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By Jason Michael

BELGIUM IS FAMOUS for producing some of the best beer in the world, and I can personally attest to this – myself and Shane Spelman have drunk a lot of it. And it makes sense that little Belgium brews great beer, because let’s face it – sorry Belgium – the place is boring. It must be the only place where speed bumps are used to keep Sunday drivers awake. King Leopold II is probably the most famous Belgian, but the Belgians don’t like talking about him all that much – some business to do with a plot of land he owned in Africa. It has produced other people of note; lawyers, priests, and mathematicians – and some of them lawyers and mathematicians, and priests and mathematicians. In fact, Belgium is the home of the Big Bang Theory. You’d think that was interesting, but the mastermind behind it was no Dr Sheldon Cooper; it was Georges Lemaître – a priest and mathematician, a snore-fest combination that could never have the sex appeal of a patent office clerk and physicist (let’s be honest). But we’re going to talk about the brainchild of the lawyer and mathematician Victor Joseph Auguste D’Hondt – and even his name sounds boring.

Scotland’s system of proportional representation follows what has come to be known as the D’Hondt formula or the D’Hondt system – or [quotient = V/s+1] – and it isn’t the easiest to understand. It’s even less easy to understand for those of us used to the Westminster system of first-past-the-post, an electoral system designed to benefit the establishment parties and ensure the least amount of representation. In any given parliamentary constituency, following the Westminster system, the candidate with the most votes wins the seat – leaving everyone else (often the majority) completely unrepresented for the whole of the parliamentary term. Victor D’Hondt – using his maths superpowers – devised a way to make things fairer. The Scottish parliament uses a ‘mixed member system,’ as described in the 2011 Scottish Parliament Fact Sheet:

The system used for Scottish Parliament general elections is a mixed member system comprising a first-past-the-post component, under which seats are allocated in single member constituencies, and a proportional representation (PR) component based on regional party lists.

So, in practice, you have two votes; a constituency vote and a regional list vote. Your constituency vote is first-past-the-post and your regional list vote takes a little explaining if you don’t quite understand it already. Let’s consider the 2016 election. The Holyrood parliament is a 129-member assembly, divided into 73 constituency seats and 56 regional list seats. In the constituency vote, 1,059,898 votes were cast for the Scottish National Party, amounting to 46.5 percent of the vote, securing the party 59 of the available 73 constituency seats – just short of 81 percent of the seats. In the regional list vote, however, 953,587 votes were cast for the SNP, that was 41.7 percent of the vote, securing the SNP only an additional 4 seats – a mere 7.1 percent of the seats; a result which effectively meant 885,882 votes for the SNP – a staggering 92.9 percent – were wasted votes. With only 22.9 percent of the regional list vote, the Conservative Party won 43 percent of the seats. Labour, with 19.1 percent of the vote, won 37.5 percent of the seats, and the Liberal Democrats, with 5.2 percent of the vote, won 9 percent of the seats.

The net result of the SNP gaining 46.5 percent of the constituency vote and 41.7 percent of the regional list vote – even increasing its constituency vote by 1.1 percent on the last Holyrood election – was that it lost a seat. What this tells us – in terms of pure numbers – is that the better a party performs in the constituency and the regional list votes, the more punitive the D’Hondt formula will be on the regional lists. Let’s have a look at how this happens:

You will remember the formula, [quotient=V/s+1]. In plain English this means that the likelihood of an extra seat being awarded is determined by dividing the number of votes cast (‘V’) by 1 (because you can’t divide by zero) plus the number of seats the party already has (‘s’). To better illustrate this, we can take a look at what happened in Glasgow, where the SNP increased its share of the regional list vote by 4.9 percent and won 44.8 percent of the vote with 111,101 votes (beating its nearest rival, Labour, by 51,950 votes) – and never won a single regional list seat. This happened because the SNP had won 9 constituency seats; meaning – following the D’Hondt formula – that the 111,101 votes was divided by 10 (9+1), giving it a quotient of 11,110.1. On the same round (as regional list seats are allocated in rounds until the available seven seats are doled out), Labour, after losing 11 percent of its votes on the last election and so with only 59,151 votes, gains a seat because 59,151/0+1 (= 59,151) is more than five times better than the SNP’s quotient of 11,110.1. In each successive round the same thing happened until the SNP had the nine constituency seats it won and no additional member seats, even though it received the highest percentage of regional list votes.

