majority in the Parliament. In the past the strategy worked because people trusted the SNP leadership and message. Today, not so much.

Now everything I have wrote here is based on the current political position. That can change, however for it to change sufficiently in the six regions outlined above it would have to be a massive one, nevertheless I will update this article during the actual election campaign to replicate the actual political situation at that time.

I think this debate will develop between now and May and would forecast that if a front runner alternative emerges they could be pushing an open door. Opened by a SNP leadership that have lost their way and are on completely the wrong and most divisive agenda.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland

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Please share and tweet this article. People need to understand what happens with their list vote. I have tried to explain in slighter brighter form than a academic explanation hoping people read it and understand what happened last time in 2016 in their region.

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82 thoughts on “THE BOTH VOTES SNP ARGUMENT

      1. Were you even looking for the risks? Politics is more than just arithmetic. There is great risk in promulgating the idea that it’s OK not to vote SNP. There is no way to confine that message to the regional ballot. There will be only one election campaign. There will be no clear division between the two ballots in that campaign. It is inevitable that this message will spill over into the constituency vote. That is a risk you seem not to have identified. If you’ve missed one, maybe you’ve missed others.

        Some will insist this spillover of a self-defeating campaign message will have only a minimal effect. The reality is that they have no way of knowing how large that effect might be. Nobody does. It’s not like we have a lot to compare the situation with. So it’s an unquantifiable risk in terms of the size of its impact. But we can be certain about the consequences. And none of them are good. Any spillover has a deleterious impact on Scotland’s cause. The potential consequences should this impact reach a critical level is that we give the British parties an opening to seize power. We lose the pro-independence parliament. The independence campaign is at the very least set back decades.

        I don’t care how small the risk is. I’m not gambling Scotland on it.

        Risk assessment is not as straightforward as some suppose. Think of a risk that’s described as one in a thousand. You might think that’s not terribly risky. But imagine a bag containing 1000 sweets. Except one of them contains a deadly poison that causes certain and agonising death. Would you let your child pick a sweet from that bag and eat it?

        The other side of the gamble is what you stand to win. In the case of these snake-oil parties what you stand to win is precisely nothing. There is no post-election scenario in which any number of snake-oil party MSPs can actually DO anything that advances Scotland’s cause. Even a tiny risk may not be considered worth it if the potential gain is nothing whatever. So it pays to look for any and all risks. It NEVER pays to assume that any course of action is risk-free.

        Want proof of that? The SNP has for six years portrayed delaying a referendum as a risk-free option. Look where we are now.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Peter,

        We have a pro-independence parliament? Really?

        I don’t think you give the electorate enough credit. Tactical voting has always been a thing. No matter what your opinion on the various “difficulties” that the SNP are experiencing tactical voting here would deliver net benefits to the people who want independence: it would be a shot across the bows for the SNP not to take their support for granted and the elimination of a few, maybe even more than a few unionists would send a strong message down south.

        Liked by 9 people

      3. Iain – haven’t finished your essay yet but I know I’ve been making the same arguments since it became obvious the SNP want an overall Holyrood majority, with no possibility of other independence-supporting MSPs putting a hold on whatever insane bills and plans they have waiting in the ”Entryist/Policy Capture” cupboard.
        Basically, they don’t want as many as 85-90 independence-supporting MSPs, but they’ll be delighted with an overall majority of 2, and 5 years in total control.

        I’m in the region where ‘SNP 1 and 2’ is necessary – South Scotland – but even here ‘they’ want Joan McAlpine gone. We dread to think what other manipulation and undemocratic trickery they’re going to throw at us, which is why we’re doing our best the win the constituency.
        With regard to the campaign, Covid is our ally. No door knocking, leafletting, stalls, or other ‘street work’, and that’s just as well.

        We’re losing members, and they’re mostly the long serving, previously totally committed volunteer activists who give up their time to do all those jobs.

        Last campaign we had between 30 – 40. Some were out every day, others when they could manage (and it was winter). We’ve ‘lost’ 13 so far (including 8 of the daily crowd), but I know there are more to come.
        They’re waiting to see if all the evidence is released and published.

        If it isn’t, they will quit too.

        Liked by 5 people

      4. Peter: I am certainly not trying to be rude to you, but you so remind me of Labour stalwarts of circa 25 years ago. Nobody but Labour. What happened with Labour was that the Scottish part of it – the actual foundations of Labour which was founded in Scotland – became dislocated from its Scottish roots and became, to all intents and purposes just another middle-class party of Middle England, with a bit of a conscience.

        The same is happening to the SNP. It is beginning to become unmoored from its Scottish roots and is beginning to resemble a Unionist rainbow party. Its desperation to appeal to previous NO voters, previous Brexit voters and the 10-15% of rUK voters now resident in Scotland (mainly English, but also NI and Welsh) is making it crazy. It is well on the way to off-loading its most ardent supporters, and this has been happening since 2014.

        Since 2014, we have have had the body blow of the referendum result, the accession of Nicola Sturgeon as FM, the advent of Stonewall Diversity Champions and their infiltration into the body politic, Brexit and the accumulation of umpteen mandates which have not been acted upon in any meaningful way. All these elements combined have ensured that independence is farther away than it has ever been, certainly since 2014, despite huge electoral success.

        It is down entirely to the SNPG’s decision to appeal to minorities within Scotland. There is nothing wrong with looking after minorities, nothing wrong with extending to them all the benefits of living in Scotland that the rest of us take for granted, but you do not allow them to set the agenda, and you do not allow them to act illegally and unconstitutionally. Where it all falls down is when you make those minorities the focus of your administration instead of the majority, particularly when that majority is your core vote and the minorities, most of them, have yet to be persuaded. Even the pseudo ‘wokerati’ entryists, though they chunter on about independence, appear to do their level best to ensure it never happens because their agenda will not be advanced by independence, but hindered by it. It should be obvious to all. So much better to hold out for a few more powers here and there, even as we are being eviscerated.

