All Independence Supporters Must Read This 197

To try to say this before yesterday was like standing in front of a runaway juggernaut. It had to be demonstrated by actual experience. We came extremely close to the absolute disaster of a unionist majority in Holyrood. Entirely because of this. I know many of you will not like reading this, but you have to.

Regional List Vote

North East Scotland 137,086 SNP list votes 0 SNP list MSPs elected 137,086 pro-independence list votes totally wasted
Central Scotland 129,082 SNP list votes 0 SNP list MSPs elected 129,082 pro-independence list votes totally wasted
Lothian 118,546 SNP list votes 0 SNP list MSPs elected 118,546 pro-independence list votes totally wasted
Mid Scotland and Fife 120,128 SNP list votes 0 SNP list MSPs elected 120,128 pro-independence list votes totally wasted
West Scotland 135,827 SNP list votes 0 SNP list MSPs elected 135,827 pro-independence list votes totally wasted
Glasgow 111,101 SNP list votes 0 SNP list MSPs elected 111,101 pro-independence list votes totally wasted

That is over 750,000 SNP pro-independence list votes completely wasted, electing nobody at all on the list.

By contrast in these regions the Tories got 376,000 – almost precisely 50% of the list votes the SNP received there – and got 19 MSPs for them!

If the SNP list vote which was completely, utterly and entirely predictably useless in these regions had been given to other pro-independence candidates, the number of Tory MSPs in parliament would have been drastically reduced.
We would not have the BBC crowing over “Tory victory” as the result of the election. Despite the fact that only one in 9 eligible Scottish voters, voted Tory, a fact the BBC will not tell you.

With tactical voting a dozen more committed pro-Indy MPs could have been put into parliament.

The Tories have done disproportionately well because of the “both votes SNP” campaign. This campaign was, undoubtedly, extremely successful in securing both votes SNP. Sadly it was – entirely predictably – totally counter-productive in maximising the number of pro-Independence MSPs.

I published yesterday during the voting: “But in the entire central belt and in NE Scotland, I am prepared to state boldly – and twelve hours will prove the case – that a list vote for the SNP in those regions is almost certainly wasted, and could rather have helped elect a different pro-Independence MSP.”

I was 100% right.

It was blindingly obvious in which regions SNP supporters should give the party their list vote, and in which they should vote tactically.

The question is, why did people I generally admire and, in fact, find quite brilliant like James Kelly and Stuart Campbell, get it so wrong and fail to see the obvious? I fear that the answer is one which raises wider concerns. The SNP has managed to achieve near complete identity with the independence movement, so that any questioning of total obedience to the SNP is taken as disloyalty to the nation. Those like me who want independence rather than the success of a political party find ourselves marginalised and despised. Even when we are demonstrably and undeniably correct. Perhaps especially when we are demonstrably and undeniably correct.

We need the second referendum soon. We are now dependent on the goodwill of the Greens to get it. I stated yesterday I do not trust Patrick Harvie’s commitment to independence. That annoyed some people and I am genuinely interested to see comments as to whether others pick up the same vibe from him. I do hope that the Green influence will lead the SNP to be more radical on Land Reform. That would be a great advantage to dig out of an unexpected situation.

Finally, it is not a bad thing that the Unionists are now firmly identified as the Tories. Many of them were Red Tories anyway, and all that has happened is that their allegiance has become plain. The stark choice between Independence and the Tories is now visible. It was always there, but at the referendum many did not see it. Having the Tories leading the unionist opposition simply brings the day of Independence closer. There is only one winner in that battle.

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197 thoughts on “All Independence Supporters Must Read This

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  • Angus David Rae

    Lets be brutal honest here the Conservatives have managed to re-capture the orange vote in despicable and sectarian campaign The Greens caused a Safe Yes seat to be captured by Ruth Davidson. Rise and Solidarty polled nearly the same votes as the SCP( Scottish Christan Party) and UKIP The SSP did slightly better but not by much so Craig who would you have liked all those SNP voters to split their votes because if they had Labour would have undoubtedly picked up more list seats.

    • Alasdair de Voil

      Angus, your point is correct but that’s just one seat. The logical agreement that the SNP and Greens need to reach next time round is for Greens only to stand in the list and for SNP voters to be encouraged to vote Green for their list vote.

    • Hamish

      “The Greens caused a Safe Yes seat to be captured by Ruth Davidson”

      Or to look at it another way: if everyone who voted SNP in Edinburgh Central had voted Green instead, the Tories would have been defeated.

