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I see the Times are reporting that Farage is backing the Alba Party and saying that "Alex and I are very similar".

I genuinely have no idea whether or not this is a April Fools joke or not.

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I didn't want ALBA to stand in the South of Scotland region, for the reasons already mentioned. I also thought he might struggle to get enough candidates in such a short timeframe. If that had turned out to be the case, then it would have made sense to leave SoS alone. But then aaid posted a link, a few days ago, to the BBC policy for TV coverage. By standing four candidates in every region ALBA are entitled to a wee bit more TV airtime than they would otherwise have got. That is one of the main reasons that the magic number is 4 and why they have to stand in all regions. Hopefully he has put the weakest candidates in SoS region.

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1 hour ago, TDYER63 said:

Good post.

Much as I would love to think there was a real desire for Alba to create a ‘supamajority’ the fact they are standing list candidates in areas the SNP could win a few seats is an own goal IMO. That, and the fact no Alba supporter has been able to explain to me how AS is going to win over No voters , makes my decision easier. 

That's next years problem. One step at a time. Nobody can vote YES (or NO for that matter) if there is no referendum to vote in.

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27 minutes ago, Orraloon said:

That's next years problem. One step at a time. Nobody can vote YES (or NO for that matter) if there is no referendum to vote in.

No , this is not a referendum, but if this election is going down the line of  ‘ vote for SNP /Alba if you want the opportunity for Scotland to decide its own future  ‘ then you are needing to encourage soft Yes and soft No voters.

AS is NOT popular with the general public and his involvement may put them off. 

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32 minutes ago, Orraloon said:

I didn't want ALBA to stand in the South of Scotland region, for the reasons already mentioned. I also thought he might struggle to get enough candidates in such a short timeframe. If that had turned out to be the case, then it would have made sense to leave SoS alone. But then aaid posted a link, a few days ago, to the BBC policy for TV coverage. By standing four candidates in every region ALBA are entitled to a wee bit more TV airtime than they would otherwise have got. That is one of the main reasons that the magic number is 4 and why they have to stand in all regions. Hopefully he has put the weakest candidates in SoS region.

I see that none of the people trumpeting about the need for a Super Majority seem to have any sense of what that exactly entails - in terms of the number of seats required - and what the practical advantages of obtaining that would be.

The answer is it's 2/3rds or 86 seats, practically 87 because of the need for a PO.   In terms of what that gives you - the opportunity to change the Holyrood electoral system, which in and of itself would not bring Independence any closer and in fact if that were used to gerrymander the process would mitigate against it.

A bit of honesty from Salmond would go a long way here but the problem is that if he is, it would likely cost him votes.

Six years in the run up to the 2015 UK general election, you will remember that the whole narrative was of there being a hung parliament, all the memes of Ed Milliband being in Salmond's pocket and the like.

Salmond said then - "If you hold the balance, then you hold the power" and to an extent he was right.   I say to an extent, as you can look to the DUP's hold on the May government from 2017-2019 but we know now that that did not end well for the DUP.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13206880.salmond-if-you-hold-the-balance-then-you-hold-the-power/

It's clear to me that what he's after here is not a super majority, but rather a position where the SNP - who will be the largest party regardless - are in minority and would be required to do a deal with him.

If he comes out and says as such, then there are obvious questions over what price he would expect for that support.  The answers to that would have a bearing on whether people would vote for them or not.

Also, there may be some who are attracted by the idea of having more pro-Indy MSPs, particularly if that's at the cost of some of the more disagreeable Unionist ones - and I've certainly seen that view expressed - but want Alex Salmond nowhere near government or in any position to influence it.

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57 minutes ago, Orraloon said:

I didn't want ALBA to stand in the South of Scotland region, for the reasons already mentioned. I also thought he might struggle to get enough candidates in such a short timeframe. If that had turned out to be the case, then it would have made sense to leave SoS alone. But then aaid posted a link, a few days ago, to the BBC policy for TV coverage. By standing four candidates in every region ALBA are entitled to a wee bit more TV airtime than they would otherwise have got. That is one of the main reasons that the magic number is 4 and why they have to stand in all regions. Hopefully he has put the weakest candidates in SoS region.

I think irrespective of TV coverage, standing where they are bound to damage the SNP is surely hugely symbolic. It means the party can no longer pretend to be helping the SNP. It is fulfilling the original fear it really is splitting the movement.

 

49 minutes ago, Orraloon said:

That's next years problem. One step at a time. Nobody can vote YES (or NO for that matter) if there is no referendum to vote in.

But a referendum is less likely, if there is no discernible rise in pro-indy votes, if the SNP votes or seats go down.