        We are not going to get independence, Peter – not with this lot. You can believe they’ll deliver if you want, but I believe they will dither and foot-drag until it is all too late. A plebiscitary election is our best chance, and it’s nonsense to say that it cannot possibly be a single-issue election because those in favour are not saying that. You will need other policies, if only to kick-start an independent Scotland, but making independence the main policy, effective immediately on winning, is perfectly feasible and legal and constitutional NOW.

        The SNPG does not need to go crawling on its belly for permission. If the UKG (England, to all intents and purposes) refuses to recognize the result (and if it is SNP 1, ISP or other parties 2, that will maximise the pro independence seats and the votes), then we take our case to the international arena and invoke the Treaty, the UN Charter and all aspects of international constitutional law.

        Give the SNP another term without conditions, and it will introduce GRA Reform, the Hate Crime Bill and will not bring in independence, finding excuse after excuse not to do so, and, all the while, it will disengage from its Scottish roots even more until it loses all semblance of being a Scottish party for Scottish independence, but a mildly devolutionist has-been, a tame foil for the Tories in Scotland.

        Iain: great piece.

        Liked by 8 people

      5. Peter, ref our small exchange re Now Scotland over at your bit. Perhaps exploring the risks is something that Now Scotland could do. I don’t have the experience that many have regarding politics and the independence journey to date and I am confused about much of what I read here and elsewhere (especially about which way to vote). But I do know a thing or two about helping to identify and manage risks, and helping people decide what their risk tolerance is. I have seen talk of many risks over the last year but I don’t expect there is a definitive ‘Independence risk list’ anywhere, where the risks are explored prioritised and managed, but maybe there should be.

        Liked by 4 people

      1. The “Max the Yes” strategy subverts democracy in that it seeks to strip a substantial section of the population of representation. You cannot claim to be a champion of democratic principles and advocate this strategy. Whatever your arguments here, Democratic principles cannot be one of them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Only an idiot or a Britnat thinks there has ever been democracy in Scotland. Which are you Pony? Both?

        There was no democracy when the parliamentarians signed away Scotland to England in 1707 and there has never been any since then for Scotland. People in Scotland may go to polling stations but when it comes right down to it England will always overrule the votes of the people of Scotland and then tell us we are lucky to be part of the UK and stop being whinging jocks.

        Liked by 5 people

      3. Calm yourself Cubby. I was arguing a point of principle, not history. Whatever the history of Democracy in Scotland, or lack of it, in what way does “Max the Yes” further Democratic principles? Fine, argue for it to get a largely meaningless “super-majority” in Holyrood, but don’t claim it is in support of Democracy.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Pony, your patronising calm yourself comment. That is the stuff of a troll. So yes you are a troll and obviously enjoy being a troll.

        I never claimed anything about being in the name of democracy – so you just made that up – quite the opposite. So again what a troll does. Trolls build Straw men and that is you trolling pony.

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      5. I didn’t claim you held that view. I was making a general statement about the issue under discussion on this bit of the thread.

        The mark of a troll is the constant, angry tirade of repetitive abuse that concentrates on ad hominem attacks rather than the topics being debated. Take a bow Cubby.

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      6. Bungo: by your reckoning, then, Better Together stripped the Scots of the right to determine their own future. In fact, in that instance you are bang on the button because that is precisely what they did. The Unionist parties have been playing the D’Hondt system since it was introduced. There is nothing undemocratic about maximising the seats and votes for independence. What exactly would be stripped out of the election? Who is suggesting a single-issue plebiscitary election. We will need to have other policies because, if we lose, but still form a government, we will need them; if we win, we will need them to kick-start a new, independent Scotland.

        However, you need not fear, because, unless a mile happens between now and May, we will be looking at the erasure of women and women’s rights, draconian measures to prevent anyone from saying that a man cannot ever be a woman and, guess what? Still no independence.

        By the way, the pseudo ‘wokerati’ are campaigning on human rights for trans people. They have their human rights, the same as the rest of us. They have their civil rights, same as the rest of us. They need to be challenged for lying in the campaign. They are bare-faced liars. They want to take over the rights and spaces of women without having to lift a finger themselves. It seems that some of the pseudo ‘wokerati’ candidates are playing the ‘boo hoo, we don’t have any human rights’ card. They are lying through their teeth. We need to report them to the Electoral Commission now for misrepresenting verified facts.

        Ask them, too, how much Stonewall and the trans lobby put, out of their government allotted funding, into safe spaces for trans people, counselling services for trans people. They piggy-back on women’s allocated funding and women-run and designed shelters and other services. If they burst into tears, just throw them a paper hankie and keep on questioning them. The fact that nothing has been done about independence for six years is partly down to their insane agenda and the party hierarchy’s capture by this arrant nonsense. If I were Alec Salmond, I’d be casting an eye over this lot to suss out the leanings of people close to the top, because it certainly would not have been in their interest either, to have him return to frontline politics.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. Sorry Lorna, little if any of that had anything to do with the “single” point I was making that you (in general …. not personally) cannot cite upholding Democratic principles as a reason to support “Max the Yes”. You can cite many other reasons for it …. just not that …. in my opinion 🙂 .

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      8. Pony you are a lying troll. You started trolling me from the first day you pitched up on this blog.

        Take a bow yourself troll.

        Like

      9. Good grief Cubby, have you any self-awareness at all? I’ll amend my description of a troll;

        “The mark of a troll is the constant, angry tirade of repetitive abuse that concentrates on ad hominem attacks, rather than the topics being debated …. coupled with an obsession with particular individuals on the thread”.

        I have not been “trolling you”. YOU have been responding to my posts with the same old repetitive abuse. I have no interest in “trolling” you. You have nothing of interest to contribute to the debate. Get over yourself, your obsession with me, and if you don’t want me to respond to your posts, stop “trolling” mine.

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      1. And there is nothing the advocates of “Max the Yes” can say that alters the reality that the vast majority of voters are either unaware or uninterested in the “cunning plan”.

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  1. This is misleading Iain. What about 1st votes SNP 54% also being given to 2nd votes? 54%
    As in 2011….an stomping majority for SNP and independence. In 2016 people succumbed to the argument of dont give both votes to SNP and they lost nearly 5% of votes to alternative parties and so lost their overall majority hence the unionists were on a roll. No other group ( they are not parties ) can command sufficient “party ” support.

