2007 - 2021

Dead Sharks

damien-hirst-12-m-sharkThe Herald this morning ran with a partisan story about the yes movement being best advised to split its vote…keep the SNP strong on the constituency vote while voting elsewhere (Greens, logically) on the List vote (‘Independence supporters should not cast second vote for SNP at Holyrood election, says study’). To which Wings has responded in full conspiracy mode.

The gloves are coming off today, I think. Rather as the Southside of Glasgow is preparing itself psychologically for a resumption of normal fucking service this afternoon (under our changed circumstances) so a “New Normal” is defining itself in Scottish politics.

I joked earlier today that whereas I used to write a fairly large essay most weeks in 2014 to attempt to cope with/describe what was going on in Scottish politics but that nowadays a single tweet pretty much does it.

Here it is: “The New Normal. Labour have been replaced in the centre. Scraps available on the left and right. Vote Green on list”

So, you see that the Herald’s story was a partisan story with which I agreed. I’m voting for Nicola Sturgeon as my constituency MSP (one still votes for an individual with that vote) and Green on the Glasgow regional list. I happen to know, because I’m a bit of a nerd, that this is a vote, in practice, to keep Patrick Harvey as an MSP and, I hope, to have him joined from Glasgow by Zara Kitson.

It hasn’t honestly occurred to me that I am therefore part of a unionist/federalist plot to undermine the new found (and evidently thrilling, if largely imaginary) POWER of the SNP. But so, I fear, I am.

(A power which, it seems to this consumer of some quite brilliant campaign videos, like that of New Labour, that is consolidating itself by an entirely ruthless and unacknowledged…but demographically and electorally unimpeachable…rush to the centre ground. New Labour have well and truly been “replaced”)

Now, I’m only a small player in this nascent stooshie. But I am an SNP member (albeit not an active one) who is splitting my vote. I was sanguine in the non receipt (mostly) of shit about this online. (If I send this to Bella, and the indefatigable Mike Small “prints” it, that will likely change).

Also, I’ve resisted adding to the whole bogus “cybernat” furore which was such a feature of the multiply despicable Better Together campaign (whose moral taint, going well beyond the mere fact of “campaigning with the Tories” has made Labour toxic in Scotland).

But if the story of the last election to Westminster in 2015 was the maintenance of the Yes Movement into the “smart” politics of an SNP landslide that kept the momentum and ideas of the Yes campaign going, the story of this election looks like being that of the whole thing finally going smash, of the split that was already symbolised by the rival events on the banks of the Clyde one Saturday in November 2014 (attached) reaching electoral crisis.

For us or against us. For Nicola without qualification or an agent of Yoonyunist Darkness. Nuance lies scattered on the roadside like a an unfortunate liberal bunny rabbit.

This is not unfamiliar emotional territory from a lifetime on the fringes of left politics here or anywhere. It’s normal, in fact. it’s how people everywhere are. But I had hoped we’d keep the broader “movement” together.

Because what is happening now is precisely a question of “movement” against consolidation. And entirely predictably and even properly, what the SNP are doing now ( whether in public or not) is consolidating their control (partial though it is) of the commanding heights of our political economy,. They recognise (again, not publically) that devolution mark two is now in for the long haul and are using their electoral base – now much more extensive and deep – to cement the new normal, the new equilibrium of our political culture.

There is no room for “movement” in equilibrium. So, dear friends, the territory for those of us in the Yes camp who enjoy movement for the sake of the exercise has been circumscribed. Behind the scenes, there has already been acrimony among the former comrades…the surface has been cracking…in some ways Loki’s recent work has also been symptomatic (as well as pointing at a much bigger and dirtier truth about class and nation.)

But what it comes down to is this: in relation to Westminster, to where the power really lies (and lies) in the UK, it is absolutely essential that the SNP represent us. No one else can do it. They have that mandate.

In Scotland, their mandate is again unchallenged. but should not go unquestioned. The movement that built to 45% of the vote cannot and will not simply be absorbed into a hegemony. Movement, as such, matters. Without it, the shark dies.

Which means the smart vote, I think…is a split one.

Comments (81)

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  1. Firhillista says:

    You still haven’t mentioned that you are standing as a candidate for a party that totally requires on the ‘split vote’. Rather undermines your positioning on the moral high ground, don’t you think?

    1. Peter Arnott says:

      I’m standing for election? Jeepers, I’d better find out where and for who?

  2. Cameron Edwards says:

    Aye. I’ll be voting twice for the SNP.

    Pop goes Scot ran a great piece. Read it.