Let's say Alba were to gain, say, 8 seats, out of 129, but the overall pro indy seats and votes are static. (Or even a small increase in pro-indy seats, if some of those 8 are taken off Unionists... that would likely mean SNP suffering a couple of losses, and therefore stuck in a moniorty siituation) That would hardly be seen as an irresistible demand for independence (including internationally). It would be interpreted as SNP damaged by 'civil war', and indy splintering/in retreat.

 

Edited by exile
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That is why I said it would have been better if this new party was slightly different from SNP and Scottish Greens on independence. A slightly softer stance may very well have eaten into the soft unionist votes and did damage where a new party has to make damage - to the unionist vote share. I have seen no evidence whatsoever so far that is is going to do anything other than split the independence vote and give the unionist parties breathing space.

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But on the other side of the coin.....

I keep hearing people saying only SNP votes can count in the constitution debate and I ask why that is? At the end of the day it should be a matter of SNP/Scottish Greens/Alba Party votes V Scottish Conservatives/Scottish Labour/Scottish LibDems votes. If the former takes more votes than the latter then that should be enough to push for IndyRef2 and do not see why there should be any debate there.

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13 hours ago, thplinth said:

You are basing that on 2016.

In 2021 ALBA predict on current polling that the SNP will only get 1-2 regional MSPs across all 8 regions.

So it is not worth ALBA standing down anywhere.

The amount of wasted SNP regional votes required to just achieve 1 SNP regional M/SP is just stupid.

Sprinkle the same amount of voter over different independence soil and it yields two dozen M/SPs to the SNPs 1-2.

I am trying to base it on how i think votes will pan out, i see the tories holding the three constituency seats at the borders 

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32 minutes ago, Caledonian Craig said:

But on the other side of the coin.....

I keep hearing people saying only SNP votes can count in the constitution debate and I ask why that is? At the end of the day it should be a matter of SNP/Scottish Greens/Alba Party votes V Scottish Conservatives/Scottish Labour/Scottish LibDems votes. If the former takes more votes than the latter then that should be enough to push for IndyRef2 and do not see why there should be any debate there.

That’s it for me. Don’t always agree with you, CC, but this needs addressed. I don’t see why it should weaken the independence position should SNP votes go down but pro-Indy votes as a whole go up. That makes NO sense, is an argument totally bereft of logic. To see it being parroted here as if it’s an actual thing is disheartening. To have straw-clutching unionists claiming it is one thing, but it seems that many supposedly pro-Indy people are accepting this as an argument. How exactly? If the people of Scotland desire independence (or the right to hold a referendum at least) then they will vote for those parties in favour. Who suddenly determines that, erm, yous didnae vote for the right Independence Party so democracy ain’t gonna happen, pleb. Just no. GTF.

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57 minutes ago, aaid said:

I see that none of the people trumpeting about the need for a Super Majority seem to have any sense of what that exactly entails - in terms of the number of seats required - and what the practical advantages of obtaining that would be.

The answer is it's 2/3rds or 86 seats, practically 87 because of the need for a PO.   In terms of what that gives you - the opportunity to change the Holyrood electoral system, which in and of itself would not bring Independence any closer and in fact if that were used to gerrymander the process would mitigate against it.

A bit of honesty from Salmond would go a long way here but the problem is that if he is, it would likely cost him votes.

Six years in the run up to the 2015 UK general election, you will remember that the whole narrative was of there being a hung parliament, all the memes of Ed Milliband being in Salmond's pocket and the like.

Salmond said then - "If you hold the balance, then you hold the power" and to an extent he was right.   I say to an extent, as you can look to the DUP's hold on the May government from 2017-2019 but we know now that that did not end well for the DUP.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13206880.salmond-if-you-hold-the-balance-then-you-hold-the-power/

It's clear to me that what he's after here is not a super majority, but rather a position where the SNP - who will be the largest party regardless - are in minority and would be required to do a deal with him.

If he comes out and says as such, then there are obvious questions over what price he would expect for that support.  The answers to that would have a bearing on whether people would vote for them or not.

Also, there may be some who are attracted by the idea of having more pro-Indy MSPs, particularly if that's at the cost of some of the more disagreeable Unionist ones - and I've certainly seen that view expressed - but want Alex Salmond nowhere near government or in any position to influence it.

We might get some clues to what he wants when he publishes the manifesto?

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1 minute ago, duncan II said:

That’s it for me. Don’t always agree with you, CC, but this needs addressed. I don’t see why it should weaken the independence position should SNP votes go down but pro-Indy votes as a whole go up. That makes NO sense, is an argument totally bereft of logic. To see it being parroted here as if it’s an actual thing is disheartening. To have straw-clutching unionists claiming it is one thing, but it seems that many supposedly pro-Indy people are accepting this as an argument. How exactly? If the people of Scotland desire independence (or the right to hold a referendum at least) then they will vote for those parties in favour. Who suddenly determines that, erm, yous didnae vote for the right Independence Party so democracy ain’t gonna happen, pleb. Just no. GTF.

