Thursday, May 6, 2021

As the polls close, let's wrap up some unfinished business

It's 10pm, the polls have closed, and if this was a UK general election we'd have just instantly found out the entire election result via a BBC exit poll.  But as this is 'only' Scotland, there's no exit poll, and as there's also a pandemic, we're effectively living in 1923 and won't know the full results until Saturday.  Until then, let's kill some time by dotting the i's and crossing the t's of the Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll - this is the very last result, and the only one that produced an out-and-out negative outcome.  I asked whether the fact that a number of MPs and local councillors had joined Alba meant the party should receive roughly the same level of coverage from the broadcasters as the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.  Although only a minority of people agreed, it was a substantial minority, and it's worth making the point that a previous poll showed majority support (excluding Don't Knows) for Alba being included in the leaders' debates.  Taken together, the two polls suggest the centre of gravity in public opinion is that Alba should have received considerably more coverage than they did over the course of the campaign, but not necessarily full parity with the longer-established parties. 

Given that two MPs and several local councillors have joined the new Alba Party, do you think the broadcasters should give roughly the same level of coverage to the Alba Party in the current Scottish Parliament election campaign as they do to the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Green Party?

Yes 33%
No 48%

It was pointed out to me after I received the results that one of the problems with the question wording was that I was inviting Lib Dem and Green supporters to take a self-interested view - and sure enough 58% of the small sample of Lib Dem voters said "no", which was slightly higher than the corresponding figure of 56% for both Conservatives and Labour.  A slightly more fair-minded attitude was found among SNP voters - 36% thought there should be parity and 49% disagreed.  There was a difference between age groups as well - younger people were somewhat less hostile to the idea of equal coverage than older people.

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You can catch up with Episode 7 of the Scot Goes Popcast, in which I speak with the Alba Party's Chris McEleny, HERE.


  1. Well, we can't change anything now! So the online arguments can stop for at least a couple of nights. :-)

    We just have to let those counting do their jobs and by Saturday night, we can crack open a bottle to celebrate or drown the sorrows.

    As for Alba and unionist MSM coverage...It's the BBC et al. Is there any point getting pissed off any more? It's the same old story. Hopefully we'll be waving them goodbye soon enough.

    In normal democratic countries the media are not against the country existing as one.

    1. On this matter of course you're not pissed off with the BBC are you? They did exactly what you wanted:

      Scottish SkierMarch 29, 2021 at 2:00 PM
      Just have parties that won seats last time

      It wasn't a debate but the BBC did follow your idea and give the smaller parties some airtime

      Scottish SkierMarch 29, 2021 at 1:38 PM
      If you invite alba you have to invite all the other little parties to be fair.

      Maybe a separate debate show for the 'others' which don't have any seats in holyrood?

    2. Hi stalker. You need to let me go.

      I couldn't give a shit about the BBC as I'm not British.

      Like Joe Biden said.

    3. Comming from a man who has admitted about thinking about me (a random person on the internet who he does not know) and smiling that's rich.

      Anyhow, you are bothered enough about the BBC (and other broadcasters) to make a comment about them.

      But back to the original question - I am assuming the you are glad that the BBC and other broadcasters did not include Alba in the debates. You were very vocal about this a few weeks ago arguing that it would be unfair for them to do so wondered if that was still the case?

    4. You keep saying you know me from a weather forum. To be honest, I don't remember you from other than here on SGP. Maybe you were just quietly following my activity on netweather without me being aware?

      I commented on a SGP blog post about polling/seats vs BBC etc debate inclusion. As noted, I'm not British so don't watch the BBC nor give the remotest crap about what it broadcasts these days. As a result, it doesn't matter at all to me who's included. They could exclude the SNP and I wouldn't really care as it would probably boost the SNP vote share.

      So I'm neither glad nor unhappy about the inclusion or exclusion of any party.

      As readers are able to quickly discern from my post you've so handily quoted, I argued from an impartial perspective (I am neither pro- nor anti-Alba and had all three Yes logos in my window) that it could be unfair to say Alba should be on the debate but not other small parties such as UKIP or Reform UK.

      As a general principle I think all parties should be treated equally, that's all. So if inclusion was based on 'already having seats at other government levels (including due to defection), then Reform UK should be included and also any parties / individuals with e.g. council seats. Seats won by election should of course count more than those obtained by defection, as the latter has occurred without clear democratic public support.

