Just a quick note to let you know that I have an analysis piece in today's edition of The National about the local election results and what they tell us about the future of Scottish politics. You can read it HERE.
Thursday, May 5, 2022
Why you should give a ranking to all (or almost all) of the candidates in today's election: text version
Support for independence surges by 2% in eve-of-election ComRes poll - with more signs of a potential breakthrough for the Alba Party
As you may have seen, the very last day of campaigning for the local elections brought word of the first Scottish poll for just over a month, and on the independence question the results were pretty encouraging - perhaps surprisingly so.
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
Explained: How the voting system for the Scottish local elections works, and the BEST voting strategy for supporters of independence to use (listen on the Scot Goes Popcast)
As promised, and just in the nick of time, I'm using Episode 16 of the Scot Goes Popcast to explain how the notoriously complicated Single Transferable Vote (STV) system works, and to set out why ranking all or almost all of the candidates in your ward is by far the best voting strategy for independence supporters tomorrow.
I've been meaning for some time to try to explode some of the myths relating to STV that have been doing the rounds. Here are three myths I've heard recently -
"It can be very dangerous to use your lower preferences, because you may find that you're accidentally helping to defeat the candidate you give your top preference to" - RUBBISH. Using your lower preferences is, in fact, an entirely risk-free thing to do and cannot harm your favourite candidate in any way whatsoever.
"There is no effective way of voting against a party or candidate in this system" - RUBBISH. If you rank every other candidate ahead of your least favourite party or candidate, you are voting against the latter comprehensively, and with great precision and effectiveness.
"Lower preferences are still votes, and nobody should be voting for unionist parties, therefore you shouldn't use your lower preferences at all" - RUBBISH. Voters who rank all of the candidates with the Tories rock bottom are voting against the Tories properly. Voters who don't rank unionist parties with their lowest preferences are not fully voting against the Tories, and may in some circumstances be helping the Tories to win seats.
Hopefully I've managed to explain all of these points and more in the podcast, which you can listen to via the embedded player below, or via the direct Soundcloud link HERE, or on YouTube HERE. The Scot Goes Popcast is also available on Stitcher and Spotify.