TNS poll shows SNP 2nd votes wasted: Alan Bisset backs RISE for a Yes parliament

hand1In response to today’s TNS poll, RISE is highlighting the fact that, for supporters of Scottish independence, their second ‘list’ vote will be wasted on the SNP due to the nature of Scotland’s electoral system, and that there is a “unique opportunity” to create a “diverse, pro-Yes parliament” at Holyrood while still having a majority SNP government.

The TNS poll shows that the SNP are on course to win nearly all of the constituency seats in the Scottish elections next year, more than enough to secure another majority government in the next Scottish Parliament. As well as this, the SNP are set to gain the highest amount of votes on the second ‘list’ vote across all eight regions, but while winning far fewer seats than Labour and the Tories on the list due to the way the D’Hondt counting system works.

The second ‘list’ vote TNS polling for the parties set to get the three largest votes is as follows:

52% SNP = 6 MSPs

25% Labour = 33 MSPs

11% Tory = 10 MSPs

Despite the SNP getting over half of the list vote, the party is set to win only 6 MSPs on the list, with the vast majority of list vote MSPs going to Labour and the Tories.

If the SNP’s second vote was split more evenly between other pro-independence challengers it would mean that there would be a higher overall number of pro-independence MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, and far fewer Labour, Tory and Lib-Dem MSPs.

A RISE spokesperson said the TNS poll was evidence of a “unique opportunity” for the pro-independence movement to create a “diverse, pro-Yes parliament”, if the message about how the Scottish voting system works could be gotten out to the population at large.

“The polling has been consistent for months: the SNP will win another majority government on the constituency vote alone; voting for the SNP on the second vote is a wasted vote for indy supporters and will mean less RISE and Green MSPs and more Labour and Tory MSPs.

“One of the strengths of the independence movement was its diversity, now we have a unique opportunity for that diversity to be reflected in the Scottish Parliament.”

“A diverse, pro-Yes parliament means SNP voices, but also Green voices and socialist voices. RISE is the socialist challenge at next year’s Scottish Parliament elections: we’re standing to redistribute wealth in Scotland from rich to poor, for democratic public ownership of the economy, independence for Scotland on the basis of abolishing the monarchy and a Scottish currency, and participatory democracy in all parts of our lives.”

“It’s for the good of the whole independence movement if the indyleft voice is part of the debate at Holyrood.”

Author, playwright and independence campaigner Alan Bissett said:

“I’ll be backing Rise on the list vote in the Holyrood elections 2016, not because I’m a particular believer in tactical voting but because I want to see a strong, socialist pro-indy voice in our parliament. The Unionist parties are a busted flush, driven only by their hatred of the SNP, pushing their fiscal trap for the Scottish parliament under the guise of the new devolution settlement. We need a broad coalition of Yes forces in parliament in order to take them on and point the way forwards towards an independent socialist republic. Rise have put class firmly on the agenda, and I think it’s important that they are represented in Holyrood.”


Comments (127)

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  1. Celia Fitzgerald says:

    Why no mention of Solidarity, the most influential pro-Indy Socialist party by far?

    1. Duncan McAskill says:

      Unless we unite behind the SNP we are stuffed, those backing rise have learned absolutely nothing, united we stand, divided we fall.

      Do you want a right wing labour party in Scotland with its strings pulled from London running our affairs?

      Instead of rise rising up, rise should wisen up!

    2. Illy says:

      Just noticed a really common, but very glaring flaw in this whole article:

      The list vote is not the “second” vote, it’s the more influential one. It’s essentially the vote for who you want to be (deputy) first minister.

  2. George Wood says:

    Still flogging this dead horse.

    You don’t know for sure what will happen if significant numbers switch from SNP on the list vote. The only guarantee is that there will be less SNP members elected. Unionists could just as easily take these seats that might have gone to the SNP.

    If you are serious about Independence then it’s SNP/SNP that you vote.

    1. David S. Briggs says:

      Spot on George. Only a vote for constituency and list by SNP supporters will secure a guaranteed clear majority. Anything else would run the risk of denying a majority and thus a risk to a 2nd Referendum for Independence. It’s an attempted con by those that would threaten a future Referendum and should be ignored. If you can’t garner enough votes for your Party don’t come begging SNP voters to support you.

      1. Calum says:

        We had a referendum last year, and we lost it. Time to move on.

        1. Illy says:

          This *is* moving on.

          What’s your problem with it?

        2. kevin says:

          “We had a referendum last year, and we lost it. Time to move on”

          No, Calum, YOU move-on. You people are in such deep-denial about the current political mood in Scotland that this has become your desperate war-cry. Is that all you have?!!

          You know, instead of constantly bleating ‘Time to move-on’ how about you give us any good reason why we should continue to suffer anti-Scottish agenda of the Unionist parties? You ‘move-on’ folk are either extremely wealthy, utterly stupid or just plain SNP-haters who’ll ‘think of a reason later’ – which are you, Calum? Perhaps all three?
          Now, please shut the heck up and let the people who care deal with the problem of those who don’t.

          1. Common Sense says:

            Thank you Kevin for calling out these salient facts, in that if you don’t support the Yes side and specifically the SNP, this can only be because of on one of three logical reasons. In that you are either greedy, stupid or evile (or combination there of).. I have long suspected that for many Yes supporters these boil down to being the only reasons to explain why someone may have the termity to hold a view different from the obvious rightness of their cause. I shall take some time for self reflection to review how I and many others I know can overcome these personal failings, and which will eventually lead us on the path to supporting the Yes side.

    2. Mark Crawford says:

      “If you are serious about Independence then it’s SNP/SNP that you vote.”

      Only if you think that the SNP are offering the best strategy for winning independence, of course. I think RISE (and the Greens) should certainly consider fighting the election in part on the weakness of the SNP’s current position on how they think they are going to win independence.

      1. Illy says:

        Umm, exactly how do you expect parties with essentially no media presence, and a public perception that they’re doing their best imitation of a Monty Python sketch, to do anything but split the vote?

        Realistically (going by the polls, which are (unfortunately) the best meter we have), they’re not going to get a constituency seat, and they’re highly unlikely to get a list seat.

        So voting for them is (in the best possible case) going to make them either get some irrelevant MSPs, or be the junior partner an an SNP coalition. And that’s assuming that all the “split the list” people even vote for the same party.

        1. Mark Crawford says:

          “Umm, exactly how do you expect parties with essentially no media presence, and a public perception that they’re doing their best imitation of a Monty Python sketch, to do anything but split the vote?”

          You’ve got to start somewhere. Obviously, if you believe that the SNP have a terrible strategy for independence and hold real doubts about their ability to deliver independence, then of course you have to do something.

          Ultimately, the strategy for RISE (perhaps the Greens too) has to be to split the SNP. There are many socialists who joined the SNP after the indyref. If the SNP’s strategy is to persuade the older, affluent and more (small “c”) conservative voters who voted No last time, then I wonder what role those socialists will be playing. I think their talents would be better placed helping RISE take the working class to the next level of political consciousness.

          1. Frank says:

            ‘I think their talents would be better placed helping RISE take the working class to the next level of political consciousness’.

            Do you have any idea of how pretentious you sound?

          2. Lenny says:

            RISE are taking us to the next level with some pretty dynamic new ways to engage us.

          3. Mark Crawford says:

            Oh dear, looks like I may have hit a nerve with some people.

        2. Hamish Allan says:

          Illy: “So voting for them is (in the best possible case) going to make them either get some irrelevant MSPs, or be the junior partner an an SNP coalition.”

          Irrelevant? So it’s irrelevant to you who the opposition in Scotland is?

          You don’t think the political landscape would be different if, say, the Greens were the main party of opposition rather than, say, the Tories?

          You don’t think the case for independence would be more overwhelming if not only the party of government were pro-indy, but also the main party of opposition?

          You would rather the unionists took those seats that could go to the Greens or to RISE?

          As for “no media presence”, I think you’ll find that Patrick Harvie was very much in the public eye during the referendum. You don’t think raising his profile and having him speak eloquently in favour of independence would be an asset to the movement?

