Monday, February 1, 2021

The leadership need to decide whether they want the SNP to be one party or two. The factional sacking of Joanna Cherry strongly suggests the latter.

There was a mixed reaction to my blogpost of yesterday in which I said I was coming round to the idea that the positives of an Alex Salmond-led list party might outweigh the negatives.  A frequent refrain from those who disagreed with me was that we need an overwhelming, unified, single-party majority for the SNP in the Holyrood election to build momentum towards an independence referendum.  As regular readers know, I have sympathy with that view and at times have even expressed it myself - but it's not only up to Nicola Sturgeon's detractors and Alex Salmond's supporters to decide whether that can happen.  It's also up to the SNP leadership themselves.  If they want unity, they need to lead by example and demonstrate that the SNP is a broad church in which all strands of mainstream pro-independence opinion can find a home.  That means having a top team that encompasses the most talented parliamentarians from all of those different strands.  

When the idea of Joanna Cherry as a future SNP leader has been raised, some people have argued that she's not suitable.  Perhaps, it's said, she isn't quite as charismatic as a Nicola Sturgeon, or perhaps she doesn't project her voice in PMQs quite as well as an Ian Blackford.  But there can be no credible disputing of the fact that she easily makes the grade as a senior frontbencher.  She's one of the four or five most talented people the SNP have in either parliament.  If a decision were to be made on the basis of merit, she wouldn't be on the fringes of team selection - she's a star striker, and would be an automatic pick.  The fact that she's just been sacked outright strongly indicates that the decision wasn't made on the basis of merit, but was instead driven by petty factionalism.  The message it sends is that people who share Joanna Cherry's views (of whom there are many, as the NEC election results demonstrate) no longer have a place in the SNP, except on the fringes.  It must raise a doubt over whether the SNP are even bothered about attracting their votes anymore.

During the Labour leadership election of 1980, a group of Labour centrist MPs met Denis Healey and asked what they could expect from him if he defeated Michael Foot.  He basically replied that they couldn't expect anything at all from him because he was more interested in courting the votes of left-wing MPs.  He didn't need to bother with the centrists because they had no-one else to vote for.  "You've got nowhere else to go" he told them.  But one or two ended up voting for Michael Foot and then defected to the SDP a few months later.  I think I'm right in saying that one of them sent Healey a message that simply read "found somewhere else to go".

I don't know whether the SNP leadership are deliberately trying to drive good people out of the party.  But they need to understand that their actions will have that effect, and they need to be very sure that the consequences of that are worth it in return for...well, in return for whatever the hell they think they're gaining by sacking someone of the quality of Joanna Cherry.  If you leave people with no other attractive options, they'll always find somewhere else to go.

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75 comments:

  1. Totally agree James... I am stunned by this it is horrific the SNP appear to be doing the oppositions job for them. The in fighting and factionalism has to stop. With this the most incompetent and corrupt Tory government ever we should be tearing them to bits and we are not. During the 2014 campaign your site for statistics and Wings for rebuttal were my go to sites... but we are all arguing over nothing... Independence is all that matters... first and first again. The good people of Scotland cannot afford any more of this Tory crap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correct! And none of this ongoing crap helps to dispel worries about infiltration to the party.

      Delete
  2. A horrific decision, and awful timing only weeks before an election. I'm assuming they haven't justified this decision in any way?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Another interesting article James. Personally I would prefer a strong, honest, unified SNP led by people with some personal integrity that is determined to achieve Scottish independence sometime before the Sun expands and wipes out the planet earth.

    ReplyDelete
  4. No decent SNP politician should aspire to Westminster. They should all be loudly protesting against being sent there, only agreeing to go at the behest of the party leadership while we remain in this shithole UK.

    It's not possible to be a successful SNP front bench politician there; it's not as if anything you do makes any difference. Scots are treated like lepers by the English. It's only if you say you are British you might get to shine some shoes or make the tea.

    It's a pity Cherry didn't opt to resign her seat to fight for one in our Scottish parliament this May.