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    1. I could point to a lot of reasons that the SNP could not get 54% on the constituency vote on their own but will restrict myself to pointing out the figure includes strong support from Greens who do not compete in many constituencies. Given they are currently at 10% on the list it is obvious a big slice is automatically deducted from the SNP REGIONAL VOTE. The figures I quote bear that out.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. I was campaigning when the SNP didn’t have support! It didn’t stop us.
      That SNP then though gave me a voice at conference and didn’t push through policies which didn’t reach conference. When did GRA get voted on as a policy?

      Liked by 10 people

      1. It didn’t, Julia, but this lot of shysters will tell you it did. Just as they tell voters that trans people have no human rights. It is a massive con. These people have no conscience. They lie and lie and lie. They tell people that trans women are murdered and assaulted more than women when the statistics prove conclusively that it is a lie. Imagine this coterie getting into power…no don’t. It doesn’t bear thinking about. Not a brain cell between the lot of them and corrupt and lying bar stewards from day one. God help us.

        Liked by 3 people

    3. You identify the outcome from May’s election that is the ideal IF your primary concern is what best serves the fight to restore Scotland’s independence rather than the advancement of various egos and agendas. That ideal is a Scottish Government with a safe working majority and an overwhelming mandate – preferably >50% on BOTH ballots – for a manifesto commitment to the actions specified in the #ManifestoForIndependence. Starting with repudiating the Section 30 process and asserting the permanence and primacy of the Scottish Parliament on the basis of the sovereignty of the people of Scotland and the unchallengeable democratic legitimacy of the Parliament we elect.

      One of the many things advocates of splitting the vote fail to realise is that after securing a safe working majority the most effective way by far of adding weight to the Scottish Government’s mandate is votes. Lots of votes. Every single vote that can be mustered. Telling people it’s OK to throw their votes where they add nothing to the weight of the mandate and can be of no practical benefit to Scotland’s cause is reckless and foolish.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The trouble with your comment here, Peter, is that the ‘ideal’ scenario does not appear to be on offer. What is in it for any Scot who wants independence to vote for an SNP that appears to have zero interest in even attempting to deliver that outcome? Especially if you are like me and think that (relatively) corruption-free politics is an absolute necessity in any functioning democracy. I have always believed that independence offered a better lot for Scots because we would be free of the imperialistic corruption of Westminster and the British Establishment but I do not believe in independence for independence’s sake if we are just going to establish our own little corrupt corner up here in North Britannia.

        I would not support any movement that set out to establish an independent Scotland if that outcome resembled North Korea, Belarus or many other examples of failed states around the world. The current SNP are not in danger of doing that but they appear to be corrupt beyond a level which I am comfortable with and at a level that I do not believe Scotland can afford to accept for future generations.

        I’ve read your (very compelling) arguments in favour of voting SNP to preserve the possibility of independence in the next Holyrood term because I too fear that the UK Government intend shutting us down. But, maybe that is a price we need to pay to ensure a decent, democratic and non-corrupt Scotland in the future. We may just have to use a different route to get there is all (many countries have). The SNP in its current guise needs out; the leadership and structures of the party need to change, pronto. And there is, as yet, no sign that this is going to happen.

        I share your misgivings about the new parties of independence because they look like more of the same to me. They look like people trying to game the system so that roughly 50% of the population can exert more than 50% of political control. The d’Hondt method is not perfect but the results are broadly proportional to the wishes of the Scottish people. If we want to have more than 50% of the population in favour of independence we need to persuade more people to join us. We need new parties – if only to have an effective opposition – so that the SNP do not have a monopoly on the independence vote but those parties have to clearly stand for something. That something can be as straight-forward as a plebiscite election this year or it can be broad enough to encompass all roles of government but there must be something of substance above and beyond getting elected. And so far, none of them (with the possible exception of the SSP) offer that.

        If the SNP (or any other party) was seen to be taking on board the arguments that the likes of you or Craig Murray make about the nature of Scotland’s relationship with Westminster and how to go about changing that relationship then I would have some hope. But you have been banging on about the need to ignore the S.30 route for a long time now and they (the ‘leadership’ of the independence movement) have been ignoring you for just as long (never mind anything else you have to say).

        The likes of you and Iain Lawson are the only ones who I think have a chance of persuading me to vote for the SNP either 1 or 2 but so far I remain unconvinced and I suspect I am going to remain unconvinced up until the morning of the 6th May. And then I am going to have to decide whether I do what a lot of No voters did in 2014 and vote for the status quo (because better the devil; frying pan-fire; pick your metaphor of choice…) or take a bold step and vote against the SNP for the first time in my voting history because it offers a greater hope for a better future.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Peter: why do you go on about egos? All we want is independence. We waited seven years for Alec Salmond to deliver, BUT – and it’s a massive BUT, Peter – we never doubted for a moment that he was, indeed, working towards delivering independence if he could. We knew that he and his team were working on the White Paper, we knew that he was campaigning constantly and consistently. Yes, he gambled that an agreed referendum would deliver independence in one go if we won – and didn’t we come close? However, another indyref was out of the question because Westminster had cottoned on that we were serious. EVEL was delivered on 19 September, 2014. The following day, Nicola Sturgeon should have stood on the steps of Bute House and told us, and Westminster, that, although we had lost, independence would still be delivered by the party of independence which was in power at Holyrood.

        We should have learned from that indyref never to have another, but to immediately seek other routes, with a unit set up to do so, and to have everything in place when he opportunity arose again. But, no, the SNPG insisted that NO voters were to be given every opportunity to gloat and sneer even though what they had done was inimical to natural justice and deplorable by the standard set by the UN Charter. None of that has ever been done. They are not going to deliver, Peter, not without a massive shock to THEIR egos. There comes a point when you have to concede that it’s over, that you are not willing to follow con artists and vote abusers another moment. My sitting SNP MSP will get my first vote because I have personal respect and liking for him; my second vote will go elsewhere, probably to ISP because they do not follow the science deniers and because they do believe in independence. Like you, I supported independence my whole life, never giving up when we had next to no votes, picking ourselves up after yet another defeat. This lot, however, have finished me, and it has nothing to do with my ego.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hugh: don’t think of it as 50% lording it over the other 50%. Think of it as the legitimate and legal and constitutional expression of a people’s right to determine their own future. If you don’t see it like that, and if there are enough people with your outlook, then we are going to be propelled into a NI situation where a minority on that land held the rest, including Eire, hostage for hundreds of years. The Partition should never have happened, even less so because three of the six counties had large Catholic/Nationalist populations who had no civil rights. It was a colonial hijacking. Had the UN been set up then, the Irish could have appealed under the Charter.

