Scots Tories Below 24% of the Vote 115

Projecting the swings from 62 varied wards across Scotland I estimate the Scottish Tory vote share at a mere 23.3%. So the BBC narrative about huge Scottish Tory triumph is total nonsense. Any foreign observer would be stunned by a state media, the BBC, that hails Ruth Davidson’s 23% as a massive triumph and decries Jeremy Corbyn’s UK 28% as the greatest disaster in political history.

It is really hard for the media to explain away Ruth’s 23% in Scotland in terms of the narrative they have been spreading so assiduously about “Ruth more popular than Nicola” and “Massive Tory surge”. So they have adopted a fascinating tactic. Not one media outlet anywhere has to date given a figure for the Scottish vote share.

The BBC could give you the actual definitive Scottish vote share at the push of a button. But they won’t.

Because not only does the Tory performance make a nonsense of the propaganda they continue to pump out non-stop, but there is another interesting possibility. While the Tories won a few more seats than Labour, my projection has Labour ahead of the Tories in Scotland in vote share on 23.4% to 23.3%. My figures are only a projection and I would put a margin of error of about 1.5% on each of those figures, but it is an intriguing possibility.

The BBC Pacific Quay propaganda machine prefers just to work on seat gains, and is doing something absolutely astonishing – continually saying the SNP were net losers when in fact they were net gainers. There are no more seats in total than there were in 2012, and today the SNP have more seats than they had then. Yet the BBC are claiming that the SNP were net losers due to adjusting for boundary changes, an obvious nonsense. Even the Guardian, Times and Telegraph are all showing the SNP with net gains.

But that would not suit the relentless BBC propaganda, and they are sticking with a straight lie about SNP losses and that, as the presenter on BBC News said yet even again as I typed this sentence, “The SNP are now losing momentum and going backwards”. Iain Macwhirter is currently being interviewed and he has been asked six questions by the BBC presenter, every single one of which is about how fantastically the Tories are doing in Scotland. MacWhirter said that Ruth Davidson is doing “fantastically”, so he earned his BBC fee.

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115 thoughts on “Scots Tories Below 24% of the Vote

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  • Clydebuilt


    Heard Brewer putting to Stephen Gethins that the SNP actually lost seats because of boundary changes , to which Gethins said “alright” , this was after S.G. stated that the SNP made gains.
    Why on earth did he not rubbish this.

    There would be a considerable amount of work required to come to the point about boundary changes. I don’t believe for one minute that this work has been undertaken, certainly not early after the numbers were out
    An analysis that would throw much light on how the parties stand would be a totalling up of first preference votes expressed as a percentage of the total vote cast. This would allow an easy comparison to be made by the public. Of course that’s the last thing the State Broadcaster wants.

    Keep up the good work Craig.

    • Alexander Bisset

      Quote “An analysis that would throw much light on how the parties stand would be a totalling up of first preference votes expressed as a percentage of the total vote cast. This would allow an easy comparison to be made by the public. Of course that’s the last thing the State Broadcaster wants.”

      Err that’s exactly what they’ve done?

  • Liza Russell

    Do councils publish first preferences, or only the votes once they have shared everything out?

    • Alexander Bisset

      Councils publish the FULL count showing first preferences and EVERY stage of the count showing how the votes transferred. Thus it is a simple if somewhat time consuming exercise to add up all the first preference votes and establish a national vote share. Picking a random selection might in theory work but since there are not a huge amount of seats in the first place and the data is available to download it shouldn’t be necessary to sample when the full count can be done.

      The author is also simply wrong to say there has been no changes in the number of seats. In Aberdeen City for example there were two additional seats allocated compared with 2012. There are other changes in other areas.

      He is also wrong to say the BBC have not published vote share. In BOLD he says “Not one media outlet anywhere has to date given a figure for the Scottish vote share.” Perhaps he didn’t see the main BBC Result article which clearly shows the percentages and comments on it.

      The BBC may not be that friendly to the SNP but articles like this peddling such easily disproved falsehoods that somehow reporting is “hidden” is the stuff of conspiracy theorists and should be laughed out of court.

      • craig Post author


        This article was written on 5 May. Indeed you are right I had not seen the main BBC results article which you reference, because it was published on 8 May. I strangely am unable to see things that do not appear until the future.

        The BBC did not release the vote share until four days after the election. For the UK result they extrapolated in real time a Projected National Share and widely publicised it even as results were still coming in. For the Scottish result they hid the vote share until all of the initial publicity wave had blown over and the false Tory victory lie had been established. That was not an accident.

