Both Votes Yes

yes1“Nicola Sturgeon for First Minister.”

This is what appears on the regional – or ‘list’ – ballot for the SNP. At best, this is disingenuous – at worst, however, this is deliberately misleading. I had a conversation with a friend of mine who was particularly passionate about a party that was seeking list votes due to it’s progressive stance on LGBT+ issues – yet, today, opted to give his second vote to the SNP instead. Why? Because he thought that he was voting for Nicola Sturgeon to be the First Minister.

The entire point of the voting system that we use in Scottish parliamentary elections – that is, the Additional Member System (AMS) – is proportional representation: to ensure that single party dominance does not prevail and, thus, that we do not end up with another rotating two party system, as is so prevalent across Western politics. The system is designed for plurality; for a diverse and representative parliament – and this is where, despite protests to the contrary, voting tactically – using both your votes sensibly – can actually be worth it. Our second vote gives us a chance to vote for a smaller party that we agree with – one that couldn’t necessarily achieve seats in the constituencies.

Every poll shows that the SNP will clean up in the constituencies, rendering a second vote for the party almost useless. Let me explain. An SNP list vote is divided by the number of constituency seats won by the party – so, in Glasgow for example, where it is highly likely that the SNP will secure the majority of constituency seats – the vote will be divided by nine (constituency seats) plus one. Therefore – an SNP list vote will be worth one tenth of a Labour vote. That’s right: one Labour list vote in Glasgow will be worth ten SNP list votes. So, #BothVotesSNP will ensure that unionists will be plentiful in Holyrood.

We have an opportunity here, in the first election post referendum, to create a parliament that is truly multicoloured and rich in diversity. Throughout the Yes campaign, we all spoke a lot about change – but what’s really going to change if we return a parliament that looks very much like it does now?

We have an opportunity here, in the first election post referendum, to create a parliament that is truly multicoloured and rich in diversity. Throughout the Yes campaign, we all spoke a lot about change – but what’s really going to change if we return a parliament that looks very much like it does now?

Let me take you back a couple of years. In early March 2014, I awoke from a 36 year slumber – once completely disinterested in politics, I began to notice a people’s movement growing in front of me. What was special about this movement was that it was less about the political class and more about the working class. It was held up and driven forward by everyday people who wanted a better future for themselves, their families, their neighbours. This was something that I could buy into: this was something that I could believe in.

I was proud to be a part of the movement for Scottish independence. However, it seems that too many have now fallen into a situation whereby they have become somewhat enchanted by one party’s ideas and ambitions. The grassroots diversity of the Yes campaign is exactly where the strength of our movement came from and, so, it is sad to witness a large section of us travelling down a singular road and becoming rather smitten in the process, not appearing to accept – or even coherently debate – any views to the contrary of the SNP’s narrative.

This, from my experience at least, contrasts completely with the entire tone and feeling of the referendum. I believed in a different kind of politics and I sold that to people. Now, however, it seems that far too many do not want to stick their head above the parapet and ask any challenging or pertinent questions – particularly in relation to the current election. This, in itself, is the polar opposite of what the Yes movement represented.

It seems that many have fallen out of one box and directly into another; whereby the dominant, party peddled narrative regarding how to vote in May is being accepted as a cast iron method to further the cause for independence.

Well, it isn’t.

The reality is that the SNP are not the only party that are pro-indy. Now, there are others – all of whom offer their own vision as to what an independent Scotland should look like. If we have a parliament that is top heavy with Yes advocating parties of varying colours, at the cost of unionist MSPs, it is not only stronger for democracy – in that it creates a broader parliamentary force which represents a cross-section of the Scottish electorate, as opposed to everyone hedging their bets on the SNP, but it is also stronger for the independence movement for this exact same reason.

It is a given that following the election, the SNP will dominate Holyrood, but I want other parties to be surrounding them and propping them up – not only when it comes to pushing for another referendum, but in ensuring that the rhetoric of social justice, equality and progression is translated into legislature and policy within the duration of the next parliament.

Further, if the UK government see that we have returned a parliament with cross party support for independence, then it is another kick in the teeth for them.

We witnessed throughout the referendum campaign that the Yes movement was so much more than the SNP – and I want to see this reflected in Holyrood. Let’s look at fracking, for example. While the SNP have quite a vague position here (Nicola will have private meetings with Jim Ratcliffe at the same time as the party bans discussion of fracking at their conference), RISE and the Greens are much clearer in opting for an outright ban. Wouldn’t it be much healthier to have other parties holding the SNP to account on issues that they do not necessarily want to discuss?

We also saw the tactics of the mainstream media throughout the referendum, and we know now that if they want to take shots at the Yes movement then they aim their gun at the SNP. The benefit of having several other pro-independence parties in Holyrood is that they will need more guns, and an awful lot of ammunition.

By all means, democracy – thankfully – dictates that everyone is entitled to use their vote in whichever way they want. We are fortunate to have our voting system in place – a system designed to offer us a more representative parliament. Now, I know that the SNP have taken the position of asking for both votes – and I understand why, but that is their prerogative. That is the nature of party politics. Hence, I appeal to the membership and not the party itself.

Please, think about the Yes movement. Think about being tactical, think about the strength in diversity and pluralism. Think about sending another shockwave all the way down to Whitehall.

Let’s seriously damage unionism within the Scottish parliament. Vote for another pro independence party on your second ballot paper, and let the Yes movement rise in strength together.


Liam Stevenson, is the candidate for RISE Central Scotland.

Comments (292)

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  1. John says:

    Voting for Rise , Solidarity , Greens , dilutes SNP votes , lets Unionist votes in , end up with minority government , useless , SNPX2 .

    1. Shane Fraser says:

      turn off the 99.9% unionist propaganda media in Scotland by getting on with your life; in as a positive manner that becomes a Scottish realist wishing the best for his kinsmen and those that we care for from war trodden countries torn apart by WESTMONSTER GOVERNMENTS PUPPETEERED BY THE MONEY ELITE !

      Come may the 5th .. Scotland will do the Honorable thing by not forgetting the unionist’s sick stab in the back, and in our face we Scott’s are FKG Useless, we have not forgotten.

      SNP X 2 .. SNP X 2 .. SNP X 2 .. SNP X 2 .. SNP X 2 .. SNP X 2 .. SNP X 2 .. SNP X 2 ..

      1. Drew Campbell says:

        “Four legs good, two legs better! Four legs good, two legs better!”

        Just listen to yourselves.

      2. James Coleman says:

        No-one should be taken in by the guff in the above piece. Better to read an article by someone who actually knows what he is talking about vav the 2 vote system used for HR16. So go to “SCOT goes POP” for the latest definitive article explaining the pitfalls of NOT voting SNP 1 and 2.

        “It doesn’t matter whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist about the SNP’s chances : “tactical voting on the list” is a bad idea”

    2. Scott says:

      I’ve found that whenever you get snp voters hearing you’re not wasting you’re second vote in snp they turn all unionist anything other than snp is rubbish or they have their own theory open your bloody eyes Tories will definitely be second. Use your second vote so that we have two parties against two because I fir one know Nicolas weary about a second referendum that’s why her manifestos not out yet being an snp voter and online discussing my second vote I’ve discovered if u say it’s going to green snp activists turn on troll unionist aggressive mode it’s terrible. Me my family and all 150+ of my Facebook mates and their families are voting snp and another pro party

      1. David Allan says:


        My List vote will go to another INDY Party simply because SNP are not bold or progressive enough!

        1. James Coleman says:

          You are either a YOON or a… take the RISE out of everyone. No policies, no hope, just insults. It’s either SNPBAAAD or they are “Happy Clappies”

    3. Onwards says:

      It is a huge assumption that SNP will win most constituency seats. They are ahead right now in the polls, but no-one knows what turnout will be like on the day. And we could see unionist tactical voting in many seats. We even see some RISE supporters urging ‘no votes SNP’. Independence isn’t the main priority for many.

      So as an independence supporter, I’ll be giving it Both Votes SNP, viewing the list seats as ‘back-up’, for any seats lost in the constituencies.

      I hope the Greens do well, but not at the expense of the SNP. Too much risk to divide the indy vote.

      SNPx2 got us a referendum last time.
      There is solid proof that it works.

      1. Graeme Purves says:

        Giving both votes to the SNP when they are standing so high in the polls will simply gift list seats to Labour and the Tories. I can’t imagine why any supporter of independence would want to do that!

        1. Richard says:

          Whilst splitting the second vote between 4 other pro indy parties will achieve what exactly?

        2. Iain says:

          No. The SNP got a majority in 2011 with list votes. It cannot win a majority without them. Nothing would please the unionist parties, media and the British Establishment more than to see the threat to the Union disappear. And if the SNP fails to win a majority, that will be the news they want. It would not matter that there might be a majority within the Parliament in favour of independence: the ‘separation’ movement would be proclaimed as split amongst warring factions, and Scotland and the Scottish electorate would become the object of amusement and derision. We’d be safely back in the box: the next time there is a demand for more powers, the division would be cited and the demand ignored.

          In ideal circumstances, there would be a good number of Green and RISE MSPs in opposition, having taken votes from the unionist parties – but that’s not going to happen, and the Greens and RISE do not, unlike the SNP, have independence as their raison d’ etre. Let them work to take votes from the unionist parties, rarher than trying to feed off the SNP’s support. We simply cannot, at this stage, throw away all that has been hard won over the past 80 years by playing games. We can select our other preferences after independence: doing it now would be a disaster.

          1. David Allan says:

            129 seats in Holyrood and 73 constituencies , how can SNP given the constituency polls not get a majority ?

  2. Mike says:

    In other words Liam the system was designed to keep Scotland within the Union by not allowing a cohesive pro Independence majority set up.

    Where would a mandate for an Indy ref come from if there wasn’t a majority pro Indy support?

    Go take a good look at WOS analysis of tactical voting see where people like you will allow UKIP at least 1 seat and will allow a pro union majority.

    Seems to me that there are those more concerned with their own place within Scottish politics than they are with the constitutional setup of the Scottish Parliament.

    You want RISE and Green to have a stronger influence in the Scottish Parliament? Me too but it will be worthless within anything other than a fully Independent Parliament.

    How you refuse to see and acknowledge that in your face fact tells me your motivations are more self centred than Nationally inspired.

    1. Jamesa says:

      “Where would a mandate for an Indy ref come from if there wasn’t a majority pro Indy support?”

      There won’t be a ‘mandate’ for another indy ref because the SNP aren’t offering another indy ref in their manifesto.

      “Go take a good look at WOS analysis of tactical voting”

      WOS is a pro-SNP mouthpiece, so obviously its ‘analysis’ is going to try to persuade its followers to vote for the party it supports.

      1. Valerie says:

        You are completely wrong. WoS has written a very neutral and academic piece on the voting system, and how it can’t be gamed.

        He does not tell anyone how to vote.

        Try reading his dissection of Press pieces, that is the bulk of the work, so not sure how you think he is pro SNP. You saying it, does not make it fact.

        1. Jamesa says:

          Have you ever wondered why it never dissects any pro-SNP press pieces in the National?

          1. Mike says:

            No! Why would it? we have an entire pro union press corps doing that on a daily basis. The whole point of having sites like WOS Bella and Newsnet is to redress this unbalanced form of reporting.

            I thought everybody knew that?

      2. Mike says:

        The SNP will fight tooth and nail for another Indyref when they feel they have a decent chance to win it. Not much point having another one if we end up with the same result.

      3. ronnie anderson says:

        Im not SNP nor any other Political Party . WOS is made up of many people of differant political backgrounds the Rev himself being a one time Liberal voter so your comment is disengenuios to Wings contributers

  3. tom says:

    no, let’s not. Both votes SNP.

  4. Clive Scott says:

    Yet another absurd posting on Bella. The only votes that count if you are serious about an independent Scotland are votes for SNP at every election every time, whether this be council, Holyrood, Westminster, or Europe. I have donated to Bella previously but because of the increase in the anti SNP nonsense posted won’t bother in future.

    1. All posts that are not gushing SNP praise are ‘absurd’ to some people

      1. East Neuker says:

        You are missing the point. I’m not an SNP member or an apologist. I don’t mind them being constructively critiqued at all. I disagree with your editorial approach to what will be the best way to vote in order to achieve independence. This election needs an SNP majority government to keep the forward momentum.

        1. I have two questions.

          Is it publishing competing pro-indy ideas is what you object to?

          What is the strategy for an SNP majority govt to win independence?

          1. muttley79 says:

            How many times does Bella Caledonia need to be told that the Holyrood voting system is not set up for tactical voting?

          2. Fran says:

            What is the strategy for independence from RISE & Greens? Yes they say they support it ( some greens are questionable on this), but what is their plan to help us get it apart from diluting SNP support?
            I have been voting for independence for 25yrs and seen the “movement” grow over those years. I was laughed at, ridiculed and now that possibility is within reach I cant split my vote to weaken the main vehicle that has got us here.
            RISE & Greens need to go after the soft Nos, that will help the cause. Splitting the SNP vote will not gain us more pro-indy seats.

          3. Onwards says:

            “What is the strategy for an SNP majority govt to win independence?”

            I imagine it would be to hold a second referendum when they think it is winnable.
            That will go by polling, the economy, and perhaps a few more years of younger voters joining the electorate, and a few more years of falling unionist newspaper sales.

            My best guess would be 2020.
            6 years after the first one could be seen as a political generation – being longer than a term of government.

            And to demonstrate competent government in the meantime, and to keep independence on the agenda.

            But no pro-indy majority, no chance of a second referendum. That’s why passions are high for many SNP supporters. They just don’t want to take the risk of splitting the vote and falling short.

      2. Ghillie says:

        Wow. That is a catty remark. From an unbiased editor?

      3. Gordie says:

        Greeting about no getting votes mair like

  5. John says:

    Your losing your way Bella , time to get back on track !

  6. Bob Agassi says:


    1. East Neuker says:

      We’ll have to check with Liam whether he knows what “mince” means – the learned clerks at Westminster don’t and I suspect that’s why you used it as a one word comment.
      I am a supporter of an eventual Scottish Republic, which I would hope would take a socialist direction – but along with the other comment here I take the view that the route is via SNP times 2, then our own, Scottish independent politics.
      If we don’t get the independence the chance is lost.
      I agree that Bella is encouraging a fragmented response which may be damaging the cause. Once independence is achieved, we can go our own ways. Without it, it is unbridled right wing English oppression for us all.
      Mike Small, what is your answer to this?

      1. Here’s how it works.

        You live in a democracy and different parties compete for votes.

        We are an alternative media outlet that is not aligned to any one party.

        We are pro-independence but not ‘owned’ by any one party.

        If you want a dedicated unquestioning pro-SNP diatribe there are plenty of websites to serve your needs. You know where they are.
        There you will only encounter views you agree with and you can nod-along. It will be great!

        1. John Daly says:

          Wait. Are you saying that if you don’t agree with what is written on this site, you should go elsewhere.
          Not stay here and debate, but go elsewhere?
          Wouldn’t that make this a place where you will only encounter views you agree with and you can nod-along?

          1. LOL. Probably. No stay and discuss – I’m just (always) dismayed by peoples inability to keep an open mind that’s all…

        2. East Neuker says:

          Oh my. I agree with the plurality of views, just disagree with the tactics for reaching our shared destination. I’ve been a reader and anonymous donor to this site from the start. Do you really want me to “nod along” – that’s really offensive.

        3. tom says:

          Mike, that’s sheer hypocrisy. Remember your spat with Scot Goes Pop? What happened to that article James Kelly submitted for publication on Bella?? You didn’t like it, so censored it. Seems like all the ‘nodding along’ is within Bella, and anyone not prepared to be Noddy can get stuffed.

          1. I didn’t censor anything. That’s just absolute nonsense. James just spat the dummy. As I said if you dont want debate or cant handle competing ideas – just go to to one of the echo chambers and talk amongst yourselves?

        4. Ghillie says:

          Again ed, just catty.

          And what if the other parties simply do not appeal?

          For example, I understand and agree with the SNP’s approach to fracking and believe it will lead to an all out ban.

          The Greens are, in my opinion, either being naive and ill informed in their suggested approach to fracking (which is forgivable, they are new at this) or, as I was sad to observe in the run up to referendum and many times since, more interested in taking swipes and being undermining of the Scottish Government even when they had made remarkable headway on green issues against the odds.

          Nor am I convinced that the Green Party in Scotland is wholehearted about the Independence movement and I will not risk any vote on any party that does not have Independence at their heart.

        5. Mungo Armstrong says:

          To the editor !
          You miss the point ! I don’t think anyone is suggesting you should not give other pro Indy parties oxygen . It’s just when you start promoting the possibility that a vote for anyone other than SNP x 2 is a good way to forward the cause , that people quite rightly question your wisdom . The 2nd vote pro Indy argument has been proven quite comprehensively by wings and other sites to be a dangerous game to play .

  7. Richard says:

    100% agree with the comments above. Snp are the only party which can take us forward to yes. Risking unionist list MSP’s by splitting the Snp vote in the vague hope of seeing more pro yes MSP’s is in my view folly.

  8. John Mooney says:

    Viewed Sheridan and Fox on Scotland Tonight programme, same old same old! SNPX2.

  9. Chris Hanlon says:

    AMS is not designed to ensure that a single party does not dominate.

    What a load of self-serving rubbish.

    AMS is designed to ensure parliament represents the will of the people by returning representatives in the same proportion as the overall vote was split.

    If you want our parliament to have fewer unionists perhaps you should concentrate on persuading people to stop voting for them.

    Winning a pro-indy majority by gaming the AMS system is going to result in a backlash that solidifies the unionist majority.

    If you are unwilling to address these points I can only assume that you are far more interested in promoting your own interest and that of your political friends over the best interests of the people of Scotland.

    If that is the case I fear you will get exactly what you deserve in May.