Conclusion: a single party dominating the Scottish parliament is a mathematical impossibility, it cannot be done. This of course applies, mutatis mutandis, to a single pro-independence party dominating the Scottish parliament so as to stop anything like the 1918 Dáil Éireann election result from happening again; when Sinn Féin took 73 (that is 76.7 percent) of the available 105 Dáil seats (which led to Irish independence). Granted, however, this system was not designed with a view to penalising the SNP in particular. As can be seen in the South Scotland region, the matched performance in the constituency vote of the SNP and the Conservative Party penalised both in equal measure in the regional list vote. But it remains a system that obviates supermajorities (majorities of over 75 percent) – exactly what is required if Holyrood is to be used as the primary instrument for securing an independence referendum or for furthering the cause of independence by other means in the event of a referendum being refused.

The obvious circumvention of this obstacle is that another pro-independence party – or coalition of pro-independence parties and independents – stands candidates for regional votes. As shown, ‘both votes SNP’ cannot bring about a supermajority. SNP voters who vote SNP in the constituency vote but lend their regional list vote to non-SNP pro-independence candidates – provided enough are willing to do it, will bring about a supermajority with ease. Over a certain threshold, given the 2016 regional list vote for the SNP and current polling (50 percent, 30 June – 3 July), this will see the elimination of the majority of unionist seats and a pro-independence party – or coalition – form the opposition to a pro-independence SNP government (now polling at 55 percent in the constituency vote, 30 June – 3 July).

The decision, then, is Scotland’s. If the purpose of those who vote ‘1 and 2 SNP’ is to vote SNP, then the makeup of the next Holyrood parliament will not be very much different to its present makeup. But if the purpose is to return as many pro-independence MSPs as possible, then the writing is on the wall – it falls on those in Scotland who want a supermajority in the Scottish parliament for independence to vote SNP in the constituency vote and vote for another pro-independence party in the regional list vote. This is the only way such an outcome can be achieved – and it is well within our ability to do this.

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How the Holyrood Voting System Actually Works


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35 thoughts on “You Have Two Votes

  1. Thank you! As a new Scot (but whose heart has lived here for 30 years)and fervent believer in independence, I at last understand your voting system. Phew!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 3 people

  2. At first sight I have to admit, that it does feel a wee bit like cheating, but then we have to work with the system as it is. Remember, it’s designed to prevent any one PARTY from getting a huge majority of seats, NOT any one IDEOLOGY or aim. So needs must I suppose … 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I don’t understand why so many SNP MSPs are advocating both votes for the SNP. Even if the SNP gets a majority it will only be a couple of seats. They seem very committed to giving Westminster the power to give or withhold a referendum. There’s something wrong with that!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. teelwires: Good questions which I think can be answered quite simply.

    Firstly, the SNP like any other political party wants votes, and the more votes the better. It’s good for morale, it shows how “powerful” they are, and can be used to recruit even more votes in the future. When the electorate start to lose faith with a party, its decline can be swift – See Labour in Scotland.

    Secondly, it’s also about being able to demonstrate the strength of support to our opponents, in this case Westminster. By SNP 1&2, irrespective of the resulting number of MSPs, the overall percentage of the electorate is used as a hammer to say “Look at the level of OUR support”. (This of course, is party political thinking, NOT cause thinking).

    Third, the SNP 1&2 message is a buffer against late changes in voting patterns on the day. As Jason points out, the d’Hondt AMS is crucially linked to constituency success, if for some reason that dropped, the SNP would NEED some success on the Regional List in order to try and balance these losses.

    Fourth, it’s a simple message/slogan which is easy to understand – even if the net result is less pro-iS MSPs

    So, if polling remains at current or even higher levels (all caveats apply) then the vast majority of SNP Regional List votes will be worthless, even more so than in 2016. And on current polling they would be lucky to gain 2 “List” MSPs. BUT, that’s because they would be picking up even more constituency MSPs. Possibly as many as 70, meaning they would have a majority on the constituency alone. Then the ‘super majority’ can only come about if high numbers of SNP voters chose to support another iS party.

