You might remember that I calculated at the end of last week that if the Savanta poll of SNP members happened to be bang-on accurate, Kate Forbes would need exactly 76% of Ash Regan's second preferences to become First Minister. Intuitively that would seem attainable for her, given that - almost by definition - Ash Regan supporters tend to be extremely unenthusiastic about Humza Yousaf. However, the 76% figure assumes that every Regan supporter will use their second preference, which in the real world will not be the case. The percentage of second preferences required by Forbes will effectively creep up and up with every Regan voter who does not transfer at all.
So the key to the puzzle of this leadership election may be the percentage of SNP members who can be expected to use more than one preference. And it struck me that a strong pointer might be found in the detailed results of previous SNP internal elections. But then I ran into a snag, because as far as I can see there have only been five all-membership SNP internal elections in this century (and quite possibly ever). The 2004 leadership election is no use at all, because Alex Salmond won an absolute majority of votes and therefore no second preferences needed to be taken into account. Nicola Sturgeon also won an absolute majority in the depute leadership election in the same year, and it's maddeningly difficult to find full results from any of the three depute leadership elections over the last decade - the most details are available for 2014, and seem to imply that the vast majority of Angela Constance's votes did transfer on the final round, but I couldn't find any certainty of that.
But then it occurred to me that leadership elections from other parties might be just as useful, because there's no obvious reason why Labour members would be any more or less likely to use second preferences than SNP members. However, since Labour scrapped the electoral college and introduced one person, one vote, there hasn't been a single Labour leadership election which wasn't won by an absolute majority on the first count. So the best and most recent example I could find was actually the 2006 Liberal Democrat leadership election, which had three candidates, none of whom won a majority on the first count.
52036 valid votes were cast in the first round, of which 12081 votes were for Simon Hughes, the candidate who finished third and last. (As you may remember, Hughes at one point had been the outright favourite to win, but faded after a controversy about the dishonesty of some historical comments about his sexual orientation.) Once Hughes was eliminated and his votes were redistributed according to second preferences, there were 51325 votes left in play for the second and final count, in which the leadership was won by Sir Menzies Campbell. That implies only 711 of Hughes' voters did not transfer to one of the other candidates - which amount to less than 6% of the total Hughes support. That's a strikingly low figure, and if that can be assumed to be typical of a ballot of any political party's members, it's good news for Kate Forbes. If only around one in twenty of Regan's voters are likely to drop out on the final count, it means the target for Forbes to win does increase from 76%, but not by all that much.
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Plenty people on twitter when asked, saying they are only planning on voting for one person. Doubt the SNP will make the results transparent enough to know. Suggestion is all we'll get is a percentage result - they'll not be wanting to tell us how many ACTUAL members they have.ReplyDelete
We'll never know. SNP tend to publish result as a percentage of votes cast as in 2018 depute leader contest . They don't like people to know how many members there are.ReplyDelete
Just over 111.000Delete
It would be good to see Forbes' support in the membership polling increase to the point she ties with Yousaf. I've been very surprised at how soft her team has been towards him at this stage in the campaign.ReplyDelete
The vast bulk of the members who intend to vote will already have decided who they'll vote for so the hustings will make little difference imo.ReplyDelete
Not sure that's quite the case on this occasion. The online viewership for the hustings seems pretty low, but the TV debates could make a big difference.Delete
Funny how in the recent poll 32% undecided was the top figure - or are you like the WGD numpties you think the poll is Britnat propaganda and should be ignored?Delete
Correct that it should be ignored? I don't agree with you about that - I certainly wouldn't take it as gospel, but I don't think it's wholly worthless either.Delete
While all of the candidates should be listened to and respected,Kate Forbes has impressed me the most.I see her as being the candidate most likely to maximise the Yes vote by focusing on a costed vision of how an independent Scotland will look,in comparison to a devolved parliament with limited power and resources.She has the ability to achieve that.She has also displayed tolerance and sensitivity towards all groups in society,including those in poverty and minority groups.The intense media campaign to undermine her indicates that the unionists recognise that.I was impressed by her last night during the hustings debate,and I expectReplyDelete
her to become stronger with each subsequent debate.Hopefully she will not need transfer votes to win.While I have nothing against Humza, but it would not make any sense to choose a leader that is less popular than the current labour leader,and ,perhaps unfairly,blamed for the chaotic state of the health service.