    • Steve West

      I watched the campaign on the ground in Edinburgh Central. I was out campaigning for the Green list vote. I have some observations to make:
      1. Labour made good use of their depleted but committed team of volunteers – they were constantly out canvassing. Labour were were the only party who had tellers at polling stations taking polling card numbers so they could get the vote out later in the day by knowing who hadn’t voted yet. Labour worked their butts off. It was all in vain, but they tried. They know that winning constituencies requires a lot of hard work campaigning locally.
      I never saw a single SNP canvassing team, they just didn’t seem to be trying very hard.
      The SNP fielded a little-known candidate who performed poorly at the hustings.
      My analysis of Edinburgh Central is that the SNP could have beaten the Tories if they had tried harder and campaigned on the ground. A strong candidate like Tommy Sheppard could have thrashed Ruth Davidson.
      2. Greens don’t just compete with the SNP for votes – we also compete with Labour, LibDems and RISE. Some committed Green voters won’t vote for anyone else at all. A chunk of those Green votes may have gone the SNP’s way, but by no means all of them or even most of them.
      3. The number of votes in an election isn’t fixed – canvassing raises the turnout (ask any seasoned canvasser). The SNP should have tried to raise the turnout and got a few more of the 25,000 non-voters in Edinburg Central.
      Finally, if the Greens are to blame for the Tories winning Edinburgh Central, who is to blame for Labour winning Edinburgh Southern and the LibDems winning Edinburgh Eastern, as the Greens didn’t stand in either?

      • Steve West

        (Sorry, I meant Edinburgh Western which was won by the LibDems, not Edinburgh Eastern)

  • Anne DONOHOE

    I don’t trust Harvie’s commitment to independence either. However, I gave the Greens my 2nd vote to get Andy Wightman elected, so I’m pleased that worked out well. I didn’t pay much attention to what the Greens did between 2007-2011. I’ll be paying more attention this time round!

    And of course, the EU vote in June may well play a part in what happens.

    • Alistair Robertson

      I voted both SNP but I’m delighted to see Andy Wightman elected via the list. {I’m not in his region}

      His book ‘The Poor Had No Lawyers’ should be mandatory reading in Scots history/modern studies. {do they even still have that? I’m an old fart.}

      I look forward to his contribution to the debate on land reform

  • Brian McGraw

    The quandary for SNP voters was that lack of trust in the other Pro Indy partisan to refer to in respect of the Greens. I too, like yourself suspect Patrick Harvie’s commitment but like many I voted SNP x2 like so many SNP members because all he pro Indyundits plus SNP HQ were saying so and because it’s been such a hotly contested and confusing issue and it seemed to work in 2011; not because we’re frightened of disagreeing with SNP HQ .
    However, you’re right , it didn’t work this time and we need to really understand why and determine how we can rely on other pro- Indy parties because there lies the rub; I like many others find it difficult to rely on their commitment .

    • Mark Black

      Don’t doubt SGP members commitment to independence. There was a solid majority among the 1900 odd before indyref. You can be sure that the 8000 who joined after we put blood, sweat, tears and cash into Yes aren’t unionists either.

    • Alistair Robertson

      The difficulty with what Craig is suggesting as far as I can see is ‘And what happens once you have an overwhelmingly pro-independence parliament?’ Alhough it reflects the vote by the system used in Holyrood, it’s still a manufactured result and doesn’t reflect how the population would vote in a referendum. That kind of nullifies the reasoning for me.

      As far as I can see – and I’m just a punter – what could have been the result in that scenario was that any mass vote for one – or two – OPIP’s could have got them MSP’s for sure but could also have skewed their perspective on WHY those MSP’s were elected. That could have caused any party benefiting to use their increased muscle to push their wider agenda rather than solely for the core purpose for which those votes were originally cast. That would result in a boorach of almighty proportions in Holyrood and the Yoons simply having to sit back and ask “Is that REALLY what you want running the country?”

      My view is that if you really believe in the values of one of the other pro-indy parties then vote for them and vote 1+2. If it’s independence that is the key thing, then vote 1+2 for the one party that has the chance to deliver it. Once we’re over the finishing line then these things can be rebalanced.