    1. Alistair says:

      Aye. Ditto.

  3. CJK says:

    It would be great if everyone (on both sides of YES) pulled their necks in a bit and trusted each other to get on with the job in hand. For some SNP x 2 is the must be position, but for others the split vote is just as valid a position. Show a bit of respect to each other and remember where the real opposition lies.

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      Spot on!

      1. JohnEdgar says:

        Exactly! The yoonies are the opposition to independence. No independence, then Pernicious Westminster still has the commanding heights over Scotland. That means England still has the commanding heights over Scotland. That means Toryism and UK Labour Metropolitanism.
        I see Labour’s Hunt exhorting UK Labour to do more for devolution in England! Note, he does not even spare a few syllables for the Slabbers. No doubt he sees them as minor entities, not even fit to be trad Lab lobby fodder in the Commons any more.
        The two UK parties, Tory and Labour and the one on life support, LibDems, are going to frame policies focussing on their English heartlands. Their north British outposts are fading. They don’t count to the Londonites. It is time the outposts, like the old empire loyalists of yore, realised it and realign their focus on “home”. If the English vote brings about a Brexit, then chaos will prevail dahn sath in Labour and Tory heartlands.

    2. Alistair says:


      I get that stance and agree up to the point of splitting the vote on list. There a bit too much bitchiness going around at the moment and that suits only the opposition who magnify to sow dissent. As far as voting, my understanding is that for another indy party to benefit from this vote they have to pass a threshold of 4% of votes cast. If that isn’t met then the other parties – ie Unionist – benefit. Remember this system was set up specifically to prevent majority results at Holyrood. I’m currently an SNP member, but that may well change after indy. Until then they are the sole voting mechanism that guarantees focus where I want it and I’m not going to vote otherwise if there’s a chance that vote is wasted.

  4. punklin says:

    Peter – sorry, couldn’t understand this. Too clever or too confused? The article, not me (I’m neither: just simple and clear i.e. pro-indy, so SNP x 2.)

    Don’t support the SNP unquestionably, just think that indy is the main prize and you can’t have it both ways (yet)…

    Life’s a bitch, eh? But when you gotta choose, better make it the right one.

    1. Colin Mk says:

      Strange, I’m pro indy too yet I’m voting SNP/Green and if I had hte optiont Green/Green. It’s almost as if there are other parties that are pro indy too?

  5. Phil says:

    I wonder what it is about not understanding or admitting that Scotland gets nowhere as long as Wastemonster is running the show. First things first. Independence. Then factional left-wing argumentation can begin and if sensible results emerge voters can show their agreement in the knowledge that Scotland’s voters will henceforth from that point determine Scotland’s future.

    SNP x 2. Until that day.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      A message from Prof Curtice:

      “If, on the other hand, just 0.5% of voters had voted on the list ballot for the Greens (in Lothian Region) rather than the SNP, the nationalists’ allies on the constitutional question would have secured another seat while their ‘defection’ would not have cost the SNP anything.”

      Your SNPx2 strategy in this instance would merely help deliver another Slab MSP rather than a Green/indy MSP.

  6. Kenny says:

    This is a joke, right? I mean, you know that Professor Curtice was grossly misquoted, don’t you? Why do you think a former aide to Anas Sarwar might do something like that?

    Hey, I know what though. Let’s attack strong pro-indy voices like Stuart Campbell (to my knowledge NEVER an SNP voter), Derek Bateman (a man who quit his job in order to campaign for independence) and James Kelly (perfectly decent guy who “forced” Mike Small into the most cringe-inducing piece of editorialising I’ve ever seen from someone who “welcomes a range of voices”) for telling the truth – YOU CAN’T GAME THIS SYSTEM. It requires WAY too much foreknowledge.

    If you like the Greens, vote Green. If you like RISE, vote RISE. If you like the Tories, vote Tory. But DO NOT pretend that it is “safe” or even “essential” to vote for someone other than the SNP on the list ballot if your first priority is independence. I’ve said this elsewhere, but at least Loki’s position is honest. No votes for the SNP because he wants a more radical political climate and would rather have Cat Boyd noising up Holyrood than the SNP getting comfortable. That’s fine for his priorities. But Greens and RISE people acting as though this is a safe, rational choice for independence supporters and that to vote SNP twice is a betrayal of The Movement is a lie and a pretty shameless one at that. If SNP turnout is suppressed by this “certainty” of a majority from only constituency votes or if list votes are split by naive voters and we end up with no more Greens or RISE MSPs but we lose just one or two SNPers, then The Movement is fucked. If green issues or red issues are your main concern then you might not care. For those who care most about independence though, seeing The Movement stop moving because Greens and RISE people chose to lie to people about how the system works and what polling can tell us will lead to a great deal of extremely bitter recriminations.

