Sunday, May 8, 2016

The tactical voting lobby were proved comprehensively wrong on almost every point on Thursday night - and yet they're still in denial

Apologies for returning to the topic of the "tactical voting on the list" fiasco yet again, but I am absolutely flabbergasted at the rubbish that is still being written about it.  Almost all of the things that we warned could go wrong with the grand scheme did go wrong on Thursday night, and yet still the tactical voting lobby brazen it out, insisting that "wasted SNP list votes" were somehow the real problem in this election.  (Exactly how fewer SNP votes could have solved the problem of the SNP falling short of a majority is a bit of a mystery, but don't hold your breath for an explanation.)

It really is both the ultimate circular argument, and the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy.  First they tell prospective SNP list voters that their votes are going to be "wasted" and they should vote for a different party instead.  Some people heed that advice, and as a result the SNP list vote drops, and the party doesn't have enough votes for a list seat in six out of eight regions (compared to just one out of eight in the 2011 election).  Then they say : "You see?  We told you SNP list votes would be wasted!"  Shameless, or what?

I mean, do they think the sixteen list seats that carried the SNP to an overall majority in 2011 were magicked out of thin air by pixies?  Seriously, guys, the SNP won those seats because more people voted for them on the list in 2011.  This isn't rocket science.

Here's what STV's online election reporter Dan Vevers (who openly admits that he is glad the SNP failed to win a majority) had to say on Twitter earlier today -

"If 7% of SNP voters had gone Green, the Greens would have been five seats behind Tories on 14...With this swing, Greens would have had 74% of the Tory number of seats with only 60% of its regional vote...If someone really wanted to light a match in a powderkeg, one might even say both votes SNP ensured the Conservative surge...Where pro-union folk voted smartly to maximise Unionist voices in Parliament, the evidence suggests pro-indy people did the opposite."

Just HOW many times does the bleedin' obvious have to be pointed out to people - that tactical voting is often relatively easy, risk-free and effective in single-member constituency elections, but is virtually impossible on the list.  This was exactly the problem that the SNP and the broader pro-independence movement faced in this election - that attempts at unionist tactical voting were going to take place almost exclusively on the constituency ballot, where it was potentially going to prove highly effective, and that attempts at pro-indy tactical voting were going to take place almost exclusively on the list ballot, where it had every chance of backfiring.  Ironically, one of the major reasons for the risk of it backfiring is precisely that people were failing to take into account the potential for successful anti-SNP tactical voting in the constituencies.  I'm in no way being wise after the event on this point - I said it a number of times during my debate with Tommy Sheridan in February, for example.

To cast an effective tactical vote in a single-member constituency election, you only need to know one thing in advance with a high level of confidence - and that's who the top two candidates in the constituency will be.  In some cases, it's not possible to know that, either because there was a virtual tie for second-place last time around, or because public opinion has shifted dramatically since the last election.  But in many, many constituencies on Thursday, it was the easiest thing in the world for unionist voters to identify that the top two parties in their constituency would be the SNP and a specific unionist party.  So all that Tories in North-East Fife or Edinburgh Western had to do was vote Liberal Democrat, and they knew that one of two things would happen - either a) the SNP would lose and the objective would be accomplished, or b) the SNP would win and the unionist position would be no worse than it otherwise would have been.  In other words, tactical voting in constituencies generally either works or has no effect - but it very rarely backfires.

In contrast, think about the sheer number of things an SNP supporter in Glasgow would have had to know for sure in advance before he or she could have cast a risk-free and effective tactical vote on the list -

* That the SNP were definitely going to win all nine constituency seats.  (And yeah, yeah, "everyone knew" that they were going to manage that, but then everyone knew the SNP were going to win Dumbarton - until they didn't.)

* That the effective target for the SNP to win a list seat after winning all of the constituencies would be as high as 59.5% of the vote.  (It could easily have been significantly lower than that, depending on how the list votes divided between the other parties.)

* That the SNP had no chance of getting close to 59.5% of the list vote.  (And really the tactical voting lobby can't have it both ways on this point - if their whole argument rested upon the SNP being so all-conquering in Glasgow that there was no risk of the party failing to take a clean sweep of constituencies, it's not immediately apparent why a 50%+ list vote should have been considered such an impossible target.)

* That Solidarity were going to fall well short of the threshold for a list seat.  (Without knowing this, there would have been no way of knowing that a tactical vote for Solidarity would be completely wasted and that the Greens might be a better bet.)

* That the Greens didn't have enough support for a second list seat without the assistance of tactical voters.  (The point here is that if the Greens already had enough support anyway, tactical votes for them would have been completely wasted, because the d'Hondt formula would already have divided their vote by three and they would have had no realistic prospect of a third seat.)

Tell me, Dan, how the hell was anyone supposed to know all of that?  This has got nothing to do with unionist voters being "smarter" than us, it's simply about the fact that none of us actually possess psychic powers.

Meanwhile, Juliet Swann, once of the Electoral Reform Society, made my jaw drop to the floor with these tweets -

"a few thousand votes switched from Greens to SNP OR VICE VERSA could have influenced seats... BUT so could any other combo of any other party's votes. The fact is we have multiple parties & people voted 4 them...cannae vote tactically in AMS ;-)"

Juliet, who I met last year and is a very nice person, has by all accounts been going around over the last few months with her trusty set of graphs, giving talks to pro-indy groups with the aim of persuading them that SNP list votes would be "wasted" and that they should vote for a smaller party instead. When you've been doing that sort of thing quite openly, it does seem incredibly disingenuous to turn around after the event and innocently say "there was a choice of parties and people made their own choice, tactical voting is impossible, so nothing to do with me, guv". If you've made an intervention and changed people's votes, for heaven's sake take ownership of that intervention, and either apologise for it or stand by it.

Oh, and as for Kevin Williamson's claim that he should be forgiven for saying that the SNP were absolutely certain to win a majority on constituency seats alone because he couldn't possibly have known that Nicola Sturgeon would pose with a copy of the Sun and lose some of her voters...give me a break.  If you want to say fatuous things like that, no-one can stop you, but just don't expect to be taken seriously on this topic when you have another bash in five years' time.


  1. The bottom line is that those SNP voters who did risk the list will be well aware of the consequences by now and will always remember who to place their trust in from this point on.

    So those who advocated the risk the list 'strategy' to can expect to be treated with extreme distrust from now on in. As they fully deserve to be.

    1. Because the system is designed to stop any one party getting a majority and even with more votes than last time SNP did not get a majority, we would probably be most likely to get Indy ref 2 if we split the vote as evenly as possible between snp1 and green 2. It works out far better odds when two pro indy parties try and spread the vote than one party claiming to require a majority, which by all the evidence is a very hard thing to achieve. This snp 1+2 nonsense nearly let in a unionist majority. Just as well for those that voted green. Nearly a 1,000,000 list votes for just 4 list msp is a dumb waste of pro indy seats, and blaming green voters for not wasting their votes aswell is a good way to alienate your alies.

    2. NO! You wrote dat on the TOP line!!!

      Here's my bottom line:

      Yes Majority is better than Yes Minority. I don't trust thickies and I hate Nawbags

    3. The RISE and Fall of the People's Front of JudeaMay 8, 2016 at 11:14 PM

      Did it take you much practice to become such an entitled, arrogant and insufferable twat Alan?

      I must say, I haven't seen that attitude mastered with such aplomb since RISE crashed and burned so very spectacularly. Feeling a little bruised are we comrade? A touch tender now that all your bullshit has crumbled into dust?

      Your feeble attempts to belittle anyone is hardly convincing after behaving like an ignorant dickhead towards James.

      Reproducing a few tables of post-election data with some facile post-hoc assertions hastily pasted in doesn't actually make you an electoral sage of any kind, comrade. You haven't done the hard work Alan old chum. You pasted it from a website. You're piggybacking on data you barely understand yourself as you clumsily try to force it to fit your own self-justifying conclusion.

      That you actually thought mere data dredging would dig you out of your hole speaks volumes about just how seriously anyone should take you. Now or ever again.

  2. While in complete agreement with James on the list vote hijacking tactics, it should also be noted that everyone I know who gave Green their list vote did it to impose their influence on SNP to pull them further on things like new energy and land reform, and they got the result they wanted. FYI I voted 2 for SNP as I rank independence 1st

    1. I've had the same anecdotal experience, as I said on the last thread. I assume there must have been some who voted Green while hoping for an SNP majority, though. I wonder if we'll ever know how pervasive that was.

    2. If they wanted the Greens to have influlence over the SNP - regardless of whether it cost the SNP a majority and regardless of whether it let in more Yoons like the tories - then they might get that.

      What they won't know for a while is whether that influence is a well thought out nudge in the direction they want or whethere it's an attempt at an obstinate lurch well beyond what is workable or reasonable.

      We'll all have to wait and see on that one.

      However, if the Greens are naive enough to think the tories, SLAB or the lib dems have their best interests at heart, and can be relied upon for anything other that the kind of opportunistic and counter-productive disruption the right wing media craves, then they will have an awful lot to learn this term.

      Particularly when that right-wing media goes for their throat in the same manner we have at least successfully endured and overcome.

    3. In the "I told you so arena" you will find somewhere on this blogsite a comment from me saying it must be Independence 2 which meant SNP 1 and best placed Indy Party 2. Which turned out to be SNP 1 Greens 2. If people had taken the time to check out their own constituencies it would have been obvious in 59 constituencies to vote SNP 1 and Greens 2. That would have given the SNP their majority the Greens more list MSPs and the Unionists less MSPs. In my own constituency, John Swinney's patch it was pretty damn obvious and it worked.
      However I am not underwhelmed by the overall result because we still have an Indy majority in Holyrood. The Unionist media can trumpet all they like about the Tank Commanders achievements and power but she is no match for Nicola and when her policies are laid bare people will realise they were conned just like 18/9/14.

  3. Kevin Williamson's claim that he should be forgiven for saying that the SNP were absolutely certain to win a majority on constituency seats alone because he couldn't possibly have known that Nicola Sturgeon would pose with a copy of the Sun and lose some of her voters

    This explanation would have some merit if KW revised his prediction after the Sun pic was released, and before the election. I'm guessing that didn't happen.

