Friday, May 6, 2016

I hate to say I told you so, but...







It's going to be vice versa, Kevin.  I'm still extremely hopeful the SNP will win an overall majority, but it now looks likely they'll need list seats to do it.  It also looks likely that their constituency share of the vote will be very slightly down on what they achieved last year, and they're obviously going to win a slightly lower share of constituency seats.  But as long as the vast bulk of SNP supporters ignored the vote-splitting propaganda from the likes of Bella Caledonia, as I suspect (and hope) they did, we should still be OK when all the list results are in.

As a number of us have been saying all along -

* Opinion polls are snapshots, not predictions.
* Opinion polls are not necessarily even accurate snapshots.
* There's no way of knowing for sure how constituency votes will translate into constituency seats - it all depends on geographical distribution.
* The claims that "everyone knew" the results of 73 individual constituency elections in advance were utterly fatuous.

We took a lot of abuse and mockery for pointing out these simple truths, but I'm very glad we did.

In most parts of Scotland it's actually been just as good for the SNP as last year - it mostly seems to be in a small number of No-voting areas that the going is a little tougher.

155 comments:

  1. You have been proved right again.

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    1. I'm afraid James has been proved very wrong, because what has happened is exactly what some of us said was possible. Except for the two most obvious Regions (South and H&I) every SNP list vote has been wasted. If even a small proportion of those list votes had gone to the Greens they would have had more seats, taken from the Labour and Conservative totals.

      Those who campaigned for Both Votes SNP, dissuading even those who would have liked to have supported the Greens on ideological grounds from doing so, because it was 'safer', have to realise that by doing so they have reduced the support for independence at Holyrood.

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    2. The Workers' Champion (T. Blair)May 6, 2016 at 2:33 PM

      Is that a tongue-in-cheek response? Rather a very sense of humour.

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  2. Sorry to be off-topic so soon, but I'm feeling a bit sorry for Kezia Dugdale here. All the other party leaders were greeted at their counts with applause; she arrived to calls of "What's gone wrong with your campaign?" and "Are you going to resign?" It's a bit much. I don't think she's really bad, as people go.

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    1. Not a bad person. But a dreadful leader.

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  3. Let's not snatch a Yes movement defeat from the jaws of what could be an excellent night for the SNP and SGP - that way lies the internal infernal bickering of the old left in Scotland. We're on the same side, let's celebrate not denigrate, otherwise there really is no point.

    That said, I always appreciate all the work and analysis you put in James, I share the same aim even if we may sometimes differ on the best path to it.

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    1. Oh, come off it, Justin. When people have been running a cynically misleading propaganda campaign for months, it's really not good enough to accuse others of "snatching a Yes movement defeat" (whatever that means) for simply pointing that out. As I said, I'm still very hopeful the SNP will win this election outright - let's see if they do.

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    2. If you are saying that Kevin Williamson is someone who has been running a 'cynically misleading propaganda campaign' then we'll have to differ there.

      I think he has a slightly different view to you on how we can reach independence

      . . . and yes let's see, and here's hoping the rest of the night pans out well, including - as I have always thought it would - for the SNP

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    3. No, I'm not saying that, actually. Kevin has been very direct (and very wrong), but I don't think he's responsible for the Bella propaganda campaign.

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    4. Well I've already seen one Green activist and one RISE activist blaming the SNP for letting the Tories on. After having RISE candidate Jenni Gunn insulting me liberally online, I can safely say "fuck all of them."

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    5. Kenny, RISE are completely sunk (pun intended), they got beaten by Solidarity! They all hate Tommy Sheridan but he still managed to beat them. LOL! They could have spent their time attacking the Labour Party as it was obvious to everyone that they were in real trouble.

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  4. Let's just hope the SNP have made up enough seats in traditional Labour areas, to make up for the rural areas lost to tactical unionist voting.



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  5. An SNP Majority is not in any danger at all. The Unionist Constituency wins are all concentrated in the same Regions and as such the SNP will get the necessary list seats.

    The problem isn't about this election, however, its about the next one. The SNP is looking very, very vulnerable in rural Scotland, especially those places it used to do well and in 2021 they could find the Tories start knocking them out of constituencies there.

    I voted SNP/Green in Glasgow and it appears to be exactly the right vote. Of course, as I always said, a split vote should be a decision based on your Region and the latest polling. Anyone who split their vote in West, South, Lothian or Highland has indeed let Unionists in.

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    1. You're right. The SNP majority isn't 'in danger'. It is lost.

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  6. So glad I took your advice and voted 2 x SNP. Taking a punt on another pro-indy party on the list was never sensible unless the SNP were a shoo in on the constituency. Didn't trust to the polls to predict that thank God. I'm in Edinburgh Southern, and feared the forces that got Ian Murray in might unseat Jim Eadie. If Jim doesn't get in on the constituency or the list it won't be my fault.

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    1. I don't think there was any level of polling at which a split vote strategy in Lothian would have been a good idea. It is filled with tight three and even four way fights and a sweep there was never going to happen.

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  7. Lol, looks like voting for the Greens let Ruth Davidson in in Edinburgh Central.

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    1. Could be.

      Kezia is now the only party leader who hasn't won a constituency (except Patrick Harvie, unless he pulls off a big upset in Kelvin).

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    2. And, err, Coburn.

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    3. Well, okay. And Sheridan, and whoever the leader of RISE is.

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    4. Not sure RISE have one.

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    5. Ethel ChaffinchMay 6, 2016 at 2:38 PM

      Looks like the Greens have repeated their Mundell strategy of 2015.

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    6. RISE see having a leader as an unnecessary patriarchal quasi-fascist solution to non-existent problems in guiding the direction of radical collective politics.. ah shite, we didn't winy any seats

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  8. FFS - Greens split indy vote and let Ruth Davidson win.

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    1. But you could just as easily say that the unionist vote splitting let Marco Biagi in in 2011 with only 32.7% of the vote. It was because their vote was split over three Parties that he won

      Similarly Jim Eadie got in in Southern with only 29.4% in 2011. You can't complain about losing out under first past the post when you've benefited at other times.

      Eadie actually increased his vote on 2011 but the Lib Dem vote collapsed (they'd been a possible winner before) and Labour won out.

