Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Solidarity are more likely than RISE to take a seat next year

I very rarely make predictions on this blog, but having thought about this subject so much recently I'm going to stick my neck out and make two tentative forecasts for next May : 1) the two radical left parties will between them take either zero seats or one seat, and 2) if they take one seat, it will be Solidarity that pulls it off, not RISE. If RISE are going to make even the most modest of breakthroughs, they've got less than six months to go from virtually zero support to at least 5% in one of the eight electoral regions. That's not going to happen without a bandwagon effect, and you can't generate one of those out of thin air. When the SSP managed it in 1999 and 2003, it was largely founded upon Tommy Sheridan's fame and charisma. Colin Fox is not a Sheridan, and neither is anybody else in RISE. They're probably quite glad about that in some ways, but it does mean there is a limit upon their realistic electoral ambitions.

Solidarity are more fortunate, because they do have a Sheridan, and his name is Tommy Sheridan. It's interesting looking back to the last time that he stood in Glasgow in 2007 - the fading of his magic was such a landmark moment that we tend to overlook the fact that he didn't miss out on holding his seat by all that much. Solidarity got 4.1% of the vote, which meant they were just 1.1% away from denying Patrick Harvie of the Greens the final seat (and how that might have changed history if they had done). And do you want to guess what percentage of the vote the SSP got in Glasgow that year? That's right - 1.2%. It's all very well for the small parties to complain about being branded as "vote-splitters", but in reality it's themselves that are the biggest victims of that problem. The true threat to a radical left party claiming a seat next year may well be RISE itself.

Sheridan was in prison by 2011, so he temporarily vacated the field in favour of his old friend George Galloway and Respect - a bizarre decision, given Galloway's hostility to the cause that has defined Sheridan's career ever since that election. But it's plausible to suppose that Respect basically inherited the Solidarity vote in Glasgow, and there wasn't all that much further slippage - they got 3.3%, while the SSP only slipped to 0.7%. So there clearly is a lingering radical left vote in the city, and it might be just about sufficient to sneak one seat once Sheridan's stardust is reintroduced into the equation (especially now that he's been redeemed in some people's eyes by his passionate campaigning during and after the referendum). But even if that's the case, everything will hinge on whether Solidarity can keep RISE down to a derisory vote. I think the odds are against them, but on past form it's certainly possible.

It wouldn't surprise me if RISE outpoll Solidarity in the other seven regions (albeit without coming close to winning a seat), but it seems almost inconceivable that Sheridan will be eclipsed by his former colleagues on his own home patch.


  1. Isn't this the tommy Sheridan that was framed by Rupert Murdoch and his stooges? Wasnt his conviction overturned yet? We don't get news on this stuff way over here.

    1. Ha ha . . .funnily enough no, his conviction hasn't been overturned. On account of the fact that he's a corrupt, seedy, liar who was happy to see innocent people go to jail to cover up for his own sordid behaviour.

  2. Another facet of this is the Tory situation. To have a chance of a seat on the Glasgow list, you need to be at least 5th, and realistically 4th. 1-2-3 will be SNP-Lab-Green. If Tommy can get a "Tories out" bandwagon rolling, it could boost him into 4th place.

  3. So there are 4 pro indy parties running next year - SNP, Greens, RISE and Solidarity?

    "Stop fighting! We must unite and fight against the common enemy!"

    (stop and look at each other)

    "The Judean Peoples' Front?"

    "NO! NO! The Romans!!!!"

    1. How we laughed (not). You are aware that Lab, Lib, Con and UKIP are all unionists I take it?

    2. Yes and the thing that gives the nationalists an electoral advantage, mainly, is that they are united and the pro-UK camp disunited. With the rise of smaller pro indy parties, that advantage will be thrown away.

    3. "the rise of smaller pro indy parties" - that'll be happening any minute now...

    4. Yes, it will - once it becomes abundantly clear to the 45 that Sturgeon has no intention to hold a referendum rerun anytime soon.

  4. The SNP could not stand candidates in list seats absolutely to give both RISE and Solidarity a decent shout on the list. If standing a candidate in every seat was an Electoral Commission requirement, every party other than the Tories would have been guilty of gaming the system last May and the Greens would be guilty of gaming the system by not standing candidates in constituencies.
    A vote for a referendum is just one vote in a whole series of votes in a parliament which parties may vote for or against, unlikely to take place in the next parliamentary term and not even within the competence of the Scottish Parliament. There is no guarantee in any case for instance that RISE in a UK led by Jeremy Corbyn pursuing a radical socialist agenda, that couldn't be guaranteed in an independent Scotland wouldn't vote against a referendum and the Labour party having suffered a devastating result and under new leadership in a separate Scottish party would not vote in favour (unlikely to occur concurrently admittedly).
    Provided the SNP didn't set up a second 'front' party to stand on the list or publicly advocate voting for another party how on earth could they be breaking any rules. Besides both Plaid and the SNP seemed to be advocating voting Green in seats in which they weren't standing candidates in England last May.
    Are you suggesting there is a rule which only applies to one party in one set of circumstances, or that a single constitutional policy (not within the remit of the parliament) is given such special significance within the Electoral Commission rules that it usurps every other policy combined.
    The SNP is much closer in policy terms to the Labour party imho than either RISE or Solidarity to the extent that it practically aped the Labour manifesto last May. Withdrawing from the list is likely to make it much harder to deliver a program of government either through not gaining a majority or finding common cause with other parties and hence self defeating rather than advantageous. Unlikely to me therefore to fall foul of any rules.

