A few people have been taking me to task in the comments section about my uncertainty over how to vote next Thursday - they reckon it's a no-brainer that every independence supporter in Scotland should vote Remain, because we need to be able to point to as strong a Remain majority as possible. I think it might be an idea to repost my response here, so that I don't have to repeat myself another fifty times over the next week!
"I take an entirely different view, Rolfe, and I must say that I think 'risk' is the wrong word in this context. If the tactical objective is a UK Leave/Scottish Remain, then every single person in Scotland is simultaneously voting both for and against that outcome. That's simply a fact, and there's no way of avoiding it. The UK result looks like it could be very close (and I would still say Remain are slightly more likely to win), whereas the Scottish result looks pretty clear-cut. If that wasn't the case, and if Leave had a big UK lead, there would be overwhelming logic for independence supporters to vote Remain, but that isn't where we are. A Remain win of 65% to 35% in Scotland coupled with a Remain win of 50.1% to 49.9% across the UK isn't going to get us a second independence referendum, but a Remain win of 63% to 37% in Scotland coupled with a Leave win of 50.1% to 49.9% across the UK could just do the trick. That's the dilemma, and I have to say I think the likes of Bill and 'Sales - Select Wallpaper' are in danger of losing sight of the fact that Scottish votes do contribute directly to the overall UK outcome. We aren't having our own separate referendum here.
As I've said before, the problem with tactical voting this time is not that it can't or won't work, but rather that the side-benefits of Brexit for the independence movement may not actually be important enough to compensate for the major downsides of being stuck outside the EU if we don't get independence. That's why I'm still in two minds."
Just to reiterate : of the two main side-benefits that I think might arise from Brexit, I'd say greater powers for the Scottish Parliament is much the stronger potential argument for voting Leave, and the prospect of engineering a second independence referendum is the weaker. I'm also not trying to influence anyone else's vote - it would be a bit difficult to do that anyway, given that I genuinely haven't made up my mind yet on what I think the best choice would be! I've simply been thinking aloud about how to cast my own vote. There's no doubt at all that the vast majority of SNP members will vote Remain, and that may well be a very good thing. SNP voters are another matter, of course - we know from opinion polls that a sizeable minority will vote Leave, and I personally know of a couple of passionate Yes voters who had "I'm With Nicola" plastered all over their Facebook profiles only a few weeks ago, but who are now backing Brexit without seeing any contradiction. They're doing that because of immigration, though, not because of more powers for Holyrood or a second indyref. I suspect there are only a tiny number of people who are flirting with a Leave vote for the specific reasons I am, so even if you think it's unwise, I don't think you should fret too much about it.