    1. East Neuker says:

      If you want to have a straightforward PR system which represents the way the vote is split, you would not go for a constituency vote topped up by the complex D’Hondt system, but for a national list system simply divided by the percentage of the vote gained – much more common in world terms.
      The current Scottish system WAS devised to make a majority government unlikely.
      I’m not in favour of gaming the system at all – either vote SNP x 2 for independence, or vote wholeheartedly for whatever else you believe in. That’s what you should always do. So go do it, whatever it is.

  10. finnz says:

    Its quite simple. If you want the SNP to have the most seats at the next election, vote SNP x 2. Any other combination dilutes the SNP chances of gaining a majority of seats.

  11. Paul says:

    ‘At best, this is disingenuous’

    Sorry that should be ‘At best, this article is disingenuous’. The (not so subtle anymore) anti-SNP rhetoric accumulating on this site is getting ridiculous.

    Rise, Solidarity and even the Greens are never going to be in a position to offer or even assist in offering another referendum to Scotland while the main unionist parties are still so much stronger than they are – whether you like it or not only the SNP have the momentum, political strength and competence to stand any chance of bringing independence to Scotland in the near future.

    Once we have independence then these 3 independence supporting parties may become more viable but until we have independence they are mostly a distraction while the unionist parties are still picking up considerably more votes something that’s unlikely to change for this election.

    With articles like this you are playing straight into unionist hands, they’ll be lapping this up and no doubt actively encouraging it in their own nefarious way (though I maybe give them too much credit for that).

    This is not about specific policies for the next 5 years it’s about achieving independence, it may take a bit longer than most of us would like but voting for these other independence parties runs the risk of kicking it into the long grass indefinitely – no one will be thanking you if that happens.

    1. East Neuker says:

      Absolutely correct, Paul. Here’s to the the Scottish Independent Republic – but we have to get it first.

    2. Paul – are you saying that other parties shouldn’t exist or just that nobody should discuss their views?

      1. East Neuker says:

        You propose a binary choice which none of of the above have espoused. Of course as many parties as want to exist should do so. Of course their voices should be heard. It is also quite reasonable for me,and others who agree, to express the view that the SNP seem the most likely route to independence.
        For me, this does not come from party loyalty. I am not a member and have my criticisms.
        As I have said elsewhere on this thread it is about pragmatism and achieving independence.
        If you feel this is not the right tactic, you should still not tell me to “nod on”, you should give me a better argument.
        What would be your preferred make up the Scottish parliament?
        How do you suggest it can be achieved without risking an increase in Unionist MSP’s?
        Your responses on this thread have been very heated. Maybe you can take it down a bit.

      2. Paul says:

        Not at all, you make it sound like I want that one party state the unionists keep prattling on about…

        What I am saying is the priority is independence and that these parties have little chance of bringing any real change never mind independence to Scotland in the next 5 years and that a RISE activist not stating his affiliation in writing an article such as this (though I suppose it’s hinted at in the last sentence) is as disingenuous as most articles that appear in our union supporting MSM.

        All this faux argument is doing is raising the chances of a minority SNP government that will unfortunately need more than the support of a possible handful of independence supporting MSPs to get anything done.

        Can I suggest in support of good will and open debate that future articles written by party activists or similar have their affiliation clearly stated somewhere on the page? I enjoy watching the unionist parties and MSM committing political seppuku on a regular basis, it’s not so much fun when your own side doing it!

      3. Ghillie says:

        Ed, to a large extent I agree with Paul. And I do not think your take on his comment is exactly what he meant.

        My impression of the article above is that it could have been written by a Unionist troll.

        I didn’t get any feelings of solidarity or common cause from those words.

        What has happened to Bellacaledonia? I haven’t visited for a while and this feels very different to the Bella I knew.

      4. James Coleman says:

        To Editor
        No-one is saying that new parties shouldn’t exist, nor is anyone saying that Bella shouldn’t support them if that is its wish. What Bella and its fellow travellers are not allowed to do without being criticised is to present misinformation and lies about how the voting system may work as facts in order to try and steal votes from the SNP.

        If Rise et al want to win votes let them put forward coherent and practical policies that might win them votes and seats. But we all know that is not going to happen. The Lefty, Lefty parties live in virtual reality, a Utopia where the most avid of socialist views would be acceptable and applied. Unfortunately for them such a world has actually been tried and failed all around the world where it has been instituted. The “real Socialist” Parties’ main function now is as disputatious entities filled with “true Socialists” and other oddballs whose only function is to fight amongst themselves for the few votes of their ilk, because in the real world they will NEVER gain power.

  12. John Daly says:

    Let ME explain.

    the SNP required list seats for their majority in the previous parliament.

    Polls show that they (the SNP) may well win every constituency seat. That won’t happen. Pools this far our from SE2011 had Iain Gray as FM.

    Splitting the regional vote amongst the many and varied opposition parties is gambling with an SNP majority.

    1. Jamesa says:

      “Splitting the regional vote amongst the many and varied opposition parties is gambling with an SNP majority.”

      So what? As long as the independence parties combined make up a majority it doesn’t matter if one of them on its own doesn’t.

      In fact the former scenario would be more beneficial to the independence cause than another dominant majority for Scotland’s establishment party.

      1. Sheena Jardine says:

        The point is that there are 3 other YES parties other than SNP. If there was only one then it might have a chance of winning some seats. However, because you are advocating second vote to any one of these 3 parties, you are splitting the vote. It is very likely then that none of the 3 (except perhaps greens in select areas) will get enough votes to get a seat. The SNP vote will be diminished so less seats, and therefore more unionist seats will be achieved. It has to be SNP*2 or possibly a green vote in particular areas where they have a chance (only if your priority is independence of course).

        My opinion about the smaller parties is that they have to prove themselves and gain respect, stop behaving childishly by being negative about the SNP all the time, and set your own stall out. SNP took decades to get to where they are now by working hard. You need to do the same.

        Finally, Scotland has a history of being divided and theryby being conquered. We must stand together and stay united. That means turning the criticism to the other side, not onto each other. The YES campaign was a beautiful thing because of its positivity. Let’s remember that.

        1. alwi says:

          Spot on. Article is disingenuous. It has been proven and explained many times that tactical voting in this system does not work. Anything other than a second SNP vote lets more unionists in. Indy first, then diversification.

  13. Eoghan Dubh says:

    “Throughout the Yes campaign, we all spoke a lot about change – but what’s really going to change if we return a parliament that looks very much like it does now?” Possibly very little, however it should not be misunderstood to be a negative. The impact of keeping a majority SNP Govt will allow the momentum in the independence movement to be maintained. I’m surprised that the author does not address what will change if we don’t return a majority SNP Govt. It will be a catastrophe for the independence movement. It is imperative that the foundations that have been laid are built upon. Let us not forget that there are ‘no’ voters and ‘undecideds’ to be won to the cause. A solid, majority SNP government will allow the party to get on with governing with a steady hand, which will hopefully allow some to start to believe in our cause.
    “it seems that too many have now fallen into a situation whereby they have become somewhat enchanted by one party’s ideas and ambitions.” Yes, I have to say that is fair. I am totally enchanted by Scottish independence. For me, and I’m sure many others, the SNP is the vehicle for that. Once achieved, then I would welcome a more open Scottish Parliament, however the issue of vote-splitting (and hence allowing in a Unionist) that is posed by voting for one of the smaller parties is too great.
    What I don’t understand is why none of these parties have come together as the often mentioned ‘yes alliance’ or even to have a widely understood agreement of which party to vote for in each area so as to minimise the issue of vote-splitting (which will surely happen).
    The idea of voting non-SNP with the second vote must be music to the Unionists ears. I hope that we don’t come to rue this.
    Perhaps Bella will allow an article or two on the alternative view point?

    1. Jamesa says:

      “Let us not forget that there are ‘no’ voters and ‘undecideds’ to be won to the cause. A solid, majority SNP government will allow the party to get on with governing with a steady hand, which will hopefully allow some to start to believe in our cause”

      We had three years of a solid majority SNP government before the last referendum, how well did that manage to persuade no voters?

      You SNP followers need to understand that many undecided and no voters simply do not like the SNP, do not like the fact that their many of their supporters worship them with unquestioning devotion, and are concerned about the possibility of an independent Scotland becoming effectively a one party state under SNP control (understandable given the SNP’s actions in government so far).

      Such people are never going to be persuade to vote yes by another 5 years of an unchallenged SNP majority government. What they might be persuaded by though is a parliament made of a diverse range of independence parties – from left wing like the Greens to centrist like the SNP – all offering different possibilities for independence and all challenging and questioning the SNP where appropriate.

      It seems to me that those constantly pushing the ‘SNP x 2’ line are more interested in the party political interests of the SNP than they are in the independence cause.

      1. Legerwood says:

        “We had three years of a solid majority SNP government before the last referendum, how well did that manage to persuade no voters?”

        Well the NO vote did go from almost 70% down to 55% so clearly something was working. Perhaps the fact that the SNP had shown what was possible with a competent party in Government had persuaded people that it was possible for Scotland to govern itself.

        1. Jamesa says:

          “Well the NO vote did go from almost 70% down to 55% so clearly something was working”

          No it didn’t. The no vote was nowhere near 70%.


      2. Ghillie says:

        Jamesa, you actualy sound bitter. And that belongs to the other side.

        Make no mistake. Scotland came very close to becoming independent.

        And that was down to decades of steady dedicated hard work by the SNP. Do you remember it was Alex Salmond who called for the referendum?

        The Yes Movement was a marvel! A joy to be part of! What i am hearing here bears no resemblence to that movement. And the folk I know who belonged to the Socialist party, the Greens and even yes voting Labour and YesTory and YesLibdem would never speak to each other with such disrespect and disdain.

        The author of the above article has alot to learn about winning votes.

      3. vagabondo says:

        @Jamesa ” … many undecided and no voters simply do not like the SNP,”

        Surely that is an excellent reason for the other Yes parties to try to win over the regional (list) vote from erstwhile Labour, Tory and Libdem voters. Liam appears to be deliberately spreading misinformation about the voting system in order to further his own chances of election in May at the expense of the overall pro-independence representation.

        The premise that SNP would win every constituency seat is palpable nonsense. Their apparent overall majority will not be shared equally across the country. There remain Tory, LibDemand Labour strongholds. The SNP will be doing extremely well to gain six or seven of the nine constituency seats per region. The resulting vote divisor of seven or eight compared to second most popular party only applies to the election of the first regional seat, and is increasingly diluted for each of the subsequent seven seats. the D’Hondt voting system is NOt proportional. It is designed to promote the second and third most popular parties and disadvantage the smaller parties getting more than a token representation. Anyone interested in democracy and proportional representation should be campaigning for a transferable vote system for the regional seats. In Germany,which also has a list system, the voters can give preferencial ranking to individual candidates — so in Lothian the electorate could choose Andy Wightman (second on the Green list) and avoid Kezia Dugdale (top of Labour list).

        The best route for smaller parties in the present system is to build their vote (and exposure of their candidates) in the constituencies. Once they have built up their vote record, the regional seats will come. Unfortunately for Liam, RISE are associated in the public mind with left-wing factionalism and in-fighting before practical politics. Common Weal might have been better standing on their own ideology and giving Colin Fox and co. a body-swerve.

        Another advantage for seeking regional votes from the No parties rather than the SNP is the demoralising effect on political hopefuls who see that the only way to win is if your name is Kezzie, Jackie, Ruth, Willie, etc., and that unless you are a crony it is better to choose another party.

      4. Eoghan Dubh says:

        I was in two minds about whether or not to respond as for you at least this will fall on deaf ears (blind eyes maybe?), however a few of your points really need to be responded to.
        “We had three years of a solid majority SNP government before the last referendum, how well did that manage to persuade no voters?” I would measure the success of the last SNP Govt by the fact that we now refer to people as “no voters” and “yes voters”. The vehicle for the first referendum was a majority SNP Govt. And you and others are downplaying this fact. I’ll not respond to the swing from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ as that has already been covered.
        “Unchallenged SNP majority government” – are you deliberately forgetting that we (Scottish independence supporters) are still faced by the full might of the British state? How is an SNP Govt “unchallenged” by the state and compliant media of this “United” Kingdom? A strong SNP Govt is required to face up to these challenges; anything less than a majority SNP Govt will be pounced upon and therefore sow seeds to doubts in non-yes voters that we are trying to win over.
        I would also like to point out that the language that you use has been utilised many times over by the Unionist press, politicians and supporters ie “worship them with unquestioning devotion”, “one party state”. There can be few governments and political parties that do not undergo the scrutiny of the SNP and I do include myself and fellow SNP voters in this. To still be doing well in the polls despite taking on many new members and managing to meet their expectations (largely) is a credit to the party and senior figures in particular.
        Now, talking of scrutiny and “unquestioning devotion” I haven’t seen any Green/ RISE/ Solidarity supporters address the issue that the splitting of the independence vote will allow Unionists to be returned hence remove the perceived benefits of maximising the number of pro-independence MSPs. Any takers?

      5. Fran says:

        I’m going to play devils advocate here, have you thought that many no voters were put off by the thought of an infinite left wing Scotland? There were Tories that voted yes, business people that voted yes. According to your point of view, if RISE ever got a majority they would then become the establishment, would you then turn on them?

        1. Eoghan Dubh says:

          Hi Fran,
          I’ve thought the same thing – a right of centre pro-independence party would be a good thing to start to chip away at those of that political inclination but who wouldn’t vote SNP, Green, RISE or Solidarity.

  14. Auld Rock says:

    Let’s get Independence first then we vote for whoever we like, some might even vote Tory. So until this happens it is SNP x 2.

    Auld Rock

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      By casting both votes for the SNP with the polls as they stand you’ll be gifting list seats to Labour and the Tories and potentially leaving an SNP government with a smaller effective majority. Why would you want to do that?

      1. RabMacPhoto says:

        Splitting the YES movement by voting for a smaller party will be more likely to gift Unionist parties list seats than SNPx2. Why would you want that?

  15. Terry Glancy says:

    It’s a very complex system, a 2nd vote Green in edinburgh or glasgow may be effective, but appears to be a flush down the toilet everywhere else.

    At this stage in the game , only snp x 2 will do.

  16. Cameron says:

    Staggeringly short sighted nonsense. Look at what had to happen in 2011 to allow the SNP to get an unprecedented majority in the first place. I’m not anti green or anything else, but why would I dilute another unprecedented majority by throwing away my second vote on parties who will struggle to match the unionist vote, wholesale?

    The point is, the fact that so many people used their 2nd vote for the SNP last time pushed the majority over. Against the grain of the London blueprint for the Edinburgh parliament.

    I detect little more than narrow minded hatred at the SNP in this editorial. At best, following the spate of polls we ALL have access to, this is disingenuous. A strong regional vote for the SNP is required to glean enough votes – again – this is absolutely clear.

    We then have a majority SNP Govt at hand to react in Scotland’s interest. After independence, I look forward to a new exciting political spectrum fanning out across Scotland. Until then, SNP X 2. The suggestion that we’re better dropping an SNP regional vote is simply pure, unadulterated, belligerent idiocy.

  17. Colin Mk says:

    Totally agree with the article and hope it gets through to some people. We need a stronger Holyrood willing to push things without the fear of upsetting a certain group of people. SNP seem to want to do this sometimes but there always seems to be a fear of pissing off a little bit of the vote if they do.

    The way I see it is that we have tried the softly, softly approach and that didn’t win enough votes. This approach is continuing and the support for Indy is about the same or less than it was at peak prior to referendum. Only with a bolder Holyrood can the SNP be pushed to implement policies that can make real change possible. The obvious example of this is of course the failure to properly change the Council Tax, a tax that is a hangover from the Tory generation and a tax that we know the SNP does not agree with. So much so that they have been saying they are going to get rid of it for almost 10 years, but still we have it. Tinker around the edges with something that is completely unfit for purpose is not changing anything.

    The soft no voters out there need to be convinced. They need to see things happen right now because unless that happens there will always be a counter argument to our vision of what an Indy Scotland might be. This counter argument, however weak, is always distorted favourably by the weight of the MSM and big business as we saw happen before.

    This blind faith in ‘SNP 1/2 until Indy’ is worrying. It promotes a lack of analysis and a lack of critique into not just the SNP but also stifles discussion amongst the wider YES movement. It’s not time to hold the fort and consolidate, it’s time to make a real difference and prove that change is possible.

    1. Ghillie says:

      Colin MK

      Are you suggesting that people who vote SNP are ‘too stupid’?

      I thought that was someone else’s line.

      1. Colin MK says:

        No Ghillie, I am suggesting that putting votes behind the SNP if the reason is just blind faith they will deliver indy is something to be wary of. If you believe in their policies like not going the full way with land reform, keeping the council tax etc then fair play, that is good reason to put both votes behind them.

        The only real proof with soft no voters is that we list the referendum because what we said didn’t convince them. In my experience if people see something first hand they are more likely to be convinced, we can do that but it requires doing things a bit differently to the ruk.

    2. Nikkii says:

      In my experience soft no voters are wary of change – not desperate for a radical demonstration of it.

      1. I Clark says:


        1. I Clark says:

          My ‘Agreed’ was to Nikkii’s comment.

  18. Doug Daniel says:

    “At best, this is disingenuous – at worst, however, this is deliberately misleading”

    As disingenuous as writing a heavily slanted article without so much as a passing reference to the fact you’re standing in the Central region for RISE? Good ‘een, min.

      1. Doug Daniel says:

        Heavily slanted, aye. It starts off purporting to give an “explanation” of the voting system, containing such gems as “#BothVotesSNP will ensure that unionists will be plentiful in Holyrood”, before turning into a full-blown rallying call for RISE.

        There’s not really anything wrong with that in itself, but omitting to mention that he’s standing for RISE in Central just makes the guy seem rather sleekit.

        (A bit like one of their candidates going “I’m voting for RISE because…” in their PEB, as if they were an ordinary voter, rather than a candidate.)

        1. Mo says:

          Must say, not knowing that the guy was standing for RISE I personally read no specific allegiance into the article (but for the fact that he was obviously one of the ‘wee three’). And I’m not saying that as a RISEr myself; I’m Green.

    1. Jamesa says:

      If you don’t like valid criticism of the SNP get back to WOS and your wee pal from Bath.