    1. It would also have some merit if there was any evidence Nicola posing with the Sun would've actually harmed the campaign to any meaningful degree.

    2. Kevin the BullshitterMay 9, 2016 at 5:57 AM

      Come the fuck on! We are talking about Kevin Williamson here.

      The kind of part-time revolutionary who scurries away from the imploding disaster of RISE to cling on to the the Greens with no shame whatsoever.

      He's the type that would give his comrades in RISE a revolutionary salute as he buggered off. Assuring them that he is doing it for the greater good of the working man and that their 'sacrifice' will be a glorious one long remembered.

      I think Kat and Colin will remember his 'dedication' to the cause, that's for sure.

      Absolutely nobody trusts that bullshitter.

      He's a joke.

      A pretentious student grant with delusions of grandeur and the pomposity to match. Bit thick as well. I mean, how fucking dumb do you have to be to think that flimsy bullshit about the Sun is even close to being a reasonable excuse for lying through your teeth for months on end.

      It also doesn't explain why it's fabsolutely fine for Patrick Harvie to be interviewed by the Sun.

      I suppose that could have been a tricky one but for a bullshitter like Williamson he would have already been desperately trying to curry favour with Harvie just before he clung on to the Green lifeboat. So it won't be something that troubles him at all or is likely to mention as he proclaims sincere and undying solidarity with the Hillsborough survivors.

      Let's just hope nobody is deranged enough to consider him a go-between for the Greens and the SNP. You might as well send John McTernan to do the job. McTernan has about the same levels of 'tact' and galactic levels of bullshittery that Williamson does.

  4. Glasgow Working Class 2May 8, 2016 at 5:35 PM

    If you Nat sis go for another referendum you will be trashed, Do you want to drag the Scottish people into the abyss. Do remember that people genuinely believed they would lose their jobs.

    1. Pity the Dettol has not worked James.

    2. Tory Racist Class 2May 8, 2016 at 5:40 PM

      Don't you have muslims to scream abuse at in London? You racist BNP waste of space.

    3. Glasgow Working Class 2May 8, 2016 at 6:38 PM

      I live in Glasgow and do not know any muslims Nat si Bhoy. I note Ms Sturgeon is addressing racism against Jews in Scottish Universities. I suppose you Nat sis would never be involved in such behaviour. Holocaust denier literature being distributed in a Scottish University under the Nat si watch.
      So Nat si scum Bhoy present your evidense I am a BNP member.

    4. Tory Racist Class 2May 8, 2016 at 6:51 PM

      You don't live anywhere near scotland son. Scottish people don't sneeringly call other scottish people "Jocks" like you have done on this very blog time after time after time.

      You are about as scottish and working class as David Cameron so don't waste our time with your utterly feeble attempts to pretend you are.

      You've also hurled blatantly obvious racist abuse at refugees when that subject came up on here. We know you did you complete fucking dumbass.

      So again, stop with the pathetic pretence as it has about as much chance of convincing us of any of the other utter pish you spew from your tiny-brained racist BNP piehole.

    5. Glasgow Working Class 2May 8, 2016 at 7:03 PM

      Evidence required Nat si Bhoy!

    6. Tory Racist Class 2May 8, 2016 at 7:06 PM

      Whine all you like, you racist BNP twat. It won't change a thing or what you've been caught saying on this blog already. :)

    7. Last time you were presented with evidence, you did what you always do - spat abuse. Do one.

    8. Tory Racist Class 2May 8, 2016 at 7:13 PM

      Do you think he even knows this isn't a Celtic blog or that what he looks up on the internet about scots isn't actually the case most of the time?

      Dear christ he's a fuckwit and a half.

    9. Comedy gold, though.

    10. Glasgow Working Class 2May 8, 2016 at 7:17 PM

      Present your evidense Nat si Bhoys! I note you did not condemn the rascist anti semitism going on in Scottish Universities! Says a lot. Give the evidense again must have missed it last time. Now no lies Bhoys!

    11. Chin up, 24.

    12. Tory Racist ClassMay 8, 2016 at 7:32 PM

      Comedy Gold right enough.

      You can tell he's getting more and more upset, the wee lamb.

      It's usually round about this time he starts whining and bawling about "You Jocks!!" when he isn't hurling racist abuse at refugees.

      You could always piss off and take your racist BNP shite elsewhere, or just stay here and keep humiliating yourself.

      Either's fine by us wee man. As long as realise your petulant whining is getting funnier by the second. I mean, you do realise that. Don't you? :D

    13. He'd be better off ranting somewhere he'd be appreciated. BTL at the Dreary Heil, for example.

    14. Glasgow Working Class 2May 8, 2016 at 7:52 PM

      I am loving it Nat si Bhoys while watching the Orient Express. Might just book it next year. Great being British.

    15. Tory Racist Class 2May 8, 2016 at 7:52 PM

      Some of us have been laughing at him for months so if he wants to keep it going for another few that's fine by us.

      Imagine how stupid he must feel though. I mean, obviously, he is a shit for brains racist - but at the same time to keep going when it's so fucking obvious we know he's a complete fake and have done for months - that takes a special kind of twat with zero self-awareness.

      He's been banned everywhere else for being a racist dickhead so he has no choice but to keep making a fool of himself on here despite us knowing he's a fake and a complete fuckwit.

      It might even be sad if he wasn't such a repulsive racist BNP bigot.

    16. Aye, guid auld 24. A gift that keeps on giving.

  5. The only wasted votes were the votes that weren't cast by people who didn't bother to vote. None of this pathetic infighting is doing any good persuading people to vote Yes next time. The entire movement seems to be turning inward. That's the worrying thing.

    1. I'm sure we all have tremendous sympathy for the happy-clappy "we must all come together and sing Kumbaya" sentiment, but I'm afraid the reality is that if a bogus narrative is allowed to take root about what happened in this election, the same problem will simply recur in five years' time. It goes without saying that I care about what happens to the independence movement in the intervening period, but if Scotland isn't independent by the time of the 2021 election, I certainly care about the SNP's prospects in that contest.

    2. Got to agree with you still waiting for the evidence of setting up the SNP section that will persuade people to vote YES. It will need a high profile leader and for me that would be Derek MacKay. Just a suggestion!!!

    3. Dugdale presents - The Amazing Disappearing PartyMay 8, 2016 at 6:08 PM

      Compared to the balls to the wall infighting the tories are going to go through over their Europe split, or indeed a beaten and purposeless SLAB, or the utter irrelevance of the lib dems, this is pitifully small beer.

    4. Yes, if only we had a high profile leader with record levels of trust who basically served an apprenticeship as leader in the first Indy Referendum to put the case when the time comes.


    5. Glasgow Working Class 2May 8, 2016 at 6:42 PM

      Derek MacKay, good go for it.

    6. Chin up, 24.

  6. Anon is correct, all this bickering over a few thousand possibly-tactical votes cast on each regional list ballot when the real reason the SNP did not win a majority is the drop in turnout relative to the 2015 Westminster GE. Similar turnout levels would surely have ensured a second majority.

    1. There are several "real reasons", and one of the most obvious ones is that the gap between the SNP's constituency and list vote was much bigger than in 2011. How much of that was "tactical" slippage is impossible to judge, but that factor was certainly sufficient in itself to explain the loss of the majority.

    2. Dugdale presents - The Amazing Disappearing PartyMay 8, 2016 at 6:29 PM

      Well James you can take this to the bank - ANYONE claiming an SNP majority is a certainty/sure thing/nailed on from this moment on will be laughed at and poked with sharp sticks.

      They can have all the polling in the world pointing to it with whatever figures they like and it will not make a shred of difference.

      Most particularly to those who DID mistakenly think it was a certainty and voted with that in mind.

      Rest assured, they won't soon make that mistake again in five or even ten years time.

    3. " How much of that was "tactical" slippage is impossible to judge"

      Yes, exactly. Remember the Greens had their own huge influx of new members post-2014. A lot of the votes cast for Greens will have been, for want of a better word, 'sincere'.

      Rather than worry about tactical voting the yes blogosphere should have worried about turnout.

    4. Reading this blog from Sweden out of an interest in the Scottish independence movement and I must say that the Scottish electoral system is a little confusing for someone used to a proportional system without single constituency seats. The way I understand it the Scott system has a party vote (regional list) where you vote for the party you want to have the largest say in the Parliament and a person vote where you vote for the person you want to represent your constituency (usually from the same party, but not necessarily so). Seems like a problem that the party vote is seen as number 2 and that it is called a regional list vote, which is not a very intuitive concept. Maybe considering the constituency seat as the additional member rather than the other way around would remove some misconceptions?

  7. Good to see NS getting straight into IndyRef2 mood.

  8. One factor no-one is considering is the fact that many people fell off the register. This is masked by the increase in the size of the electorate, boosted by the new 16/17yo voters.

    We moved house in Dec. In April we got three polling cards for three unrelated previous residents. We also got lots of SNP mail for them. The chances are, after we fought with the council to fix our registration, and remove the three unknowns, those three people weren't registered at their new addresses and didn't vote SNP.

    The house used to be a private rental, and I have read other things about renters moving and falling off the register.

    So that has to be a consideration for the future - ensuring everyone who supports the SNP is registered to vote.

    1. There seem to be issues with voter registration. I had a voter/ member of the SNP tell me on Thursday that 3 other family members were not registered in time. When queried the registrar told them that 7( might have been 9 ) letters were sent as reminders. They claimed they had not received them.

      I have a full name, and a colloquial name. As does my spouse. Being asked on the registration site for full name, that was how we registered. Despite us now having registered and reregistered under the new system, we continue to have polling cards sent with both colloquial and full names. We were honest and voted just once. But bearing in mind previous form from Labour and suspicions about Indyref, I would wonder if others are so honest

    2. This first para happened to me too.

  9. Glasgow Working Class 2May 8, 2016 at 7:31 PM

    James, you will need to give weans in prams the vote tae win next time round. I do admire your tenacity in adversary to keeping the flag flying.

    1. Chin up, 24.

    2. Tory Racist Class 2May 8, 2016 at 7:41 PM

      The only children you know about are the ones you shout abuse at because they are refugees, coloured or muslims, you racist BNP twat.

    3. Glasgow Working Class 2May 8, 2016 at 7:48 PM

      Present evidense Nat si Bhoy.