No I wouldn't say its a SNP thing more a unionist thing. It was like the last GE when SNP won majority of seats in Scotland the unionists argued (without comeback which was very disappointing) that not everyone that voted SNP support independence. The comeback should have been that not every Tory, Labour, LibDem voter supports the union but nothing.

Going into this election I would like to see NS lead the way and say that they will plough on with IndyRef2 if Scotland's pro-Indy votes outweigh pro-union votes.

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3 minutes ago, hampden_loon2878 said:

I am trying to base it on how i think votes will pan out, i see the tories holding the three constituency seats at the borders 

I suspect that the SNP will take East Lothian - perversely, that might have been more difficult for them had MacAskill not jumped ship.   Ayr should be in their sights but is by no means a foregone conclusion.

I'm with you on the three Borders seats.  In the last two elections (2016 plus 2017 by-election) the Tories got > 50% in Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, so there's no way they'll lose that.  As objectionable as she is Rachel Hamilton is a pretty high profile candidate.

The other two seats look tighter but would still be a bit of a stretch for the SNP to win.   What could help them is if nationally, Labour start to do well against the Tories, that might encourage some that switched to the Tories in 2016 back and see the SNP though the middle.

In all these seats though, the SNP are second place in what are strong Unionist seats.

Do you see the SNP holding B&BC or winning Aberdeenshire West?

I guess in the former specifically, the fallout from Brexit and how big a pup they think they've been sold will be crucial and I imagine that Stewart Stevenson had a personal vote.  I know you have your issues with the candidate but I wonder whether she's in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Just now, Orraloon said:

We might get some clues to what he wants when he publishes the manifesto?

Indeed - that will be very interesting to see.

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13 minutes ago, duncan II said:

That’s it for me. Don’t always agree with you, CC, but this needs addressed. I don’t see why it should weaken the independence position should SNP votes go down but pro-Indy votes as a whole go up. That makes NO sense, is an argument totally bereft of logic. To see it being parroted here as if it’s an actual thing is disheartening. To have straw-clutching unionists claiming it is one thing, but it seems that many supposedly pro-Indy people are accepting this as an argument. How exactly? If the people of Scotland desire independence (or the right to hold a referendum at least) then they will vote for those parties in favour. Who suddenly determines that, erm, yous didnae vote for the right Independence Party so democracy ain’t gonna happen, pleb. Just no. GTF.

Well said. This a unionist mantra. A lot of SNP supporters seem to be happy to latch on to it because they want more votes for the SNP. Which is fair enough. But as you say the logic is total bollocks.

 

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If in a game of chess you could exchange 1-2 of your own pieces for 20-25 of your opponents pieces you'd be rather foolish not to make those moves. (Yes I know there are only 16 pieces each.)

This is an acid test for the independence movement.

This is a way to take the split in the SNP and convert a negative into a positive, a supermajority. 

To do that both sides of the split have to essentially 'bury-the-hatchet-for-indy' and support the other side of the split by voting SNP1 / ALBA2.

Neither side of the split seem enthused by that but it very obviously allows both sides of the split to co-exist and actually come together in a constructive and not destructive way. That is what makes this such a clever move by ALBA. 

If this initiative fails for whatever reason then we will see a different result further down the road where things are very damaging. The split is not going away at this point. It is how we deal with it. We are at very serious fork in the road here. Take the wrong road and there will be no second chance.

If the voters on both sides can't see the bigger picture then I think this will prove to be our last chance to ever get a supermajority and indeed I would see the SNP vote start to collapse (not in May but after). I think that collapse was going to start showing in May but this ALBA plan has staved it off for this election by bringing those people back to voting SNP1.

Edited by thplinth
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1 minute ago, Orraloon said:

Well said. This a unionist mantra. A lot of SNP supporters seem to be happy to latch on to it because they want more votes for the SNP. Which is fair enough. But as you say the logic is total bollocks.

 

I think that its a unionist-driven thing though. The SNP and its voters feel they have to coral everyone into voting SNP to maximise the independence drive because, Westminster so successfully compartmentalise things. Simple equation that NS should throw at Westminster is if pro-Indy parties gain more votes than pro-union then that is the mandate.

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8 minutes ago, Caledonian Craig said:

I think that its a unionist-driven thing though. The SNP and its voters feel they have to coral everyone into voting SNP to maximise the independence drive because, Westminster so successfully compartmentalise things. Simple equation that NS should throw at Westminster is if pro-Indy parties gain more votes than pro-union then that is the mandate.

Agree. I dont give a damn whether we secure a referendum through SNP majority or Pro Indy majority, but a precedent has been set and its the SNP that is the recognised face of independence. Its the reason the SNP have so many supporters.

