Friday, December 3, 2021

Massive 21% increase in vote share for pro-independence parties in the Fort William & Ardnamurchan by-election

So I'm quite excited to be able to report on a local by-election result from a ward I spent a couple of nights in during the summer, although it's so geographically enormous that probably quite a lot of us have been there recently! While the Westminster village was preoccupied with a routine Tory hold in Sir Edward Heath's former constituency, for Scottish politics-watchers yesterday was all about Fort William & Ardnamurchan.

Fort William & Ardnamurchan by-election result (2nd December 2021):

SNP: 39.6% (+6.7)
Conservatives: 21.2% (+8.5) 
Greens: 14.3% (+14.3) 
Liberal Democrats: 10.1% (+5.5) 
Independent - McKenna: 8.5% (+8.5) 
Independent - Matheson: 3.8% (-0.5) 
Independent - Drayton: 2.4% (+2.4)

Almost every time I report on an STV by-election result, I have to explain that things are not quite as they seem - the result might be billed as a "hold" for a party that has jumped from second place to first in the popular vote, or as a "gain" for a party that has merely remained in first place in the popular vote.  Our old friend Mike Smithson was left red-faced after misunderstanding that point on one celebrated occasion - and he's a renowned letter-writing totally objective Liberal Democrat election expert, so it's very easily done.

Fort William & Ardnamurchan is a particularly complicated example, though, because yesterday's result is technically an SNP gain from the Conservatives - in spite of the fact that a) neither party topped the poll last time around (an independent candidate did), b) the SNP were well ahead of the Tories last time around, and c) there was actually a small swing from SNP to Tory yesterday.

The percentage increases that all of the parties enjoyed can be mostly explained by a large number of votes that went to the victorious independent candidate in 2017 being up for grabs this time, and splitting multiple ways.  That said, the SNP are still entitled to regard their own increase as impressive, if only because it was achieved in spite of a Green intervention - in other words they didn't face competition for the pro-indy vote in 2017, but this time there was competition and it was remarkably stiff.  The combined vote share for the pro-indy parties is actually a whopping 21 points higher than it was four years ago.


  1. Ostensibly, the 2 'unionist' parties are up 14%. So everyone's a winner? At the expense of the various independent candidates, overall. So which way do the independents swing on independence? This time and last time round?

    1. The unionists aren't up by anything like that much, because Labour stood in 2017 but sat it out this time.

    2. Tories up 8.5% plus Lib Dems up 5.5% = Unionists up 14%. What am I missing here ?

    3. You're missing the very straightforward explanation I've just given. Hope this helps.

  2. It's always good to see more people voting for ostensibly Scottish independence supporting parties rather than Britnat parties or Britnat independent candidates.

    Now what about the WGD numpty take on this council vote?

    1. We know numpties say Alba is irrelevant.

    2. We know numpties say Alba is the cause of all the problems.

    3. We know numpties say Alba splits the vote when they stand in elections and should not stand for election.

    4. We know numpties delight in saying Alba only gets a tiny vote ( how that splits a vote as per 3. above - answers on a postcard please).

    4. Now the numpties are slagging off Alba for not standing in elections.

    5. Numpties like reading SGP polls and find them very valuable but are taking great delight in James not reaching his target.

    Whit - do you numpties now want them to both stand and not stand in elections.

    We have had Schrodingers Sturgeon and Schrodingers Murrell in the past but we now have Schrodingers numpties. They hate Alba so much numpty heads are all over the place.
    But why do they hate Alba so much? There are other parties who claim to support Scottish independence and they do not get this treatment. Call a doctor someone the numpties need help.

    The type of thinking I have outlined above is a direct result of them having to try to rationalise what Sturgeon has been doing. For example you have Malkie at the end of a post on this council election, in which Alba were not involved, saying: " Alex was my hero for 33 years, but he has ruined himself. "

    1. Have these things actually been said over the last 36 hours, or are you satirising them? Specifically, have they been referring to my fundraiser? If so, the mind boggles. I've taken a break from promoting it, but they can rest assured I'll go back to it at some point, and there's no particular reason why we won't reach the target - it's around two-thirds of the way there already.

    2. James, I have reviewed that post particularly since I am now being attacked as misrepresenting the numpties and comment as follows:

      Yes they actually criticised ( and that's a pleasant way of describing it) Alba for not standing in this council election. So in general they have no logical consistency they just want to find anything to rubbish Alba and it's members. This is nothing new as a general point but the comments on Alba not standing candidates is new.

      To be fair comment 5. "taking great delight" is probably too much but it is mentioned by yesindyref2yesplease Nicola that it is all my fault that your fundraiser has not met its target. I am a problem that needs dealt with says Indyref2yespleasenicola.