          You need to realise that this movement is bigger than the SNP — and more to the point, stands little chance of succeeding unless it grows outside of the SNP even more.

          1. James Kelly says:

            Hamish, who the opposition are is much, much, much less important than who the government are, and whether or not they have a majority. Even more pertinently, there is no voting “strategy” on Earth that can get the Greens or RISE even close to being the official opposition.

    3. Soar Alba says:

      Absolutely correct George.

      1. Frank says:

        RISE doesn’t have any policies and is effectively a re-branding of the SWP and what remains of the SSP. Both groups are old school Marxists who reinvented themselves in the referendum. Scratch beneath the gloss and the hype – which they are very good at, and what you will find is toy town student revolutionaries who are about as dangerous to society as a pond of ducks.

        The idea that RISE could be Scotland’s opposition is fantasy politics. They are unlikely to even a win a seat. Their best area is Glasgow but the far left vote will be split right down the middle and with Sheridan standing the vote will be split.

        Completely irrelevant.

        1. Mark Crawford says:

          I wonder who you think the non-student revolutionaries are, Frank? Or is the signifier “student” intended to announce in advance the irrelevance that you then suddenly declare as if by way of conclusion.

          Funnily enough, I was just listening to a public lecture delivered at the LSE last week by the Chief Economics Correspondent for the Financial Times, Martin Wolf. He said that the only thing he could think of that could really solve all the current problems of the global economy was a revolution (albeit, he clarified, a revolution beyond which some new form of capitalism proceeds). I presume he was just indulging the silly prejudices of his audience – he was speaking at a university, after all, an institution known to harbour a few students.

          Maybe you need to pay more attention to what’s going on in the universities, Frank. You might learn something.

          1. Frank says:

            Actually Mark I think students should be revolutionaries, and funnily enough I know what’s going on in the universities and sadly there aren’t enough bloody revolutionaries. I do apologise, for the student generalisation, but my experience of the revolutionary left is that they tend to be disproportionately students. There’s a materialist explanation for that no doubt. I remember one excited Socialist Worker headline read ‘Students: the new vanguard!!’.

            I’m not sure the Martin Wolf comment adds anything to the discussion either, other than Wolf’s analysis is simplistic, but I doubt it is, so maybe it’s poor paraphrasing on your part?

            Your earlier comment on here about ‘raising the consciousness of the workers to the next level’? I presume that’s where you are at Mark. The next level? I used to be there myself and it was spiritually enlightening. Isn’t the psychology of the revolutionary left powerful? Marching to the beat of histories drum and all that. Intoxicating. But then I realised my vocabulary had shrunk, that my comrades were engaged in group think, and that my thoughts rather then enlightened were clustered with arcane Marxist phraseology.

            But maybe your right. Perhaps the poor workers, once the correct strategy is revealed to them by RISE, can get to the next level and sit in a circle with the RISE leadership. Wouldn’t that be something. They could even use words like ‘signifier’ when they discuss the revolution.

            Here’s a wee poem from Tom Leonard:

            The Qualification

            wurk aw yir life
            nuthnty show
            pit oanthi nyuze
            same awl drivl

            yoonin bashn
            wurkir bashn
            lord this
            sir soan soa thaht

            shood hearma boay
            sayzwi need gunz
            an armd revalooshn
            nuthn else wurks

            awright fur him thoa
            uppit thi yooni
            tok aw yi like therr
            that’s whit its fur

          2. Mark Crawford says:

            “Your earlier comment on here about ‘raising the consciousness of the workers to the next level’? I presume that’s where you are at Mark. The next level? I used to be there myself and it was spiritually enlightening. Isn’t the psychology of the revolutionary left powerful? Marching to the beat of histories drum and all that. Intoxicating. But then I realised my vocabulary had shrunk, that my comrades were engaged in group think, and that my thoughts rather then enlightened were clustered with arcane Marxist phraseology.”

            I think of consciousness and power in Spinozist terms rather than the Marxist phraseology which sadly, but understandably, led you up a cul-de-sac. I’m not personally at the next level of consciousness – I can only get there in concert with other workers (incidentally, this is a far more modest position than the SNP’s proposed plan to wait until 20% or so of those who voted No in 2014 suddenly “see the light” and start supporting independence). That’s the key to a Spinozist political philosophy: increase your power in concert with others, which is not necessarily about persuading others in the liberal democratic sense, but is much more about engineering a collective change in the body politic.

            Spinoza says that when we increase our power together, we experience joy. Is that intoxication? No, because intoxication implies a reduction in our power, which would be a contradiction. However, I agree there can be bad modulations of the political experience in which collective action that might become joy collapses back into intoxication. A lot Marxist groups suffer that fate.

          3. Lawrence Anderson Burley says:

            Martin Wolf may be FT, but he is no conventional establishment rightist. He has understood, and explains clearly, how capitalism has been hijacked by mega-banks and mega-rich, and is ripe for ever greater crises unless reformed. His analysis calls for revolutionary changes. I have a lot of time for him. His is a classic erudite voice, from cultured enlightenment Jewish background, setting out common sense in firm terms that will strand up to any amount of interested pleading.

            For any willing to invest a bit of time & brain (cos it’s not shallow stuff but it is worth the effort!), I recommend a recent FT transcript where he discusses his resent book “The Shifts and the Shocks”:

        2. Conor Cheyne says:

          You could not be more wrong, Frank. Jean Urquhart is one of the most respected MSPs in Scotland and she is a member of RISE as are others like her. Or is she a student revolutionary type, too?

          1. Frank says:

            Does she know that she’s a member? It says on her website that she’s an independent?

    4. Stewart Dredge. says:

      RISE will win NO seats from the list. The party most likely to gain from not voting SNP 1&2 will be the Tories.

  3. Gordon says:

    Yes, that all sounds fantastic/desireable. Only one problem, however: how on earth would one co-ordinate which prospective SNP 2nd voters changed (to Rise or whatever) and which ones maintained their SNP vote? Every single SNP 2nd voter might follow this advice and then what??

    1. Hamish Allan says:

      And then the SNP would still have a parliamentary majority on the strength of their constituency seats, Labour and the Tories would be absolutely hammered in the list vote, and pro-indy parties would utterly dominate Holyrood. What’s not to like?!

      1. James Kelly says:

        What’s not to like is that the pursuit of that impossible dream is putting the pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament at risk. Needlessly.

        1. Alan says:

          The only way to pull something like that off is for two parties to form a political partnership and set out to deliberately game the system by jointly campaigning for “Vote A on constituency, vote B on list” when party A does not stand any list candidates and party B does not contest any constituencies.

          That would be brilliant for stealing a thumping yes majority, assuming the Yes movement goes along with it. But there’s a big problem when about 45-50% of voters take 70-75% of the parliament’s seats – we’d be thwarting democratic represention in a system designed to emphasize it. Imagine the unionist reaction to that kind of campaign.

          What I think would happen, assuming the gamble succeeds, is a SNP government forced to push for a referendum

          1. Alf Baird says:

            “two parties to form a political partnership”


            Party 1: ‘SNP’ (For Constituency)

            Party 2: ‘List-SNP’ (for List)

            90-100 msp’s? They could merge afterwards.

        2. Alan says:

          The only way to pull something like that off is for two parties to form a political partnership and set out to deliberately game the system by jointly campaigning for “Vote A on constituency, vote B on list” when party A does not stand any list candidates and party B does not contest any constituencies.

          That would be brilliant for stealing a thumping yes majority, assuming Yes voters go along with it. But there’s a big problem when about 45-50% of voters take 70-75% of the parliament’s seats – we’d be thwarting democratic represention in a system designed to emphasize it, eroding Holyrood’s legitimacy. Imagine the unionist reaction to that kind of campaign.

          What I think would happen, assuming the gamble succeeds, is a SNP or SNP-led coalition government forced to push for a referendum by a furious unionist rump. Indeed, the Westminister government could even hold that referendum(it did reserve the power) over the wishes of Holyrood in an attempt to put the issue to bed for at least a decade. And then we’re asking our fellow citizens, whose elected representatives we’ve squeezed out of office like a pus-filled boil, to vote with us. However odious the boil may be, it’s still the plook they voted for.