    Maybe now she'll have more incentive?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is it too late for her to resign her seat and stand as an MSP? Indy Indy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She could always stand on the list for another Indy Party. The SNP is now beyond salvaging it seems. I am hoping Salmond will also jump to give a new Indy party on list some credibility.

      Delete
  6. Is it too late for her to resign her seat and stand as an MSP? Indy Indy?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting quote from Cherry this afternoon. Maybe a hint at her future intentions.

    After implying she would continue criticising party leaders from her new seat on the party’s ruling national executive, Cherry said: “Westminster is increasingly irrelevant to Scotland’s constitutional future and @theSNP would do well to radically re-think our strategy.”

    Would he get selected to stand for the SNP in May even if she resigned her Westminster seat. A phonecall to Salmond perhaps.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Westminster is increasingly irrelevant to Scotland’s constitutional future

      Just what I said. No reason for he to be bothered about whether she's front bench or not. She's Scots so not allowed a say in the running of the UK.

      Delete
    2. She's Scots so not allowed a say in the running of the UK.

      Just like Brown, Darling, Alexander, Blair etc...... had no say in the running of the UK. You're really on form Skier.

      Delete
    3. It wasn't that long ago Ruth Davidson was being punted for PM.

      Delete
  8. Cherry was of course also subject to malicious charges of bullying in her Westminster office - no case to answer was the conclusion of the investigation. A lot of malicious charges coming out of Edinburgh these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's really unpleasant when folk accuse you of nasty stuff without any evidence isn't it.

      Delete
    2. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - plenty of evidence you are a liar.

      In a previous post you said despite being highly qualified you had to leave Scotland to get a job. In a recent post you said you nearly left Scotland.

      So Smearer just why do you lie all the time?

      Delete
  9. Useful article as always. Today, I resigned my SNP membership - set out below why.

    “Following Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the ongoing Parliamentary inquiries, and the intolerance towards dissenting views, I have decided to resign my membership.

    Please note that I don’t express a view on whether Nicola Sturgeon has lied to Parliament. Nor do I express a view on reform to the GRA.

    However, I do express a view on the response to the inquiry - which has been less than open of transparent. Similarly, I do express a view on how the SNP have dealt with the GRA debate - which is to attack anyone with an opposing view as a bigot.

    The approach being adopted by the SNP is now “you’re either with us or you’re against us”, which pushes everyone to the extremes. The SNP used to be a broad church that accepted a middle ground. It no longer allows for such a middle ground. Given that I refuse to be pushed to either extreme, I have decided to resign my membership.”

    I believe the SNP is the best vehicle we currently have to achieve independence. I equally believe Nicola Sturgeon is popular and has handled the pandemic well. I also believe the SNP has achieved some good things in government.

    However, I cannot in good conscience continue to support the SNP. This is not because of the stances they have taken - I often can and do support people or causes that I don’t 100% agree with all of the time. But the way the SNP deals with people who do not 100% agree with it all the time pushes people to extremes, which I don’t want to be. So I felt I had no choice but to leave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I resigned my SNP membership when Grousebeater was given the heave-ho because Rhea Wolfson made a fuss about anti-semitism in an article that, as far as I could see, wasn't remotely anti-semitic. I am now increasingly wondering if I will be able in all conscience to vote for them in May. I had decided to do it with my nose pinched for the sake of indy....but even that resolve is weakening with each new tribal absurdity. What a sad mess.

      Delete
    2. I've been called a 'idiot woke transfan' who is also 'transphobic / anti-trans'.

      In all cases this wasn't by people I know to be genuine SNP like Sturgeon, Christine Grahame (my local MSP), Joanna Cherry or Joan McAlpine (my current list MSP).

      I always vote for the person not the party anyway, so I'll be voting Grahame again. Would be weird to note vote for her because say I didn't like a candidate somewhere else in Scotland. Even if I hated Sturgeon, since I'm not in her constituency, It's not factor in my vote as I'm not voting for her. Everyone makes choices their own way though.

