I've been receiving quite a few emails from readers over the course of the campaign, so apologies if there are one or two I haven't replied to yet, because I've been up to my neck with various things. As postal votes are in the news today, I thought this might be a good moment to show you an email from a week or so ago about that subject, and let you make up your own mind. I agree with most of this, apart from the suggestion that the problems "at source" are only minor - I do think the system has been abused more often than we'd like to believe. Part of me thinks we'd be better off going back to the old system where you needed to have a good reason to apply for a postal vote.
"Feels like I've been a subscriber since SGP first started, and as always you come into your own during election campaigns.
But one thing is missing, and it's something that gives the Tories a serious head start at every campaign - their hard core postal vote.
That has to change if we are going to remove the likes of Mundell and Carlaw from Westminster and Holyrood, and the likes of Carruthers, Drysedale, and Nairn (just three of the Tory Councillors in D&G) who rely primarily on postal votes to get elected.
The percentage of voters using PVs in rural areas is around 21%, and my own estimates (based on the 2017 local and GE results) give Tory candidates 80% of that 21%.
For example, Ian Carruthers - a Tory councillor in my own ward - received just over 1,600 first choice votes and reached quota at the first round. 600+ of those votes were postals.
The figures were even higher in a neighbouring ward.
It's the soul destroying part of any count down here. We may look like we're almost there …. then they bring in the postals.
After 2014 I made a point of looking closely at the conspiracy theories surrounding voting at the referendum.
It took me around 30 minutes to comprehensively debunk every piece of outrageous nonsense I found on FB, YouTube, and other platforms.
But by then it was too late - the damage had been done, and it's still being done today.
I keep asking folk if they've ever wondered why so many Unionist media outlets gave so much coverage to those claims of 'massive' electoral fraud - invariably committed by MI5, every postie in Scotland, and the 45% of staff working at counts all over Scotland who claimed to be Yes supporters/SNP members, but were actually Illuminati sleeper agents.
They haven't, but occasionally a wee light goes on when they realise what I'm suggesting.
I've been to every count down here since 2011.
I've attended the last 3 postal vote verification sessions - talked to the staff, had the system explained to me in great detail, and been told repeatedly that many of our own get more than a bit angry when an ignorant zoomer claims they're all working for MI5 or 'Westminster'.
Basically, the PV system is 100% foolproof - with the exception of 'at source' - places like care homes.
But that exception can only affect a tiny number of votes - and what kind of loon is going to risk a very good, very secure job for a few more Tory votes ?
In a nutshell, the folk who believe the nonsense have no idea how the PV system operates, and they've certainly never worked as Count or Polling Agents.
Nor have they spent a few days in the middle of a PV verification where we actually take part in the process !!
In fact I'll bet the zoomers don't even know we have people at every count watching the entire thing happen, and can stop the count if we suspect something's wrong.
I've stopped a count before, and I was right to do so.
I was thanked by an Electoral Commission (Scot) observer afterwards as he'd also missed what I'd spotted.
Perhaps, once the current election is done and dusted, you can start looking at postal votes - the numbers, where they are highest, how they can create a built-in Tory majority, and how there's not a single shred of credible evidence supporting the nonsense stories that cost us dearly at every election?
The only way we can counter the situation is by getting as many of our supporters to apply and use PVs.
I did the data transfer from the Marked Register a couple of years ago and was shocked by what I saw. Our vote didn't turn out. It was raining. Folk were tired after work. There was something unmissable on TV etc etc.
The reasons don't matter, but the result down here meant Mundell had effectively been elected before the Polling Stations opened.
And it's all down to the ignorant zoomers who found it easier to blame electoral fraud rather than the real reasons we lost (media, the 'Vow', currency, and allowing the opposition to dictate the debate).
We need to change minds before the next referendum."
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I have three more constituency previews in today's edition of The National - this time it's Ochil & South Perthshire, Airdrie & Shotts and Kilmarnock & Loudoun.