Saturday, 6 May 2017

It's swing that wrecks the SNP


At the last General Election in 2015 I voted for the Lib Dems. This was partly because I thought they had done a good job as part of the coalition government, but it was mainly because I had become convinced that tactical voting was the best way to keep the SNP out.

I live in the Gordon Constituency in Aberdeenshire. It’s very rural and more prosperous than most parts of Scotland. For a long time the seat was held by Lib Dem Malcolm Bruce, who is popular in the area and who did a good job as an MP. My MP now is Alex Salmond.

The SNP won in Gordon with 47% of the vote. What this means is that theoretically we could have stopped Mr Salmond if all Pro UK voters had voted tactically. If you add the totals for the Lib Dems, Labour, Conservative and UKIP they surpass Mr Salmond’s total. The same can be said for nearly every seat the SNP won in Scotland. Unless the SNP won more than 50% of the vote they could have been beaten. So in a possible world where all Pro UK people voted tactically the SNP might have won almost no seats instead of 56.

This is the logic behind tactical voting campaigns. It looks sensible, but sorry folks this is not how real world elections work.


I woke up to a surprise two years ago when it turned out that David Cameron had won a majority of 12. No-one had predicted this. The talk throughout the campaign had been of coalitions. A year later I woke up to another surprise. The UK had voted for Brexit. A few months after this the impossible happened. Donald Trump was US president. In each case polling, betting and pundits got it spectacularly wrong.

I was delighted that there was a Conservative Government with a majority in 2015. Suddenly there was the prospect of a referendum on the EU, which was something that I had wanted for many years. I was pleased too that the Lib Dems had been reduced to 8 seats. I think UK democracy works best as a two party system. A third party just muddies the waters. But then I began to reflect that I hadn’t actually voted for the Conservatives. I felt like a mug.

The fact is that if only a handful of extra Lib Dem MPs had been elected in 2015 there would not have been a Conservative majority. If only a few more Labour MPs had won we might have ended up with Ed Miliband as Prime Minister forming a loose “coalition” or pact with anyone else who would vote for him. The Lib Dem candidate I had voted for might have been part of this coalition, might have prevented the EU referendum and might have been part of a pact involving the SNP.

During elections most parties say that they won’t make pacts. They are competing against each other so naturally avoid talk of working together. Talk of pacts also implicitly concedes defeat. But there are 650 seats in the House of Commons and if a party doesn’t have more than half of them it has to do a deal even if that deal is only on a vote by vote basis.

It is for this reason above all that it is pure folly for Conservative supporters to vote tactically for the Lib Dems or Labour. The MP elected by this means might well end up in a loose coalition with the SNP and this coalition might be enough to put the Conservatives in opposition. Any Conservative supporter who votes for another party could in part be responsible for this.

It was this that dawned on me on the morning after the General Election in 2015. I’d made a mistake. The Conservatives had done better than expected. If Conservative voters up and down the country had voted tactically they might well have lost. Tactical voting may seem like good tactics, but what if it led to Jeremy Corbyn ending up as Prime Minister backed by Lib Dems and the Scottish nationalists?

My experience of campaigning for tactical voting in Scotland in 2015 was not a pleasant one. I write from conviction. I try to write in an interesting and creative way. But I was arguing for something I didn’t really believe. I was supporting a party that I disagreed with. I was being insincere. I regret it now. It was unfair to the Lib Dems who I voted for. It was also unfair to the Conservative candidate who deserved my vote.

I discovered while campaigning for people to vote tactically that I met resistance. Labour voters frequently told me that they could only vote Labour. Indeed as members of the Labour Party they had no choice but to do so. It’s part of the deal when you join. They were happy for people to vote tactically for Labour, but they would not reciprocate. The whole tactic comes up against human nature. It is a possible world tactic that doesn’t take into account real world psychology. Tactical voting only really works in a two way marginal where two parties are very close and miles ahead of anyone else. It doesn’t work in safe seats and it doesn’t work where a number of parties think they have a reasonable chance. For this reason apart from in isolated instances tactical voting doesn’t work.