      Delete
    3. I left the Party, not the cause of Independence. I will vote SNP in the constituency and ISP on the list because I want Independence above all else for the generations to come...but I will not forget those I consider responsible for damaging the movement.

      Delete
    4. SS

      Joan is no longer your list candidate due to the list vote manipulation yesterday...ask her.

      Delete
    5. Joan McAlpine is was selected to stand for the Dumfriesshire constituency, which I suspect she might well win.

      A constituency win is a significant step up from getting in via the list alone.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumfriesshire_(Scottish_Parliament_constituency)

      Delete
    6. As for ISP, they seem to be being somewhat dishonest about how the Holyrood system works?

      My regional list vote is my 'first' and most important / always counted PR vote. It governs seat allocation and should be for the party I want to see lead the government.

      My 'second vote' is my constituency vote, which I can try vote tactically on on as it's FPTP.

      It's not the other way around.

      Delete
    7. Really, I always thought it was the other way round, so if I vote for Kate Forres on the constituency vote and she gets in, and then SNP as my regional list vote but they don't win any list seats how does that make my list vote more important?

      Delete
    8. Sorry that should have read Kate Forres.

      Delete
    9. Ian, I will vote SNP consituency not because I am blind to their failings, far from it, but hopefully the blind will see that when a majority is delivered in May and no action is taken to achieve independence they will finally see a need for change.

      Delete
    10. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - you certainly know all about being dishonest.

      There is a constituency vote and a regional vote. There is no first or second vote just your dishonest and misleading ramblings about what you think is more important. Never trust a proven and habitual liar like Smearer Skier.

      Delete
    11. The % shares on the list vote govern how all seats in a region are allocated, including both constituency and remaining top-up.

      If you have already won a seat by the constituency, you just get this deducted from your total allocation for the region before the remainder are allocated.

      This is basic stuff:

      There are 100 peanuts to be given out proportionally based on the regional list vote where I got 50% of votes.

      If I already have won 45 peanuts via the constituency (where I only got only 30% of votes but its FPTP so possible), I get given a further 5 peanuts to fairly make up my 50 list share.

      As you can see, my peanut allocation depends solely on my PR list vote. This makes it the most important as it guarantees me seats. If I didn't win a single constituency, I'd still get 50 peanuts.

      --

      Really, I always thought it was the other way round, so if I vote for Kate Forres on the constituency vote and she gets in, and then SNP as my regional list vote but they don't win any list seats how does that make my list vote more important?

      Your list vote counts whether Forres wins or loses. As you demonstrated, you are gambling with your constituency vote. You can't gamble with your list unless you vote for a minnow party such as ISP which fails to get 5%.

      All seats in a region are allocated based on the PR list where every vote for a party which makes the 5% threshold yields seats proportionally.

      I'm in the SoSR. Voting SNP-ISP here will quite probably ensure neither vote gets anyone from these parties elected in a good number of constituencies. Voting SNP-SNP will ensure the SNP seats by contrast.

      Read this excellent Wings article on the subject:

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/ams-for-lazy-people/

      It’s not this site’s business to tell anyone how to vote. What these numbers strongly suggest, though, is that tactical voting – of any sort and for anyone’s benefit – in an AMS election is a mug’s game. You should vote for the party or parties that you most want to see form the government, rather than trying to second-guess the system. Because if you try, chances are it’ll make a chump out of you.

      Delete
    12. Skier, AMS/De hond't is not a purely proportional system, 50% of the vote doesn't guarantee 50% of the seats. It has a proportional element to it.

      This...........

      "It’s not this site’s business to tell anyone how to vote. What these numbers strongly suggest, though, is that tactical voting – of any sort and for anyone’s benefit – in an AMS election is a mug’s game. You should vote for the party or parties that you most want to see form the government, rather than trying to second-guess the system. Because if you try, chances are it’ll make a chump out of you."

      is just someone's opinion not scientific at all and confers no authority whatsoever. More than that, it's just duplicitous disingenuous nonsense which is why Campbell's current "opinion" on the issue shows's he's now completely changed his tune.

