HAVING just read Angus Robertson’s column in Saturday’s National I find myself, once again, questioning his commitment to independence (Give both of your votes to SNP in May if you want indyref2, February 13).

This is someone who, among many other careers, is a pollster. He informs us that, based on recently polls, The SNP are on course to take 71 seats and all but three of the constituency seats. If my mathematics are correct, this means the SNP with 43% of the vote will take just one regional seat!

He goes on to mention the 2011 election but completely ignores the most recent 2016 election – why? Maybe it’s because a study of that will show that the party, with a total regional vote of 953,587 votes, gained just four regional seats and the combined regional votes of the Tory and Labour Unionists (960,139) gave them a total of 45 seats! Maybe the pollster can tell us exactly what percentage the SNP would need to be at, in the regional vote, to make any gains whatsoever?

READ MORE: Angus Robertson: Give both of your votes to SNP in Mayif you want indyref2

Yet still the pollster genius advocates both votes for SNP! He tells us the Scottish Greens are “holding their polling position”. I’m not sure what this means but the same poll that he quotes is showing the Greens almost doubling their seats (six to 11).

If he was being honest (not an easy position for a politician) he would tell us that, in the Central Belt in particular, there is more chance of Brechin City winning the Champions League Cup (with apologies to my friends in Angus!) than there is of the SNP taking a regional seat.

I will hold my nose and give the SNP my constituency vote but, as someone committed to independence, I will give my regional vote to the Green party. This is the only way to maximise the indy representation in the next parliament and it will also hold the government to account.

The only point in the article in which I would be in agreement is, unfortunately, the advent of the new indy parties. They should learn a lesson from RISE. They are far too late out of the starting blocks and will only dilute the indy vote by taking regional votes from the Greens. The time to start a new indy party is May 7, to build real pressure on the government to deliver independence ... or face the consequences.

Derek Durkin

IT is a quirk of Scottish politics that a political party which wants the SNP to win a majority in May’s election is undermined, without being mentioned, by a senior member of the SNP.

Quite rightly Angus Robertson believes that the SNP will win up to 71 constituency seats in May. This is great, and Action for Independence (AFI) supports the SNP to make that happen. Angus Robertson does not go on to explain what will happen to the SNP regional list vote when they get 71 constituency seats. If SNP voters vote SNP 1 and SNP 2 the SNP will get maybe two regional list seats. Almost all the SNP 2 votes will be wasted and as a result SNP 2 votes will ensure the re-election of Labour and Tory MSPs. SNP 2 voters will be voting in Labour and Tories to the Scottish Parliament.

READ MORE: Martin Hannan: Why I have resigned from the SNP after 20 years of membership

AFI is standing candidates only on the regional list. This is to give voters the opportunity to vote for an alternative indy party on the regional list, instead of the SNP (and wasting votes). If voters vote SNP1 and AFI 2 it willensure up the 24 more indy MSPs in our parliament. This is the AFI #MaxTheYes strategy.

Voting AFI 2 will have no impact at all on SNP 1. Voting AFI 2 will greatly reduce the presence of Unionists in our parliament and significantly increase the number of indy MSPs in our parliament. You know it makes sense.

Chris Sagan

WHAT an uninspiring piece of SNP propaganda from Angus Robertson. If the SNP’s greatest ambition at this exciting time, when we have independence within striking distance, is to offer us no more than “a manifesto commitment to hold a referendum” they really have lost their way. As I see this article, Robertson is effectively asking us to put support for the SNP before independence without any explanation or justification. We need better.

I hope and expect The National will be publishing polling figures in the run-up to the election, so can I ask for the full data and predicted number of votes by region? Robertson hides the important issue by quoting the SNP’s 43% on the list. Percentage figures are unhelpful when we’re dealing with proportional representation.

What we need to know is how many seats could be gained by all these precious list votes under our version of the d’Hondt system. I am not asking The National to take sides in recommending action in this controversial issue, just to give us all the information needed to do our own arithmetic. This election will certainly involve tactical voting so we will want to make our own assumptions and work out how to use our vote. The questions needing answers will be such as:

  • Taking account of the SNP’s predicted successes in the constituencies, how many SNP votes would be required to pick up a seat in each list region?
  • How many list seats would go to the SNP and in which regions?
  • How many list votes for the SNP will not contribute towards a seat?
  • If these wasted SNP votes were cast for other pro-independence parties, unencumbered by holding constituency seats, how many votes would be required for them to gain a seat in each region?
  • How many pro-independence seats could these minor parties gain in each region?
  • How would tactical voting affect the number of Unionist seats in each region?

Then in the countdown we will maybe see a more forthright positive article, "How best to use your votes in May if you want independence."

M Dunan