        What is wrong with us? Other countries in Europe, many outwith Europe, have used an election to gain independence. It is recognised in international law. But, no, not Scotland. We are too special, too precious to use the same routes as anyone else. No, we must pander to minorities, foot-drag with dreams of S30 Orders until it is far too late to retrieve the situation and there will be no way out except through conflict, and who wants that? Always, it is weak people who allow the conditions for conflict to arise because they will not act when acting is absolutely necessary to prevent turmoil. Weak people doing nothing, voting for the status quo, actually cause most of the conflict in the world. Throughout history, they have allowed megalomaniacs to take the reins and catapult a country and its people into hell through their inaction or fear of taking a risk. Don’t vote NO because it’s a risk to vote YES. You know what the alternative is. No risk there, just what it says on the tin, courtesy of Brexit and the vile Tories. We are going to hell, Hugh, and so many will just follow meekly, dragging the rest of us with them to something that will be so, so much worse than any independent Scotland could ever be.

        I agree with you about another indyref – any kind of indyref. I would fully expect us to lose it again for the reasons you have stated. 2014 was screaming that out to us but our SNPG was not listening, and has never listened.

        Liked by 1 person

    4. We will not know until closer to the day where to put our No2 vote. The insignificant parties may become much more significant once they start campaigning.

      I’ll be making my decision the night before based on my calculation of the the likely result.

      I do not want to make the mistake I made in 2016 and get a swatch of Tories red and blue instead of what I voted for.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with your analysis, but I must point out that a party can’t advise their supporters to vote for another party. It’s against the rules.
    That doesn’t mean they should actively campaign against other pro indy parties.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. The last thing the SNP want is for another party to force their hand and actually make progress towards gaining independence. It’s totally selfish and provides insight into the mindset of the current regime. I’m disgusted with the antics of the party at present and find myself resenting them more than the Unionist parties as at least you know where you stand with them. I wish the ISP, AFI Et al. would put any differences aside and come together though or I feel this will be a pointless exercise.

    I will only vote SNP in the constituency if the Murrell’s are removed as they are hopelessly compromised and will never under any circumstances lead the country to Independence. If abstaining from voting helps force them out then I believe it is the interest of the country to do so.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. I fully agree with you and am coming to the belief that the current shenanigans of GRA,NEC votes,candidate selection, and of course Salmond, are not incompetence but a deliberate strategy of the Murrells as they know SNP will lose members and votes which will lead to no overall majority so they can continue in their lucrative positions and lifestyle safe in the knowledge they don’t need to do anything
      Except get on TV, and throw a few bones to the rabid and the woke

      Liked by 7 people

      1. You could be right, another possibility is that hierarchy are totally compromised and working either directly or indirectly for the enemy to destroy the movement from within. People think I’m mental for suggesting that the British state could and would infiltrate the SNP to a high level. I find it less likely that they wouldn’t. I look at Sturgeon and the close ties with the Civil service and her “Special Advisors” who have all colluded to bring down Scotland’s finest politician and and hero to many I find difficulty coming to any other conclusion.

        The continued disgraceful smearing beyond the courts verdicts backs this up. There appears to be no humanity or empathy for Alec and what he’s been subjected to.

        Liked by 7 people

  4. Isabel please look at the article above. Look at the numbers. Is there something there that does not add up to the conclusion that a List vote for SNP in several areas simply elects Unionist MSPs? I am genuinely interested in your viewpoint that this is not the case. I am sure that a reasonable refutation with numbers would be posted by Iain Lawson.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. We’ll need to see what happens at the next NEC meeting (20th), but as it stands the top spot on the list has already gone to a self identifying (those two words again !) disabled person.
      21 list candidates, and I know 5 of them are disabled (or at least have a disability)

      It would be yet another nail in what’s left of the internal SNP democratic coffin if only one list place is allocated, and the person who came top of the member vote – by a huge margin – is replaced by a self-identifying disabled and largely unknown person who only received a small fraction of those member votes.

      I know that’s unlikely as some of those disabled candidates are quite popular – but don’t refer to or use their disability for any personal gain – should get a decent number of votes.

      But it’ll still stick in our collective craw.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Makes sense to me – My second vote is definitely not going to the genderwoowoo gerrymanderers. My first vote may be a spoiled ballot ” I wont vote woke” or it may be for my existing SNP MSP. Depends if he shows some indication of fighting the wokeratti , standing up for women’s rights and the total removal of humza useless’s wrongthink bill.

    I don’t think the wokeratti are capable of accepting how much folk loathe their repeated denial of reality and their indifference to Scotland’s real problems.

    Liked by 8 people

  6. If people like Isabel and Marion above are SNP members and want to vote both votes SNP then that is there choice but they should realise that in effect they are voting for British parties to get loads of regional list seats just as they have done in the past. That is the truth for most regions in the past and I suspect that will be the case in more regions in 2021 if the SNP continues to poll well above 50% in the consituency vote.

    So in future when they see the likes of Annie Wells in Holyrood they can take credit ( if that’s the right word) for their election.

    With regards to Marion’s comment that it would be a vote for independence – I don’t see that it is unless the SNP have a mandate for actual independence in their manifesto. It seems to me to be a vote for the SNP and keep your fingers crossed the leadership do something to get independence. This to my mind is just not good enough and neither is the current leadership. The current leadership are now solely focussed on the SNP as a party and independence is the hook to get votes.

    Liked by 8 people

  7. During the recent Highlands and Islands husting for list seats every question was of the now “soft” variety. e.g. Republic or not.
    At the end the chair confirmed he withheld questions. It is likely that these related to the GRA arena.

