Friday, October 9, 2015

SNP vote increases by 4.6% in Aird and Loch Ness by-election

Yesterday's by-election in Aird and Loch Ness saw the SNP and Lib Dems finish more or less level-pegging on first preferences (just 29 votes separated them).  But in contrast to the East Ayr by-election a few weeks ago where the SNP were fractionally behind on first preferences and were still able to win, it was inevitable that the Lib Dems were going to take this one on transfers, because there were a substantial number of unionist votes to be redistributed after the elimination of the third-placed Tory.

Aird and Loch Ness by-election result (first preferences) :

Liberal Democrats 33.5% (+21.2)
SNP 32.5% (+4.6)
Conservatives 15.2% (+8.3)
Independent - Fraser 9.5% (n/a)
Greens 9.3% (n/a)

The by-election was caused by the resignation of an SNP councillor (Drew Hendry), so the SNP were "defending the seat", but only in the most technical of senses - they finished in second place in the ward last time, with even the combined vote for their two candidates still placing them more than 9% behind the winning independent candidate.  So the headlines will scream "Shock Lib Dem Gain From SNP", but that's utterly meaningless - the SNP vote is up 4.6% and they remain in second place.  What appears to have happened is that the Liberal Democrats have claimed the lion's share of the independent vote from last time, allowing them to leapfrog into first place.  Without being aware of local factors, it's impossible to know how they pulled off that feat - it could be, for example, that their candidate is well-known and popular.

The other point that should be noted is that the increase in the SNP's vote is only slightly lower than the average increase they enjoyed in the seven by-elections last week (of which they won six).

65 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. That's a bit rich coming the editor of Lib Dem Voice! Do you want me to dredge up some of your own classics?

      In any case, what I wrote is perfectly straightforward and accurate - the SNP vote is up 4.6%. Are you disputing that figure?

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    2. Quite! Any thoughts on whether there were any local factors in play Caron? poor SNP candidate, especially good/high profile Lib Dem?

      I think the immediate conclusion I would draw is that the SNP vote in the highlands is less partisan and folk don't really mind swapping between SNP/Libs for local elections as they are both probably viewed by and large as progressive parties. this compares to the SNP vs Labour elsewhere where the Labour brand is fast becoming (probably unduly) as toxic as the Tories is.

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    3. Has your 2.8% lost deposit feeling worn off yet you demented hag?

      Having fun deleting everything apart from the slavish lickspittle supportive comments from your pish poor excuse for a website?

      Have you paid the Scottish Police Service their £800,000 yet?

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    4. The SNP vote is up a higher percentage than Caron Lindsay's vote share.

      *sadtrombone*

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    5. I guess one can expect no better from someone associated with a party as morally bankrupt as the LibDems (aka the Tories' little helpers), but actually what this article does is CUT THROUGH spin.....the kind of spin the msm spews out every day.

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    6. Taranaich - one of the best put downs I've seen for a while. :)

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    7. Nobody should deny this is a good result for the LibDems, but James's article just states the fact - that the SNP vote increases by 4.6% in Aird and Loch Ness by-election. Which is in the Highlands which used to have a solid LibDem presence.

      What LibDemVoice might be better doing is analysing WHY the LibDems can do OK in the Highlands but not elsewhere, can they reproduce that elsewhere, and what changes might be needed to the whole ethos of the LibDem party in Scotland to revive its generally flagging fortunes?

      I know of ex-LibDem voters that are wondering the same thing.

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    8. By far the most amusing thing about Clegg's ostrich faction (of which Rennie's mouthpiece Lindsay and the bitter old bigot Smithson were and are leading figures) is that, no matter how many times they fuck things up spectacularly, they just keep right on going and pretending that doing more of the exact same idiocy will somehow 'fix' things.

      I lost count the sheer number of times westminster bubble twits like Smithson, Lindsay and their orange book ilk spun the shit out of small wins and by-election victories during Clegg's calamitous tenure as an utterly toxic voter repellent. They are a BIG part of the reason Clegg wasn't booted out of the lib dems when it would have done some good are why the lib dems now such a joke and an afterthought and irrelevance to politics now.

      Yet here they are again doing the same for the hapless Farron trying to fool the most gullible of their idiot followers that this was a straight by-election win and a triumph for the lib dems despite the obvious extenuating circumstances of the previous independent councillor vote and having to rely on the tories to win the seat.

      James covered that in detail because in a small vote like this it obviously matters hugely. Only someone with the IQ of a peanut would try to read through some 'gamechanging' fightback from one council by-election result without even bothering to mention why the vote was what it was.