      1. Valerie says:

        Charming. There we have it, the broad and welcoming church of the independence movement. You obviously know nothing of WoS content.

        1. Jamesa says:

          As a devotee of the ‘rev’ from Bath you’re not really in a position to attack anyone else for supposedly not representing the broad and welcoming face of independence.

          As for the content of the site, its pro-SNP to its core, it would never question or criticise anything the party does, even if its something damaging to the independence cause.

          1. Valerie says:

            You call that an attack? Imparting fact to your prejudice against a pro Indy site?

            You are doing a bang up job of representing your choices, and persuading anyone to listen as to why we should waste our second vote on RISE.

          2. Kenny says:

            If you think Stuart Campbell never criticises the SNP, you’ve obviously not spent much time on Twitter. Of course he doesn’t write lots of articles about it because he doesn’t think that in-fighting within the independence movement is helpful, but you’ll notice that he very rarely criticises the other pro-indy parties either. The only times he does is when someone like the delightful Ross Greer does his thing or when people tell flat-out lies like “Every poll shows that the SNP will clean up in the constituencies, rendering a second vote for the party almost useless,” in the article above.

      2. Garrion says:

        Your sneering dismissal of WOS speaks a little too loudly of political absolutism, James. You can’t on the one hand peevishly ask for open debate and diversity, then dismiss WOS and the many good people who read it as not up to your standards of acuity. Reminds me of the good old days of the SWP in Queen Margaret Union. That ended well.

        1. Valerie says:

          Certainly no prospective SNP candidate has been allowed to post a PPB on WoS, compared to this piece by a prospective RISE candidate, and all the other offerings by or about RISE.

          Jamesa is just a rude supporter of RISE, I presume, so I will try and keep an open mind.

          SNP x2

      3. Doug Daniel says:

        Please highlight the part of my comment that mentioned the SNP. I seem to have misplaced it on my screen somehow.

      4. Ghillie says:

        Seriously Jamesa?

        So people who want to vote SNP are not welcome here?

        Is discussion and debate not allowed? Ed? Is that so?

        How will I, for one, hear and understand your opinion and hear and understand the author and the editor and the many voices this site should attract if I and others are shooed away?

        What are you hoping to achieve? Do you want to win folk over to your arguement? Or, sorry to use this from above because I do think it was used unkindly and inacurately, would you prefer to create your own echo chamber here?

        Again, this is not the Bella I knew.

        1. Everybody’s welcome here – we support voices from across the independence movement and will continue to promote and explore ideas to further this cause.

          People from all parties and none that come with an open mind and an ability to listen and discuss are particularly welcome!

  19. Doubting Thomas says:

    Having read the post and subsequent responses it seems to me there is an entirely dishonest section of the electorate who have sided with the SNP to try to deliver independence but who will then try to wrench the country towards an absolute left of left.
    No wonder the No vote remained so solid and delivered the referendum result.
    The SNP and independence support is bolstered by their traditional political enemies who ultimately do not want an SNP government but will return to their left wing roots.
    As long as somebody else provides the Wonga they will be happy.
    If Scotland is ever to gain independence it must be on the basis that a majority of the entire population votes for this.
    That means more than 50% of the electorate vote for this not a majority of those who bother to vote.
    Wee Nicola would do well to take this on board, get on with governing and try to sort the problems we currently face.
    Scotland deserves more.

    1. I’m not sure the Greens or RISE are that shy about their left wing / social justice policies are they?

    2. East Neuker says:

      If we become independent, everyone in Scotland will be entitled to vote as before, including you – so how is the country going to be “wrenched” anywhere it does not want to go?
      By the way. referring to the First Minister of Scotland as “Wee Nicola” is almost as offensive as referring to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom as Big Pig Face Shagger Cameron, only not so funny. Your contempt betrays you,

    3. Ghillie says:

      Oh dear, you are a Doubting Thomas = )

      ‘Wee Nicola’ is an exceptionaly intellegent woman who takes it all on board.

      The Scottish Government are giving Scotland the best governance I have seen in my lifetime.

      And have you been asleep? Who kept our Universities tution-free? Who mitigated the Bedroom Tax? Who started building a new bridge over the Forth and made safe the damaged FRB? Who is putting right the dangerous buildings for our school children? And will in due course hang the perpetrators out to dry? Who prevented the sow’s ear of the Smith Commision deal from becoming even more fetid? Who quietly and efficiently gets on with sorting out Scotland’s problems every day? In the face of carping from the sidelines from within our own Parliament while fending off the worst Westminster can throw at us.

      Yes I have faith in the SNP, just as I hope you have faith in the people you are going to vote for. My choice have proved themselves.

      When their day comes, I’m hopeful that your party of choice will do that for you.

      1. Darby O'Gill says:

        Who kept our Universities tuition-free? – Everyone except the Tories
        Who mitigated the Bedroom Tax? The same people who failed to gain control of Welfare under the Smith Commission.
        Who started building a new bridge over the Forth – clever German Engineers
        and made safe the damaged FRB? – Clever British Engineers
        Who is putting right the dangerous buildings for our school children? – Clever builders
        Who prevented the sow’s ear of the Smith Commission deal from becoming even more fetid? – No-one.
        Who quietly and efficiently gets on with sorting out Scotland’s problems every day? – Armies of ordinary working people and volunteers

      2. David Allan says:


        Don’t forget Ferguson Shipyard and the TATA Steel Plants.

  20. John Page says:

    Good for you, Mike. If you are getting this much crap from all sides you must be getting it right……..
    Keep up the good work
    John Page

    1. I Clark says:

      He might be getting it right. If such is the case, it is not because he has critics on both sides. The argument to moderation (or argument from middle ground) is a logical fallacy. But generally I agree with your comment ‘Keep up the good work’. Vigorous and open debate is a good thing.

      Having said that I am concerned that tactically – in terms of independence – some bad choices are being made on this site. For example it should have been stated that the writer was a RISE candidate. Also I remember one article by Loki where he went off on a rant that needlessly antagonised lots of people (SNP supporters and others). Some of the writings on Bella seem to almost ignore the evidence that trying to game the voting system is a very risky strategy.

      There are also articles on other sites and below the line comments there (and here) which are needlessly antagonising non SNP left wingers. A few of these comments are insulting and some are abusive. Some SNP supporters need to recognise more clearly the importance of social justice to left wingers. The inclination of those of us on the left is to prioritise social justice over autonomy. Like many, I want to live in an independent Scotland, but not at any cost.

      The UK state and its supporters are a formidable enemy. We need to be united in order to achieve independence. Can we at least agree that our goal is to create a far better Scotland both now and in the future? Let us argue among ourselves about how to achieve this, but respectfully. This means being open, but it also involves self control over what we say, how we say it and to whom we say it.

  21. Alf Baird says:

    Sorry to burst your myopic bubbles, but do I really need to re-state the fact that the SNP is no longer campaigning for independence at this or any other national election. The SNP is merely campaigning for more ‘competent’ governance within the UK – i.e. devolution/status quo. That more or less makes the SNP now just like any other unionist (establishment?) party. The only parties actually campaigning for an Indyref2 during the next session are RISE and Solidarity. So the author of this article is on the right track as far as I can see. He is also spot on about the second vote; mathematically speaking, SNP 1+2 will simply generate more unionist list seats, far better to use your list votes for any other indy party.

    1. Valerie says:

      Perhaps if you read a variety of sites, you would know that the system can’t be gamed, and your assertion is nonsense.

      Secondly, the whole basis of SNP ethos is towards Independence, and Sturgeon has stated that, it’s why the party was founded. Why did she announce at the Conference there was to be a new Indy initiative in the summer IF they are elected.

      Make no mistake, if SNP do not have a majority, we can all kiss Indy goodbye.

      To suggest that RISE etc have the experience/strategy to govern at Holyrood level is ludicrous. Why are they too superior to cut their teeth at local level?

      1. Jamesa says:

        “Why did she announce at the Conference there was to be a new Indy initiative in the summer IF they are elected”

        Why do you think? To keep the faithful fired up and continuing to back her with unquestioning devotion of course.

        “Make no mistake, if SNP do not have a majority, we can all kiss Indy goodbye.”

        Utter nonsense. An SNP majority makes independence less likely – they’ve made it clear that they have no intention of giving us another referendum within the next parliamentary term.

        If however there was an SNP government just a few seats short of a majority, but with other independence parties like the Greens and Rise having enough seats to make a majority combined, that would enable them to put pressure on the SNP for another referendum if necessary, and also to question and criticise the SNP as required.

        1. yesindyref2 says:

          “To keep the faithful fired up and continuing to back her with unquestioning devotion of course.”

          I see that sort of comment “the faithful”, “dear leader”, “SNP sheep”, “sycophants”, every day on the Herald, probably on the Scotsman if I had enough sanitary wipes. From what I took to be Unionist posters. Perhaps I was mistaken.

          To see it on a pro-indy website is shocking.

        2. Ghillie says:


          My impression is that the Green Party in Scotland are not that strong on independence and I’m not confident that Scotland can count on them to stand up for us at the critical moment.

          Both the Green Party and Rise do not seem to have much experience in diplomacy or sound governance. Sadly, the author of this article is testiment to that.

          Those skills will come with time and patience. And I do wish the Greens and Rise well.

          For now, I don’t think I could trust my vote to go where an MSP could be a loose cannon. (If that vote actualy served to get them elected rather than letting in more of the anti Scottish parties)

          As I said above, I don’t see sound and workable policies coming from any other party. Pressure and radical shoves, albeit from well-meaning sources, could blow our chances of independence out of the water. Good governance doesn’t always look sexy and exciting but from what I have observed, it gets a good job done. No-one else has done that.

          1. Frank says:

            That was a party election broadcast by ‘the establishment’. Bloody hell, I never realised people could be so consciously servile.

        3. ronnie anderson says:

          Is that not the Peoples job to hold Goverments to account,we have all forgotten that.There will be no hiding place in Holyrood for any future Scottish Gov of any Political Party,but we have to get Independence 1st & the only political party that can acheive that is the SNP. D Hondt was a give from Westminster to stop the SNP from gaining control (Malcolm Bruce) , its now been proven giving our votes to the SNP will ensure a SNP gov & another Referendem splitting the vote lets Unionist Parties in Bye Bye Independence.

          Rise have never been tested ( start small grow big) they have to start at Councils level ,same as other parties.

      2. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

        Spot on Valerie. You’ve hit the nail on the head!

        I would add that the last thing we need is another Indy Referendum we can’t win. The timing has to be right. We all want Independence as quickly as possible, but the reality is that it’s probably not going to happen for some years.

        As far as RISE is concerned the average punter in the street hasn’t even heard of them. I suspect if they do they’ll run a mile.

    2. yesindyref2 says:

      And if, as is quite likely, the SNP get 64 or less constituency seats (Salvation poll showed 67), then what happens if the SNP get 0 – nil – nada – zilch – list seats?

      Oh, no overall majority for the SNP, no overall majority Government to call for the 2nd Indy Ref, oh look, no Independence. Just a load of no-hoping pro-indy ragtail politicians in Holyrood fighting under the table for the scraps off Westminster’s table, and activists with nothing to be active about.

      I’ll have that chicken leg, oh, it’s a rat leg, never mind, I’m starving.

      1. Jamesa says:

        “Oh, no overall majority for the SNP, no overall majority Government to call for the 2nd Indy Ref, oh look, no Independence”

        Firstly, the SNP have made clear that they have no intention of calling for a 2nd indy ref in the next parliament.

        And secondly, presumably you’re aware that the Greens and Rise are both pro-independence too, and therefore if there was a minority SNP government that became a majority when adding the MSPs of those parties, that would be the same in regards to independence as if it was just an SNP majority on their own.

        1. David Allan says:


          Even an SNP minority govt can call for a INDY REF , remember the days of Wendy “bring it on ” Alexander . Other Indy supporting MSP’s will provide their support when needed.

    3. Ghillie says:

      Alf Baird

      I think you are in for a very pleasant surprise = )

      You do want independence don’t you?

      There’s a clue in the name.

      SNP and SNP = INDEPENDENCE = )

      1. Alf Baird says:

        The more parties actually campaiging for independence the better as far as I am concerned. You (i.e. SNP myopics – “its oor ba and we’re no lettin yous play wi us”) are the ones fighting against that principle. Ergo, it is you who are fighting against independence. And more especially if your party (SNP) are no longer campaigning for independence, therefore it can hardly be said to be for independence. Surely a classic case of put up or shut up. Why not actively form strategic partnerships with others (as in Yes) to remove as many unionist MSPs as possible? That would be my idea of ‘fighting for independence’, as well as a solid commitment to REF2.

        1. David Allan says:

          Exactly – on the ball Alf . SNP will need to be shoved and pushed over finish line . Reaching that finish line will require the help of other Indy Groups and parties . The 45% was not achieved by the SNP alone , 129 seats and 73 constituencies , use your first vote for SNP and constituency result will provide majority. Second votes will deliver extra support and the raw passion of the wider movement to ensure SNP focus more on fighting the case for Independence, Something they have given up on.

          SNP – We have to win people over continue to campaign to provide the evidence and that will happen.

    4. Heidstaethefire says:

      The parties campaigning for an indyref in the next session could in fact be campaigning for us to lose it if we go too quickly. There is no possible way you can know the effect of your list vote if you split it. In fact by doing so, you may well let in a unionist party. We go when we can win.

      1. Richard says:

        Spot on Heidstaethefire. Common sense will I hope prevail.

  22. Jamesa says:

    “the best way to vote in order to achieve independence. This election needs an SNP majority government to keep the forward momentum.”

    Complete and utter nonsense. A parliament entirely dominated by the SNP with no 0ther independence parties represented (which is what would happen if all yes voters gave both votes to the SNP) would severely damage the independence cause.

    A diverse parliament with the independence movement represented by a range of different parties and positions, all offering different possibilities for independence – from the left wing Rise and the Greens to the centrist SNP – would be far more likely to attract voters to independence than a parliament in which the only independence option is the SNP.

    1. Valerie says:

      Right. So what you are saying is putting in RISE etc will attract the No voters?

      It’s the No voters who have to be persuaded to increase the Yes vote.

      1. Jamesa says:

        “So what you are saying is putting in RISE etc will attract the No voters?”

        Yes, of course. Having a diverse parliament and a diverse independence movement that isn’t just made up of one single entirely dominant independence party can obviously attract more potential voters.

        One of the main reasons why yes lost was the SNP’s failed economic argument (by their own admittance), if the economic and currency arguments from the likes of the Greens had got more publicity and hadn’t been stifled by the SNP-controlled Yes Scotland then that could have attracted more voters who weren’t convinced by the SNP’s weak currency union plan and reliance on oil.

        “It’s the No voters who have to be persuaded to increase the Yes vote.”

        Correct. Why do you think another 5 years of an SNP majority government with no other independence parties represented in parliament would persuade no voters to switch?

        1. Valerie says:

          Oh well, I have learned a lot tonight, RISE and the others are centre right, and will attract the No voters.

          In that case, those no voters are going to turn out for your new parties, jamesa.

          1. Jamesa says:

            “I have learned a lot tonight, RISE and the others are centre right, and will attract the No voters.”

            What on earth are you babbling about? Not all no voters are centre right, any more than all yes voters are left wing socialists – the fact that the vast majority of yes voters support a centrist pro-big business party like the SNP shows that.

            By your utterly ludicrous logic apparently the only way to attract no voters is to be centre right, so presumably you’re suggesting that the SNP should go even more like the Tories in the next parliament?

      2. David Allan says:


        Who is making the case for Independence at the moment – The SNP certainly aren’t! it’s the indy groups who are still out there at street stalls engaging with people and informing .

        I have seen the SSP /Rise/Green street stall activists mixing with the public and enjoying friendly debate.

        A well manned SNP town centre stall I witnessed on Saturday 16 th with MSP present made no attempt to engage with public a strange way of furthering the SNP case. There are individuals out there making the case for Independence at every opportunity . The SNP in some areas need shake up their ideas .

    2. Ghillie says:


      Put in the simplest terms: You are wrong.

      Alot of your assertions are inaccurate and in places just not true.

      You too seem bitter and angry.

      Why would that be when Scotland is so far along its road to independence?

      But you must vote as you see fit, for whoever that may be.

      1. Alf Baird says:

        Ghillie, you seem to be the angry one here with little of any substance to add. The Scottish people will ultimately decide, not the SNP. The people put 56 SNP MP’s into Westminster, and the people can see that the 56 have achieved nothing. Just as the people saw that putting Slab’s ‘feeble’ 50 in time and time again yielded nothing. The people have sussed out the meaning of empty ‘jam tomorrow’ promises. The people want firm commitments and have shorter patience thresholds when it comes to any politician, Nicola included.

        1. David Allan says:


          I find myself agreeing with your every word your sentiments reflect my own.

  23. tom says:

    Tom (above) said:

    “Mike, that’s sheer hypocrisy” (regarding ‘nodding along’ with the SNP). “Remember your spat with Scot Goes Pop? What happened to that article James Kelly submitted for publication on Bella?? You didn’t like it, so censored it. Seems like all the ‘nodding along’ is within Bella, and anyone not prepared to be Noddy can get stuffed.”

    Mike replied saying:

    “I didn’t censor anything. That’s just absolute nonsense. James just spat the dummy. As I said if you dont want debate or cant handle competing ideas – just go to to one of the echo chambers and talk amongst yourselves?”

    To which Tom responds:

    “Interesting that there was no ‘reply’ option to your latest posting Mike. Another attempt to shut down unwelcome debate on Bella?”

    1. Yes another terrible ruse (!).

      I love that these bonkers accusations that I ‘censored’ James’s article by publishing it.

      1. Awizgonny says:

        Nonsense. You only published it, prefaced by the email correspondence showing you arguing the toss with him about its content, along with your own highly evaluative commentary, because you knew he would do it.

  24. Big Jock says:

    Mike why gamble on something as important as independence?

    We are not all nodding Churchill SNP dogs. Most indi supporters realise that without unity of purpose. The movement fragments and we allow our enemies positions. By staying together there is absolute strength. The unionists want to split us. It’s their only hope.