      In Central the Green intervention only reduced the SNP vote by 4 points while the Greens got 13.6%. So presumably most of their vote came from the Lib Dems (down 15.6 points) and if Johnstone hadn't stood those votes could just as easily gone to Labour or Tory.

      The SNP might need to look at their GOTV operation in some places where the turnout was lower than expected. Indeed turnout overall was lower than expected at 55.6% up from 2011's 50% but not as much as hoped. And I wonder if most of that difference was unionists who haven't bothered before to vote, now deciding Holyrood was important (scottish skier makes this point above).

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  9. Really quite a mixed bag of results. SNP seem to be holding up fairly well, especially in urban areas, but Labour are getting their asses kicked everywhere.

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    1. Except Edinburgh Southern. Who saw that coming?

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    2. Not that surprising considering that Edinburgh heavily voted No and they won the equivalent seat in Westminster.

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    3. Still, though. A Labour gain from SNP? I'm guessing that'll be the only one.

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    4. @Keaton

      Except Edinburgh Southern. Who saw that coming?

      Quite a lot of people. Edinburgh Southern is one of the hardest seats in Scotland for the SNP to win. We lost last year to Labour. Until very recently the SNP have struggled considerably in the Edinburgh area. RISE and the likes of Kevin Williamson were telling us that the SNP were going to win all the constituency seats in Scotland. It was utter bollocks then and is utter bollocks now. SNP people on the ground knew well before this election and during it that winning the likes of Edinburgh Southern was going to very difficult.

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    5. Niall
      If Edinburgh heavily voted No to Independence, Maybe the Scottish Parliament should be moved to Dundee or Glasgow, where the people support it

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    6. Edinburgh S was predictable given 2015's result there. British Nationalists are starting to coalesce around whoever is the likeliest winner against an independence candidate. We'll maybe not see formal alliances, but it should be easy enough for a Lab voter to support Con or Lib and vice versa.

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    7. @Adam Grant

      Correct, all three unionist parties have effectively merged into one. It will be interesting to see the approach of the Scottish Greens, are they going to co-operate with the SNP, in return for some concessions of course, or is Patrick Harvie going to do his usual wishy washy routine, and potentially side with the unionists/Brit nats? I don't trust him as far as I could throw him.

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  10. Seems to be a general trend of Lab and Lib to Con. The no surrender vote coalescing around one unionist party, or some other reason?

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    1. Aye, and Tories who didn't bother with the pretendy parliament before went out and voted this time, while many of those who voted SNP 2015 felt the result was in the bag so didn't. #lowturnout

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    2. @SS

      What was the turnout?

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  11. Looks like over 100,000 SNP votes in both Glasgow and Lothians were wasted....


    Heh.

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    1. How do you work that out? Do you know how the voting system works? Or did someone on the bus explain it to you?

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    2. Depends how you define a wasted vote. If it's one which ends up contributing nothing towards electing an MSP, then what Niall says is correct.

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    3. "Unionist votes outnumber Indy votes"? Who's abacus did you borrow for that particular bit of arithmetical bollocks, Jackie Baillie's? The SNP had more votes than the 2 main Unionist parties combined

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    4. @keaton

      So by your reckoning every *single* vote cast for anyone but the winning candidate is a wasted vote? Interesting

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  12. How's it looking???????

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  13. I am confused why John Currie is so respected still. His blathering about son doing actually better than last time but not meeting expectations without taking any responsibility for these expectations seems off. He seems to me to be constantly spinning pre- election line that aids conservatives and then saying " wow, that happened again" is there no district polling done at all? I see fairly normal shifting based on major media pre election coverage.SNP PLUS GREEn way up.

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    1. Curtice. I hate spell check! Already congratulated James on SNPx2 correct call on earlier thread.

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    3. As far as I can tell it was only correct in Lothian. NE, South and Central could all have had an extra green list candidate if just 2000 SNP voters switched in each place.That would have diosplaced 2x tories and 1x lab by the way. SNP needed anywhere from 10000-40000 extra votes for a list seat in all regions except mid&fife

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    4. Just to correct your figures, CMac11 - The required number of votes to be switched in order to get an extra Green seat:- Lothian 21679 (Tory), NE 2057 (Tory), Central 1812 votes (Tory) South 2020 (Tory). Interestingly, if 2672 votes are moved from the SNP to Green in this region, then the SNP lose the seat to the Greens, rather than the Tories.. That damned "sweet spot" can turn sour very quickly. :)
      Alex Birnie

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  14. Might be an SNP/Green coalition.

    If both are smart then they'll legislate for a formal method of suitably authenticated online petitions. As part of the deal the SNP will set the triggering level for another referendum far lower than the million I've seen attributed to the Greens.

    Future Holyrood administrations could always repeal it but if it wasn't in there manifesto they'd seem a wee bit cowardly. If it was they might not get in.

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  15. Well, at this time in the morning it's looking very like the SNP will have no overall majority and that the Tories will be the official opposition.

    To those of you who advocated 'splitting' the list vote I ask- well, how did that work out for you? Maybe you got what you really wanted after all??

    Let's see how the Greens behave in parliament over the next five years.

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  16. Am pure beelin man! Fcking ragin! I did'nt expect the SNP tae LOSE seats!!! 63 seats??????

    NOT.ACCEPTING.THIS.PISH!!!!!!!! :((

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    1. Well, that's what happens when people don't vote SNP on the list. As James pointed out over and over, the list vote is the MOST IMPORTANT as it determines the make up of the parliament.

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  17. So, there you have it. SNP outright majority lost, overall pro-indy MSPs down, and the Tories as main opposition.

    That 'splitting the list vote' thing went well then, didn't it?

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    1. Bad news for those who wanted an SNP majority. But a Tory opposition strikes me as rather good news for the independence cause.

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  18. Blame the people who voted in 2015 but not this year. That's a far bigger factor than the relatively small number of people who tactically voted on the list.

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  20. Blame anyone you like. Blame people celebrating a victory before it's won.

    One thing though, my votes are my votes. I voted/wasted both my votes on the SNP. I don't apologise or regret doing so. If a Green supporter gave their vote to the SNP and helped electe a constituency MSP that way then thanks. If they voted Green on a list anywhere then also, that's their choice and thanks.

