New list parties are not the way

Brenda Steele:

I do think George Kerevan is right. No matter what they do, these new list only parties are  not the way to get a referendum.  Their votes are likely to come from people who would otherwise vote SNP.  Any reduction in the list vote for SNP will be seized upon by WM as a fall in support for Independence  – regardless of where it has gone. 

In their current fragmented state I deem it unlikely that they will actually get any seats and they may very well deprive  SNP of list seats that would give them an overall majority in Hollyrood.  If  they combined and succeeded in getting some seats that brought Indy supporting parties over the 50% of  MSPs, just how are they going to force SNP’s hand?  Will they vote against SNP proposals?  Really?  Will they carp on about SNP not going for a referendum.  What will that make them? Why just another SNPBaaaad party. Jackson will love that.

I think support is coming to Independence for a combination of reasons.
Firstly from post-Brexit canvassing we know that a lot of people were persuaded to vote No because of the threat of being excluded from the EU. I do not know if the numbers are greater in Scotland than other parts of the Uk but we found an amazing number of voters with EU connections ranging from EU spouses to family/ close acquaintances living in EU countries or jobs involving frequent travel there. The way EU citizens resident in the UK have been treated by Westminster has infuriated the first category, and the second and third categories are well informed of what is going to happen in the now likely event of no deal.  Even folk who have no greater connection that holiday trips are learning  how it is going to affect them and their purses.

A number of people have had their eyes opened by the abysmal way the Covid-19 pandemic has been mishandled by Westminster and this current crop of charlatans calling themselves Tories, and this has in some cases – particularly those who were not strongly persuaded – led them to revisit Brexit aand revise their views.  For many  long time conservatives, Boris’s comment “F¥ck busines” was a shock.  I would include in those folk some I would class as old-fashioned conservatives with a small “c”.  These creatures in Westminster are in no way the conservative party they once voted for.

I would also suggest that there is no great attachment to anything outwith London and the home counties among Boris’s most ardent Brexiteers. No deal is not an end in itself to them, it is a means to their  real goal which is Singapore-upon-Thames. The Celtic fringe can be dispensed with if it stands in their way. My suspicion is that Boris himself is attached to the title of UK PM but he is not in a position to gainsay his cabal their dream. if push came to shove PM of a “world beating England” is good enough.

It will be interesting to see what happens if/when the UK attempts to repudiate the WA. 

Brenda Steele

21 thoughts on “New list parties are not the way

  1. I have no objection in principle to a “new” independence party competing on the list. But….it has become totemic for Brit Nat commentators to the extent of calling it cheating.
    No problem, apparently, with Brit Nats gaming the system by voting en masse for “anyone but the nats”.

    However, we should concentrate on ONE party carrying our banner for indyref2. Let us not make space for bandwagon-loupers who will not be an adornment for YES (and we all can name some of them).
    Lets stand arm in arm against Boris, Gove, Cummings, Jack, the BEEB, the colonial press and the massed ranks of those who wish us to be their wee colony in the north, well… north of the North.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I see three tests.
    1. Will it increase the independence seats (if SNP is still calling itself an Indi party)?
    2. Will increased seats get us Independence?
    3. Will it get rid of 3rd rate car salesmen and the like from Hollyrood?

    It has the possibility of doing all three and no chance of it hindering Indi.
    If there is only one Indi list party i will vote for it. Hopefully they will jin together to help this happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I see it, the SNP is Scotland’s one effective political tool to assist in forcing the issue of restoring national sovereignty. Any action which could weaken that effectiveness should be resisted.
    After independence is restored we are into a whole new era of politics in Scotland so the new political scene will be wide open for the changes we decide to make.
    One suggestion I have is that the voting system which allows the existence of the so-called ‘list’ members should then be abandoned.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have yet to see the slightest hint of a mention of the political system we might be voting for if we vote for the SNP. Is it social democracy (it can’t be Christian democracy, can it?) or neo liberalism. It matters which is chosen. I won’t be voting for nepliberalism. Literally, it is bad for your health