    P.S. I'm not advocating this strategy, if I had a vote I'd vote SNP/SNP. I just believe that it would be legitimate and feasible and I've no idea what the actual rules are so the above could be nonsense.

    1. I haven't read the whole of your comment because I'm on the move, but I get the impression you're asking me whether I said in my post yesterday that the Electoral Commission would step in if the SNP failed to stand on the list. The answer is no : I said they would step in if the SNP didn't stand on the list AND told people to vote for another specific party instead.

    2. Cheers I must have misread. So I'm assuming it would be an option to withdraw providing they didn't promote another party but won't happen so not worth worrying about too much.

    3. By 'stepping in' what would they DO?

  5. Randomcomment densely commenting through the densely dark thickets of over-wordy genuine enquiry?

    Or Trotskyite apologia (?) bamboozling readers with pseudo-argument badly paragraphed and inarticulate as a result.

    Clarity of main points, please (for I can find none in this verbal breaking of wind). Thank you.

    As to the faction-riven, fractious Trots as ever opportunistic and faux anarchists hingin' on to their divisive coat-tails: A Bas!


    Go and build a genuine electoral base be ye RISE or SOLIDARITY or the increasingly visibly opportunistic GREENS, and stop with the passive-aggressive pyrotechnic pleas for a share of sovereign - as in people - power.

    Like the CPGB, who recently invited me to join them again - never was but was and am WORKERS' PARTY OF SCOTLAND - these wannabe "players" seek to sow division unto their own opportunistic ends and fuck the citizenry.

    Voila the obscurantism of the "Randomcomment" hedged about with obscurantist, aspirational theological drivel redolent of the counter-parties of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation as well as revolutionary Russia and France.

    Utter cant after the fashion of all false progressives.

    Unless one is a damned fule, vote SNP consistently at the upcoming Holyrood elections in order to eject as many of these Unionist lackey mouth-pieces as possible.

    Otherwise, follow your intellect and conscience squared (to paraphrase John MacLean) and may the Deil tak the hindmost with all the attendant implications based on the socio-political evidence to date.

    1. Apologies for being verbose, not mean't to be an essay or be critiqued.
      Simply this, there isn't as far as I am aware a rule which dictates that a party has to stand candidates in a set number of constituencies/seats. A party standing or not standing candidates may have an affect on the outcome of the result in a particular seat but to suggest a rule will be contravened due to the magnitude of that effect is implausible and highly unlikely as it can only be estimated in any case.
      It is also impossible to know exactly in advance the way a particular party will vote on a given topic, Labour may vote for referendum and Solidarity/Rise may not.
      The SNP may have policies more closely aligned with Labour than Rise/Solidarity so from the Electoral Commissions' perspective it suits the SNP's agenda to have more Labour MSP's than Rise/Solidarity MSP's unless the position on independence trumps all else.
      So it could be argued that standing on the list (if it produces more labour MSP's) games the system to allow the SNP to deliver a program of government to at least the same extent as not standing on the list to deliver a (supposed) independence majority which isn't in full control of the Scottish parliament.
      It would be the emphasis placed by an arbiter on the policy of independence or a referendum to determine whether a rule was breached if such a rule exists.
      In summary the SNP could withdraw from the list,but it won't vote SNP/SNP.

    2. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 18, 2015 at 12:23 AM

      David, I attended a special birthday party for Harry McShane in the Mitchell Theatre during the seventies. He joked about the various parties that tried to recruit him over the years. The SWP had a go but he refused. He was wurkin class tae the end. Petty Nationalism I reckon would have repulsed him. Nationalism is the last vestige of despots with nothing to offer but self interest.

    3. Eat your cereal.

  6. You missed out one very important factor.
    'Solidarity' won't be on the ballot paper. 'Hope Over Fear' will be.

    1. That was flatly denied only a day or two ago. They seem to be planning on their usual "Soli - TOMMY SHERIDAN - darity" formulation.

    2. 'Solisheridanarity' could work.

    3. But the name was nabbed and registered by someone else with the EC, wasn't it?

  7. Didn't the bath man do a full Scottish poll (Panelbase) recently? If so, where are the Holyrood voting intention figures?

