Thursday, May 6, 2021

If you're voting Alba on the list today (and you should!), that means you support independence and should also be voting SNP on the constituency ballot WHEREVER you live

You know, it would have been really lovely to think that all of us bloggers supporting Alba on the list would be pulling in the same direction today of all days, the most crucial election day since September 2014.  But Stuart Campbell has made that impossible with the stupidest, most irresponsible blogpost in the history of the independence movement.  He has chosen pollling day - polling day - to issue a recommendation to his readers to vote for unionist parties on the constituency ballot in no fewer than TWELVE specific seats.  Either the man is on drugs or he's ceased to be an independence supporter.

The point he's making is that if unionist parties win those seats, it's slightly more likely that Alba will win a list seat in the corresponding electoral region.  And in the literal sense that's true.  It's a point I've made myself - the advice Alba have put on their leaflets to vote SNP on the constituency ballot is self-sacrificing advice.  Because here's the thing: Alba's purpose is not to maximise Alba representation, it's to maximise pro-independence representation.  Six Alba seats in an indy-majority parliament achieves something.  Ten Alba seats in a unionist-majority parliament achieves absolutely nothing.

If the SNP perform exceptionally well in the constituencies in any region, what it effectively does is crowd out all of the other parties and makes fewer seats available for them than their share of the list vote would otherwise justify.  Alba would suffer from that a bit, but the unionist parties would suffer from it a lot.  The latter point is far more important than the former.

If for some reason your objective is to have Alba MSPs in a unionist parliament, that means you have an agenda which is unrelated to independence.  Which all adds up, because it's hard to escape the impression that Stuart's first love these days is the trans issue.  But Alba itself is about independence - first, last and always.

No matter where you live, I strongly recommend that you vote SNP on the constituency ballot, and Alba on the regional list ballot.  You can read my reasons for supporting Alba HERE.

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UPDATE: This line from Stuart's piece warrants closer attention - "Glasgow Southside, where a surprise win for Anas Sarwar would be all but guaranteed to be balanced with an SNP list seat..."  That is an astonishingly brazen line of argument from someone who based the whole case for a Wings Party on the claim that it was practically impossible for the SNP to win list seats anywhere.  If the SNP lose Glasgow Southside (which they won't, by the way), they would still have eight constituency seats out of nine in Glasgow and it would be a tall order for them to win even a single list seat in the city.  It's possible they'd manage it, but "all but guaranteed" is breathtakingly dishonest.

*  *  *

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


  1. An Edinburgh West voter here who just disappointed Stu, myself then…

    That one was the *easy* ballot!

  2. Christine Grahame, Joan etc just got my vote here.

    Now in the flat cat gallery in lauder for lunch.

    Shocked to discover they have a single mixed sex loo. Dangerous country this SNP scotland.

    1. It is dangerous have you see the queue outside a ladies loo when the pub is busy :-)

  3. Much as I dislike the prospect of voting for Angus Robertson, if it prevents the odious Graham Campbell getting in on the list it will be (just) worth it.

    1. The greens have made Edinburgh central a lot harder to win as by sitting with no chance to win it they risk splitting the pro-indy vote.

    2. The SNP only have 6 of 9 seats in Lothian now, yet still got no list seats in 2016. There isn’t actually any good reason to suspect that would change if Robertson failed to take the seat, as it’s Tory already and the SNP’s list polling is below what it was in 2016.

    3. If the is the real RevStu, you certainly have some gall to show up here and support unionist candidates. Time to change you blog to Shite about Scotland.

    4. Stu's blog is the greatest. He spotted Sturgeon was a phoney years ago

    5. Campbell lied, telling everyone to believe the Tories in that Sturgeon had broken the ministerial code on multiple counts and should resign.

      It was kinda obvious to me and others this didn't seem to be true from reading the evidence, and was just a right-wing unionist ploy organised from the south of England.

      My independent expert fellow Irishman confirmed this.

    6. Nicola Murrell did break the Ministerial code on multiple counts and should have resigned.
      She has no shame. No concept of honour. Not a hint of basic humanity. Just a cold, calculating narcissist who'd kill her own Granny for power

  4. James
    many thanks for all of your time and for your advice. I continue to take it seriously, so I don't want you to be upset that I haven't followed it.
    I actually take my guide from your oft-repeated note that the regional list vote is for the party that the voter would like to be in government, and then I add a pinch of salt.

