Sunday, May 9, 2021

Serious questions for the Electoral Commission tonight as inexplicable ruling appears to have robbed the Greens (and thus the pro-independence camp) of two seats they should have won

Pro-independence parties have won 72 of the 129 seats in the new Scottish Parliament, which is a very handsome majority.  However, it was agonisingly close to being even better - the Greens had two extremely near misses in Glasgow and South Scotland which could have brought the total to 74.  It's been brought to my attention that in both regions, a fringe party called "Independent Green Voice" won a strangely respectable vote share - it was 0.7% in Glasgow and 0.5% in the south.  They outpolled several parties that have had considerably more publicity, such as the Women's Equality Party, the Abolish the Scottish Parliament Party and UKIP.  That raises the obvious suspicion that many voters were confused by the name and thought they were voting for the Green party - and that if they had managed to cast their votes as intended, the Greens would have had enough votes to win the two extra seats.

Now, you might think "tough, the Green party don't have a monopoly on the word green".  But the problem is that Independent Green Voice are not a green party - they're a right-wing British nationalist party (including members with a far right background) using an environmentalist name to hoodwink voters.  In other words, this is exactly the sort of scenario that the Electoral Commission exists to prevent.

The Commission have become notorious in recent years for an overly fussy and officious approach, turning down perfectly reasonable choices of name, logo and slogan.  (The Alba Party, All For Unity and the Scottish Labour Party were all victims of that, as were Change UK a year ago.)  So their relaxed attitude to this subversion of democracy seems inexplicable and indefensible.  There's already plenty of anecdotal evidence that people did vote for Independent Green Voice by mistake, as can be seen from several replies to my tweet on the subject -
On a different subject, it strikes me that the SNP's controversial 'reserved places' system has had two very unfortunate effects. Most obviously, it's cost Joan McAlpine her seat in the south, but it also means Tom Wills will not be an MSP in the Highlands & Islands. Having come so close to winning the Shetland constituency seat, there would have been a golden opportunity to function as a sort of shadow MSP for Shetland over the next five years, and by the time the next election came around he might have seemed like as much of an incumbent as the Lib Dems' Beatrice Wishart. Perhaps the Lib Dems' decades-long stranglehold on the Northern Isles would have finally been broken. The SNP have really missed a trick there.

26 comments:

  1. I shared the following on Facebook before the election, it really is shocking how they got away with it (they appeared higher up on the ballot paper as well )
    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1700437133477092&id=266256040228549

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is there anyway that the votes could be reallocated to the Scottish Greens?

    ReplyDelete
  3. As I scanned down the long list of parties in the NE regional paper I nearly put an X beside IGV as I saw 'Green' for the first time. I didn't though,and the fact it was Maggie Chapman standing for the Greens in the NE helped me choose correctly.

    On a different tack, for those that will no doubt be bemoaning the number of 'wasted' SNP list votes. Indy supporting parties gained 10 list MSPs, more than enough for a comfortable Indy supporting majority in Holyrood. If tactical voting had somehow produced 20 list MSPs would we be in any better a position this morning? We'd still have done it with 51% of the list vote and the MSM story would be all about how the list votes had been 'gamed'.

    What we need is to increase the support for Independence to reduce the vote for the Unionist parties and more importantly win the referendum that I hope we see before the next Hollywood election.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not easy to do when Nicola Sturgeon has no answer to Andrew Marr's statement that 'England subsidises Scotland', and she maintains we will continue to use the £.

      Delete
    2. Yes it would be better, 10 more pro-indy voices and ten less interchangable BritNats and all the funding that goes with it.

      Delete
  4. "If tactical voting had somehow produced 20 list MSPs would we be in any better a position this morning?"

    Yes, It would have been much *much* harder for unionists to punt the lines, as they are now energetically doing, that the majority isn't real.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you really believe that if yesterday had produced say 2 SNP (all you could realistically expect), 12 Green and 6 Alba list MSPs by tactical voting alone, so still having 51% of the list vote,that unionists wouldn't be crying foul?

      With the constitution so high up the agenda the ONLY way of ensuring a majority of MSPs that can't be challenged is by having a majority of the electorate vote for them. As it turns out we have more independence supporting MSPs than the 48/51% of the vote would warrant. If the unionists want to try to claim that isn't a majority then tough titty, in all practical terms it's going to exist for the term of this Holyrood parliment no matter how loudly they shout.

