Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Clues in the Survation poll that a Salmond-led party could win list seats

There's been a bit of a pattern on social media in recent weeks that anyone who says anything complimentary about Alex Salmond, or suggests he might have a future in politics or in public life, finds themselves presented with a graphic (a rather tacky graphic, it has to be said) comparing Mr Salmond's net personal rating with those of Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson.   This is done with a "game over" sort of implication.  To which the obvious reply is "haven't you heard of proportional representation?", ie. "don't you know that only 6% of the vote in any region is enough to become an MSP?"  It doesn't matter if only a relatively small minority of the population have a favourable view of a politician or a party, as long as that minority feel strongly enough to actually come out and vote for the said politician or party.  

The Salmond bashers have a shiny new toy to play with as a result of the new Survation poll (which, don't forget, was mostly conducted before Friday's evidence session).

Which of the following would make the best First Minister?

Alex Salmond: 12%
Nicola Sturgeon: 60%

The response to this is the same: 12% of the vote would be more than enough to win a considerable number of list seats.  However, we have to be cautious about that 12% figure, because some of it may be unionist respondents who are trying to give the most problematical answers for the SNP on every question.  So let's have a look at what 2014 Yes voters have to say...

Yes voters only:

Alex Salmond: 14%
Nicola Sturgeon: 74%

Because 45% of the electorate voted Yes in 2014, the 14% of Yes voters who would prefer Alex Salmond to be FM ought to comprise 6% of the electorate.  In practice it's not as simple as that, because the electorate has changed due to deaths, migrations, young people turning 16, etc, etc.  And of course a minority of people who voted Yes seven years ago are now in the No column.  But as a ballpark figure, let's suppose that 6% of the total electorate are both pro-independence and actively favour Alex Salmond over Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister.  That strikes me as a pretty obvious recipe for a Salmond-led party winning seats.  It's also, incidentally, a clue as to why a Yes list-only party without the involvement of a big name politician would be unlikely to succeed, because I very much doubt that a poll would find that 14% of Yes voters prefer Dave Thompson, Colette Walker or Stuart Campbell over Nicola Sturgeon (not because of any personal faults of those individuals, but simply because most people don't know who they are).

To reiterate, I've no idea if Mr Salmond will get involved in the coming election, and he's cutting it a bit fine if he intends to do so.  But the opportunity would certainly appear to be there.


  1. The idea of Jack McConnell getting on stage and making jokes about Nicola Sturgeon's tits is absurd. But here we are.

  2. Unfortunately for Salmond, he's most popular with leave 2016, Conservative and Labour 2019 voters by a country mile.

    Which makes me suspect the figures more reflect an attack on Sturgeon from these rather than an endorsement of Salmond. 'We preferred Salmond to Sturgeon and can safely say that to attack her knowing he's gone'.

    Way too late to build a party now. You need a constitution, local branches, hustings, elections etc. It needs to be democratic, transparent, with candidates all properly vetted. This is particularly the case given Salmond has apparently being telling us he's a totally shite judge of character...

    Some really unpleasant folk trying to hang on to Salmond right now. Last thing he needs is folk calling old ladies 'woke c**ts' on the doorsteps and abusing voters from bases in the South of England.

    He could stand on his own in the NE region and get elected probably.

    1. I addressed your first point directly: he's favoured by 14% of Yes voters from 2014. That's enough to win seats. If the figure had been significantly lower than 14%, you might have had a point.

    2. Sorry, I was talking about the 12% nationally, where I think my point does apply.

      Yes, as you say the 14% of yes is like 6% nationally. So maybe 5-6 seats using the greens / libs 2016 an example, assuming his vote was concentrated in a few regions and not spread thinly.

      And If he had a party up and running like they do, with a constitution, local branches, canvassers, leaflets, campaign materials etc. It's not going to get on any TV debates (that would be against the rules) so would need a lot of grassroots stuff.

      And it can't be called the e.g. 'The Alex Salmond Party' (too vain), so he would need to make sure 'The Scottish Independence Party' or whatever got decent publicity linking it to him. Also no confusion with ISP.

      I said a year ago I'm consider such a party, but I think it's all way too late now. There's no time to build the structures needed for a functioning democratic party. It's 4 weeks to nominations.

      For me, he'd be better making amends with the SNP and taking up an honorary role in a Yes campaign. Maybe next election under indy!

    3. That reads like somebody who doesn't want it to happen trying to convince himself that it can't happen. Here is one of several possible ways that it could: he joins forces with AFI. No problem with a name - there already is one. No problem with registration - it's already registered. No question marks over whether there'll be candidates - AFI would be running candidates anyway. And as for the TV debates: there are no rules, the broadcasters makes up the rules to suit themselves. But it's perfectly possible to win seats even without a presence in the debates, and that's been demonstrated more than once in the past.

    4. Maybe this is what Jeggit is teasing us with?

    5. I don't mind at all James. I get the impression you'd like it though!

      If he was on the list in my region I'd be interested. NE is the obvious choice for him though. I'm in the borders so snp on the list makes most sense.