      Given how this could result in unwieldy debates with 10's of participants, a line must be drawn somewhere and I proposed 'has previous won seats for the parliament concerned' as an option for a main leaders one.

      As you note, I also suggested Alba and the other small parties be give airtime with even the opportunity to face the big guns in some sort of 'showdown'.

      But you just feel the need to keep trying to desperately twist what I've said.

    5. Sorry i'm you have completely lost me are you now saying that only British people watch the BBC? THats going to come as quite a shock to the millions of people in over 200 countries who watch the BBC to find out that they are British because they watch the BBC.

    6. I imagine telling almost half a billion people globally that they are British because the watch the BBC

      You were quite sensible over on NW you seem to of lost your marbles these days.

  2. At least one benefit of Covid is that I can sleep normally tonight without the desire to stay awake for the results, and end up listening to hours of drivel from a motley procession
    of politicians, political commentators and journalists. Instead I can catch up with with the results at a more sensible hour and leisurely pace.

    Oh and I stuck with my usual SNP/Green combination in Aberdeenshire West, hopefully we can depose the Tory and pick up Green/Alba list seat too, possibly both Green & Alba?

  3. I still don't get why there's no counting overnight

    1. I think the ‘no overnight counting’ decision was made some good while back in an unknown pre-vaccine covid world.
      I actually think it’s a sensible thing to allow counting in a less febrile atmosphere - it’ll allow us to adjust early to the more measured counting that is needed for a fairer transferable vote system in our new country!

    2. Yup. The returning officers (not just in Scotland but in England and Wales as well) were asked how long it would take to count with covid safety restrictions in place (less people counting etc etc).

      Many of them reported back that the count would take longer, therefore the results would not be known by the early morning the following day (which is the main point of counting overnight - the ability to get early results).

      Therefore it was decided as you would not get the advantage of early results to scrap the overnight counts and just count during the day.

      Hartlepool counted the by election results overnight so that they could be done and out of the way by the time the counting for the borough council election starts latter today I believe.

  4. The blasted Guardian is driving me nuts. Constantly stating that the SNP require a majority to push for a referendum. Do these people have even the most basic concept of parliamentary democracy?
    It's all ideological. Do they even know they're doing this or do they just slip into ways of thinking that jibe with unionism?

  5. Hartlepool is counting overnight buy hey who gives a toss for those Jocks. Run along now peasants. Dont forget to pay the English TV Tax afore yee do though Jock.

    1. I’m pretty sure the decision about us counting our votes was made by us.

  6. Well today and tomorrow will be tense. Let's hope the cause of Scottish Independence is nearer to victory when all the ballet papers are counted.

  7. Hartlepool makes me despair. It’s a shame that it hadn’t been held before our election - that would have been a smack of reality to inform wavering voters.

  8. Seems to be worse in England than just Hartlepool. Early council results indicate Labour losses and Tory gains.

    What could be clearer ? Enough people in England like the brexit, lying, corrupt, Covid careless, jingo approach of Johnson to make it work.

    Politically we have nothing in common. Start campaigning explicitly for independence as soon as we have rested our feet for a few days.

    1. This.

      And being told from above that there’s no indyref, or even work on the currency and border questions, “until the second half of the coming parliament.”

      I’m no Winger. But I really need to see progress once Holyrood is back in session. It’s starting time.

    2. England WANTS Tories. England WANTS Brexit. England WANTS their political 'culture'... and what the English voter wants the British electorate get! Scottish Labour voters need to wake from their biscuit tin 'postwar settlement' daydreams and smell the coffee. #EndLondonRule

  9. Until 10pm last night, as an SNP member I slagged off and ridiculed ALL other Parties icluding Abla (which, if they are still around in any politically meaningful way) I will henceforth be calling The Alba Party. Why? Because the next big step will be the Yes campaign, when I won't care who they are (Tories for Indy?) I will be supporting them wholeheartedly - when they have shown they are prpared to do the same.

  10. Now that the campaign for Holyrood is over, we should now be the Yes family again. Johnson cannot blame low turnout if and when a pro-Independence majority is elected.

    1. Do we have any early indications on turnout yet?

  11. Random question- news reports from the last few days make reference to politicians and activists ‘chapping doors’ and having ‘doorstep conversations’.
    I thought we (snp) were ‘not allowed’ to do this? Or was it a local party branch decision?