    1. "that the regional list vote is for the party that the voter would like to be in government"

      Or in this case simply for their first-choice party, because not every party is seeking to be part of the government, and that's fine.

  5. “He has chosen pollling day - polling day - to issue a recommendation to his readers to vote for unionist parties on the constituency ballot in no fewer than TWELVE specific seats.”

    That’s a complete lie.

    1. Actual quote from the article (emphasis added):

      “The ONLY place we actively encourage a tactical vote for a Unionist candidate is Glasgow Southside”

      Don’t worry, I won’t hold my breath for the apology.

    2. You cant advocate a vote for unionism then 'wash your hands of the responsibility for that'. Each vote for a unionist candidate reduces the share of votes for yes and weakens the mandate for iref2.

    3. You're not going to get an apology, but you're certainly going to get a demand for an apology *to me*. You have told people they "can't afford to vote SNP" in several constituencies. In most of those constituencies, the SNP are the only pro-independence party standing. How precisely are people supposed to vote against the SNP without voting for a unionist party?

      Take your time.

    4. A handful is a few more than one.

      'There are even a small handful of seats where there’s a legitimate argument for indy supporters voting for Unionist parties.'

    5. You cant advocate a vote for unionism then 'wash your hands of the responsibility for that'. Each vote for a unionist candidate reduces the share of votes for yes

      That not what the SNP told me:

      "If there is a majority in the Scottish Parliament after the forthcoming election for this
      bill there can be no democratic justification whatsoever for any Westminster
      government to seek to block a post-pandemic referendum"

      Are you now saying that they are lying at a certain number of votes are required for this mandate?

    6. Hi Adam. You are just being silly now. It's getting kinda pathetic.

      Obviously the SNP were not lying as the passing of laws doesn't require any manifesto electoral mandate whatsoever; just a majority of MSPs backing the law. We've had a range of covid laws passed for example; no party had any mention of them in 2016 manifestos. Still the law of the land legally.

      However, it is quite obvious that if someone doesn't vote for a party, but votes for the opposition, then both the prospect of said party being able to pass said law - and their ability to justify that to the public - is diminished. Their 'mandate' if you like.

      Of course if Yes parties get only 45% of the vote but a narrow majority of MSPs, they could still press ahead legally in the face of unionist opposition. But the media will use that 45% to hound them with 'It's not what people want!' and I imagine it will make the opposition more bold in attempting legal challenges than if Yes parties got >50%. Let's not be pathetic and pretend otherwise.

      So no lies from me or the SNP. Just from those trying to disagree with this point. As usual.

    7. What the media says is immaterial, the media does not make the laws. As you say all that needs is a majority of one and the law passes. The UK Gov could challenge it if it wanted to.

    8. and i never said the SNP were lying, I agree with the SNP that a simple majority of MSP's voting for a second referendum is enough. You were the one saying that vote share mattered.

    9. All you need to know about Skier. He loves Nicolas, he's both votes SNP, he lives in the south of Scotland, he hates Rev Stu, he has a French wife, he has an Irish passport. You don't need to read any of his posts again as they all say one or more of these facts every day. It's Skier bingot!

    10. Are you saying vote share doesn't matter in elections? That's bold.

      How about referendums?

      I think it matters in both, both legally and 'morally/democratically'.

      Are you for example arguing the Scottish government should be able to pass a UDI law based on 45% of the vote simply because they could do so legally due to force of MSP numbers? I'm not sure that's a good idea at all; even the UK government got the electorate's thumbs up for brexit when it legally didn't need it.

      What about cancelling democracy and making the country a one party state? Is that ok on 45% of the vote but a majority of MSPs?

      Personally, I do think getting as many votes for Yes parties as possible helps Yes. Only a prize idiot would suggest that Yes parties getting less votes could help push indy forward.

      Or someone who doesn't support indy at all.

    11. Vote for independence - vote unionist!

      Methinks some folks are loosing the plot when this is what they are reduced to.

    12. Come on folks, if you want independence, vote for a unionist party! It's logical! Vote shares for pro-indy parties don't matter!