    4. Racist Tory Class 2May 8, 2016 at 7:54 PM

      Keep right on whining you racist BNP waste of space. :)

    5. 24 really is a gift that keeps on giving. His ramblings will be handy next time the Dreary Heil gets a bee in its bonnet about cybernat evil.

  10. the only "bogus narrative" taking root is the one peddled by you and Stu at Wings, James. We said clearly before the election that with the exception of South and Highlands a list vote for SNP is likely to be wasted. And so it unsurprisingly proved with a return of zero list MSPs in those 6 regions from 751 thousand SNP list votes, the worst voting strategy in the history of the Scottisn parliament. Thanks to those who knew this would happen and managed to shift their vote and vote green on the list in these areas, we managed to get a few non-unionist MSPs to preserve the pro-Yes majority in the parliament. We preserved it contrary to your rubbish advice.

    1. I'm not sure 'wasted' is the right word. Apart from everything else, voting for the party you actually want should never be seen as a waste. Otherwise most of the votes cast for most of the parties Scotland could be considered the same.

      But there's an inequality of power that does seem to be glossed over.

      We know that under d'hont, your list vote gets divided based on your number of consituency wins.
      We also know that barring someone putting something in the water, the SNP were going to win a lot more constituency seats than the Greens.

      So 1000 list votes for the Greens would have more possibility of electing a list MP than 1000 SNP ones.

      Not guaranteed. You could have an edge case where you actually end up hurting the SNP, James has already shown a few cases where that could happen.
      But on balance of probabilities, 1000 Green list votes are more likely to have an impact than 1000 SNP ones.

      Personally I just vote for the party I actually like, but for those who want to try and game the system, I guess it's like playing poker. Two Jacks might not win you the pot, but they'll win more often than two Eights.

    2. Although I should say that's only because we're dealing with small samples and indivisible people (you can't get a bit of an MSP, although I can think of a few where it might be worth giving it a go).

      If you had enough representatives and d'hont was working perfectly, tactical voting wouldn't work at all.

      Everyone would hopefully end up with a number of MSPs equal to their percentage of the list vote. So a 5% shift from SNP to Green would just reduce the number of SNP MPs and increase the Greens by the same amount.

    3. Fools who were talking about a "certain" or "sure thing" or "rock solid" SNP majority are hardly going to be given much credence now I'm afraid. Or indeed ever again.

      "Bogus narrative" is a very mild way of putting it when those voters who did believe the lies decide who to trust from now on with their election advice.

    4. Druh Bluh RISE! comrades.

    5. "We said clearly before the election that with the exception of South and Highlands a list vote for SNP is likely to be wasted. And so it unsurprisingly proved with a return of zero list MSPs in those 6 regions from 751 thousand SNP list votes, the worst voting strategy in the history of the Scottisn parliament."

      See, the problem here is you're looking at this purely from a "pro-indy MSP" perspective. What about the people who want, specifically, an SNP MSP to represent them at Westminster?

      Look at Edinburgh, where 3/9 constituencies don't have ANY SNP representation at Holyrood. It wouldn't have mattered if every single one of the list votes was a Green - it still means that their constituency is does not have a representative of the party they voted for on it.

      The SNP have more constituencies now - but there are more constituencies that have NO SNP representatives than at any previous election since Parliament reconvened.

      I'm getting really tired of Greens, who had a FANTASTIC election and deserve to enjoy their hard-fought gains, complaining about how they didn't get even MORE seats because of those awful SNP voters daring to vote SNP on the list when we've LOST brilliant guys like Jim Eadie, Stewart Maxwell, Dennis Robertson and Chic Brodie - all because the SNP list percentage was *lower* than in 2011, and all because certain people constantly peddled the myth that the SNP would sweep the constituencies & retain their majority.

  11. Because the system is designed to stop any one party getting a majority and even with more votes than last time SNP did not get a majority, we would probably be most likely to get Indy ref 2 if we split the vote as evenly as possible between snp1 and green 2. It works out far better odds when two pro indy parties try and spread the vote than one party claiming to require a majority, which by all the evidence is a very hard thing to achieve. This snp 1+2 nonsense nearly let in a unionist majority. Just as well for those that voted green. Nearly a 1,000,000 list votes for just 4 list msp is a dumb waste of pro indy seats, and blaming green voters for not wasting their votes aswell is a good way to alienate your alies.

    1. If the Greens changed their constitution saying that they were a party committed to Scottish Independence, then more folk might trust them.
      Until then, I will give every vote to the only party that is committed to that end.

    2. Voting for the party I'm a member of is a "dumb waste"? I voted SNP on both ballots because I am a supporter, member and activist of the SNP. I support (and, as a member, shape) SNP policies so I'll vote for them every time thank you! I'm personally quite glad our Green allies increased their representation, but calling my vote a "dumb waste" certainly is a good way to alienate!

  12. Hi James. One question. Is it correct that if Alison Dickie SNP central candidate had won then Andy Wightman would not have been elected

    1. Sorry I meant to add had the Greens not fielded a constituency candidate and therefore Alison Dickie won...

    2. I'd have to doublecheck the figures to be 100% sure, but from memory Andy Wightman was the last person to be elected on the Lothian list, so that's probably correct.

    3. It is correct. If Alison Johnstone (Green) had not stood in Edinburgh Central, Ruth Davidson (Conservative) would not have been elected in that constituency and Alison Dickie (SNP) would have. BUT, Ruth Davidson (Con) was top of the Conservative list so WOULD have been elected from it. Andy Wightman (Green) was seventh elected from the list so would have been bumped down a place and not elected.

      As I posted in another place:-
      Lothian constituencies finished 6 SNP, 1 Con, 1 Lab, 1 LD and list, in order, Con, Green, Lab, Con, Lab, Con, Green (Andy Wightman)

      If Alison Johnstone (Green) hadn’t stood in Edinburgh Central, Ruth Davidson (Con) wouldn’t have won the seat. Instead Alison Dickie (SNP) would have won it.

      The Lothian constituencies would then have finished 7 SNP, 1 Lab, 1 LD and list result in order would have been Con (Ruth Davidson), Con, Green, Lab, Con, Lab, Con.

      i.e. Alison Dickie (SNP) would have been elected instead of Andy Wightman (Green).

      The way it worked out, the Greens got one more MSP than the LibDems and one less SNP got elected increasing the Scottish Green’s influence significantly. With the added bonus for them of a well known land reform campaigner who will grab far more attention for them than any of their other MSP’s except Patrick Harvie. Well played Greens. By accident.

    4. Well I am 100% SNP but give me Andy Wightman over Alison Dickie any day. No offence to the latter but I feel so much better compared to early Fri morning when I was so pissed off about Davidson winning my constituency

  13. @James Kelly

    James, let's digest the list results for each region please. Here's a link to them courtesy of Arc of Prosperity:


    Votes Received: SNP 129082. Green 12722.

    Neither party won a list seat here.
    To win the 7th list seat (From Tory), SNP required 145350, Greens needed 14535.

    All greens transferring to SNP would result in 0 greens and 0 SNP.

    A swing of 1813 SNP votes to Green would have elected a green list MSP.

    SNP were expected a solid constituency performance here and SNP/ Green was the smart vote. However, Greens only received 4.7% of the vote, and tactical voting didn't happen in significant numbers

    1. If only these kind of breakdowns were possible before the vote, but alas, the risk the list time machine was sadly unavailable to scottish voters last time I looked. The same one that would have also prevented all the 'SNP majority certain' lies.

    2. In regions where the SNP lost 1 or 2 seats in constituencies, the Greens still had more chance of winning list seats than the SNP. Look over the numbers yourself:

      Now, yes you are correct - the results of this election weren't available prior to voting.However, polling data was available and so were 2015’s election results (after we voted in that election of course). Also available to us, was and still is our intellect - a useful tool in aiding our understanding the inner workings of supposedly complex human constructs such as the Additional Member voting system.

      Plenty of people went out of their way to see how it works instead of relying on biased bloggers such as James. Different scenarios were explored. To name one - Meanwhile in Scotia did a series of fairly accurate predictions. Whilst they never predicted the results perfectly, they did show you how the voting system works - most specifically the increased chances of the Greens vs the SNP. You are right, we didn’t know how the election was going, but we could make a fairly educated guess. And those who advocated tactical voting were right - firstly because it has made no impact on the SNP no. of seats and secondly because it has given YES a majority.

    3. Would that be the polling data which was then twisted into all the 'SNP majority certain' horseshit? Hmmm? Despite it being wrong on the day and indeed despite the obvious limitiations of it being a mere snapshot as all polling is.

      2015 was a westminster election so anyone using that a 'sure-fire' guide to Holyrood has a bunch of apples and oranges they can't tell the difference between. Broad trends yes. Detail - and most importantly - possible big shifts in opinion (like the 2007 huge swing) nope, not a chance.

      As for the intellect to navigate thorough the AMS system and in particular our strange variety of the AMS system.. You could try to use a partonising tone on the voters like you just demonstrated or just accept that it is an unquestionably complex system for some voters to grasp. Which leaves it sadly open to wild misrepresentations such as the one that the list can be used as an easy risk free second choice when it is nothing of the kind.

      But hey, you have your conclusions ready to be brandished and are clearly as impervious to any other view as those who told so many voters that an SNP majority was certain so, to be frank, who cares?

      The reason it doesn't upset me too much is that the reaction to all this risk the list stuff has already occurred.

      It occurred in the minds of those who beleived it and then watched the results unfold on election night/morning. So it's way too late to change their minds now or alter how they felt at the time.

      Or indeed will unquestionably feel the next time some 'cunning electoral wheeze' is proposed to them.

      So despite agreeing with James I do profess a fiarly big chunk of equanimity about this whole blame game/stooshie.

      Though I do think steamrolling into a blog (which, regardless of which side of the argument you fall on has undoubtedly kept a principled and consistent view for months on the subject) then thumping down post election data like they were tablets of the holy writ - well.. to me that just smacks just a touch of the same kind of attitude which destroyed RISE so completely and so utterly. Just IMHO though. ;)


    Votes Received: SNP 11110. Green 23398.

    Greens won one list seat here.
    To win the 7th list seat (From Tory), SNP required 147670, Greens needed 29534.