    What is holding this back is, I regret to say, SNP Party Politics and not wishing to “share” the cause (in a political aspect) with another party – I do not count the Green Party, to be honest, as I think their commitment to iScotland is based on their other policies and not on the case itself. If they could get more Green policies under the current constitution, they’d be quite happy to remain as is.

    Sorry, a rather long post. Hope it was some help, but these are just my opinions and like everyone else, are not necessarily 100% reality!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Just right. Now, how to get the message out there? First John Swinney and now Kirsten Oswald…? Thank you for your work. Keith MacBean and I have been checking and compiling the evidence also, and it seems irrefutable, but that doesn’t take us to the black pencil in the booth… We would like to be kept up to date with your work on this. Maggie MacBean

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The amount of votes cast for a particular party is the ultimate priority of any political party, it shows and proves support for that party, if however you cast your vote for an alternative party that vote no matter the ideology behind it will be counted as a vote against the first party
    In the case of Scotland if the object is to secure Independence by weight of people power a vote for another party while possibly gaining extra seats in support of the first party will automatically reduce the votes cast for the first party rendering that party at a disadvantage of claiming people power support
    This voting system wasn’t invented for fun it was invented to do exactly what it does, prevent a majority of one party over another and gaming it in this way hands the advantage straight back to Westminster who would claim support is down for the main party, in this case the SNP, and we all know Westminster will claim exactly that, but what they can’t argue with is numbers, more votes for one party’s proposition reflects the will of the people even if the party does not increase its seats

    The British Nationalists and the SNP haters would love nothing more than for you to spread your votes out all over the place thus appearing to lessen support for the SNP, numbers count or they wouldn’t fill TV screens up with graphs demonstrating swings and support from one party to another, Scotland could send all 59 MPs to the House of Commons and it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference to Westminster if when they looked at the numbers it was still close, numbers of of voters count, every election in Scotland is a referendum on Independence, the British Nationalists and the SNP haters know it and that’s why they keep punting the notion of *tactical* voting

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    1. So you imagine a sort of virtual proportional system, but if WM etc really backed that idea they would have insisted on PR plain and simple for at least the devolved parliaments. Clearly they don’t, so honestly I think your argument, though clever, simply fails?

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    2. With respect, Dr. Jim, you are wrong in your target audience. Westminster (I mean the Brit Nat establishment) simply don’t care about SNP numbers wherever they are, in Constituency or List. The greater, the worse as far as they are concerned. Nothing will ever convince them grant an agreed referendum that they will surely lose. Forget referendums. The target is international. We are necessarily moving to some form of declaration of independence, whether by Act resiling the Treaty of Union or other measure, that challenges the WM constitution, an act for which Mr. & Mrs. Murrell have no appetite. What will matter then is not what London thinks. It is what the EU, UN and other world players think. And they will look to see if there is a super-majority in the Scottish parliament. They won’t delve into the detail of how many ‘lost’ SNP votes are sloshing around the d’Hondt list system. They will count the number of elected delegates to Holyrood.

      And of course if we want to move to that bold challenge, it won’t be the super-cautious, seat-warming, deferential-to-WM machine-driven SNP that will lead. It will require the energy of a non-SNP indy party in Holyrood to initiate this, and shame the SNP into following suit (because their furious base will turn on them if they don’t).

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  7. Indeed, but we seem to be locked into a framework of political parties rather than the YES Movement, which is more than just the SNP. 2021 should be the time when all those supporting YES for iScotland make it clear that ANY vote for a pro-iS party shows the support for the proposition and to disengage Independence from the SNP (alone).

    The simple fact is, there are some pro-iS supporters who do not wish to give their vote to the SNP, but could be convinced to vote for a different pro-iS party. It’s a challenge, given the Unionist MSM, but we have up to 10 months to get this sorted

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lawrence. I think you are mistaken. International observers will see the percentage of voters supporting pro independence parties as the key factor, not the numbers of MSPs. So, whilst I can see the tactical advantage of splitting one’s votes , I don’t think it it the game changer some of its advocates claim it will be.

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  8. The other thing in Belgium apart from the beer is the food. I’ve never had a bad meal in Belgium and if you want a really good feed, that’s the place to go. Beats France any day.