The very fact we need to kowtow to this sort of thing is part of the problem of being in this bloody union.  
 

 

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32 minutes ago, duncan II said:

That’s it for me. Don’t always agree with you, CC, but this needs addressed. I don’t see why it should weaken the independence position should SNP votes go down but pro-Indy votes as a whole go up. That makes NO sense, is an argument totally bereft of logic. To see it being parroted here as if it’s an actual thing is disheartening. To have straw-clutching unionists claiming it is one thing, but it seems that many supposedly pro-Indy people are accepting this as an argument. How exactly? If the people of Scotland desire independence (or the right to hold a referendum at least) then they will vote for those parties in favour. Who suddenly determines that, erm, yous didnae vote for the right Independence Party so democracy ain’t gonna happen, pleb. Just no. GTF.

But I haven't seen anyone on here, or anywhere, making those arguments ('only SNP votes count').

Assuming the goal is, at least, a pro-indy majority (what we have now), the argument probably actually boils down to whether it is more important to have a SNP majority, or a pro-indy super-majority.

But aside from ideal preferences, is whether one is more likely than another, or if the pursuit of one would be riskier than the other, and even endanger maintaining the status quo.

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12 minutes ago, exile said:

But I haven't seen anyone on here, or anywhere, making those arguments ('only SNP votes count').

Assuming the goal is, at least, a pro-indy majority (what we have now), the argument probably actually boils down to whether it is more important to have a SNP majority, or a pro-indy super-majority.

But aside from ideal preferences, is whether one is more likely than another, or if the pursuit of one would be riskier than the other, and even endanger maintaining the status quo.

To me it should be judged on vote share and vote share alone. So if pro-indy parties win a greater share of the votes across Scotland that constitutes a mandate to set in place IndyRef 2.

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25 minutes ago, exile said:

But I haven't seen anyone on here, or anywhere, making those arguments ('only SNP votes count').

 

I have. Quite a few have stated that WM won't recognise a pro-Indy majority, only if it's the SNP increasing their vote. That any decrease in the SNP seats will signal lack of enthusiasm for independence. You haven't seen that argument on here? Maybe not people arguing strongly for it, but there's certainly been people seemingly kowtowing to the 'logic' of it. And I really don't understand why.

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27 minutes ago, ParisInAKilt said:

Both votes SNP is best for the SNP but not necessarily for gaining an independence majority, in terms of maximising list seats from the Greens and Alba, is that right?

If all you were interested in was maximising the number of SNP, Green and Alba seats then there is no one single stratgey as each region would be different.

For example, given the demographics in SoS, votes for the SNP might be the best approach, in Glasgow, a relatively small increase in their vote might see the Greens take a second seat there.  In other regions, Alba might have the best bet.

It's very easy to look back after an election and say what the right strategy *would* have been.  It's next to impossible to state what the right strategy *should* be upfront though.

Labour, the Tories and Lib Dems are all trying to take seats from the SNP in constituencies but seats from each other on the list.   In all but a handful of constituencies, the SNP have a "free run" insofar as the pro-Indy vote, but on the list, they, the Greens and Alba are all trying to take seats off each other.

So you have two different ponds with three different parties fishing for votes in each pond.

One of the awkward facts about the list that fag packet psephologists overlook - who catches the fish in the other pond is as important as who catches the fish in yours.

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48 minutes ago, ParisInAKilt said:

Both votes SNP is best for the SNP but not necessarily for gaining an independence majority, in terms of maximising list seats from the Greens and Alba, is that right?

Correct 

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26 minutes ago, duncan II said:

I have. Quite a few have stated that WM won't recognise a pro-Indy majority, only if it's the SNP increasing their vote. That any decrease in the SNP seats will signal lack of enthusiasm for independence. You haven't seen that argument on here? Maybe not people arguing strongly for it, but there's certainly been people seemingly kowtowing to the 'logic' of it. And I really don't understand why.

I suspect I am one of the people you are referring to Duncan. My concern is that they will just say its the same votes being shuffled differently. I have no problem gaming the system, anytime someone withdraws candidates to let another party in a particular seat is gaming the system, like both Labour and Tories have used to their advantage in the past, so they cannot complain about that. 
But they will just say its the same voters duplicating the votes rather than a pro indy majority . Or am I missing something? 

FWIW ,  I am not of the mindset that AS is doing this for vengeance as I truly believe he has independence at heart, but I do think he has a large ego and I honestly dont think he is as popular as his supporters think he is.  

I think we need to remember that we all have the same goal in mind and as humans we will all have different views as to the best way to get there. This new party has thrown a spanner in the works at a very late date, it’s understandable why people are unsure. 

 

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