          By all means vote for the Greens or RISE if you support their policies. I don’t like the former’s lukewarm support of independence(fair enough, it’s not the primary aim of their party – but that is what makes them potential coaltion partners for the unionist parties as well) and I haven’t a foggiest what RISE is up to – no consistency or credibility there. In fact, a small part of me hopes this vote SNP vote other strategy backfires and delivers a multi-party coalition government led by First Minister Dugdale, Deputy First Minister Harvie and Secretary for Finance Davidson, because I can imagine no better result guaranteed to deliver independence within a decade. But it would be a very hard decade and the mess they’d leave would be hideous.

          At the end of the day, the only genuine way to increase the pro-indy majority and hence win the second referendum is to shift more people from No to Yes. Anything else is just kidding ourselves that we’ll walk the next referendum – it’s gonna be an even tougher campaign unless they hire Blair McDougall again.

          I’m appalled and concerned that even with the complete mangling of the Vow etc, the massive Tory cuts, UK Labour’s feebleness in opposition and the SNP’s eloquent powerlessness that the Indy polls have ONLY moved four or five points. Fully one in two of us still think the UK is OK and the Indy movement needs to figure out why that is so and what, if anything, can be done to change that.

  4. Gordon says:

    Aha, just thought of a fantastic idea! How about we tell all SNP first voters with (first) names beginning with A-M to go with SNP 2nd vote and those with N-Z to go with other Yes parties?? that would at least do a (roughly ) 50/50 split…any good??? 🙂

  5. Kenny Smith says:

    I can understand why there are calls to split your vote but if my 2nd vote is going anywhere other than the SNP it’d be to the Greens. I totally agree if you want Indy then it has to be SNP/SNP end of. I know there has been a lot said about voting intentions when we are independent and I might vote SSP or another party such as RISE. I respect the people involved in RISE and other left projects but its just too early in their life spans to vote for them or Solidarity at this point. We can’t afford to split the SNP vote it has to be backed to the hilt. They are the only ones who can seriously challenge the unionists. Repeating myself here but get Indy, then we,l talk

    1. Hamish Allan says:

      “I totally agree if you want Indy then it has to be SNP/SNP end of”

      Why? Are you not familiar with how the AMS voting system works? Do you not understand that the wider the movement gets outside of the SNP, the stronger our argument is? Do you not see that the SNP’s line on currency may well have cost us the 2014 referendum?

      1. James Kelly says:

        Hamish : Anyone who understands how the AMS system works would be more inclined to take Kenny’s point of view, because tactical voting simply isn’t viable on the list.

        This “tactical voting” wheeze assumes that the smaller parties can do well enough to take multiple seats in each region (which is actually very unlikely), while at the same time staking everything on the belief that the SNP won’t need any list seats at all to retain their majority (which they may well do).

  6. deewal says:

    “A RISE spokesperson” (Who) “if the message about how the Scottish voting system works could be gotten out to the population at large.” Gotten out ? Are Rise Americans ?

    “Author, playwright and independence campaigner Alan Bissett said:

    “I’ll be backing Rise on the list vote in the Holyrood elections 2016” because I love Americans ?

    If the message about how the Scottish voting system works could be Explained to the population at large and if they were informed of the names of the Candidate’s they might know just who the *uck Rise are gosh darn it.

  7. Robert Harman says:

    I’m a Scot living in the USA these past 30 something years and trying to keep abreast of what’s happening in Scotland. Could someone explain the second “list” and how the SNP could get 52 % of the vote and the least # of MSPs. Also, what is the D’Hondt counting system? Thank you.

    1. Neil Anderson says:

      I also know that Rev Stuart Campbell wrote a great article explaining how this system works on Wings Over Scotland a while back. Have tried to find it but no luck so far. Try the Wings website, not just on that subject but on media behaviour across the board in Scotland and rUK. Good luck and best wishes.

      1. Laura Dunbar says:

        Wings article is AMS for Lazy People – explains the 2 voting system and the bottom line is both votes SNP. We can get vote for whatever Tom Jock or Harry we like once we get independence.

    2. David McCann says:

      Here is the link to the Wings article on AMS.

      And a follow up worth looking at here.

  8. tartanfever says:

    Seems a bit premature to me. We have a winter to get through of undoubted BBC – NHS scandals and a general ramping up of anti- SNP media rhetoric.

    With that in mind, will the opposite be true ? If the SNP spring polling shows that they may not get a landslide (a requirement for any hope of another referendum in the next 5 years) will RISE tell their supporters to vote SNP ?

    One very pertinent and completely overlooked event from the GE is Mundell’s vote. Mundell won by a concerted tactical effort from Lib Dems to vote Tory against the SNP. He increased his vote share from 2010 but his winning margin was cut dramatically to 798 votes. The Green vote in the constituency was some 834.

    If the Greens had voted SNP and Mundell had been ousted then just imagine the political ramifications that the Tories would have faced regarding appointment of a Scottish Secretary. They would have had no one elected in Scotland to take the position and it would have been given to an English Tory MP.

    The mileage that the Independence movement could have garnered from that would have been huge. Imagine last week a Tory English MP blocking amendments for the Scotland Bill. Even worse (or better), imagine the whole EVEL debate – it would have been made a mockery of if we had an English constituency MP serving as Scottish Secretary.

    The bigger the SNP majority, the stronger they are. Remember, a second referendum will be decided upon by the voters of Scotland, not by the SNP. If we don’t vote SNP, that weakens the case. If the SNP can turn round and say the got 50-60% of all votes in constituency and list then that strengthens their case.

    1. Hamish Allan says:

      “If the Greens had voted SNP and Mundell had been ousted”

      If the SNP had all voted Green then Mundell would have been ousted. But we won’t hold it against you SNP voters. The SNP is, after all, a different party to the Greens, with a different vision for what an independent Scotland should be like (e.g., burning a lot more oil, signing up to TTIP, etc.)

      Sometimes I wonder whether SNP voters understand this, or whether they think Green voters are really just SNP voters pretending to be different for the sake of it. Not so: for us, an independent Scotland is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

      1. tartanfever says:

        Not quite right about my political convictions Hamish, but quite close. I’ve voted Green more times than SNP.

        I voted SNP in the GE and it was a purely tactical vote. Here’s why.

        The Greens have never posted a comprehensive result in our constituency I’m sad to say and in the run up to May, the SNP looked like coming from a 2010 third place to actually winning. Polling showed Mundell could be ousted the month before the election. At the time I still thought I would vote Green but then it became clear that the unionist parties were going to rally round Mundell to see him retain his seat. It was going to be close.

        I talked to many Green colleagues and friends about a tactical vote for the SNP. I explained that I thought, as the Green vote was sadly going nowhere, that maybe it would be an idea to support the SNP on this occasion. In the back of my mind I was thinking about coming discussions in Westminster on EVEL and the Scotland Bill and thought that if the Tories won a GE majority (which I thought they would) then those discussions would seem ridiculous to the people of Scotland if the Westminster government had no representation north of the border.

        The net effect of no Tory MP’s in Scotland would mean an English Tory MP being made Scottish Secretary. The ramifications of that are huge and I thought my tactical vote for the SNP worthwhile. Some agreed, some didn’t.

        I don’t agree with SNP policies, but I thought the first step we have to take is a vote for Independence. My calculation was, and still is, that supporting the SNP in the first step of the process to get Independence is worthwhile.

        If, and it’s a small if, the SNP don’t win a majority in Holyrood next May then there will be absolutely zero chance of another referendum in the next 5 years. That’s a cold hard fact. We have 7 months before the election, and you have to remember that Unionist parties will have one aim, and that’s to stop an SNP majority. They will tactically vote, sacrifice their chosen candidates for the most likely to challenge the SNP.

        Thats why I’m most likely to vote SNP/SNP next May.

      2. John B Dick says:

        There isn’t much difference on TTIP as far as I can see.