    For fuck’s sake. Just vote how you want to vote. That’s the whole point of a proportional system. You can’t play games with AMS because you don’t have the information and if the polls have any margin of error at all then the predictions you’re making are flat-out false. How are you going to feel on May 6th if the headlines all read “Blow for Sturgeon as pro-indy bloc shrinks”?

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      Calm down dear.

    2. Carntyne says:

      Well said Kenny…

    3. John says:

      Good arguments there for SNPX2 Kenny . Remember , Westminster set up Devolution in Scotland with the sole aim that no party would have an outright majority , especially the SNP . If people go against their plan , i.e.. vote for the same party twice , that kicks their certainty that they can control the Scottish Parliament into the long grass .

      1. K. A. Mylchreest says:

        Remember, devolution was designed to kill nationalism stone dead, and don´t think the unionists have no more tricks up their sleeves. The road to freedom runs through a thumping SNP majority, anything less will kill the momentum. Please, please don´t let that happen, whether through misinformation or egotism. This is not the time to make a stand for you own personal factional favourite, that day will come, but it is not this day. Don´t let the bastards play you, don´t fall for their divide and rule. Right now solidarity is the name of the game, choice can come later, but if we fail to get behind the SNP there will be no ´later´ and no choice for us at all.

  7. Gerry Fisher says:

    The really desperate “joke” is that the recipient of his second vote – the Greens – is also in the mutually incompatible position of “For Independence, for the EU”

    1. Jim says:

      Gerry Fisher, If you think these are incompatible it’s you, not us that doesn’t understand it.

  8. Gushel says:

    It’s all about you eh?

  9. David says:

    Personally, I find the arguments for tactical indy voting, e.g. SNP first ballot, other indy list vote, and arguments for both votes SNP to both have some merits and some flaws.

    With both votes SNP we do clearly know where it is coming from even if it is maybe sometimes a bit too simplistic. From the alternative point of view I have also been very irritated by the tactical stuff often being presented as if it is irrefutable science when it really has no more merit than the coaches’ pre match game plan in the premier division. Much of it is also written by people with a vested interest in gaining the second votes but they seldom come clean about this.

    I hope we get there but we are working with an electoral system that was not just designed to prevent one party getting an overall majority it was also created to prevent an independence supporting majority. Lets hope it doesn’t fail for both because we all tripped over each other while the opposition scored unexpectedly.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      David, I agree there is risk either way, but it is not equally balanced as Prof Curtice demonstrates; e.g. an estimated 2 list seats for almost 1 million SNP list votes is a pretty crap payback, made even worse when you consider it simply acts as a shoe in for 10-20 unionist MSP’s. Personally I would rather see another 10-20 indy MSP’s, so I will be voting SNP 1 / any other indy party 2.

      1. Neil Anderson says:

        SNP 1/… which other indy party?

        1. Alf Baird says:

          Neil, any other indy party would do, but have a look at the regional picture first. We are clearly wasting list votes on the SNP, so giving our list vote to any other indy party has to be a step forward though not risk free of course. Greens and RISE (e.g. in Highland/islands, Lothian and Glasgow) seem very good options, also Solidarity in Glasgow. SNP list votes are simply votes for slab and tory list MSP’s.

          1. Paul says:


            You’re advocating any other indy party but then make the effort to check the regional picture to help make the a decision, do you really believe enough people will take the time to do this?

            All very well advising someone who has an active interest in this matter but unlikely average voters will want to look into it that deeply and then all vote for the same party to make it work.

            Sorry, Scotland may be more politically aware than ever before but highly doubtful this tactic would reduce the number of unionist MSPs any more than both votes SNP. It has every chance of creating the appearance of a fragmented independence movement that the Unionists/MSM will then bleed dry post election.

      2. Carntyne says:

        Don’t know why Curtice attracts such reverence. Many of his comments during the referendum and 2015 GE were well wide of the mark.

    2. Paul says:

      David, you hit the nail on the head with this comment:

      ‘Much of it is also written by people with a vested interest in gaining the second votes but they seldom come clean about this.’

      This is exactly the problem I have with the majority of articles I’ve read specifically trying to entice SNP supporters to lend their list vote to other parties. It just smacks of the run of the mill dishonest politicking that everyone is sick off whether it’s the author’s intention or not.

