But if you want it, you have to vote for it, and you have to vote for it today. Tomorrow will be too late.
An SNP vote on the constituency ballot is absolutely essential. Ignore the siren voices making the logic-defying argument that "strategic" abstentions or votes for unionist candidates can by some convoluted roundabout manner assist the cause. Only a vote for the SNP can do the job on the constituency ballot, for two reasons. Due to the repeated recent history of failures by polling companies, you always have to consider the worst-case scenario, and the outlier ComRes poll painted a vivid picture of that yesterday: the SNP falling well short of an overall majority and the pro-independence parties vulnerable to losing their combined majority if there's any more slippage. By voting against the SNP on the constituency ballot (and that includes votes for the Greens or for Bonnie Prince Bob), you could tip the balance and produce a unionist majority in the next Scottish Parliament. The second reason is the popular vote: any mandate for independence or for an indyref will be either buttressed or undermined by the strength or weakness of the popular vote mandate - and it's much harder for pro-indy parties to win a majority on the constituency popular vote, simply because the Greens are much weaker on that ballot. So, again, if you vote for a unionist candidate, you could tip the balance and create a unionist majority on the popular vote - or increase that majority if it's already there.
A vote for the Alba Party on the regional list ballot is equally important - it greatly increases the chances that the SNP will actually use any mandate they win today. Someone said in the comments section of this blog the other day that the only reason we haven't had a second referendum so far is that Nicola Sturgeon thought we'd lose it, and she was just being sensible about the timing. I don't think that's true at all. I think the main reason was her unwillingness to face the UK government down and explore alternative avenues for seeking a mandate if a Section 30 order continued to be refused. She certainly gave every impression of being deadly serious about calling a referendum when she made that announcement in the spring of 2017. By all accounts it was quite a shock to SNP strategists when Theresa May came back with the "now is not the time" line - they thought the 2014 precedent guaranteed that a Section 30 order would be granted and that a referendum would go ahead in late 2018 or early 2019. In other words, we'd have had a referendum by now if the SNP hadn't accepted a "no" from Westminster. I'm afraid it's entirely possible we'll still be making that observation in 2026 if we don't do something today to change the dynamic.
Whenever I've reported a poll showing Alba on two seats, or three seats, or five seats, or eight seats, there have been snorts of derision from the "both votes SNP" brigade. "What do you think three Alba MSPs can possibly achieve?" they ask scornfully. Well, as those people are asking you to vote SNP on the list, and as there were only four SNP list MSPs in the last parliament, and as some polls in this campaign suggest the SNP might only win one or two list seats today, it's reasonable to turn that question on its head. What is it exactly that you think a handful of SNP list MSPs can achieve that a handful of Alba MSPs can't? When you look at it that way, it becomes obvious that a small Alba group of MSPs would be much more effective - they'll be independent actors who can pressurise the SNP government. By contrast, a small number of SNP list MSPs will, in a relative sense, be lobby fodder. (Although, let's be clear, that would still be infinitely preferable to unionists MSPs - if you can't bring yourself to vote for Alba for whatever reason, for heaven's sake get out there and vote for another pro-indy party.)
* * *
You can catch up with Episode 7 of the Scot Goes Popcast, in which I speak with the Alba Party's Chris McEleny, HERE.