    We have SNP officials, selecting questions from SNP councillors and controlling the debate in a now typical SNP lockdown.
    The NEC pushed through, against legal advice, a new variation on ranking.

    The SNP members will now rank the list candidates but it doesn’t end there. HQ will now adjust the list to ensure a self declared (yes, self declared) disabled candidate comes out on top

    Now we get to the election. The public who are NOT members of the SNP will not be informed of the background and values of several candidates because they are deemed acceptable by HQ and the FM. The public must not be burdened with knowledge.

    The list voting issue is no longer only about maximising the Independence vote. An issue just as important to me is at play. I want a Party who will ensure that the voices of women will be heard during the GRA policy drive ( no debate to date just push). For that reason I cannot give my 2nd. vote to the SNP or Greens.

    I have been told many times to wheesht for Indy.

    To those blind SNP loyalists (I was one for a long time). Look at what the Party has become. Debate is closed. Policies are dictated. A leadership elite condone outrageous behaviour by a group of members against female politicians.

    We need a strong Independence supporting Party at Holyrood to curtail the excesses of the SNP leadership who now ignore the members.

    This is no longer about tactical voting to maximise the Independence vote. It is about the recovery of democracy which although denied in the Party can be reinstated at Holyrood.

    I will reluctantly vote SNP but my second vote will be ISP to protect Women’s Rights.

    Building a Nation is more than just winning a majority. The foundations we build on are absolutely critical. Independence should be about giving the people of Scotland the powers to shape Scotland.

    No one should be shaping Scotland before Independence by closing down debate.

    We need a strong Independence supporting opposition. The “Both Votes SNP” is not about winning seats. It is denial of birth to any new parties. It is the crushing of potential opposition.

    This is far more than tactical voting it is about recovering democracy.

    I welcome the emergence of any new Independence Party. However given that we have weeks to go to the elections I hope voters get behind one.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Well said Julia, you have articulated my feelings exactly.
      Except, I cannot vote SNP at the election unless it’s a Plebiscite for independence which I no longer believe this leadership has any interest or intention of pursuing. The eleven point plan is a joke.
      The SNP appear to have lost its core values.
      Not for me I’m afraid.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. juliagibb – “I welcome the emergence of any new Independence Party. However given that we have weeks to go to the elections I hope voters get behind one”.

      And there’s the rub. Most Malcontents on this site favour the ISP (don’t know what differentiates them from the others), Martin Keatings wants folk to vote AFI (no idea why) and then there’s Scotia Future (??). On top of that there are the Greens, SSP and whatever remnants of RISE (the last great exponents of the “cunning plan”) still remain.

      Even if the SNP Constituency vote holds up until May (which the Malcontent campaign makes ever more unlikely by the day) splitting a portion (because most voters will be oblivious or uncaring about an activist plan) of their List vote among so many other parties will only make the election of SNP List MSPs impossible while likely electing no “Max the Yes” candidates (see RISE in 2016).

      “Max the Yes” could work if a super-majority is your goal (though too what end as Peter Bell illustrates above) but only if you can convince SNP voters en masse to abandon the Party in the Lists and get behind only one or two others. Unionists tried a “Max the Union” campaign in 2016 with the MSM right behind them, but most still voted for “their Party”. What makes you think a few activists on blogs and the National’s Letters pages will fare any better in convincing hundreds of thousands of SNP voters to trust the “infallible plan”?

      Like

      1. So in an earlier comment you decry “Max the Yes” because it’s against Democratic Principles and here you say that voting SNP is the only choice as the other parties are untested. So what’s it going to be? Democracy or a one party state? You’d don’t seem to know?

        Liked by 3 people

      2. (A) I don’t decry “Max the Yes” because it is against Democratic principles. I decry using Democratic principles as an argument for it.

        (B) Where does “one party state” come into it? I’m arguing for maximising (sic) the chances we get a pro-Indy, majority government (note “majority” …. not one party state) in Holyrood come May. Only the SNP can deliver that. The pedigree of the pop-ups is neither here nor there. It is the risk they pose to getting independence any time soon that concerns me.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Just about every independence voter I know is articulating similar feelings.

      Unless the SNP cleans out the corruption, it’s a watershed moment. This is probably the last election the SNP can rely on the blind faith of their followers. We’re holding our noses and giving them our vote, but the list will go elsewhere.

      The SNP should learn from what happened to the Labour vote after the people of Scotland realised what labour had done to them. From hero to zero almost overnight.

      What disturbs me is many are considering abstaining with their constituency vote.

      Those whom the gods wish to destroy, first they drive mad. Looks like the gods have it in for the SNP…

      Liked by 4 people

    4. This all started with Sturgeon and more than likely Ruth MacGuire and Chums, and trying to rig a seat for Robin Sturgeon.Thing is if Sturgeon jr had NOT been so self centered ,and left it he would have go in later

      Like

  8. SNP 1 and 2 ? What to do? Vote for trash and his chums? For that’s not happening…..Labour and the Tories ? Nope……… The Greens ? Well the green guy is vote-able but the following woke incoming is not
    It’s really the first vote, that there is to me a difficulty, the second is far simpler.

    Of course hypothetically if the election was delayed an idea i personally am not keen on,as it feels a bit too much like tampering , Could a pro-independence party get their crap together quick enough to do what the Brexit lot did in a short time frame?
    I dare say I am not alone in thinking Sturgeon, being well aware of the election has actively worked to promote her covid persona and how indispensable she is to mankind

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Thanks Ian,

    One of the issues of Both Votes SNP is that actively advocating anything else could be seen as going against the SNP code of conduct, the application of which is horrifically abused and arbitrary. I personally do not like to get involved in open discussions of this for fear it goes against the accepted orthodoxy (sinister religious connotation intentional).

    The current message is that it is all about “message”. Any alternative to Both Votes is too nuanced for the electorate to understand and for the sake of simplicity we must stick to what you have demonstrated is a bone-headed strategy that applies only to approximately 200,000 of the 1,000,000 SNP voters. I can’t quite make up my mind if it is more patronising to the electorate or to party members and activists but one thigs is certain – it is disingenuous.