One of the main problems involved in a tactical voting campaign is determining which candidate to vote for. I remember advising people in 2015 about which candidate had the best chance of defeating the SNP in each particular seat. People produced pictorial guides based on the result in the previous election or on local poling. I was asked to share these pictures. Sometimes they took the form of a wheel at other times they took another form. I spent quite a lot of time sharing these guides. But there were disputes. Some people disagreed over who had the best chance. The wheel sometimes changed. Right up until the final day there were disputes about whether a Conservative, Lib Dem or Labour candidate had the best chance in this seat or that seat. But all of these disputes were completely meaningless. Tactical voting failed dismally in Scotland in 2015. It hardly had any influence on the result whatsoever. Scottish nationalists quite rightly mocked our wheel. It made us look stupid, because it was stupid.

Oh but if only more people had voted tactically it would have succeeded. One more push and it will work next time. But this is simply to fail to learn from mistakes. It is to fail to take into account the psychology of elections and to recognise how they are decided.

The mistake that people who are politically active frequently make is to suppose that the whole population is like them. They aren’t. Most people don’t think that much about politics. It bores them.

Huge numbers of people vote the same way every time. They won’t read your tactical voting guide, because it’s not on TV, it’s not in all the papers and it’s not on a leaflet dropping through their letter boxes. None of the parties who campaign will be telling voters to vote tactically. None of the people knocking on doors or phoning you up will tell you to vote for another party. All you are doing is talking to a few thousand Pro UK activists, who are too few to make any difference.

Elections are not decided by tactical voting, they are decided by swing. The mood of the country changes and sweeps to power one party or another. Theoretically the Labour landslides of 1945 or 1997 could have been stopped by tactical voting. But do you really think this might have happened? To suppose so is simply to misunderstand human nature and how elections work.

It is the momentum of a campaign that decides the result. In the present election if the mood of the country becomes overwhelmingly in favour of electing Theresa May this will affect every seat. The Conservative vote will increase more or less uniformly. This is why the swingometer is a good general guide. Increasing the share of the votes for the Conservatives is by far the best way to decease SNP seats in Scotland. It is for this reason that every Conservative vote counts.



Around a third of Scottish voters will vote Conservative at the next election. This might win them 8 seats. But every percentage point increase swings more and more seats to the Conservatives from the SNP. This is the way our electoral system works. First past the post rewards vote share. The Labour and Lib Dem vote share in Scotland is simply too small for marginal increases to make any difference.

What matters in all elections is momentum. The SNP gained such a degree of momentum in 2015 that they won seats where previously they had been nowhere. Alex Salmond had a 25% swing in Gordon and the SNP had a 30% swing overall. Sometimes the swing was still higher. Ultra safe Labour seats went to the SNP.  No amount of tactical voting could ever have made a difference in those circumstances.
But the crucial point is that swings between elections can go both ways. A Conservative surge in 2017 could win seats where on paper they have no chance.
It is this that tactical voting guides forget. Even if the Conservatives were third or fourth last time round, given a large enough swing they could well win those seats. Tactical voting guides would tell Conservatives to vote for the party that came second last time round. But that might actually increase the chances of the SNP candidate being returned.

The way to increase swing is to campaign for what you believe. Tactical voting suggests that all parties in Scotland are the same and it doesn’t matter who wins in a particular seat so long as it isn’t the SNP. This is not true.

Half way through the election campaign in 2015 the Lib Dem candidate I was supporting declared that she wasn’t a Unionist. I was shocked. I almost reversed my position. It turned out that she like most Lib Dems was a Federalist. This is the line that Labour takes too. They want to give still more power to the SNP. I don’t.