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  9. If anyone out there likes Portishead or Saint Etienne then they might also like the great Belgian group Hooverphonic.
    I hope the voting message gets through to as many people as possible but some people are so confused. Saw a comment on Twitter yesterday that claimed voting SNP 1 & 2 got us 56 MPs in 2015! Confusing a general election result with the Scottish Parliament voting system! I hope ISP do well in the list vote because they seem to appeal to a lot of people disgruntled with the SNP and the Greens of late.

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  10. Flawed logic.
    2011 produced a SNP majority…so it is possible.
    The purpose is to gain independence. Therefore a SNP majority gives them the legitimacy to carry this throu. Gaming the system doesn’t.
    This also assumed large numbers of voters can be manipulated to forg party loyalty. Evidence runs contrary to this.

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    1. The likelihood of getting another independence supporting party to achieve a sudden Supernatural level of voter support by May 2021 without direct support from the SNP is practically zero. Would they be a single issue party? If not, what else would they care about?

      This idea could work if the SNP were to urge supporters to vote green. But many wouldn’t. This Issue is just an exercise in mathematics. As far as I can tell the AMS voting results in pretty reasonable proportions in the total number of msps when compared with the total national vote IN THE REGIONAL LISTS – so that’s why the list votes are important. List msps and seat msps are equal in the eyes of the Parliament I believe.

      And why does no one want to celebrate Belgian cycling? Let’s just say Eddie Merckx.
      Or chips with mayo and ketchup?

      Like

  11. Coordination is needed. Vote SNP 1&2 in stronger Tory areas to maximise snp list seats, vote snp 1 and Independence Party 2 in stronger snp areas to maximise pro independence seats.

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  12. This is a bit of a confusing article.
    The whole point of the list seats is to try and balance the inequity of first past the post. So …

    “The net result of the SNP gaining 46.5 percent of the constituency vote and 41.7 percent of the regional list vote”

    Is that it has 63/129 seats. That is 49% of the seats – so actually better than a strictly proportional outcome.

    The way to get a pro-Indy majority in Holyrood is to get a pro-Indy majority among the electorate. You don’t need to play jiggery pokery with list-only parties if SNP+Green gets a majority of votes, the majority of seats will follow. Indyref2 will have greater legitimacy if is achieved by a parliamentary majority backed by a majority of the electorate. If it is gained by “gaming” the vote then it is much easier to dismiss.

    First past the post is a crap system. We should be proud that our parliament is better than that, not seek to make it more like Westminster.

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  13. I despair this is not science so let us all keep it simple
    1 The SNP need the support of others to enact their policies in the Scottish Parliament because the D Hondt system works as it was designed to and balances representation
    2 The SNP must align with another Independence supporting party in order to maximise the number of MSPs in favour of the same result
    3 In order to become Independent Scotland must demonstrate that is the desire of an overwhelming majority of its residents and get the support and recognition of other Countries before taking some pre-emptive action
    4 Westminster is highly unlikely to agree to Scotland moving towards Independence and will continue to limit or degrade Scotland’s power to govern itself
    THE SNP IS BOTH THE PROBLEM AND THE SOLUTION
    voting 1 & 2 for SNP will continue to elect a Scottish Parliament where there is no overall majority
    The SNP will only be the biggest party if they maintain their support and will only succeed in moving forward if they have opposition support. Therefore the SNP must align with others and request that the list vote is given to the partner that SNP chooses

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  14. There are a number if advantages and disadvantages to this plan.
    Advantages
    More indy MSP s. – possibly become opposition so double the “airtime”.
    Get rid of trougher unionist MSP s like Murdo & Annie.
    More equal TV and radio airtime. No longer 3 v 1 it could be 3 v 3 .
    Push SNP bit harder on indy and more radical policy
    Disadvantages
    Too many indy list parties – split list vote and end up with nothing or worse off.
    Lack of awareness of general public.
    Leads to lack of punch as WM see governing party seats reduced! Good excuse /battering ram for them to use.
    Could lose existing green seats.
    Lack of policies could be exposed in campaign.
    New parties need high profile candidates to make impact . They don’t have them.
    Summary
    A super majority doesnt really gain much over a straight majority.
    If it does happen – countered by accusations of having gamed the system.
    On balance , will new indy parties gain enough votes…esp if there are multiple parties. Is it worth the risk?
    Established green party logical home for 2nd votes to have most impact.
    SNP needs 2nd votes in South and highland? regions so SNP 1 and 2
    In other regions has to be snp 1 green 2 to remove risk and keep simple. If indy is your main objective shouldnt matter giving greens your vote.
    That’s my take. I cant see half the snp voters giving a new list party their vote…esp general public.