  • Jacquie Johnstone

    I agree with your comment about Harvie, having been SNP voter all my life a long time I could not & would not give anyone else my vote. I waited many years and many spoiled papers till I had the opportunity of voting for SNP candidates. Sooner cut off my right arm than give anyone else my vote, indeed my vote is earned by politicians not a right! simply because they were allegedly on YES side during referendum. The way the list vote is constructed was done to stop #SNP getting a majority it was a plot by WM unionists.

  • Chris Darroch

    If enough people had voted in the List then BothVotesSNP could have been deemed successful. We were there, in polling, only up until recently.

    In 2011 we gained 16 List…

    So not that obvious in advance that we would lose these List opportunities. You have the benefit of hindsight but, as I say, up until April polling predicted much more on List and constituency.

    • craig Post author

      Chris – not really fair, it’s not benefit of hindsight as I wrote yesterday precisely where an SNP list vote was a waste, during voting and before a vote was counted. It was obvious.

      • Chris Downie

        Craig, I agree with your post (I gave my List vote to the Scottish Libertarian Party, as did my wife). That said, the biggest, thus far unaddressed, issue is that turnout among SNP voters was low. Despite consistently polling over 50%, they finished on 47% and in real terms got 400000 (?!) votes fewer than only 12 months ago. Why is that? Why is no one addressing it, either?

      • Derick fae Yell

        It really isn’t obvious if you do the full calculation for the list allocations. If everyone who voted SNP in the constituency had voted SNP on the list then the party would have won more seats.

        Just shouting ‘wasted votes’ is much much too simplistic. I fear your rejection for candidacy is still colouring your views (and even former diplomats are only human)

        The bigger issue here is turnout and the 600,000 or so Yes voters who did not go out and vote this time.

  • Jim McIntyre

    Lots of us tried to get the message out, The SNP got this very wrong, however at least in Mid and Fife we managed to get 1 green over the line

  • Geejay

    I would like to see a proper PR system of voting, such as STV, but what would the result be? If SNP failed to get more than 50% then they would still be a minority government. However, we don’t know how people would actually vote under STV.

  • Lulu

    Patrick is the co-convener, not the sole voice. Alison said today that when it becomes apparent that the Scottish people want indy there will be a ref. Either by petitioning parliament or a series of polls.

  • Republicofscotland

    I had to laugh at the inane antics of John McTernan on radio Scotland today when asked if Kezia Dugdale should stay or go. McTernan waxed lyrical that Dugdale should stay, when the presenter posed the same question, replacing Dugdale with Corbyn, for down South McTernan said, Corbyn’s a fool and must go.

  • Highlander

    I agree full heartedly with your submission. Many thought this as well prior to voting. I think now, the majority of people in Scotland and Westminster also realise exactly what happened yesterday. The die is cast. I think we the people of Scotland are in for a very interesting future.

  • Albert Patterson

    Brilliant conclusion totally proved by the results, whilst we were demanding SNP 1 & 2 the unionists just wanted the second vote to let them slip in the back door and before anybody asks I was also carried along on the wave demanding SNP 1 & 2 and like the rest of Scotland I weep for those wasted votes and what it has done for the Conservatives.

  • Richard Cottrell

    Your comments would have carried more weight had you hastened home to vote, or secured a postal vote, knowing the date of the election well in advance. Your judgement is in question.

    • craig Post author


      I have to earn a living. I am self-employed and my work is not stationary. I unexpectedly and at short notice had to attend a meeting in Lincoln with Siemens there on election day. People were flying from several countries to the meeting so I had no choice.

      Frankly, you are despicable in attempting to divert attention from the near disastrous result of the SNP’s selfishness to a purely personal attack on me.

      • Angus David Rae

        Sorry Craig there are a couple ways to secure your vote if your employment may hamper your ability to cast your vote postal ballot or proxy vote and remember a sealed postal vote can also be handed in by a third party or yourself on polling day.

        • craig Post author


          Unfortunately you can’t do either of those things at short notice. I can’t tell you exactly how long before you have to register for a proxy, but I recall it’s about three weeks. I did not know I would be away until five days before the vote.

          • Angus David Rae

            My suggestion is that you apply for a postal vote and have it to hand in or be handed in on election day Craig

    • BrianFujisan

      Shocking comment

      you have no idea the energy and time Craig put into the Indy reff

      Get a fucking life eh

  • Sylvia Jardine

    Craig, we don’t understand how the SNP didn’t get more regional seats. We have tried to follow the STV video on the calculation but are none the wiser and we are not mathematically challenged people. We would very much appreciate your thoughts.
    Sylvia and Moira

    • craig Post author


      It’s a horrible system. STV is much better.