    My votes, cast my way. Their votes cast their way. We'll have a coalition government with any luck. Don't presume to dictate to anyone how they should vote or blame me or others for doing the same.

    One thing I didn't comment on before the ballot closed is the risk the Greens and other minority parties ran by advocating an SNP vote was both reducing their own vote on the list and promoting a high enough SNP vote that they were not needed to form a majority government. I was kind of hoping it might turn out that way. Congratulations to the genuine Green supporters for getting what they went after.

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  21. The result is the best of all worlds: we have a majority for another referendum if it's needed, but we also have the Greens in a position to leverage the SNP toward genuinely left-wing, progressive and environmental policies.

    The great problem in the "don't vote Green on the list or you're risking Scotland's future" hyperbole wasn't the electoral arithmetic behind it, but the basic assumption that we're somehow at risk of derailing the independence movement if we rely on the Greens to put a referendum in place. What we have is exactly what those of us supporting the Greens wanted - a majority for a referendum, but the SNP not having carte blanche to do what they like in office. It's a result that can only annoy SNP diehards who put their party before the country - the independence movement certainly isn't any weaker today than it was yesterday.

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    1. What exactly are the greens going to want that is any different on the environment?? The SNP have already delivered on that :s.

      Same question goes for these "progressive" policies, I hear that a lot but what exactly are people after?

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    2. 1. The SNP have always supported tax cuts for multinational oil corporations. That's the opposite of a "green" policy and the Greens have always opposed it.

      2. The SNP have consistently pushed for scrapping air passenger duty. That's not a green policy and we oppose it.

      3. The SNP have previously supported infrastructure projects like the M74 extension. That's not a green policy and we opposed it (though without being able to block it).

      4. The SNP consistently prioritise growth over the environment. We don't.

      (to give four examples)

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    3. Addressing each of your points in turn;

      1. What's progressive about pushing companies out of Scotland and people losing jobs?

      2. This is one of the only opportunities we have to give Scotland an economic competitive advantage over the rest of the UK. I get your point but would it not be better to force airlines to move towards a) hydrogen b) more fuel efficiency?

      3. Why on earth would you block that, did you live in Glasgow before then? I'm sure the Co2 emissions from stationary vehicles on the Kingston bridge would be worse than the now 10 minute journey for me to get home. Please, please tell me you wouldn't want to block the duelling of the A9 killer????! I grew up up North.

      4. I'm not sure how they do?

      As an SNP supporter I'm with you all the way on land reform (so we can stick it into the Tories) and targets/performance on renewables and opinions on nuclear. I also support the circular economy, I think it's great! Also keen for more charging points, investment in hydrogen as a transport fuel and so on.......not sure why you would want to cancel infrastructure projects??

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    4. All for banning fracking (if it's legal as well). I'm trying to see where the parties could potentially work together.

      I'm in for the long game!

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    5. @Anon

      The issue here is that growth and protecting the environment often come into conflict. What generates jobs and employment in the short term (e.g. promoting fossil fuels, air travel, prioritising the car over public transport) can also damage the environment in the long run. That's the great fault-line in environmental politics.

      There's nothing wrong with taking the side of the economy in principle - in fact that's the mainstream view in this country (and most other countries) but that's where the Greens differ. You can have a different view by all means, but we can't state that the Greens wouldn't do anything different from the SNP on the environment (and I've just listed four issues above, we could list others).

      And ultimately that's why having a coalition or minority government agreement (what we're likely to get) is the best of all worlds from my perspective. Instead of having the SNP's side of that debate being implemented unchallenged, they'll be required to compromise to pass legislation. It won't prevent us having a second referendum if we choose, but it will change how politics is done in Scotland and that's no bad thing in my book.

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    6. Wow - that was quite a result!

      I'm hanging in the ropes, eyes half shut having pulled an all nighter - but it was worth it.

      - SNP majority lost
      - No of pro indy MSPs cut by 2
      - Tory tsunami
      - Unionist votes outnumber indy votes
      - Low turnout + minority government hurts indy case
      - Inevitable horse trading gives more power to UK side

      I'm absolutely stunned! You show up with your tactical vote thinking "what good is this - there's probably about 200 people doing it in the entire country!" and you end up bringing down the government!

      And that is exactly what has happened here. The Salmond majority is gone. We are in a new era.

      Aldo

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    7. @Aldo

      Before you celebrate too much maybe you would like to ponder the fact that the SNP constituency vote is the highest ever recorded at Holyrood. In fact it has increased since 2011. This despite the fact that the SNP have had everything but the kitchen sink flung at it in the last 5 years from the British state. The Scottish Tories went out of their way to win the No Surrender/Orange Order vote from Labour. But these elements are a complete liability.

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    8. Their constituency vote is somewhere between 46 and 47%. Who's to say that in 5 years time that wont be 37%?

      I'm a Catholic, Celtic supporting unionist. We are not all Orange Protestants and Freemasons. Some of us - shock horror - just like being British and wish to remain that way.

      Aldo

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    9. @Aldo

      You know fine well the Scottish Tories were going all out to attract the Orange/Loyalist vote. Murdo Fraser's references to Rangers being the Queen's team, and Tomkins' comments about WASPs show very clearly what they were doing.

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    10. There are so few such people left, there would be little mileage in such a strategy.

      The tories did well because they are strong on upholding the union and making a stand against aggressive and quite threatening behaviour by the SNP. They are so smug and presumptuous and arrogant, somebody had to bring them down a peg or two - and labour with Miss Nicey Nice in charge weren't up to the job.

      Aldo

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  22. So, in short, it seems that the No-Voting-SNPBAD-For-Ruth-Davidson's-Strong-Opposition party are now the place for diehard unionist votes?

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  23. A bit of perspective...

    We now have a third successive SNP government in a row, who'd have thought that when the Scottish Parliament was re-instated? OK, we've lost the majority, in a system that was pretty much designed to make majorities all but impossible, but the previous SNP minority government worked well enough, and that was with a 'larger minority' if that makes sense.

    As for Indy Refs, the stated SNP case is "we'll have another when the electorate wants one". If there is consistent evidence of that happening would you like to be one of the 'unionist' parties arguing against having one? What we've got to do now is make sure that the Indy vote keeps creeping up. Once it's high enough nobody will be able to stop a second vote happening! Even if we'd got another SNP majority, it'd have been useless in respect to holding a second referendum unless that Indy vote increases.

