A VERY important issue is raised in Mike Herd’s letter (If the polls are so reliable, why bother with voting?, April 6). Asking that question may seem ludicrous to many, but just how many pro-independence supporters will be complacent – possibly due to polls – and not bother voting? In this upcoming election, whatever the results for political parties, one major outcome will be the percentage of total votes for pro-independence parties. The larger that percentage, the stronger will be the democratic case to press for Scottish independence.

A Survation survey in March 2021 indicated that, for this upcoming Scottish Government election, only 34% of 16- to 24-year-olds and 56% of 25- to 34-year-olds would definitely vote, while 85% of over-65s would definitely vote. It has also been indicated that of those who have decided how they would vote in an independence referendum 70% of 16- to 24-year-olds and 25- to 34-year-olds would vote for independence while 68% of over-65s would vote against.

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

With that combination it is very important that younger people are encouraged by us all to vote. If must be pointed out to them that if younger people don’t vote then politicians are more likely to ignore their priorities and concerns, not just the degree of their support for Scottish independence. If younger generations vote at the same level as the older generations the effect would be huge.

Anyone who has not yet registered to vote at the election on 6th May must do so by 11.59pm on April 19. It is possible to register to vote online using the link www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Please encourage younger people to vote and also to motivate their friends and contacts also to vote.

Jim Stamper

MIKE Herd’s observations and suggestions about polls made interesting reading. I have wondered why all the important votes are now so evenly split (indy, Brexit, the US election), and suspect the answer is polls – a whitewash is not exciting, whereas drumming up support for the underdog makes things much more profitable for the media. A ban for four weeks before the election makes good sense.

Ralph Houston

AT the time of the Smith Commission deliberations on more powers for Holyrood, the Labour party argued against increasing powers. Since that time the Tory government, which had earlier proclaimed EVEL, has at every opportunity sought to undermine devolution and transfer powers over matters directly affecting Scotland to Westminster. Both the Labour and the Tory parties argued against Brexit yet now both support an agreement which denies Scotland access to the EU single market and customs union despite Scotland’s expressed desire to remain in the EU with access to both.

READ MORE: STV announce line up for leaders' debate and election coverage

There was a time when the Labour party would have campaigned against nuclear proliferation but now it remains silent as the Tory government sets in motion plans to increase the potential devastation of Scotland’s largest city, along with most of the Central Belt, while the “real decision-makers” blissfully enjoy the benefits of controlling most of the UK’s wealth from their insulated London bubble. (If there are no concerns about potential catastrophic implications for the “local population” why are no influential entrepreneurs promoting Boris’s previously proposed site for “London Britannia Airport” on the Isle of Grain, in the Thames Estuary, as an alternative support facility location for the UK’s nuclear submarines which are unwanted in Scotland?)

Those voters who in the past have supported either the Labour or Tory party should think again if they truly wish for their children to benefit from comparable standards set by our European neighbours. This is not simply a wish to restore the highly valued Erasmus programme but an argument aimed at all who genuinely wish to build a more egalitarian and more prosperous society in Scotland. The only viable route is via independence and not via London-based Labour or Tory parties that will inevitably work together to deny our children democratically free and ambitious futures.

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

I FEEL the need to correct your otherwise excellent analysis in the Sunday National of the list votes in the Highlands and Islands region. It states “In 2016 the SNP lost two of their nine seats ... it happened simply because their list vote declined by almost 8% since 2011”.

This much repeated mantra is simply not correct. While they did indeed lose 8% of the list votes, this was not the cause of the loss of seats. They lost two seats because the Tory list vote DOUBLED compared to 2011 (and there was a 10% uplift in total votes cast). This looks mainly to have been by LibDem voters voting tactically. I suspect many of the 8% SNP votes list went to the Greens, which gave them a seat. Even if the SNP had retained the 8%, the Green seat would have been won by Labour.

I suspect that in 2011 many Tories simply did not bother to vote – here’s hoping they take the same line this time.

Scott Currie
Isle of Islay

WE’VE had a large number of comments regarding the departure of Ruth Davidson to the House of Lords, and the consequences of the public purse providing her with a nice income of around £300 per day.

Has anyone given any thought to the possibility that that is just the next step in her career plan? Move on a little while and we get to the point where “Jack-antory” gets the heave-ho, possibly to the same “other place”, and surprise, surprise we have Ruth as the New Governor General of Scotland. Think about it; no need to move house and family to darkest Englandshire, and an even bigger remuneration.

Remember it’s not that long since she was being touted as a possible leader of the English Tory party.

George M Mitchell