I MUST say I find it irritating when SNP elected members complain about other independence supporters standing on the regional list only and calling it “gaming the system” which has no meaning but implies that they are bending the law or cheating.

This is nonsense the Alba Party is perfect entitled to stand in list seats only, it is entirely legal and in line with the electoral rules. Indeed not all conduct by some Unionist parties, particularly as regards financing elections, clearly meets this standard.

The suggestion that this party will take seats from the SNP is just nonsense and even those who make that claim must know that. The factual position shows that this is untrue. In fact the SNP only has four regional seats in Scotland – three in South Scotland and one in the Highlands. In the other six regions Alba can’t take any seat from the SNP because they do not have any.

If the polls are anywhere near right, indeed if the SNP get only a small increase on their 2016 result they are likely to pick up from four to nine seats. There are four constituency seats held by Unionists parties with a majority of fewer than 1000, and another five seats with majorities under 2000. So with a small swing to the SNP, unless the Greens disrupt it, the SNP is likely to pick up five to nine constituency seats and with that an overall majority.

Of course, if they do that they may lose some of their four list seats – that may not change their position as far as an overall majority is concerned, but none of this has anything to do with Alba, and Alba presences will have little or no influence on this.

If Alba gets 20% of SNP second votes, which are destined to be discounted anyway, they could get 10 list seats. If they do, this will not be at the expense of the SNP, but of the Unionist parties and possibly to a lesser extent the Greens.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond's Alba Party on 3% in their first Survation election poll

In six out of the eight regions it will have no effect whatever on the SNP, but it will weaken the Unionist opposition. Now is that not just what we need when the Tories are making this an election about our right to have a referendum. What better answer can Scotland give them than reducing their seats in the Scottish Parliament.

Andy Anderson


AFTER giving the matter considerable thought, there are two principal considerations I must make in who I vote for, and how I vote, in Holyrood 2021 and indyref2.

Firstly, I want a reasonable balance between the Greens’ demonstrable energy for fighting climate change, and the SNP’s clear requirement to mitigate the impact of fighting climate change upon the citizens of Scotland – only allowable by having a cumulative majority SNP/Green.

Secondly, I want a Scottish Government (hopefully as above) that can provide the citizens of Scotland with a demonstrably stable next decade of fair and green governance, making the leap to self-determination appear not just viable, but desirable, to a clear majority of the electorate.

It was simple, both votes SNP and Yes2. Post-Salmond’s Alba launch it is more complicated.

For my region, to maintain/increase Green list seats appears to require me to place my list vote with the Greens, not the SNP. It goes without saying that if such action were magnified, Alba would not gain a list seat, ConDemSlab would lose list seats and the SNP would not lose list seats (for this region).

The result would be a super-majority SNP/Green for indyref2 and also offer a known and stable Scottish Government. As such, the electorate might be better persuaded of the merits of Yes2.

May 6 is still a long way off though, and who knows, maybe Salmond will say sorry to the women and self-refer for behavioural therapy, which might just be enough to make Alba a component of a super-majority, albeit more limited in its Scottish Government power-broking.

Stephen Tingle

Greater Glasgow

READER Stan Grodynsky of Longniddry was correct in his Thursday letter, “Switches to Alba Party could cost the SNP and Greens seats”. Of course they will, despite claims the contrary by Alex and senior party officials that the party will enhance the SNP majority.

It is no use him claiming that Nicola is the best person to lead us forward to independence when his very name and the party is being used by malcontents and SNP haters across the internet to say the exact opposite. It is time for Alex and Kenny, etc, to get a grip on the numerous wild statements in their name, such as demanding that his followers spoil the first ballot paper. Any sympathy they may gather is fast dissipating in a cloud of hate.

We get enough of that from the whole Unionist establishment. Any more of this bile just become more unbearable and counterproductive, no matter the alleged sources. It just brings out the worst in people on both sides, causes confusion, loss of energy and conviction and suits the desired effect, intentionally or otherwise, of MI5 and their disgusting touts, regardless of all the alleged intentions.

Donald Anderson


IN reference to Lesley Riddoch’s column, I thought Nicola did point out in the debates that Universal Basic Income schemes have been stymied due to Westminster (It’s time for a new, policy-rich leaders’ debate ... and one without the waffle, April 1).

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: Structure-free BBC Leaders' Debate just wasn't good enough

What I thought wasn’t pointed out as much was Brexit. With the pro-Union audience constantly telling Nicola that she needs to focus on Covid and not indyref2, why did no-one point out that the Conservatives forced through Brexit during the height of the worst health crisis rather than delay until the situation was more under control?

Alistair Galbraith

Highlands & Islands