When this is over, I'm going to pick apart the game Stuart Campbell has been playing over the last 18 months. When he suggested a Wings party, it was all about how ghastly it was that we had unionist MSPs on the list. It turns out he *wants* unionist MSPs in the constituencies.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 6, 2021
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.
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Catch up with Episode 7 of the Scot Goes Popcast, in which I speak with the Alba Party's Chris McEleny, HERE.
Posted by James Kelly at 12:10 PM