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Message in a Green Bottle: Dear Greens please vote SNP

scotland-can-bannerMany Greens are veering away from voting SNP on the constituency vote towards voting Labour. This is for the best of radical reasons, including blaming SNP for cuts which they are passing on from Westminster, blaming the SNP for freezing and continuing the council tax, and for not raising the higher rate of tax.

So the question many of my Green friends are asking the night before the Scottish election is whether to vote SNP or Labour in constituencies where there is no Green candidate.

They didn’t have this problem at the 2015 UK General Election. They voted SNP and, by doing so, unexpectedly helped radicalise and renew the Labour Party in England.

They knew full well they would vote SNP because they were still part of a movement that stretched way beyond parties and into a positive future.

So the trick now, as it was then, is to remember that it’s not up to ‘them’ (the politicians) it’s up to ‘us’ (the people who care). Don’t accept the frame the politicians give us, don’t be divided and ruled.

We Greens can ally with the SNP grassroots to radicalise their leadership as we did over land reform, as we can do over council tax, and as we don’t need to do over Trident or immigration or refugees.

At the SNP party conference, Andy Wightman (our 2nd Green candidate here in Lothians) and Lesley Riddoch (a 2nd vote Green supporter) supported the SNP grassroots to reject a weak land reform offering from the SNP leadership.

The SNP grassroots stood strong, and as a result the land reform legislation is much stronger. The point is we (Greens) can ally with the SNP grassroots – as we did in the referendum – and the causes that matter now can win, and therefore the cause of independence and justice can win.

Voting Labour at the Holyrood level is to buy into a few good soundbites without us having the purchase to keep them to what they say. It means lapsing back into more of the same.

The SNP, on the other hand, have a reason to make a radical positive future possible, however reluctantly.

The SNP need to to fulfil their aim, and to do that they need to demonstrate they can help enable a better world. Otherwise why would we bother going for independence? And their grassroots – even if not their leadership – knows it.

So take the power into your own hands.

Don’t vote Labour in Scotland or they’ll think they can win you with sound bites, but don’t vote SNP twice or they’ll keep getting complacent, keep drifting right.

Vote SNP for the constituency so we have a party in power that can open the door.

Vote Green on the regional list so that we can ally with the SNP grassroots and continue living in the early days of a better world.

Open the door (1st vote SNP), and let’s walk through (2nd vote Green).

Comments (34)

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  1. Alex Buchan says:

    Difficult to believe anyone would be stupid enough to buy into Labour’s obviously cynical sound bites.

  2. Onwards says:

    Anyone thinking of voting Labour must be crazy.

    It wasn’t that they just campaigned alongside the Tories against Scottish self government.
    The Labour Party threatened to actively HARM Scotland economically if we voted for independence.
    By signing a pact with George Osborne to deny a currency zone. Implying they would hold up or veto our membership of Europe. And not to forget, guards on the border.

    I will never forgive or forget.

  3. shane fraser says:

    snp x2 = 🙂

  4. David Allan says:

    There will be many SNP supporters / voters who will give the greens their second vote tomorrow for any Green voter to even consider Voting Labour or Tory in the FPTP ballot would be a total betrayal of all their co-convenor stands for. A complete betrayal of their posture on Independence.

    I urge all Indy Parties to lend their FTTP vote to the SNP . I will be lending my List Vote to one of you the Independence Cause needs a strong voice we cannot rely on the SNP alone!

  5. scottieDog says:

    As an snp member I will certainly be pushing the snp towards environmentally sound policies and away from being sucked in by corporate power. Granted it’s hard when the Scottish gov lacks the economic power that would really push things on.

    There are many innovative ideas around at the moment and the snp would be very foolish to ignore them.

  6. Clive Scott says:

    Only after independence is won is there the luxury of indulging in minority politics. The only vote that can achieve independence is a vote for SNP at every election of every sort. Every vote declined for the SNP at any election is a victory for Westminster and the corrupt elites. Get real – SNP X 2 today.

    1. Annette says:

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

      And to all who claim only after independence can we afford to vote Green – want to have your Scotland fracked into oblivion? Your climate ruined? Our greenbelts destroyed by greedy developers who have the backing of the SNP? Is independence a goal it itself for you, regardless of what that independent country would look like?

  7. ED says:


  8. Jamie McIntyre says:

    Main risk to avoid letting unionists in the back donor is splitting the nationalist vote, only way to do so is to vote SNP one and two!

    Why take the risk?

    The SNP’s green credentials regards renewables make them shine in comparison to uk parties. The SNP were committed to carbon capture, uk wrecked that.

    As for labour, they are tearing themselves apart with anti semisitism, anti corbynism and have no green policies.

    Labour are a basket case!

    Vote SNP one and two!