    As for the list vote, what has passed has passed and there was no way of predicting exactly what would happen. Surely the Tories being 'up' much more than expected would have affected the list results at least as much as any SNP/Green list shenanigans? I'm too tired to work it out but here in the NE it looks like 'more' of a SNP/Green split to the Greens could have seen the Greens get the last list seat, or alternatively 'less' of a split could have seen it go to the SNP. Just no way of playing this system so despite me losing both my constituency MSP and my list MSP last night you've just got to accept the result and move on.

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  24. So, as feared by James and Wings, "tactical voting" has cost the SNP its majority. On paper, there is still a pro-independence majority courtesy of the Greens, but here's the question - if the SNP decides at some point during this parliament that a second vote is a goer, can the Greens actually be relied upon to vote with them? Without the Greens, the Unionist Party (capitals and singular, since, let's be honest, they're essentially one party) can vote down a second referendum. The problem is that the kind of people who vote and join the Greens are the not the kind of people who get passionate or go to the limit about anything. In short, when it comes to it, will they bottle?

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    1. Yes we can be relied upon,

      and as for Greens being "not the kind of people who get passionate or go to the limit about anything"

      . . . If by 'passion' you mean 'hate' then maybe you're right, but if by 'passion' you mean being willing to put ourselves on the line to make a better world then we can discuss that in the police cell next time you and I are arrested for opposing Trident, which could be as soon as June 5th at Faslane - all welcome!

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    2. The thing about tactical voting is it works both ways. I'm a Green supporter and I've voted for the SNP twice in the last year because there wasn't a viable Green candidate in my constituency in 2015/16. My list vote for the Greens wasn't tactical, it was the two votes for the SNP in the general election/constituency vote that were the tactical votes. And that's often how tactical voting works - the candidate you want can't win so you go for the lesser evil.

      We often speak of tactical voting as if it's something that only damages the SNP - the idea that they have a right to a majority and only a small percentage of idiots on the Yes side who don't know how to vote properly can deprive them of it. In reality I don't think my situation is particularly unusual. There are a lot of people in this country who vote SNP because they can win in their constituency while smaller parties can't, particularly in the general election.

      The benefit of having a more proportional electoral system for Holyrood is the result better reflects what the electorate actually thinks.

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    3. There is a question of legitimacy. The Greens have an even weaker case for a mandate than the SNP does. Something about a petition with a million signatures? Please!

      And even if the UK government doesn't simply laugh at you and say "NO!", there is then the problem of reconciling two very different independence visions. Also, the unionist parties could cause trouble for the SNP in matters where they do not have the support of the Greens as a way of leveraging them into shelving independence.

      There is one more event next month that can throw a spanner into the works - the EU ref. If the decision is to remain for the whole of the UK, then I think we can safely close the book on Scottish independence for the foreseeable future.

      Aldo

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  25. Totally disagree.

    I don't think tactical voting has cost the SNP a majority at all. How can you know what's a tactical vote and what's just a vote for what you believe? There's been a marked downturn in very specific no voting areas/tactical Unionist voting.



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    1. Whatever the reason, the question remains: will the Greens bottle?

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    2. The Scottish Greens are split on independence, their former leader, Robin Harper, campaigned for a No vote in 2014. A number of their elected representatives did as well. I don't trust the Greens on independence.

      I think the SNP have to now go into the 2021 election with a clear cut commitment to holding a second independence referendum. Leaving it any later is just not going to satisfy the Yes core base and support. The SNP ran a decent campaign, but I don't think they can afford to run another safe Holyrood campaign. They need to be bolder in certain policy areas, such as land reform and housing (national rent controls) as well.

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    3. Hi Muttley, agree on the SNP needing to be bolder, and hopefully the SGP + the grassroots of the SNP can ensure they are.

      The Greens are NOT split on independence. Robin Harper is from way back (from a time when even he said those who were pro-union were a minority), since when we've grown ten fold as a result of the post IndyRef influx, making us way over 95% for independence.

      Ross Greer? Patrick Harvie? Andy Wightman? Maggie Chapman? Can you name any prominent active Green who isn't passionately for independence? We didn't grow ten fold out of nowhere - it came from peoples recognition of our hard work and commitment.

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    4. The key word here is "passionately". Greens don't do that, and that's what it's going to take to bring about independence. That's my problem. I'm not saying you don't believe in independence, I'm saying you'll baulk when push comes to shove. I'm saying the kind of worthy, "proper" people who "get involved" and want to "make a difference" will always find a reason not to leap into the unknown, and a leap of faith is what something like this is going to take at the finish.

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    5. The Greens are split on independence, voters as well as representatives. Remember it was Patrick Harvie who was quoted just before the vote in September 2014 saying that if there was a No vote, then he would be disappointed for a few days. I am afraid that kind of an attitude from the leader of a supposedly pro-independence party is not acceptable to me. The likes of Winnie Ewing, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon would have got nowhere with that attitude at the beginnings of their political careers, in fact we would never even be close to independence by now, if the SNP had displayed such a feeble attitude and mentality.

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    6. Correct. Yes, it's impossible, impractical and ridiculous. Now, what's the best way to make it happen? If you don't have that attitude, you have no business calling yourself a nationalist.

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  26. @James Kelly,

    When are we going to get some analysis on this???

    I for one am not turning on the BBC News or STV for the rest of the weekend.

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    1. I've run the number if it helps. Only in Lothian did Green list "switchers" potentially harm the SNP. But green won anyway so that was no Net loss for yes and still no SNP majority. In the SOuth, North East and Central the Greens only needed 2000 more votes in each case to take the 7th seat from Toriesx2 and Lab.

      Required votes for SNP to take 7th list seat in all regions except Lothian was between 10000-40000 (often more than the total Green vote never mind just the loss of 2-3% switchers).

      In other words the SNP lost a majority because of constituency defeats and NOT because of tactical voting for the Greens and if James tries to tell you otherwise I'd like to see his numbers to back it up.

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    2. It could of course be argued Ruth Davidson won due to the Greens taking constituency votes from SNP. Of course that would have required Green voters to tactically vote for the SNP and as we've constantly been told you can't game the system so I'm sure no one would advocate that.