        Indeed I was wrong in saying the seat numbers had not changed. There were a total of four more seats all across Scotland. The SNP ended up with a total of seven more seats than they started with. So even allowing for those four extra seats (which I confess I miss) the BBC’s claim that the SNP lost seats is impossible.

        • fred

          Because we ended up with four more seats that doesn’t mean that was the only change, more seats were added and some seats removed, boundaries changed. The ward I was in at the last election, Caithness Landward, doesn’t exist any more, we have been merged with other areas. There were a lot of changes made all over Scotland to try and keep the number of constituents, or workload, per councillor roughly the same as demographics change.

          Whoever did the election for the BBC had worked out in advance what effect all the changes made since the last elections would have had on seats, what the results of the last election would probably have been had the changes been in place then.

  • Hazel Kennon

    I,m sick to the teeth of BBC bias against the SNP. They are the most popular party for years. The only party fighting for the people of Scotland. Why are the Scottish people paying a licence for the BBC lies

    • Jo

      @ Hazel
      The BBC is now so biased in general, politically, that it has lost all right to be a publicly funded broadcaster. The situation is now critical when serious concerns raised direct with the BBC are basically ignored.

      There are now no boundaries for BBC journalists. There is certainly a need for robust interviewing procedures when dealing with politicians but there should be no Party-political bias – a requirement contained in the BBC’s own Charter. Why then do so many prominent BBC people right across the news and current affairs network breach this important requirement so regularly and with such arrogance?

      In just the last week alone I’ve witnessed numerous examples. The chief offenders are:

      Laura Kuennsberg Political Editor
      John Pienaar Deputy Political Editor
      Norman Smith Assistant Political Editor
      Evan Davis Economist and Newsnight presenter.

      And let’s not forget the awful Andrew Neil.

      It is time the BBC’s public funding was withdrawn. The BBC Trust has already acknowledged that Kuennsberg doctored a report regarding Corbyn in a blatant attempt to suggest he said something he had not said. That since then she has continued to show absolute bias in her reports shows that not only has she not learned her lesson but, more importantly, she has not been told by the BBC to follow its Charter.

      Time to get rid of the public funding then and the paying of salaries to those who are a disgrace to journalism.

  • Margaret Hayes

    Thanks Craig for the article. The Tory propaganda is so pervasive and relentless that unless you read articles such as yours and do some research on the figures yourself, it is extremely difficult not to believe it e.g. “It’s on the BBC so it must be true”

  • klipklop

    Perhaps it’s just not possible to calculate a vote share in a STV PR system. There has been much trumpeting of ‘votetillyouboak’. My partner managed to carry out that deed. There were 8 candidates, and my partner put down her most loathed at 8. I halted at 4 as beyond there, I disliked them in equal measure. I cared not if they were Tory or Labour. If you were trying to calculate our vote share, would my partner’s fifth, sixth, seventh and eight preference count as a ‘vote’? If not, why not? If so, then doesn’t that skew the results of the calculation somewhat? Perhaps you only look at first preference. But my second preference was for the same party as my first, but would not count. Where do you draw the line? Perhaps each vote cast would be ‘weighted’ according to the rank voted. 7/8 score for 2nd, 6/8 score for 3rd and so on, using my example. But Im still not convinced that giving a seemingly positive result for any lower ranked votes makes any sense, as you put them there to deliberately make them last. For this reason, I believe there are no published vote share statistics because it would be impossible to calculate intention. It would be good to find out if other jurisdictions using the STV system publish any vote shares, for example, Irish GE. Any thoughts?

    • fred

      They just use first preference votes. All the data hasn’t been published by every council yet so a national figure isn’t known. On the wikipedia page,_2017 on the list of councils click on “Details” to see what data is available.

      • fred

        The blog software has deleted “https://” from the start of that link.

  • Andy

    The vote shares have been published at
    Your estimates are out 2% low for Conservatives and 3.2% high for Labour.

    Actual first pref figures are:
    Scottish Conservative & Unionist – 25.3%
    Scottish Green Party – 4.1%
    Independent/No Description – 10.5%
    Scottish Labour Party – 20.2%
    Scottish Liberal Democrats – 6.8%
    Scottish National Party (SNP) – 32.3%
    Other parties – 0.8%

    SNP unchanged percentage vote share from 2012, Conservatives up 12 points. LAbour down 11.2 points

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