  9. Craig says:

    Calum, are you having a f*cking laugh? 🙂

  10. Illy says:

    Oh gods, not this again.

    Look at the success of the SNPout campaign to see how well tactical voting campaigns do.

    Also, the list vote is, by design, a vote for who you want to be (Deputy) First Minister. The constituency vote is the first-past-the-post bit where tactical voting makes sense.

    If you honestly want a coalition between the SNP and RISE, Solidarity or the Greens, then by all means, give them your list vote. Just be aware what you’re doing by doing so.

    A honestly thought this had been beaten to death when the Greens tried it. I didn’t expect to see the lunacy pop up again.

    For those who missed the last round of “please give us some votes, the SNP have plenty to share”: The accuracy required for this to work is orders of magnitude better than the error margins that we have from opinion polls, so we have *NO IDEA* before the vote is cast if this will work, or if it will hand the red/blue tories more seats, or if it will have no effect whatsoever.

    1. Muscleguy says:

      I must be misremembering the past. I’m sure we used to elect more Greens and some Socialists to the Parliament. I wonder how we managed to do that under such a system where it is futile to vote for such parties.

      This special pleading for the SNP is getting on my tits and making me less and less likely to vote for them. To listen to some of their acolytes online like you the SNP seem to have some deity given right to rule Scotland and *anything* which threatens that is Satanic.

      The SNP are not the only fruit, other Yes parties are available and it is perfectly possible to elect them to our parliament. Get over it.

      1. Illy says:

        possible, yes. probable, no.

        And when talking about stuff like this, quote me error margins for the results you are expecting or go home. Because the error margins for this to work, given the current state of polling, are *miniscule*.

        Until I see some favourable analysis for this “risk the list” strategy that includes error margins I’m going to maintain that it’s a complete waste of everyone’s mental resources going over it again, when it was so thoughroughly debuncked when the Greens were trying it. And the Greens have a better chance than RISE do.

        (Also, for the record, I’d happily support a much more left-wing party than the SNP *IF* I thought they had a real possibility of actually achieving anything productive. ATM, I look at the analysis and all I see is them splitting the independence vote.)

  11. yesindyref2 says:

    This theory is blown straight out of the water with a result from Holyrood 2010, North-East Scotland, where the SNP got not just 9, but all 10 constituency seats. Most regions only have 9 or less, with just one other with 10 seats, and one with 8.

    With all 10 constituency seats, and the list percentage being 52.7%, the SNP still managed to pick up a list seat, with an effective % of 52.7% divided by 10 constituency seats + 1 = 11, an effective %age of 4.8%.

    With 52% in the list vote, the SNP are almost certain to pick up at least 1 list seat in each of the 8 regions, and probably more in some, for a total of 10 or more.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      “the SNP are almost certain to pick up at least 1 list seat in each of the 8 regions”

      No they’re not. In Lothian in 2011 snp won all the constituency seats but won zero list seats, which let the unionists walk away with all 5/6 list seats in the area. And even in the example you give of NE Scotland, unionist parties took 5 list seats to snp 1. If, as seems likely, snp win the majority of constituencies, their list total could be less than 5/6 overall, leaving 40+ list seats going to the unionists, thus guaranteeing their ‘opposition’ for another 5 years. Hence the need for a Yes strategy to secure many more seats from the list, and which reflects the 1 million Yes votes that will be cast on the list. 5 seats for 1m votes is not a good outcome when the unionists will get 40+ list seats for less than 1m votes overall.

  12. Colin McKenzie says:

    Splitting the first and second preference vote for the SNP could let labour and liberals in.

    Do you want to let rise be the return ticket for labour?

    This is dishonest politics!

    Vote first with your head for the SNP and the votes second with your heart for the SNP.

    Once independent is secured then we can vote for whomever we wish, up to that point why risk us never achieving our goal?

    1. Illy says:

      And just for the record, the *list* vote is your first preference vote, not the constituency.

  13. Alf Baird says:

    The point none of the above are addressing is the possibility of moving from the indicated outcome:

    52% SNP = 6 MSPs

    25% Labour = 33 MSPs

    11% Tory = 10 MSPs

    to the result below, assuming a shift of say 25% of ‘snp’ list votes goes to other indy parties:

    27% SNP = 4 MSPs

    25% Labour = 18 MSPs

    11% Tory = 9 MSPs

    25% Other Indy = 18 MSPs

    This could result in about 100 pro indy msp’s overall compared with just over 80, and importantly a big reduction in slab msp’s. Any SNP ‘loss’ is marginal.

    1. JimMc says:

      Alf Baird – Huge flaws in your argument.

      1. If you think 27% SNP will get 4 MSPs you don’t understand the D’Hondt formula. If as assumed the SNP pick up almost all the constituency votes, lets say 7, their starting point on the list would be 27% / (7+1) = 3.5%. They would get no list seats.

      2. Labour-27% (18 seats), Other Indy-27% (18 seats). Totally wrong unless ‘Other Indy’ is a single party. These ‘Other Indy’ votes would be spread across RISE, Solidarity, SSP, Greens etc. There would definitely be additional unionist seats in this scenario because the unionist baseline is a lot higher because they have little or no constituency seats.

      3. You show the SNP getting 6 list seats with 52% of the vote. With the other figures you give (I know they are from TNS) that’s impossible because they would win at least 1 seat in every region. Even if they win all the constituency seats in one area their base is 52/9=5.77% which must win a seat if as TNS states Lib Dem and Greens are 5%.

      BTW I used your figures in D’Hondt to see what the results would be if the vote was split evenly across the 4 ‘Indy’ parties and it was 3 lab, 1 Tory, 2 Green, 1 ‘Other Indy’.

    2. Illy says:

      what are the margins for error on those numbers?

    3. James Scobbie says:

      All models and examples for list allocations assume you ‘know’ the outcome of the constituency vote. Which in the real world is not possible, and a single MSP change in the constituency makes a big impact on list allocation. The D’Hondt system is not really amenable to tactical voting. Best to vote for what option you believe best matches your own views.

    4. Clootie says:


      You play Party Politics – I prefer Independence as a goal.

      1. Alf Baird says:

        There were a very large pile of list snp votes wasted in 2011 in several regions which simply enabled unionist parties to build their numbers up. Yes people are smart enough to avoid this waste in 2016, but it has to be considered region by region, and constituency by constituency.

        1. James Kelly says:

          Alf, that’s simply not true. The SNP won at least one list seat in seven out of the eight regions. By contrast, the Greens failed to take list seats in six out of eight regions, and the SSP and Solidarity failed to take any list seats at all in any region. Remind me – which votes were the “wasted” ones?

          1. Alf Baird says:

            James, lets consider a couple of regional list 2011 results:

            Lothians regional vote 2011:
            snp – 110,953 votes (39.2%), and won zero list seats
            Labour – 70,544 votes (24.9%) and 3 seats
            Tories – 33,019 votes (11.7%) and 2 seats

            In Midscot/Fife – snp list vote (116,691) again exceeding all unionist votes combined yet snp only got 1 seat while the 3 unionist parties got 5 seats between them.

            in NE Scotland – snp list vote (140,749) again exceeded all unionist votes combined yet snp only got 1 seat while the 3 unionist parties got 6 seats between them.

            Given the GE2015 fptp result, and polling trends, if as expected/possible snp win say 65-70 of the 73 fptp constituency seats next May, then even with again around 1 million list votes this will only merit at best a handful of list seats for snp, and quite possibly just 2 or 3. So, in essence, Yes voters are more or less wasting their massive 1m list votes on snp and simply opening the door for the 3 unionist parties to cobble together 20+ list seats.

          2. James Kelly says:

            I note you’re now saying “more or less wasted”, and aren’t disputing that SNP list votes were, in fact, not wasted in seven regions out of eight. Nor are you disputing that votes for the Greens WERE wasted in six regions out of eight, nor that votes for Solidarity or the SSP were wasted in all eight regions.

            There is no realistic “opportunity” here at all. There is, however, a huge risk of stupidly throwing away the precious pro-independence majority at Holyrood in pursuit of something that a) isn’t achievable and b) isn’t all that important in the overall scheme of things.