      Why is there little mention of trying to attract soft (or otherwise) unionist/no voters in these sort of articles… Is there even a concerted effort going on elsewhere by these parties to convince unionist/no voters?

      If independence is truly a main goal for these parties surely it would be better for them to be putting maximum effort into taking votes off Labour, Lib Dem and perhaps even working class Tories (why in this age of information overload do they still exist!) further weakening the unionist parties’ standing in this country?

      I can’t help thinking these independence supporting parties have simply deemed SNP voters require the least effort to convince for gaining list seats and therefore the easiest route for electoral success rather than putting in the extra effort to convince all voters their policies are the best. Yes all parties will want to take the easiest route but that’s not refreshing, it’s unlikely to help the independence cause or even move us towards any positive change in our political system.

      As for this article, seemed a bit convoluted for what it was trying say, not as thinly veiled as others but still not clever enough to be any more convincing splitting the vote is going to have the best result for the independence movement as a whole either…

  10. Matt Seattle says:

    It’s not possible to ‘game’ it with any foreknowledge, and it also depends on where you live – I wouldn’t risk splitting the vote in Borders or Dumfriesshire because here it’s a straight fight between SNP and tories.

  11. Peter Arnott says:

    For anyone who’s not read the Herald article, here’s the crucial bit. “In the study commissioned by the Electoral Reform Society – which campaigns for greater democracy – Curtice collated and analysed recent opinion polls and found that the SNP will win all but three constituencies and be returned firmly as the majority party of government on that vote alone.

    Due to the rules of Scotland’s complicated electoral system that would mean the SNP would then see only two MSPs returned on the regional lists – most likely in the Highlands and Islands because they will win fewer constituencies in that region.

    Pro-independence voters in other parts of Scotland who cast both votes for the SNP could therefore be “wasting” their regional list vote, according to Curtice.

    Curtice underlines the fact that any party which hopes to win a regional seat must secure around 6% of the vote, suggesting that voting SNP in the regional ballot instead of smaller pro-independence parties could benefit unionist parties with a bigger share of the vote and no constituency MSPs.”

    So a comparatively small number of list votes for the greens, say, in a region where the SNP will win all the constituency seats will deliver a lot more Indy bang for your buck…and contribute positively to our political life before the next referendum A next referendum which we need to win very big…

    The polling evidence for that second referendum is nowhere near clear enough…while the polling evidence for the upcoming election is very clear. So, I in Glasgow (which is not everywhere) will be voting SNP/Green.

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      Similar considerations apply in Lothian, where there is potential to elect Andy Wightman as a Green MSP.

      1. John Page says:

        ……and for West Scotland where a decent Green 2nd vote total could secure a place for Veronika Tudhope at Holyrood where her extensive commitment to Scottish CND would be a real asset (as opposed to handing the seat to the 3rd placed Labour list candidate (3rd after Jackie Baillie………how’s that for a ringing endorsement!))

    2. David Allan says:


      Some detail to highlight constituency position . 73 of 129 seats are Constituency. If polls are accurate SNP majority seems inevitable!

      I will use my second vote for the INDY candidate for Rise in my regional area , others should like Peter vote for the list candidate who they believe will best add their voice to advocating the case for Independence. That case should not be left to SNP alone.

      Everyone should exercise their vote in whatever way they individually believe will best progress the movement’s aims . If you want to vote SNP both times then do it. Please respect the opinions of those who have a differing opinion.

      One thing we all agree on is abundantly clear and will continue to be so.

  12. RJ Boyd says:

    SNP will be getting both my votes.

    Labour dominated Scotland’s MP quota and dominated Scottish councils for decades, and with the advent of the Scottish Parliament, dominated that too for a number of years.

    Decades and decades of Labour rule. Few complaints from anyone other than Tories all during that time.

    Apparently though the SNP being elected and in power for what, 5 minutes compared to the decades of Labour dominance, is a ‘bad’ thing and we need to ‘split’ our vote.

    I don’t support the Greens or RISE or any other party.

    I support the SNP, and they will get both my votes, and articles like this are the reason people are tiring of this website.

    1. Carntyne says:


  13. Justin Kenrick says:

    Totally respect those voting SNP X 2

    Totally respect those voting SNP then Green or Rise

    We each need to make a judgement and not believe anyone telling us ‘certainties’ from either side of the argument.

    REALLY hope readers use the articles on Bella, Wings, Herald, Scot goes Pop, Newsnet, Wee Ginger Dug etc, to decide for themselves which route they want to take, and DON’T get fed up and give up on other pro-Indy parties (whether SNP, Green or Rise)

    In the run up to the GE2015 I was really glad that local non-SNP Yessers (e.g. in the Porty Alliance) helped get the result in. Let’s make our own minds up on the 2nd Vote, and respect others who decide differently.