I keep coming across Labour and Lib Dem voters who are sympathetic to independence or who are wavering. Some Lib Dems in particular seem to prefer the EU to the UK. Many former Labour and Lib Dem voters now support the SNP. In order to try to win them back both the Lib Dems and Labour tend towards making concessions to Scottish nationalism. The Left in Scotland agrees with the SNP about most things. They think the solution to every problem is to spend more money that we don’t have. At times I can barely distinguish a Labour supporter from a Scottish nationalist. They both just go on and on about Tory cuts. It is because Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP agree about so much that it is so easy for left wing voters to end up supporting independence.

Every Conservative vote will increase the share. No Conservative vote is wasted. It doesn’t matter where you live. Each vote will strengthen Theresa May’s hand when she stands up to Nicola Sturgeon. Every percentage point the Conservatives gain pushes them to the tipping point where they begin to gain massively from the SNP.

Tactical voting will make next to no difference to the election in 2017. All it does is hinder the momentum that the Conservatives are building. We are building support for the Scottish Conservatives so that we have a Pro UK party that can take on and then surpass the SNP. Every Pro UK vote that comes our way is one step towards that goal. Join us. Help us. Just watch us.

I am going to campaign positively for what I believe this time. Stuff your wheels. They are broken. 

80 comments:

  1. The only way that the maybe 15-18% of soft-hard Yessers will be drawn out of the 38% and converted bsck to being at lesst content with being British is to to appeal to their latent Britidhness and sense of British solidarity. See " A Force For Good" 's " 20 Lessons to be Learnrd from the Official and Unofficial No Campaigns", " Ever Closer Union: Over 50 Suggestions to Promote the Social Uniin and Cultyral Value if the UK", and " Ever Closer Union: How to Promote the British Uniin in the face of Separatist Opposition"

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    1. yes voters will if anything have had their position hardened.....Britain is broken and politically polarized in a way never seen before. It's over....and you know it

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    2. Nonsense. Broken? Where's your evidence for that sweeping statement? Looking out the window just now it doesn't seem very 'broken' to me. Politically polarised? Everywhere is. In fact, we were more polarised in the 1950s when the Tory-Labour split was damn near 50-50. Sixty years later, still here.

      On current trends, nationalism is stagnating with a slight but definite decline as the opposition reorganises itself to become more effective. I have no crystal ball but I think the year 2021 will be pivotal. No sep majority in Holyrood means the end of the indy threat for a very long time, especially if the nationalists stagger on as a toothless minority government.

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    3. If there is no majority then how did they manage to win the vote in Holyrood ? You keep deluding yourself but the facts don't change.

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    4. I was talking about the next Holyrood election.

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    5. Always pushing out the end of the honeymoon. Fly in the ointment will be Brexit blowback. The economic fallout will be enormouns. The SNP will use this to further discredit WM.

      Further destablisation of the GBP and economic austerity will continue to grow Scottish view point that the UK is finished.

      The only way this ends good for you is if Brexit is a massive success....Good luck with that. Not sure I'd bet my house on that.

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    6. RM, here's how you do brexit without an economic catastrophe. You take the Norway deal as a halfway house, negotiate free trade deals with as many countries as possible, and then either keep the Norway deal or pull the plug on it. There will be no hard brexit cliff edge. Personally, I'm more worried about a hard SNP Scoxit.

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    7. That's not on the table is it.....

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    8. We don't know. Nothing is on the table. The EU has entered at one end of the room and us at the other end - and we're approaching the table while hurling insults and unrealistic demands at each other. But that's how negotiations start. Who knows what will be in place 2 years from now.

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  2. I'll vote Labour this time around. I was quite happy with the SNP in government when they were all about banning the sale of council houses and doing over the Tories and their bedroom tax, but then they reneged on their pledge to increase tax to 50p and went begging the Tories to keep control of DLA/PIP until 2020. So no, not this time.