      Don't know much about afi or isp. I couldn't vote for either based simply because he'd joined / endorsed them. I might accidentally end up voting for wings or ifs! I'd need to know about the local candidates.

      I think that applies to voters in general too. They'd vote for the man, but not the party without knowing more about it. If he recruited some other well known faces it would help. The more of them the more folk would listen up and trust it.

      In the borders wee parties have a poor record, so I'm cautious.

    6. Your point about broadcasters making up rules to suit themselves is spot on, James. The "juiciness" of Salmond v Sturgeon would be too much to resist.

      I think folk have completely misjudged Salmond. IMO, he isn't thinking of standing against the SNP. He's never thought of running against the SNP, and he never will...... unless the SNP leadership drag their feet, after being given a >50% mandate at this election. If they do that, then whatever party he espouses, (new or already established), will be a REAL challenge to the SNP's hegemony of the yes vote.

      I'm reading posts from SNP supporters on FB, that AS sold out to the Westminster establishment in 2014. I feel embarrassed about being in the same organisation as people that spout such nonsense. Just as I look forward to the day, when I won't have to admit to being countrymen of EDL Neanderthals, I look forward to the day when I won't have to admit to being in the same party as eejits who can spout garbage like that.

    7. I don't disagree on the air time thing. However, I heard loads of moans about Farage and UKIP being given airtime in Scotland even though they had little to no elected representatives. In principle I agreed, so to be fair I'd have to treat a wee pro-indy party the same.

  3. Personally I'd like to see it; he's the only figure with enough pull on his own to attract enough voters to a List only Indy Party;

  4. An interesting article from the Scottish Elections Studies group.


  5. Not sure I would want to try and game the system on such narrow margins. If like some of the other minor parties it fell short but robbed the SNP of votes then it would effectively scupper Scotland because I don't believe Gove and Co will rest idle if the get a chance to neuter Holyrood while the SNP fall on each others necks.

    The next few weeks are pivotal in our history. Who will emerge as heroes and who villains remains to be seen.

  6. I want Salmond to lead a regional list party - the Brits are doing with Galloway and his Tory collaborators

  7. If Salmond causes Scotland to loss a majority, and a referendum, he will probably have to leave Scotland.

    1. Sounds a bit drastic, but I get what you mean.

      Sturgeon...Swinney are Salmond's legacy. It's why the unionist media are absolutely loving this and all we see is smiling photos of Sturgeon and Salmond together. The association is key.

      The message is clear: 'Sturgeon is in power because Salmond put her there. If he's saying she's a witch unfit to govern, then it's his fault for handing her the keys and your stupid fault for trusting him jocks. LOL!. He would be bringing his own house down.

      He's got to take care with that. If he really has put a fox in the chicken coup, then he would need to ask for forgiveness for that and admit his own failings in terms of leadership succession. That would make me and voters respect the man.

      Or, he make up with his Padawan and finds a way forward, preserving his legacy.

      This doesn't apply to party bigwigs like murrell as they are not elected / in power.

    2. If it turns out that Salmond is right, and Sturgeon DID actively take part in the conspiracy to put him in prison, then SHEwill have caused the yes vote to lose its majority and SHE will "probably have to leave Scotland".

      We can ALL make veiled threats......

      I am in despair about this whole issue, and I hope it turns out to be a damp squib, but what is even more dispiriting is the WILLINGNESS that some folk seem to have, to attack and destroy someone who has given their life to the cause of independence.

      Speaking as a SNP member, it could turn out that SNP sheep are the weakness in our armour. Salmond was a great leader of the SNP, but he wasn't perfect, and the willingness to believe in the perfection of Sturgeon is not being "Scottish". Being "Scottish" is saying to our leaders "Aye - yer doing fine, but we've got our eye on you. We put you there, and we can take you down again".... NOT "I will follow you to the gates of hell dear Nicola"..... if you are like that, you might as well joinh the Tories, and hero-worship.......

    3. I've not read anyone on here saying Sturgeon walks on water. However, when folk are accusing people of conspiracy to commit perjury it's pretty bloody serious.

      Being 'malicious' isn't conspiracy to commit perjury. Neither is 'fishing', nor is a 'witch hunt' even that. All of these could be very unpleasant if individuals were involved in such, but they are not inherently criminal. Enemies of Salmond being zealous in looking for evidence against him, if that was the case, might really anger people, but it isn't a criminal conspiracy.

      Criminal conspiracy to commit perjury is a group agreeing to make up evidence for personal benefit, potentially leading to innocent people being found guilty. Courts take that bloody seriously and Lady Dorian would have liars investigated if she'd suspect that. Instead, the court concluded that the stories told by the complainers and Salmond's side of these did not provide any evidence for any criminal activity having occurred. That was it. Innocent, consensual...not proven to have occurred.

      Folk should try searching for 'false rape' claims and they will see how the courts deal with people suspected of perjury in such matters. They don't walk away Scot free, that's for sure. Plenty of people in jail for this, including women who've falsely claimed rape.