    Time for a Yes movement ‘1st Vote SNP’ campaign?

    1. John Page says:

      Well said……..respect, exercising judgement and thinking for yourself. I really don’t think there is anything to add.
      Thank you
      John Page

  14. Carntyne says:

    The time to be argumentative with SNP is when we achieve independence. That is the goal. Really like Patrick Harvey but voting to keep him as an MSP is secondary to that goal.

  15. Mike says:

    When its the Yoons advising us to split our vote you kind of get the impression you shouldn’t be listening.

  16. Bert Logan says:

    My worry, all our worries, is that the majority of ‘get away from the Westminster hell’ parties might disappear, and thus, we spend years in Limbo having Labour implemented PFI schooling, with Tory assisted welfare ideas. Can you imagine the crowing, the ‘never get a chance to have a referendum’ type statements.

    Its imperative we get independence, and moreso, I will be voting Gx2 thereafter. The limited powers Scotland has cannot let any party work effectively, even moreso a coalition.

    I would be utterly broken if the pressure to escape was ruined by our crappy voting system, and the piecemeal politics that it encourages.

    SNP x 2 (then G x2) to get some green back to Scotland.

  17. Mike says:

    Folk seem to forget that the election system is specifically designed to deny a majority Government. The SNP were only able to beat the system because enough voters voted SNP 1 and 2.

    Splitting the vote will only ensure we don’t have a majority Government again which can only dilute the pressure on Westminster and weaken the cause of Independence.

    I suspect that the Greens are at best Indy lite and Devo max heavy. Lets not forget the Greens are a UK wide party after all.

    I don’t doubt the Indy credentials of RISE but they don’t have enough national wide appeal to challenge the yoon cabal. They cannot appeal to the No lite voters as their brand of left wing extremism to too far for too many.

    Like it or not the SNP are our ONLY chance of a second Indy ref and our ONLY chance of a successful outcome.

    1. John Page says:

      The Scottish Greens are a separate party from the Greens as you well know……lets see on Wednesday and do a compare and contrast with the Green/SNP manifestos re Independence.

      1. Mike says:

        Compare and contrast? Really?
        How many Indy refs have the Greens managed to bring to Scotland?
        How much influence and pressure can the Greens bring to bear on Westminster?
        How many powers have the Greens won for the Scottish Parliament?
        How many Devolved Scottish Parliaments have the Greens managed to force out of Westminster?

        Compare and contrast. You’re having a laugh.

    2. Drew Campbell says:

      There is no “UK Green Party”, it simply does not exist and I’m sorry to say that oft-repeated comment demonstrates the depth of ignorance and prejudice underlying this discussion. For clarity: The Scottish Green Party is a wholly independent party whose co-convenors are Patrick Harvie and Maggie Chapman. It was established in 1979 when the Ecology Party – which was UK-wide – split to form two separate and distinct parties, the other being the Green Party of England & Wales (GPEW), whose leader is Natalie Bennett.

      One of the main reasons the Scottish Greens were founded in 1979 was because the membership were following through the principle of promoting greater political participation through more localised democracy. A large majority of that membership, then as now, saw the possibilities of not just greater devolution but also the potential of a more democratic independent Scottish republic. It is true that is not the raison d’etre of the party as is the case with SNP, but the Scottish Greens do believe that an independent Scotland robustly constituted as a more egalitarian, transparent democratic state is a fundamental aim. That has been an underpinning principle throughout and specific party policy since at least 1998, reviewed and renwed in 2004.

      If you don’t want to vote Green, fine. I would ask, however, that you refrain from spreading misinformation, mounting personal or ad hominem attacks, or generally spouting bile that any independence supporter who doesn’t want to vote SNP 1 and 2 is a Unionist stooge, idiot or quisling. It’s sectarian, wrong and – think about this – completely counterproductive to your ultimate goal of securing Scottish independence. We all want to work together again for a second referendum – which given the tulmultuous polticial times we live in, might not be as far in the future as some believe.

  18. Bryan Weir says:

    The SNP is advising us to vote SNP 1 and 2. If you really support them then you should do as they suggest. Why on earth would you want to vote contrary to the wishes of the party you support?

