BRAVO Derek Durkin for his letter “Robertson’s stance depends on ignoring 2016 election results” (February 15).

While I admire Angus Robertson and his constant and rugged support for the SNP, I agree with Mr Durkin that given our d’Hondt split voting system, we must use it tactically. (Remember when we booted out Brigadier Michael Forsyth on that basis.)

A list vote for the SNP gives the Unionists seats by accident. Mr Durkin’s analysis of the 2016 election proves this. I am not going to give Unionists the slightest chance of sneaking seats.

READ MORE: It’s fanciful to suggest any of the new pro-indy parties can win list seats

I understand that Angus Robertson is a member of the SNP and cannot suggest voting for other political parties, however my vote is for independence and in my opinion it needs for us to vote tactically for the Green party whose policies are well established and sound ... particularly on independence.

I agree that the indy parties are too late and too splintered to offer the electorate a single and established independence alternative.

As suggested, the indy vote must be tactical “or face the consequences” ... oh no, we know what they are, but voting Greens on the list will do the trick.

Douglas Drever
via email

I WOULD like to agree with much of what Derek Durkin said where he noted that he would be “holding his nose and voting SNP” with his constituency vote, however he would be voting Green on the regional list. He felt that Angus Robertson was being selective with his evidence, a common SNP trait these days apparently, as he was promoting a “both votes SNP” strategy in the face of the evidence that this merely helps elect British nationalists into Holyrood.

You don’t have to be a professional pollster to look at the results of the last Holyrood elections to see how little reward the SNP reaped from their SNPx2 policy. This is the reason why there are two new pro-independence parties on the ballot paper; enough people have seen how the system works and have seen that giving their second vote to the SNP simply rewards Unionists.

My only misgiving here is that there is now a choice of pro-independence alternatives on the list, and this is where this falls down. With both being relatively unknown, the dilemma is to decide which one will have more chance of success. I’m afraid that having voted Green before I simply can’t, to borrow a phrase, “hold my nose” and vote for them as their recent record of trans-rights extremism and their key role in dismantling anti-bigotry legislation means I cannot endorse them.

It would be of great help if The National could publish an in-depth article explaining how the regional list works, how previous results were achieved, and what changes in voting patterns might mean in pursuit of a pro-independence majority. This would be significantly more useful than unchallenged opinion pieces from characters with skin in the game. Over to you...

Jim Cassidy

THERE was a long letter pleading the case that the newly formed pop-up parties can succeed and asking why they could not gain seats on the list. The two straightforward answers are zero voter base in the general public arena and no voter traction, except among their own limited support.

The next problem both have is they are appealing to the same “fed up with the SNP”/“want an independent Scotland to stay out of the EU” voting sector to give them their vote. Neither of these, outside of Facebook and Twitterdom, has much appeal to the majority of Scots, who want to get into the EU on independence and still consider the SNP government to be far more competent to govern on Scotland’s behalf than Westminster by the odd country mile or two.

It has taken the Greens since 1999 to establish a base vote share of more than 12%, so how will either of the pop-up parties manage that between now and May?

Then look at what happened with Rise’s claims in the run-up to 2016, that the two new parties they were going to change things. Their average vote, for all their coverage in The National of their ideas and hopes, struggled to average 0.5% on the list vote.

The problem is most folk prefer to vote for established parties which most closely reflect their own wishes and ideals. It took the SNP 11 years to shift public perception and give them electoral dominance at Holyrood. The reason neither of these new parties will succeed is pragmatic, not emotional – how the mass of people vote and how elections work in the real world.

Peter Thomson
via email

SHOULD our party of independence amend its identity to the SELFISH National Party? In your respective issues of February 13 and 14, we have Angus Robertson and Fergus Ewing emphasising that independence will only happen by giving “Both votes to the SNP”.

Thankfully your contributors Durkin, Sagan and Dunan, in your issue of February 15, dispelled the folly of such a plan, as others have done in the past. Many people involved in this campaign are not affiliated to any political party and will view misguided comments by senior SNP representatives as a reluctance to hasten the arrival of freedom for our nation. Many of their large membership will have similar thoughts.

Sandy Coghill
Sligachan, Isle of Skye

YOUR article yesterday on a further threat to Joanna Cherry says you approached Police Scotland for comment. It’s a pity you didn’t approach Nicola Sturgeon as well because, after a sustained campaign of abuse and threats against her by SNP members, I am still yet to see any condemnation of it by Sturgeon or her clique. This despite the following page in The National carrying condemnation by Angus Robertson of someone committing the heinous crime of saying a swearie word at Maree Todd MSP.

Hamish Scott
Tranent, East Lothian