    We can have our rainbow parliament post independence. For now we stay on the same bus.

    1. Jamesa says:

      “The movement fragments and we allow our enemies positions. By staying together there is absolute strength”

      This is exactly the type of proto-fascist ideological guff that yes supporters need to avoid.

      The movement is obviously best served by including a diverse range of different parties and organisations and plans and ideas for independence – we saw that during the yes campaign when the grass roots non-SNP organisations managed to attract a lot of support for yes, but sadly didn’t get as much attention as they deserved because the official Yes Scotland campaign was entirely run and controlled by the SNP so didn’t allow any alternative plans or policies to the SNP’s to be promoted or published.

      The idea that the movement will do better by being rigidly forced to remain under the control of one single party with one single plan for independence is complete and utter guff – it didn’t work in 2014 and it wouldn’t work next time.

      1. Garrion says:

        “This is exactly the type of proto-fascist ideological guff that yes supporters need to avoid.”

        Sorry, but…are you mental?

        Also, you do realise that you contradict yourself within every comment. Either the yes campaign was run by the (proto fascist) SNP, or it consisted of grass roots (now there’s a questionable term) non-SNP (clearly the good guys then) organisations. I’m guessing that your particular brand of “socialism” legitimises being quite staggeringly unpleasant to those you deem as either having more or in your awesome reductive world, are just wrong and therefore deserve to be insulted. Bring on the worker’s paradise.

        1. Jamesa says:

          “you do realise that you contradict yourself within every comment. Either the yes campaign was run by the (proto fascist) SNP, or it consisted of grass roots (now there’s a questionable term) non-SNP”

          You obviously missed the part where I pointed out that the grass roots organisations, which did help to attract a certain number of yes voters, were unable to get as much publicity and attention as they could have done due to the SNP entirely controlling and dominating Yes Scotland.

      2. Ghillie says:

        Whoa Jamesa! Listen to yourself!!

        First off, instead of mutualy respectful and thoughtful discussion about the various options we could all employ to best move forward, devisive and derogatory language and sentiment towards the largest part of the Scottish electorate is being used on this site. Does that make sense?

        Again, what do you hope to achieve?

        And FYI we lost the Referendum because the entire British establishment and their cronies threw everything they had at us! Alot of it out and out lies. And much of it actualy illegal.

        And yet we still did extraordinarily well! So much so that the British Government absolutely sh@t itself and stupidly started spouting EVEL!

        That astounding lack of self control shrieked volumes.

        What I would like to know is what does this article, the ed’s comments and some of the posts on here really mean?

        And BTW, just because many have chosen to support the SNP, I for one have not forgotten the part played by people from all parties who worked for a Yes vote. I don’t think anyone has stopped appreciating that. In fact my local Yes group,still alive and well, is a mixed bag, and we are still working together.

        Which makes what I am witnessing here so strange and uncomfortable. What exactly is wanted here?

        1. Neil Anderson says:

          Jamesa is a stooge, of that there is no doubt. He appears, in various guises, on several websites and uses terminology like “proto-fascist” as fuses to explode any cogent ideas or argument. I’ve lived long enough, and seen this type of sleekit behaviour often enough, to recognise a wrecker when I see one. Jamesa, you’re a twat. I know it’s not really the done thing on these here discussion “threeds” to speak ill of others, but Jamesa, you ARE a twat. There, I’ve said it (writ it) again.

          I leave my real name on these types of pages and other people just leave a nom de plume. This type of communication (i.e. online/internet/blogging and so on) encourages anonymity and that’s no a bad thing, but why are people afraid to reveal their true identity? There are plenty of opportunities for those who are not what they purport to be to leave comment and move on. They move on having sown discord, having agitated for their own agenda. I’ve avoided commenting on this particular website for a long time, mainly due to the editor’s bad manners to be frank. This will end my conversation with the good (and not so good) people who contribute here. I’ve thought long and hard about how to vote in this election, and have changed my mind many times (as regards the second vote). I have decided now to vote SNPx2. This is due to the fact that nothing frightens the British state, and it’s supporters/apologists/stooges, more than an SNP majority in the Scottish Parliament. And they deserve to be frightened.

      3. John Mooney says:

        Jamesa,”Proto Fascist SNP Guff” Get over yourself,I am nearly into my 7th decade but I have never read such pathetic crap for years,you appear to be more like a unionist troll rather than an indy supporter,and no I am NOT an snp member,but as my old granny taught me to spot a “Chanty Rassler” at a distance!

    2. Black Rab says:

      Liked that big bus statement/sentiment Big Jock. Aye, a good een min.
      Aye, SNP een n twa like n keep the independence barra rollin along like

  25. Julia Gibb says:

    What has happened to Bella?
    More and more articles are being produced to split the Independence campaign. The author of this piece uses the PR system designed to keep unionist parties in power to justify an attack on the SNP.

    All of these petty party arguments should be saved until post Independence. None of the grand promises can be delivered under devolved powers.

    The maintained pressure of high support for the SNP is the only vehicle able to progress the March to Independence

    SNP X 2 for me.

    Scotland and it’s citizens come first by achieving Independence…the how we make up Holyrood is a distant 2nd.

    1. Jamesa says:

      What gives you the idea that another SNP majority government in a parliament with no other independence parties (which is what would happen if every yes voter goes SNP x 2) will best serve the independence cause?

      1. yesindyref2 says:

        Speaking for myself, it’s probably the same idea that says that without an overall majority SNP Government in 2011, we’d never have had the first Independence Referendum.

        Look what happened between 2007 and 2011. No overall majority, no referendum.

        1. Jamesa says:

          “it’s probably the same idea that says that without an overall majority SNP Government in 2011, we’d never have had the first Independence Referendum”

          The SNP aren’t offering a referendum in their manifesto this time.

          “Look what happened between 2007 and 2011. No overall majority, no referendum.”

          Yeah that’s because the unionist parties combined had the majority.

          If this time the independence parties combined have a majority then that’s just as good as if one of them does – better for the independence movement in fact, since it will be shown to be more diverse and not entirely dominated by just one party and one plan for independence.

          1. Alan says:

            Mike, any chance we can delete (double) posts 🙂

      2. Alan says:

        Perhaps because they are the bridge upon which you cross the torrent. It is not a stream. It is not a river. They built the bridge. The bridge has become ever stronger. The bridge has given you the chance to see a steady and secure way across to the other side. You can use a canoe and paddle if you wish, but why do so when you can use the bridge ? Once across the bridge safely you can spread your wings. Use the canoe and paddle and you risk to be overcome by the torrent

      3. Ghillie says:


        Are you suggesting that folk are wrong to vote as they see fit?
        That SNP voters are stupid?

        (well at least you are attracting alot of attention to yourself tonight!)

  26. Ceartas says:

    It’s like pissing in a hurricane with the SNP supporters but don’t let them get yous down.
    Definetly more pro-indy parties need to be represented, as a lifelong independence supporter I despise the SNP at this moment in time though I have voted for them before.
    The diversity in the Catalan parliament shows you don’t need a single party to garner support for independence (the SNP till independence line always seem like it’ll quickly become “the party” like some dystopian fiction) and I would argue the Catalans have a much more vibrant movement than ours.

    Anyway, keep up the good work Bella!

  27. Big Jock says:

    Exactly Julia.

    If Holyrood remains shackled to WM. Then our parliament remains toothless. Who wants to be in charge of a toothless parliament? Oh that will be our friends the Yoons.

  28. yesindyref2 says:

    “Let me explain.”

    That’s what the Unionists who tried to keep an SNP overall majority from ever happening say.

    The Unionists are afraid of an SNP overall majority Government, so doesn’t that explain itself?

    Vote for an overall majority Government until Independence, then we can do what we want, vote for the Dark Side of the Moon Party even, at least they will have the full powers of an Independent State, one of 197 in the world. Personally I’ll probably vote for the Independent candidates.

  29. Ian Brotherhood says:

    What a sad discussion.

    Roll-on May 6th – the sooner some egos crash-land, the better.

  30. yesindyref2 says:

    So, basically speaking, the only chance of an overall majority Government with the power to demand Indy ref 2 is the SNP, so it’s SNP in the Constituency and SNP on the list to try to make as sure as possible it’s an overall majority pro-Indy Government.

    But if it was the Greens who were the biggest party, I’d vote Green + Green, even though it looks like if the Greens had 129 MSPs they’d still want a 1 million signature before they’d ask for Indy ref 2. If it was RISE who were most likely to get 65 or more MSPs I’d vote RISE.

    If Tommy Sheridan cloned himself 128 times plus a few spares and looked like being the overall majority Government all on his clonesomes, I’d vote Tommy + Tommy.

    This is all about Independence – or is it?

    1. Jamesa says:

      “So, basically speaking, the only chance of an overall majority Government with the power to demand Indy ref 2 is the SNP”

      Firstly, the SNP have made clear that they have no intention of demanding another indy ref in the next parliament.

      Secondly, as long as the independence parties combined have a majority that’s just as effective as if just one of them does.

      1. Ghillie says:


        Sorry, I’m on at you again. It would be refreshing to have someone else to debate with.

        You keep repeating an inaccuracy.

        Nicola Sturgeon has made it very clear on many occasions that the SNP Government will call another referendum when there is a mandate from the people of Scotland. WHEN not if.

        So, if you would like Scotland to gain its independence then perhaps it would help to make good conections with like minded folk.

      2. Julia Gibb says:

        Strange comment. I keep hearing Nicola state “It will be the will of the Scottish people”.
        Can you please quote your source for the SNP ruling it out.

        1. John B Dick says:

          Someone suggested that the date of inderef2 had been outsourced to YouGov.

          In my opinion that’s the smart thing to do. if inderef2 fails, it might be a long time before there is another. There would be cres of neverendum.


          It’s coming yet for a’ that.

    2. Eoghan Dubh says:

      Well said yesindyref2!
      And also to Ghillie on the topic of the SNP “not supporting a 2nd referendum”.

  31. c rober says:

    I highlight the wrongs of any party , yet I fear I will still be SNP x2.

    I dont think that the status qou of being in a union is sustainable , or indeed improving the lives of Scotlands people , however I do see indy or FFA as that solution.

    If it means that I will vote for SNP to do so then so be it…. BUT with achieving indy or FFA that mindset will change , dropping the SNP like Slab , like I just picked up dog mess thinking it was a stone., for well – the Greens

    Why would my future voting be for the greens , but not my current voting?

    Frankly I dont see the SNP addressing housing in the manner I would like , that the voter deserves , removing fuel poverty and lifetime mortgages and increasing the council housing supply.

    I know I sound tramlined on the subject , but when you consider that this is the biggest purchase made in your lifetime , that can take up to half your income it is very important , more even than the electorate themselves realise. This is Thatchers legacy , mortgage slavery.

    I dont see the SNP backing the legalisation of medicinal cannabis for epilepsy , MND , MS , FM or even as a replacement for costly and dangerous methadone … Instead they peddle drugs for the pharma companies that could be a cost reduction through botanical pharmacy. With full drug classifying powers it would mean research licencing , and not just on criminality.

    Any support forum on the internet will show you the benefits of CBD , the active group of compounds that are so cheap yet so valuable for medicine , as opposed to THC the part that gets you high.

    Currently there is only one drug on the market Sativex based on it , one that GPs are reluctant to prescribe due to cost factors. There has also been some results with other CBD isolated compounds curing certain cancers in mice.

    During the discussions post indy further powers for Holyrood drug classification was offered by the Tories , yet seems to have been missing afterwards , just why is that? Might need to ask Mr Harvie about that one , as both the Greens and SNP wanted it , even Smith recommending it – so where did it go to?

    Dundee University was one of the places in the Uk that had a limited licence on cannabis research , perhaps its the birthplace of sativex , and if mem serves is where they continue isolating the CBD compounds for other uses in medicine.

    Given that this could well be a multi billion dollar medical industry for Scotland , then perhaps this is why it never made the cut , wouldn’t want to actually create further prosperity without an income for Westminster now would we??

    1. Ghillie says:

      C Rober

      Gee whizz! Give them a chance!

      You are talking about some very interesting possibilities in the field of medicine. I am hopeful that we will see good clinical evidence coming from Canada and the US states, Oregon and California and others where canabis can now be used legally. Either way we should be able to see more clearly what use it is in medicine and most importantly have it accepted.

      As for decriminalising drugs, I think we are edging closer to that as more evidence becomes available from countries who already practice tolerance and support rather than punitive action.

  32. Awizgonny says:

    Some seem to have forgotten at least two elections in the past where the result was apparently a foregone conclusion right up to the finish and ended up quite different: Kinnock’s loss in ’92, and Wilson’s loss in ’70. The second of these is particularily relevant, since Wilson lost because people didn’t bother to vote for Labour because they thought he was going to walk it.

    Why are you all talking like the SNP will get enough from the constituency votes for an overall majority? Who says? Eggs. Basket.

    Why are you also presuming that if you vote for any of the other pro-Independence parties that this will translate into seats, when it is by no means the case. The SNP’s share of seats may well be vastly decreased in the List allocation – but unless your party gets 6% of the vote, your party will get NONE. That share will go to Lib/Lab/Con, and maybe even UKIP. Stop ignoring this.

    One final point: I’ve seen about enough of this drivel about the SNP losing the mission because they haven’t got a promise of a Referendum on Independence in their manifesto for this election. If they had one, and they won the election, they’d have to have it, and it would LOSE at this stage. And it would be many, many years before another could even be posited, if ever.

    And all the while you’re playing silly buggers with a voting system which by no stretch of the imagination represents the smaller parties like RISE. And as a consequence may put the SNP in a position as a minority government dependent, not on the Greens or RISE or whichever, but, as in 2007 on the Tories, because Labour and LibDems would NEVER play ball, and would instead obstruct governance by the SNP at every turn (as they did in 2007), no matter what the damage to the people of Scotland.

    For all their faults, I’d rather have SNP looking after the hospitals and schools and infrastructure for the next 5 years than have to kow-tow to the Tories evry time it comes to a budget or anything else for that matter.

    Get real. And wake up.

  33. Don McKillop says:

    I don’t comment often, but I have always looked forward to reading Bella. Now, sadly, it is but a parody of what it once was. It has moved so far to the lunatic left that it is not worth down loading. Do the writers of these articles actually believe that they will persuade No Voters to yes by their silly rhetoric. Politics is the art of persuasion, not coercion, cajolery or hysterical response, all of which is evident in many of the responses favourable to this particular article. This discourse reminds me of the split between the Mensheviks, led by Martov,and the Bolsheviks of Lenin, however I fail to see where RISE or Solidarity sits, other than as spoilers.

  34. Darby O'Gill says:

    82 comments without any reference to the opening line of the article. Yes, I do think it is disingenuous to have ‘Nicola Sturgeon for First Minister’ rather than SNP on the List, if that is the case. Elections are about choosing individual constituency representatives selected by parties. There should be no place for silly PR gimmicks.

    I can see both sides of the argument on the question of the second ‘List’ vote. However, it would do no harm for the SNP to have pro-Independence allies in Parliament. That might prevent them from producing another flawed White Paper without consultation or failing to publish a minority report on the Smith Commission, both which may come back to haunt them in the future.

    1. John Page says:

      You make a very valid point. Bella publishes many stimulating articles but the bulk of respondents don’t refer to the articles but just repeat what they always say that Mike is either a left wing muesli eating nutter or a unionist stooge.
      Since Sept 18 I have become bored shitless with the media. Cancelled telly licence, stopped reading any papers (except the National on Thursday for the page in Scots) and don’t look at Wings or Scot Goes Pop as one track and really dull……..don’t like every article on Bella but am really appreciative of the range of thought provoking pieces.
      I am totalling puzzled as to why people come on here to bully others to vote SNP*2……..who are you trying to convince? …… Probably yersel.
      Thank you
      John Page

      1. Valerie says:

        Coming on to point out the shortcomings of trying to second guess, and game the system, and therefore the risk to becoming independent, is surely not construed as bullying.

        There are numerous academic pieces on the subject. Low vote numbers for RISE etc on the second vote, will allow Unionist parties in, as they will have larger numbers on the second vote.

        I work for SNP because they are the only vehicle to get us there. It’s not the time to risk that because it would be nice to play rainbow politics.

        This country NEEDS to be independent sooner rather than later. SNP will call it as soon as it is winnable.

  35. Scott says:

    Looking at some of these comments, it’s depressing to see how quickly the arrogance to which we used to associate Scottish Labour and its supporters has transferred to the SNP and its supporters.

    It took Scottish Labour 50 years in power to become arrogant. The SNP have achieved it in fewer than ten.

    1. Ghillie says:

      Ok Scott

      That’s just hurtful.

      I don’t think I’m arrogant. I’ve voted SNP for decades as a protest vote for Scottish Independence. And now we are nearly there.

      And I have only ever heard very scared Unionists call the SNP arrogant.

      I have met a fair few of the party representitives, from the leaders, my MSP and MEP, many activists and volunteers. Arrogant is the last word that comes to mind.

      Hard working. Hopeful. Down to earth. Compashionate. Ordinary people from every walk in life who want the best for Scotland.

      Where do you get off saying that?

      What I wish for you is that you have the freedom to vote with your head and your heart and that whoever you choose gets a chance to represent you.

      I hope you can wish the same for me.

      I haven’t seen the SNP supporters bullying others. Attempting in to inform and share in the face of some pretty derogatory and misinforming articles, possibly to do with the authors wanting to become carreer politicians of whatever hue. That’s just a guess.

      Whatever this is all about. This has felt like a pretty hostile environment.

      Not at all what I thought the Greens or Rise and certainly not Bella were about. Is this what you want?

      Have I really heard the voice of the Green Party or Rise here? Who are you?

      1. Scott says:

        I did say SOME people. I’m in favour of independence. I’ll be voting SNP 1 and Greens 2.