    Here’s a good description of how the PR system works.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Bryan, this video actually makes a strong case for SNP x 1 / any other indy party x 2

      1. Bryan Weir says:

        It could do if we were guaranteed that all SNP voters in all constituencies were united on who they should vote for in vote 2. Since this would be unachievable I think it is safer to follow the party line of SNP 1 and 2.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          You seem to be contradicting the video evidence you provided “of how the PR system works”. Either way there are no guarantees, even following “the party line”. There are really only two main other indy list options, as indicated in the video, which seems less of a risk than having one’s list vote divided by 8 or 9, the latter being a more likely scenario in my view. Hence SNP x 1 / Green or RISE x 2 in my opinion.

          1. Bryan Weir says:

            OK! Assuming that the SNP know what they are talking about why are they telling us SNP 1 and 2?

          2. Bryan Weir says:

            Incidentally, I didn’t post the PR video as evidence. I just posted it to let people have a look at it as it helps to explain what is an extremely complex voting system. ;o)

          3. Alf Baird says:

            Bryan, SNP leadership are “telling us SNP 1 and 2” simply because that is the base nature of politics. They are not telling us this because it is logical in any wider sense.

          4. Bryan Weir says:

            Neither are they telling us this because it is likely to be detrimental to their chances.

  19. John Page says:

    What’s with all this “Bella has gone to the dogs crap?” Have any of you actually read and followed Bella at all before all this SNP*2 trolling? What makes you think it ever gave unqualified support to the SNP?
    I make a modest monthly contribution to Bella out of my pension to read a range of libertarian left, environmentally aware material underpinned by a strong desire for independence from the cesspit that is Westminster. It has been a wonderfully stimulating resource. If it ever gave uncritical support to the SNP, I would drop it like a stone.
    I am an SNP member and am now off round the doors to deliver leaflets to get my SNP constituency MSP re elected. I am reflecting hard on whether to continue my membership having seen the unfortunate recent behaviour on here.
    Thank you
    John Page

    1. Bert Logan says:

      Bella has not gone to the dogs, indeed, its key in my view that things are different in Scotland. What I worry about is its convincing arguments about a more diverse set of politicians, but not confirming that the SNP (I am Green incidentally) are holding the fort until we get independence.

      Most arguments about D’Hont fail to tell us that its likely to spit out some grand unionist coalition if we are not careful .. hell returneth.

      I like the SNP, level headed to say the least, I only envision a change once we are unshackled.

      1. James_Mac says:

        I’ve had enough of Bella to be honest. It’s not even a question of it’s editorial slant. It’s the fact that it represents RISE and Greens, and the only stories that attract any attention is when they call the very people they want votes from “idiots”, “zombies” and now establishment lackeys. They’ll get a bit of attention now for pissing people off. In the election downtime, apathy will seep in, and then they’ll be ignored.

        I was in the SSP, but I can’t be arsed with this pish. I’m not going to be told by 20-something arts students who have been in a dozen picket lines between them that they deserve my vote (at least Sheridan earned respect before the News of the World scandal).

        There is no acceptance that maybe RISE and Greens should change their tactics to get votes, and joining in with some of the looniest political commentators around. Well, at least they get quoted in the Daily Mail before drifting off to obscurity. Maybe Mike Small could get a BBC appearance, and then it will all be worth it.

    2. David Allan says:


      Don’t let the SNP ” happy clappies ” get you down . If we are not SNP 1 and 2 we become the enemy it’s always been the way with some SNP fanatics! Their tone and conduct is disappointing.

      1. James_Mac says:

        Look, I am likely voting Green on the list, but I know very few other people who would. It has absolutely nothing to do with SNP ‘clappies’. Around 85% of the population don’t like them.

        No-one is voting RISE because 85% of the population have never heard of them (and those who have, get.

        Of course, it could be an SNP conspiracy to thwart a bunch of swappies getting into government. If they weren’t ‘consolidating the movement’ or some such crap.

  20. A Balharry says:

    That questioning, what appeared to me shoddy journalism, results in accusations of buying into
    conspiracy theories is hardly a live and let live approach. I read and commented on the SH ERS report stories very early morning, before it kicked off. My reaction on reading the headline was to question whether John Curtice would be so partial, didn’t make sense. He is the master of nuance, an on the one hand, on the other hand, type of bloke.

    I’m not voting SNP 1 and 2 but, regardless, there seems to be an increasing number of people who think any criticism of indy supporting media is unacceptable, that it’s odd, counter intuitive. No it isn’t. The hangover we have from the independence campaign is that many of us looked on and said nothing, publically, about the mediocre, the bullshitters, the chancers. Not that many expressed it internally, either, it has to be said.

    And that goes for all indy supporting media, however it chooses to present itself.