    Labour are offering a tenner and hour minimum wage, which will help the youngsters in Leith, build council houses and keep the pension triple lock. What's not to like?

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  3. It's easy to offer a tenner an hour minimum wage when there isn't the remotest chance that you are going to have to find that money.

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    1. It's even easier to make throwaway statements like that on the internet

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    2. Actually, the minimum wage under the tories is set to reach almost a tenner by 2020. No need to break up the country then.

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    3. That remains to be seen , promises about as safe as the 'triple lock' on pensions....

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  4. I will be voting conservative in the General Election, even though they have no chance of unseating my local SNP MP (no unionist party does, for several electoral cycles to come, by the looks of things). But this only makes it easier to vote out of conviction - if there is no way to game the system, you can vote for who you genuinely want. And you are right - every percentage point helps the tories stand up to the SNP, even if it doesn't necessarily win seats this time out.

    The local elections are a different matter however. I voted Tory first, Labour second and third, then LibDems etc. It would appear that unionists around the country did something similar. It's why the SNP lost Dundee and can only control Glasgow in coalition with the certifiable nutjob Greens (if you live in Glasgow and drive a car or own a rubbish bin, be afraid).

    So, while it should always be Tory in national elections, the importance of unionists voting for each other in these local elections cannot be overstated.

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    1. You have all lost your identities, look at you reveling in that faux joy of unionist councillors , how does that work in your favor ? How does it help. All that has happened is that the gap between 1st and second place electorally has widened and all the opposition are equally hated now.

      Look at poor Aldo, he is now just a unionist, policy no longer matters. He has in fact become what he says he hates but in reverse, it's just about the flag now....nothing else matters. He will take anything as long as the union survives....

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    2. Its just about the flag now. He will take anything, as long as Scotland becomes independent.

      See what I did there?

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  5. I will be voting conservative in the general election on the 8th of June as I voted conservative in the council elections on Thursday.These were first time conservative votes for me and I am 67 years old.I was brought up in Fife in a very labour orientated family and never wavered until I was swept away by SNP in the referendum couple of years ago.Talk about regrets, I cannot believe I was so stupid.Anyhow it's not that I believe In the Tory policies but I do know we must loosen SNPs grip on Scotland with a view to getting rid of this totally divisive cunning and evil party.I don't want to be independent from my neighbours I want to live beside people I have known and trusted and can rely on if there was conflict and trouble.We cannot live in the past .Yes there has been a history of terrible things been inflicted on us but we are not innocent and we need to get on but as a United Kingdom.Dont let SNP divide us vote for anyone who is going to rid us of their grip and once we have achieved our aim we take things from there.

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    1. To me, an independent Scotland is like a football team voluntarily going from the premier league to the third division. It's insane. I know that some dead people from 300+ years ago would be upset at the idea of Scotland not being independent - and maybe the English did do some horrible things to them. But all that is in the past. Their struggles are not ours. I consider myself very fortunate to have been born into the premier league of democratic, wealthy nations. Britain is my birthright and no blue facepainter is going to take it from me.

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    2. Britain is my birthright...WTF does that mean....you have become a parody . Honestly what do you actually mean by that. It's just nonsense, it means absolutely nothing

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    3. We know you hate being Scottish Aldo , why not just pretend you are English and be done with it. Does your accent let you down ? Do your English neighbours shun you ?

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    4. Mary there essentially just saying what Aldo thinks, I don't care about policy. I just want the union to survive and regardless of how many people get fucked over by the Tories it does not matter. The union must survive even if we do not....

      Just let that mindset sink in......

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    5. Its mine. I have a stake in it. I own it. I'm entitled to it. My forefathers built it. This is what is meant by birthright. You don't give up your birthright readily, and neither should you.