her to become stronger and more confident
Yousaf on the telly news lying that he has not had the party machine/establishment helping him to the disadvantage of the other candidates. He also says that Sturgeon has left behind a phenomenal legacy - 8 years of broken promises and unused Indyref2 mandates is Yousaf's idea of a phenomenal legacy. If he wins we can expect more lying and more of the same shit we got from Sturgeon and no chance of independence.ReplyDelete
It may simply be that age (71) is finally eating at my political resolve but I wonder if, from where the prevarications of the Sturgeon years have put us, a slightly longer perspective on achieving independence might not be best .ReplyDelete
(Waits for howls of outrage to subside.)
Lack of 'Plan B' when, inevitably, britnats wont recognise our right to self determination seems to me to be our movement's central failure. I think that Plan B has to be having a wide base of support that understands the need to back up a democratic majority for independence with flexible, sustained , peaceful direct action - strikes, boycotts, demonstrations etc thus making Scotland too difficult and expensive to govern.
At present our voting base has been led to believe by the SNP that a vote will be enough - it never will !
If more activists understand this then we can start to build this thinking more widely.
This is going to take time.....
This is almost like mass hypnosis from Humza and the gang. Seven years of delay after delay and excuse after excuse - and now the reaction is supposed to be: "let's take a long break".Delete
A wee reminder that Yousaf claimed that Sturgeon was more intelligent than anyone in the SNP and even she couldn't get independence. Doesn't say much for his opinion on his chances of getting independence or any of the other candidates. Don't expect anything from Yousaf on independence. He may talk about it, like Sturgeon, but he will do nothing. If the SNP vote for Yousaf then there will be no argument, the SNP is officially a devolution party.ReplyDelete
A weeks a long time in politics, I'm shocked because my mum, who is not an SNP member, was no fan of Alex, and thought Sturgeon was amazing, said she thinks Ash is the best candidate as she seems to be the only one with a plan, even though she is not a SNP member, and given my mum is a bit of a social barometer, they maybe a shock result in a week or two's time!? place your bets. She might be winning the Scottish joe public!ReplyDelete
WGD numpty Hamish100 mocking your post anonymous. Says you don't support the SNP and are Britnats. Sad people in the old folks home called WGD. Hamish is the most blunt tool in a bag of rusty old tools and that includes the numpty that said he was voting for the SNP candidate.Delete
Dr Jim raging that the TV debate took place. He probably wants to to throw more people out some doors.
Forbes and Yousaf looking more and more worried as Regan shows up their lack of a plan for independence.ReplyDelete
Anonymous - 11.47pm - what you say is a plan to possibly increase a yes vote. That is not to gain independence. It is a plan to maximise polling for independence. There were 19 polls in a row for independence - up to a high of 58% - was that a plan for independence.Delete
Only a majority VOTE for independence can move matters on.
Quite frankly I am sick of pathetic phoney 'plans' emanating from the SNP. We have had the secret plan, the Russell 11 point plan, the gold standard plan, the Holyrood referendum plan and the de facto plan. Now we have the invisible plan from Forbes and Yousaf and we even, after all this, have a WGD numpty stating that the two candidates are not going to tell the Britnats their plan. So we are back to TWO secret plans.
A bunch of chimps in a room could do better than this.
Forbes approach has a semblance of reality but Yousaf seems to think that facilitating men wearing women's clothes will raise the yes vote to unprecedented highs is beyond nonsense.
Anonymous - 11.47pm - care to say how Forbes could reduce interest rates, reduce inflation and borrow money to invest. Care to say how she can increase the manpower available to Scotland's economy. I was on holiday on Islay last year and successful hotels/restaurants were closed due to the lack of staff. Westminster will do everything to ensure the Scottish economy is not successful. I still haven't heard any of the candidates say they will get rid of GERS. Both McKay and Forbes have both previously talked about replacing it.Delete
Is anyone else surprised at the lack of polling on this race? It is being treated provincially by the pollsters.ReplyDelete