ALASDAIR Galloway (Letters, April 2) makes some fair points, as does Thom Muir and others via these pages and online, but none of us have a crystal ball!

The “safe bet” to maximise the number of independence-supporting MSPs and also provide the clear mandate of an overall SNP majority would appear to be to give both votes to the SNP, and certainly in the South Scotland and Highland regions – where the SNP currently have list MSPs – this would appear a “no-brainer”.

READ MORE: If polls are so reliable, why do we need to bother with voting?

With regard to the other regions, it would seem reasonable to give the list vote to the already-established Greens in regions where they are not contesting constituency votes (Central Scotland) or possibly where they have only a single candidate (Mid Scotland and Fife, North East Scotland, West Scotland), but in the remaining regions (Glasgow and Lothian) there seems to be some logic in voting for one of the new independence parties.

Such a vote though would still be a significant “gamble” as not only may the public in a particular region not be enthused by the party, there is no guarantee the SNP will do as well from the constituency votes as previously, particularly if in targeted seats anti-independence parties work together to the benefit of one of their candidates (a method that has unfortunately in the past delivered parliamentary representatives of questionable principles like Ian Murray).

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

Christine Small writes “the D’Hondt system is complicated enough” (Letters, April 5). D’Hondt is NOT a system, it is a formula. It is NOT complicated. What is confusing is the way that any constituency seats gained are taken into account BEFORE the d’Hondt formula is applied. At this point the Droop quota formula is used to determine the “regional figure” – dividing the total number of votes by the number of seats plus one. Once this has been done, the usual method of allocating seats using the d’Hondt formula is followed.

Michael Follon
via email