    If all Greens voted SNP, the SNP would have 0 list seats in Glasgow and the Greens would have 0 list seats in Glasgow.

    Greens increased their vote to 9.4% of the vote and it would seem that SNP/Green tactical voting did work here. if 6136 voters adopted tactical voting and switched SNP to Green, then Greens would have elected 2 list MPS’s in Glasgow.

    SNP/Green was the smart vote here.

    1. I don't know why I bother. I addressed that point directly and in detail in the blogpost. "Smart" vote? Your definition of "smart" seems to be having the supernatural ability to know in advance how every other person is going to vote, and adjusting your own behaviour accordingly. If you are that "smart", ie. if you have psychic powers, lucky you, and please tell us next week's lottery numbers.

    2. With a combination of polls and last's years SNP Landslide victory some regions of Scotland - namely Glasgow and Central - it seemed pretty fukcing obvious what the result was going to be in these regions.

      FURTHERMORE, even in seats where the SNP lost 1 or 2 constituencies - MId Scotland and Fife, NE Scotland, West of Scotland - voting green on the list STILL provided a higher chance of electing a YES msp than voting SNP did.

      NOW, i am going to ask you something. Are you deliberately ignoring the numbers or are you thick?

    3. SSP -> RISE -> Oblivion - In the blink of an eyeMay 8, 2016 at 9:04 PM

      Are you deliberately ignoring all the 'SNP majority certain advice' or are you a wee bit dolly dimple?

      Mebbes no jump on to somebody elses blog spamming numbers nobody could have possibly known for certain or possibly acted on in complete unison, mystic meg.


    Votes Received: SNP 81600. Green 14781

    Greens and SNP each won one list seat here.
    To win the 7th list seat (from Labour), SNP required 91584, Greens needed 22896.

    If 9984 green votes switched to SNP, this would result in one additional SNP MSP’s. For the greens to achieve a second Green MSP they would have required 8115 SNP votes.

    Both scenarios seem unlikely to me. The greens only increased their share of the vote to 7.2 % from 5.1% in Highlands. The majority of their voters are green voters, and not SNP voters lending their vote to the greens. Therefore, tactical voting didn't impact upon the SNP list seats.

    However, I see no obvious benefit to the Yes Movement to encourage tactical voting in this region, as SNP had too many uncertainties in the constituency vote here.


    Votes Received: SNP 118546. Green 34551.

    Greens won 2 list seats here.
    To win the 7th list seat, SNP required 120932.
    For the SNP to win 2 list seats here they required 131208.
    To win a 3rd seat the SNP required 158648.
    To win a 3rd list seat the Greens needed 56232.

    If all Green voters had voted SNP on the list then yes we would have 2 SNP list seats and 0 Green List seats. Bear in mind that this is a ridiculous scenario, as it is a majority of greens who lend their vote to the SNP and not the other way around. The greens took 7.6% of the vote in lothian in 2011. This time they took 10.6%. Was this a swing from the SNP? Partially, but Margo MacDonald altos 17000 votes last election. These were mostly indy supporters but not necessarily SNP.

    The SNP failed to win 3 constituencies in Lothian. If they had taken Edinburgh central and all greens had transferred their votes to SNP, the the SNP would get 1 list seat and the Tories would take 1 list seat and greens 0. The Greens had greater chance of winning list seats than the SNP in this region, and if the SNP won more constituencies as was expected, then SNP/Green was the ambitious choice, and it also had a fail safe - it elected two greens.


    Votes Received: SNP 120128. Green 17860.

    Greens won one list seat here and 6.1% of the vote.
    To win the 7th list seat, SNP required 160749.
    To win a second list seat the Greens needed 35722.

    If all greens switched to SNP, we’d be left with 0 SNP and 0 Green list seats.

    SNP/Green was the smart choice here.


    Votes Received: SNP 137086. Green 15123.

    No Green or SNP list seats here.
    To win the 7th list seat, SNP required 171700, Greens needed 17170.

    Therefore a swing to the Greens from the SNP of a mere 2047 votes would result in Maggie Chapman being re-elected for the Greens.

    SNP / Green would have been the smart choice here, but with greens getting only 4.9% of the vote it didn't happen in significant numbers.


    Votes Received: SNP 120217. Green 14773.

    SNP won 3 List seats here. Green 0.
    To win the 7th list seat, SNP required 132322. Greens needed 16793.

    A slight swing to the SNP of 2020 Green Votes would result in a fourth SNP list seat. I would not that the greens only got an increased vote share of 1.6% bringing them up to a might 4.7% of the vote in south Scotland. Hardly tactical voting.

    SNP/SNP is the smart choice in this region without a doubt as the SNP would never do well in all constituencies.


    Votes Received: SNP 135827. Green 17218.
    Greens won one list seat here and increased their vote share by 2.4% to 5.3%.

    To win the 7th list seat, SNP required 154971. All of the Greens transferring to SNP would not have been enough for an SNP list seat.

    The SNP were always going to well in constituency vote here, and SNP/ Green was the logical vote here and it worked.

    1. "The SNP were always going to well in constituency vote here, and SNP/ Green was the logical vote here and it worked."

      That's not much comfort to Dumbarton & Eastwood, who now have *no* SNP MSP representing them at Holyrood because we were 19,000 votes short on the list. At least in 2011 we had Stewart Maxwell and Stuart McMillan representing all 10 constituencies. Now those two constituencies have nobody.

      We were only 20,000 votes away from getting Stewart Maxwell back on the list. Conversely, Ross Greer would've needed to *double* his vote to pip the last Tory to the post. Rather than concentrate on divvying up what we got, perhaps we should have looked at getting more votes than we did.

      We lost Stewart Maxwell. But at least we got Ross "I'm in charge" Greer. Don't get me wrong, it's infinitely better than getting another Unionist, but forgive me if I don't jump for joy.

  21. Voting for the party I'm a member of is a "dumb waste"? I voted SNP on both ballots because I am a supporter, member and activist of the SNP. I support (and, as a member, shape) SNP policies so I'll vote for them every time thank you! I'm personally quite glad our Green allies increased their representation, but calling my vote a "dumb waste" certainly is a good way to alienate!

    1. They really don't seem to get it, do they? It's the same kind of 'inspired' strategic thinking that saw some of the small parties most 'excitable' advocates telling voters to spoiil the constituence ballot rather than vote for the SNP.

      The Greens have done well to replace the lib dems as the fourth party but some of us do actually remember what unquestionably helped get them to where they are right now.

      Letting some of the shriller voices from their fringes attempt to dictate their parties direction is something which will be tested to destruction soon enough.

      I actually think Patrick will have sifficient nouse to know how to deal with them since the alternative would be him looking over his shoulder for the next five years in the manner of Tommy and the SSP/RISE. Something I doubt he will have much patenice for T.B.H.

    2. It is not my intention to alienate and I apologise if that's the case.

      However, in 6 out of 8 regions the SNP received the most votes and didn't get a single list seat. To me these votes were 'wasted', because I know a lot of those who voted SNP on the list would happily have seen a Green get elected if the SNP couldn't win a list seat. The two reasons they never took the chance were fear and a lack of understanding of the electoral system.

      The Greens were better placed than the SNP to win seats in 6 out of 8 electoral regions. Even, in constituencies where the SNP failed to win expected seats, the green vote did not prevent the SNP from winning list seats.

      A lot of people on here and Wings seem to think differently by assuming a scenario in which all Greens would have voted SNP - it is ridiculous to suggest that all or a majority of Green voters would consider voting SNP and equally it is also ridiculous to suggest the opposite. However, considering such a scenario - then Glasgow, North East, Fife, Central, and West of Scotland would have 0 Greens and 0 SNP on the list. From this, it is clear that Tactical voting had no impact on the SNP list seats in these regions and was in fact beneficial to YES.

      As I said above, my intention is not to alienate. However, I will call out those (James adn WIngs) who are deliberately selective in their analysis of how the SNP failed to get an Majority.

      The Greens have an opportunity to prove their worth to the YES movement. If they succeed, A SNP/Green vote should be considered in your region in 2021.

    3. James and others on this blog were consistent when it came to how Greens should vote. They set it out long ago when all this risk the list stuff started that Greens should vote Green on the constituence and on the list if they believed that was how best to support their party.

      There was no attempt to coerce anyone into voting against their beliefs or to try to 'game' the system.

      Instead there was a sober and rational analysis of the dangers of trying to use the list as a tactical vote which pointed out the many pitfalls and problems inherent in that 'tactic'.

      The list vote is not a second preference and pretending otherwise did not sit well with James and quite a few others. Nor did the many proclamations that an SNP majority was certain or a sure thing when it quite obviously was not.

      So you can call out who you like as those who regularly read James blog are already well aware why his position was what it was and whether it was justified at the time and whether it still is now.

  22. If you are a Green, vote Green!
    I'm an independence supporter, and have no interest in splitting the indy vote. Look at the state of the Yoons with their vote split between 4 or 5 parties. The strength of the indy movement is that it is concentrated in one party. The British State is working hard to change that.
    Anyone suggesting splitting the indy vote is suspect in my eyes, even though I think most Greens are probably genuine.

  23. You and a great deal of the SNP support need to realise Greens voters lend their vote to the SNP in the constituency vote and the majority of Green voters are not voting tactically. Their national share of the vote was up from 4.4% to 6.6%. The majority of their voters are natural Green voters, but I do accept that a large minority of their voters were tactical. Their core vote will always vote green and it is ridiculous to suggest that they would vote SNP on the list. The majority of them would vote Green regardless.

    Tactical voting is an option that must be explored in some regions. In this election, SNP/Green was more beneficial to the Yes movement than SNP/SNP. The SNP lost votes on the list because they won more constituencies, not because of any Tactical voting - which barely happened by the way.

    The Greens now have 5 years to prove their worth to YES. If they fail, boot them. If they succeed, then we should seriosuly consider supporting an SNP/ Green vote in some regions. And in 2021 if the greens have earned the YES support then yours and wings' knee jerk reactions and deliberate clouding of facts won't be as easily tolerated.

    1. "In this election, SNP/Green was more beneficial to the Yes movement than SNP/SNP."