    The lynchpin in the argument of the opposite strategy is also decidedly dodgy. “Split your vote and maximise the pro-Indy voice” can be seductive but, just as people are dissatisfied with the SNP on a whole host of issues, what are the alternatives? The Greens? Really? If I can’t stomach of the crap currently running riot in my own party I don’t think I’d find it any more reassuring to have it amplified tenfold in another party, pro-indy or not.
    “Alternative” parties are by their nature untried. Candidates lack experience and there is no clear established protocol or manifesto for them to hitch themselves to. How were they vetted? Can they be trusted not just on Indy but on all other matters? Will they bring plaudits or opprobrium to the Yes movement in the eyes of undecided voters?

    You also dwell on the current landscape which I think is critical – given all that is going on outside of the election it is plain to see that we have gifted the opposition numerous lines of attack that could gain traction before the vote. I am deeply troubled by the fact they have not managed to use them; yes, incompetence can explain much but we’re already scraping the bottom of that barrel. For me it is more the fear that individual members of my own party (at all levels) make the list vote absolutely critical by undermining support for us across the board. It is fear driving strategy but there are many different fears – will our constituency vote haemorrhage? Will the list be needed? Will the list vote be enough to balance any shortfall? Will our list candidates be competent replacements for existing MSPs or be found to be carpetbaggers and fundamentalists who are no true friends to Yes? Will we lose a Yes majority and if we do, how many more years will we need to wait for the circumstances we enjoy now to ever come round again? If other Indy parties gain list seats will we end up with a fractured and fractious parliament unable to make progress towards Independence not because Westminster won’t allow it but because we can’t decide where we want to go far less how we get there?

    I’m in a region where it could matter but it is fear that drives my decision to deliver both my votes to the SNP and I will likely have to do so holding my nose. There is no joy in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let me deal with the Greens, I addressed the candidate, The incoming wokes are a strict No-No so they are in the bin.
      The SNP, I stated in my first post why I would not vote for them, You imply I should compromise (hold my nose etc etc)
      Why should I compromise? Give me a valid reason ? Anytime you’re ready,
      Independence you may cry…….Sturgeon will leave? She is NEVER going to leave, until she is arrested, and that will not happen within the next 10 weeks ,
      From what you say you’re going to hold your nose and vote SNP 1 and 2,
      I’d suggest you’ve compromised your principals, but that’s your choice.
      Do what you think best
      Realistically the SNP might get a majority,maybe low single figures,any idea of a referendum ,I believe is also gone
      Me I’ll retain my principals

      Liked by 4 people

    2. I would sooner one unproven bumbling independence supporting MSP than a Unionist MSP who was well proven to work against Scotland’s interests.

      Just as well I get to pick where my vote goes, and not the SNP. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Brilliant Iain! This is very timely and exactly what those unsure about the list vote need to read. I hope it is spread far and wide and all bloggers should post your update before the election. Bring it on!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. To quote a recent conversation with a neighbour, Ross Greer, “I hate the SNP, I couldn’t care less about the SNP, the planet is more important than Scottish independence”. The Scottish Green Party may have only stood 3 constituency candidates in 2016 but they succeeded in splitting the independence vote enough in 1 to not only remove the sitting SNP MSP, the call by Greens for SNP 2nd votes resulted in there not being enough to elect an SNP candidate from the regional list election whereas the vote boosted Greens picked up 2.
    In the 2019 snap UK general election the Greens stood against the SNP in 22 constituencies. Despite losing their deposit in every location, which cost them £11,000 in lost deposits, had the Green candidate in East Dunbartonshire received another 150 independence supporting votes more than the 916 already bagged then Jo Swinson would still be leader of the UK Lib Dem party. Obviously this assumes that the Green votes would normally have gone to the SNP.
    The Scottish Green Party is reported by ‘sources’ to be intending to stand up to 60 constituency candidates out of the 73 available seats. If that turns out to be true or even close then the impact of vote splitting in the 1st vote constituency elections could prove disastrous to current polling expectations when combined with a successful unionist tactical voting campaign. The likes of donation laden Scotland in Union will not be dormant in promoting means to stop the SNP in its tracks.
    I find it hypocritical that Greens could have a substantial negative effect in the constituency elections but continue to have the audacity to beg for independence supporters 2nd votes, or at least denounce SNP 2nd votes.
    If there was absolutely no loss of transfer from SNP 1st votes to become SNP 2nd votes then a simple SNP majority can be achieved. In 2021 the SNP 2nd vote is actually an insurance policy should the expected polling collapse thanks to the Greens vote splitting and a successful unionist tactical vote campaign lead to the SNP losing a large number of seats. If some voters are inclined to give away their precious 2nd votes then I suggest they only give it to an independence supporting party that is only standing in the regional list elections so that means ISP, AFI or Scotia Future, not the Greens.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Why? You’re assuming the Green List vote is a “second choice” for SNP voters. It is more likely that many Green voters are voting SNP in the Constituency and reverting to their first choice on the Lists. Greens fighting the Constituencies would likely see a sharp drop in the SNP vote while not affecting the Green List vote at all. It would probably see many more Unionist victories in the Constituencies and the SNP reliant on the List vote to hopefully still get a majority in Holyrood. Something that would be impossible if their List vote is split between themselves and a plethora of pop-ups that are unlikely to get any representation.

        If the Greens stand in the Constituencies, “Max the Yes” (always a long shot) becomes a non-starter if you want independence any time soon.

        Like

      2. Serving up another warning I don’t want every second comment coming from the same person. That stands for anyone, a few comments are unacceptable trying to dominate the comments, no

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Noted that you say this is based on the current [known] position… would/will be interesting to see the arithmetic if the Greens challenge ‘up to 60’ constituency seats, where they’ll probably win none but will probably cost the SNP quite a few (as let R Davidson in in Edinburgh) … BRs Ian W

    Like

      1. The Greens will not win any Constituency seats, so will not lose any List seats. Unionists will win Constituency seats as a result of Greens taking a chunk of Indy votes off the SNP. That leaves the SNP reliant on a strong List vote to shore up numbers of MSPs and, hopefully, form a majority Govt in Holyrood. But wait …. ISP took 3% of it, AFI took 2% of it; Scotia Future took 1% of it and “others” took 2% of it. So SNP List MSPs will be in short supply with none of the “Max the Yes” parties having any MSPs at all.