      If you assume SNP had beaten Ruth Davidson then they'd be up one but the tories would have won a 4th list seat at the expense of the Greens so again, no net gain for Yes parties.

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    3. "In other words the SNP lost a majority because of constituency defeats and NOT because of tactical voting for the Greens and if James tries to tell you otherwise I'd like to see his numbers to back it up."

      I'd like to see this too, although one of the things you notice about James if you read this site is he very rarely has any numbers to back up his perspective. He tends to come up with his opinion and then hammer it until the cows come home (rather than say, Curtice - i.e. someone with an actual academic qualification and some credible professional experience in the field - who looks at the numbers and then arrives at a conclusion).

      This site has always been more "how opinion polls can be spun to make the SNP look good" than somewhere you'll get genuine analysis. I have a feeling if we ever get to a point where the SNP are polling 10% across the country he'll still find a way to tell us they're "soaring ahead".

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    4. You obviously haven't been listening......
      Alex Birnie

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  27. I think the idea there is a material amount of Yes/SNP types seriously thinking about tactical voting as totally out there, to be honest.

    Most people I know voting Green did so because they wanted to give the Greens their votes as the SNP looked like winning and felt there was room for Greens. I don't think getting an SNP majority was that high up on these voters desires. They wanted a strong SNP having to work with the Greens and that's what's panned out.

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    1. Exactly and personally, as someone who backed the Greens, I'm delighted with the result.

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    2. All the analysis of tactical voting on the list showed in the case of the Greens was that you'd be as well doing what you wanted. Same with the SNP. Complaining that genuine Green supporters voting for Green candidates and getting them elected is bordering on the ridiculous. Especially if those self same voters risked an overall SNP majority reducing the Greens bargaining power by voting for the SNP in a constituency. Why not go through all the seats where the SNP got in, assume a Green had stood and guess how many would have been lost if they hadn't?

      Also why assume that it's only independence supporters who were attempting a tactical vote? There are scenarios where pushing a rival into wining a constituency means your own party gains on the list.

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  28. I've just crunched the numbers.

    A crude method for determining the number of wasted votes is adding those that did did not contribute to a candidate's election.
    The total number of wasted SNP list votes was 751,770.
    The total number of wasted Green list votes was 42,618

    Would Green votes have increased the number of pro-indy or SNP MSPs if they had switched to the SNP?
    The following shows what change would have occurred in each region if all Green voters had instead voted SNP.
    -Central Scotland: No change. Net 0.
    -Glasgow: SNP +1, Greens -1. Net 0
    -Highlands and Islands: SNP +1, Greens -1. Net 0.
    -Lothian: SNP +2, Greens -2. Net 0.
    -Mid Scotland and Fife: Greens -1, Labour +1. Net -1.
    -North East Scotland: No change. Net 0.
    -South of Scotland: SNP +1, Tory -1. Net +1.
    -West of Scotland: SNP +1, Green -1. Net 0.


    List total: SNP +6, Green -6, Tory -1, Labour +1.
    Conclusion: Green list votes cost the SNP their majority but overall resulted in no change in the number of pro-Indy MSPs.
    In one region, South of Scotland, Green votes resulted in a net loss of one pro-indy MSP.
    In one region, Mid Scotland and Fife, Green votes resulted in a net gain of one pro-indy MSP.


    On the constituency front, the Greens cost the SNP Edinburgh Central letting Ruth Davidson in. This is a real loss for the SNP as they did not win any list seats in Lothian to compensate. The SNP won the two other constituencies the Greens were contesting so there were no losses or gains there.

    Taken together, Green votes cost the SNP seven seats while delivering only six Green seats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS: This only shows what would have happened if the switch was from Green to SNP, a swing in the opposite direction would have different consequences.

      Delete
    2. On the constituency front, the Greens cost the SNP Edinburgh Central letting Ruth Davidson in.

      Or the other way round, presumably.

      Delete
    3. The SNP were the incumbents, the Greens were not.
      The SNP came second, the Greens came fourth.
      The SNP would have needed 13% of Green votes, the Greens would have needed 59% of SNP votes.

      I think it is fair to say the Green vote cost the SNP the seat.

      Delete
    4. Other than a touch of Feng Shui did it really matter? The SNP wouldn't have got a second list seat. The Conservatives would have got one instead of the constituency and the Greens would have too. So propoganda wise Davidson beating the SNP might be great. Combined tactical voting by the unionists paid dividends. As far as the regional breakdown goes it probably made sod all difference.

      Delete
    5. "As far as the regional breakdown goes it probably made sod all difference."
      It DID make a difference in Lothian. The SNP lost this constituency but won no regional seats to compensate.

      Delete
    6. The SNP cost the SNP the seat. Those people could have voted for you, and they chose not to.

      1 - This was mainly a fight between the Conservatives and the SNP, I think that was pretty clear long before voting day.
      2 - Given, that we can say fairly safely that anyone who voted Green did so knowing their candidate had little to no chance of winning the seat.

      Therefore;

      3 - We can also pretty safely say that nobody (sane) made a tactical switch from the SNP to Green in Edinburgh Central. So anyone who voted Green was a genuine supporter, not a temporary tactical ally.

      So... despite the fact that voting Green was not going to get their candidate elected, around 4600 people still chose to vote Green instead of SNP.

      Whose fault is that?

      If you can't get people to vote for you, you don't win the seat. You have no right to demand other parties roll over for you just because you can't convince their supporters to switch sides.

      That's not the Greens fault. Those 4600 people could have voted SNP. They chose not to. You failed to make the case in their eyes.
      If you want the Greens to get out of your way in a Edinburgh Central, I recommend you make a better job of winning over their voters.

      Delete
    7. The SNP lost this constituency but won no regional seats to compensate.

      That's true, but they might also have lost Central even without Green intervention - just as they lost Southern where there was no Green candidate.

      Delete
  29. Nice work. Very useful.
    Another limitation may be there is no way of knowing how many of the "wasted" votes were "tactical" votes. i.e. not 100% of the Green list vote wished for an SNP majority. The Greens would have polled votes from people that actually were loyal only to Greens (I would guess the absolute vast majority).