      'Tactical' voting on the list is absolutely feasible and preferable under certain conditions, and the current polling suggests this coming election in May is very much one of them imo.

      Delete
    13. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - more deliberate lies by Smearer in that post talking absolute nonsense about peanuts etc etc. How many lies can this guy keep posting before the sensible conclusion is that he is batshit crazy.

      Delete
    14. For instance Skier, if the ISP (if yessers defected with their list vote on mass) were to gain a 50% share of the votes on the list yet not stand in the constituencies, they most certainly would not gain 50% of the seats. They may gain roughly 50% of list seats, 28 maybe.

      Whereas the SNP with 53% of the constituency vote and a negligible share of the list vote may take every constituency seat 73 out of 129, which is 57% of seats, without a single list seat.

      These extreme examples may not be that plausible, but they drive a bulldozer through Skier's pseudo scientific logic.

      Delete
  10. The present SNP leadership is now sacking/purging Indy supporters it seems. This doesn't surprise me. Meanwhile the English/British Tories are murdering us.

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  11. I resigned my SNP membership yesterday. It was not the actual list votes or the Cherry sacking. Those issues just completed the drift to destruction. It has been the months of rule changes, vote manipulation, etc etc which set those actions up.

    Members have been excluded from every key rule and policy change.

    No phones answered, emails ignored. Where is the Indy funds (that ring fenced 540k). Who manipulated the rules to prevent MPs standing for Holyrood ( The Blackmail of sacking their employees if they did.) I could go on and on but why bother...I've left it all behind

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rules seem fair to me. I don't think you should be able to hold 2 seats at one time.

      If you really want to stand for Holyrood, you should give up Westminster. What's wrong with that?

      I would be very uncomfortable with an MSP who was not prepared to give up a seat in London for one in Scotland. They should hate going to London and be ready to leave at the first opportunity.

      Delete
    2. It wasn't just the having to give up your seat part, it was the fact that the SNP rule change brought in specifically to block Cherry from Hollywood also stated a personal £10,000 bond needed to be paid when you resigned your Westminster seat to cover the cost of the by-election in that seat. This from the party who wasted well over a million pounds defending a case they were told by their own legal counsel they couldn't win.

      Delete
    3. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - just keeps on defending the indefensible. Most of the time by lying or changing his stance on something to suit the point in question.

      What a charlatan.

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. I've always inclined to your approach, James, rather than that of the grouchy, but more-often-than-not accurate Rev Stu. Sometimes you have to look at the bigger issues and hold your nose over the others - particularly as we approach an important election.
    I had, in fact, decided that, since I'd crawl over broken glass to get Independence, I was going to zip the mouth, break the pen, unplug the keyboard, and get a really strong nose-peg until after May.
    Then this.
    What are these imbeciles trying to do? And how can they dare call for unity when they're doing their level best to foment dispute and disorder from the top? The united front we used to present against the attacks of Unionist parties and the mass media has turned into an authoritarian nightmare and the cult of a personality. Sure, Nicola has done a bang-up job of PR for the Party, but the behind-the-scenes stuff is just SO depressing that I reconsider my menbership of the party 50 times a day. Better in to influence those who have shown no desire to be influenced, or better out for honesty's sake?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally get this reaction, but Cherry just tweeted that Westminster is irrelevant, so why give a shit about some non-position in an increasingly irrelevant parliament?

      I like Cherry and would prefer her in Holyrood, so anything that deters her from Westminster is great IMO.

      Salmond gave up Westminster for Holyrood; she should too.

      https://twitter.com/joannaccherry/status/1356233347928883206

      Westminster is increasingly irrelevant to Scotland's constitutional future and
      @theSNP
      would do well to radically re-think our strategy.