      The Tories aren't terrorists or some anti-human cult. Centre-right parties exist and thrive in most healthy, democratic nations. That a few conservatives have been elected should not be treated as being the end of the world, even by those who disagree with them. You see, this is what's wrong with Scotland - anything to the right of Stalin is considered somehow beyond the pale because of a woman who currently resides in an urn. We need to grow up and mature politically. It's okay to be centre-right.

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    6. Tories are not centre right though, they are quite a bit further to the right, see Brexit

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    7. Blood and soil nationalist comment from Aldo......

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    8. Your side is the one that goes on about 'white settlers'. Ever read wings?

      "The Tories aren't centre-right, they are white a bit to the right".

      No. Not buying it. Donald Trump is "quite a bit to the right". In Britain we have an NHS, minimum wage, a huge welfare bill growing year on year and net immigration in the hundreds of thousands. The Tories might not even be centre-right, but centrist or slightly left of centre.

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    9. Spot the unfortunate typo, lol.

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    10. Tories are white and a bit right !!! :O)

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    11. Just the way they should be.

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    12. and not very bright !!!!

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  6. Some truly wonderful work on behalf of the owner of this internet site , perfectly great articles .
    brexit app

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    1. Our Effie deserves a column in a major newspaper.

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    2. I hear that the Scotsman has a vacancy...

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    3. Certainly some of these blog entries could help with some editing...its all a bit rambly and full of rage.

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    4. I find her to be clear, thoughtful and articulate. We need writers like effie to air the unionist side of this argument - all too often drowned out by the noisy nats and their social media monopoly.

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  7. I am voting Tory....no question...SNP have done nothing at all for Scotland or the Scottish people....i trapped the street prior to the local elections with Tory leaflets and I will be doing so again before the GE....sod this tactical stuff...all the does is split the votes....we all need to vote Tory to rid ourselves of thus nationalism...

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  8. Interesting to see that getting only 37% of the vote share (Greens included) and losing two majority councils and gaining absolutely zero majority councils and losing 7 seats is a SNP victory yet the unionists getting well over 50% of the vote according to Sturgeon is not a vote against her.

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    1. For the SNP, spin has turned into open arrogance and an obvious lack of humility. They could get 2 votes, and a hundred other parties get 1 vote each, and they would still declare a stunning and famous victory. A huge section of the population are mobilised against them, and their response is not even "tis but a scratch!". At least Monty Python's black knight admitted he'd been damaged.

      But we want the SNP to be arrogant, ignorant, repugnant and smug. It will surely doom them to failure in the long run.

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    2. cut off all westminster cash NOW let them get on with sorting out what they get handed to them which is much than people in england

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    3. I sometimes think the government missed a trick when the SNP asked for full fiscal autonomy (in the full knowledge it would be voted down, giving them another grievance). They should have said 'okay then' and the subsequent collapse of the Scottish finances would have killed the SNP.

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    4. SNP gained 6 seats, increased their vote share and gap between 1st and 2nd is even bigger now. All that happened is Tories took some Labour seats but the result was that it killed Labour . Nationalist vote was unharmed and gap is wider.

      Unionists are completely fractured.


      What is your target for Tory seats in June ? Be truthful now.....

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    5. SNP and Greens together took 450 seats out of 1227. That's hardly the result you would expect from a country yearning for independence.

      The target for tory seats in June? Ask Ruth Davidson. All I know is that the strongest pro union party is the conservatives and so they'll have my vote.

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    6. So too feart to say....? The tory tsunami does not seem to be coming to much does it. Now you can see that as I predicted you are stuck with a natural top in number of Tory suckers, demographically it continues to shrink. It's a political dead end and despite all the bluster, you are nowhere.

      It was a PR election using STV....not FPTP. BTW it was 451, up 6 from last time. Vote split up 1% from last time....

      For a party in power 10 years...The honeymoon sees to be still in full swing...

      It's a simple question, what would you see as success ?

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    7. 25% of Scots voting Tory in a local authority election - as happened on Thursday - is a success. In terms of winning back WM seats from the SNP, it's potentially a long term project. I'm not going to put figures on it just now.