    ReplyDelete
  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Green list vote was evidently the right choice"
      That's 20/20 hindsight for you. What we know now we only suspected before.
      There was no way of knowing beforehand how exactly the constituencies would play out. Who was predicting the Lib Dems to win seats in Fife and Edinburgh?

      Delete
    2. There are ways of knowing who will win the majority of constituencies. Polls and 2015 uk election all indicted SNP landslide on constituency. The scale of the SNP victory was the unknown not whether or not there would be one...In the end it was lower than projected but was still bigger than 2011 in terms of SNP vote percentage and constituency seats won and THAT was the problem. Too many constituency seats won and virtually no chance at winning list seats except in highland and south Scotland...There was not much of a split vote - don't kid yourself. Greens got 6.6% list. In 2011 - pre yes campaign they got votes on 4.4% on the list. Look at the numbers and you'll see that greens displaced nawbags and not SNP on the list. If yes voters had some courage there was a bigger green split vote then greens would have had 9 or 10. SNP list was a wages vote in FIfe, Edinburgh and Glasgow

      Delete
    3. SNP list wasted bote not wages

      Delete
  31. Frankly James, you told us we should cast our votes in fear.

    EVERY single SNP list vote in Glasgow, Edinbugh, and Fife was a wasted vote.

    Your blogging is biased and if you claim to be pro yes then you ought to find some courage and take a chance.

    The list potential for pro yes tactical voting will ALWAYS greatly out number any potential losses that the SNP make on the list.

    I know you know this. Your reasons for ignoring are 1. Pro SNP / anti green bias and 2. You are weak

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rubbish. The Greens could change their mind on indy in a heartbeat. The SNP majority was lost because not enough people voted SNPx2.

      Delete
    2. "The Greens could change their mind on indy in a heartbeat."
      Over two thirds of their membership, if I recall correctly, joined post-referendum. A third of their MSPs are former SNP members.
      Some might not be convinced, but I can't see the party reversing their stance on it.

      Delete
    3. "The SNP majority was lost because not enough people voted SNPx2"

      Simply not true. If you crunch the numbers then you'll find only in Lothian did SNP potentially lose a list seat to Green Switchers. In all other regions they would have needed between 10-40k extra votes - way more than they could feasibly take from Greens. In converse, the greens were only 2k votes (potentially from SNPx2 voters) from taking three more list seats (from 2 Tories and 1 Lab). These are the cold hard facts of the election.

      SNP lost a majority because not enough people voted SNP 1st ballot. In other words the system wasn't set up for being broken this time around.

      Delete
    4. " A third of their MSPs are former SNP members."

      Really? Who's the one other than John Finnie? They had a candidate who had been an SNP MSP, but he wasn't elected.

      Delete
  32. @Alan

    You almost certainly know fine well that loads of Greens and RISE supporters have been telling all of us for months that the SNP was assured of winning all the constituency seats. Of course SNP knew this was absolute bollocks, and was almost certainly not going to happen. But that did not stop the bullshit and deception.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Glasgow SNP took everything. What's the use in having 100000 wasted SNP on a list

      Delete
    2. I am SNP member and have been advocating for almost a year a tactic of considering region by region. Glasgow is a must for a SNP / green vote. Labour are dead in Glasgow. To bury them completely we need more pro yes list tactical voting

      Delete





    3. "In Glasgow SNP took everything. What's the use in having 100000 wasted SNP on a list".

      Because you didn't KNOW they were going to take everything before the vote, did you?

      Delete
    4. @Alan

      People such as James have been saying for about a year that the voting system for Holyrood cannot be gamed. They have explained in great detail why this is the case. There was no way the SNP were going to win all the constituency seats. It was a laughable and a completely spurious claim, one that was used by the likes of Kevin Williamson and Alan Bisset. It had no basis whatsoever in reality, and was utter bullshit then, and is transparently bullshit now. I hope people will not forget who was indulging this deception and their agendas for doing so.

      Delete
    5. "...the voting system for Holyrood cannot be gamed."
      It can be gamed, and would have been if more SNP voters had switched to the Greens.
      "There was no way the SNP were going to win all the constituency seats."
      They wouldn't need to win all the constituency seats to game the system. They would just have had to win more constituencies than their list vote would entitle them to. The SNP failed to do that in this election and the last one, but Labour managed it in earlier parliaments.
      It's never a sure thing, but it's always possible.

      Delete
    6. "In Glasgow SNP took everything. What's the use in having 100000 wasted SNP on a list".

      Because you didn't KNOW they were going to take everything before the vote, did you?


      You're right, we didn't know how the constituencies would fall in Glasgow, and that means that voting SNPx2 or SNP-Green were both a gamble. And as it turns out, the latter gamble was the smart one for maximising pro-indy MSPs. What exactly are you criticising?

      Delete
    7. @Keaton

      Could you explain what good a pro-independence majority at Holyrood is when those two parties have different stances on a second independence referendum? Essentially the Scottish Greens have said they do not want another one in the next 5 years. They now have a veto on when it is called, and they are lukewarm anyway about independence.

      Delete
    8. WeSaidNoToYesMen :-)May 6, 2016 at 3:28 PM

      The Anti-Science mob and RUSE weren't telling you to vote for them to get more independence minded msps. They did it to get more Anti-Science and RUSE MSP's.

      Delete
    9. muttley, you got a link for the Greens "essentially" saying they're against a referendum in the next five years? I've seen Harvie saying that Brexit alone would not be enough of a trigger, but that seems to align fairly well with the SNP position.

      Delete
    10. @Keaton,

      Their policy on independence is essentially that they want 1 million voters in Scotland to sign a petition before they will support holding another referendum in next 5 years. To put that into context, the petition on the Hillsborough Disaster received the support of a few hundred thousand people in the entire UK, where nearly a hundred innocent people, many of them in their teens and twenties, died in appalling conditions at a football match. Very few petitions ever get near one million, whether it be UK wide, or European wide, or even worldwide. The Greens want one in five of the population of Scotland to sign a petition, not even voters but 20 per cent of the entire population. Of course it is an utterly ridiculous position, not least because even if you got over 1 million voters in Scotland to sign the petition, there could still very well be a No vote at the end of it! The Greens have essentially got a veto over independence for the next 5 years. This is why a lot of us wanted the SNP to get a majority. The Greens are not interested in even thinking about another referendum on independence in the next term. That is why they have come up with this bright idea of 1 million signing a petition. The SNP probably do not want another referendum either, but it was the Greens who have put the barrier up.