        I just wish some SNP supporters would tone it down a bit. I got called evil (no, seriously!) the other day for apparently trying to undermine the SNP by arguing giving your 2nd vote to the Greens in areas like Lothian would mean we would have more pro-indy MSPs at Holyrood than if they voted SNP 1&2.

        1. Ealasaid says:

          And there Scott you have the solution and probably the crux of the problem in one place!

          Vote for who you want, for whichever party/parties you think are the best to achieve what is most important to you!

          Respect others’ right to vote for who they want, for which ever party/parties they think are best to achieve what is most important to them!

          The only vote you control is your own. Generally speaking, people hate being told how to use their vote by anyone else for whatever reason and everybody’s priorities are different for their own good reasons.

          You may try to persuade them with truthful, evidence based arguments, as will others, and they will probably want to be informed before they make their choice. But any disrespect, aggressive language or manipulation by what is perceived as misinformation, spin or downright lies will not win them to your arguments. And your arguments may not persuade someone with different priorities anyway.

          At the end of the day their vote is theirs to use as they see fit, just as your vote is yours. Respectful arguments in good faith are more likely to be considered than a load of insults just because someone’s views and priorities differ from you own. Continually getting ranted at does win anybody over.

  36. rentaghost says:

    These articles always produce more heat than light. The argument is always the same: how to maximise the number of pro indy msps from the same number of votes. It’s a bloody awful argument that basically comes down to each sides sense of entitlement as to how much of the pro indy vote they deserve. Indeed, I’ve seen more articles from RISE about gaming d’Honnt than I have articles about actual RISE policies. I appreciate that the SNP x 2 mantra can look dogmatic, particularly in the face of the SNP’s position on tax (for example) which are cautious to the point of timidity. Likewise, it seems dishonest of RISE to present the list as a risk free roll of the dice, aimed squarely at Yes voters – trying to pass themselves off as part of electoral alliance looking for their dues, when in actuality they are simply competing for the same votes as the SNP. Call it the cuckoo strategy.

    If you want someone’s list vote, try actually having a policy the folk will want to vote for, rather than exhortations to the need to game the system. That applies to both sides.

    If you want to maximise the pro indy representation in parliament, and by extension the pro indy vote for a future referendum, then go after the No voters and convince them to be
    Yes. We are all apparently fighting overy the same percentage of the vote when the only way forward is to enlarge the vote.

    I think the parliament would be all the better if Cat Boyd and Andy Wightman were in it. However, if neither of their parties can convince folk to vote for them beyond an appeal to heterogeneity in the Yes movement then that’s just sad. For what it’s worth I’m going to vote Green on the list, mostly, because I like their policies.

    1. Hi – thanks. You raise some good points.

      I do think both the Greens and RISE have explicitly said they are going after Labour and left / disaffected voters – [] and both have detailed published manifestos.

      I share some of your weariness of this debate, so we’ll be focusing on an analysis of policy across parties in the coming weeks, though of course Labour havent published theirs yet so that will be hard.

      Coming up soon: coverage of party policy on food, environment, health, housing, transport and energy.

  37. Pat Kane says:

    Ever since I’ve been able to vote in the Scottish Parliament, I have used the list vote to support other Indy-supporting parties – until recently either SSP or Scottish Greens, and now with a RISE option. It might not be the most proportionally representative system possible – & I’d want it to move more in that direction – but it has felt like a point of principle to support other diverse progressive voices on the road to independence than the SNP (with whom I have a long and indeed familial connection).

    I sat on the board of YesScotland across from old Labourites like Dennis Canavan, and Colin Fox and Patrick Harvie, and other non-aligneds like myself. Criticize the organisation all you like, but that was an experience of multi-party (& no party) support for independence that I will never forget – involving robust but respectful discussions across different positions, all aiming at a Yes majority. Much of the commentary here seems to forget what an asset, and how attractive to Scots & the world, that inclusive multitude of the Yes movement was. Is much of the tone here, on either side, the best way to maintain that spirit (which we will need, again, if an indyref2 arises)? Why can’t it express itself electorally?

    I have some policy differences with the current SNP – though none so great to stop me giving them my constituency vote. And I do understand the fierce emotion behind BothVotesSNP – it’s a very tough set of conditions we’re in, & the SNP are a strong a ship as you could imagine to weather the storm and try to make shore. But so strong at the moment that it surely cope with others in the flotilla. An eye and ear to the future Yes unity required, please.

    1. Colin MK says:

      Good to hear Pat and that same unity was experienced In the streets and felt everywhere. It’s an experience i’ll never forget and diversity was key to it all. Would be great to find some way of channelling that into the electoral process but seems the parties weren’t really up for it.

    2. Bill McLean says:

      Pat, you are of course correct – the SNP is “a strong ship”. Unfortunately not as strong as the ship in which our Imperial masters sail and the SNP is nowhere near as practised in the dark arts as they are. As I’ve written elsewhere, any diminution in SNP strength at Holyrood, even if to other independence parties will be used mercilessly and massively to diminish the moral of independence supporters. I hope we will not look back on this period and reflect that once again “we have been our own worst enemies”!

    3. vagabondo says:

      Given the mathematics of the D’Hondt voting system, the only way to support your preferred party is to vote for it in both constituency and region. I do not understand why this Rise candidate is campaigning negatively against another pro-independence party. Misrepresenting the workings of the electoral system is just dishonest and does his cause no favours.

      Why doesn’t Liam stand in both his local constituency and region? I would have thought that his natural constituency would be Corbynite Labour, Scottish Labour, ILP voters disillusioned with the Unionist, Blairite attitudes entrenched in the North British Labour establishment. He should be campaigning positively for his own policies. If there is no RISE constituency candidate then he might advise his supporters either not to use their constituency vote or to cast it for another candidate. That would be honest.

    4. Alf Baird says:

      Pat is right, independence needs ‘all hands on deck’ – historically the SNP on its own has proved insufficient. Majority of ‘Yes’ folk are not ‘SNP’ members or activists and that should be understood and respected, but we can surely work together (again).

      1. Bill McLean says:

        Alf – “all hands on deck” won’t do it when the Imperial ship of state swamps us with “they don’t want independence any more – the SNP vote has fallen”!

    5. Awizgonny says:

      “Much of the commentary here seems to forget what an asset, and how attractive to Scots & the world, that inclusive multitude of the Yes movement was. Is much of the tone here, on either side, the best way to maintain that spirit (which we will need, again, if an indyref2 arises)? Why can’t it express itself electorally?”

      It certainly won’t express itself electorally in the number of seats from the List. Even the Greens barely hover over the margin of 6-7% required to qualify for seats under the present PR system.

      This article, by targeting the SNP, implicitly looks to take List votes from them and, in this case, give them to RISE. And, as I’ve said elsewhere here, it’s by no means a certitude that the SNP will gain enough for the absolute majority it needs, and voting for RISE or SSP or Greens will NOT provide the seats required for a coalition.

      This is not the Referendum. It’s the election for who governs Scotland over the next 5 years, and that’s quite a different game.

      Share your vote out as a matter of principle? Absolutely fine. But this is not what these more recent articles in Bella have been about. It’s been about tactical voting. And with the system there is, that’s playing Texas Holdem with a dodgy pack.

    6. yesindyref2 says:

      Pat Kane: “An eye and ear to the future Yes unity required, please.”

      OK, so does this mean we should all be absolutely united in our voting SNP + SNP?

      Or should we all be absolutely united in our voting SNP + Green?

      Or should we all be absolutely united in our voting SNP + RISE?

      Or should we all be absolutely united in our voting SNP + Solidarity?

      From your posting it’s clear that you don’t want option 1. So you are using the “YES unity” card to try to sneak in your point of view on others. Well, that’s how it could be taken …

      1. Drew Campbell says:

        I took it to mean respectful exchanges between pro-Indy parties, groups and individuals. Assuming we would all like to see a second SUCCESSFUL referendum, we should bear in mind that unneccessary and vicious language for short term gains can leave long term scars that would make a rebuilding of the good will and common purpose that underpinned the 2014 ‘Yes’ campaign more difficult.

        I for one am sick to the back teeth of the online insults from people calling me a unionist stooge (and worse) because I happen to campaign for the Scottish Green Party.

        1. yesindyref2 says:

          Drew, you Unionist stooge you!

          Seriously, there’s less than 3 weeks of this left, then a week or two for all the recriminations “you let Labour in”, “no you did”, then we’ll all be watching the EU project Fear 2 “Who would ever believe Treasury figures?” from Gove or whoever.

          Well, who would, they’re still using Danny Alexander’s calculator. It’ll be laugh, laugh, laugh, as they all say exactly the opposite of what they did during the Indy ref.

          Then some time it’ll be Indy Ref 2, and does anyone seriously think we’ll be saying like “I’m not on the same side as him / her / it, because they voted SNP / Green / RISE / Solidarity on the list so I’m voting **, I’m voting %%, ouch can’t say it, sod it I’ll just vote YES again then”.

          The real Unionists think we’ll all fall out and that’s an end to Indy for ever.

          Well, they can think again.

  38. Ghillie says:


    What is going on here nowadays?

    I have only ever heard very scared Unionists speak like this.

    The derogatory language and tone of the author and some of the posters is horribly like trolls.

    No body I know through the Yes Movement would speak to one another like that. Our respect and common bond for each other has not deminished regardless of our voting choices.

    What has happened to Bella? Why so bitter?

    1. I dont think we’re bitter at all.

      I think you are confusing ‘trolls’ with people who disagree with you.

      WE are attempting to have a grown up debate about voting intentions and strategies at the election. Surely that’s the right thing to do?

      Difference of opinion within a movement is sign of its health not a sign of its demise.

      1. Bill McLean says:

        “difference of opinion within a movement” in this context is simply playing into the hands of our Imperial masters. How can you be so naïve? Have you studied British history? We must, maybe for the first time in our history, unite for our rightful independence, then model our country to the politics we want.

      2. Ghillie says:

        I disagree with you Ed.

        Alot of what I read here sounded very bitter.

        The language and tone was not healthy at all.

        This is not a place that has succeeded in endearing me to the author’s cause. That can’t be right.

        This isn’t the Yes Movement I know.

        And Ed, your trully unpleasant and pretty spiteful comments are not doing our chances of working together for independence any good at all. Not professional. Barely adult.

        But inspite of the bizare sentiments here I will not be put off the amazing folk I know and trust. I will continue working with all of the people of every party who truly want independence for Scotland.

        Yes, I’m voting SNP and SNP for Independence and a good government.

        Good luck to you and your choices.

  39. David Coulter says:

    Simple for me SNP 1 +2…..let’s worry about shades of red post independence.

  40. Flower of Scotland says:

    The SNP are a vehicle towards Independence.
    The Greens, Rise, Solidarity are all a distraction and will help Unionists to gain seats.

    You obviously don’t understand the voting system!

    I am beginning to wonder about Bella,s real motives.

  41. Firhillista says:

    This has been a party election broadcast on behalf of RISE… It would have been more honest of the writer if that had been made clear from the start. I get that it’s in no candidate’s interest to talk up the opposition and it’s perfectly reasonable to point out the mote in your opponent’s eye, but shouldn’t you also indicate that the person you’re having a go at is just that, your opponent and you’re not simply engaged in a disintersted critical analysis of a particlar position?

    I’ll be giving both my votes to the SNP because I believe that is the best way to ensure the sound governance of Scotland under the current constitutional arrangements (something which xome of the commentators on here don’t seem to care z fig about) and provide the best chance of Scottish independance in the future.

    1. Darby O'Gill says:

      In the article the author mentions RISE once and Greens once. I would never have guessed he was a candidate for RISE unless someone had mentioned it.

      1. Auld Snody says:

        Is that not the point the poster was making

  42. Firhillista says:

    On a technical note, Ed, is there any way the comments box can be set up so that the entire text appears and we don’t have sentences disappearing off to the right?

  43. Bill McLean says:

    The SNP, and only the SNP, hold the key to our Independence. In an independent Scotland I would probably vote for a socialist party. NO other Scottish party, or coalition with SNP/socialist party will further independence in any way – any diminution of the SNP presence at Holyrood will be seized upon by unionists to say we don’t want independence any more. Do not be fooled! We independence supporters and those who love Scotland MUST vote SNP x 2. ANY diminution in SNP presence at Holyrood will set us back for decades. Please waken up to the fact that we are being opposed by a monstrously experienced British machine which will stop at nothing to deny us democracy. Think of India, Ireland and Cyprus just for starters. Every country unfortunate enough to have been ruled by the British has faced the same problem – “divide and rule” and because they know we are a disputatious race they are working hard to keep us divided. Unfortunately it would appear that some political purists in Scotland are falling for the same tactic. ANYONE who wants an independent Scotland must, simply must, vote SNP x 2, gain independence, then let us establish the kind of politics we want.

    1. Ghillie says:

      Bill McLean

      Well said = )


      Yes. We need brilliant strategists for whatever outcome of the EU vote. I know who has already proved themselves.

  44. Valerie says:

    No one has mentioned it so far, but what happens in the event of Brexit? That right there is why we can’t risk not having a SNP majority. An experienced, cohesive, financially astute party will have to turn on a dime to get ready to call a Scottish referendum. That’s SNP. Remember how WM wanted 7 billion in exchange for the Smith powers, and Swinney held the line?

    If we get a Brexit result, and Holyrood is splintered, forget independence.

    Strategy folks! Please stay on the bus until we get to our destination. Let RISE and others stand locally next year, and get recognition and experience. This is hardly a radical position.

    1. Bill McLean says:

      Valerie and Brian MacLeod – terrific! I am one of those who believes there’s room for everyone at the table. Unfortunately, the elephant in the room is, that someone else holds the key to the door!
      If we can’t unite in this movement towards independence no-one in Scotland will ever live to see a more left-leaning country. Can’t they work this out for themselves|?

  45. Brian MacLeod says:

    I agree with the principle of supporting smaller parties for diversity in our govt, and there’s one I would normally give my vote to but won’t.

    But, and it’s a big but, the main issue today is independence.

    I’d vote for the Satanic Arsehole Reaming party (or is the Conservatives?) if it guaranteed independence regardless of what I thought of their other policies.

    Win the main fight first, so both votes SNP until independence.

    No point in fighting over the cake until we actually have a cake.

  46. catriona says:

    I went over the 2011 results trying to find the key to the number of regional votes vs number of regional seats gained but of course they’re linked to the number of constituency seats won. I sincerely believe there’s only one way to try to ensure a majority SNP government and that’s to cast both your votes for the SNP.
    Our goal is inderpendence. Get that and there’s plenty of scope for any other independence parties to come forward and win seats in an independent Scottish parliament. If they try to do it whilst we’re still in the UK they risk having no party in overall control. It’s not worth it. Cast both your votes for the SNP. We need a majority SNP government.

  47. Onwards says:

    I want an SNP majority, so I will be voting SNP twice. Simple as that.

    IMO, independence will only be won by taking the majority of the country with us, and most Scots seem to occupy a centre-left, social democrat position.

    IMO, an SNP non-majority government in which Greens or RISE have the balance of power could be dragged too far to the left to win a second referendum.

    I honestly don’t think the majority will vote for an independent Scotland in which it looks like we will always be paying higher taxes and perhaps driving away investment.
    The Greens 60p tax rate just isn’t credible under limited devolution, and scares the majority who can see high earners run for the hills.

    After independence is the time to introduce more radical policies, not before. The only realistic path to independence is straight down the middle of the road, with the SNP offering sensible competent government that doesn’t scare the horses.

    Eyes on the prize.

  48. Julia Gibb says:

    My country and its people come before party politics. I will be voting SNP X 2 because it is the best method (in my view) of maintaing the drive.
    I fully support a very diverse Holyrood which represents ALL the shades of politics in Scotland. However divide and rule has been the most effective tool in the unionist armoury and once again the narrows views of party activists such as the author mislead in order to promote narrow self interest.

    Would I have preferred a “YES Party” – absolutely
    Would I have welcomed candidates such as Colin Fox to represent that party – without doubt.

    The reality is we have no YES Party and the best umbrella to gather under is the SNP

    1. Onwards says:

      Totally agree. The only way tactical pro-indy voting has a realistic chance is with a pure Independence Party or YES party on the list, without any other agendas.

      There are already voices in the opposition calling for a united Unionist party to take on the SNP.

      The independence cause has an advantage right now because the unionist vote is split between Tories/Labour/Libdem, all with various political viewpoints.

      The best thing to do is to take advantage of that and deliver a strong SNP vote, instead of falling into the same predicament as they are in with a divided vote.

      What matters most is a pro-indy majority. And we already have proof that voting SNP twice can achieve that in the current system.

  49. Alastair McIver says:

    Green are getting my 2nd vote, however I’m becoming a bit worried about villification of the SNP. “Both votes SNP” basically means “Vote for us as emphatically as you can”. This is not an uncommon political strategy, in fact any politician who doesn’t ask for that is letting the side down.

    Also, the SNP are 100% right about fracking. I support a ban, but it has to be based on evidence. The SNP’s position is “No fracking until the evidence is in, and even then, probably not.” If you start banning things without evidence you feed a dangerous mentality that fuels anti-vax and anti-GMO nonsense, pro-homeopathy and organic con-artistry, which are almost deliberately anti-evidence.

  50. w.b.robertson says:

    This site provides a forum for making points, provoking debate, and adding to the sum of human knowledge. I love it and welcome contributors who are often argumentative, controversial and even funny. But why should some feel the need to be a bit nasty with it?

    1. Willie says:

      I don’t think folks on this site set out to be nasty. Over passionate in their views as to how we best achieve the changes that we all want might actually be more of the descriptive of why some posts come across as they do. What however is clear, or I think is clear, is that the next Parliament needs to speak with a clear mandate both electorally and parliamentary. That is the only thing Westminster will understand. The dilution of an SNP majority of votes and members weakens our voice because the job is not done.

  51. Ricky D. says:

    Deary me Bella what has happened to you .

    Your getting more and more like the Herald. Divide and conquer ….. we’ll your doing your best to do that with articles like these.