      Which is why we can conclude that there was no conspiracy to commit perjury, but some individuals may have acted maliciously towards Salmond. That may be punishable, e.g. by forced resignation etc.

      If the police start an investigation into perjury around the case, then we can start talking about evidence for that.

    4. You as an SNP member who do you suggest the public vote for in the up coming Scottish Parliament elections if it turns out Sturgeon was part of the conspiracy to have Salmond in prison?

    5. "Criminal conspiracy to commit perjury"

      That feels a bit like a straw man. A conspiracy doesn't need to involve perjury, nor does it necessarily have to be criminal.

    6. If people are saying talking about a conspiracy to knowingly try to get an innocent man convicted, such as the post above yours James, then that is conspiracy to commit perjury and or pervert the course of justice. You can't get an innocent person convicted unless you lie / make up evidence / hide evidence. Very serious charges that the police / courts deal with very harshly. There is clearly zero evidence for that occurring, otherwise we would have an active police investigation into it.

      And Salmond's even said he's never used the word 'conspiracy' anyway. He's talked about a group of people acting maliciously towards him, naming 3 SNP which don't include Sturgeon.

      You as an SNP member who do you suggest the public vote for in the up coming Scottish Parliament elections if it turns out Sturgeon was part of the conspiracy to have Salmond in prison?

      If Sturgeon was part of a conspiracy to commit perjury or pervert the course of justice - which is needed to jail an innocent man - then she's not going to be standing in an election would she? She'd be stepping down while the police investigated, potentially leading to her being charged.

      And anyway, why on earth should I blame e.g. Christine Grahame for Sturgeon's actions? I'm not into collective punishment like that; it's a right-wing thing, the old 'tar them all with the same brush' stuff. The SNP isn't Sturgeon and wasn't Salmond. It's all it's members, MSPs, MPs councilors. I'm a member. How the hell am I to blame for Sturgeon? Salmond trained her up and handed her the reigns, not me. He told everyone to trust her.

      It's ridiculous to suggest I say vote Tory because I don't like Sturgeon personally / she's done something wrong. I've never voted because I don't like someone, only because I liked a candidate from a party which had policies broadly in line with my own.

      Of course if Sturgeon is a criminal but the party said that was ok, including my local candidate, and someone she stayed at the helm, then for sure I'd be moving on.

      Until Sturgeon found guilty of something in court, she's completely innocent of any conspiracy regarding Salmond and his trial. In terms of malicious, I'd need to see evidence that she knew for sure he wasn't a perve but still actively fished away on the topic. I can't see how she'd know this until march last year though when the allegations were all tested in court.

      She might yet be found guilty of procedural offences regarding the ministerial code, and I await Hamilton's independent international observer view on that, which is what Salmond things we should do.

  8. I would guess that in a May election that included Salmond as a candidate, the total votes for pro independence parties would be lower, and there'd be an increased chance of the SNP failing to win a majority of MSPs. The election would be much more likely to become about all the toxic crap.

    1. I think the opposite is true, actually, at least on the former point - the total vote for pro-independence parties would be higher if there's a Salmond party. It's that consideration that has led me to the conclusion that, on balance, it would be a good idea.

    2. The Alex Salmond Party would have a ready made stirring tune for their meetings, Yakety Sax by Boots Randolf.

  9. Well Hamilton and Pringle have called Sturgeon a liar tonight in their submissions newly published on the Inquiry website. No wonder Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) is such a Sturgeon fanboy. What's she going to say I forgot again?

    That joke of a Lord Advocate had the same problem as Sturgeon when asked today when he first heard of the two initial complaints against Salmond and who told him. He couldn't remember he said.

    # liars United.

    # liars United.

    1. Kevin Pringle does not call Nicola a “liar” in his submission though that is the way those trying to undermine her are trying to portray it.
      In the early part of his submission, Kevin is clear that his knowledge of the specifics come to him from his friend, Geoff Aberdein. This means it is hearsay.
      In the later part of the submission, he makes reference to a Sunday Times article he wrote on the matter last year.
      In it, he sets out his own position and his “moral focus” on the matter. "Let justice be done though the heavens fall...." In Alex Salmond’s case, this was decided by the jury at his criminal trial and Kevin acknowledges this but the article continues "I have no wish to second guess the inquiries that are under way, but my hope is that Sturgeon continues in office without jeopardy to her position and he concludes the submission, “that continues to be my position”.
      It seems clear, therefore, that at the time his statement was submitted to the committee, he was of the opinion that Nicola Sturgeon should remain as First Minister and that this was decided in his own mind in the context of his sentence "let justice be done though the heavens fall".
      So, Kevin Pringle clearly does NOT believe that Nicola Sturgeon is a liar and is very explicit about this in his submission.

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  10. If opinion polls are really designed to educate politicians on future decisions, perhaps the Yes voters should have been asked "do you want to have to make that choice?".