      You seem rattled RM. What's wrong? Are you rattled by Nicola's low energy performance in the locals? Don't get too upset. Every bubble bursts. Every dog has its day.

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    8. Rattled ? Lolz, you'll be lucky to get 3 or 4 seats....

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    9. Careful there RM. You are now putting numbers on this, not me. You may regret it June 9th!

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    10. You are just too feart, no conviction.

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    11. Feart of what? I don't know the future. I'm a humble man and don't like to make sweeping claims about things over which I have zero control. I'll leave that sort of thing to the nats.

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    12. Don't make sweeping statements.....ffs.....This is my birthright.....

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    13. That's just a statement of fact, RM. Not a prediction of future events.

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  9. Question for Mr Anon there is where does Westminster get the cash ?

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    1. Richer areas of the UK and borrowing secured on the economic strength of the entire UK.

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    2. If we have an ovell deficit then its not coming from richer areas. Its coming from borrowing, so its not coming from England, its being created by Treasury/BoE...

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    3. It's being borrowed from international markets who lend large amounts cheaply to us because they know we're good for paying it back. An independent Scotland would not be able to sustain its current levels of spending. It could borrow to fund its deficit but would need to put an austerity programme in place to win the confidence of lenders. No independent nation can maintain a deficit of 10% of its GDP. This is where Britain found itself after the crash and had to slash spending dramatically to avoid bankruptcy. An independent Scotland would be no different.

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    4. Too poor to sustain current levels of spending through borrowing alone? Yes, definitely.

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    5. Yes and Brexit will dull it further when we are all plunged into a recession that will bury the UK

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    6. Business is booming. If the private sector was windy about brexit, we'd already be witnessing a slowdown. Instead, we're picking up pace.

      There are plenty of people in the world we can trade with RM, even Europe in the event of hard brexit. Its just that things may be slightly more expensive. Paid a tenner for European produce before? Now you'll pay 11 quid - with the extra cash going into the state via taxation.

      A disaster of the type you're hoping for would seem unlikely.

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  10. Nippy has, at Wee Eck's prompting, said this election is a proxy for indyref so two things are critical for pro-UK voters

    1) Get out and vote. We need a 100% turnout from pro-UK voters to push the SNP below 40% vote share and below 30% of those eligible to vote

    2) Vote Tory. Kezia can't be trusted after flip-flopping on indyref. A LibDem vote is a wasted vote.

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    1. You can well imagine a situation where the SNP get 38% but 32 WM seats and announce "Ha! 32 out of 59 is a majority! Indyref2 now!!" This would be the same party that whinged about first past the post for many years that it wasn't fair. They were right back then, but now seek to use that same flawed system to foist a minority opinion on all of the population. They are disgusting. Thatcher's tories? Blair's New Labour? Saints compared to this lot.

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    2. 32....haha in your dreams.... Use the same flawed system ?

      Did we not have a referendum on PR ? Did we not reject it. You doughballs don't know if you are coming or going.

      You loved Thatcher's Tories Aldo, it put the great back in Britain again*


      *exceptions apply

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    3. Nope. We had a referendum on AV, not PR.

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  11. Running Man, Republican Man.If you want to get down in the Gutter go ahead & vote SNP/IRA

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    1. On wings over scotland just now they are doing their nut about 'orangemen' and sectarianism - as if it is only the one side that is blighted by such thinking. But plenty of Catholic, Irish Republican Celtic supporting types are voting sep / yes to destroy Britain, get rid of the Queen (or so they think) and get rid of the 'butchers apron' (their disgusting slur on the British union flag).

      There is sectarianism on both sides here, although most yessers probably aren't motivated by it - just as most no voters aren't.

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    2. I was a 12 year season ticket holder at Ibrox....There is no sectarianism on the YES side related to the plastic paddy's you describe.