    Why don’t you target the other parties for votes?? Why the SNP .. Labour and Libs are in turmoil and weak yet you attack and want to weaken the only party that has done any good in Scotland in my lifetime .( over 50years)

    Why are you not chapping the doors of the pissed labour and Libs and asking for their list vote ???

    Ok Your anti SNP , fine it’s your choice but with so many of us voting for the SNP what do think you gain from us ?? We see your hostility against our party and believe me thats not going to sway any of us . We are immune to that shit .

    I believe the majority of YES voters will only vote SNP x2 because they are the only vehical for independence we have . I dont want to wait 20 years for you guys to build up credability and hope fully take us there . I doubt you can do that no matter how long you get. You are like the Unionists theses days Divisive …you love stirring it up , …. anything for attention i suppose.

    SNP x 2

    Peter bell , James kelly , Derek Bateman and wtf and this bull about Wings ??? They promoted you during the REF you ungreatful shits . And you know they are followed by huge numbers and more and more of them deciding enough Bella.

    Your committing suicide Bella …..

    This will be my last time too … i can get by with the many more good blog sites out there ..

    1. Auld Snody says:

      Those were my thoughts. If RISE want to be represented at Holyrood then they need to target the soft no left wingers who will not vote for the SNP. Trying to hitch a ride on the SNP band wagon and then complaining that they are not allowed to ride up front strikes me as lazy, physically and intellectually.
      Rise need to get out and erode the unionist vote not try to erode the independence vote. I normally vote SNP + Green but this time it is SNPx2

  52. Morag says:

    What a load of rubbish. Voting SNP on the list is precisely what the ballot paper claims. A vote for Nicola Sturgeon to be FM. Only if the SNP forms the government will she be FM, and that will only happen if the party gets enough MSPs to do that.

    It has never happened yet that a party has become the Scottish Government without needing list seats to do it, and I wouldn’t bet the house on it happening this time either.

    Vote SNP on the list to elect Nicola Sturgeon as FM. Vote someone else if you want to pander to a bunch of opportunistic nonentities without an ounce of political nous in their bodies who are keen to secure a nicely-paid Holyrood job. And of course if you’re prepared for your vote to allow a unionist party to sneak through the middle and snatch the seat the SNP lost.

    The d’Hondt arithmetic is very much against fringe parties making any significant breakthrough on the list. And I’m sick and tired of people who do nothing but carp from the sidelines and can’t even be arsed to stand candidates in constituencies whining for some sort of “pity vote”.

    SNP supporters are neither brainwashed nor daft, and it’s not wise to take them for that.

    1. James Coleman says:

      HEAR! HEAR! Morag

  53. JIM MCKAY says:


  54. Graeme says:

    Why do people fetishise an SNP majority so much? There is not a single poll that is suggesting a unionist majority. Why is an SNP majority any better than one in which they have to work with Greens and/ or RISE?

    The 2007 Scots Gov worked with others and passed a lot of good legislation (whereas if they had a majority they were trying to bring in stupid stuff like raising the minimum age to buy booze).

    If you think SNP policies on health, education and justice etc are right then by all means vote for them twice. If you don’t, but you still want an independence referendum then vote for someone else who does and they can work with an SNP government to deliver one.

  55. Frank says:

    Those advocating a second vote for Rise make the mistake of confusing where Rise is with where they would like it to be.

    Rise does not have a broad set of policies the way the SSP did between 1999 and 2007; in fact many of the SSP policies – scrap the council tax and free prescription charges, were later adopted by the SNP.

    They look like a party primarily of young people aimed at young people and student radicals (Colin Fox seemed like a creepy Grandfather figure in the PEB) – nothing wrong in focusing on the youth, but by not speaking to the population as a whole they do not have mass appeal.

    In regards to independence it seems counter intuitive to demand a second referendum so soon after the first one was lost and more so in the absence of any analysis of why it was lost. If the likes of Tommy Sheridan, Colin Fox and Cat Boyd genuinely cared about independence they would be trying to engage with the 55% who voted no, especially left unionists. Instead they are a fishing for votes only in the 45% pond whilst their misplaced demand for a second referendum are only likely to polarise the debate rather than win converts. It’s a classic case of putting parliamentary careers before the cause.

  56. schrodingers cat says:

    policies of different indy supporting parties are irrelevant, it is WM who decides. that is the whole point of indy, eg, what is the point of pushing for a greener scotland at holyrood when any gains are undermined by the tories policy which has decimated the blurgeoning renewables industry?

    Even if we had elected all 56mps and all MSPs from rise/solidarity, this would not have stopped camerons attack on the poorest and most vunerable in scotland.

    this isnt a new issue for indy supporters, decades ago, the snp were split by the republicanism/monarchism issue, the reason i stuck with the snp was because it became obvious that the republic of scotland that i wanted to see, would only happen if we 1st gained our independence. can you see a pattern emerging folks?

    the idea of tactical voting is not to create a rainbow parliament of differing Indy supporting parties so that we can all hold hands and sing fukcing Kumbaya….It is to remove the unionists trumpets from our screens and media, reduce the unionist presence across the board and help bring about independence.

    The failure of this tactical voting idea is down to all sides ignoring the most basic fact about this election where the list vote is not a scotland wide vote. there are 8 regions. it isnt difficult guys, you dont need to remove shoes and socks to count this high?

    this party has been the most consistent advocates of tactical voting. they encouraged their supporters to vote snp in 2015. the did not stand any candidates against the snp in 2015. they are not standing any constituency candidates against the snp in this election
    if solidarity genuinely believe in tactical voting, why are they standing list candidates in the south and highlands regions? regions where solidarity will be competing directly against the snp for list msps, msps the snp may need for a majority?

    they have some real class acts in their party, people like Alan Grogan, Cat Boyd, Colin Fox would have been a real asset to Holyrood and to the indy movement.
    they, like solidarity, are calling for indyref2 in the next 5 years. they cannot be accused of “once in a generation” comments and if elected, they have a democratic mandate to campaign for one and in one. It was the diversity of the yes movement which gave it its strength.
    they stood 4 candidates against the snp in 2015 and got a combined total of 800 votes, losing 4 x £500 deposits cost them £2.50 per vote, luckly, this stupidity did not cost the indy movement any MPs in 2015

    the biggest draw back of RISE and Solidarity is their inability to settle their differences. bear in mind, they are asking for SNP supporters to vote for them on the list, SNP supporters who are uninterested in left wing in fighting, but the lefts inability to agre,e dilutes the effectiveness of a tactical PR list vote in a region. they didnt need to come together, just to come to some arrangement whereby they did not compete against each other, use your imagination folks, that these SNP supporters they are asking to vote for them could have selected without confusion.

    Harvey was and is a real asset to the yes campaign. their policy on land reform/lvt is very desirable.
    I understand the greens desire, as the biggest of the smaller indy parties to be seen and also the need to stand candidates in the 2015 ge. but they could have stood in dundee where their votes would have had little effect on the outcome. standing in mundells seat and being seen to split the vote has been the most damaging thing to happen to the indy movement.
    harvey walks a fine line wrt indy, he needs to, as the office bearers/candidates and old guard are not all yes supporters. but the greens quadrupled their membership after the indyref and these new members did not come from the B T camp.

    the snp
    they have shown competance in the past and will continue to do so in the future. their mps, msps and candidates are a class above.
    they delivered indyref1 and if the opportunity arises, will deliver indyref2. since it is the snp who will decide what happens going forward, their position on indyref2 is more sophisticated than solidarity/rise. it has to be. commiting to indyref2 is as dangerous as not commiting to indyref2. especially without knowing the result of the EU ref. if it is leave then the 2017 council elections will be an election based on the wishes of the people of scotland as to whether they want indyref2

    im not sure the snp have many negatives, except apart from the sniping by some of their supporters which, as i have pointed out, in some cases has been merited. re mundells seat.
    the following criticisms are true of all parties

    a complete failure by everyone to recognise that we are still in the yes campaign. politics has been taking a back seat for a few years now, simply because independence is the underlying solution to all political issues. eg, are you pro or anti EU? tough shit, it isnt the people in Scotland who will decide….sound familiar? Bella argues that it is perfectly sensible and normal for rise etc, to criticise other political parties, eg the SNP. this is correct in any normal political situation. except we arnt in a normal political situation, we are in the middle of the indyref2 campaign. any criticism of any other party is seen as an attack on the indy movement. coupled with the wall to wall snp bad bias of all traditional media outlets, any attack on the snp is perceived as jumping on the band wagon, not a normal political difference.

    the future
    in three weeks time, this political election will be over. i hope for an snp majority with as many of the OIPs displacing and reducing the number of unionists as possible. to that end i will be voting snp1&greens2 in my region, fife&mid, if you do believe in tactical voting, south and higland snp1&2

    once this is over, drop the party hats and flags and don your yes2 ric badges, and get other yourselves

  57. Jeanette McCrimmon says:

    We have two votes – constituency and regional – why would anyone who views the Scottish SNP as capable in Government – most voters – not wish for them to be in power regionally?

    You are advocating giving away our regional vote, not to the party with a proven record in Government, but to another. This makes no sense.

    In addition, the SNP are the party to bring home Independence, not Rise or the Greens. The Unionist are laughing up their sleeve at you, as you do their job for them – divide and conquer. Perhaps this is why the Guardian gave you space for an article earlier this week?

    SNP x 2 for an Independent Scotland.

    1. schrodingers cat says:

      not wish for them to be in power regionally?

      shows a deep misunderstanding of how this system works jeanette, their are only regions for the electoral system, afterwhich, those elected are just msps.

      i want an snp majority, but wish to remove as many unionists as possible and replace them with rise/solidarity and green msps.

      there are no regional governing bodies in scotland, just msps at holyrood

  58. Darren Ferguson says:

    Can anyone point me towards the constitute candidate list for the Greens.
    Or the constitute candidates for RISE.
    I mean a serious political party would be campaigning for both, wouldn’t they?

    Is someone like Ross Greer standing in Paisley?, Colin Fox in Edinburgh South? In the general election David Mundell won his seat over Emma Harper the SNP candiate by 798 votes. The green candiate got 839 votes, now the chances are the SNP would not have got all of those votes but who knows we might have had a Tory government in Westminster with a very limited Democratic mandate in Scotland.

    So when someone says give me your 2nd vote, I ask why not my 1st vote? You asked people for it the general election which you are quite entitled to, so why not now?

    With the run up to the election UKIP will get far more coverage than now as the referendum campaign will be in full swing, who knows what vote share they might get. I gave the Greens my 2nd vote in the Euro elections and we got David Coburn. Also the attitude towards some of the other indy sites/bloggers has been nothing short of a disgrace; there is a reason Wings gets so much support/money from us, because he is trusted by the same people you are asking the 2nd vote from.

    So for those reasons it has to be SNP 1&2 from me.

  59. Frank Lynch says:

    Why is democracy challenged if one party gets the majority of both votes? That reflects the will of the people. To ask for a tactical vote to let in smaller parties is being seen by many psephologists to enable the bigger parties in through the cracks. It has to be SNP x 2 to flush out the corrupt, Westminster leaning parties from the system; the career politicians attached to those parties would soon drop away if there’s no future for them. SNP x 2!

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Frank, the SNP is now like other established parties – i.e. stuffed full with “career politicians” and all the spin and nonsense that goes with that. Moreover, having ditched its raison detre (independence) the SNP (leadership) can now also be described as “Westminster leaning”; the integration of the 56 “roaring lions” rather proves that too. Several commentators here really need to undertake more critical analysis of the evolving situation.

      1. Darby O'Gill says:

        I’m with you there Alf. It is very hard to judge the quality of SNP representation because for the first time in our political history all three of the main parties, riven by scandal, hypocrisy, greed and incompetence, provide no meaningful opposition.
        Some of the recently elected SNP MP’s do leave something to be desired and would never get my vote although I’m lucky enough to have good representation in my constituency.

  60. Alf Baird says:

    An SNP majority does not mean independence and it does not even mean a REF2. Westminister could not care less how many seats the SNP get, the SNP are still only committed to run a devolved set-up under Westminister rule. Westminster rules the roost even with an SNP majority at Holyrood.

    A couple more years of so-called ‘competent’ government might actually make No voters even more comfortable with the status quo – i.e. devolved gov within the UK. So don’t bank on the SNP converting more No voters to Yes just by winning another majority. There would probably be more chance of getting more No folk to vote Yes if we let Ruth or Kez in to run things for a couple of years.

    1. Valerie says:

      At last! You got to your pointless point. Let Ruth or Kez run it. Run it into the ground. Hand back money, hand back any powers.

      You really hate this country, eh? The cringe is strong in you.

      1. Alf Baird says:

        Steady on Valerie, I was being facetious. However many others have noted before that the worse the sufferring, the louder the cry for independence.

    2. yesindyref2 says:

      That’s a valid argument Alf.

      The counter-argument would be that Ashcroft identified that 14% of 2011 SNP voters voted NO, and so the reason they voted SNP was because of their competence in Government between 2007-11 (I’ve seen postings from some of them).

      One of the reasons for NO was doubts about the economy.

      But if the SNP can run an even more competent Government 2016-2021, using the limited extra devolved powers and maximising revenue and capital DEL for the best benefit of Scotland, perhaps some of those NO-voting SNP voters will have more confidence in the ability of Scotland to have our own economy, and change to YES voters. Along with some remaining Lab / Lib / Con voters.

      A key area for the next Ref will be growth in the economy, particularly the onshore economy, so that the offshore becomes less important – truly a bonus in fact. Basically speaking our onshore GDP per capita needs to be higher than the UK GDP per capita, instead of being at 99%.

      Which is a reason by the way for the SNP’s “steady as she goes” strategy with respect to income tax, which is an important tax in devolved Scotland as it’s basically all we get apart from 50% VAT. But of much less importance in iScotland as revenues are then the sum of all revenues. It also puts the lie to “The SNP are only interested in playing devolution”. If they were they would be more adventurous with Income Tax.

  61. Kenny says:

    At the moment, the SNP is barely above where it was in 2011. Do we really imagine that all the Liberals in the northern isles or the Tories along the border have given up the ghost? If you don’t want the SNP in power, that’s fine. You can campaign for that all you want but don’t lie about it. Don’t do the unionists’ work for them. Doesn’t it bother you that both Loki and David Torrance will tell you that the SNP is not being radical enough? (FWIW, I have a lot of time for Loki personally and I get that his first, last and only focus is ending poverty. But at least he’s honest about it. The likes of Torrance and Daisley just want to hurt the SNP by any means necessary.) RISE and the Greens and Solidarity are all trying to pretend that the SNP is utterly unassailable on the constituency vote and that getting list seats is both impossible and unnecessary. That’s also untrue, as we saw with the three unionists last year and with the North-east list seat in 2011. My problem is not with the Greens or RISE or Solidarity campaigning for votes on their own merits but with their trying to get a free ride from SNP supporters by telling lies about how the system works and about what the polling data tells us.

    We keep hearing non-SNP independence campaigners talking about how the strength of the Yes campaign was the multitude of people from all parties and none who got involved. That’s quite true. What’s also true is that in the party political sphere, the SNP has been the only voice of any relevance on the pro-independence side for its entire existence. My feeling is that these other parties would perhaps do better to focus strongly on the council elections next year. A diversity of localising, radical voices in our councils might actually have more weight than a small cadre of radicals in Holyrood with no real power and only a minimal voice. The electoral system suits them a lot better there too. There will be Labour, Liberal and Tory voters who’ll put the Greens as their second choice. There will be Labour and SNP voters who’ll put RISE as their second choice. From there, we can build a real consensus across the country.

    In the meantime, how about instead of sniping at the SNP and telling porkies about how the forthcoming election is “certain” to go, we get back to what made those voices important during the referendum campaign and get out on the streets to campaign? If what you want is a pro-Yes alliance then get your local Green or RISE branch to talk to the local SNP branch about getting together after the election to start doing some hardcore canvassing for independence? Party politics doesn’t need to be an issue. Just get together every week and decide what streets you’re going to hit. Spend the next four or five years making sure every single door in Scotland gets knocked and that we have a detailed understanding of where the Yes votes are and what their motivations are, where the “hard” No votes are so we can stop wasting time on them and where the “soft” No votes are so that we can focus hard on changing their minds. The radical campaigners amongst the Greens and RISE are maybe the best equipped to do that, being generally younger, fitter and more enthusiastic than the average SNP member. Over the long haul, they’ll be doing their party a turn too because they’ll be showing themselves to be co-operative and positive while getting a whole lot of canvassing information that would be harder to get by working alone. If we’re going to say independence is not a party political affair then let’s start acting like it. Until those Green and RISE activists can set their policy differences with the SNP aside in the short term, and until Green and RISE (and SNP) activists can say they’d happily pound the pavement alongside someone like Michael Fry, we’re not really “non-aligned” at all.

    1. ED says:

      reading the article and the follow up coments, it is crystal clear that Scotland will never take its soverenty back because the people are hoplesly divided along class lines, perceived rich and poor,
      not as a nation, able to take its place at the forum of proud independent nations,we simply can not see the wood for the trees’ god help our future as a nation. !!! but please!!! you must vote


  62. Bill McLean says:

    We’re falling for it! Divide and rule is being subtly used to manipulate the gullible. We need the SNP to open the door to independence and freedom. We MUST maintain a united campaign to achieve our aim of independence and if it means voting for a party that is not entirely to your liking ask yourself where we would be without the SNP. We Scots are a disputatious lot and the Empire loyalists are relying on their divide and rule tactics to diminish the SNP presence at Holyrood – then they will say we don’t really want independence. Independence could be lost for decades if we give the ammunition. Stop arguing amongst ourselves. Vote SNP x2 for the better Scotland we all want and away from the corruption of Westminster!

  63. Jamie says:

    Would be good to have a variety of yes politicians from Solidarity, Gree and RISE because the SNP does need it’s feet held to the fire so to speak as Labour and Conservatives are incapable of doing so.

