I NOTE with some dismay the article in The Scotsman by Kenny MacAskill (July 9) on the subject of a list-only pro-independence party. While he perhaps (if we’re being generous) stops short of directly endorsing a different party, it is galling to see an SNP MP and former Cabinet minister, and indeed, former list MSP, suggesting a vote for another party.

I recall hearing similar arguments to the one Kenny advances in the 2016 Holyrood campaign – the polling right up until a week before the election showed the SNP surging ahead on the constituency ballot to over 50%, and both the Greens and RISE suggested that a list vote for the SNP would be ‘wasted’. As it transpired, while the SNP did make gains they far from winning an overall majority based on constituencies alone, as a mix of tactical voting and a late Tory surge combined to give some unexpected holds and even gains for unionist parties. While the majority of SNP constituency voters continued voting SNP on the list the proportion was significantly lower than in 2011, and as a result the overall majority was lost.

We also know that it is perfectly possible to win list seats while winning all or almost all constituencies in a region – in 2011 the SNP won a list seat in North East Scotland despite winning every single constituency, and won a list seat in Mid Scotland and Fife despite winning every seat bar won on 45% of the vote.

READ MORE: Kenny MacAskill urges Scots to consider voting against SNP

On the other hand, fringe parties have had considerable difficulty reaching the 5% or so required to gain representation – RISE, Solidarity, George Galloway’s Respect and UKIP have all failed to even come close to gaining representation despite considerable media attention. Even the Greens regularly struggled to get more than 1-2 seats.

It must be especially galling for SNP members in East Lothian, who I’m sure are very grateful to be able to call on one of the three South of Scotland SNP MSPs to deal with constituency issues instead of the former Labour leader.

In short, either the SNP wins almost all constituencies, as Kenny suggests, and thus win a majority anyway, or we fall short and rely on the list to win additional seats.

While it’s of course entirely reasonable for pro-independence voters to vote in any way they like, for both votes SNP is the safest option for ensuring an SNP majority and the clearest signal to the world that Scotland wants to get on.
Calum Winter

NOT knowing protester Dave Llewellyn personally, his quotes in The National suggest he is a genuine Yesser (Carlaw demands FM condemns protesters, July 6). It’s the SNP flag bit that niggles. Given that the protest, described as being about health concerns, came in the wake of not one but two polls showing support for Indy at 54%, I can’t help but wonder if this may be the start of The Vow Mk2.

Our FM, in the face of severe and constant provocation, has valiantly and largely successfully kept her handling of the pandemic apolitical. If you are a genuine Yesser, Dave, my apologies for the slur. However, if you’re planning another such protest, perhaps a little thought about the wisdom of using what is the equivalent of a red rag to a bull and a gift to the Unionist politicians.
Jennifer Rodger
West Kilbride

I UNDERSTOOD that one of the duties of SNP’s depute leader was the challenging of the misinformation issuing from the Unionist media. I was therefore very disappointed at his response to BBC’s Kuenssberg’s latest utterance. Mr Brown refers to her “mistake”. Let’s face it, this was no mistake.

READ MORE: BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg accused of ‘repeating mistakes of 2014’

Does Mr Brown not appreciate that the BBC is the state broadcaster? Surely he knows the reason why that organisation was founded. The British government was alarmed at what was happening in the USA where many radio stations were free to report what they liked. With the establishment of the BBC, the government could control what was broadcast.

Mr Brown goes on to state “The BBC will blow all trust with its viewers and listeners in Scotland...” Is he not aware that a large proportion of the Scottish population already no longer trusts the BBC?
N M Shaw

I DO appreciate the sentiments and warning message concerning coronavirus expressed in verse in the two-page advertisement from the Scottish Government which appeared in The National. It was also nice to see that the spirit of William McGonagall is alive and well in Scotland.
Douglas Turner

I WANT to thank David Pratt for his comment on the absurdity of the various suggestions of new additional Yes parties to contest the list vote. While I agree whole-heartedly with what David has said, I also want to add to his argument an additional note of caution.

READ MORE: David Pratt: This kind of internal squabbling in the Yes movement borders on idiotic

Any new party which now enters this fray would be a sitting duck for infiltrators to insinuate themselves and to wreck our hopes and chances, not just accidentally, as David so cogently suggests, but deliberately and with malice aforethought.

To prevent that happening a new party would need an organisation with the resources of MI6 to check the track record of new applicants. These potential infiltrators are organised on a very large scale and they previously had no reservations about infiltrating even the Animal Rights organisation, developing bigamous relationships within and even producing children as a consequence. I urge my fellow independence supporter to consider what we are up against and to desist from pushing their obsessions with self-importance.
Hugh Noble
Appin, Argyll