  9. Redgauntlet says:

    My position is, no votes for the Unionist parties obviously, but no votes for the SNP either….

    …spoil your ballot paper or vote for an alternative indie candidate, but a political party which claims to be about “a fairer Scotland” and then reneges on its pledge to replace the grossly unfair Council Tax and passes up on the chance to raise the top rate of tax, endorsing the heinous George Osborne, needs a wake-up call…

    …who do these people think they are? Eh? They renege on a core manifesto commitment, which was to replace the Council Tax? And everybody just shrugs their shoulders…? Who is holding them to account?

    The SNP are using all the Blairite tactics in the book, spinning the press, with a policy making unit which makes its decisions based on what its PR and marketing department opines… “the baby box”…nice one, SNP spin dept, great soundbite…

    And there is not going to be a second referendum in this next parliament, not even if the UK votes to leave the EU, because the SNP will not call a second referendum unless they are absolutely sure of winning….

    To remind the SNP, in whatever shape or form, that they not entitled to represent the cause of independence would be the best result we could hope for…

    1. Onwards says:

      “vote for an alternative indie candidate”

      There are NO alternative indy candidates on the constituency ballot.
      Apart from Kelvin, the SNP is the only pro-independence candidate standing for the first vote.

      Abstaining there is effectively endorsing remote Tory government from London by default.

      The SNP aren’t perfect, but realistically, they are a means to gain a second referendum.
      And yes, they will time the next referendum for when it is winnable and when there is enough public support. That is the only sensible way to go. I reckon 2019 or 2020 is the most likely date.
      That would be at least 5 years since the last one.. the term of a parliament – a political generation.

      1. Redgauntlet says:

        So, in the Constituency Vote, barring two or three seats, we have the following options:

        1) Tartan Tories
        2) Red Tories
        3) Tory Tories
        4) Don’t Know Tories, ie, the Lib Dems.

        It doesn’t sound like a very representative range of the political options facing the country….

  10. Robert Louis says:

    In an ideal world, we could split the pro-indy vote. In the current REAL world however, there is a serious risk that there will be no pro-indy majority in the Scottish parliament if the vote is split. The only way to take the indy momentum forward is to vote SNP on both papers. Once we have independence, we can vote any which way. Until then, SNP X 2.

  11. Tommy says:

    Anything other than both votes SNP will give you.. Westminster

  12. Graeme Purves says:

    Sound advice, Justin!

  13. Peter Arnott says:

    See this tactical voting…gives me a headache…Still, interesting that this is even an issue (even in very small circles…so far!..) The realignment on the left (with the SNP in the centre) could be one of the stories of the next parliament. Not exactly Desmond Bagley, but still…

  14. Bert Logan says:

    I cannot split my vote – if the unionists ended up in a grand alliance with a majority then it would be utterly and completely disastrous. If there were not so many idiots in Scotland then we could move faster. Sadly, I admit, I used to be one of those.

  15. Keith Epps says:

    Latest polling out this morning shows a definite dip in SNP voting intentions – on both constituency and regional list. There’s now a distinct possibility that there won’t be an SNP majority in Holyrood. Don’t muck about today – get out and vote for SNP x2 if you’re the slightest bit pro-indy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_in_the_Scottish_Parliament_election,_2016

  16. Andy Anderson says:

    I will vote for the party I want in Government SNP and my second vote will go to the Greens because I am for independence and this seems to me the best way to get the result I am after.

  17. Justin Kenrick says:

    The surest bet is voting for what you believe in:

    Voting SNP 1st and Green 2nd reflects what I believe is needed at this moment.

    At this point in 2011, the Greens were on 5% to 6% in the opinion polls going into the election. Today in 2016, the poll has the Greens on 9%. 9% would give them many more MSPs, demonstrating that the movement for self-determination is far more than one political party. It is that broadening out that is needed for us to achieve independence, not a narrowing down into an ‘old firm’ nationalist/ unionist rivalry.

  18. John says:

    The best thing to do in this election is to vote with common sense , isn’t our objective independence . Only the SNP can deliver that . Forget all this advice on tactical voting from Bella . First they promoted Rise , now it is the Greens . Bella is trying to disrupt and split the vote . From a seemingly independence supporting blog , their tactics are questionable . Never been so disappointed with Bella , and in such a crucial election . SNP X 2 ONLY .

    1. Justin Kenrick says:


      This article is directed at my Green friends explaining why I think they need to vote SNP with their 1st vote. It is ‘promoting’ the SNP, and the feedback is that it is helping waverers who back SNP on Indy but have been really disappointed by their not challenging austerity enough.

      ‘Bella’ offers sharp criticism of the UK establishment, it ‘promotes’ video interviews with Salmond, etc. It is a forum for pro-Indy articles from SNP, Green or RISE voters.

