I NOTE that the latest poll by Savanta has reduced the Labour lead in the polls over the Conservatives to 12 points. This highlights that the upcoming General Election is the time when ALL independence-minded people must vote SNP.

They are the only pro-independence party with any chance of returning MPs and it is only by returning as large a bloc as possible of such MPs to Westminster that there is any prospect of a new referendum and independence in the next few years.

I do not believe Labour are going to even achieve the reduced majority now predicted. I believe there is every likelihood they will end up the largest party but without an overall majority, and that is where our independence-supporting MPs will have a role to play.

I know Starmer has said he will not deal with the SNP but when “realpolitik” kicks in – and he has no alternatives for reaching Number 10 – this will be just another U-turn for him.

Labour are struggling with political issues, such as abandoning climate change measures, lack of any meaningful economic policy, failure over Europe and failure over the Gaza strip, all of where the visionless Starmer is abjectly failing and losing support.

In addition, the Tory-supporting press is starting to combine on anti-Labour rhetoric following the recent internal Tory Party fighting. However, Starmer’s greatest obstacles in reaching an overall majority are the structural hurdles he must also overcome.

  • At 12.7%, Labour needs to achieve the biggest swing EVER to achieve an overall majority of one. Tony Blair only managed 10.2% and Attlee just under 12%.
  • The boundary changes introduced for this election will benefit the Tories and work against Labour.
  • This is the first General Election where voter ID is required. This was designed by the Tories to work against Labour, and the elections in May showed many Labour voters stayed at home.
  • Tony Blair had an informal agreement with Paddy Ashdown before the 1997 election. Starmer has no agreement with the LibDems.
  • I remember 1992 and regardless of what many English voters say beforehand, when they get into the polling booth for a General Election, they will still vote Tory.

I know the SNP have not covered themselves in glory, but this election is not about that. It is about how the British state, regardless of which party is in charge, fails the people of Scotland. The only way we can properly rebuild our economy, practice the social welfare we want, provide opportunity for our people, especially the young, is to attain independence.

Certainly, give the SNP a good kicking at the next Holyrood election but this is a brutal first past-the-post election of winner takes all and if we do not have sufficient independence-supporting MPs holding the balance of power after it, then we have once again let ourselves down.

I have every sympathy with Patrick Harvie’s comments and accept this is not a nice message to hear but it is the brutal logic of the undemocratic Westminster electoral system. There may only be a slim chance of the electoral arithmetic working for us and being able to force a new referendum but better than no chance by voting for any party other than the SNP in this General Election.

Frank Spratt


THE Tories will expect a wipe-out at the General Election and regroup behind a new leader and government-in-waiting, knowing they will not have long to wait for a return to power after being replaced by a Labour government with a prime minister who doesn’t have policies, leading a parliamentary party with 452 policies on every issue.

John Jamieson

South Queensferry

IT is reported that the Chancellor is planning a £6 billion splurge of tax cuts in the run-up to the election, paying for it by cutting expenditure on public services.

By administering this poison pill, Jeremy Hunt is effectively committing whoever wins the election to a decimation of public expenditure, as both parties are in thrall to their self-imposed fiscal rules and neither will be prepared to reverse the tax cuts, at least in the short term, for fear of alienating their English support base. Naturally, a dependent Scotland will feel the pain of cuts in public services via the Barnett formula.

It is imperative our voters are not conned into thinking they have to support Labour in order to eject the Tories. There will be little change in outcome whichever one wins, and any significant reduction in independence-supporting MPs will be taken as an excuse for further marginalisation of Scottish interests at Westminster.

There is little sign that any of our parties have credible plans for taking the independence case forward but any reduction in popular support can only push the issue even further into the long grass.

It seems absolutely incredible that lifelong supporters are giving serious consideration to withholding their votes because they’ve fallen out with their political leadership. If you really believe in Scotland, get out and vote for someone who shares that belief. A vote for one of the minor parties will lose us MPs, which is undesirable, but at least it contributes to the independence vote share.

With the current dire state of UK politics, this is not the time for selfish tantrums.

Cameron Crawford


GORDON MacIntyre-Kemp warns “Re-invent campaign – or the dream dies” (Feb 15). I agree and make this suggestion to him – turn the Yes campaign into a civil rights movement. I am no tactical expert but suggest moving away from pipes and flags and taking a more sombre approach, maybe even creating our own “Rebuttal Unit” and being more aggressive in outlook.

We have seen too much denial of democracy. Fight back.

Peter Malcolmson