      Delete
  33. So the polls turned out to be pish AGAIN...you've put a lot into this james but time to move on...noone wants a poll analysis site when all we get is false hope...again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually they weren't too bad - Yougov yesterday was pretty close - the predictors on the other hand just weren't that good at turning those figures into the right number of seats...

      Delete
  34. I'm happy enough with the result. Pro-indy majority. Labour all but finished. Tories whipped again badly.

    Kinda pissed off that it seems many SNP voters thought the result was in the bag so didn't bother voting. Hence the lower turnout.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Five More YearsMay 6, 2016 at 3:52 PM

      Of course.

      Those of us who have been deeply involved in the campaign are all celebrating a historic third term for Nicola and some of us are absolutely delighted after working so hard to achieve some deeply impressive wins around the country. Not everywhere obviously, but those who look at the numbers closely will realise just how remarkable some of those wins are and what they will mean for the future.

      The fact that the westminster bubble, yoon media and usual Pouter lunatics still don't get it is of no consequence whatsoever.

      Let them froth and rage from the sidelines. It is all they can ever do and they simply aren't bright enough to do anything else.

      After our celebrations, (still ongoing and extremely 'robust' in quite a few places ;) ) we will move on to the locals next year, while the Scottish SNP government will enact another five years of SNP policies that will benefit the people of Scotland.

      Meanwhile Scot goes Pop and Wings have been proved 100% correct.

      Those who were lied to and misled into thinking the Holyrood vote can be used as an easy risk free second preference can be under no such illusions now or ever again in the future.


      That dishonest little scam could only ever be used once, has already run it's course and any future vote will now heavily reflect just how little those who advocated it will be trusted from now on.

      That will have consequences.

      Not least of which is a Scottish Green party - deeply in debt to those SNP voters who did lend them their vote thinking an SNP majority was in the bag - about as likely to try and reject reasonable progressive SNP policies as rabid Yoons are to endorse them.

      Make no mistake, if you thought the opposition parties were terrified of trying to bring down an SNP minority government after 2007, you ain't seen nothing yet.

      The chances of any party wanting to bring down Nicola's government and go back to the voter for another election is precisely zero.


      Hell, we could taunt and dare the Yoon Buffalo herself to bring down the SNP government after her demented Pouter rhetoric and she would still run a mile. ;o)


      Delete
  35. Justin Kenrick
    How's it for you now?

    Happy your Ju Ju drivel reflecting Kevin Williamson's and Mike Small's and the RISE/GREEN gang's urine has been exposed for what it is? That is, pish (to utilize the vernacular).

    Any RISE seats at Holyrood, Justy Baby? Mikey Small? Kevo?

    Your clones incontinently boasting of spoiling their ballot papers on social media in order to advance your elitist pretensions of parking your bahookies in Holyrood at whatever cost to progressive, Scottish, democratic forces a damned sight more radical than you lot of Unionist colluders begging and lying through your collective teeth for a split vote automatically going to you in order to advance an Anarcho-Trotskyite New World Order as you shysters, along with Cat Boyd, inveigled into the BritNat public discourse via pseudo-ScotNat rags like the NATIONAL and SUNDAY HERALD as well as BELLA and COMMON SPACE et al (BIOWRITE BLOG also springing to mind).

    Job nearly done by you by your agent provocateur allies of the British state aforementioned, but not quite despite your propaganda (arrogantly dismissive of James and WoS analyses).

    Thank you for needed further clarification of the need for minds to be balanced with consciences (to paraphrase John MacLean).

    It shall return to haunt you at the democratic ballot box (in your case, never again, but apropos the substitute, dark, BritNat Tory/Unionist forces you supported willfully and willingly in the fraud you all helped to perpetrate).

    Historical forces will wipe the snigger off your collective gubs.

    Fear not that democratic prospect as it begins now to come to pass; but, rather address your own consciences and shallow thinking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So if I'm wading through your verbiage correctly, you are saying that RISE, the Greens, Solidarity, the Tories, Labour, the Lib Dems and UKIP were all in a pro-Unionist conspiracy against the SNP, backed up by the secret pro-Unionist agenda of the Nationalist press?

      Righty-ho. Good to see you aren't sounding like a nutter there, 'Daubhid'.

      Delete
    2. Wow. Relax. We have a pro-indy majority. Before the 2011 election we'd have bitten off hands for a result like this.

      Delete
  36. Hopefully the SNP will put forward a candidate for Presiding Officer.

    ReplyDelete
  37. http://www.arcofprosperity.org/

    Do all the maths you want, switching to Green made heehaw difference.

    ReplyDelete
  38. So, the party that broke the UK is now it's 'main defender' LOL. Hell only 8/10 rejected them, so they can surely unite Scotland under the right-wing no surrender rule Britannia banner.

    Meanwhile, party that held the UK together - the party that could have saved the UK - lies bleeding in the gutter, stabbed to death by the above. It might have picked itself up again after the iref, but the Tories made sure it died; even nicked votes off it to make sure of that.

    Fucking disastrous result for the unionists. At some point people will realise this. I mean what are BBC Scotland going to do, cosy up to the Tories on the telly and hope that sways Scots for the union?

    It could only have been worse if the BNP had managed to become the main bastion of Britishness in Holyrood. That or UKIP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depends why people moved from Labour to the Cons, really.

      Did they flock to a party that is staunchly pro-Union?
      Or was it a lack of belief in Kezia Dugdale? A preference for Ruth Davidson?
      Or the general malaise surrounding Jeremy Corbyn?
      Or even just a preference for Conservative policies? (Seems unlikely, but if people were smart, they wouldn't be people.)

      Delete
    2. It could quite easily be tax policy. There are large swathes of comfortably well off natural New Labourites who wouldn't have fancied a tax hike. The old squeezed middle mentality is definitely a thing in Scotland as well...