    The current debate, in my view, lacks nuance, self awareness and critical thinking. It may still be too early, but it will surely happen, it has to.

  21. Ally says:

    Great article, you, like myself have done the maths Anna realise a split view is not only better for Scotland but also to keep unionists out of governance! Even a hung parliament of greens and snp would be more favourable than letting the union parties in the back door. But, if the polls are to be believed the SNP will walk it on the first vote anyway!

  22. W Brown says:

    After this I have to stop reading BC till after the election – it’s beginning to depress me.

    Worst case scenarios for SNPx2 and split vote.

    SNPx2 – SNP win a bigger majority and some other pro-independence parties have fewer seats than otherwise.

    Split vote – Unionist parties end up with a majority of seats, so either the SNP form a minority/coalition government or the unionists form a coalition (unlikely, but I’m not aware of legislation that makes it impossible).

    The UK parliament don’t care about the Greens or Rise – they will be happy if the independence vote is split and the SNP fall for any reason. If the SNP end up with the same number of seats but fewer constituencies, even that would be portrayed as a lessening of SNP support.

    This all about control*. The SNP have no control and very little influence in the UK parliament, the only way they can exert any control is if they form the Scottish Government and given their past success it has to be a majority Government – anything less will be seen as failure. The only party that bothers the UK Government (when they bother to think about us at all) is the SNP, and has been for the last 40 year.

    A poll in the herald today puts the SNP at 43% Constituency, 37% List with 20% undecided (I’m aware that other polls give different results). A fair proportion of SNP supporters are those who are less likely to turn out on the day. The last Scottish election produced actual results of Constituency 45.4%, 53 seats and List 44%, 16 seats. The SNP are NOT guaranteed to win all constituency seats or anything like it.

    I have not here advocated what anybody else should do – unlike the writer of the article. I merely point out some facts and and a particular line of logic. People are entitled to their point of view and to vote any way they wish. But to say that a list vote for the SNP is wasted (this does not apply to the article) is nonsense and has been all the way through the interminable articles in BC.

    * The article says as much – ‘But what it comes down to is this: in relation to Westminster, to where the power really lies (and lies) in the UK, it is absolutely essential that the SNP represent us. No one else can do it.’ And then says – but don’t Mak Siccar. Now there’s a puzzle.

  23. jt1 says:

    The thing which riles most pro-lifehungry types about this tactical voting stuff is pretty simple, IMO.

    It will not convert a single voter to independence.

    Worse, it looks like the Greens/RISE have no confidence in their ability to oersuade people of the case for independence, and are happier to cannibalize SNP support.

    I’d like to think both parties are better than that.

    1. jt1 says:

      Pro-independence, obviously. Damn autocorrect!!

  24. John McCall says:

    I am an SNP member who could give the Greens my second vote, but won’t until independence is achieved. If SNP lose their Holyrood majority we can say goodbye to any chance of referendum.

  25. James_Mac says:

    I am an SNP voter who is tempted by the Greens, as I keep saying. The more articles like this, the more likely I won’t be voting for you.

    This passage here:

    “Because what is happening now is precisely a question of “movement” against consolidation. And entirely predictably and even properly, what the SNP are doing now ( whether in public or not) is consolidating their control (partial though it is) of the commanding heights of our political economy,. They recognise (again, not publically) that devolution mark two is now in for the long haul and are using their electoral base – now much more extensive and deep – to cement the new normal, the new equilibrium of our political culture.”

    That means nothing.

    If I said that to anyone I know, including people who know about politics, they would think I am a total fruit-cake. If Greens actually talk like this to each other, you are toast. It’s almost UKIP levels of batshit mental. It is as simple as that.

  26. Julia Gibb says:

    You see nothing wrong with the policy being pushed by the HERALD!

    You welcome the support of a unionist rag in the hope that you will benefit.

    Independence is obviously a poor second to your political career when you welcome the support of that rag. Your judgement is in question if you don’t think the Herald has a motive negative to the Independence movement.

  27. tartanpigsy says:

    Really can’t be bothered going over all the points here, but remember one crucial thing.
    On the morning of 6th May ( well maybe a wee bit later than that), we start working towards the Council elections in 2017.

    To succeed in clearing as many as possible of the inept Unionist run councils around the country, at an election run under STV we WILL need to work together.

    I just can’t understand why RISE couldn’t have waited to push for serious representation at that election, where they can undoubtedly have success, if they can only manage to not piss everyone off before we’re even thinking about it.

    Think about the system before deciding how to play it!

    1. Josef O Luain says:

      Too considered, too bloody sensible altogether, tartanpigsy.