      The number of constituency seats you already have reduce the number of list votes you have. So if you have 135,000 list votes but 8 constituency seats, your list votes are reduced to 15,000.

      Top of the head – may not have detail precisely right, but that’s the principle.

  • Thomas Gavin

    SNP got 4 regional seats, if SNP said vote other pro Indy parties on the second vote they might not have got these, people may have thought about voting another way in the constituency as well, what message would that send ?

    • craig Post author


      As I posted on election day, the sensible thing was not to give your list vote to the SNP in NE Scotland and the Central Belt, but to give it to the SNP elsewhere. That would not have cost the party a single list seat.

      • Geejay

        But not everybody reads your erudite views. And how would they know everyone else would do likewise? A better solution would have been to ensure all SNP supporters actually voted, then we might have got more constituency seats. The turnout was disappointing.

        This is a voting system few people really understand, and why we need STV, but would that have given us a majority?

  • Alasdair de Voil

    Yes, well said- especially about: Having the Tories leading the unionist opposition simply brings the day of Independence closer. There is only one winner in that battle.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    When choosing a potential political candidate, well they are obviously going to test the usual things…like sexuality, charm,personality,presentation techniques (can they do it in front of a large audience unscripted)…

    I suggested they should also do the psychopath test…seceral people have written books on it including Jon Ronsom (from memeroy)

    They said but what do we do then when the candidate scores top in all of the tests including the Psychopath Test?

    I replied Look Down…

    That’s The Boss.

    The idea is to replace him with someone nice.


  • Alan

    It’s a real bitch when others think and vote differently to you, isn’t it Craig? Right now the Daily Mail is also having a rant because the New Mayor of London isn’t Zac Goldsmith. It’s a kinda eerie Deja Vu feeling you get reading them and you one after the other.

    Who is going to be putting who up against the wall first, I ask myself?

    It’s called “democracy” Craig. Get a grip man.

    • Anon1

      Craig doesn’t “do” democracy. He wants independence without a vote.

    • Gina Singleton

      Seems a shame then that you have to imply that Craig is a racist and supporter of terrorism to try and prove your “take” on democracy is the right one e.g. No one should vote differently from you….

  • laguerre

    I could be wrong, being an outsider, but I would have thought that the big failure here is that of Scottish Labour. People who wanted to vote differently in their second vote chose the Tories rather than Labour. Of course, one can blame Corbyn, but the headline person was not C but Kezia Dugdale, a noted Blairite. Is not the way things have gone a sign against Blairism? Elsewhere in the UK, Labour has done OK.

    • bevin

      You aren’t wrong.
      The reality is that re-gaining independence after 309 years is something that will involve a revolution. It is quite possible to do it through the ballot box but only when popular enthusiasm can be measured in terms of 80% or higher turnout.

    • bevin

      You aren’t wrong.
      The reality is that re-gaining independence after 309 years is something that will involve a revolution. It is quite possible to do it through the ballot box but only when popular enthusiasm can be measured in terms of 80% or higher turnout.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      I am also an outsider, as I live in England, so I welcome correction, but it seems to me that the swing to the SNP at the General Election had two major factors: they campaigned on an anti-austerity agenda, for one, and for the second, a separatist vote which in my opinion was probably also because the Scottish are sick and tired of having neoliberal policies forced upon them by Westminster.

      My understanding is that Scottish Labour has been consistently Blairite since 2011. The tidal surge to the SNP was a comprehensive rejection of that. It may well be irreversible, meaning that we can thank the right-wingers, who are so fond of calling Corbyn unelectable, for making pretty damn sure that it will be all but impossible for Labour to win overall power in the rest of the UK for a large number of years to come. That’s what I think.

  • John Gourlay

    Bang on. I posted my mantra “VOTE GREEN STOP THE TORIES” but it never fell on enough ears or ears that somehow were deaf.
    Especially in my own district the Northeast. I must congratulate the Tories for ‘GAMING the SYSTEM’ but I wish to end with the words of Lord Braxfield, ” They will be nane the waur o’ a guid Hinging.”

    • Clydebuilt

      Who gives a fig about which branch of the Tories are 2nd…. What matters is the SNP have lost control. As the SNP are weakened it’s likely they will not put forward a candidate for Presiding Officer. Therefore a P. O. From a Unionist party could BLOCK any referendum during the parliament.