      If you think Indy supporters all voting SNP is the way ahead that is fine. I am trying to ensure you get the 1st votes of people who might not vote for your party. Sorry if that offends.

      1. John says:

        Anyone who tries to get votes for the SNP would not offend me Justin , why would it . What offends me is the way Bella has been promoting splitting the SNP votes to parties that do not have a chance of government . I want my country to have good governance , I also want it to be stretched , I know they don’t have all the answers , I welcome parties in government that will challenge them along the road .What I would have hoped for was that Rise and Greens would have taken on unionist voters , not split SNP votes . I want to see a SNP majority government .This as you will know , is very difficult to achieve because of our voting system .That is why we do not need to be splitting the independence vote . If we end up with a minority government again it will set us back years .

      2. Tommy says:

        Justin you are not offending anyone..

        People who support independence are justifiably anxious about today because if the unionist parties succeed in splitting the pro-independence vote they will use a majority of seats to do Westminster’s bidding.

        For example there has been virtually no discussion during the election campaign about the Tory plans to repeal the HRA and replace it with their UK Bill of Rights.

        For Westminster to proceed, Holyrood will to have to give its consent.

        Prof. Adam Tomkins who was on the Smith Commission, and an advisor to the SoS for Scotland David Mundell, is top of the Conservative list for the Glasgow region. He is a constitutional expert who wants to ‘preserve’ the union.


        Makes you think…

  19. Tony Rozga says:

    If we vote SNP x2 today we can keep maximum pressure on for independence. Then, once independent, we can vote as left as we like. Trying to exert ‘left’ pressure today, runs the risk of gifting the unionist right a list position. Remember, this 2 vote system is designed to keep us on the leash.

  20. Redgauntlet says:

    Aye, everybody vote SNPx2 while singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”…hee hee hee…

    ..it’s hilarious/scary how the lure of indie would appear lead so many decent, well intentioned people to put up with almost any policy on the grounds that the SNP are the most viable route to indie…

    …a case of yellow tinted spectacles…

    Sorry, Bella, can’t help stirring it a wee bit today after seeing the posts of all these readers who think you are all part of some Unionist cabal… and are “disappointed”, “offended”, “upset”, “shocked” and God knows how many other things by your offering the full spectrum of indie views…

  21. Donnie Switch says:

    I hope the Greens do well but not as well as they did in Dumfries-shire where their 800-odd votes let the Tory Mundell in ahead of the SNP.

  22. Onwards says:

    Justin – I appreciate your viewpoint to vote for what you believe in.
    Personally, I have voted SNPx2.
    SNP/Green is another viable option, although not without risk for indy supporters.

    Looking at the latest polls, it may not gain *additional* pro-indy MSPs. It will perhaps replace SNP politicians with a few Green politicians. Which will be to some peoples preference. But again, it’s not without risk for indy supporters as John Curtice pointed out. I would like to see a few more Green faces, but I really hope it doesn’t backfire.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      My Greens list candidate supports independence. Hence SNP1/Greens2 is no risk for this indy supporter, and is actually even less of a ‘risk’ in that an SNP list vote is only worth 10% that of a Greens list vote.

      1. Onwards says:

        That’s assuming the SNP wins all the constituency seats, but if they fall short in a few as seems likely now, then their losing candidates will usually be at the top of the list.
        And then the SNP divisor would be more like 6 or 7, not 10 – which would normally be enough to get them elected with 45% of the list vote.

        Second vote Green in these scenarios would mean that Green politicians were elected instead of the SNP politicians. That’s fair enough if that is what you would prefer.

        The two areas where the SNP will definitely need list seats are Highlands and the Borders.
        So it has to be SNPx2 there at least from SNP supporters.

        1. James_Mac says:

          We’ve all voted. I personally hope the Greens get a few seats and overtake the Lib Dems. I’d much prefer them or RISE to be the fallback for disenfranchised SNP voters than unionist parties.

          Lets stop with all this tactical voting talk. I found that was the most disappointing thing about this campaign.

  23. James_Mac says:

    Once the election is out the way, I hope the indy grassroots can get back out campaigning for independence and constitutional changes that we all agree with. The turnout could be really poor for Holyrood so it is important that those active in political parties can work together. Lets not tribalism get in the way of ordinary activists working together. Local elections with STV should allow us to all vote for each other to maximize votes. A strong Green Party, strong SNP and strong RISE would put us in a great position.

    This election showed how tribal loyalties of party politics can hinder movements.

  24. Josef O Luain says:

    From this morning onward, Friday May 6th, all pro-Unionists may now be regarded, to a greater or lesser extent, as Tory sympathisers, all.

  25. Green McGreen says:

    How’s the SNP both votes working for you now?

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