      For the fuckwits who still don't get it, (obviously the bigots and racists over on Stormfront Lite PB won't have a clue) if Farron's ostrich faction come away from this result thinking this was an unmitigated triumph then every other by-election and particularly next May is going to come as one gigantic fucking shock for them.

      Just as it was every single time we were proved 100% right about Clegg's toxicity and clueless Daily Mail lib dems like Smithson and Lindsay were proved utterly wrong.

      My advice, bookmark the Lib Dem Pravda piece from Lindsay and Smithson's westminster bubble stupidity, because next May you're going to be laughing at them almost as hard as the public are sniggering at the nasty parties laughing stock of a leader, the incompetent fop Hameron. :-D

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    9. I had heard that cybernats could be personally unpleasant. Reading above there are reasonable disagreements. But some of the words used by a minority of posters have no fit place in civilisation. It is perfectly reasonable to tease Caron re her lost deposit. It is a lot less so to use terms like demented hag and lickspittleand fuckwit. I haven't been very impressed with phrases on the internet today describing the winning side's voters as anti Scottish. Even the highest vote figure I have seen for the SNP in a poll would leave 44% of Scots being regarded as traitors. Not really a good thing.

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    10. Whilst agreeing with your regarding the language used by the poster directly above your comment, I must take issue with you that you are only seeing what you want to see. Have a little look at this page when James has several Unionist Trolls writing and you will see worse, much worse. Most times we Cybernats, are courteous or indeed use humour to great effect, we do not call people by names that I have had addressed to me by those who voted NO.

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    11. It looks like Labour and Tory voters vote Lib-Dems,to beat SNP straight forward honest voting by the unionist parties eh! not for who you want but for who you DON'T want.

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    12. That's how preferential voting works Charles, you mark them in order of preference...

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    13. @ Edwin Watson. I see British nationalists continue to engage in demonisation tactics. I am not impressed with your "no fit place". It is reminiscent of the "libération par l'armée du crime" of the Affiche Rouge. I have never encountered a British nationalist who wasn't "personally unpleasant". You are just another example of a thankfully diminishing minority.

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  2. Is the massive increase in Lib Dem support down to Labour giving them a free run by not standing a candidate?

    Its clear from the count that the Tories primarily went Lib on their second votes, so is this the first successful tactical vote for unionists?

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    1. Labour have next to no base in the highlands anyway whereas the Libs have always been strong - appears to have been a strong independent last time which must have took in most of the Lib vote this time? The Tory vote is never going to split evenly and will always go 'not SNP' regardless of tactical voting.

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    2. "Is the massive increase in Lib Dem support down to Labour giving them a free run by not standing a candidate? "

      No. Labour only got about 5% of first preference votes in the ward in the 2012 elections. It's more likely that a large number of Lib Dems voted for the independent who was elected in the ward in 2012 with 46% of first preferences, then voted for their natural choice in this by-election.The SNP won about 28% of first preferences in 2012, split between two candidates (one of whom was elected and is now the MP).

      It's hard to read movements between this result and 2012 (or May 2015) without knowing more data than is publicly available. i.e. you would need to know the ward-by-ward result in the WM election, or you would need to know what the second preferences of the independent elected in 2012 were.

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    3. Correction to the above: two independents were elected to the ward in 2012 (along with a Lib Dem and one SNP). First independent got about 37% and the second 16%. That means more than half of the 2012 vote was non-aligned. Unless someone has more information about this ward (i.e. how it tends to vote in parliament elections), it's hard to say what kind of shift (if any) yesterday's result represents.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Council_election,_2012#Aird_and_Loch_Ness

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  3. I think if Labour were standing, it's plausible the SNP would have won this. Some Labour members will not want to vote SNP and Lib-Dems would be seen as a better fit for them, rather than Tories.

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    1. I really don't think that would have made a material difference. Labour only got 5% of the vote in the ward in 2012. Once the Tory voted transferred mostly to the Lib Dem, they were well in front.

      Hypothetically what could have happened if Labour stood is that the SNP may have been narrowly ahead (rather than narrowly behind) on first preferences, but would have been overhauled when the Tory votes were redistributed.

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  4. How did the Greens split on the 2nd preferences out of interest?

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    1. I don't know if James M has been able to track down the detailed result with the breakdown of transfers, but I haven't as of yet.

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    2. Mostly to the SNP, but not overwhelmingly so. A fair chunk went to the Lib Dem and a small minority went to the Tory!