      If every Green had voted SNP on the list, then the 'Yes movement' would have exactly the same number of seats in Parliament.

    2. SSP -> RISE -> Oblivion in the blink of an eyeMay 8, 2016 at 8:56 PM

      Must, need to, won't be tolerated. Aye, I'm just not sure you quite get it yet.

      I would encourage you to read James previous blog post lest you keep digging a wee bit too 'enthusiastically'.

      Do you seriously believe there are no SNP voters who voted tactically on the list thinking the SNP majority was all but certain and that it would reduce the Yoon MSPs ?

      Because unless you do then perhaps you should take the time to consider what their reaction will be. Not anyone on this blog or that blog or twitter or facebook but how they will view how things have not only turned out so far but how they will go from here on in.

      Your manner of trying to win them over so far is, 'bold' to say the least, ;-)

    3. @ Anonymous

      "If every Green had voted SNP on the list, then the 'Yes movement' would have exactly the same number of seats in Parliament."

      I did the sums on this yesterday and the SNP would only have 68 seats as opposed to 69 YES Seats. I would probably prefer the former but I would like Harvie and Finnie in there, and I am also curios to see what Wightman will do with Land Reform.

      None the less, do you really think that the scenario you have just described is at all realistic?

      The Greens received 4.4% of the list vote in 2011, and in this election they received 6.6% of the list vote.

      The majority of the Greens are Greens who lend their vote to the SNP on the constituency. These people will always vote Green. The majority of Green list voters were not tactical voter, but some were - enough to give them 6 MSP's and retain a YES majority in the parliament.

      Your point is invalid and is only of use when analysing worst case examples to see what damage the Greens did (if any) to the SNP in each region. Incidentally using your hypothetical fantasy in Glasgow, West of Scotland, Fife, Central and North East Scotland, replacing all green votes with SNP votes would result in no SNP and no Green. Additionally, in these regions an increase in tactical voting would have resulted in an increase in Green MSP's

    4. "I did the sums on this yesterday and the SNP would only have 68 seats as opposed to 69 YES Seats."

      I did the sums too and this is what I found if all Green list votes went to the SNP instead.
      -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.

      Where are you getting a different result?

    5. Glasgow.
      Labour would get the 7th Seat.

      Also there are two scenarios in lothian, but both have same result so doesnt matter too much. If no greens stood in embra central, then SNP win that seat but get +1 on the list if no greens vote on list and Tory +1. If greens did stand in embra central then SNP would get +2 on list.

    6. Actually, that's pish. I think you are right - SNP would take that seat in Glasgow.

      It's still an unrealistic example, and the greens were far closer to a second seat in Glasgow than the SNP were to a first list seat.

    7. Anonymous

      Your example is ludicrous. Do you actually want to win seats for yes? If so can I suggest not using scenarios where we need every single green vote to gain one snp list seat? greens don't vote green on the constituency or at holyrood, in both instances they mainly vote snp as is evidenced by countless polls on recalled votes and intentions on other votes at holyrood. I don't think it is unrealistic for them vote green on the holyrood list, it being the only real chance where they can and it being far more effective than the snp list vote, post divisor. So, how big is the actual green green vote. Well difficult to say exactly but around 5% based upon historical trends seems like a ballpark figure. This sigguests that the tactical vote that switched was under 2% (1.6% in this scenario). If 1.6% of greens had not voted tactically (I was one of the tactical voters) then this would not have returned a single SNP list seat. However, Fife, west and lothians for the greens would've been lost. the tactical vote preserved the pro-yes majority and the majority that SNP have over the 3 unionists 63 vs 60. you're welcome.

      Me de stellafella.

    8. Alan's simple(tons) guide to tactical voting on the listMay 8, 2016 at 11:52 PM

      Pish? Deah dats wyt, pish!

    9. Aww dey call me names aww.

    10. Alan, when you say the present scenario where we have 6 Greens and 63 SNP MSP is better than 68 SNP MSPs shows that you don't understand Scottish politics. 65 SNP MSPs and no Greens would have been better than the present scenario in terms of gaining Independence.
      The important thing was to get a SNP majority and everything else should have come second to that.
      Unfortunately the Greens stood in Edinburgh Central (my constituency) and they helped the unionists by saying the majority was in the bag and hence the need to vote SNP was not as urgent as it turned out to be.

    11. I might just copy and paste your wonderful "pish" explanation as it shows conclusively just how straightforward and risk free tactical voting on the list really was.

      You've certainly put a great many voters minds at ease. Who could possibly question that you fully understood the various 'models' and 'scenarios' you advocated to everyone else?

      Or you could just go back to baby noises since you have comprehensively failed to answer those 'little details'. Like why the advocates of 'risk the list' lied about an SNP majority being "certain" or a "sure thing". How mobilising vast swathes of the public to vote in unison is a mere detail.

      Your ballpark figure is also nowhere near good enough since the Green polling varied from highs of 10% to the bottom of the range being 5%. Nor was it remotely predictable since the final YouGov put the Greens on 9% with an actual result of 6.6% recorded at the ballot box.

      I could outline the same kind of uncertainties visible in the SNP polling but we don't actually need to be convinced of the fallability and risk of relying so heavily on the polls. The fact that the SNPs "sure thing" majority failed to materialise says it all.

    12. "Tactical voting is an option that must be explored in some regions. In this election, SNP/Green was more beneficial to the Yes movement than SNP/SNP. The SNP lost votes on the list because they won more constituencies, not because of any Tactical voting - which barely happened by the way.

      The Greens now have 5 years to prove their worth to YES. If they fail, boot them. If they succeed, then we should seriosuly consider supporting an SNP/ Green vote in some regions. And in 2021 if the greens have earned the YES support then yours and wings' knee jerk reactions and deliberate clouding of facts won't be as easily tolerated."

      If there's an opportunity to have indyref2 before 2021, and we take it, and win, then that's great. But if there is a winnable opportunity for indyref2 before then and we are prevented from taking it, either by the lack of majority or by the Greens playing hardball, then I'm afraid "sorry" isn't going to cut it.

      Seriously, NOTHING would delight me more than being proven wrong. The crow I would feast upon would be the most delicious meal to pass my lips. But please appreciate that many have serious concerns about the prospects of independence within the next 5 years as a result of this election, and that the Greens will have to prove themselves worthy of our hopes.

    13. Taranaich, Green movements are enjoying increasing success across the democratic world without, in most cases, involving themselves in constitutional politics and separatism. What's to say they couldn't block indy and at least hold the line - if not actually increase their support? Global warming is important to far more people than the partitioning of an island nation.


  24. Think a way forward would be to replace the two separate ballots with a single STV. A party doesn't need to stand in every constituency a placeholder of the Party name allows for a first choice. Regional list votes are decided in the first round cutting down on that part of the count so in many case the process is much faster. Votes are redistributed to 2nd and subsequent choices as with any AV election.

    This removes the confusion, deliberate or not, no need for first/second distinction. It also reduces the number of electoral systems in use in Scotland. is a bit like it.

    D'Hondt would only be needed when one or more party had more seats than first choices would give them.

    1. Me no like STV. Me got yellow nob rot once. STV bad

    2. It's Kevin Williamson! Allright comrade. How goes the grand revolution of RISE?

    3. Only suggesting it as a way to avoid these arguments about tactical voting. The fact that it'd make it clearer that you choose the party you want and that's used after constituencies have been given to elect additional members prevents this tedious bull.

      The fact is that as far as the SNP are concerned reducing their tally by 4 would mean they'd have less combined than the 3 other parties and a far higher need for a formal alliance with the Greens. It might mean that the Greens got those 4 seats but it could be less or it could be more.

      In a PR system with less than 50% support the SNP got a very good result. 2011 was a fluke.

      SNP x 2 worked.

  25. "* That the Greens didn't have enough support for a second list seat without the assistance of tactical voters. (The point here is that if the Greens already had enough support anyway, tactical votes for them would have been completely wasted, because the d'Hondt formula would already have divided their vote by three and they would have had no realistic prospect of a third seat.)"

    Once a party reaches the threshold for their first list seat, the value of each additional vote is more or less equal regardless of the d'Hondt divisor.

    1. Not quite sure what point you're making there.

  26. I'm sorry James, but this is just getting sad. You can't admit that people can vote tactically in the constituencies and then claim that everyone who does so for the SNP was then led astray if they voted elsewhere on the list. On the contrary polling shows that many were always going to vote Green or even one of the unionist Parties with the list - they might admire their SNP MSP or want to keep another Party out. (Because the SNP were challenging in every constituency this is less likely to happen the other way).

    I actually think you also over-estimate the amount of intra-unionist tactical voting. It may have 'helped' the Lib Dems (though it gave them no more MSPs in total) and there is some evidence from polling and Council STV transfers that a minority of Tories will back Labour at times. But Labour voters still won't choose the Conservatives locally in any numbers (or if they do they go over completely).

    Where the Con increase seems to come from is from extra voters who didn't vote in 2011 but did in 2015 and maybe even 2010 (and of course in the referendum). If you compare the actual votes in many constituencies it is not Lab or Lib Dem losing votes but Con gaining extra ones. Those Tory voters who saw Holyrood as an irrelevance or didn't bother because they though their Party had no change were energised by the referendum and an intensive, media-supported campaign that pushed them as the opposition.

    As to those list votes, I've crunched the numbers. Take 10% off the SNP regional totals (except for Highland and South), add to the Green total and re-do the d'Hondt calculations (spreadsheets make this easier). It gives the Greens a list MSP in Central and North East and a second one in Glasgow.

    (As you know, those of us who were pointing out that this could happen, weren't advising switching on purely tactical grounds in South and Highland because those were the regions where there might be enough non-SNP constituencies for list seats to be possible).

    All three come from the Conservatives and not a single SNP list vote in those other six regions (751,770 of them by my reckoning) help elected an MSP. Obviously a bigger percentage would give you even more Green MSPs. A 20% shift just in those six regions would give them another 9 seats: 6 Con, 2 Lab, 1 LD. (58% transfer and they become the opposition!).

    As to whether you wanted more Greens, well it depends whether you think Con or Lab are more likely to support SNP policies than Greens are. But it looks like the 'Both Votes SNP' campaign helped reduce the pro-Indy majority, if it had any effect at all. Certainly some comments on previous threads suggest that some people were convinced.