  14. yesindyref2 says:

    Sorry, Holyrood 2011!

  15. Darby O'Gill says:

    Well done Alf Baird. Thanks for pointing out that if the electorate wish to maximise the number of MSP’s in favour of independence and are anti-austerity, they might be wise to give their second vote to RISE or the Greens. Voting SNP/SNP only increases the number from the unionist parties.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      “they might be wise to give their second vote to RISE or the Greens”

      Or Solidarity, Darby. I believe there are many Scots, like me, who would be delighted to see Mr. Sheridan return to Holyrood.

    2. tartanfever says:

      However, in the court of public opinion, which will decide when another Indyref happens, the more that vote SNP in both choices will make the SNP stronger.

      If the SNP can say they have a large majority on both list and constituency, over 60% say, then that will be the most important trigger for a referendum.

      As Nicolas Sturgeon has said, the people of Scotland will decide when the next referendum happens. That means the most important figure to take into account is the percentage of population votes, not the number of MSP’s.

      Think forward three years and there’s talk of another referendum in the air. Can you imagine what the headlines will be if the SNP only got 50% in the constituency vote and 45% in the list ?

      ‘SNP call undemocratic referendum the people don’t want’.

      I can guarantee you that headline will be adorning front pages on all papers for months on end and will ultimately sink any chance of a second referendum during the next five years.

      A majority of MSP’s in Holyrood is essential, but the important numbers are the actual population votes for the SNP. That is what will be required to fight negative media headlines, the most effective political opponent the SNP faces.

      1. Alf Baird says:

        “important numbers are the actual population votes for the SNP”

        Aggregate total votes for all pro-independence parties would be easy enough to calculate.

        1. tartanfever says:

          Thats true Alf, but I would bet my last £1 that aggregates would not count in the court of the British media. This is about the SNP and the SNP only. Any failure to secure over 50% of any vote weakens the case for another referendum in my book because the media will just call it undemocratic.

          I will reiterate Nicola Sturgeon’s sentiments again. The people of Scotland will decide when the next referendum takes place. That means the judgement comes down to opinion polls and election numbers for the SNP as they are possibly the main criteria for judging when that time has come.

          1. Darby O'Gill says:

            I’m not sure you’re right that ‘This is about the SNP and the SNP’ only’. The YES campaign comprised a number of organisations/parties of which the SNP formed the largest part. It is widely believed that it was the work of the Radical Independence Campaign which made a significant contribution to the Referendum by getting 97% of voters registered and a turnout of 85%.

            By voting SNP/SNP there is a risk that the Labour and Tory list votes will mean a reduced majority for the SNP. By voting for Green/Rise list candidates the pro-independence majority could be substantially increased.

          2. Hamish Allan says:

            Tartanfever: “I would bet my last £1 that aggregates would not count in the court of the British media.”

            Nothing whatsoever will count in the court of the British media, even a 60% vote for the SNP (which isn’t going to happen anyway).

            What will count is if the Westminster parties are given a good kicking. The way the list system works, the seats gained by the Greens and RISE will be lost by Labour (and to a lesser extent the Tories).

            And if enough SNP supporters give their second votes to the same pro-indy party, the main party of opposition will also be pro-indy. Imagine that! That’s the closest we’ll get to something “counting” in the court of the British media — government and opposition both in favour of independence.

            By the way, this only requires a transfer of 20% of the SNP second votes to the Greens — see (Not sure how many votes would need to go RISE’s way, as they’re not starting in as strong a position as the Greens.)

    3. Clootie says:


      The truth is that you see the opportunity to boost your own parties chances of gaining a seat.
      Party Politics comes AFTER Independence or we won’t achieve it.

      1. Mark Crawford says:

        Au contraire, Clootie. After the SNP lost the last referendum with their ridiculous positions on the currency, the monarchy and NATO – and whilst they risk losing another referendum on the same basis if we let them – party politics very definitely comes before independence.

        1. James Kelly says:

          Hamish : “Only” 20% of SNP voters will be required to “transfer” their vote? Oh, say no more. Just click your fingers and I’m sure hundreds of thousands of people will do whatever you want them to do. Mind you, I still think we should use the mind control ray to be on the safe side.

          What on earth are we even talking about here? Our overwhelming priority should be to maintain a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament. Why are we putting that at risk (and make no mistake, we are) in pursuit of the impossible dream of having both a pro-independence government and opposition?

          1. Mark Crawford says:

            According to research recently conducted by academics based at Stirling University, 15% of Scots voters hold views that are described as “far left”. In light of recent polling, it’s a fair bet that at least 20% of potential SNP voters fall into that category, so I absolutely see Hamish’s point that these voters should be encouraged to vote for another Yes party which better reflects their real politics.

            Especially because, of all the Yes parties out there, the SNP presents the weakest case for independence.

          2. James Kelly says:

            Mark : If you’re trying to win votes on the basis of policy disputes, fair enough. But just don’t kid yourself that you’re pursuing some kind of arithmetical “strategy” for maximising the number of pro-independence MSPs, because that isn’t the case.

          3. Mark Crawford says:

            James: Personally, I don’t go for the argument that we should be tactically trying to increase the overall number of pro-Yes MSP’s. When people try to make that argument, they do so because they are implicitly aware that the current SNP leadership has a very weak strategy for winning independence, and they think that having a pro-independence opposition will help overcome that problem.

            In a sense, I am more pessimistic than Hamish seems to be. I think the weakness of the SNP’s strategy for indy, combined with its current hegemony, means that just having a pro-indy opposition will not be enough. We (the radical left, I mean) will need to split the SNP and aim to replace it as the main engine for independence. How long will that take? Possibly a very long time. But we do have to start that work sometime.

          4. James Kelly says:

            Incidentally, Mark, although I suspect you take the same view as I do on the monarchy and NATO, the idea that the Yes vote would have been higher if the SNP had taken an anti-monarchy, anti-NATO line (both way out of touch with public opinion) stretches credibility to the limit.

          5. Mark Crawford says:

            James – the main reason the SNP lost the referendum (and will lose another one if they run the whole thing again) is because they – like you – think in terms of “the public” rather than the body politic. The difference is that liberals such as the SNP aim to persuade the public through argument, whereas radical politics involves directly expanding the freedom of the body politic through action which draws people in.

            That’s why even if polls show that the SNP are in line with people’s feelings about the Monarchy, it’s still a policy which limits any real expansion of the freedom of the body politic and therefore is a serious block on independence.

            I’m sure you’ll disagree with this. That’s fine. It’s OK to choose to think in terms of “the public” rather than the body politic. But that’s certainly where we do disagree.

        2. tartanfever says:

          Mark Crawford – ‘after the SNP lost the referendum’

          Really ?

          I don’t think thats going to persuade many SNP voting readers of this site to give the ‘radical left’ their 2nd vote. Well done.

          1. Mark Crawford says:

            True, if they’re not interested in exploring reasons why the SNP lost the referendum, I agree they won’t be very interested in what I have to say.

            *shrugs shoulders*

          2. James Kelly says:

            If the “reasons” that we might explore include the SNP failing to do enough bashing of the very popular monarchy, we’re probably safe enough in leaving them unexplored. Maybe I’ve missed it somewhere on this thread, but I haven’t seen an explanation from you as to how being totally out of step with the public on the monarchy and NATO would win votes rather than lose them. As for the currency, the chances of the SNP going into a second referendum with the same currency policy are pretty slim.

  16. Greatbighoo says:

    My brother is a bit further to the left of the SNP on the economic scale and quite a bit higher than the SNP on the authoritarian scale on the political compass.

    He has deeply authoritarian views about the laws, regulations, rules, monitoring etc. he would use the establish, maintain and enforce the supposed purity of his authoritarian religious left ‘ultra-regulated capital and resources’ society. He is very keen on mechanisms which he would use to force people, institutions and capital to do what he wants, and what in his adamantine and absolutist is the ‘right’ way that things and society should and must be.