  • fwl

    Not just dependent on the Greens for a referendum but also dependent upon Westminster.

  • Athar

    If the majority of England vote to leave the European union and the majority of Scotland want to stay would be grounds for another referendum on independence?

    • fred

      What then? Chances are the Nationalists would lose and even if they didn’t, that would be one referendum each and we’d have to have a decider.

    • Anon1

      Yup. The Scots will then be able to vote for ‘Independence in the EU’.

  • Clydebuilt

    Craig, your correct not to trust Patrick Harvie on Independence. Check out article by The Rev. Stuart Campbell …… ….. Quotes an article from the Herald, where Harvie “Cautions against using Brexit as a reason for another referendum.” The Rev. Basically says there will not be a 2nd Referendum during The next Parliament. …. A previous Green Party leader, Robin Harper, voted against. Independence during the referendum….. Would be interesting to have the breakdown for the vote to determine the Greens stance on independence…… Can foresee Unionists joining the party , to win a vote on the constitution at conference leaving the Greens as a Unionist party…….
    For weeks the media have been trying to induce complacency into the SNP vote by declaring the SNP as “Guaranteed Winners” , shouting out that it was safe for SNP voters to give 2nd vote to another Indy party to reduce Unionist numbers in Holyrood. ……& the Egits fell for it

  • Wayne Brown

    This election was far more important from the independence point of view than the UK election last year. If the SNP had had even 20 MPs elected it would have been a success – and the amount of influence in that parliament would have been exactly the same, zero.

    So the main thing to achieve in this election was an SNP majority. A majority of independence supporting parties is fine but has nowhere near the same heft. When they bother to pay us any attention at all, the only party they are worried about is the SNP. And since there was no way of knowing exactly how many constituency seats the SNP would win (ALL was a unionist/others encouraged fantasy) I voted for an SNP majority the only way that made any sense.

    The greens are no threat to the UK establishment, the SNP is. So, as far as the Tories are concerned, that’s Scotland safely parked for the next five years.

    However, somebody once mentioned something about events – could even have been a Tory.

  • Gill Williams

    That was the SNP intention all along,they work with the Tories ,it suits them to have the Tories in second place, stop them holding another referendum,which they werent gonna have anyway. So now we have two parties governing Scotland neither of whom will tax the rich anymore to offset Tory and SNP austerity budgets.

  • Ken

    Calm down – the Tories came nowhere near winning yesterday. Support for the SNP rose and the party took 59 constituencies, which is more than they have ever held before. As a result of that, the d’Hondt system kicked in and quite rightly the SNP only got four seats on the list. I might add that the SNP should have kept 60 constituencies, and would have done so had the Greenies not decided to fight Edinburgh Central, for reasons of their own.

    There is not going to be another referendum any time soon for the simple reason that the SNP know that they would not win it. Instead they are quite happy to settle down as the natural party of government.

  • Malcolm

    Correct me if I’m wrong but where the SNP won the constituency your list vote was likely if not certainly wasted. Voting SNP1+2 in safe SNP seats always struck me as the wrong choice. I briefly considered voting SNP 1+2 but ended up giving my list vote to the Greens as I was pretty confident Motherwell and Wishaw wasn’t going to back pedal on the referendum and last General Election result.

    If you were unsure in the constituency result then SNP 1+2 made more sense.

  • Alasdair Watson

    SNP getting greedy, fits with their drift to the right, should have rallied with other pro Indies though only the Greens were a legitimate alternative for your list vote. Patrick Harvie was one of the most eloquent during the referendum so I don’t get your mistrust, besides, the Greens have stronger ideals on land reform, property tax and fracking and their influence should be higher but Yessers let them down. I really don’t get why Green policies are not more accepted and when they start putting candidates in constituencies I’ll not be voting SNP again. I will always vote for Independence.

  • Celia Fitzgerald

    I don’t entirely believe this was a major influence on the results. The fact is that the left who could have made a difference stayed away. I was at the count in Ingleston and the piles of regional votes that I saw for the Tories were higher than those of the SNP. This doesn’t mean that Scotland has suddenly lurched to the right. It just seems like it because New Labour’s Tories have migrated to the Conservatives and the left wing didn’t vote. The SNP made the mistake of trying to win over the right and so lost the left wing support which stayed away this election but will vote when they have a credible left wing party to vote for again.

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