Saturday, May 1, 2021

May Day, May Day: Why it's become increasingly vital to vote SNP on the constituency ballot and Alba on the list

I must say as this campaign has worn on, I've become ever more convinced that I did the right thing by voting SNP on the constituency ballot and Alba on the list.  In a couple of recent polls, including the one commissioned by this blog, the SNP's constituency vote has dipped very slightly below the 46.5% they took in 2016 - when of course the pro-independence majority in parliament was fairly slim.  We simply cannot afford any more slippage.  People playing silly buggers on the constituency ballot by abstaining, or voting for a unionist party, or even by voting Green or Bonnie Prince Bob, are at risk of waking up the next day with a unionist majority.  I'm absolutely serious about that.  It has to be SNP on the constituency ballot.

But by the same token, I am becoming less convinced by the day that a re-elected SNP government will deliver an independence referendum unless an Alba group is there to pressurise them.  All the mood music points to more delays and excuses.  Now, to be clear, I have no idea whether there will be an Alba group - the opinion polls are contradictory.  Some say yes and some say no.  So you could argue it's a 'risk' to vote Alba, because it might return no seats.  But exactly the same risk applies to voting SNP on the list, and I would say the greater risk is not to at least attempt to change the political weather by electing politicians who actually have a sense of urgency about independence.  

As I said a couple of weeks ago, I loved the SNP Party Election Broadcast and thought it was truly inspiring.  ("And for that, we need to exercise our right to hold a referendum.  A vote for the SNP will show Westminster and the world that we cannot, we will not, be denied our right to decide.  As our country renews, we need to choose our own future, before somebody else chooses it for us.  Then we can take the first steps towards a new nation that's fair, a nation that cares.  Scotland's future is Scotland's choice, and nobody else's.")  But I want Alba there to remind them of that broadcast and hold them to it.  I have a horrible feeling that otherwise we could look back in 2026 and realise it was the equivalent of Nick Clegg practically signing in blood a promise to vote against any increase in tuition fees.


  1. greens 100% committee to indyref2

    1. Indeed they are. The only question mark is over which century they plan to hold it in.

  2. I agree with you, James. But the continued smearing, jeering and abuse from SNP supporters, activists and elected representatives makes it really really hard to give them the constituency vote. The knowledge that my vote will be taken as an endorsement of the appalling behaviour of the ruling clique in the "Get Salmond" saga and support for some bonkers social legislation is almost unbearable. Oh well, this time it has to be - but never again.

  3. The English blogsite Wings has been advocating a vote for English unionist parties on the constituency vote to deny the SNP some constituency seats / take out key SNP leadership figures in favour of unionists.

    Unionists really, really, really don't want an outright SNP majority, which should tell you all you need to know for filling out your ballot paper.

    1. I'm actually not clear what evidence there is that unionists are more worried about an SNP overall majority than about a supermajority. I deplore Wings' suggestions that a vote for unionist parties is fine in certain circumstances, but that's an entirely different point.

    2. Oh they fear a supermajority, but that's always been pie in the sky in terms of it actually happening. It also undermines things by making the result 'not represent scots'. Based on current polling, we are looking at a solid majority, which for me is much better.

      Unionists are playing the 'Well it only counts if the SNP win a majority' in part because they fear a solid to supermajority. So IMO, it's better that also happens.

      My personal preference is for an SNP majority of 1 (e.g. Joan McAlpine), a great day for the greens, and seats for Alba to give those voters a home, and dare I say it, some incentive to the SNP to deliver.

    3. "but that's always been pie in the sky in terms of it actually happening"

      In that case how do you explain the poll on Monday that showed pro-indy parties with 80 seats out of 129?

    4. A super majority usually means 66% not 60%. Plus talking about it a lot has the danger of the UK weaponising the term if we don't achieve it, much like the once in a generation chat.

      I am planning to vote for Alba on the 2nd vote but I don't like this phrasing

    5. He's more Scottish than you are from your 77th brigade headquarters.

      Why not remove murell? She loses her seat then she's replaces by the list candidate and Sarwar is getting elected either way. No party loses anything in terms of overall numbers.

      The woman is working against independence and has been her entire life.
      She was in charge of the Yes campaign in 2014.
      She is responsible for giving T May the, "now is not the time," soundbite.
      She is now telling everyone that only an SNP majority counts to legislate for independence or a referendum.
      She and her revolting husband stole £600,000 of ringfenced money and the SNP can't actually afford to fight a referendum.

      Nicola Murrell used her personal office and staff to try to put an innocent man in prison.

      Facts are facts. You spout nothing but lies.

    6. Supermajority is a unionist word and I don't like it for that reason, but...

      What % of votes for Yes / % Yes MSP constitutes a 'supermajority'?

      Salmond said 70% of MSPs (90/129) on ~50% of votes for Yes parties in the Alba launch.

      As things stand, we are looking at 52% of the vote for Yes parties on the PR list based on PoPs. That could give 60% of MSPs for Yes as you state. That's solid, but very far from Salmond's supermajority territory. We can be sure the unionist media will happily quote him on this; if Yes parties don't get 90/129, then 'Yes is a failure'.

      Of course it's not. All we need is Yes parties having a majority to democratically legislate for iref2.

      I'd love it that 60-70% vote for Yes parties, but that's not going to happen right now. So while 60% of MSPs being yes looks nice, if Yes voters are only 49.9%, then we'll lose. Again.

      Pressuring Westminster isn't needed as it's not their decision. What we need is most Scots wanting indy.

    7. Is that you advocating a vote for unionists there peejay?

      Why am I not surprised.

  4. James, BMG poll in the Herald on Sunday tomorrow. Yes/No 50% SNP may get majority.

  5. I feel utterly depressed about the election, having felt elated initially at the emergence of Alba. We had (still have) a chance to really change the landscape and push on independence which, imo, should have been done before Brexit - not necessarily a referendum itself but the ground work, preparations, campaign and legal work to ready us for it ASAP after Brexit. Instead the SNP went for all out on divisive policies and smears and campaigns against the strongest Yes campaigners. It feels like they just lied to us, dragging us over that Brexit line for the UK with no plan or intention of that changing.

    Had they accepted Alba, we could now be working towards and looking at a huge yes majority with those strong indy campaigners back in HR but instead their terrified, hostile, downright abusive reaction to it and those of their own supporters who welcomed it, confirms all my worst fears. If there is not a strong Alba grouping - and the media blackout plus SNP hostility could ensure that, as well as losing the SNP support itself - I now fear they will go along with the Tories stripping HR of powers and cementing the UK and Brexit in the same way they did with Brexit itself. We'll get some grievance for show but no action. The action, as it was in 2017-21 will all be against Yes supporters. I don't think I can bear living through that next 5 years if that's what happens.

    I will vote SNP on the constituency as my MSP seems OK, but it's not a vote I want to make and it will absolutely be the last if nothing is done towards independence and/or the focus post May is all about finishing the job on Alex, Joanna etc.