      He says: " Anyways Wormtongue is being very successful in its fell and dirty work and the nett result is that James's fundraiser from October is only 2/3rdsof its target, whereas before it got support from WGD and those who read it. And that means - no opinion polls.... "
      Numpties cannae bring themselves to say Independence For Scotland so they make up things like Wormtongue.

      Indyref2yespleasenicola claims now be a supporter of you but strangely never posted a word when fellow numpties specifically attacked you or Alba. Perhaps he was in a coma all that time. He now claims to be a fan of your work and I am the bad yin. He tells me to FOAD.

      As you can see btl on the previous article I have challenged him to post on WGD that he has financially supported your fundraiser if he is such a big fan. I now challenge him to urge WGD readers to contribute to it. Perhaps something positive will come out of this.

    3. Well Indyref2yespleasenicola in his new post says you are too trusting and I am some sort of enemy agent who probably doesn't even have a vote in Scotland. Same old crap from the numpties. Mad liar Skier has found his true home there. They don't like the truth numpties so their default is you are a unionist. He says he hopes WGD will put up your fundraiser on his site. Odds on that happening anyone?

      What he doesn't do is say if he had already contributed.

      What he doesn't do is ask all the other WGD numpties directly to contribute.

    4. Oh and a change from the theme that I am a Unionist WGD numpty Hamish100 speculates I may be a failed SNP candidate instead. I can also refute that suggestion. Never stood for any party position. PS numpties I am not a member of Alba either but I do plan to vote for them.

      The trouble with these numpties is that their conditioned mindset does not allow them to be able to accept that you can be a lifelong independence supporter and NOW think the SNP leadership are a sham. So they must find some other reason. Just like even when Sturgeon stated on TV that a lot of the Alphabet women were her friends they still blame Salmond.

      The numpties do not even have the capacity to ask themselves if they were indeed her friends did they never tell each other before about Salmonds supposed misdeeds. Remember Sturgeon always claimed she knew nothing about these supposed incidents and never previously admitted any of them were her friends.

      The mad liar Skier used to say I was a Unionist when I stated they were friends of Sturgeon but Sturgeon herself said so on National TV.

    5. Has Indyref2yespleasenicola said he has contributed to the SGP fundraiser - NO

      Has Indyref2yespleasenicola asked other WGD numpties to directly contribute to the SGP fundraiser - NO.

      He has said it is time for healing. Unfortunately Hamish100, mad liar Skier and nasty numpty Dr Jim don't seem to agree. Another pile on against Alba.

      Here is a taster of it from DrJim: " If an entity claims to be a political party with a positive or even negative agenda then standing for office is what you do in order to offer your prospectus before the electorate, if you choose not to do that then you are no different to any other opposition who behaves in the same way, like the BBC or other TV media or Scotland in Union, or These Islands, of Better Together or George Galloway and the list goes on of unaccountable to the public hostile bodies."

      There you are James the party you are on the NEC for is no better than Scotland in Union or These Islands. All because Alba didn't stand in a council by election. These people think they are making rational comments. Anyone wonder why I call them numpties. So I say to Indyref2yespleasenicola heal your own house nutters.

      There is hope though as nasty numpty Dr Jim says he " will say no more on the subject. Personally I can't see that lasting.

    6. If Dr Jim is really so devastated Alba didn't stand in a council by-election, I've got GREAT news for him: Alba will be standing in many wards across the country in the local elections in May.

      Somehow I don't think that will make Dr Jim any happier, though.

  3. So did the SNP + Greens get 53.9% of the vote - even if it was a reduced turnout with it being a local by-election

    That's definitely reason for celebration

    Also the STV means the greens votes would never be wasted right? As long as they gave a preference to the SNP in their numbering

  4. Ex Lord Advocate Wolfe and ex member of the Scotgov apologised for the malicious prosecution of the Rangers administrators but said there was no malice involved. Whit - well why did you apologise then Ya Numpty. Nobody has been held accountable for any of the disgraceful going ons at COPFS. In Sturgeons Scotland no one is held accountable for anything. Massive sums of public money thrown away.

    In what world does it seem right to have Wolfe's wife who is a judge preside over a court case taken out for compensation by the Rangers administrators against Wolfe and his COPFS malicious prosecution. This happens in Sturgeons Scotland.

    It's about time Wolfe apologised for other malicious prosecutions and miss out there was no malice in the malicious prosecution nonsense in the apology.

    1. Clarification to the above post. On reading it back I should make it clear that Lady Wolfe did not think to recuse herself from the judging the case but was quietly removed from it at the last minute.

      Wouldn't want a numpty accusing me of misrepresenting something. They of course post all their utter pish all they want on WGD as long as it does not criticise Sturgeon and her gang.