    He is a grievance and anger driven Separatist, who spent the years 2010 to September 2014 in a simmering fury over our ageing population requiring some adjustments to public sector pensions. (Which ‘Osborne’ has ‘stolen’ for ‘deficit reduction’)

    After absorbing Salmond’s hubris and believing there was going to be a Yes Campaign victory, he’s spent the months since September 2015 in an apoplectic rage, lashing out online and in public at traitorous quisling middle class establishment Unionist traitors and their lickspittle poodle mainstream right wing media, the evil neoliberal laissez faire capitalist scum**, etc. etc.

    Though consumed as he is by his righteous indignation and teeth clenching, fist banging rage; even he doesn’t think that actual Socialism – the state owning, controlling and directing the commanding heights of the economy – an utterly discredited system that has ultimately brought wholesale and widespread misery, suffering and relative and absolute poverty wherever it’s been tried – is the answer to society’s ills or is the approach that an independent Scotland should even consider adopting.

    Even he’s not that crazy.

    Pre or post Independence, there will never, ever, ever, ever, ever be an ‘independent Socialist Republic’ in Scotland.

    Even the ‘egalitarian fairness and social justice minded Scots’ wouldn’t inflict such a vile, cruel and perverse system on its people.

    Nor will any Socialist Republic emerge in any other advanced western liberal democracy, for that matter.

    1. Greatbighoo says:

      ** Sorry, I meant to say, there are some inconsistencies in his model.

      He regularly refers to how most English MPs are willing and active facilitators in the building of a ‘neoliberal laissez faire capitalist hell’ in England, and where SNP MPs are good and righteous bulwarks standing against the forces of corporate facism.

      This includes Michelle Thomson, who rather than being a productive businessperson, is actually just a rent-seeker, exhibiting the classic rent-seeking behaviour where her income is generated through her buy-to-let empire which may or may not have been acquired through foul means.

      She is ‘standing up for Scotland’ and is ‘Stronger For Scotland’ etc. though, so in her case, rent-seeking behaviour is apparently absolutely fine, justified through admittedly impressive intellectual gymnastics.

      (Accompanied by enormous dollops of whataboutery).

    2. David says:

      Cool story, bro.

    3. Darby O'Gill says:

      I think you might be confusing socialism with something else. The only time the UK had a socialist government was between 1945 and 1951. You only have to look at the number of +65’s alive today to judge whether it was successful or not.

      1. Conor Cheyne says:

        I wouldn’t call Attlee’s government socialist. Certainly the most left-wing government we have ever had though and the best government we have ever had.

  17. Big Jock says:

    Why gamble with something so important! Divided voting does not unite our movement. It allows our enemy to sneak in the back door.

    SNP are the independence movement. Stay onboard until the job is complete. Voting Rise in the second vote is a risk not worth taking.

    1. Soar Alba says:

      Sensible reply ‘Big Jock’.

    2. Hamish Allan says:

      Except that this isn’t divided voting. It’s voting designed specifically to ensure that the pro-independence vote doesn’t get so badly divided. If the SNP do as they are forecasted to in the constituency vote, SNP list votes will be divided by nine or ten before the allocation even starts.

      Oh, and the SNP are not the independence movement. For instance, if they’d listened to the Greens about currency, perhaps we’d be living in an independent Scotland right now.

      Furthermore, consider what it would mean if, as well as the party of government being pro-independence, the main party of opposition were as well. The strength behind the pro-indy argument would be doubled.

      1. James Kelly says:

        Hamish : And if RISE do as they are “forecast” to do (polls aren’t “forecasts” by the way), they will get zero seats. They will get zero seats even if they do quite a bit better than the polls are saying. It’s difficult to know whether to laugh or cry at the title of this piece, because the seats projections from the TNS poll suggest that the SNP would take several list seats, and RISE would take zero. What exactly is the “wasted” vote here?

  18. Onwards says:

    I want to see a second referendum in a few years so I will be voting SNP/SNP.
    That worked last time.

    There is a big danger in assuming the SNP constituency lead will stay at these levels.
    The SNP surge only came in the last few months in 2011 when Alex Salmond was dominating all the debate shows, and Iain Gray was hiding in a subway shop. A lot can change in a short time.

    When the campaign starts next year, the Tories will have a very clear campaign on no new taxes. Labour will be promising the sun on all sorts of new benefits, knowing it is unlikely they have to deliver.

    The SNP will be inevitably squeezed in the middle, and will probably have to pick up a bunch of list seats.

    There is a danger in aiming too high, that we end up splitting the vote..
    With the nightmare scenario of a unionist coalition taking over – even if the SNP is the largest party.

  19. Soar Alba says:

    I’m beginning to despair at some posts on this site.
    This is one of them.

  20. Richard Anderson says:

    Maybe we should produce a wheel that helps people decide how to vote? That worked last time didn’t it?

    Apart from the obvious difficulties in persuading people to vote for parties that have not, before now, appealed to them as targets for their vote, there is another issue that needs considered. Despite the best efforts of the British nationalist opinion writers to talk up the idea that the SNP is a cult and that their voters are automatons with no mind of their own (jakie bams was one Twitter users analysis), there is no evidence that any mass control element exists to communicate this idea to the general public and would be supporters of independence, in any meaningful way. Remember that the Pouters had some press behind them and it didn’t work for them.

    On the wider issue of support for independence, I believe that it is well past time that a rekindled Yes campaign got up and running with participants from ALL interested parties. I, for one, would be happy to contribute sums to a crowdfunder that would help prepare the ground in the wider social and community arenas at home and abroad. There is a need to separate out the day to day politics and campaigning at elections with the need for a strategic development group that engages with supporters of self determination for Scotland. I don’t believe we should leave this until a new date for a referendum is set.

  21. Iain says:

    As Big Jock says: “Why gamble with something so important”?

    It’s enticing to think of other parties swelling the pro-independence ranks in Holyrood. I’d like that to happen, but not at the expense of SNP representation. Were SNP/SNP voters, in any substantial numbers, to switch their second vote to another pro-independence party, we can’t be sure that the outcome is one we’d want. Who knows? Political fortunes can fluctuate, and the Holyrood voting system is set up to make it very difficult for any party to win a majority of seats. The SNP may need the list seats to get that majority. The most likely way of getting a pro-independence majority is to vote SNP/SNP.

    Imagine if the SNP failed to get a majority – even if other pro-independence parties won seats and there were a pro-independence majority. That would be unimportant to the unionist media and opposition. The big story – the big boost – for them would be that the SNP was in decline, that the independence movement was fracturing into squabbling factions, and they would cite that, and publicise that, and use that, again and again. “Ah … look at that: they can’t even agree before they get independence. Independence would be chaos.” It would be a gift.

    1. Hamish Allan says:

      Iain: “The big story – the big boost – for them would be that the SNP was in decline”

      The SNP, from current polling, are almost guaranteed to get a majority in the constituency seats. By all means let’s take another look at the numbers closer to next May, but the main threat to the SNP’s majority came from Corbyn being made Labour leader, and he hasn’t even made a dent.

      The Big Story has the potential to be that Labour are the third party at Holyrood. There are some predicting that the Tories will be the second party. But if only 20% of SNP voters gave their second vote to the Green party, the second party at Holyrood would be the Greens ( Stories don’t get any bigger than that.

      1. Iain says:

        I acknowledge your point, but – starting with the high hopes for the General election of 1970 – I’ve seen too many near misses and crushing disappointments to accept that SNP success in any election is ‘almost guaranteed’. Were the SNP poll ratings stable at 75%, I’d agree with you – but still feel apprehensive!

      2. James Kelly says:

        Hamish : It is simply untrue to say that the SNP are “guaranteed” to get a majority from the constituency seats alone. That means taking 65 out of 73 constituency seats (or 66 if they want to supply the Presiding Officer from their own ranks). Do you understand how difficult that is? They have only 52 constituency seats at the moment.

        The most recent YouGov poll has them on 51% of the constituency vote. Very modest slippage from that position would leave them requiring list seats to save their majority. There are six months still to go.