      This really is really desperate stuff.

    13. I think it matters in both, both legally

      Your just talking nonsense now. A all a law needs to pass is a majority of MSP's to vote for it, whether those MPS represent 40% 50% or 60% of the electorate does not matter. Technically a law can pass if only one MSP votes for it (as long as every other MSP abstains). If the law then get challenged it would go to the courts were it would be decided if it is 'legal' or not, again vote share would not matter.

      I'm with the SNP fully on this, a simple majority of MSPs supporting independence is enough for a referendum to go ahead. You seem to agreeing with the unionist that pro union MSPs would have no mandate for a second referendum unless they had >50% of the vote share.

    14. LOL. Oh dear. You are just repeating me now. This really is desperate stuff.

      ME:" the passing of laws doesn't require any manifesto electoral mandate whatsoever; just a majority of MSPs backing the law."

      YOU: A all a law needs to pass is a majority of MSP's to vote for it

      Which means you are either just thick or deliberately lying when you then say:

      You seem to agreeing with the unionist that pro union MSPs would have no mandate for a second referendum unless they had >50% of the vote share.

      That or you struggle when it comes to reading.

      You really do yourself no favours with this sort of weak, desperate distraction stuff.

      The discussion is about voting in election. I stand by my original comments that votes count here. :-) Folk trying to argue before an election that votes don't matter to the outcome is just comical. Tell that to folks doing the counting tonight.

      Once the voting / counting is done it ceases to matter and only MSP numbers do for laws, but right now it counts for everything.

      As the old adage goes 'every vote counts'.

      As for 'Voting for unionist parties who are against independence will help secure independence' as per English blogs. If this is what unionism is reduced to, then indy is just around the corner.

      Can't help but feel that Yes is going to have a good night.

    15. Erm your the one that said national vote share matters
      "I think it matters in both, both legally and 'morally/democratically'."

      I'm simply pointing out that many unionists will agree with you on this matter.

    16. It's an election. Of course vote shares matter. Yes and No parties both think that vote shares matter. The SNP message is 'SNP 1 + 2', not 'Och it disnae matter fir indy, just vote fir the Tories if ye fancy'.

      After the election, only MSPs matter for laws. But that is only after the election, not now.

      However, I am happy to say I would not agree to e.g. UDI from parties who only got 45% of the vote, even if that was boldly in manifestos. That is democratically questionable and is only likely to end up in a bad start to indy / legal challenges etc. That or the next election seeing a messy reversal as the public angrily hit back. It might be legal, but morally / democratically questionable.

      But I recognize that for the run of the mill domestic legislation, this might apply sometimes, even with PR, as 'absolute' PR is not really practical. There will always be cut offs / thresholds etc that mean some votes will be elimated and not count towards final seats.

      So some laws may pass on e.g. 45%, but then these can be later reversed quite readily by new governments. Indy is a bit more difficult to reverse; it would not even be Scotland's choice alone to do so!

      For an iref2 bill there is very obviously no moral or democratic issue because the bill changes nothing constitutionally. Only the government acting on it changes anything, and it should only be doing so with a majority share of the vote in said referendum. Hence you make no sense. I've never said >50% Yes is needed for a vote, either legally or 'morally'. For clarity, it very obviously isn't.

      Voting is a simple and painless procedure. In a democracy, free and fair voting can never be morally wrong. This could not be more obvious.

      Many unionists will of course argue that there is a moral / democratic argument against voting where one doesn't exist because they can't help but lie and mislead. That and they hate democracy.

      Hence me being clear:

      But the [unionist] media will use that 45% to hound them with 'It's not what people want!' and I imagine it will make the opposition more bold in attempting legal challenges than if Yes parties got >50%.

      Which I don't think anyone can argue against.

      Anyway, this is the sort of silly, cyclic argument that will be more frequent if Yes parties don't get >50% of the vote, as unionists desperately try to distract. Hence unionists (including pretend indy supporters) trying to get Yes voters to vote for unionist parties.

      Anyway, I think my position is clear enough. Enjoy your evening.

    17. Oh, a simple way of putting it is that a referendum can never be 'forced on an unwilling population' as voting is not a legal requirement. So if folks are 'sick of hearing about referendums' they can just turn of the radio and not bother voting on the day. They don't have to get involved at all.