      Its a knee jerk assumption made by knuckle dragging loyalist clowns. Their assumption is that they have opposites on Yes side. It's just not true.

      There is a general dislike of this Unionist Loyalist garbage, that in itself is not sectarianism.

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    3. Frank, just shows how much of a clown you are....You assume things and it makes you look like a dick....

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    4. Running Man, of course there is sectarianism on the yes side. The vast majority of Celtic supporters support indy. Are they doing it because they admire social democracy and think the best chance of getting it in Scotland is through independence? No, of course not. Most of them can't string two sentences together. They just want to break up Britain and fuck the Queen (their words).

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    5. Yes. Celtic has an issue with Catholic sectarianism. Celtic supporters vastly support independence. I have proven.

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    6. Gheel, is that not a Dutch name ? Why is a Dutchman interested in Scottish elections ? A Dutchman from England lol

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  12. The popular vote figures for 1st preferences have been made available.

    SNP 32%
    Tory 25%
    Labour 20%
    LibDems 6%
    Greens 4%
    Independents 10%

    I think it's game on for culling a good few Nat MPs in the General Election.

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    1. Tory vote in GE won't breach that, auldies like you always vote

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    2. Firstly, I'm 34.

      Secondly, the Tory vote in the GE is very likely to rise above that, as independent voters redistribute between the parties. There is also a shy Tory factor present in most polling - and most polls have the conservatives in the high 20s. So that means we could realistically get 30%.

      If that happens, it will be the first time since the 1970s/80s - possibly pre Thatcher.

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  13. Its not going to happen, 25%-27% max with the wind behind you.....There is an upper limit to Tory voters. Tories stole votes only from Labour.

    All that has happend is churn in Unionist vote. Labour were neck and neck in council elections in 2012, they are distant 3rd now and you are distant 2nd.

    GE will bring out more younger voters which will kil the Tories and while some Labour folk might might swing in council vote they won;t in GE. In many areas Edin South and East Renfrewshire both Lab and Tories believe they are in with a shout....So they'll not flip.

    Greens dropped out of Moray and so SNP will sweep most of those up.

    If you get 5 seats it will be a landslide. Pollsters saying 2....lolz

    You are so confident you cannot even say what success looks like....

    There are some people who are 34 and others who are 34....It's a mindset thing.

    How about that wee Tory council guy in Dunblane outed for his trolling and dodgy dating sites....Big Mulder...lolz, won't even last a week.

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    1. "There is an upper limit to tory voters".

      In your mind perhaps. In England they're at 44-50% just now. So, elsewhere on this island of fairly similar peoples with similar views and values, they are at half the vote. You're deluded to think it can't happen here, under the correct circumstances.

      Meanwhile, the evidence based electoral calculus projection has the tories picking up a dozen seats in Scotland. I'm not saying it will happen but I trust mathematicians far more than I do your ravings.

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    2. Trust them so much you cannot even say it will happen, no bollocks you Tories.....just talking bollocks... dozen seats ffs

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    3. RM, no one can say with 100% confidence that something 'will' happen. The future is unknowable. You nats especially need to learn that.

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  14. Where the hell is Effie ? Hiding in a cupboard or doing her CV up to try for a job at the Hootsman ?

    Please Effie, your flock need guidance...What are they to do in the election, make your instructions simple for their memory isn;t what it used to be.....

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    1. I thought she already issued a simple enough instruction - vote conservative.

      Presumably Effie isn't on here 24/7 as she has a life and quite wisely refuses to get involved in online slagging matches.

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  15. The Labour manifesto is VERY left wing. Energy, mail and rail brought back under public ownership. Free tuition in the rest of the UK, more money for health and education and a resulting increase in Barnett funding for Scotland. Might this tempt some central belt voters back to Labour? I am not a socialist. I dislike state control. But if Corbyn can breathe some life into Scottish Labour with some of this stuff, I'll be very pleased.

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