  5. To vote SNP 1-2 in a 2 vote proportional representative system that was set up to prevent a 1 party majority is daft, almost 1 mill 2nd votes in 16 won 4 list MSPs, to do the same again next year an expect a different result, well.
    At Holyrood we need an Indie coalition, SNP and either Green or ISP , check the manifestos closer to the 6th of May and make your choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ok Brenda agrees with George – but says nothing about how we get Independence!
    If she is somehow clinging to the fantasy that a right-wing brexit Tory Westminster Government will aprove a new referendum, I’m afraid she will be sadly disapointed.
    A new ‘Yes’ Party may not gain us a referendum, but sadly, neither will the SNP if they cling to the same path.


  7. In the 2016 election Labour got 435,919 second votes and it got them 21 List Seats. The SNP got 953,587, more than double, second votes but only got 4 list seats.

    What could happen if there was a List only Independence party? Find out using this this calculator, just click on the menu tab to choose your own region.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Heartily agreed, but BN parties will not only be enjoying the deliberately induced confusion, they stand most to gain from it, survival at least, reducing SNP seats at best.
      The propaganda machine has been hard at work sowing seeds of doubt over SNP leadership, GRA, etc., you name it and it will find some disgruntled and frustrated indy supporter to be upset over it, “divide and conquer in all its glory.
      In the absence of the Scottish Greens growing a pair over Indy, the ISP proposition of “gaming the system” over List votes was an intriguing one, not least to be rid of the blockages in the U-bend, Turdo and Leotard.
      Several articles on it became clear this scenario relied on some foreknowledge of the FPTP element, and avoiding charges of “collusion” while colluding with presumably SNP to swamp the secondary element.
      With the current confusion what was needed was single voice of calm and reason, enter Galloway the hat stage left-ish as the legend in his own lunchtime.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I cannot fathom that how, in any way, that it would be better to completely stall democracy to create a monolithic polical structure where the majority of people in Scotland only have the choice of one party to vote for. Very healthy. Not.

    We, the voting public, are supposed to halt any opinion we might have on policies or political ideology on the off-chance that maybe, one day, the SNP MIGHT get round to mentioning independence again? On the off-chance that any, perfectly legitimate, list parties MIGHT reduce the SNP lists seats – by only a few as Willie John points out above? The seat to vote ratio on the List – the only part of the Holyrood vote that approaches proportional – is extremely poor for the SNP and so our proportion of pro-independence parties in Holyrood is also poor.

    I can see absolutely no reason for any party not to form, pro-independence or not, to better represent the people of Scotland, allowing us a choice. And if the SNP finds itself incapable of being able coordinate and negotiate with other parties then they MIGHT not be the best party for negotiating Scotland’s independence settlement.

    If we are going to be forced to continue in devolution for the foreseeable future, then at least lets get out of this bind of having barely a choice, with the same old repetition that’s got us nowhere so far, and let’s SEE where it takes us, we don’t really know, we don’t know how the dynamics might change, and this kind of naysaying based on possibilities and what ifs is just the fear of change. And if you fear change – how can you really truly believe you want the change that will come with independence? Focusing on how shit the Westminster government is as a way to change minds towards independence is a shit way of doing it – independence for any country, ours especially, is our right and is NORMAL, and we ARE capable of doing it, we have many capable people that can run Scotland competently, so then SHOW people how capable we are, stop whining about Westminster and going down the ‘poor me’ dole-accepting route, STOP focusing on Westminster, this is about us, Scotland, and if there is a majority FOR independence then what do we need more people for, why even MORE suffering, why wait any longer? The strength of public opinion, with a large number of people that will go with the majority to be accepted with the majority, means it will work. Action needs to be taken, and changes need to happen, and people need to be comfortable with change. If swathes of SNP members and supporters are so scared at the prospect of even a tiny amount of change, I despair, I really do, at the ability of the SNP to take us through this process to independence.