        Basically, unless you know exactly how the Constituency vote is going to turn out, gaming the List vote is a massive gamble with independence.

        Like

  13. We once voted for Parties promoting Independence.
    Somehow the SNP and the Greens managed to tack on wokeism?
    How does that happen? If you want A you have to take B.

    I thought the YES movement would have had one objective. We would gain Independence and THEN;
    Decide on the EU
    Decide on WMD
    Decide on Climate Change policies
    Decide on a Republic v Monarchy
    Decide Welfare Policy
    Etc, etc

    We the people would shape Scotland was supposed to be the plan.

    When did Parties decide it was like a SKY package. You must take this policy if you vote Indy.

    The hunger for independence is being used to LIMIT your choices not open them.

    Unfortunately most people in the SNP are still not aware of how much debate has been silenced.

    Liked by 8 people

  14. Isabel – I read the article you indicated. I am not sure what I was meant to take from it. I asked for evidence and got three and a half A4 sheets of writing (I had to print it out to read it) but no evidence speaking to the contents of Iain’s blog.
    The Scottish Government since 2014 has not been active enough in going after Independence. In the 2015 (I think that was the date) Council Elections I became suspicious that the SNP did not want to win control of councils, perhaps because of the various cans of worms they would be faced with. This suspicion was based on the relatively hands off approach of the SNP to campaigning and to the imposition of candidates by the SNP. This caused disruption within previously well-functioning branches. Then there was the lack-lustre 2017 General Election campaign. The continuing and increasing side-lining of SNP members in favour of centralised decision making has added to the frustration.
    Coming up to date we have the unedifying sight of the SNP seemingly targetting an individual and thereafter refusing to present evidence to vindicate its actions.
    “Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem it was intended to solve.” This quote can be applied to the decisions of the SNP which appear to prevent a full investigation of the problem. We only have one side and that is perforce patchy.
    The promotion of two unpopular Bills is another example of the SNP failing to take account of the opinions of its membership. Also the increasing influence of minority groups within the decision making apparatus of the SNP is alarming. A request for information about the make up of these unelected groups from SNP HQ went unanswered.
    This is to say nothing of the SNP failing to make the case for Independence since 2014 with any kind of vigour or conviction, nor refuting Unionist outright lies, nor educating the Scottish people of the need for independence.
    It is not surprising that YES supporters have become impatient and set about the task themselves in the absence of leadership from the SNP.
    The statement from paragraph 4 that “Most of the people supporting these list parties have just been taken in by the rhetoric. They are being exploited.” I would say that the rise of Independence Parties indicated that these people are asking questions and not liking the answers they are being given, or not given, by the SNP.
    Paragraph 20 says “When pragmatism is lost, all manner of fantasies and delusion rush to fill the void.” Is it being pragmatic to look at an organisation which, despite having all the advantages of support, power and money, sitting doing very little to advance the cause of Independence and saying to it that is is OK to continue doing what they have been doing to little effect for 6 years?
    To misquote a bit – It is madness to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Therefore, change is needed and people who care will try to effect that change. Hence new Independence parties. A lot can happen between now and May and many of us will put off final decisions until we hit the deadline. But we are not deluded or hoodwinked or ignorent of how the constituency and list systems work.

    Liked by 6 people

  15. I always have a laugh at posters saying we do not know anything about the quality of the people in these new parties. The posters say if they are elected they may do damage to the image of independence supporters.

    Well a lot of them are exSNP and they have often left the SNP because of the nutters running the SNP plenty of whom do damage each and every day.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. The troll Pony argues do the same as before because it didn’t work well and gives us lots of British MSPs but if you do something different it risks giving us even more British MSPs.

    What he really means is that he likes plenty of British MSPs in Holyrood and he doesn’t want any other independence parties challenging the SNP to do what they were founded to do – achieve Scottish independence.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. The problem I’ve had with the SNP for a few years now is that they do not look or act like a government in waiting. It would seem obvious that many issues, particularly on economic matters, but also those that are contentious such as GRA, can only be fully addressed after independence has been achieved. At this point in time the SNP leadership should be focused almost entirely on independence (excl Covid, which however does also highlight the need for independence). If Sturgeon claims the need to be 100% only on Covid, then her and her SNP is not fit for government. There should be a team who actually do most of the Covid work, as there will be just now anyway, with Sturgeon as the occasional spokesperson. Where is the work on economic matters, such having provisional ferry routes to Europe, explaining why the GERS figures are more about politics than economics, currency etc. With these things being made a clear focus, then the SNP would look like a government in waiting with appropriate plans in place.

    Then there is the matter of trust. Nocola Sturgeon has, and let me make this clear, repeatedly said that she would provide all requested information for the Commission investigation into how the Scottish Government handled the Alex Salmond case, only for her to repeatedly block the provision of the requested information. According to Wings, about 60 times or so. Also why is Sturgeon’s husband still the CEO of the SNP. This makes a nonsense of any talk of tory cronyism. As for Joanna Cherry’s ‘demotion’ of someone that has taken on the UK Government in court and won, that stinks of removing a personal threat to Nicola Sturgeon and as a consequence, also seriously diminishing the political and legal skills that an independent Scotland would badly need.

    So overall, very little actions are being taken on independence by the current SNP, but a lot of time being spent on promoting contentious issues, blocking legal investigations and developing cronyism within the SNP. I for one cannot even imagine the current SNP doing all the things that would be necessary to drive Scotland forward to becoming an independent nation after having won a vote to do so. The vote in May is just one part of a process for independence. Without seemingly having done much to prepare for having won a vote on independence, it doesn’t fill me with any confidence that the current SNP leadership could actually become a functioning government during the process of negotiation with the UK and then of an independent Scotland.

