Wednesday, December 6, 2023

FUNDRAISER: Help Scot Goes Pop run a pre-election poll that will identify how the independence cause can be saved

Click here to go straight to the fundraiser page.

We are about to move into a year which could well be catastrophic for the independence cause, and I for one would quite like to do something constructive to try to arrest that process.  With your help, I'd like to commission a Scot Goes Pop poll, probably very early in the New Year (although something quicker might be possible if the funds are there) in which we try to identify a credible way forward as the general election approaches.  The poll would probe the following -

* Would a pre-election change of SNP leader (however improbable that may seem at this late stage) help or hinder?

* Would a unity Cabinet with Kate Forbes as DFM or Finance Secretary help shore up the SNP's vote?

* Would scrapping the coalition with the Greens, as Kate Forbes has suggested, be a step forward or could it even cost votes?

* Have the SNP alienated or demotivated their core vote by back-pedalling on independence?  Could a more full-on independence push help the SNP shore up their position - a thought that many SNP careerists find counterintuitive?

* Has Ash Regan's defection boosted support for the Alba Party?

* How do the public react to Alba's plan to contest at least a dozen seats?

* What do voters think would be legitimate or illegitimate ways to secure independence in the absence of a referendum?

There will also of course be voting intention numbers, which will hopefully help clarify whether the SNP are indeed heading for defeat as things stand, or whether (as Ipsos suggested) they might yet hold Labour off.  I am also open to suggestions for other supplementary questions.

I know my involvement in the Alba Party is always raised when I fundraise for polls, so let me be clear that I will firmly have my "general pro-independence blogger hat" on when I do this - I'll be acting entirely independently and this will in no sense be an "Alba poll".  The questions about Alba will be scrutining questions - not least because, as you know, I'm sceptical as to the wisdom of running in as many as twelve seats and would genuinely like to discover the public's view.

If you'd like to help make this poll happen, you can click here to go to the new GoFundMe fundraiser page.

However, the ideal way to donate is directly via Paypal, because the funds are usually transferred instantly and depending on the menu option you select, fees can be completely eliminated.  My Paypal email address is

You can simply send your donation via Paypal with a note saying "for the poll".

Monday, December 4, 2023

Alba NEC results

Regrettably I haven't been elected to the Alba NEC.  This is not a surprise given that there were eighteen male candidates with only four spots available, however it's still a big disappointment after I came so close to being on the NEC as of right with 49.5% of the vote in the Membership Support Convener election.  I now dearly wish I had done the extra bit of campaigning that might have got me over the line in that vote, but how much to do is always a "how long is a piece of string" question.  I can console myself that I still have an elected position on the Appeals Committee.

If I'm being honest, I think it's a matter of some concern that ordinary party members are only being informed of who the successful candidates were, and not of the actual election results.  Even I as a candidate will only be told my own result and the stage at which I was eliminated if I request that information by email (which I have done).  For the life of me I can't understand the logic of the secrecy.  If not many people voted, I suppose there might be some mild embarrassment in revealing that, but come on, Alba is supposed to be setting a new standard, not falling straight back into the bad old ways of the SNP.

To the extent that we know them, the results are actually quite startling.  I had always assumed that Barrhead Boy had such a huge following among Alba members that he would be a shoo-in at every NEC election, but in fact he initially wasn't elected and was only bumped up to fourth place due to Craig Murray withdrawing after the election was over.  I'm also a bit surprised that Craig only came fourth given his very high profile.  I think this can be partly explained by the issue I was raising throughout the campaign - the vote was restricted to the small minority who registered for the conference, and was thus really about who organised well, rather than about who party members actually wanted on their governing body.

The one heartening thing is that because I raised that issue so persistently, other candidates started saying the same thing, making it less likely that it will just go away.  And for that reason I probably did achieve something by standing.  Many thanks to everyone who voted for me - even if I still don't yet have a clue how many people that was!  And many congratulations to the eight successful candidates (four male, four female).

Sunday, December 3, 2023

The nearest of near misses in the Membership Support Convener election - but remember there's still time to vote James Kelly #1 for the Alba NEC to push for radical democratisation of the party

Congratulations to Daniel Jack on being elected Membership Support Convener of the Alba Party, and I wish him every success in his year in office.  My goodness, though, the result brought a little tear to my eye (in a good way), because I led narrowly on the first round and very nearly won on the second round.  Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me - you've helped lay down some sort of marker that there is large support for radical democratisation of the party (meaning an NEC and other national committees directly elected by the whole membership), and of course you can make that marker even stronger by voting for me with your first preference vote in the ongoing election for the ordinary NEC members, which will close later today.  There are eighteen candidates on the male ballot, with only four slots available, so I really will need every vote I can possibly get to have a chance.  I'm really keen to get back on the NEC, and I think I could make a big difference if I was there.  My focus would be solely on winning independence - I have literally zero interest in being part of the bizarre cliquishness or factionalism that led to the original elections being scrapped.  All of that stuff is incomprensible and irrelevant to most party members and certainly to the wider public, and we need to simply bury it and focus exclusively on the real goal.

Alba Party Membership Support Convener election result:

Stage 1:

James Kelly - 42%
Daniel Jack - 41%
Scott Fallon - 17% 

Stage 2:

Daniel Jack - 50.5%
James Kelly - 49.5% 

Is this the point where I have a Damascene conversion to first-past-the-post?  Er, nope.

You can watch the two parts of our unofficial hustings for the NEC elections below -