HERE we are within a week of arguably the single most important election in Scottish history and we still have people griping that the masses, the electorate, the hardcore SNP do not understand how if they vote “both votes SNP”, they are in some way wasting their second vote. They then go on to post all manner of facts and figures to show how their version of events is indeed the only true version of events.

Now as we all know you can take any set of figures, spin them, manipulate them and then push the calculate button and up will pop the figures that you desire. The simple truth is that to ensure the best possible chance of an SNP majority in the next parliament it has to be SNP 1&2.

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The Alba Party have come too late. They have not allowed themselves enough time in the public spotlight to gain the trust of the electorate and that is the reason for their projected poor showing come Thursday. It has nothing to do with people not understanding how the Alternative Member System works, nor has it anything to do with brainwashing, indoctrination or cult-like activities by the Scottish National Party.

What it is to do with is trust, and on the small microcosm that is social media I have found that voters do not trust the Alba Party and its leadership and have definitely no trust at all for its bloggers.

It would seem from social media that every single person that has taken up a high-profile stand to promote Alba party has at some stage in the recent past had an axe to grind against the Scottish National Party or its leadership. To my mind it is not a good look from them, and certainly one not to infuse trust with the electorate.

So yes, they have come late to the process but have not helped themselves with their rhetoric since arriving, and no amount of arithmetic spin will alter that.

Both votes SNP. SNP 1&2.

Cliff Purvis
Veterans for Independence 2.0

I AM a Linlithgow, West Lothian member of the Scottish Cooperative Party and I have supported independence in principle for many years. In my view, independence concerns who decides policy, while cooperation concerns how policy is implemented.

Unfortunately my party remains in an anachronistic exclusive (hence thoroughly uncooperative) electoral pact with Labour. Since Labour left me in 1997, I must make my mind up on Thursday neutrally and objectively (while making use of a rather rusty mathematics degree) as to the choices which will best advance the cause of independence.

My constituency choice is easy. I have an absolutely first-rate MSP in Fiona Hyslop. In 2017 my list vote was for Andy Wightman, who stood for the Green Party but whose views in terms of independence coincide with my own in that we both believe power should be devolved to the level at which services are delivered.

In other words, West Lothian Questions require West Lothian Answers, and I note Andy is standing on a very similar platform in Highlands & Islands as an independent confederalist, of which the closest approximation to be found today is in Switzerland.

Anyone who has spent time in Switzerland will know that power resides in the cantons, and that the locals delegate a measure of power upwards only in relation to certain subjects such as foreign relations and energy and transport strategy. Many is the time I have asked Swiss people I have met who their First Minister and Cabinet colleagues are and they had forgotten, if they ever knew, because they see the role of these offices as servants not masters.

As for matters Green (as distinct from rainbow), I favour energy independence and resilience for Linlithgow rather than top-down state or corporate market energy policies, and I fear that the current Green leadership will not hesitate to trade independence for power and expedience.

So after due consideration, I shall be voting Fiona Hyslop 1 and independence 2. I confess I neither know nor care who the Lothians Alba candidate even is, since I am not voting for the person but for the principle and in my judgement, the mathematics of independence favour SNP 1, Alba 2.

Chris Cook

GEORGE Kerevan’s piece in yesterday’s paper gave me pause for thought (Here’s why half of Scotland doesn’t bother voting in Holyrood elections, May 3). There are few Marxist-trained minds in Scots frontline politics, and whether or not you agree with them, the intellectual clarity of such a mind ensures its thoughts are worth considering.

He points out that “the average turnout in Holyrood elections hovers around 50%”, and that by contrast “things were different in the 2014 referendum when hundreds of thousands of non-voters turned out in what they saw as decisive ballot that really would change lives.”

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In that referendum, 84.6% voted; the highest turnout EVER in any UK democratic poll. (The January 1910 UK General Election saw a slightly higher turnout, but since women had no vote it was hardly democratic.)

So for me there is a key question we must correctly answer if we are to win a majority of Scots for independence.

How do we persuade the hundreds of thousands who voted Yes in 2014, but never normally vote in elections, to turn out? I suspect many of them are younger folk, who are much more likely to support indy, but who seldom vote in our present world.

Do YOU know any such folk? Then persuade them before Thursday to turn out and vote for a pro-indy candidate. A few such votes could change the outcome. And speed the day when we win our independence.

Dougie Harrison