    I do realise that you must be feeling guilty about this - this rambling article, full of strawmen and unproven assertions and claims that the highly unlikely might happen, is definitely 'protesting too much'. But I'm afraid you have to "take control of that intervention" and learn lessons from what went wrong.

    1. Me agree with Roddy who bides in Mexico. He talk sense.

      Me also think dat James Kelly's blog is becoming pointless.

    2. And if the greens had kept their daft bint from standing in Edinburgh Central then Ruthie-Rhom would still be a third rate list MSP. Stop trying to justify your perfidy.

    3. Anon, I know you are a nawbag

    4. Dugdale presents - The Amazing Vanishing PartyMay 8, 2016 at 9:53 PM

      Your party were humped Woger and you're a staunch Blairite. Any chance you accept responsibility, just for once? lol

    5. "But it looks like the 'Both Votes SNP' campaign helped reduce the pro-Indy majority, if it had any effect at all."

      And yet a *smaller percentage* of the electorate voted SNP on the list than in 2011. In contrast, the Green percentage on the list grew by a similar number. Whatever you think of the merits of either campaign, Both Votes SNP didn't do as well as in 2011, while Second Vote Green did better.

      If Both Votes SNP failed, and Second Vote Green succeeded, then who's to blame for the *reduction* of a pro-indy majority?

  27. Glasgow Working Class 2May 8, 2016 at 9:19 PM

    Strange that you Nat si Bhoys did not condemn racism and anti semitism against Jews in Scottish Universities. Could it be you support this behaviour?
    The Nat sis could vote for another referendum supported by the Greens. Wonder why not!
    Is it because they would lose big style.

  28. Not sure why there's much time devoted to this.

    SNP win another stunning victory and get more MSPs than unionist parties combined. Pro-indy Greens add to the tally.

    Not only that, but the Tories stab the only party capable of saving the union while it's already badly injured in a typical 'Seats before union' approach, even though they're supposed to be pro-union.

    If the Tories wanted to save the UK, they would not have stood for election, never mind try to screw Labour again.

    Jeez, it's nuts, the English Tories just slaughtered their 'sort of acceptable' go-between. This is final stage end of UK stuff.

    Yet folk are worried the SNP have more MSPs than Lab+Con+Lib.

    Sit back and watch as BBC Labour Scotland becomes BBC Tory Scotland etc. Which it will. Talk about final nails and coffins.

    Must admit I didn't see it coming. But then it makes perfect sense in retrospect; a loyalist no surrender 'we are the people' Tory party makes the last British stand...

    1. Bullingdon Buffalo Cometh (B.B.C.) :DMay 8, 2016 at 10:04 PM

      meh James took a principled stand and the bullshitters want to pretend they didn't say a majority was a certainty so..

      Won't make a difference now tbh Those who risked the list are either happy or really pissed off depending on where they are and how they view no SNP majority and the rest of the results.

      I suspect there's quite more of the latter than the former but further antagonising SNP voters at this point seems a bit too much like a RISE strategic ploy of 'genius' if we're being honest. They might want to tone it down jist a touch.

      No matter, it's a few days at most and then it is indeed the Reporting Tory Scotland show - all day every day. :D

    2. Glasgow Working Class 2May 8, 2016 at 10:05 PM

      Skier, You are losing the plot. It has nothing to do with loyalists and no surrender. The Nats totally failed in convinsing the Scots. You had years to do this. You failed on a currency and guaranteed economic stability, The Nats lied to the Scots. Saying everthing will be alright and do not worry does not pay the mortgage and keep the wolves from the door.
      And contrary to what that bigot Anon said about army veterans voting for the Union the fact is I know two ex army officers who would vote for independence but did not have confidence in what the Nats were saying. So the ball is in the Nat court. You need to raise your game and be truthfull.

    3. Good to know the ex-army officers are considering Yes next time.


    4. Glasgow Working Class 2May 8, 2016 at 11:15 PM

      Nay problem Skier. As I said previously the Nats were wanting in clarity in fact my mrs who was swithering voted no because of this. Personally I will support the Union under any circumstances.

    5. "My country, right or wrong".

  29. Ah, the 20/20 hindsight brigade in full flow. And how were you going to get all those people to vote tactically? It's very much a minority sport imho

    1. The RISE and Fall of the People's Front of JudeaMay 8, 2016 at 10:42 PM

      You don't seriously think they are the slightest bit interested in anyone else's opinion do you? lol They were asked and ignored it as usual.

    2. People don't like being told how to vote.

  30. Currently doing the rounds is the notion that the SNP did terribly in the NE and Highlands due to people looking at vote share change. They are even putting together handy graphics with constituencies marked in red to show how awful the SNP did and build the narrative of SNP-to-Con switchers

    It is all bollocks. Apart from Aberdeenshire East where the not so insignificant even of Alex Salmond stepping down occured there is no evidence of SNP to Con switching.

    In many cases where the SNP vote share went down the actual total votes the SNP received increased. Their vote share went down because thousands of new Conservative voters appeared. The only potential vote switching that occurred is Labour-Con and LibDem-Con as tactical voting occured.

  31. Here is the salient point that James makes:

    "the gap between the SNP's constituency and list vote was much bigger than in 2011. How much of that was "tactical" slippage is impossible to judge"

    Absolutely right; which means that this argument about whether tactical voting on the list is 'to blame' for the lack of an SNP majority is utterly pointless.

    But there is maybe a reason why there is so much chat about this because it deflects from the question that SNP members should be asking. Why did the SNP campaign result in the loss of about 15% of its support in the 6 weeks between parliament rising and polling day? (James can confirm but I think the SNP was running consistently at about 55% on the constituency vote when parliament dissolved and in the high 40's / low 50's on the list vote)

    Ultimately that is the reason why the SNP did not secure an overall majority and there is nobody to blame for that other than the SNP itself and its uninspiring and complacent campaign.

    To non-SNP diehards, the #bothvotesSNP campaign came across as complacent at best and driven by an arrogant sense of entitlement at worst and it certainly did not strike the right tone for supporters of other parties who were willing to vote SNP on the constituency vote in the absence of their preferred party.

    It is pretty obvious that tens of thousands of people who voted SNP last year (many of whom will have done so as part of the Indy coalition) did not bother this year. That is a serious issue that needs to be addressed and, I'm afraid, if people allow themselves to get distracted by this pointless argument about tactical voting, the SNP leadership will never have to answer it.

    It's high time that SNP members recognised the shortcomings of its HQ team and held them to account. For too long it has hidden behind good election results it had little responsibility for (eg the perfect storm of 2011 and the post referendum surge of 2015) and somehow avoided blame for the debacle of the council elections in 2012 and the failure to prepare adequately for the IndyRef which, given it is the SNP's entire reason for existence, is absolutely unforgivable.

    This should in no way be taken as a criticism of Nicola's political leadership or the SNP government but about the invisible apparatchiks and consultants who advise them in campaign tactics and (I hesitate to dignify them with this word) strategy.

    1. Alan no like STV Alan too smartz for logicz or reazonsMay 8, 2016 at 10:33 PM

      On behalf of the Bullingdon Buffalo Corporation may I present you with the most sincere thanks imaginable for your lovely concern

    2. Me de stellafella

    3. SNP Majority Certain?May 9, 2016 at 12:18 AM

      Aww dey call me naymes etctera.

    4. "Why did the SNP campaign result in the loss of about 15% of its support in the 6 weeks between parliament rising and polling day?"

      1: turnout. Almost 400,000 people who voted SNP in 2015 didn't vote in 2016. This is linked to a wider issue, where Holyrood elections historically have lower turnout compared to General elections - but the fact of the matter is there are hundreds of thousands of people who voted SNP a year ago, but not on the 5th of May 2016.

      2. As election neared, any undecideds would have altered the makeup of the vote. I'm not sure how many people were sure/unsure of their vote 6 weeks ago, but a large number of people don't even *think* about elections until the last weeks.

      In any case, I think turnout was a far bigger culprit than tactical voting of any sort.

    5. What's the one thing most likely to drive our turnout down?

      Bullshitters telling all and sundry every single chance they got than an SNP majority was guaranteed, certain and in the bag.

      Yet where are those bullshitters now?

      Ignoring every single question on why they lied as they frantically try to distance themselves from their actions while refusing to take any responsibility for them.

      Bullshitters tend not to last too long once they are exposed so will say anything and use any excuse to postpone the inevitable.

      Pretty damn telling, isn't it?

      It was also the reason the unionist media went wall to wall on some of the polling and even gave a megaphone to some of the tactical risk the listers. Since they too wanted to promote the idea that SNP voters didn't actually need to even bother voting what with the SNP 'guaranteed' to win.

      Sadly, they and the bullshitters had an effect.

      Not likely to be an effect repeated any time soon though, thankfully. So the one saving grace is that from now on SNP voters tolerance for duplicitous bullshit and 'sure things' has evaporated. If not for good then at least for the next Holyrood election and perhaps everything in between.

    6. In complex voting systems and in close elections, polls are next to useless. When I was a bit younger I thought polls were an oracle of some kind - they always seemed to predict Tony Blair would ace it (and he always did). Looking back, there was very little scope for error in those elections - FPTP, massive lead. With D'Hondt and loads of tactical voting going on - and lots of undecided people - you can't predict it with any reliability. You just feed your votes into the system and see what happens.


  32. In 2021 can we be absolutely clear that the list vote is THE important vote where you vote for your party of choice? You then vote for that same party in the constituency vote, if you can, or the next best option. Let's have no more misinformation about the list vote bring some kind of bonus or second choice, it is neither.

    1. Agreed, this needs to be sorted out. Stuart Hosie was on the BBC just after the election referring to the constituency vote as the "first preference".

  33. "attempts at unionist tactical voting were going to take place almost exclusively on the constituency ballot, where it was potentially going to prove highly effective, and that attempts at pro-indy tactical voting were going to take place almost exclusively on the list ballot, where it had every chance of backfiring"

    Once again we're completely overlooking tactical voting that benefits the SNP. Many constituency votes for the SNP are the very definition of tactical voting - the Greens had no candidate in most constituencies, supporters of the left parties had no option as well, so these voters backed the SNP as the least worst option.