    1. Good post.

      I am not in any party but the SNP members I know around here do not like what the Growth Commission says.They hope for a Nordic style independent country. I wonder whether that is the case broadly across Scotland. I hope it might be.

      For too long the SNP has tried to be all things to all people. Time to articulate the vision – I assume there is one. Comparisons with the UK government do need to be drawn, I think, but how an independent Scotland will look needs to be put and SOON.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes agreed Sam, the SNP has a really solid base and tons of really good people in it, but the SNP as a political party will be avoiding ‘putting off voters’ with a concrete vision, and it is likely to affect their membership too – I understand that, but without a clear vision we cannot move forward so we get stuck in a rut. As you say the SNP is trying to be everything to all people, and no one person or party can ever do that, there needs to be variety and choice, and I think there might be better support for independence if we show that there is. We need serious grown-up political parties that actually DO have plans and visions, not just radical protest parties though.


    2. I also get quite frustrated that there are a lot of vague references to some mythical utopia on gaining independence – if you have no concrete vision of what you want it seems unlikely it’s going to happen – why not start now – if we want a parliament with real proportional representation, why isn’t it being campaigned for NOW? We can implement something like STV voting system for Holyrood elections, and iron out crinkles in how it would work NOW, then one part might actually be set ready to go on independence. Why no campaign for this now? Because,,, maybe it suits all the main parties? I am not under any illusion the system will change on gaining independence unless it is forced – now or in the future.


      1. It is possible that trying to be all things to all men might deflect a party, or any government, away from important matters. I do not know why a SNP government would not campaign for the necessary devolved powers needed to address the fundamental causes of health inequalities.

        Why would the overhaul of Council Tax be left so long when it is the only means of trying a meaningful redistribution of income?

        How did it come about that a fiscal settlement that ties Scotland to a low tax regime came about? If that settlement is seen as flawed why are there no efforts to change it, at least that we know of?


  9. There’s no advantage in splitting the independence vote. It may allow Brit Nats to take seats that would have been for Independence. eg Tory gets 10 votes, Indy Party 1 5 votes, Indy Party 2 5 votes, SNP 5 votes. and the Tory wins the list seat.


    1. Use the ListVote calculator I referenced above ( And you will find that, for instance:

      Central Scotland: SNP 129,082 Seats 0.
      Tory 43,602 Seats 3.

      So the SNP get three times the votes but no seats whilst the Torys get three seats! So check out your own region, it could make the difference between getting a Pro-indy MSP or a Union seat warmer.

      If we want independence then we ‘must’ vote smart and increase the number of list seats any way we can.


      1. I’ve visited the sitet and just keep getting ‘Bad Gateway’ when I try to go to my region.

        Is there a problem?


  10. Where I live a list vote to the SNP is wasted as they will not get a list MSP due to a large vote on the constituency seat. So my list vote will go to either the Greens or an indy list party. On the latter point I will wait and see how the list parties get on. One rule for all area is daft.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Here are list results for my region:

    Scottish Labour
    Elected Neil Bibby Mary Fee Ken MacIntosh Seats 3 Votes 72,544 22.5% Net percentage change in seats −10.2

    Scottish Conservatives
    Elected Jamie Greene Maurice Golden Maurice Corry Seats 3 Votes 71,528 22.2% Net percentage change in seats +9.5

    Scottish Green Party
    Elected Ross Greer Seats 1 Votes 17,218 5.3% Net percentage change in seats +2.4

    Scottish National Party
    Elected – Seats 0 Votes 135,827 42.2% Net percentage change in seats +0.6

    Most of us voted SNP in the list but got no seats.

    I’ve done some sums and can see that a single AltSNP party which got no constituency seats could get 5 of the 7 list seats in my region. Only if SNP voters were careful to use only their second vote to vote AltSNP.
    There is a danger that enough might vote AltSNP in the 1st vote to split the Indy vote there as well as not enough voting AltSNP in the second vote.


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