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    3. https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/652451180677873664

      Stage 1: LD 1029, SNP 1000, Con 467, Ind 293, Grn 287

      Stage 2: LD 1099, SNP 1097, Con 480, Ind 330

      Stage 3: LD 1208, SNP 1144, Con 544

      Stage 4: LD 1511, SNP 1167

      So the transfers were as follows:

      Green (out of 287): LD 70, SNP 97, Con 13, Ind 37

      Independent (out of 330): LD 109, SNP 47, Con 64,

      Con (out of 544): LD 303, SNP 23

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    4. So just like in the Rosemount/Midstocket by-election in Aberdeen last week, the majority of Green transfers went to unionist parties, rather than to the SNP (assuming the Independent candidates was unionist, of course).

      So much for the Yes Alliance, eh?

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    5. Not everybody judges their vote purely on constitutional stance.

      There are other policies, and some people care more about those than Yes/No.

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    6. I agree. However, that's the whole premise of the various pleas for SNP supporters to give their list votes to other parties.

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    7. Very true, although those seem to be more the work of enthusiastic individuals rather than anything official.

      I don't think the Greens have ever come out with the 'help us create a Yes majority' line as an actual tactic?

      I don't see how they could enforce something like that. They tend to be a herd of cats even at the best of times.

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    8. Doug Daniel

      Look at it the other way.

      The Greens are taking votes from the Unionist parties. Which is good.

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    9. Don't forget James M that some of the Conservative transfers will have originated with the Independent and the Green.

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  5. Was the turnout higher or the number of votes cast higher?

    I'm struggling to understand how otherwise the SNP, LD, and Tory vote increased and nobody else's decreased.

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    Replies
    1. It's because the independent vote was so enormous last time. Turnout has no effect on percentage changes in vote share.

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  6. The Greens are not a party that puts Scottish independence at the top of their wishlist.
    I hope anyone thinking of voting for them next May understands this.

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    Replies
    1. I have been persuaded by James and other commentators on here to vote SNP twice. Frankly, if we win our independence, I shall probably vote Green twice. But, until that day they have both my votes. And my subscription.

      The serious issue is about getting away from the mind set of Westminster. Until that is resolved positively arguements about anything else are a waste of time.



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  7. Still baffles me that there are that many Libs in Scotland. Mind you Inverness does have a large amount of posh English residents!

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  8. Have a look at the make-up of Highland Council. Lots and lots of "Independents". A small number are decent souls, a number are closet Tories, and some - well lets just say the law prevents me from saying what I think of them.

    Remember too that Aird and Loch Ness is in Skye Ross and Lochaber Constituency, strong Lib-Dem territory - a lot of people will have given a sympathy vote. They will get what they deserve. The current Lib-Dems are not anything Charlie would have been proud of.


    We had a sympathy vote in my ward. We got an Independent. Even the local staunch Tories are cheesed off with her.

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  9. Interesting, M Smithson taking a sideways swipe at Scot Goes Pop (on twitter)?
    "How one of Scotland's leading political sites reported the SNP loss of a by-election in the Highlands-" then your article.
    Following the MSM tactic of not actually asking a question or making a statement.

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    Replies
    1. In the Kafkaesque world that Mr Smithson has constructed around himself, there's only really one rule - if he acknowledges that you exist, he's lost. I call that a result. (There was a period after he banned me when simply mentioning my name on his website was a serious disciplinary offence. That's not an exaggeration.)

      Until you pointed me to that tweet, I had no idea he had unblocked me on Twitter. It would be interesting to know if I'm still banned on PB, but it's been so long that I can't even remember my login details!

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    2. As someone that doesn't follow opinion polls and the like that closely, I am amazed that the Liberals have a foothold anywhere in Scotland. It just seems wrong to me.

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    3. I got banned for suggesting that Devo Max was a certain Labour MP for Glasgow South in political drag. I haven't been back to PB since, not even with a new profile. I now consider PB a self flagellation society for mostly Right Wing nutters. I now suspect that several of them are closet members of the Piers Gaveston Club.

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  10. Given his reaction, I trust Willie Rennie is rallying his LibDem troops to prepare for government!

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  11. It's not spin at all (and I'm a Lib Dem: here's why: http://ww2.ayellowguard.com/stv-101/)

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    1. Chris, really interesting and helpful article, thanks.

      Sue Varley

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    2. ??? No website

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    3. Here's the link:

      http://ww2.ayellowguard.com/stv-101/

      I'm essentially a liberal democrat too. Hence I always voted 'yellow flag' SNP. Never been on the orange (booker) side; more modest left.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. Damn, damn, damn! Just when I've consigned LibDems to the dustbin, because of the Coalition and Willie Rennie (well in reality it happened a long time ago) along comes Chris Connelly's analysis. Confusing times.
      Along with clear description of voting system and what it means, there is the excellent point about newspaper reporting. Poor or deliberately misleading journalism has dogged us in Scotland.
      It lets everybody down, prime examples are the Daily Record, Herald, Scotsman and BBC, but the list is very long.