    Publish the poll!!! ;0)

    1. Aren't you better asking this on the website the commissioned the poll?

  8. Interestingly, in the recent TNS poll, out of all the main parties, SNP voters say they are the most likely to vote

    Certain to vote:
    87% SNP
    84% Lab
    80% Con

    Certain not to vote:
    10% Labour
    5% Con
    4% SNP

    If that pattern was accentuated on voting day, could result in even higher SNP.

    Must admit I was surprised Tory voters are the most apathetic.

    Maybe they care less for the union that we think.

    1. That could be down to simple demographics.A percentage of Tories won't be sure of being around next May.

    2. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 17, 2015 at 11:50 PM

      They will in the form of Scottish Nat sis.

    3. The Labour man wants you to shut up and eat your cereal.

  9. What is happening is that some people are making comments as definitive, for all 8 regions, that are opinions and are not based on any actual regional projected figures. There's a lot of heat, and no light on this, with comments such as "clearly nobody understands the d'Hondt system", but clearly with no understanding themselves.

    What I suggest is that people get asked to give figures to back up their claims. Based on the 2011 Holyrood results broken down by region, easily available from the dreaded Beeb, based on the overall list percentages for each party, and the latest list opinion poll.

    Always with the rider that opinion polls don't reflect the actual result, and any formula such as uniform swing used to work out resulting percentages for any region, can be opposed with another formula - plus of course private polling by campaigners in constituencies / regions. I give an example (Hiohalnds and Islands) I bothered calculating, in a second posting below, showing the calculations.

    1. Even if the SNP got all 8 constituency seats in Highands and Islands for instance, they would still based on uniform swing, get 1 list seat, not 0. Lab would get 2, LibDem 2, Con 1 and Green 1, total 7.

      2011 list vote overall: SNP 44, Lab 26.3, Con 12.4, Lib 5.2, Green 4.4, UKIP 0.9.
      Latest opinion poll list vote: SNP 52, Lab 25, Con 11, Lib 5, Green 5, UKIP 2 (ignore UKP).

      2011 result for H&I: SNP 47.5, Lab 14.5, Con 11.6, Lib 12.1, Green 5.1.
      Calculated 2016: SNP 56.1, Lab 13.8, Con 10.3, Lib 11.6, Greeen 5.8.

      SNP initial divisor 8+1 = 9, all the rest 1. List seat allocation would go (with divisor):

      Lab 13.8% / 1 = 13.8
      Lib 11.6% / 1 = 11.6
      Con 10.3% / 1 = 10.3
      Lab 13.8% / 2 = 6.9
      SNP 56.1% / 9 = 6.25
      Lib 11.6% / 2 = 5.8
      Green 5.8% / 1 = 5.8

      Standings after those 7 list seats would be SNP 56.1% / 10 = 5.6, Lab 13.8% / 3 = 4.6, Lib 11.6% / 3 = 3.9, Con 10.3% / 2 = 5.15, Green 5.8% / 2 = 3.9. If there was an 8th list seat, the SNP would get it on 5.6, ahead of the Cons at 5.15.

      And the formula for the Uniform Swing prediction of 2016 list vote for H&I for each party is:

      H&I 2016 list = 2011 list * Latest Opinion poll overall standing / 2011 overall standing. e.g. SNP = 47.5 * 52 / 44 = 56.1%.

    2. I did the numbers for Central region basing it on the percentages in May. If the votes hold up I am expecting all regional seats to fall to the SNP, and for 1 list seat ( the 7th ) depending on the strength of parties other than the red or blue tories.

      I expect the beneficiaries of attempts at tactical voting to be the Conservatives. They poll quite well in some areas.

      There is a good website which was listed here before


      What would help most is if people would stick with SNP for both votes.

      And d'Hondt is not difficult to follow. I found a schools website explaining it best, but cannot find the link.

  10. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 17, 2015 at 7:18 PM

    Sheridan is on my patch. He has no chance. Maybe he can try in ten years time when a generation that know him has moved on. I wonder where he gets the deposits from. Certainly not by grafting like the people he suppoedly represents.

    1. And talking of taking a rise out of us all. up pops fucknuts.

      Go eat your cereal. You are not welcome here. Splash.

    2. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 17, 2015 at 9:25 PM

      Anon or perhaps Pt who knows who cares. No bottle no name hiding in cyberspace. You owe Blair an apology.

    3. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 18, 2015 at 2:16 AM

      Anon, fool Nat si hiding. Not up front who are you. What party?

    4. The Labour man wants you to shut up and eat your cereal.

  11. "That's the reality, my friends, that's the reality!" To quote the man himself.

  12. SNP 54% and 56% in UK Survation and ICM poll subsamples respectively.

    Labour 17% in both.

    For what it's worth.

    1. Good to see the continuing steady decline in the Labour vote and a steady increase in the SNP.

      I wonder if they are in any way related?

      Onwards and upwards to Hollywood 2016.