      Delete
  5. Does anyone have a link to a full national vote shares breakdown, including all the teeny parties? One normally is on wiki covering most, but not so far. There was at least one other pro-indy party in the form of Restore Scotland which got votes.

    As for the list... Aye, while the wife voted SNP, she did comment that she had to scan through an enormous ballot to find them, so I can see folk in a hurry getting misled by 'Independent Green Vote'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Founded by a former SNP MSP: Scotia Future, perhaps the weest free of them all, stood in South of Scotland at least. They got less than 10 votes in the seats I was looking at.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotia_Future

      Delete
  6. Brits on the Electoral Commission did this deliberately to hit the Green vote

    ReplyDelete
  7. I also noticed them and the fact that they appeared higher up on the ballot paper. It did make me stop and look more carefully, and I suspect that the vast majority of the votes that they received were intended for the Scottish Greens. Pretty disgusting really, and something the Electoral Commission really should take a look at.

    ReplyDelete
  8. ‘ The SNP have really missed a trick there’

    The Independence cause missed a trick, the SNP leadership got exactly the type of MSP they wanted

    Tom would have made a great MSP &, as you point out this is the best way to get a toe in the door with the Northern Isles ...on the other hand...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I noticed that name on the list paper in NE Scotland... Guessed it was a scam attempt. Shame the Electoral Commission is so unwilling to step in at this chicanery. Is it scared of antagonising the right-wing because of Tory threats to get rid of it?

    ReplyDelete
  10. https://www.thenational.scot/news/19289608.michael-gove-says-westminster-wont-take-scottish-government-court-indyref2/

    Michael Gove says Westminster won't take Scottish Government to court over indyref2

    ReplyDelete
  11. Do you remember the time, a good few years ago, when some joker registered himself as a "Literal Democrat" for a general election? It was somewhere in England, possibly Devon.

    He did no canvassing or leafleting, but he got a substantial number of votes. His surname, alphabetically, put him higher up the ballot than the actual LibDem candidate. The result was that the LibDems lost the seat to the Tories. The margin of the Tory victory was substantially smaller than the number of votes polled for the "Literal Democrat".

    The LibDems mounted some sort of legal challenge but were unsuccessful. So the EC has form on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  12. If the SNP refuses to act upon this latest mandate for independence they will be correctly seen as traitors to Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suggest you learn something of the real world, and a good start would be to look at what constitutes ‘treason’ in most countries on the planet.
      Serious debate is obviously too advanced for you… jist sayin’

      Delete
  13. It jogged my memory back to the 1994 European elections when a candidate calling his party "Literal Democratic Party" polled over 10,000 votes and denied the LD from winning the Devon seat. The Tory majority was about 700. One thing that trick did was to have that practice outlawed. In came the Registration of Political Parties Act 1998, which outlawed the use of names in elections designed to cause confusion with more established parties. The Greens would have a case unless this piece of legislation has not been superseded by Electoral Commission legislation.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also in the 1995 Perth by-election a chap, Michael Halford stood as the Scottish Conservatory & Unionist and gathered 88 votes.

      Delete
  15. Michael Gove is saying the Brit parties won a majority of the 2021 HR popular vote - has anyone got the actual figures?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He means on the constituency vote. Pro-independence parties won a majority on the all-important #PeachVote.

      Delete
  16. There were only three main parties contesting the election, the greens the SNP and the English nationalist parties trying and managing to rig the votes for the constituencys.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes it is odd how the electoral commission stopped ALBA having their logo on election forms but did nothing to stop a political party naming their party almost the same as another party.

    When it comes to anything british substitute english and you will be better prepared to think about accountability , the fact is we have seen the prime minister tell lies and half his cabinet too we have also seen the BBC tell lies then STV and SKY and the radio stations repeat their lies , we also see newspapers telling lies regularly , we in Scotland have been colonised we cannot trust any agencies that take orders from westminster or are connected to westminster by business , so that includes the electoral commission and it includes pollsters.Time after time we see this endemic british corruption as they treat Scotland as if it is part of england.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is a good thing. It means for the next ref we won't use the electoral commission again. Not to be trusted.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have opined for years that we are the last dominion of the British Empire and they “the English “ will not let us go easily. Like others before us we must take independence as our birthright and separate from our neighbours while continuing to support each other in common interests Scotland aye.

    ReplyDelete