      It's different from other laws which we don't have the choice to respect.

    18. You're still insane. A genuine Yoon pretending to be Yes.

  6. It is not a lie. It is the meaning James takes from your post. It is the same meaning I take from your post. Your journey appears to be complete.

  7. It is not a lie. It is the meaning James takes from your post. It is the same meaning I take from your post. Your journey appears to be complete.

  8. Have to agree, just because tactical voting is risky anyway, and there's a point at which it becomes so convoluted it just increases the risks too much. SNP1 / Alba 2 is a simple message and would have maximum benefit.

    That said, the SNP has made that simple message massively harder by going along with the smears, abuse and blackout of Alba. Had there been a co-ordinated pro-independence campaign where SNP activists were giving the tacit nod to second vote Alba while Alba were (as they were and are) actively out campaigning for SNP 1, a massive pro indy majority would have been a certainty. The Rev and others have very good reasons for having serious reservations about the SNP under its current leadership and many genuinely fear an SNP-Green majority for the next 5 years. So the idea of going out and actively voting for that to happen, if you believe (as SNP activists have been crowing and gloating about) that Alba may not get any or many seats is a step too far for some. I'll vote SNP 1, largely because my MSP is a decent guy, but I don't blame people who can't do that, under the circumstances. All of those circumstances are of the SNP's own making, including their bizarre and frankly idiotic actions over the past few weeks towards Alba and its supporters.

  9. My driver is to maximise the Independence Campaign effort.
    If the SNP have a majority alone or with the Greens then GRA will be the priority NOT Independence.

    I voted SNP/ALBA because the SNP candidate is not woke. If I lived in Glasgow Southside it would have been impossible to vote SNP.
    Sturgeon has to receive some form of feedback that Women reject her madness. For that reason I support the Wings logic of maximising the ALBA vote and sending Sturgeon a message in select constituencies.

  10. Just back from voting , absolutely baltic out there , SNP both votes , my son a first time voter also SNP both votes ( we're in South Scotland region), which ever way you vote wrap up well but get oot n vote .

  11. French Mrs SS voted SNP X 2. She didn't take kindly to mansplainers telling her what was best for women here, especially those who don't want to actually live in Scotland.

    She used the 'mixed sex' (Including for disabled) loo in the 'dangerous and evil' flat cat gallery in Lauder too today. Survived unscathed.

  12. I'm always wary when I read posts saying a friend or relative has suddenly changed political loyalty so I take no offence if anyone reading this is wary of what I'm about to say.

    My aged mother [89] nearly made me crash the car as we drove to the polling station this morning. She has been a life-long tory voter, and I mean a TORY voter in capital letters, no matter that she's hardly had any money during her hard-slog life. She declared she was going to vote SNPx2.

    Car-crash avoided, imagine my dilemma, dear reader, as we eventually approached the car park: Yes, great news that the tories were not going to get her vote, but, in the short time available, do I try and persuade her to vote Alba in the List? Would my rapid explanations of d'Hondt, or of tactics, or the fact I don't believe Nicol Sturgeon actually wants independence blow her mind and return her to a tory-voting vegetable state?

    Dear reader, for better or worse, I decided to quit while ahead and stayed shtoom.

    Nivver mind ma mum this election is sairous daein ma heid in.

    1. Quite right, I'd have done exactly the same. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

    2. A wee bit short notice, be glad of the change!

      Personally, I've never tried to persuade someone to vote a particular way. However, I do spend time talking to people when they are interested and telling them why I vote the way I do. I hope they take that on board and it maybe helps lean them towards Yes.

      I've a pretty good record here, as counted by people at a later date coming back and saying they had voted for Yes/Yes parties in party after what I'd said to them, even if that had simply made them think more / do research.

      As noted on an earlier thread, I have helped added a few more SNP and Alba* voters by this approach, including some new scots voting for the first time.

      It's why I've taken umbrage at times with people wanting to try and 'nick votes off each other' with misleading tactical stuff. Votes should be earned and is is people moving to Yes parties and adding to the pile that will take us to independence, not Yes parties scrabbling over the same votes.