      Trust politicians that really want to get into Holyrood and see Westminster as at most a stepping stone to get there. Don't trust politicians that see things the other way around.

      kicking up a fuss down in London as you wind down to retirement is fine of course; like Salmond did.

      Delete
    2. But she clearly means that the SNP collectively should change its approach to participation at Westminster. Whether one individual switches from one parliament to another is neither here nor there in that respect.

      Delete
    3. Skier, Salmond gave up Westminster for the opportunity to become First Minister, the minute he wasn't FM he was straight back to WM.

      Delete
    4. Salmond gave up Westminster for the opportunity to become First Minister

      Aye, a true Scot. Scotland before Westminster until he let the young uns take the reins.

      Delete
    5. But she clearly means that the SNP collectively should change its approach to participation at Westminster. Whether one individual switches from one parliament to another is neither here nor there in that respect.

      The only change that will do anything is to withdraw. Which is what will happen if we vote Yes. The moment we want to Westminster to stop making law for Scotland is the moment our MPs must withdraw, so it won't be long at all after a Yes vote. Or even before if London attempts to block the iref.

      Anyway, if Westminster is irrelevant to Scotland, why should MPs there care what post they are given? I'm not keen on any SNP MP that's intent on climbing ladder down their for English gold.

      Fair enough if they're heading for retirement they can go to cause trouble, but if they are aspiring to lead Scotland to indy, they should be fighting tooth and nail to fight the good fight in Scotland. Leaders lead from the front and the front is here in Scotland.

      As noted, all SNP MPs down there can do is walk out one day on command. That doesn't take skill. Why send any rising talent that way at all. Time and again folks complain that the SNP just carp from the corner down there with no influence. Then the same people kick up a huge fuss when Cherry is moved out of a post they say is worthless and without any influence. Huh?

      Even Cherry herself describes here former job down their as 'increasingly irrelevant to Scotland's constitutional future'.

      I'd like to see her focus on her NEC work, so I'm not overly bothered here. If Cherry is good for the SNP, then this move is good for the SNP even if some of those who planned it did not see it that way.

      Delete
  14. Are we suggesting Cherry and her supporters are the SDP / Liberal Democrats?

    I mean I'm not a Cherry fan but that's a bit harsh James

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    1. Militant is probably more like it

      Delete
    2. Are the woke activists not militant? A break away because of the militants are in real danger of being the SDP though.

      Delete
  15. As the SNP continues to make it harder and harder for members to stay members the current Chief Executive Peter Murrell sticks two fingers up to the Scottish parliament and the people of Scotland by refusing to accept an invitation to attend the Inquiry into what he and his wife and their pals got up to in trying to send Salmond to jail.

    Certainly not an organisation I would want to be a member of with people like that in charge. I'm guessing he was advised by his (SNP) lawyers not to attend and exercise the equivalent of no comment that criminal lawyers usually say to their clients.

    The Chief Executive of the governing party and the husband of the FM of Scotland refusing to attend and being referred to Police Scotland for perjury and remains in situ. Just how low can this go. What is more important this or Cherry being demoted. The Cherry business smacks of a deliberate distraction from her husbands untenable (in any decent organisation) position.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If unionists tried to 'do me over' by getting me jailed after I volunteered to answer their questions, I'd probably take the advice of a lawyer myself before volunteering myself again.

      Delete
    2. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - well you certainly are well experienced in lying.

      People like Smearer Skier are exactly what is wrong with the current SNP - no behaviour is unacceptable if it is done by someone in the party that is part of the in - crowd of the party leadership. Shameful - the SNP used to be a beacon of hope for the future now it has apologists like Smearer Skier who will accept any wrongdoing.

      This is just like British Labour in Scotland.

      Cover up - cover up - cover up - cover up - cover up - cover up - cover up.



      Delete
    3. Erm, I never commented on whether anyone's behaviour is right or wrong. I just said if a load of unionists tried to get me jailed, I'd consult with my lawyer before meeting them again, if at all.

      Delete
    4. And you told us Sturgeon orchestrated the whole conspiracy yet it's been confirmed that she's not part of this Vietnam whatsapp group at all.

      Delete
    5. Smearer Skier (lying since 2014 says "I never commented on whether anyone's behaviour is right or wrong" - liying again Smearer. You have smeared Salmond plenty of times on this blog.

      Just why does Smearer Skier feel the need to lie so often!

      Never said Sturgeon was part of that Whattsapp group just a load of her pals.

      Delete
  16. The word is it was Blackford that wanted her to stand down.
    She remains the most popular figure in the SNP going by the NEC voting figures, probably because she scuppered Johnson's attempt to illegally prorogue the Westminster parliament over Brexit.
    Her legal skills and experience will likely be needed by the SNP after May.
    The media and the voters see her as a big hitter and she certainly will be back at the fore of the Indy movement before long IMO.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Genuine question, why will her legal skills be needed?

      Delete
  17. Seems British unionist terrorists have been threatening port staff in N. Ireland. This is ultimately what happens when one people/country (England) forces something like brexit on another (NI). It's only going to get worse unless N. Ireland's future becomes the sole decision of N. Irish people and England respects that at every turn.

    Johnson should remember that you have free democracy or you have violence. The US capitol should serve as reminder. At the moment, the UK government is choosing the path of violence by trying to prevent democracy.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-nireland/northern-ireland-suspends-some-port-checks-over-staff-safety-concerns-idUSKBN2A13UZ

    Northern Ireland suspends some port checks over staff safety concerns

    The council whose staff inspected goods at Larne Port said serious concerns around their safety were raised after a rise in “sinister and menacing behaviour” in recent weeks, including the appearance of graffiti describing port staff as “targets”.

    Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster, whose Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has been calling on London to seek to remove the new trade barriers, described the actions against the port staff as utterly reprehensible.

    “I have to say to them to desist. If you are against the protocol, as all unionists are, the way to deal with this is through constitutional politics,” Foster told Northern Ireland broadcaster UTV


    Of course English businesses are not escaping things.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-cheese/lights-out-brexit-shuts-off-market-for-english-cheese-truckles-idUSKBN2A20LH

    Lights out: Brexit shuts off market for English cheese truckles

    MATLOCK, England (Reuters) - An English company that has long been selling its wax-coated mini barrels of cheese directly to European consumers says it can no longer do so because of Brexit, pushing it to consider new investment in France.

    Slow clap for the brexiters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
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  18. Joanna Cherry's legal skills defeated the UK Govts attempt at an illegal manoeuvre and they'll think twice at an attempt to stymie Holyrood's referendum, especially if London's legal advisors whisper in Johnson's lug that any challenge would be doomed to failure.
    It would not have to be Cherry acting for Holyrood of course but who would be better?
    BTW, as the GRA has been deferred till after May, can we please get on with planning the campaign with independence in mind.
    The SNP is bigger and more important than any faction or policy, and will remain the only credible vehicle to win our independence.

    ReplyDelete
  19. A question for those in the know, I'm definitely not one of them, is Sturgeon the driving force behind the purge of the SNP or is she simply standing aside and allowing it to happen?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Question, Do SNP members still decide who stands for their party on the regional list.(How they're ranked).
    If so that's quite a power even if it's limited by "positive discrimination".

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  21. We are at a pivotal juncture in our history as a nation. There are two imminent hurdles, the May elections and the monotonous drip from the inquiry into the handling of the Salmond case. If the SNP get a majority in May and the Salmond inquiry fizzles out with a slap on the wrist for the two senior civil servants for not following procedure then Nicola remains in charge and the focus will be on the next referendum. The disgruntled will just have to hide their time and get behind the wheel and push.

    If The SNP fall short in May and/or Nicola does have questions to answer re Salmond then there will be reset and I could see Cherry as a real leadership contender. Where we go from there who knows but after a year in front in the polls on independence, any senior politician in the independence movement that snatches that from us should hang their heads in shame. They will be as welcome as Ken Livingstone at a bar mitzvah.

    The fringe issues driving the spat that dropped Cherry is tedious beyond belief. The sort of student politics that crippled the Labour Party in the 80s. It simply doesn't interest 98% of the electorate. It's influence is disproportionate to its relevance.

    I will watch with interest. I like Cherry and post May I would like to see her in a legal role with regards referendums.

    ReplyDelete
  22. As far as the list vote goes, if you want to be sure your vote is counted, then the best rule of thumb is to look for your favoured party to be either consistently polling around the 10%+ mark nationally on average, or at least 6% regionally.

    For the smaller parties, that covers the indy Greens and the unionist Lib Dems.

    All other parties are on 1 or 2% at best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What does "counted" even mean Skier, if your party gains 70% of the vote in a constituency and only needs maybe 40% of the vote share to win the seat are those surplus 30% of the votes "counted".

      The power of your vote actually increases proportionately, the lower your preferred party's vote share is. This is particularly true with your list vote if your preferred party doesn't win constituency seats.

      How many seats have ever been won by a single seat, the only scenario where your own personal vote would actually "count" in the true sense.

      The marginal power of your vote may be highest where parties are just below the threshold vote to win a particular seat and you assist in seeing them over the line. As opposed by being one of many surplus votes.

      Delete
    2. Your single vote can never be the one that affected the outcome as even if a seat is won by a single vote, it isn't your vote, but an 'anonymous' single vote. Everyone else who voted the way you did affected the outcome the same way as you did. Everyone tipped the balance.

      As for Scotland...

      Under FPTP, only votes for the winning candidate count towards the make-up of government. So, as for Westminster elections, in the Scottish constituency vote, most votes don't could towards MPs elected by this route. In 2016, the SNP won 81% of constituency seats on 47% of the vote. It could have been even more disproportionate and they could have got 81% of seats on maybe 30%....

      https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/latest-news-and-research/media-centre/press-releases/analysis-millions-of-votes-go-to-waste-as-parties-need-wildly-different-number-of-votes-per-mp/

      Yes, it is possible that the SNP could win the same number of seats on 30...even 20% of the vote as long as they still had the biggest single share.

      That is why we have the regional list. It works to bring back proportionality by allocating all seats in each region based on the % shares each party gets on the list (minus sub 5%s).

      Here's my region:

      % List vote (minus votes below 5% threshold)
      43% SNP
      36% Con
      20% Lab

      Region Seats allocated
      44% = 7 (4C + 3L)
      38% = 6 (4C + 2L)
      19% = 3 (1C + 2L)

      The final seat allocation has naff all to do with the constituency vote, but is almost perfectly proportional to list shares.

      This is why the list vote is a Scot's most important vote. If it's for a party which gets >5% regionally, it will always count towards the make up of government.

      So folks should use their list vote for the party they want in government. For the constituency, they can try tactical voting where is possible, just like for British elections. It might end up not being counted like it did for many SNP votes in the borders. However, those borders that voted SNP-SNP didn't lose out because they voted SNP on the list. If they voted SNP-Green in a Tory seat, both votes were not counted....

      Delete
    3. Yes your single vote does count if an election is won by one vote Skier, as if you didn't vote, or voted for a different party, the outcome would be different. You could say it counts to the value 1/n where n is the number of votes cast but it is most definitely determinative.

      On proportionality a refer you to the example in my earlier post....

      if the ISP (if yessers defected with their list vote on mass) were to gain a 50% share of the votes on the list yet not stand in the constituencies, they most certainly would not gain 50% of the total seats. They may gain roughly 50% of list seats, 28 maybe.

      Whereas the SNP with 53% of the constituency vote and a negligible share of the list vote may take every constituency seat, 73 out of 129, which is 57% of seats, without a single list seat.

      It's obviously feasible to have a directly proportional result and the distribution of outcomes may usually be around a proportional mean. But other outcomes are possible and plausible. The list vote imputes a degree of proportionality but that's it.

