POLITICAL historians looking across the globe would conclude that parties and independence movements kept out of power and prevented from delivering on their dream for too long start to fracture as disillusionment sets in and people reach different conclusions about how to achieve their ultimate goal.

That The SNP has managed to avoid that for so many years has been remarkable. But Johnson, Gove and Cummings have settled on the belief that if they just keep saying no for long enough, that’s what will happen to the SNP and believers in Scottish independence.

READ MORE: The electoral system, not Yes supporters, is what will split the vote

Those that want an alternative to the SNP on the regional lists to “max the Yes vote” for Holyrood have picked the wrong horse. Johnson, Gove and Cummings will ignore a Scottish Parliament with a 20-seat indy majority as readily as they will ignore one with a one- or 41-seat indy lead. So all the internal in-fighting and obvious self-serving politicking which will be needed to “game” the election risks us ending up winning the battle but losing the war.

We need to convince current No voters to switch to Yes. That is the only way to independence – and any perceived gaming of next year’s election on the Yes side will only serve to destroy any chance of soft “No”s moving over to Yes – even if it does yield one or two more indy seats in parliament. Soft “No”s will turn up their noses in disgust and at best stay at home and at worst vote for “better together”.

We should take note of what is currently encouraging those previous soft “No”s to back independence in the opinion polls. It’s the clear, irrefutable proof that at a time of national crisis, Scots get more effective government from Holyrood than from Westminster. And that Nicola Sturgeon stands head and shoulders above any other political leader in these islands. It’s about trust in her, the Scottish Government and the SNP. We should be celebrating that and committing to rowing in behind her for the elections next year.

Presenting a united front in support for the SNP is in line with voter opinion right now, and doing anything else will simply confuse and disillusion possible indy converts and SNP voters. Working to maximise the SNP majority is a much better use of our time and will make a much bigger contribution to winning any future indyref2 than all the back-biting and political chicanery we are now being encouraged to embrace in pursuit of a few additional (but still irrelevant) seats in Holyrood.

Tom Crozier

I AM very worried about the new indy parties’ intention to stand candidates in the next election.

We are steadily heading for a good result in the election. Why would you jeopardise this by splitting the vote and probably giving more seats to Unionist MPs? This is fifth columnist behaviour. The Green party has worked hard for independence – give them the credit due for their support of the SNP.

Alyn Smith: Why both votes SNP is best way to further the Yes cause

There will be plenty of opportunities to vote for other parties when we get independence. We might not always agree with SNP, but they are the party which has slogged for years to get us where we are now, so keep your divisions till after independence.

Nicola Sturgeon has done a great job with the present situation and I can’t think of another politician who would have handled it better.

If the new party are looking for a cause to fight for they could tackle the Westminster government about the pension cuts which they are inflicting on the elderly with the means-tested TV licence charge.

Rosemary Smith
East Kilbride

WITH regard to the ongoing debate in your pages on Max the Yes vs Both Votes SNP.

There are approximately 125,000 SNP members, but look at how many hundreds of thousands vote for them. Thousands lend their vote to SNP at every election because independence supersedes their political views.

Why should there not be an Alliance that pulls together all of Yes and the smaller independence-supporting party views and give them a voice? This means that everyone is represented and indy supporters will replace the Unionist seat-warmers who get in via the back door via the regional vote.

It IS not divisive, it is a group of like-minded voters coming together with one aim – independence. Instead of sniping at each other, the independence parties should come together and get talking and get indy won before it is too late. The SNP cannot put party before independence. They need to get talking to the other indy parties, not dismiss them – it is not a good look.

Maybe people should get themselves along to either a Zoom meeting (or face-to-face when allowed) with the Alliance for Independence and ask their questions. This will allow them to become more informed and better placed to make a decision.

As a life-long SNP voter, this is what I did just before lockdown with our Yes group and it all made sense. The SNP need to get the fire back in their bellies – like the Yes movement.

Lynne Millar

I AM not an expert, but I think I can help Mr D White (Letters, July 13) with his problem. At the last election the now Sir Prof Curtice suggested a second vote for another pro-independence party would give a more “balanced parliament”! So the SNP lost a couple of seats and the Greens won a couple of seats. Job done. I know the prof is top man in this field, but I don’t think he should be telling people how to vote. I did not want a bloody balanced parliament, I wanted an increased majority! We managed it before with a system that is set up to NOT allow such a thing to happen.

So many people still don’t understand how this voting system works . Another independence party standing in just two or three regions could give a sound majority. But the SNP I think will get a clear mandate from the people, a majority of three or four at least without “tactical” voting. Vote SNP 1&2.

Tom Nicholson
via email