NONE of the assertions that we should vote for something other than SNP on the list stand up to any serious examination.

The fanciful suggestion that voting for other indy parties on the list will win lots of extra seats is indeed fanciful. So let’s have a serious look at it.

First point. That will take no votes from the Unionists. Unionists will get as many seats as their votes suggests no matter how many other indy options are made available. That’s the way the system works. Their vote is collapsing. They’ll get fewer seats.

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Second point. The new indy parties will in fact only take votes from SNP and, more probably, the Greens. To be sure of a SNP majority in the parliament it will need to be confident of getting five or six list seats. If the silly division of the indy vote results in SNP losing some of those, I know who I’ll blame.

Third point. Present polling puts the Greens potentially on 10 list seats and a parliament with around 84 seats for independence out of 129. The Greens losing a comparatively small percentage of their vote could result in them losing half or more of those.

Fourth point. Into an already crowded list system – Tory, Labour, LibDem, Greens, SNP – the chance of any of these indy parties achieving the percentage of votes required is very slight indeed. And as I stated they will only take votes from SNP and Green. An educational look at the Glasgow region result in 2016 is useful. Had those who wasted their second vote on Solidarity and RISE voted SNP or Green, another list seat would have gone to SNP or Green and we would have been spared Annie Wells.

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Fifth point. Without any guarantee where we will be in May in polling terms, in any region of Scotland where the SNP does not sweep the board (and we’re looking at the Borders, the north-east and the Northern Isles) a volume of SNP list votes will sweep up most of the list seats – as long as the indy vote is not divided. We cannot afford to take chances at this point.

The only way this sort of tactic would have worked would have been if the SNP and Greens had agreed to stand aside and be part of a non-party Independence Alliance on the list. This of course would only have happened if interested parties had had a dialogue with the SNP which of course they did not look for. I would have been very supportive indeed of an Independence Alliance with SNP, Green, SSP and other high-profile but non-party independence supporters on it. But it is not to be and the best (or “least worst” if that’s how you see it) option is Both Votes SNP (or Greens Two if you must).

Dave McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll