However, we are where we are, and in a strange way the results of independence polls aren't actually the most important thing in the very short-term. So close to an election, we normally set the independence numbers to one side and concentrate almost exclusively on the party political voting intention numbers. It's odd that hasn't happened yet, and it may be because an SNP win and a pro-indy majority at Holyrood look like foregone conclusions. But we know from the 2016 campaign that such an impression can be horribly deceptive. The election has to be taken by the scruff of the neck and won, whether by the SNP alone, or by the SNP and the Greens in combination, or by a three-way combination of the SNP, the Greens, and a Party X involving Alex Salmond. I've no idea whether Mr Salmond is even thinking along those lines, and I know some people are claiming it's impossible anyway because he'd be timed out by the Electoral Commission - but there are always ways and means. He could, for example, join forces with one of the small pro-indy parties that are already registered with the Electoral Commission. If he doesn't take the plunge, though, we have to be realistic and accept that the SNP and Greens are the only game in town and are the only pro-indy parties capable of winning seats. I know that's a bitter pill to swallow for people furious with both party leaderships for their stance on the trans issue and reluctance on Plan B, but it really is true - if we care about independence, this is an absolutely critical election, and in the absence of a Salmond-led party we'll need to set aside all reservations and make an SNP/Green majority happen. And, more ideally, an outright SNP majority.
Some people are in love with the idea of building up the ISP and winning list seats that way, but without big name backing that simply isn't a viable option. We'll doubtless hear the usual misguided arguments over the coming weeks about how SNP supporters should vote "tactically" on the list for the Greens, and those siren voices should be ignored. But at the end of the day, if you vote Green in the erroneous belief that you're doing so tactically, you're at least voting for a party that has a chance of picking up list seats. That will not be the case if you vote for the ISP or another fringe party.
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