To my genuine astonishment, the editor of the Sunday Herald has spent much of the last 24 hours sticking doggedly to the hopeless fiction that John Curtice's views were summarised 100% accurately in the article which wrongly claimed that the psephologist had "advised" pro-independence voters to switch to the Greens or RISE on the regional list ballot in May. Neil Mackay seems to have adopted a holding strategy which mainly involves repeatedly pretending to misunderstand the criticisms that are being made - he responds as if people accept that Curtice was paraphrased accurately, and as if they're simply annoyed that a platform has been given to views that they happen to personally "disagree" with. Cue the familiar lectures about how the Yes movement needs to learn to accept questioning and dissent, etc, etc. It really is SO disappointing to see an editor who we know is a decent bloke resort to this sort of distraction technique, especially given that the criticisms that have been made of the Sunday Herald are perfectly legitimate - overwhelmingly legitimate, in fact, given that no less an authority than Curtice himself has confirmed that he didn't say people "should" switch to the Greens or RISE on the list. As a general rule, if the person whose views you're summarising says there was an inaccuracy in the way he was summarised, your claims of 100% accuracy probably aren't looking too promising.
Given the utterly bizarre circumstances we find ourselves in (I think I'm finally beginning to understand what "post-truth environment" means), it's probably worth actually going through the specific claims made in the Sunday Herald article, and then directly comparing them to John Curtice's own words in the report that is supposedly being paraphrased. This is one "spot the difference" game that I don't think you'll find too difficult. (I've added the italics for emphasis.)
SUNDAY HERALD'S CLAIM : "Supporters of independence should not give their second vote to the SNP at the Holyrood elections, according to a new report by one of the country's top political scientists. Professor John Curtice says Yes voters should instead give their backing to another pro-independence party - such as the Greens or the leftwing party Rise - in case unionist MSPs are let in by the back door."
WHAT CURTICE ACTUALLY SAID : "But, of course, [tactical voting on the list] is not a strategy without risks."
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SUNDAY HERALD'S CLAIM : "Curtice collated and analysed recent opinion polls and found that the SNP will win all but three constituencies and be returned firmly as the majority party of government on that vote alone."
WHAT CURTICE ACTUALLY SAID : "Perhaps, in the event, the SNP will not do so well as the polls are currently suggesting, thereby ensuring that every last list seat won or lost matters."
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SUNDAY HERALD'S CLAIM : "Due to the rules of Scotland's complicated electoral system that would mean the SNP would then see only two MSPs returned on the regional lists – most likely in the Highlands and Islands because they will win fewer constituencies in that region."
WHAT CURTICE ACTUALLY SAID : "Conversely, if the polls are indeed underestimating SNP support on the list vote (and overestimating that of the Greens) then the party may well be strong enough in at least some regions to pick up a list seat even if it has won all of the constituency seats in that region (while perhaps the Greens are too far away from the 5-6% needed to win a list seat for any likely level of SNP tactical support to make a difference)."
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SUNDAY HERALD'S CLAIM : "Pro-independence voters in other parts of Scotland who cast both votes for the SNP could therefore be “wasting” their regional list vote, according to Curtice."
WHAT CURTICE ACTUALLY SAID : "In any [event] one can see why [the SNP] is using the social media hashtag #bothvotessnp in the election campaign — it does not wish to take the risk that it loses out because voters decide to try and help another party on the list vote."
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SUNDAY HERALD'S CLAIM : "Curtice underlines the fact that any party which hopes to win a regional seat must secure around 6% of the vote, suggesting that voting SNP in the regional ballot instead of smaller pro-independence parties could benefit unionist parties with a bigger share of the vote and no constituency MSPs."
WHAT CURTICE ACTUALLY SAID (ENCORE) : "Conversely, if the polls are indeed underestimating SNP support on the list vote (and overestimating that of the Greens) then the party may well be strong enough in at least some regions to pick up a list seat even if it has won all of the constituency seats in that region (while perhaps the Greens are too far away from the 5-6% needed to win a list seat for any likely level of SNP tactical support to make a difference)."
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I rest my case, m'lud.