      You’re 100% bang-on, of course.

  28. Willie says:

    Split the vote and weaken the SNP seems to be Bella Caledonia’s mantra and wouldn’t the unionists just love that.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      This may as you say “Split the vote”, however it is primarily the list vote that is in question here, with the intention being to better maximise the end result from list votes in particular. SNPx1.

    2. Graeme says:

      Is there any poll that has ever indicated the SNP won’t get a majority based on constituencies alone?

      1. Alf Baird says:

        Precisely Graeme, and even if they were a seat or two short the Greens/RISE would give them a majority in return for more progressive policies. What’s not to like? SNPx1.

        1. Bryan Weir says:

          If we are doing hypothesis then they may not be a seat or two short if we vote SNP 1/2.

          1. Alf Baird says:

            Always a good idea to keep the politicians motivated Bryan. If they get too big (for their shoes/ stilettos) and comfy they might end up like Slab. Which reminds me, just what are the “56 roaring lions” doing these days?

            Seriously, is there anything the Greens are advocating that you would really object to, e.g. such as ‘real’ land reform, extra tax on folk earning over £150k/year (i.e. bosses of many public quangos, univ principles etc), more affordable housing etc?

  29. ian says:

    I think what Rise and the Greens dont realise is that there are many of us voting for the SNP because its clearly our main vehicle to independence but that we are actually more naturally aligned with them.They are playing games with the most important issue which any of us have faced and will face in our lifetime,for what?So they can feel important and massage their egos.

    1. John Page says:

      Please reflect on that comment.
      It is insulting to people like john Finnie, Jean Urqhart, Colin Fox, Andy Wightman and Veronika Tudhope amongst others who would enrich Holyrood.
      What to do with the 2nd vote is a matter of judgment particularly so in those regions where the SNP seem very likely to take 9 or 10 of the constituency seats. The risk of granting all list seats to unionists is as great a risk in the case of some regions as not delivering an SNP overall majority.
      You would be more persuasive if you dropped the ad hominem attacks and demonstrated that you had thought through and worked out the scenarios for the 7 list seats in your region.
      Greater respect needs to be shown to people who passionately want independence but who want an SNP government alongside a number of quality pro Indy MSPs from Greens/RISE as opposed to Tory and SLAB non entities who come out in the list because the SNP total is divided by 10 or 11.
      I would exhort you to think through this yourself…….we all went through the IndyRef thinking and checking out things for ourselves.
      Thank you
      John Page

  30. yesindyref2 says:

    “It hasn’t honestly occurred to me that I am therefore part of a unionist/federalist plot to undermine the new found (and evidently thrilling, if largely imaginary) POWER of the SNP. But so, I fear, I am.”

    Oh dear. Sich incredibly unself-aware misrepresentation.

    It’s not about POWER, it’s about REFERENDUM, which is about INDEPENDENCE.

  31. yesindyref2 says:

    There’s a power in music that doesn’t exist in mere words, and I used to post some lyrics at times that no mere Unionist it seemed, could ever find an answer to. But in this case it’s not lyrics it’s a whole tune, and here’s a clue: the bad guy isn’t the Greens, it isn’t Rise nor Solidarity, nor is it the SNP. In fact it isn’t even the unionist parties in Scotland.

    Sorry Mike Small if this is against policy, but we’re all being had over like kippers.


  32. Kenny says:

    Posted this on Derek Bateman’s blog earlier:

    I can’t help wondering if the Greens and RISE would have attracted less criticism over this stuff if they’d said “we will not form the next government of Scotland because we’re only standing on the list in most places. We are willing to work with an SNP government though since we believe they can be persuaded to act more radically on key issues and we agree with them on the important issue of Scotland’s constitutional status. So if you support independence but you believe poverty/inequality/climate change need to be tackled now, even while the battle for independence goes on, we encourage our supporters to back us on the list vote and lend the SNP your vote in the constituency ballot.” That would have been a lot more honest and constructive and would probably have tempted a lot of SNP voters who want the party to get a bit more radical. The sense of entitlement as Derek puts it is what is putting a lot of people off the idea. Couple that with some shocking dishonesty about how certain any of the polling information is and you have your explanation for why so many people saying #bothvotesSNP are so riled about the subject.

  33. Gordie says:

    If you cannae take a bit of criticism get oot o the game? Misrepresenting those that disagree with your logic does not show you in a very good light.

    Bella Caledonia go back to being non-partisan. Don’t support a political party. Not the SNP, RISE or Green, go back to fighting for causes not supporting political parties. You were more honest that way

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