      Delete
    3. @Scottish_Skier

      I'm in London & was disgusted to find that on our Ballot papers there were no fewer than 3 extreme Right Wing parties (apart from the Tories) - UKIP, Britain First & BNP

      Delete
  39. Here guys, I've got a great idea. Why don't all the hardcore unionists rally around a really unpopular party in Scotland which is run by rich toffs from the SE of England. It can take votes off the historically popular Labour party, finishing them as an electoral force in Scotland.

    That'll save the UK right?

    #WorstIdeasintheWorld

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surely hardcore Unionists were voting Tory already though?

      Can't say I've ever met a full on, Union-Jack waving British patriot who wasn't either a true blue Tory or worse yet, UKIP.

      Delete
    2. Clearly you've not been round the doors. The ex military service, pro union types will have lapped up the Tory message and moved over from labour in their droves.

      Delete
    3. Five More YearsMay 6, 2016 at 4:46 PM

      @Scottish_skier I take it you saw the numbers in Ayr? Simply staggering and a wee glimpse into the future for those who understand how this new 'dynamic' will operate soon enough.

      Delete
    4. Scottish Skier,

      It appears to me that the true 'line in the sand' in Scottish politics is now writ large. And it is a unionist -v- independence line.

      Given that the opposition will be Tory, there will be no hiding place for them. Either Ruth Davidson will be called to account for her friends in Westminster or she'll have to deny them. Whilst Annabelle Goldie made a decent fist of that I am not sure Ruth is cut from the same cloth.

      Delete
    5. Glasgow Working Class 2May 6, 2016 at 7:16 PM

      Stating the obvious Mr Clark!

      Delete
    6. Don't feed the troll, folks.

      Delete
  40. James Kelly,

    Just so's you know. I was one of the people who thought that he could split his vote.

    Thanks to you, I didn't. It was SNP 1 & 2.

    It is, perhaps, unfortunate, that more people didn't read your analysis. Tho' I do think that D'Hont is, perhaps, deliberately too obscure, for your average person.

    I certainly had the feeling, wrongly, that the second vote would be counted in a straightforward manner. I had no idea about divisors from constituency seats won and all the rest of it. It is a convoluted in a way of determining proportionality that it ought to be taught at Standard Grade as a subject on it's own if we want an informed electorate. I am not convinced that 'the powers that were' wanted an informed electorate.

    I am glad I took your advice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What region do you live in?

      Delete
    2. So why are you glad you didn't split your vote? Your list vote didn't get any SNP MSPs elected, or stop any Unionist ones. With a few hundred more list votes, we'd've had a second Green MSP in Glasgow instead of a Tory. The SNP, meanwhile, were operating with a divisor of 10 and had no chance.

      I'm not complaining about the result, just confused why, in hindsight, you think SNPx2 was the best choice.

      Delete
  41. keaton,

    This is probably going to sound ridiculous to you.

    I am no expert on D'Hont.

    I finally placed both my votes for the thing I want the most.

    Which happens to be an independent Scotland. Prior to the vote, i.e. absent of hindsight, I voted in both votes for what I believe in.

    I bet £10 on Swansea to win the EPL. You have no idea how much I wish I had placed that bet on a team that plays in blue. But foresight is not given to most of us.

    So, had I known, I might have betted differently, but, along with the rest us we didn't know.

    You cannot, well, I don't think, you can game D'Hont. Personally, I think it is pretty well a rotten compromise.

    OTOH if you want a consensus democracy where every vote counts, well, no, it fails on that count. The link to constituency seats and their divisor effect strikes me as ludicrous.

    Your two votes should be completely independent. If you vote on the list then the vote in the constituency should have zero impact.

    Frankly I think the system is weird.

    But that's just me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't saying you should've known how things would go beforehand. I just found it curious that you were glad you went SNP on the list, even with the benefit of hindsight that it was Green votes which were needed to hold off another Tory MSP.

      But I agree it's not a good system. I don't understand why STV is considered suitable for council elections, but not parliamentary ones.

      Delete
    2. "I don't understand why STV is considered suitable for council elections, but not parliamentary ones."

      Because Holyrood decides what electoral system councils use while Westminster decides what electoral system Holyrood uses.

      Delete
  42. Glasgow Working Class 2May 6, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    You Nat sis have lost. No referendum for at least around seven years. Your faithfull turned out but the majority of Unionists did not. But we will if you try to subvert democracy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You Nat sis have lost. No referendum for at least around seven years. Your faithfull turned out but the majority of Unionists did not. But we will if you try to subvert democracy.

      Really?

      How, exactly does the SNP subvert democracy?

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working Class 2May 6, 2016 at 10:35 PM

      I am not a Nat si so how will you attempt it in the case of the people voting Naw. Or will you respect the peoples will?

      Delete
    3. Don't feed the troll, folks.

      Delete
  43. It'll be a nice wee change having someone different "carping from the sidelines".

    ReplyDelete
  44. Glasgow Working Class 2,

    Democracy 101.

    You, presumeably, vote in elections in order to either maintain a government or overturn a government. In democracies there is that amazing moment when a government loses and is replaced by another. I recall Gordon and Sarah Brown standing together outside number 10 as the prat realised it was all over.

    That is what democracy is. It is a dynamic expression of the 'will of the people'.

    I will take no lectures from you on capture of an idea. My commitment to independence is entirely free of the views of you or even politicians on my side.

    That said, Nicola is right. If and when there is a substantial majority in the opinion polls for independence, then and only then, should the SNP call for it.

    You can pretend all you like that opinion is static. On that basis the Whigs would still be governing our nation. Whoever the Whigs were, I can't be arsed doing the google. Democracy is about change, not the status quo. Except of course when it isn't. And especially in the era that 'personality' politics, where how you look and speak is more important than what you say and think. Viz, David Cameron. Many have come to worship at his empty throne.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Glasgow Working Class 2May 8, 2016 at 5:04 PM

    I would not say Brown was a prat. I would say the Nat si leadership leading up to the referendum were absolute prats. They backtracked on NATO and the Monarchy just to obtain votes but the people knew it was a con. They had years in power but could not come up with a currency. They lied about automatic entry to the EU. If the Nat sis had come clean and told the truth to the people and admitted there was a fair likelihood that thousands of jobs could be lost then I could give them some credence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean like the thousands of jobs that HAVE been lost?

      Twat.

      Delete
  46. why do you like/dislike Hillary Clinton?
    2016 Election

    ReplyDelete