      *When they said they planned SNP-Alba I didn't try to tell them SNP-SNP even though that's my preference, I was just very pleased they'd opted for indy parties after all the chat's we'd had. They used to worry greatly about visas, their citizenship, the EU, job prospects etc after all.

    3. I would totally have just welcomed her vote and said nothing in that case too. The reason Alba is a workable proposition now, when it absolutely wouldn't have been in 2011 (and would have been risk in 2016) is that so many people are now voting SNP, if everyone voted SNP1 and 2 it would just, as with 2016, lead to a massive waste of votes and a parliament completely balanced with unionists. But we do still need some SNP1 & SNP2 voters in case those list votes are needed. And every new voter is one more to the tally of both. Absolutely no need to confuse those new voters with Alba.

      A lot of my FB friends who are solidly SNP1 & 2 or SNP1 / Green 2 are the kind of people who, during the referendum, didn't even want to talk politics and were horrified by the idea of indy. They came around and are now SNP voters, having been life long Labour or whatever. I don't see Alba as particularly being aimed at them. If they like the idea, fine; if not, they are now the core voters who'll get the SNP over the line and that's fine too.

      It's the supposedly strong pro indy folk (esp within the SNP) who are parroting unionist nonsense and smears about Alba who really bother me most. I just don't get them.

  13. Got to poll station in Paisley there and it is being evacuated due to a suspicious parcel

  14. Like nicola like alec for me easy snp and alba sod the argument I want independence

  15. I spent a good wee while in the booth and in the end votes SNP on both. Turnout in my polling station appears to be about 10-15% higher than 2016. That does not include the postal votes. Good sign in my area.

    1. Terrible sign. Postal votes means electoral fraud. Always and everywhere.

  16. I've said it here before and I will say it again, Let's Not pretend that Stu Campbell is still indy minded, with a vengeful twist:

    The truth is, and I instinctively feel and believe this is the truth, is that Stu Campbell is a mole, he's working for the British state, and he has his orders to reel in support then try and manipulate this following.

    So many have disassociated themselves from him, but a hard core remain loyal to him. I think he was 'Either' always a plant in the first place, or they got to him (remember after his brief stint in a jail cell this is almost exactly when the sneaky Stu appeared), like another character emerged...

    Nobody should trust Stu Campbell, he's Not putting Scottish independence first, he's now actively urging people to vote for Unionists, quoting unionist MPs and in bed with ultra Unionist magazines like the Spectator
    Waken up remaining wings followers and don't be sucked in by his deceit

    1. None of that is even remotely true.
      He's advocating removing the cancer at the heart of Scottish politics by removing nicola murrell at no cost to the Yes majority since anus will be elected either way.
      If you want a Yoon mole then look closer to home. Maybe a politician who led a party to 56 out of 59 MPs and an absolute majority of the vote for Yes parties and did nothing apart from grovel to london.

    2. Stu posting as PeeJay.

      The plot to get rid of Nicola before the election failed, so suck it up.

  17. The rev has turned into some glass-eyed QAnon fuck-wit. It's incredible to watch. Like many, having contributed monies over the years, with no short measure of gratitude and appreciation [I did LOVE it when he surgically took apart unionist hypocrisy] it's almost as if he's committed to writing himself out of the story of independence.

    He's telling respected YES writers to 'fuck off'. Independence can also, apparently, 'fuck off'. He is surrounded by almost bewildered unionist acolytes who can scarcely believe what is happening, and they are revelling in it, like Gremlins who've just suddenly been gifted access to the family swimming pool.

    Spoil your first vote is fair game. Vote for unionist parties on the first, all good.

    It's fucking tragic, and he'll never, ever be regarded - nor forgiven - for behaviour which is nigh on psychotic. Even now, hours after the polls have closed - he's busy engaged on the gender issue with Plaid Cymru supporters.

    Beyond bizarre.

    1. In August 2014, Wings published 94 blogs, every single one of which tore the unionists and unionist journalists to pieces. I recently had occasion to go back through Wings posts, but I stopped at 100, because only four of the posts were anti-unionist, and the other 96 were anti-SNP.

      Like you, I have no idea what caused Campbell to turn his bile away from unionists and on to the SNP, but he's now every bit as poisonous towards the Indy cause as any of the unionist journos like Stephen Daisley and his ilk.