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.