      3. JohnG says:

        We need to ensure that SNP win the constituency seat, right? So perhaps if Green supporters were to vote SNP on constituency and Green on list then maybe SNP supporters could vote Green on list. Do you think that is going to happen? I don’t so I’m voting SNP constituency and list.

        1. Illy says:

          Green supporters voting SNP on the constituency is just plain old tactical voting in a first-past-the-post system.

          Nothing unusual about it there, unless they’re pro-union Greens (of which there are plenty) in which case they’ll probably vote Labour on the constituency.

          And there’s no reason whatsoever to hand them your more important vote when they’re only handing you the less important one.

          (for the record: I have no problem with people who would like the Greens to be in government who are planning to vote Green/SNP (list/constituency), I just object to them lying about how the system works to trick people who don’t want the Greens in government voting in a way that would cause it)

  22. Dan Huil says:

    It’s got to beSNP/SNP. Why risk anything else. Keep the pressure on.

  23. Luigi says:

    I will happily consider voting SSP and/or Greens sometime in the future, when the time is right. May 2016 is most definitely not the right time. The absolute imperative has to be another SNP majority government and the re-election of Nicola Sturgeon as FM. Failure to achieve either of these next year, and we have serious problems. tactical voting is not worth the risk. The Greens should be targeting soft unionist LibDem and Labour voters – they may have some success with this given that the Greens still have a unionist contingent in their ranks.


  24. Clootie says:

    I wish we had a YES Party but we don’t.

    Only one vehicle will deliver Independence – the SNP. I have little concern if the members peel off later to several other parties – in fact I hope they do.

    Polls are just that. They are not votes. Can anyone guarantee that the 1st vote margin will remain solid or be accurate. Only a few percentage points of change can tip this into a coalition government resulting in endless trivial party political posturing that the Unionists would love.

    Policy differences are irrelevent without power. In my view RISE and the Greens are only considering a narrow party interest selling a false story to gain votes.

    SNP twice for Holyrood – They are providing good governance but more importantly a united drive.
    The Party that carries us over the line is not the issue. It is the future of our people and nation that matters.

  25. Taranaich says:

    “The second ‘list’ vote TNS polling for the parties set to get the three largest votes is as follows:

    52% SNP = 6 MSPs

    25% Labour = 33 MSPs

    11% Tory = 10 MSPs

    Despite the SNP getting over half of the list vote, the party is set to win only 6 MSPs on the list, with the vast majority of list vote MSPs going to Labour and the Tories.”

    If this is indeed the case, then we should keep chipping away at the Labour and Tory vote, which accounts for 36% – over a third – of list votes in this poll. Add the Lib Dems and UKIP, and that goes up to 43% for the Unionist list vote. All of us pro-independence supporters, be it SNP, Greens, SSP, RISE, Solidarity, or independents, should concentrate on wiping the unionist parties from the face of Scotland.

    If we’re to win the next referendum, we have to convince as many people to support independence, right? Well, how are we going to do that if they keep voting for unionist parties?

  26. johnp45 says:

    The big advantage we have is that Nicola is liked (and believed) by most people and is the figurehead around whom we should gather, for now, as when independence is achieved we can then vote for any other parties we wish.

    But, first things first, stay united – SNP/SNP is the only answer, for now!

  27. Clydebuilt says:

    The Rev. Stu. Campbell to give him his official title of Wings Over Scotland ran several articles on this subject. At the end he summed things up , saying if you want an SNP majority vote SNP 1 & 2.

    IMHO The Rev. Has a very fine analytical brain.

    There are so many unknowns in this, we are still fighting for our Independence.
    For me until we gain our independence I want an SNP majority.

  28. Stewart Dredge says:

    Even if a strategy could be developed to ensure that the other three pro-independence parties split the available second votes to best effect, it is unlikely any would win an extra seat.
    First of all, most SNP voters on the constituency vote will vote SNP on the list because, of course, they are SNP supporters and will vote with their hearts.
    There is already a second-vote-Green support and it is unlikely that they would vote tactically for any other party.
    Thirdly, many key members of RISE hate Solidarity, or more accurately Tommy Sheridan, with a vengeance and we are likely to see a bitter war developing between the two as we run towards the election. This is likely to damage the whole independence movement and turn people away from, not just the warring parties, but the independence movement itself. They will become our movement’s “soft underbelly.”

    The ADS system was devised to do away with the need to vote tactically and trying to manipulate it as RISE appears to be proposing is a recipe for disaster. Let all the parties sell themselves to the people in their own way. If they can’t do that on their own merits they don’t deserve to be represented. Alan Bissett is voting for RISE because he likes the party’s socialist, pro-independence stance. This is the honourable choice for him but it is also why people would vote for Solidarity.
    However, neither are making any impression on the opinion polls and, frankly, I hear very few people say they miss the socialist, pro-independence stance of the old SSP who once had MSPs at Holyrood.
    In my opinion, the place for pro-independence socialists in Scotland is the SNP, campaigning for progressive and popular policies from within the party in power. We have seen the effective of the left in the party in the land-reform debate at the SNP conference.
    Strengthening that element within the governing party would be far more effective than trying in vain to get a Tommy or a Cat elected into Holyrood by trying to explain to potentially sympathetic voters some convoluted tactical voting strategy.

  29. Bill McLean says:

    No, no, no, no, no – we must first of all get rid of the unionist parties who hate Scotland and the SNP. Then achieve Independence. When that comes about I will vote for a Socialist party or maybe the Greens. We must not allow ourselves to splinter in the face of the onslaught from Westminster and unionist parties in Scotland. If we do we do their jobs for them!

    1. Common Sense says:

      No, loving Scotland and hating the SNP, is a very easy position to rationalise.

  30. Heidstaethefire says:

    There is a point at which we can distribute our second votes without helping the anti independence parties. The problem is we have no way of knowing beforehand where that is. It is a risky business splitting the vote.

  31. Alf Baird says:

    Lets consider a few of regional list 2011 results which indicates what happens to the snp list votes when it wins nearly all the constituency fptp seats:

    Lothians regional vote 2011:
    snp – 110,953 votes (39.2%), and won zero list seats
    Labour – 70,544 votes (24.9%) and 3 seats
    Tories – 33,019 votes (11.7%) and 2 seats

    In Midscot/Fife – snp list vote (116,691) again exceeding all unionist votes combined yet snp only got 1 seat while the 3 unionist parties got 5 seats between them.

    In NE Scotland – snp list vote (140,749) again exceeded all unionist votes combined yet snp only got 1 seat while the 3 unionist parties got 6 seats between them.

    Given the GE2015 fptp result, and current polling trends, if as expected/probable the snp win say 65-70 of the 73 fptp constituency seats next May, then even with again around 1 million list votes this will only merit at best a handful of list seats for snp, and quite possibly just 2 or 3. So, in essence, Yes voters are for the most part wasting their massive 1m list votes on snp and simply opening the door for the 3 unionist parties to cobble together 30+ list seats. There is a major list vote opportunity here which Yes people need to address.

  32. arthur thomson says:

    I have been an SNP supporter all my life and I have never seen it as anything other than a means to an end – independence – and I have never seen independence as anything other than a means to an end – a Scottish government, in perpetuity, invariably dedicated to the interests of the Scottish people.

    To achieve this the SNP must be a political party which can draw support from across the political spectrum. As such it is inevitably a compromise which cannot satisfy the ambitions of the Scottish Greens, radical left etc. To criticise it for not being green enough or left enough is to ignore the reality.

    Whatever our political persuasion, tactically we need to get behind the SNP whilst making it clear that our support is explicitly and unambiguously towards the achievement of independence as a means to an end – bringing about a self-governing, radical, genuinely green, socially equitable and innovating Scotland.

    If there was a CERTAIN way of aiding the evolution of a number of independence supporting parties through the Holyrood elections I would be in favour of it. But we don’t have that certainty. Also I don’t want, inadvertently, to offend anyone but I am not naive enough to imagine that there are not some elements who would promote tactical voting as a neat way of damaging the Yes movement.