    We really need to stop implying that tactical voting is something that only happens against the SNP on the list vote (rather than something the SNP benefits from in the constituency vote/general election). The list vote is a purer expression of party support in many ways - there are more candidates and the threshold for winning a seat is much lower.

    But of course that doesn't suit the narrative. It implies the actual level of SNP support is being artificially boosted by first past the post electoral contests and clearly it's far better to pretend that those backing the Greens, RISE and other parties are just misguided SNP supporters who don't know how to vote properly.

    1. Couldn't agree more Jen.

      I believe that #bothvotesSNP will have turned many of these people off. Rather than being thanked for their tactical support, they were sneered at by a campaign that gave them no REASON to support it.

    2. RISE to OblivionMay 9, 2016 at 1:29 AM

      Do you really think that was the first time that "both votes" was ever used or that only the SNP have ever used it?

      As for bringing up RISE, well, how did it go for them? One of the strongest advocates of tactical voting on the list must surely have thought it through thoroughly and have been in no doubt that it was a 'foolproof' way to get more MSPs at the expense of unionist MSPs.

    3. "Once again we're completely overlooking tactical voting that benefits the SNP. Many constituency votes for the SNP are the very definition of tactical voting - the Greens had no candidate in most constituencies, supporters of the left parties had no option as well, so these voters backed the SNP as the least worst option."

      Or they could have spoilt their constituency ballot, like one or two people on Social Media did.

      And calling the SNP the "least worst option" doesn't say much for the Yes Alliance. Great way to convince existing SNP supporters to vote Green, there.

      "I believe that #bothvotesSNP will have turned many of these people off. Rather than being thanked for their tactical support, they were sneered at by a campaign that gave them no REASON to support it."

      What sneer? The SNP NEEDED those list votes in the Highlands & South Scotland, which was valuable as we got list votes in those seats. This wasn't a vanity project, this was crucial in ensuring that if the SNP didn't get a constituency, they would be able to get a list SNP in to represent the people of those constituencies. In the four regions where the SNP didn't sweep the board & didn't get a list seat, the thousands of people who voted SNP in those constituencies have NO SNP REPRESENTATION at Holyrood.

      More Green seats is great for the Greens, but it doesn't help the people who voted SNP because they wanted an SNP MSP to represent them.

  34. It is pretty clear to me that if SNP got 100% of the List vote then they would get all the List seats. You can then derogate from that. It is that simple.

  35. What difference would having more Green MSPs have made? The answer is none, since the 6 they have are irrelevant in terms of gaining Independence, so having more would be of no use
    The Greens have never been counted in the number of Independence MSPs and they never will. The public, the media the other parties and Westminster only count the number of SNP MSPs when it comes to Independence.
    Every Green constituency vote and every Green List vote was a wasted vote in terms of gaining Independence. The Greens, if they truly support Independence, should not be standing in National elections. They should be campaigning for a SNP majority.

  36. If you want independence you vote SNP twice. If you are happy with a devolved parliament tinkering with the scraps then vote Green. It really is that simple. Thankfully there was very little damage done to the SNP on Thursday. But it serves as a warning. Beware of people trying to sell you their theories.

  37. I like the idea of their being less Nawbags in The Scottish Parliament. If we could eradicate all nawbags from Scotland, it would be a better place. But we can't. We have to keep some to laugh at

    1. Glasgow Working Class 2May 9, 2016 at 12:14 AM

      Eradicate seems like a violent policy. Will you give us Unionists time tae get over the border tae Engerland.

    2. This is a conversation

    3. More of a response than you've given to those who somehow doubt your infallability when it comes to predicting "sure things". Dealing with an opinion contrary to your own does seem to be such hard work for you if we're being honest.

      Not quite sure why you are getting so obsessed with the word nawbags though. For someone who happily deals in baby noises and "pish" your supposed intellectual high ground looks suspiciously like the hypocrisy of an arrogant and entitled poseur. Just saying.

    4. Anon

      Why don't you use your name? I think site because you are a nawbag.

      Only a nawbag wouldn't like the word 'pish'. It's a great word stop being a nawbag.

      And I have never claimed to be an intellectual. However, I do think I am smarter than you, but only because you voted no.

      Aww deah

    5. Another fatwa from a confirmed arrogant poser.

    6. Deah dats wyt. Wah. Nawbags all voted no. Sillyfellas.

    7. Kevin 'the Bullshitter' WilliamsonMay 9, 2016 at 1:05 PM

      Alan is your real name is it? No last name of course. I presume a last name would be a sop to the neoliberal forces of conformity.

      Your powers of perception were strangely absent when it come to Roger - a Labour stalwart, BritNat and rabid Blairite.

      Needless to say you are as clueless about who nawbags are as you are about majorities being a "certainty".

      As for nawbags and pish, If you were actually a regular on James blog (instead of just another aggrieved tourist nursing a bruised ego) you would have known far more colourful terms deployed than those two by me and others on here.

      RevStu made nawbags quite popular for a while through his use of it but Yoons seems to be more apt these days and makes the BritNats even angrier.

      You've arrogantly claimed to be smarter than quite a few people on this blog. Yet you keep dodging the question and trying to ignore anyone who has asked you about all the ignorant "SNP majority is a Certainty" bullshitting that some of the thickest of the 'risk the list' crowd indulged in.

      You remember? Like Kevin 'the bullshitter' Williamson did. You would get on well with him. His credentials for being a pretentious entitled poseur are as manifest as your own. Did you also 'bravely' jump ship to the Greens when Rise were imploding?

      'RISE forev.. Aww shite! It's all falling apart, wait a wee minute folks.. Greens are the real party of the workers comrades!'

      Aye, tourist would certainly seem to as good a word as poseur to get an indignant response out of you and the likes of him. Deeply held principles comrade. The deeply held principles of whoever the fuck you are supporting on any given day. Aww deah indeed. ;)

    8. BritNats.

      The separatists have invented their own wee language. Too bad it's all they've accomplished!


  38. Glasgow Working Class 2May 9, 2016 at 12:32 AM

    So what are you Nat sis going to do for the next seven years besides blaming the English for your sad lives? Some off you will have snuffed it by 2023. Shame! Aye.

  39. If you want to say fatuous things like that, no-one can stop you, but just don't expect to be taken seriously on this topic when you have another bash in five years' time

    another "KNOW YER JEW" article from kelly the erse

    1. Wow. And I thought auld 24 was incoherent and racist...

    2. The legendary Tact of the Risk the List crowdMay 9, 2016 at 6:12 AM

      Might be Kevin getting pished on the Beaujolais.

  40. Glasgow Working Class 2May 9, 2016 at 2:11 AM

    Anon, the words you use are so impressive. If you need a new hat tae fit yer heid we Unionists would be obliged tae pay fur it. Your humble servant.

    1. On the subject of humble servants, 24, Boris wants you back at work once you've finished snivelling. He has an upstart junior classman to thrash and you've been idle.

  41. The SNP / Yesser woe never ends:

    2014 - beaten in referendum.

    2015 - swept the board in Scotland, but negated by conservative overall majority.

    2016 - lost majority in Holyrood.

    It isn't going too well for the nats, is it? Meanwhile, if we assume that half of those who voted in Thursday's election support separatist parties, then that's half of a 56% turnout - leaving 28% of adults who could be ersed voting for an indy party or candidate. Yes, I can sense the revolution is near.

    How are the negotiations with Patrick Harvie going by the way? I expect the lights to go out any minute, lol!


    1. Bullingdon Bertie and his Amazing Racist Mayoral CampaignMay 9, 2016 at 2:22 PM

      Don't you still have muslims to sneer at in London?

    2. That's out of line. I rarely agree with Aldo but I wouldn't call him a racist either.

    3. Bullingdon Bertie and his Astoundingly Racist Mayoral campaignMay 9, 2016 at 3:14 PM

      I didn't call him a racist. If I wanted to and it merited it I would have, rest assured.

      Nor is there any doubt that Cameron's catastrophic Mayoral campaign was racist since plenty of tories have indicated as much.

      If 'Aldo' wants to dive in to scottish politics then he'd best be prepared to defend his Bullingdon masters every action and deed. Particularly now that the Buffalo is directly in the firing line.

    4. I'm perfectly prepared to admit that some tories are arrogant, over privileged and behind the times on social matters. But every party has its idiots and when it comes to ideology I choose conservatism over nationalism and socialism (although I accept that modern conservatism must embrace some socialist institutions - the NHS for example).


  42. Oh dear, it seems the britnats have already admitted their election euforia has evaporated quicker than a britnat vow.

    1. Whatever gave you that idea? We have the SNP right where we want them - they can talk to the 6 loonies or they can reach out to us (at a cost, of course).


    2. Aye, right. Nice one Aldo. We can always rely on you to give us laugh.

    3. When everyone is walking around with windmills on their heads eating cucumber sandwiches and SNP support is at 20%, you'll regret not working with the unionists.


  43. Glasgow Working Class 2May 9, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Aldo, how do you feel about the Nat sis Out Righting the Tories. 9yrs the Nat sis have been in power. Education standards down, food banks increasing, racism, anti semitism and holoccaust denial going on in our elite universities! We would be entering third world status if it was not for English subsides.

    1. The thing that really struck me about last week's election is that Scotland now has, in it's top two positions, a Nationalist Party and then a Conservative Party. Whatever happened to socialist Scotland? It would seem it has gone - just like the heavy industry and cloth capped trade unionism it used to represent. Scotland is now a country of the right. Of course, the nationalists will say "balderdash!" (or perhaps "pish" being more likely) to that. They will say they are the party of social justice. But, if so, why do they want to end pooling and sharing and impoverish Scotland?

      Labour has a clear line of attack - make the socialist case for the union and remind chancers like Sheridan that Marx would be birling in his grave if he knew his political descendants were getting roped in with nationalists - placing the international border above all else.


    2. Da fella who dwink stellaMay 9, 2016 at 12:30 PM

      You're full of shite.

      SNP is not left nor right ideology. It is pro-Scotland and represents and reflects diversity in Scottish politics. And rightly so.

      Labour isn't left. It is broken and dead and serves no purpose in Scotland anymore. Green is now de facto party of intelligent left in Scotland. Solidarity / rise basically nonsense.