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  15. I understand the voting system and while I may have called what is proposed cheating in some tweets I accept that on paper it isn’t. However I have three major concerns.
    1. It is advicating a means to strip representation from nearly half of Scottish voters, they will still be there even if not represented, that will not convince them to vote yes on any referendum.
    2. I doubt at this kate stage and with possibly three or 4 pro indy list parties on the scene, anyone e will get organised enough to make it work.
    3. Just how are additional pro indy MSP’s going to get us Independence faster than the SNP alone? Especially when at least one of those parties is expressly in existence to rid Scotland of the GRA. I’m not expressing an opinion on that but rather the problematic situation in Parliament of two indy parties falling out over it publicly and one possibly withholding support for other SNP policies as a result?

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    1. 1. At present Scotland is effectively rules from Westminster. The devolved powers are granted by Westminster and can be amended or withdrawn at any time. This is the case because there is a Tory Government in London which received exactly 25.1% of the vote. So, 75% of Scots are not represented on that basis.

      2. This is a valid point and care needs to be taken to ensure that doesn’t happen. At the moment I believe only the ISP have applied and been approved by the Electoral Commission. But this is a potential problem going forward. However, we have at least 6 months to get into a proper election frame of mind.

      3. Like any other party in Holyrood, it will be able to argue for a more robust push for either a referendum or alternative. The SNP will not be able to simply duck the question as a Unionist trope. But, as you know, nothing in politics is every simple.

      On balance I think the idea of a second “Regional List” pro-iS party is desirable for the reasons in the article. Making it a success, is of course, the trick. But as things stand (polling etc.) the SNP will not lose a single potential MSP if a second, or even third, party stands in the Region in 6/8 regions where SNP have no possibility of a seat

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  16. Let us assume that in May 2021 the election will take place and the constituency result will be broadly the same as in 2016.
    The question is whether to vote SNP on the list vote as well as the constituency vote, or vote for another independence party. As the calculation is done on a regional basis each region has to be examined in turn.
    Central Scotland
    All 9 constituencies were won by the SNP in 2016, so the number of list votes for the SNP were divided by 10 (9+1). This resulted in 4 of the 7 list seats going to Labour and 3 to the Tories. In this region, a list vote for the SNP is a wasted vote.
    Glasgow
    All 9 constituencies were won by the SNP in 2016, so the number of list votes for the SNP were divided by 10 (9+1). This resulted in 4 of the 7 list seats going to Labour, 2 to the Tories and 1 to the Greens. In this region, a list vote for the SNP is a wasted vote.
    Highlands and Islands
    6 of the 8 constituencies were won by the SNP, the other 2 by the Lib Dems. Only 1 list seat was won by the SNP. 3 went to the Tories, 2 to Labour and 1 to the Greens. In this region, a list vote for the SNP is not a completely wasted vote, but a vote for another pro-independence party would be of more value.
    Lothian (s)
    6 of the 9 constituencies were won by the SNP in 2016, so the number of list votes for the SNP were divided by 7 (6+1), but the Tories won 1 seat, as did Labour and the Lib Dems. This resulted in 2 of the 7 list seats going to Labour, 2 to the Greens and 3 to the Tories. In this region, a list vote for the SNP is a wasted vote.
    Mid Scotland & Fife
    8 of the 9 constituencies were won by the SNP in 2016, so the number of list votes for the SNP were divided by 9 (8+1), and the Lib Dems won 1 seat. This resulted in 2 of the 7 list seats going to Labour, 1 to the Greens and 4 to the Tories. In this region, a list vote for the SNP is a wasted vote.
    North East Scotland
    9 of the 10 constituencies were won by the SNP in 2016, so the number of list votes for the SNP were divided by 10 (9+1), and the Tories won 1 seat. This resulted in 2 of the 7 list seats going to Labour, 1 to the Lib Dems and 4 to the Tories. In this region, a list vote for the SNP is a wasted vote.
    South of Scotland
    Of the 9 constituencies, 4 were won by the SNP, 4 by the Tories and 1 by Labour. This resulted in 3 of the 7 list seats going to the SNP, 2 to the Tories and 2 to Labour. In this region, a list vote for the SNP is NOT a wasted vote.
    West of Scotland
    7 of the 9 constituencies were won by the SNP in 2016, so the number of list votes for the SNP were divided by 8 (7+1), and the Tories and Labour each won 1 seat. This resulted in 3 of the 7 list seats going to Labour, 1 to the Greens and 3 to the Tories. In this region, a list vote for the SNP is a wasted vote.
    Summary.
    Only in the South of Scotland Region (comprising the constituencies of Ayr, Carrick, Clydesdale, Galloway, Dumfries, Roxburgh, Tweeddale, East Lothian & Kilmarnock) is a list vote for the SNP a truly valuable vote for a pro-independence Party.