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  12. We should be honoured that the great and powerful smithson even mentioned SGP. After banning JK from his neo-nazi weblog and declaring him to be an unperson.

    3,500 jobs to go at Edinburgh Council thanks to the libdems and their tram. The libdems and anybody who votes for them can just die horrible and painful deaths.

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    Replies
    1. Pro tip: insulting the people whose votes you need to win over to your cause and telling them to die a slow and painful death is a pretty stupid tactic to try and win the argument with.

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    2. I quite like the trams. We should have more of them, especially in Glasgow. I would suggest that your political hatred blinds you to reasonable discourse. Apart from the higher echelons of Etonism, aka The Tory Party, I wish no ill will on anyone. And in their case, I wish only perpetual poverty for their sins against humanity. And a long life. A very long life recanting their sins against others.

      Have a nice day.

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  13. LibDem vote up 21.2%,Carmichael should drop court case,and chance re-election

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    1. Correct me if I am wrong, but the court case is against Carmichael. He cannot recind from it. In any event he is an admitted liar and electorates tend to dislike that.

      Personally I think that the SNP should stand aside from any re-election, on the grounds that they should not be seen to gain from this. However I expect that will fall on deaf ears.

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  14. isn't the case forcing him to stand down?so if he stands down,court case over

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    1. Dont think so. If he had stood down before the court case started perhaps, but now it is underway I very much doubt he has that option. The judges have said they wish to hear evidence and hear it they will.

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    2. We have now placed our election petition in the Courts where it have been accepted. This means that a process has begun which could have the recent result in Orkney and Shetland overturned.


      if he stands down , no case to answer

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    3. As far as I understand it, he could reach a settlement with the petitioners in which he agrees to stand down, in which circumstances he would be free to fight a by-election. But if the court rules against him, he will be barred from standing again.

      However, more realistically, the Lib Dems would be mad to stand Carmichael in any by-election regardless of whether he is eligible or not.

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  15. Local elections can be rather local and the local personalities can be the deciding factor rather than the party political label.

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    Replies
    1. Aye, it's not your cooncillor that will vote through any new indyref bill. In fact I must say I'd be uncomfortable with the idea of the SNP controlling every council in Scotland....

      I voted SNP + Independent in my ward in the borders happily. Although I must admit the independent is known to be a Yes man.

      Increased vote share in first preferences again with 44% when second preferences are counted is decent result.

      People forget sometimes that the SNP are in reality a 'SSP-Green-Labour-Liberal-OneNationCon' etc alliance. A broad social democratic church who would vote for different parties once independence is achieved.

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    2. Which is why individual local elections are like polling sub-samples. On their own they have no meaning or value whatsoever. Certainly no sign of the #childabusingmpcoverupfightback that toad faced bint CL is raving about.

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  16. James, any chance of some analysis of the voting preferences of age and socio economic groups, over the past few Full Scottish Polls?

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  17. Glasgow Working ClassOctober 9, 2015 at 10:11 PM

    The GVVT open days will take place tomorrow and Sunday. Go along and enjoy yourselves. BRIDGETON Bus Garage. Take your polling anoraks aff and become human for the day. Especially you Anon you need time aff.

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  18. Awfy near a third of folk in Aird and Lochness voted SNP.Remarkable.I just can't see the union holding out much longer.

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  19. SNP vote keeps increasing as the unionists get even more hysterical. Brilliant article by a sad glasgow labour bigot in the observer. The one that works for the daily Heil.

    Compares the evil MT to the poor victims of SNP hate campaigns, McLeish H and Wendy the gob.

    Attacks the SNP for allowing J Dempsie to be monstered by the media and withdraw as a candidate while smearing her outrageously over a perfectly legal and above board government grant award. Maybe he didn't see the Sunday Herald front page in time to delete that bit.

    Shows that while you can take the cunt out of labour you can't take labour out of the cunt.

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  20. There was an interesting twist to the whole MT saga today. Apparently SOCA were informed of the lawyer's activities in 2011. Yet chose to take no action. Could it be that they saw no evidence of serious or even organised crime taking place? None of the articles allowed comments. probably because people might just raise this very point.

    Will the libservabour party face charges of wasting police time as well as their massive payout for defamation?

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