      Your assumption of ceteris paribus between the constituency and list votes is just spurious nonsense, a range of different parties may stand candidates on the list but not in the FPTP, voters may have different expectations for the two result and politics right now is volatile.

      Delete
    4. "For the constituency, they can try tactical voting where is possible, just like for British elections. "

      Who can an independence supporter realistically vote tactically for in their constituency other than the SNP right now. Lab/Con/LD makes no difference, how many Lab-Con marginals are out there in May.

      The SNP are the main challenger in virtually every seat they don't hold. Are you seriously suggesting that independence supporters vote for tactically unionist parties or vote 'tactically' for the Greens.

      Delete
    5. "It might end up not being counted like it did for many SNP votes in the borders. However, those borders that voted SNP-SNP didn't lose out because they voted SNP on the list."

      However Skier, using your own logic, SNP voters in Central Scotland, Glasgow, Lothian, Mid Scotland and Fife, North East Scotland, West Scotland didn't have their list votes counted because they didn't win any seats.

      It's a good job those voters in the South of Scotland had their votes 'counted'.

      Delete
    6. However Skier, using your own logic, SNP voters in Central Scotland, Glasgow, Lothian, Mid Scotland and Fife, North East Scotland, West Scotland didn't have their list votes counted because they didn't win any seats.

      It's not my logic, it's how AMS works.

      In the regions you list, the SNP got a share of region seats (list + const) proportional to the list vote. So the SNP list votes also counted.

      This is primary School level stuff.

      There a number of seats in a region. You get these by either winning them on the constituency or on the list. You can't win them twice using the same list vote share. It's supposed to be PR. If you managed to get an SNP MSP elected in the constituency, you've already used up your SNP list vote. If you don't you still get one elected. You can't have 2 for the price of one list vote.

      Heavens above I can't understand why folks don't understand what is a very simple PR system.

      It is party list PR, but with some seats allocated initially using FPTP to give people a local MSP. This will not normally alter the PR outcome though, as election after election has shown.

      My daughter got it when she was in primary school.

      Delete
    7. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - has your daughter got it yet that you are a compulsive liar. That post is full of misleading nonsense about the voting system.

      Delete
  23. Without the clear will of the people, it's easy for the extremists to say they know that that is.

    England needs to let N. Irish people decide their future or this is going to get worse.

    Without a clear will of the people, the British unionist terrorists can say they are just doing what the people want.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-nireland-staff/eu-to-temporarily-withdraw-staff-from-northern-irish-ports-spokesman-idUSKBN2A21EX

    EU staff will be temporarily withdrawn from their work at Northern Irish ports due to security concerns, the EU Commission said on Tuesday.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Interesting that 3 months before a pivotal Holyrood election both Independence parties are riven by disputes about, among other things, trans issues? An issue that affects less than 1% of the population yet threatens to eclipse climate change and independence? Unionists must be so happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an issue that affects about 1% of party members too. It's just they post a lot online.

      Delete
  25. I think James came out with a good point last night. Blair could never of removed Brown from the Cabinet, not becasue he didn't want to but because he knew that doing so could possibly lead to a leadership challenge or possible even cause a hit for Labour in polling. There are probably numerous other examples of people being in front bench roles even though they were loathed by the party leadership because the leadership feared what kicking them to the back benches could do.

    The fact that Cherry was sacked shows that they don't feel that she poses any real threat to them or the party. Time will tell but unless the SNP polling seriously tanks over the next couple of weeks or there is a leadership challenge - they are probably right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or the party splits, not always fruitful, where are the SDP or Change UK right now (probably in the Lib Dems but that's not the point).

      For it to work they may need a strong, charismatic, popular leader hmmmm.......

      A few high profile talented 'switchers' to gain momentum and drive media attention hmmm...

      A passionate core of supporters united behind a cause hmmm....

      And a feasible election strategy that isn't realiant on winning FPTP seats hmmmm.....

      Delete
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