How the Referendum was lost?

After my last piece on postal voting, this was sent to me. It’s fascinating, disturbing and deserves a wider audience. Click on the link below to see the report in pdf form:

Howtheref

 

Published by johnrobertson834

Retired Professor of Media Politics Not-for-profit independent political analysis

7 thoughts on “How the Referendum was lost?

  1. I read this at the time t was originally investigated, and although it received some interest, no one of any power chose to investigate it further. A&B was not the only constituency with “amazing” voting patterns. Maybe it’s all above board, but the doubts will remain due to the dismissal of the concerns.

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  2. That was an interesting read. However, it conflates two issues to generate a conspiracy theory. The first, that Postal Ballots were sampled so that there was prior knowledge as to the outcome and, secondly, that there was a high (higher than expected) return of postal ballots and they were, disproportionately perhaps, ‘no’ votes.

    Firstly, it was a standard procedure to sample postal ballots, but those involved in sampling were sworn to secrecy. Was Ms Davidson present at a sampling session or did someone blab? Hopefully the process is changed next time – the consultation carried out recently seemed aware of concerns. As for John McTernan’s pronouncements; he has an unenviable record, fully documented on WoS…
    https://wingsoverscotland.com/scottish-labour-for-dummies-2015/

    Postal Ballots always generate a high level of return and, given the level of engagement there was, it not surprising the referendum generated a higher level of postal ballot returns than local or national elections. The analysis seems to missed the issue of second / holiday homes because in some places, and Argyll and Bute must be high up there, they constitute a significant proportion of the housing stock, where the owners, not usually bothering (or being allowed to?) to vote in local or Scottish elections, may have been motivated to vote in the referendum and, because of the demographic, voted ‘no’.

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  3. Since I have never participated in canvasing and other matters which activists do, such as attending counts, etc, I do not know if what the authors describe is accurate. I am not commenting on their hypotheses here or the analysis they have carried out.

    What I can report is that an SNP Councillor, whom I know had attended these postal ballot checks in her area and she reported that the NO vote piles looked significantly high. The checkers could not see the actual papers, but could make informed guesses. I had asked her about the comment Ms Davidson had made and her reply was to indicate how some Conservative members had been able to inform Ms Davidson with such confidence.

    However, this does not invalidate the assertion being made that NO ballots were inserted illegally into the ballot boxes. The mechanism by which this was done seems plausible, but, in my ignorance of the kinds of experience the authors claim to have, I cannot say that with any confidence. My initial reaction was that if any people ask for a postal ballot then they are very likely to use it and so a higher percentage voting postally compared to in person seems likely.

    I imagine that people who seek a postal vote are more likely to be older or have some mobility issues or live far from polling stations or are people who, for work reasons are not likely to be able to vote in person. Are they more likely to adopt a conservative (small ‘c’) stance? Given his long experience in electoral matters, Mr McTernan will, almost certainly have a better idea, based on experience, than most of us and, so, perhaps his quote that while only one-fifth seek a postal vote, this will equate to a quarter of the actual votes cast, is likely to be fairly reliable.

    The fact that he has made a correct statement, does not, of course, invalidate, the scenario advanced by the authors about how this was used to enhance the NO vote.

    Knowing of my tendency to paranoia, conspiracy susceptibility, and confirmation bias makes me wary of submitting to these tendencies and so, I am, in this rambling note trying to look for reasons which might explain that what the authors describe has other ‘neutral’ causes.

    Nevertheless, I welcome the article and the points raised. I think that much of what has been written is worthy of further investigation.

    Please sign Mr Craig Murray’s petition for international oversight of Indyref2!!!!

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  4. Perhaps I watched too much American Crime Fiction TV, but the Postal Voting System has no chain of custody which is supervised. Once the ballot paper is posted it could go anywhere without public scrutiny and knowledge, duplicate ballot papers could be printed and the votes changed to suit the desired result, equally they could be put in place where the voter did not in fact vote. The only way to control this would be to sample about 10% of the ballots, and go back to the persons who signed them, asking for them to confirm which way they voted, if at all.

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