    The most damning in all of this is that it appears to have been a very deliberate process to lead the SNP away from what most of their (former) supporters want and more importantly, what most of their voters want.

    https://wingsoverscotland.com/how-to-make-a-coup/

    The current SNP are relying on people feeling that they have no alternative to voting SNP (TINA, how very apt) Personally I think that it’s only a matter of time before the SNP leadership fails and is seen to fail by even their most blinkered supporters (the UK will never agree to a referendum) and changes back to their pre 2015 focus with a new leadership. The question is when and what happens in the meantime. In most situations, when change is necessary, sooner is better than later. This isn’t a good postion to be in but then it’s the one that the current SNP leadership has very deliberately designed and implemented. I agree about Tina, but only about there being an absolute need to replace the current SNP leadership with those willing and capable to do what people will actually be voting for. That at least some the those people are there already, but without sufficient power, is the saddest part of this looming train wreck.

    In May I’ll probably vote ISP on the list vote, but will save my decision on the Constituancy one for later. If nothing has changed in terms of the SNP leadership and the strength of focus on independence (and post-independence), then I’ll spoil that vote. Better to be thought a fool then than be proven to be one several years down the line by having voted for more inaction and cronyism from the current SNP.

    For some, ‘Hold your nose while voting SNP’ should maybe be the truthful SNP slogan for May 2021. Well, blind faith isn’t enough for me. Without solid plans for actual independence, it only indicates that the current SNP leadership have no intention of actually even trying to achieve it, let alone any possibility of actually implementing it. I’ll vote for an SNP that actually looks like a government in waiting.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Just adding something I forgot to mention.

      From 14 Oct 2020 – ‘75% would back independence if convinced it would be good for economy’

      https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18793379.new-poll-75-back-independence-convinced-good-economy/

      Of course this knowledge about the importance of the economics of independence was known about shortly after the referendum in 2014 –

      ‘6. No voters predominantly rejected independence because of the economic risks, not because of an attachment to the rest of the UK’.

      https://www.buzzfeed.com/jimwaterson/7-fascinating-insights-into-why-scotland-voted-against-indep?utm_term=.awyzzrXvR#.wwAnnpRrq

      While the SNP are gloating about the polls being around 54%, this is still a relatively weak and marginal position on which to try to win a vote on independence. When push came to shove on the day in Sep 2014, the No vote increased significantly. Polls are one thing, but actual votes are another and any doubts seem likely to favour the status quo on the day.

      With the opportunity to increase support for independence to around the high 60’s, it begs the question of why the SNP have not been seriously focused on convincing people about the economic prospects of an independent Scotland. Clearly that is the key issue that could increase support to an indisputable level and also show that Scotland is ready to become independent. The SNP didn’t even have to do all the work since others have already done much of the groundwork (eg BfS). Have the SNP even mentioned this work? No. Maybe they like the status quo too much.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ian, correct and that’s is why they do absolutely nothing each year about the GERS propaganda.

        The SNP apologists will say everyone knows GERS is nonsense but that excuse is nonsense. Plenty of no voters say my heart says yes but we can’t afford it. This comes directly from all these headline deficits from GERS. Lord Forsyth on QT last week had even managed to inflate it to £20 billion deficit. These are the same SNP apologists who say we should focus on convincing these type of no voters.

        Finally, whatever happened to the promise made by the SNP that Derek McKay would do his own version of GERS.
        Is that what Derek has been secretly working away on – I very much doubt it.

        Liked by 3 people

  18. I can’t believe that the Tory leader in Scotland doesn’t have the balls to stand against the current MSP

    Like

  19. @ Peter A Bell re ‘There will be only one election campaign. There will be no clear division between the two ballots in that campaign. It is inevitable that this message will spill over into the constituency vote. That is a risk you seem not to have identified. If you’ve missed one, maybe you’ve missed others.’

    Just because up to now there has been ‘no clear division between the 2 ballots in the campaign’ does not mean it has to keep being played that way. Circumstances change, so do tactics.

    And the Britnats designed DeHonte to ensure both votes SNP would never get a majority. Given the levels of inactivity on Indy, blatant government corruption and complete placidity (with mandates in the bank) on brexshit, only a fool would think that the SNP Constituencey vote (with or without an alternative to vote for on the list) is still in the bank. And I’m not buying the polls before you point at them.

    2017 – showed the SNP exactly what Yessers felt about their wishy washy ‘now is not the time, I’m with Nicla pish’.

    Time to wield the ballot box scalpel or 50 years on we’ll be no further forward and still talking about trying to fix the snp from within… just like labour.

    A List vote for a different Indy party is probably the most realistic way of getting what is left of the snp back on track, particularly if people vote strategically in order to ouste some of the more corrupt ones on the Constituency vote.

    I see and I hear far more disquiet about the SNP /corruption, lack of indy action issues now than ever before. How anyone is complacent enough to think that will not translate into lost seats (Constituency ones) is beyond me.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. What could be interesting, but something I don’t think has been addressed so far, is what would happen if there was even just one Indy MSP from an alternative party who put forward a bill in the new parliament demanding that a referendum was held without delay.

    How would the SNP vote?

    If they voted against it they’re finished as *the* party of independence.

    Like

  21. A good article Iain

    My view is that a majority for this current SNP is a danger to us all. Sufficient votes for a non green independence party like ISP/AFI to hold a balance of power would reign in the worst excesses.

    I hope for repercussions from the soon to be published Hamilton report and that the choices facing us in May will be more favourable and a constituency SNP vote becomes possible (Keith Brown is the incumbent) . But even then I will still vote for an alternative on the list.

    A lot of people I know have moved into the no votes SNP, list vote indy camp. The alternative list vote needs to be strategically organised so as not to dilute it. A big name defection would be helpful. I’m currently intending to vote AFI for Martin Keatings in my region.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. At last! a breakdown of figures…..I have several windows on my screen looking at both the 2011 and 2016 results. Have to say I agree with your current analysis Iain
    ________________________________

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have posted most of the figures on 60s for independence page but I’m sorry I omitted to post a link to your article. Now I’m wondering if I should edit and add or just leave the figures there as is, because I know that many regard you bloggers as MI5 yoonsters and might be inclined to ignore the messenger? Great article Iain and I don’t know how people can just ignore the figures. Brainwashed in many ways I fear.

      Liked by 1 person

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