  64. Willie says:

    C’mon folks let’s drop the SNP and vote for the rag bag visionaries in Rise, Solidarity, SSP, Respect and Green. Absolute guff from the clowns who would be king. Left wing politics is discredited by these folks. Never heard so much tosh in my life. These folks are self seeking wasters. Taking a Rise in fact.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Willie, you are referring to people mostly with limited means (and not too many flats to rent out, unlike the present lot), yet with more than enough commitment and intelligence to make a change, and they certainly have vision. There are plenty of elected politicians who might better merit the description you ascribe to them.

      1. David Allan says:




    2. John Page says:

      As far as the Greens are concerned that is, as I’m sure you’ll acknowledge after reflection, a totally crass comment. How can you possibly describe as self seeking wasters people such as Veronika Tudhope with a deep commitment to nuclear disarmament, Andy Wightman with a lifetime’s dedication to land reform in Scotland and Alison Johnston’s support for action on climate change and sustainable transport and cities.
      You should be ashamed of that ignorant and embarrassing post.
      I think we have all had enough of this SNP*2 stuff…….comments like this are not going to persuade or influence anyone to change their mind.
      John Page

      1. James_Mac says:

        Where’s the evidence that Greens will be able to do anything radical in Holyrood? They had half a dozen MSPs before (along with the SSP). I can remember a couple policy initiatives being touted but nothing else particularly groundbreaking. The Greens need to acknowledge that the SNP stands for independence. The Greens stand for independence if we can get nearly a third of the electorate to sign a petition.

        I have a lot of time for Greens, but this “vote for us because we were in the Yes campaign (but we won’t be getting another one anytime soon)” is pretty transparent. I can totally see the point Willie is making even if his language is a bit crass.

        1. John Page says:

          I will conclude therefore, James-Mac that you had not checked the Green Manifesto before your “I will say this once” comment. Maybe that would be a worthwhile step if you are/were tempted to give the Greens your List vote. Perhaps do a detailed compare and contrast on the respective positions explicitly covered re a second IndyRef in each of the Green and SNP 2016 Manifestos. Its always good to do your own research and come to an informed view.
          Thank you
          John Page

  65. Jim Wallace says:

    You assert that giving your list vote to Rise, Greens etc is sure to increase the variety of pro Indy MSPs in the new parliament as this site has done for some time. It’s an article of faith because you show no evidence to support your claim. I want independence to create the environment that will allow every vote to count. I want a socialist government but I want independence first because that’s what will create the environment where socialism becomes meaningful in real terms

    1. John Page says:

      I live in West Scotland and have done repeated calculations based on current polls and assuming SNP get 8, 9 or 10 of the constituency seats……that is why I don’t want to waste my second vote.
      Please do your own calculations based on where you live.
      I cannot see where you get the “article of faith” stuff from.
      John Page

  66. James_Mac says:

    I will say this once… people are not zombies. They don’t vote for the Greens in large numbers because you do not offer them what they want.

    Tempted by lending my vote on the regional list, but the Greens position on a new indyref is a massive disappointment, especially considering how much time they spend telling us they were part of the Yes campaign.

    1. John Page says:

      The Scottish Greens want to create a “radical and inclusive democracy” that puts citizens at the heart of the democratic process, both at local and national level.
      In a second referendum the Scottish Greens will campaign for independence. It added: “Until then we can build a bolder democracy, and open up our institutions for greater citizen participation while pushing for stronger powers for Holyrood.”
      The party wants;
      a written constitution, produced by the Scottish people in a citizen-led process
      devolution of more powers to local councils and requiring them to include local communities in decision making
      the creation of a more accessible “People’s Parliament” that has more of the powers it needs to serve the Scottish public
      …………….I am sorry but I don’t see that as a massive disappointment. Please explain your comment a bit more fully

      Thank you

      John Page

    2. John Page says:

      Just in case you missed this post above James-Mac………….
      I will conclude therefore, James-Mac that you had not checked the Green Manifesto before your “I will say this once” comment. Maybe that would be a worthwhile step if you are/were tempted to give the Greens your List vote. Perhaps do a detailed compare and contrast on the respective positions explicitly covered re a second IndyRef in each of the Green and SNP 2016 Manifestos. Its always good to do your own research and come to an informed view.
      Thank you
      John Page

      1. yesindyref2 says:

        John, I just checked out the SGP Manifesto for Holyrood and what it has to saay about another referendum on Independence is this:

        “Citizens as legislators
        . Citizens should be able to play a direct role in the legislative process: on presenting a petition signed by an appropriate number of voters, citizens should be able to trigger a vote on important issues of devolved responsibility. As we proposed on the one year anniversary of the Independence Referendum, this is the Scottish Greens’ preferred way of deciding to hold a second referendum on Independence. If a new referendum is to happen, it should come about by the will of the people, and not be driven by calculations of party political advantage. In such a referendum the Scottish Greens will campaign for independence. ”

        Note very carefully what the Mainfesto does NOT say:

        It does not say the Scottish Green Party will call for a Second Referendum, or mention any conditions it will do so.

        It also does NOT say it will support the SNP if the SNP call for a second Referendum, and in fact the part I quoted implies that the Green Party will NOT support the SNP if they call for Indy Ref 2 – unless whatever threshold – a million I think Patricj Harvie said – is reached in a petition.

        It took 2 years for YES to get its 1 million YES declarion signed, and that was after a long Referendum campaign which got intense in the last 3 months, and particulalry during the last 2 weeks.

        1. Kenny says:

          I hadn’t read the specifics of the Greens policy on a second referendum. That’s pretty interesting. It means that in theory, the Greens could win every seat in which they’re standing and potentially form a government but they wouldn’t actively pursue a policy they support without a further mandate via a petition. I wonder if their views on petitions would extend to, let’s say, a petition opposing a windfarm in a particular area or proposing to allow fracking to create jobs in a particular area? The latter might be unlikely, but the former is very plausible. How far do their democratic credentials go?

          The thing about “party political advantage” is kinda silly too. That can only really mean “the SNP shouldn’t be able to get credit for another referendum.” One key argument made by everyone in the Yes campaign was that it WASN’T about party political advantage but a point of constitutional principle, or at the very least about the possibility of creating a different kind of political framework for Scotland. Do the Greens now think that the SNP only want to win a referendum so they can polish their halos? I doubt that’s really what they mean but it’s a very strange choice of words.

        2. John Page says:

          What does the SNP Manifesto say on IndyRef2?

          1. schrodingers cat says:

            the snp wont highlight the methodology whereby we the people demand indyref2 just that if the people of scotland demand on we will get one

            the greens PREFERED method is a petition

            whether the snp hold indyref2 in the next parliament will depend on events going forward, the most obvious being the result in the eu ref, and how that effects the polls on indy.

            if it is a eu leave and support for indy rises, i would prefer a sept indyref2 but that may not be possible, before we can run indyref2 we will need to control all 32 councils. to that end, rather than a petition, the snp would stand for election in the local council elections on a manifesto for indyref2, the opposite of their manifesto for the 2015 ge.

            that should motivate all indy supporters to get the voters out but i cant see the snp not winning again and should we get more than a million snp votes this mandate would be difficult to dismiss for the greens

          2. James_Mac says:

            That the unequivocally support an independent Scotland and that the will propose a referendum in the next parliament if there is a material change in circumstances from the last one. There will likely be an actual commitment for a second indyref in 2021 and not a referendum on a referendum that the Greens are doing.

            The more I speak to Greens, the more I am less tempted by giving them my regional vote.

          3. John Page says:

            Mr S Cat
            I clarified a point last night by someone saying that the Green stance on INDYREF2 was a massive disappointment…….I am not immediately convinced that the position you outline for the SNP is such that the Green position could by an reasonable criteria be described as a massive disappointment.
            We have had people here recently tying themselves in knots to say SNP GOOOOOOOD and everyone else BAAAAD. They don’t seem credible and I can’t see how they would be good advocates for convincing erstwhile no voters or more to the point re engaging the young and dispossessed who must see Holyrood filled with professional politicians in suits as an irrelevance.
            I think underlying this sorry dialogue is quite pronounced disrespect from some SNP supporters re the positions of others who want Independence and who want to raise environmental issues and who don’t want to waste their list votes letting unionist second raters get into Holyrood over pro Indy Greens or RISE.
            I can only admire Bella for putting up with all this crap.

            John Page

  67. David Francis says:

    Bella seems to be getting progressively more and more Anti-SNP just at the very moment when we Scots who support Indy need to send a very strong message to Westminster and the entire battery of their well-heeled sycophants in the MSM, BBC and elsewhere, that we are behind the only Party which is capable of delivering what we want.

    Rise, Greens, Solidarity are totally incapable of achieving that goal – and they barely register with the Unionist Establishment who would block us at every single opportunity.

    Time for some more honesty on here, about what will actually achieve results, within the present Westminster-controlled system and less about the niceties of whether the smaller Parties are worth our votes on the List.

    I am heartily sick and tired of “experts” telling us that they “know” how tactical voting on the List will work out.

    The do NOT know – they are merely guessing against a complex system of voting and have absolutely NO credible precedents to cite for their suppositions under D’ Hondt.

    For all of us whose main target is Scottish Independence, the most important factor is to maintain and increase the strength of the one Party who Westminster really fears up here – the SNP.

    The discussion about a more pluralistic approach to who we vote for should and must, in my opinion, wait until we have achieved our main objective.

    If it does not, then I fear we will be merely arguing about a Unionist-Lite future for our Country, in perpetuity.

    It has to be SNP 1 and 2 at the moment, for me.

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      Adopting a 2 votes SNP stance with the polls as they stand is likely to work against that party’s interest and the cause of independence. It will simply gift list seats to Labour and the Tories.

      1. David Francis says:

        No, it will not.

        No guarantee of anything.

        Only ifs, buts and maybes.

    2. Broadbield says:

      Well said, David. Bella is becoming less and less the “go to” forum, especially after the ill-advised attacks on 2 other respected bloggers and Independence stalwarts last week. So, I’ll be taking my reading to other places where juvenile insults are not hurled at like-minded voices who just happen to think that other tactics are more advisable.

      As for the leftie know-alls, perhaps they can cite evidence where their policies have been successful over a period of time. Anything? Thought not.

      Perhaps they should ask themselves why the right-wing have been so dominant for the past 40 or 50 years and start addressing that.

      1. David Francis says:

        I am Left-of-Centre myself and, looking at the present state of the UK, EU and the West generally, I don’t see much evidence of successful Right Wing policies – just the elite making a complete fool of the rest of us.

        My preference for SNP 1&2 stems from my honest belief that the Scottish voting system cannot be “gamed” successfully.

        If I honestly believed it could, I might vote tactically on the List.

    3. James_Mac says:

      They are blaming the SNP for the Greens and RISE struggling to make as big an impact as they wanted. It is pretty ludicrous. RISE in particular are a couple of weeks old.

      The Greens stand across Europe, and only in Germany have the come anywhere near mainstream. It’s based on the simple fact that no-one gets (except Germans) excited about recycling. We know it’s important, but it’s not that big a deal to many people.

      1. ES says:

        I agree that the failure of some of the smaller Parties to garner their own votes in sufficient numbers to give the a realistic chance of Seats, is resulting in supporters of those Parties slagging off SNP supporters who do not want to switch their List votes.

        I can understand their frustration, but cannot comprehend some of their antagonism and condescension in respect of folk who just want to give both votes to the Party of their choice.

        There is absolutely no concrete evidence that tactical voting will produce the beneficial results for the Yes Movement which some are getting hyperbolic about, merely educated guesswork which may or may not be correct.

        Not good enough for me.

      2. Kenny says:

        It’s worth pointing out that after the so-called “Green Revolution” that saw the Greens win power in Baden-Wurttemberg, they immediately did a volte-face on one of their big issues (a new railway station in Stuttgart – it’s a bizarre story, but well worth looking into if you’re interested in mass movements in politics) and lost power again in the recent German elections. People weren’t voting for them because they were green (although environmental issues have got a lot more traction in some parts of Germany than in most of the rest of Europe) but because they were different from the establishment parties. In a lot of ways, what happened to them is more like what happened to the Lib Dems here than any real growth in ecological politics.

        1. James_Mac says:

          It is only fairly recently the Scottish Greens have been more radical. Robin Harper was hardly a firebrand socialist. He was a likeable fellow, but they really started in coffee shops in Morningside. That’s no bad thing, but there are a lot of the Green membership core that are small ‘c’ conservative that approve of things like renewable energy, recycling and the like. The main problem is thing is picking your battles, and which principles you should trade away. Inevitably, people pick the wrong ones (like Lib Dems trading in all their principles for AV).

          SYRIZA is another case in point that their intake of PASOK and their removal of the far left from their ranks. There is a real danger they turn into PASOK-lite. I think once Tsipras, the novelty of SYRIZA could wane.

  68. Graeme Purves says:

    ‘Both Votes SNP’ is homeopathic politics – the theory of efficacy through repeated dilution.

    1. Broadbield says:

      Have a read at John Curtice’s piece in “The National” from February, or James Kelly on “Scotland goes Pop”. They dismiss this nonsense us highly unreliable, and from an SNP supporters point of view, very risky. According to Curtice, a Green vote “may” have some small effect, but even that is uncertain. Let’s have an argument based on sound analysis rather than shouting, which we’ve been getting to much of on Bella.

      Maybe time for a new Editor.

      1. Graeme Purves says:


      2. John Page says:

        I thought you had just said you were going elsewhere… don’t seem very credible now.
        I do not take anyone’s authority on anything…..I have just rechecked the latest polls re West of Scotland…….
        Here is the result predicted
        9 constituency seats for SNP, Eastwood for the Tories
        3 list seats for each of Labour and Tories and 1 for the Greens……..every single SNP list vote wasted.
        Can you please just do the numbers for your own region and cut the disrespect to others who do not share your opinion in SNP*2
        Thank you

        1. yesindyref2 says:

          Presuming it’s the April Survation poll with the SNP at 44% overall on the list, then after 7 seats on the list I get SNP at 3.83%, Lab 4.37%, Con 3.78%, Lib 3.41%, Green 3.15%. Which means the SNP are nearer getting a list seat, than the Greens are for getting a second. I also make it 4 for Lab and 2 for Con on the list, not 3 each, with 1 for Green.

  69. John Page says:

    Here is a challenge
    Is there anyone out there with good IT skills? I would happily meet in in Glasgow or Edinburgh and we can try and create a model to let people make up their own minds
    There are three possibilities
    A you want to vote according to your views on one or more parties
    B you don’t want to waste your second vote cos the SNP are likely to get all 10 constituency seats and you would divide the SNP List turnout by 11 before you start
    C you hope a 2 nd vote for SNP might pick up 1 or 2 List seats
    I would ideally like a model as per Scotland Votes granular at Region level. That would need opinion polling at individual constituency and region levels
    A doesn’t need to worry but B and C need more information
    I am very happy with people voting SNP*2 if they are in a region were clearly the Tories or Lib Dems will get constituency seats
    I am less happy about those who either don’t understand the de Hont system or who are deliberately misinforming others.
    If you are up for looking into this and think you can help me produce a useable model, do say so.
    Please spare yourself the bother if you want to call me a unionist stooge or try to influence/frighten me with selected data.
    Thank you
    John Page

    1. James_Mac says:

      Get it out your head. There aren’t a ton of people out there itching to vote Green but don’t because they think their vote will be wasted. Greens are supported by a left-leaning middle-class. The indyref allowed them Greens to pitch to the working-class a bit more. I am not particularly wealthy, and even I find it hard to work out what the Greens are about or why its relevant to me. RISE has a similar problem: I heard Cat Boyd claim “Catholics don’t traditionally trust the SNP”. Which is just ignorant pish.

      The fact is, we are only having this debate among SNP supporters because the only thing the Greens have to pitch to the Scottish working class is “we were pro-independence in 2014”. How many votes they will get in each region is hard to say. They have the best chance of getting two MSPs in Edinburgh. Other than that, they will be hugely fortunate to get one in each of the other regions. Instead of working out how to get SNP voters to vote for you, why not work out how agrees with your policies and stop trying to pretend that voting for you is what good pro-indy types should be doing.

      1. John Page says:

        Every time I have politely responded to your posts and tried to get you to focus on the numbers for your own region to make your own reasoned choice, you have responded with incorrect or purely impressionistic or anecdotal and prejudicial comments.
        You clearly take stuff in by your ears and not your eyes……I am sorry I wasted my time trying to persuade you to show a bit more open mindedness and respect
        If you cant work out why seriously tackling climate change and addressing the need for a fair and sustainable economy and bringing in radical land reform and taxation is relevant to you, I can only suggest you start doing some serious research…….maybe read Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything.
        Thank you
        John Page

        1. James_Mac says:

          John. I have been watching Holyrood elections since it started. I know how the voting system works. As I said, if the Greens do well they will manage to get an MSP in each region and possibly two MSPs in Lothian. You can do that all on a spreadsheet or on paper.

          Mass tactical voting could work in theory, but I highly doubt it would be effective. You would need a large number of people in places like Dumfriesshire to vote SNP, and another large number of people who want to vote SNP to vote Green. If you can detail how such an operation could work in practice I am all ears. Right now, it seems to be “say all SNP voters are zombies on Bella Caledonia and the Scotsman”.

          1. John Page says:

            This is my last attempt. I support the SNP will vote for my part candidate in the constituency…….some please drop the nonsense about zombies
            Each region is different and I am suggesting people look at their own regions and make their own decisions
            I redid the numbers for West Scotland this morning………see above……..please reflect on what the impact would be on switching some of those wasted (42%) SNP List votes to Green
            Please just think it through for yourself and don’t rely on Wings, The Record or the Telegraph…….it’s your vote. I am suggesting that depending on what your region is SNP*2 might be wasted and will deliver more SLAB numpties and Tories. What is wrong with that?
            John Page

  70. Alf Baird says:

    I see professor Curtice has finally quashed the SNPx2 nonsense for what it is:

    Vote SNP1 / any other indy party2

    1. Valerie says:

      And a few hours later, it is debunked by WoS. This is why WoS is unique, and treats us like intelligent adults.

      I hope Curtice sues the Herald.

      1. Valerie says:

        Here is Curtice in the National warning against tactical voting. It’s not a system that can be gamed.