      Vote YES. Then make Scotland what you want you want it to be. Methinks.


    3. Da fella who silences dissent on BellaMay 9, 2016 at 1:32 PM

      "SNP is not left or right ideology."

      Aye pal, ah don't think so. Nor would Nicola who is firmly left of centre and has been since she was marching against Thatcher.

    4. da fella says yes another stellaMay 9, 2016 at 1:38 PM

      Sturgeon is left of centre. Nae doubt about it. Me too.

      But SNP is not as a rule left. And nor should it be. It should and does reflect Scotland. Which is mair left dan right.

      Happy to clear dat up for you.

    5. The SNP is "pro Scotland" - this is meaningless. Scotland is a big complex chaotic place with a lot going on in it. It's a country. You can't be "pro Scotland". You can be pro 'a bit of Scotland' - but you can't represent the interests of everyone. It isn't possible.

      The SNP describes itself as a centre-left party - and they are in their rhetoric. But the reality of the situation is that in post indy Scotland the poor would get poorer. So they talk left and act right. In fact, economically, they are well to the right of the conservatives - who would never dream of cutting a quarter of all Scotland's government spending.

      Talk left, act right - and hope that by the time the people wake up they have already barged through the one way door to independence.

      Aldo ('nawbag' and proud!)

    6. Da Bella Fella who's balls are yellaMay 9, 2016 at 1:53 PM

      "But SNP is not as a rule left"

      Are these your own rules wee man? LOL Dear christ you're a pretentious fuckwit. Away back to RISE and form a fucking drum circle ya poser twat.

  44. Da fella who is stellaMay 9, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    James, please present some evidence to support your argument that there was any meaningful tactical switch from SNP to green/indyleft that cost the SNP any seat on the list ballot. I can't see any and am wondering what this is all about. We are playing into nawbag hands here.

    1. Would you please stop using that stupid and offensive word "nawbags". I presume you're the same person as our former commenter with a different name who used to say things like that?

      I would invite you to re-read the comments sections of the various vote-splitting propaganda pieces/press releases on Bella. There you'll find any number of people saying they'd been won over by the idea. So the question for you is : what evidence do you have that those people changed their minds before polling day?

    2. Stella is the fella and dats meMay 9, 2016 at 1:25 PM

      So that's your evidence? A few comments on a website. Who may or may not be folk who were already committed greens?

      I can't see any evidence from THE NUMBERS that any meaningful swing on the list from SNP to green/indyleft cost the SNP a single seat. You could just as easily contend that your SNP/SNP rhetoric cost YES seats and gave them to unionists based on comments on here in recent months.

      Nawbag isn't offensive. It is a catch all term for the idiots who put us in this position by voting no in 2014 be it for reasons of stupidity, ignorance or bigotry. All yessers should use it.

    3. Da Bella fella who bullshits hellaMay 9, 2016 at 1:44 PM

      He's also highlighting that those who claimed an SNP majority was a "certainy" (the bullshitters) can't now disassociate themselves from their own campaign which explicitly targeted SNP voters to do precisely what he says they did. lt would be dishonest and snide to try to pretend otherwise.

    4. Glasgow Working Class 2May 9, 2016 at 2:04 PM

      You are right James. What would he call a female Naw voter.

    5. De fella say his name is Stella but is it de stellafella?May 9, 2016 at 2:08 PM

      Didnae say dat fwend. Me said dat dey mair dan likely to win almost all constituency seats in maist regions and hence did makes list seats mare dan twicky. Like midscotland and fife where mebide.

      Bit of naebwainer. Nevermind. Just listen to mr Kelly and his cweva advice to ensure we aw waste wir votes again next time.


    6. Kevin 'the bullshitter' WilliamsonMay 9, 2016 at 2:16 PM

      Me wesort to babby tok coz me vewwy scared ov ansewing kwestions. Me a RISE pozzur who made a compwete cnut out of mysewf tewwing peeps SNP Majowity woz sewtain.


    7. "So that's your evidence? A few comments on a website. Who may or may not be folk who were already committed greens?"

      I'm sorry, but it's simply an insult to people's intelligence to run a propaganda campaign for months, and then afterwards say "oh, but of course nobody was ever going to listen to us". But if you have a few thousand pounds to spare, by all means lets commission some research and see how much damage was caused by misguided attempts at "tactical" voting.

      "Nawbag isn't offensive...All yessers should use it."

      Count me out.

    8. Kevin "stellafella" WilliamsonMay 9, 2016 at 3:03 PM

      Yes, let's. I agree with that. I have 500 pounds. Will you put up the same sum James? Let's find out scientifically what happened. Seems like a good purpose for this blog.

      Also, my wee brar invented the term "nawbags" and I thought it was funny, inventive and appropriate. Which I would never have thought of of my brother!

      Only kidding, weebrar.

      I like the term because of this. I have no recollection of 'rev stu' using it and I endorse the term wholeheartedly. We can debate this further if you wish.

    9. "Yes, let's. I agree with that. I have 500 pounds. Will you put up the same sum James?"

      No, I will not, and it will take more than that anyway. It seems the answer to my question is "no".

    10. Which question do you think I am not answering or otherwise answering "no" to James?

      How much would a valid analysis of this question cost James? It seems to me to be a fair question given the debate it has provoked and surely of value to the yes movement to get to the bottom of.

    11. Kevin "bullshitter" WilliamsonMay 9, 2016 at 3:39 PM

      How much did you actually make betting on the scottish elections? It must have been a fortune with your supernatural foreknowledge of every single constituency and list result.

      Or are you just a bullshitter through and through?

      Oh and Dats wyt Awww deah etc. Yeah, we get it son, when you're under pressure you fall back on the baby talk. You've made that obvious to everyone.

      You've also made it blindingly obvious that most of the risk the listers can't be let within 100 miles of Patrick Harvie. They are the same kind of belligerent and petulant pure electoral poison that utterly destroyed the SSP then RISE.

      You've eased a great many fears on that point at least. Harvie will give the a smile then quietly boot them well away from himself and any levers of power after seeing how badly they could damage and split his own pary

      You couldn't come across as a mature and valuable addition to a political party if your life depended on it. Armchair revolutionary poseurs are good for a laugh but not much else.

    12. Bit ah wiz always ah Green!Naw really!! Ahm tellin ye. Ah wiz oanly in RISE tae secretly dae the edgy oan them and tell Patrick whit a bunch a bams they aw ur. If ye cut ma arms it bleeds green an ah huv a windmill oan ma roof. Mah wee brur is pals wi thoan Harive fella an he sayz I'll be able tae start a Green revolution wi ma scintillatin tweetz an blogs, ken?

    13. Sillyfella namesMay 9, 2016 at 3:51 PM

      Hello Mick Pork.

    14. Salmond is da manMay 9, 2016 at 3:56 PM

      It isnae hard hence da baby talk. Divide da votes by 9 den we end up wit vewy, vewy low totals... And me like da SNP.

    15. Kevin "bullshitter" WilliamsonMay 9, 2016 at 4:05 PM

      How much money did you make betting on the scottish elections?

      No more bullshit please.

      Just an honest answer unless that really is beyond you.

    16. Didnae bet on it. Not sure why you think i did really.

    17. Kevin "bullshitter" WilliamsonMay 9, 2016 at 4:15 PM

      Of course you didn't bet on it. Thanks for the confirmation.

      I'll leave you with your uncertainty (LOL, the irony) and your baby noises.

  45. I have no idea if someone has mentioned this before, as there is quite a lot of comments on this.

    But, instead of people voting green, would it be possible for the snp to set up a secondary political party and instead just put up their candidates in this party?

    What would be stopping them from doing that? It wouldn't be very honest, but I don't think any SNP voter would really give a flying toss about it?

    Call it the Scottish Regional Party and get the canvassers/activists etc to let the people know to go for that. There is of course nothing stopping any political party doing that, including the tories, but it would take away the need for this tactical voting crap.

    1. The Electoral Commission would view any joint funding, membership or organization as evidence of them being the same party and prohibit it.. as they should. Cheating the electoral system is hard if the Electoral Commission are free to do their job, and against Scottish nationalists, they will ALWAYS be given a free hand. No, the way you win is to get more people to vote for you. Its as simple as that. Scottish labour are in freefall. Be nice to their voters and convince them to vote SNP.

    2. I don't agree, that being said however, it would run into difficulty in situations where Nicola Sturgeon was also on the list, i.e. in that situation it wouldn't be possible for the reasons given, but activists going round telling people to use their vote for another party on the list, isn't exactly a breach of electoral commission rules, they put on a different jacket.

      And everything would be entirely different, different organiser, different address and fully identified funding sources.

      I think it's something the snp should consider in areas where they win all the constituency seats.

    3. If the SNP are organizing it, then its an SNP shadow list. Good grief, man, the electoral commission aren't stupid.

    4. Good grief man, the snp don't have to organise it, they can turn round and say there is no point in putting up list candidates due to the system and that then invites another 'party' to be set up, they might not be stupid but it doesn't matter if another party with no links to the snp is set up and people decide to vote for them on the list.

      There are ways and means round their rules. I don't see how they can ban a party from being setup with no links at all to the snp, other than snp voters voting for them, it's no different to the greens, except they will obviously team up with the snp in parliament, which they are allowed to do.

    5. "There are ways and means round their rules."

      There aren't. There really aren't. This is one of those cases where it's the spirit of the law that matters, not the letter. And rightly so.

  46. RISE after the factMay 9, 2016 at 1:48 PM

    Me no RISE me Gween always Gween

  47. No time to read comments as yet, but this kind of stuff in the media is obviously designed to divide pro indy supporters while also promoting a myth that Scotland is at least half tory and that the SNP both votes are to blame for their winning a few seats, they didn't deserve, of course we know that. I can just hear my rabidly labour friend and friends and family doon sooth, saying that the SNP are still tartan tories and ao are their supporters, somehow they really will be so deluded to think that is the case. I had to send my cousin in england some info at the weekend having been sent a msg saying how the tories had
    'done so well in Scotland, but not so well in england' last week! Grrr. They continue to watch and believe the bbc and daily rags, its quite scary even with evidence in front if them to confirm that they are being totally manipulated!
    Still, hopefully most people in Scotland are wiser now.