  33. PRJ says:

    “2nd vote wasted” is a red herring. The assumption here is that the SNP will do well in the 1st vote. This is only likely if the SNP vote holds. This vote is vulnerable due to policy and political events, it just takes an incident for the SNP vote to weaken and to have a unionist gain. If the 2nd vote takes votes away from the SNP then we could end up with a strong unionist presence at holyrood. One question I want to ask is if the unionists are the enemy why are the Greens and RISE not targeting there vote, thereby weakening there presence and strengthening the independence cause.

  34. Steve says:

    Voting SNP/SNP is the only way to maximise the prospect of an SNP majority in Holyrood. Unless you genuinely believe in some of the policies of the other pro Indy parties why vote for them. Vote for what you believe in. Tactical voting is the type of unprincipled approach taken by the unionist parties, whose main focus is on opposing everything the SNP govt says and does. The interests of the people of Scotland come a very poor second. Risking a minority Govt in Holyrood and having to deal with the incompetents currently in charge in labour does not bear thinking about. Vote for your beliefs and your political aspirations. Leave cynicism and contempt for parliamentary democracy to others. And if the other pro Indy groups want my second vote they need to tell me what they stand for.

  35. K.A.Mylchreest says:

    I agree with PRJ above. Let the Greens seek extra votes from the LibDems, let the Radical Indy Left seek theirs from ‘Labour’, and if an Indy Right were even possible they could go looking for votes from disgruntled Tories and Kippers.

    The time for nuance will be AFTER independence, right now we live in ‘interesting’ and dangerous times. To see us safely through the next stage, the SNP need the strongest possible mandate, both in terms of seats and actual percentage of votes, since this election may well be seen as another referendum in all but name.

    Put simply, if you want to seen Scotland independent before WM complete their asset-stripping programme, it has to be SNP/SNP all the way.

  36. yesinsyref2 says:

    Something RISE might like to think very very carefully about (and Greens if they try to get up to this same trick).

    The SNP has 114,000 members, and many of them – us – will be campaigning in some way or other for the Holyrood Elections. There’s a lot of Labour voters who wouldn’t vote SNP to save their lives, they’ve convinced themselves they hate the SNP – or their party has. But they don’t want to vote Labour.

    SNP campaigners will be trying to convince them to vote SNP, but not being daft will recognise a lost cause when they see one. An exit line could be “Well, if you don’t vote for my party, the SNP, would you consider voting for the Green party, or RISE?”.

    If RISE continue with this dishonest tactic of “a second vote for the SNP is wasted”, then that’s 114,000 SNP members who are most certainly NOT going to be offering those Labour voters RISE as an alternative to the SNP.

  37. Mike says:

    This it total bullshit and will result in Labour and the Conservatives winning more seats than they deserve.

    Wings over Scotland has completed an excellent analysis on the voting system and shows in detail how splitting the SNP vote helps the pro union opposition at the expense of the smaller parties.

    I’m sure this is a plug for RISE but its total bullshit all the same.
    Splitting the SNP will not result in a single seat for RISE but will add to Labours tally.

    1. Mike says:

      It could result in a seat for UKIP and that would be unforgivable.

      1. David Allan says:

        If the SNP produce a “bullish” manifesto with hard commitments on an Independence Timescales, use of new Scotland Bill Tax powers ( less of the whooly talk about pro-indy opinion polls requiring to show consistant 60% support ) then there will be no difficulty in obtaining both votes from Independence supporters.

        A weak manifesto with for example no committment over retaining CAL MAC and any suggestion that the tendering outcome will not be announced until post election will for me signal yet another sign that the SNP Leadership are back-peddling.

        Influencial decisions on Fracking, pulling the plug (there is an opt-out) on the Abelio Scotrail Franchise in favour of a Transport Scotland In-House option. In short a demonstration of bit of Radicalism is neaded or I will have no hesitation in giving my second vote (and possibly my Constituency Vote) to another Indy supporting Party that best reflects my views and aims. If the SNP take a hit on their MSP numbers they will only have themselves to blame.

        The Ball is entirely in their Court. Take a lesson from the Land Reform Issue and get real! Less of the talk it’s time to make positive change happen.

        Several months ago I learned that Hitachi Rail Europe were establishing a Manufacturing Plant in County Durham .750 skilled jobs ! no mention from Scottish Government on why we failed to attract this inward investment . It recently became apparent that Hitachi received a huge order from Scotrail announced by Derek Mackay! why was this carrot not used to attract their plant to Scotland.

        The SNP’s results in government require a bit more scrutiny . A healthy bunch of INDY Supporting MSP’s will not need to toe the whip and remain silent on such issues.

        If we are to win over NO Voters it’s not enough just to be adequate in government .

        1. Mike says:

          When did any SNP manifesto every disappoint you?

        2. Mike says:

          You completely avoided the real issue. Any second vote that doesn’t go to the SNP will go to Labour the Conservatives the Lib Dems or UKIP before it goes anywhere near RISE or the Greens.
          Go have a good look on the WOS site and see their indepth analysis on the voting options.
          If the support for Independence doesn’t vote SNP SNP then the biggest benefactors will be the pro unionist parties. That is simply a cold hard fact the other pro Indy parties will have to accept and acknowledge.
          Cant be helped.

  38. Saor Alba says:

    This article is absolute tosh and does not just lack transparency, it is downright murky.
    How can a poll show that votes are wasted.
    This is absolute nonsense and is based on a false premise.
    A poll tells us only what people think.

    Readers are recommended to visit and archive the Wings Over Scotland site where there are three articles in a row on the ins and outs of the voting system.
    These were posted in August of this year and you may have missed or forgotten them.
    You can use the WOS archive to access the articles.

    Article 1: “AMS for Lazy People” on 23rd August 2015.
    Article 2: “The Narcissism of small differences” on 24th August 2015.
    Article 3: “The Sweet Spot” on 25th August 2015.

    Real use of figures and facts demonstrate that tactical voting does NOT give you what this article says it does. This is more like transparency.
    We cannot afford to gamble, so please read these and consider the implications.

    In my opinion, SNP voters should vote 1. SNP and 2. SNP.
    You must, of course make up your own minds, but be influenced by facts and reasoning, not by opinions and polls.

  39. Christian Allard French Born MSP says:

    Diversity, moi?
    #BothVotesSNP , I am the evidence that it makes sense.
    Christian Allard, North East MSP for the North East of Scotland where all Constituency seats are SNP

  40. Heidstaethefire says:

    All this is predicated on the S.N.P. winning all the F. P.T.P. Seats. Where is the guarantee of this? The electorate could, conceivably, decide that the result is a foregone conclusion and not turn out in large numbers. The unionist vote could decide to vote tactically to keep out S.N.P. csndidates. There could be local issues which skew the vote. The only way to know whether it’s worth splitting your vote is to be able to predict the outcome in your region first – unlikely, I would have thought.

  41. Annette says:

    Aaaand this morning we can say, “Told you so.” Tories and SLab have benefitted greatly from “Both votes SNP.” Over 900 000 list votes (40-odd percent) for the SNP have resulted in a meagre 4 regional seats, while 20-odd percent of the list vote gave the Tories a whopping 24 seats and made Ruth Davidson opposition leader. Well done, those “Don’t-split-the-YES-vote” preachers; this is really helping, right? This is making the case for independence much better, is it, than having four fewer SNP seats but around 20 Greens and maybe Cat Boyd? This is the result of months of screaming down anyone who suggested that an SNP list vote wasn’t going to achieve much. Ask yourselves what you really support: Scottish independence, or the supreme rule of the SNP?

    1. K. A. Mylchreest says:

      As far as I can tell (and I haven´t done the detailed calculations yet) :

      *** The proportion of votes cast in the election were very much in line with the polls immediately before.

      *** The number of seats awarded to each party were proportional to the votes cast. I.e. The SNP got just under 50% of votes and just under half the seats, Labor and Tory around a quarter of votes each, with the Tories slightly ahead, likewise with their numbers of seats.

      Isn´t this how a PR system is supposed to work? How more democratic can you get?

      SNP + Green can rule the roost together, I thought that was what most of youse wanted??

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