      2. John Page says:

        Hi Valerie
        Have you done your own numbers for your own region updating them for latest polls…….if not why not. Why believe Curtice or Campbell when you can do it for yourself?

      3. kbhresq says:

        I suggest that you read what Curtice actually wrote:
        Presenting the worked example of Lothian Region, he concludes that:
        “If… just 0.5% of voters had voted on the list ballot for the Greens rather than the SNP, the nationalists’ allies on the constitutional question would have secured another seat while their ‘defection’ would not have cost the SNP anything.”

      4. David Allan says:

        Intelligent and obedient Adults !

    2. Paul says:

      ‘I see professor Curtice has finally quashed the SNPx2 nonsense’

      No he didn’t, he’s misrepresented by a Journalist that used to work for Anas Sarwar who in the same article also uses information provided by an ex-Labour councillor and some other bod who has strong anti-SNP views parading as some sort of neutral think tank.

      Proves the point I made earlier about this article:

      ‘With articles like this you are playing straight into unionist hands, they’ll be lapping this up and no doubt actively encouraging it in their own nefarious way’.

      I would say well done for falling for this crap but reading some of your other comments I suspect you are well aware of what’s happening here and support it.

      1. John Page says:

        Can you show me your workings for your region to back your informed decision. That might be more more persuasive than implying that I am a unionist which is just ridiculous. I want an SNP government, I don’t want to waste my 2nd vote when the current indications are that it would wasted and would deliver Jackie Baillie and two hangers on plus 3 Tories for my region.
        Your region might be different and of course your second vote might deliver a SNP list candidate.
        Do you realise just how destructive your baseless and offensive post is? If the SNP supporters who are engaging in this pack behaviour continue, and if the SNP SOAC committee continues to ignore representations from Branches like mine to engage in more open and transparent conference dialogue then the recent dramatic rise in support will regretably dissipate.
        Because I don’t agree with you on every detail, I am supporting unionist divisiveness???? Please reflect on how ridiculous that is.
        John Page

        1. Paul says:

          John Page

          My reply was to Alf Baird who started this post, your post and others appeared sometime between me reading the post and replying – If you had looked closely enough you would’ve seen the quote was not from your post, I meant no offence to you with that reply…

          If you’ve worked out that voting Green, RISE or other works in your constituency then great – vote for them (btw constantly stating or replying you’ve checked your numbers and thereby implying you’re the one who’s right is not that convincing either I haven’t re-checked but I’m pretty sure most of the ‘numbers’ were kinda wrong at the GE last year).

          I live in an area that now has very high support for the SNP but heavily voted no, currently has a Tory/Labour council and a hapless but somehow mildly popular Labour MSP. I don’t have the ‘numbers’ for the area but from my own first-hand experience knocking doors last year and from speaking to people who are knocking doors this year support for the other indy parties is near zero – I personally have spoken to more UKIP voters than Green, which is depressing.

          If any of the other independence supporting parties were to get the list seat there’s absolutely no chance they will be able to convince enough no voters to move to supporting independence with policies that far more left leaning than the SNP – as far as I’m concerned convincing no voters is the number one priority! We need to try and appeal to Scotland as whole to support independence and these parties just don’t do that whether they have the better intentions or not. After independence I’m all in for a left wing utopian Scotland…

          The only destructiveness and divisiveness on the independence supporting side I can see is emanating from disingenuous articles such as this one. Maybe I’m imaging it along with all the other people who comment but the majority of articles appealing to SNP voters to lend their list vote to another party seem to be tinged with a thinly veiled bitterness and anger towards the SNP perhaps because their parties (and their supporters) were not better rewarded for their efforts during the referendum as the SNP were or because they are already deep into the way of playing the standard political games the electorate is sick off.

          It would be far more appealing and genuine if they said vote for us because we stand for this and never mentioned the SNP or at least brought all the other parties properly into the argument.

          If the Greens or other were polling much closer to the unionist parties along with a more successful electoral track record then there would be a far stronger argument for lending that 2nd vote but they’re not and with perhaps a few exceptions the list votes for both SNP or other independence supporting parties are likely to lead to list seats going to Unionist parties regardless.

          However a strong showing for the SNP 2nd vote especially if they again break the system that was designed to stop them from gaining a majority will certainly be very demoralising for the Unionist parties, this would be better than a result which shows the independence movement as a whole is becoming more fragmented and therefore weaker over time.

          FYI – using statements like ‘If the SNP supporters who are engaging in this pack behaviour continue’ does actually sound like something a unionist would say. Not helpful…

          1. Alf Baird says:

            Paul, nothing is risk free, but as Curtice clearly states (specifically in regard to Lothian Region, but also relevant in other regions) the risk is well worth taking:

            “If, on the other hand, just 0.5% of voters had voted on the list ballot for the Greens rather than the SNP, the nationalists’ allies on the constitutional question would have secured another seat while their ‘defection’ would not have cost the SNP anything.”

            The choice here in this instance is between Green no 2 on the list Andy Wightman (who just happens to be THE land reform expert in Scotland) or another Slabber! Not really a difficult choice for any Yes voter, is it?

  71. Alf Baird says:

    If the SNP leadership were to put independence before party, they would be arguing in their manifesto launch this week for Yes folk to vote: SNP1 / any other indy party2. Advocating a wasteful SNPx2 shows where that party’s priorities lie – i.e. the party.

    This is one of those points in time when the electorate really can see the selfishness and idiocy of ‘establishment’ party politics. Yes voters (55% now) are prepared to lend the SNP their constituency vote according to polls (and a rather solid assumption after the evidence of what actually happened last May), but the SNP want more, they even want our list votes which they know would be wasted and will only serve to return more unionist MSP’s than otherwise. In other words, the SNP would rather see more unionist MSP’s elected than MSP’s for other indy parties – Greens/Rise/Solidarity. That my friends is despicable selfish politics.

    Well done John Page and Prof Curtis for finally nailing the waste of SNPx2. Let’s hope more voters get familiar with the Holyrood voting system before 5 May.

    1. Ken Guthrie says:

      Actuallt, Professor Curtice did no such thing.

  72. David Francis says:

    From Curtice’s Report, regarding Tactical Voting on the List – and which was NOT included in the Sunday Herald piece

    “But, of course, this is not a strategy without risks. Perhaps, in
    the event, the SNP will not do so well as the polls are currently
    suggesting, thereby ensuring that every last list seat won or lost
    matters. Conversely, if the polls are indeed underestimating SNP
    support on the list vote (and overestimating that of the Greens)
    then the party may well be strong enough in at least some regions
    to pick up a list seat even if it has won all of the constituency seats
    in that region (while perhaps the Greens are too far away from the
    5-6% needed to win a list seat for any likely level of SNP tactical
    support to make a difference)”

    The Report Curtice compiled was for Electoral Reform Scotland, two of whose main officers are virulently Anti-SNP – one of whom is a former Unionist SLAB councillor, the other who has described Nationalism as a “Virus” – and seem to be against the SNP having a majority support in Scotland at all – irrespective of what Scottish voters decide

    One really has to wonder what The Sunday Herald’s REAL motives are, innot only heavily distorting what Curtice ACTUALLY said and giving so much coverage to ERS and its blatantly biased stance in this area.

    There really does now seem to be a concerted, orchestrated effort to undermine the SG/SNP – even from quarters which previously had been reasonably fair and balanced in their positionon them.

    Bottom Line; even more reason for me to give BOTH my votes to the Party I have supported for over three decades and in whom I still place my trust to deliver an Independent Scotland – The Scottish National Party.

    1. John Page says:

      Ad hominem attacks and more than a hint of conspiracy……… Can you show me the numbers for the constituency and the 7 list seats for your region on current polling and demonstrate that a SNP list vote would not be wasted…….that would be more persuasive…….
      Thank you

      1. Kenny says:

        No-one has regional polling data – at least no-one that’s publishing it – and even if they did, a 3% margin of error in a situation where we’re already talking about really marginal issues wouldn’t actually give us any hard facts to work from.

        Professor Curtice, who could hardly be described as supportive of the independence cause, has politely distanced himself from the headline in today’s Sunday Herald story. As others have pointed out, Peter Swindon is a long-time Labour activist and members of the ERS look to be somewhat less than neutral regarding the SNP. Don’t let your own political leanings influence a careful analysis and understanding of what messages the media give us.

        Finally, let’s remember that people like James Kelly, Stu Campbell and others are not telling you that a vote for the Greens or RISE is anti-indy or treacherous or anything. All they’ve said is that it’s dishonest to claim you can game the AMS system as easily as some are suggesting and that an attempt to do so might easily jeopardise a pro-independence majority of any kind at Holyrood. The “both votes SNP” idea only became a thing when people started suggesting that the opposite was true.

        If you support RISE or the Greens, vote for them. If you support the Tories, vote for them. It’s that simple. Even if we DID game the system successfully and managed to end up with 90 pro-independence MSPs by our clever trickery, does that actually convert one more person to actually voting for independence? Doesn’t it actually just make us look like sly bastards, cheating for our own advantage?

        I can’t wait for this election to be over. Maybe once it is we can put all this silliness behind us and start working together again to build a better country, one that’s moving ever closer to independence. For now, all we’re doing is shouting at each other about things that might never happen.

      2. David Francis says:

        Nope – merely highlighting that two of the main officers from ERS are very, very Anti-SNP and seemingly against them having a legitimate majority of votes up here.

        Another passage from Curtice that was “omitted” from the Sunday Herald piece –

        “This caution about the accuracy of the polls’ estimate of list
        support means that there is inevitably particular uncertainty about
        the electoral prospects of the Greens and UKIP, wholly reliant as
        they are on that ballot for realising their ambitions for getting MSPs
        elected. As Chart 1 shows, the polls have been relatively optimistic
        about the Greens’ prospects; their average of 8% of the vote puts
        them well above the threshold of 5-6% of the vote that we have seen
        that a party needs to win before it is likely to win a seat in a region.
        But the polls were quite optimistic about the party’s prospects at
        the last election too, putting it at between six and eight percent
        of the vote when, in the event, it secured just 4%.”

        Finally, I am not trying to “persuade” anyone of anything.

        I am simply stating the inherent uncertainties in attempting to “game” the D’Hondt system, as Curtice himself never tires of pointing out.

        As for a “conspiracy” – your word not mine – what I would say, is that pretty much everyone involved in the Sunday Herald piece would appear to object to the SNP having a Majority at all.

        Interesting twitter discussion, earlier today, between John Curtice and Wings –

        Wings – “Hi John, are you happy about your Report for Electoral Reform Scotland characterised like this; “Professor John Curtice says Yes Voters should instead give their backing to another Pro-Independence Party” ?

        Prof Curtice – “Sounds a bit strong. For “Should” read “Might Want to Consider” The Report points out the Risks of Not Voting SNP on the List Vote, as well as why people might want to do so”

        I agree with the eminent Professor on the Risks involved.

  73. David Allan says:

    If the SNP don’t get a grip of the School PFI issue , (Edinburgh voters will associate problem with current party of government) not everyone is as informed as Bella readers.

    It’s link to management of TRAM fiasco would help associate the issue with previous administrations. For me it’s another demonstration of SNP taking eye of the ball .

  74. Julia Gibb says:

    Rather sad that Bella has been “Taken Over”.

    The comments of the editor are narrow and biased. This was never the case in the past.

    The slant of articles has gone from the promotion of other party views to a blatant anti-SNP campaign.

    BellaCaledonia the blog of Rise I can understand the takeover but the attack on the SNP support baffles me.

    1. David Allan says:


      Bella represents a forum for all opinions within the yes movement and the number of comments on this post are testimony to it’s ability to create and stimulate debate .

      Well done Bella! Keep up the good work it’s no all about the SNP.

  75. David Francis says:

    We seem to be tying ourselves in knots over this Tactical Voting issue.

    Sorry to be so blunt……but we live in a democracy where folk can vote for who they want and, as yet,I see very scant evidence that folk are going to cast their votes for Greens, Rise, SSP, Solidarity as a first preference.

    That is, presumably, because the policies put forward by these Parties have not found enough resonance with the general public.

    The object of Tactical Voting, then, would seem to be to get these Parties some seats based on the sole notion that they would be good for the end-game of Independence, rather than based on genuine public support for them.

    If that is the case and they do gain Seats by default rather than by public desire, how will their presence and stances go down with the No Voters – who we need to convince to switch to Yes prior to another Referendum?

    Will they help or hinder that process?

    I find it very hard to imagine Undecideds/Soft Noers taking kindly to such blatant “placing” of MSPs who will have failed to obtain genuine public support at the ballot box.

    During IndyRef, most of us on the Yes Side, rightly, complained bitterly about and ridiculed Unionist supporters from various Parties, for attempting the same type of trick in selected areas of the Country.

    I fear that the very Scots we need to bring to Yes for our ultimate objective, will simply view similar attempts by our side, in exactly the same way and we will all be the losers.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Unlike you, I couldn’t care less about “No Voters”; this election and voting system is simply an opportunity to remove as many unionist MSP’s as possible.

      1. David Francis says:

        Guess that’s the difference between us, bud.

        I am looking to the future and the Main Prize, when we can win it.

        Sticking up two digits to Unionists over the next Holyrood parliamentary term is less important to me.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          2 list seats for almost 1 million SNP list votes is not a good return. Especially when it also means an extra 10-20 unionist list MSP’s. They won’t help the independence cause. Better to wipe them out than actively help them in, no?

          1. David Francis says:

            That is not what I will be doing.

            Sorry, mate, I just do not buy into the certainty of your argument – because I believe your argument to be flawed.

            As Curtice has repeatedly stated, there is nothing remotely certain about attempting tactical voting against D’hondt.

            Nothing in the skewed reporting of that ERS Report in the SH today, has changed my mind on that fact.

          2. Alf Baird says:

            Risk either way, but evidently far more risk (certainty?) with SNPx2 and a ‘lost’ list vote. Pity, some great potential indy list MSP’s – Andy Wightman, Zara Kitson, Cat Boyd, Jean Urquhart, Tommy Sheridan etc etc. Surely you would prefer them to more unionist Slabbers?

          3. David Francis says:

            Nice bunch of people, sure.

            But not good enough to get elected in the “normal” way, through popular/credible policies etc…..?

          4. Ken Guthrie says:

            It’s strange to see the argument still being put forward that a list vote for the SNP is somehow wasted or is a snub to diversity. I would love to see SSP, Solidarity or Greens with a greater presence in Parliament, but sadly a vote for them is the easiest way to get more Labour, Conservative or Liberal MSP elected.

  76. Derek says:

    You have to see this from a RISE perspective, and that’s where I am sure Liam Stevenson is coming from, being a RISE candidate. I hae me doots that RISE will get sufficient votes to get anyone elected from any of their lists, let alone central where I think Liam is a middle-of-the-list candidate.
    So I see this article not so much as a ‘wasted SNP vote’ as ‘vote for RISE, you know it makes sense’.
    And actually it doesn’t make sense to me because [in this election at least] I see a vote for RISE as a vote wasted on someone who won’t get elected, as opposed to the SNP where a second vote serves a second function: not only is there the off-chance an SNP candidate will be elected from the lists – it happened last time – but it sticks a finger up to union politics.
    An emotional response? Surely as valid as the calculating response of trying to game the system.

    1. Angus McKinnon says:

      Further to Derek’s comment, a vote for rise is not only a wasted voted, it is a vote that risks letting unionism control Holyrood by the back door and setting back the nationalist cause by generations.

      What take a risk on rise?

      1. Richard says:

        Spot on Angus. With you all the way.

      2. Alf Baird says:

        Angus, “unionism control(s) Holyrood” no matter who sits on the Holyrood chairs; it is, need I remind anyone a devolved (i.e. unionist) parliament ‘supported’ by a unionist (i.e. UK Home?) civil service and administered by a unionist parliament body, in addition to the hundreds of other mostly unionist-led public bodies throughout Scotland who merrily spend the unionist-imposed budget Swinney merely has the pleasure to announce. “Unionism” will therefore continue to control Scotland irrespective of who sits in Holyrood after this election. In other words, even the SNP does not really seriously diminish “unionism control Holyrood” or indeed over Scotland.

      3. John Mooney says:

        Angus just watched Fox on tv making a complete cluster f*** of Rise’s manifesto,He completely contradicted his own manifesto,what a dick,Rise really is taking a RISE ,SNPX2!

  77. Ghillie says:

    Very helpful and informative article over on Wings Over Scotland.

    Just read outline of SNP Manifesto.

    Am impressed and very happy with it!

    Very clear about how the SNP will approach our calling for the next Independence Referendum. So that we can win it.

    Way to go Nicola = )

  78. RabMacPhoto says:

    “At best, this is disingenuous – at worst, however, this is deliberately misleading.”

    Sums this article up quite neatly – split the 2nd vote & see Unionist parties taking seats they wouldn’t have.

  79. Leslie Ross says:

    ” Therefore – an SNP list vote will be worth one tenth of a Labour vote. That’s right: one Labour list vote in Glasgow will be worth ten SNP list votes.”

    – and five after Labour win one seat, just over three after two seats, two and a half if they win three list seats. That’s why in the last of the seven seats to be allocated a few hundred votes can matter and trying to finesse it is a mug’s game.

    Vote your conscience, not your calculation.

    1. douglas clark says:

      Thanks for that. It is pretty plain that you should vote as you want to, not according to a guess as to how things might work out.

      “Vote your conscience, not your calculation”

      Wise words.

  80. Bryan says:

    Lets say that the vote is split and the SNP loses the majority. And there’s the Greens. A vote comes up for fracking. Then lets say that SNP thinks they can win an Indiref2 and wants to proceed. Will the Greens then say ‘ we’ll support an Indiref2 if you support fracking’. I can see this sort of thing happening without an SNP majority. If independence is the ultimate goal, maintaining an SNP majority is the only way it’s going to happen. If you’re running in a race, you don’t stop for a hamburger just because there’s some guy waving you in saying you’ve got plenty of time. You run like your feet are on fire and there’s a cool pond to walk in after you’ve won. SNPx2

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