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  17. The problem as I see it is getting enough people to vote in the lists for the same pro Indy party that is not snp, therefore splitting the regional vote and potentially handing the list seat to conservatives.

    In the last couple of elections i have voted constituency seat snp, list seat greens. If every snp supporter did this the supermajority you talk about *might*be possible, but if that list vote for indy is split between snp, greens, isp, even labour – as there are labour voters who support snp only on Indy, and want to keep their labour loyalty also, the list vote is split and let’s the conservatives in as Tory voters have fewer party options to be divided over.

    I don’t see this kind of coordinated vote happening, unless there is agreement between the parties about who they should vote for in a given constituency ward for the most comprehensive pro Indy result. That won’t happen because despite Indy being the raison d’etre for the snp generally, the party is made up of individuals who have very different views, including that in order to remain in power they need as many votes as possible.

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    1. The idea of SNP 1 & Green 2 is fine, IF you support Green policies. They have shown in their performance in Holyrood that they would use influence to block sensible policies or try to introduce their own (which is fair enough). Their approach to environment and land ownership appear sound, but some of their other policies fill me with dread. I wouldn’t want to rely on them as the only means of ensuring a referendum.

      So far the outline policies of ISP appeal to my political compass, so why would I support the Greens when they do not? Both Greens and ISP support Independence (albeit the Greens are Luke warm in my estimation), so I’d vote for the party closest to my political desires

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  18. Naturally the SNP will always insist on both votes SNP, they have to, they will have their own list candidates and they won’t want to be seen as trying to ‘game the system’ although privately they might see the point in SNP 1 / Pro Indy 2 they couldn’t be seen to actively campaign for this. My worry is that too many will do what SNP tells them, I fell into that category last time, head told me SNP 1 / Pro indy 2 but my heart told me to ‘listen to Nicola’ so I bottled it and meekly went SNP 1 / SNP 2. I realise now that was daft after all those effectively wasted list votes did nothing but let the Unionists in so this time defo SNP 1 / Pro indy 2 for me. My worry is there are still so many who will go with what the SNP tells them to do regardless of reasoning. Naturally the SNP will say it has to be SNP 1 / SNP 2 and as long as they are saying this then that’s what the bulk of the diehard members will do. I am an SNP member but not going to bottle it this time. SNP 1 for sure / 2 Pro indy for sure. It just makes sense.

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  19. A geek writes: From what I can work out (and I’m no apologist for Belgium — I had dinner with a couple of them once, and it was very boring), the Belgian bit of our voting system is the good bit. It’s the compensatory (as opposed to the non-compensatory) variation of the mixed electoral system that we use that’s shit. It’s hard to work out whose idea it was — the Scottish Parliament web page is coy on the matter — but the word “Hansard” sometimes appears in my searching, so English, rather than Belgian, is my guess.

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  20. We need one strong alliance party with good leadership. Electoral rules will not allow the SNP to promote this so it is in the hands of the YES movement. Saor Alba.

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  21. Very persuasive article.
    A super majority of Independence supporting MSPs is what will bring about an inarguable right to negotiate our leaving the union.
    A simple SNP majority will be little different to the present situation with SNP & Greens.
    Given that SNP votes 1&2 would at best produce a simple majority, why is it that this seems to be the desired outcome for the SNP leadership?
    Is it perhaps to avoid accusations that we would become, to all intents and purposes a one party (vision) state. No matter that this would only pertain until independence is won and a free election to a resumed Scottish Parliament is carried out, the one ‘party’ epithet will be used as a stick with which to beat and berate us.

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