Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Changing Scotland; One in seven Scots are intent that they will vote tactically in the Westminster 2015 election to shut out the SNP, but now it is time for Jim Murphy and Ruth Davidson to come out and join Willie Rennie in the tactical voting strategy

Dear All

Tactical voting is nothing new in politics; however, it has never really been used on an industrial scale in Scotland.

In the main most political parties chart their own course because they want to see their candidates elected or increase their vote in an area, this is normal politics. Success in politics is a bit like moveable goal posts, if you don’t win, you try and put a positive spin by saying, our vote increased by so many or if that option isn’t available then you play the percentage game.

That being said, in this Westminster election, tactical voting hasn’t exactly been welcomed by party leaders, they at best have given it lip service with the exception of Willie Rennie of the Lib Dems. He appears to recognise that with politics being unstable, his party’s poor polling rating and the electorate in a state of flux, he needs to adapt to what is a changing situation.

Last year, tactical voting was used to get Ukip candidate elected to the European Parliament, David Coburn’s election shut out Tasmina Ahmed-Shiekh who had hoped to get the third seat for the SNP. At the time, I wrote a couple of posts on tactical voting because I knew if the idea was floated it could take off.

This year, tactical voting is back on the agenda, admittedly it is a bit late in getting started, the Labour and Conservative Parties seemed reluctant to grasp the nettle because like in the Better Together campaign, they wanted to do their own thing. In doing so, if it panned out, they could claim that it was their ideas that won the day. In fact Ruth Davidson recently said that voters should vote with their hearts.

Politics isn’t about emotion, it is about logic.

If you take her advice, Ruth Davidson could be sitting with no MPs in Scotland, so what is more important for her career prospects as leader, delivery of more seats or keeping the Conservatives share of the vote?

Answer is delivery of more seats, they way to try and get this is tactical voting. If on May 8th Ruth Davidson wakes up to having no Conservative MPs in Scotland, the ‘men in the grey suits’ once they get over the shock will not be happy. Ruth Davidson could possibly get more seats via tactical voting; it would then be up to the Conservative candidates to make a go of it in Scotland to keep their re-election chances alive by working harder than any MPs at Westminster.  

Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates in Scotland have seen plenty bad polls of late, but many could get a lifeline if Conservative voters in this election would switch and vote tactically to keep out the SNP.

Research has flagged up something interesting, one in seven Scots will vote tactically in the election.

It is a start, but the work isn’t being done by political parties in the main, it is being done by groups like Scotland in Union, United Against Separation and Scotland’s Big Voice to name but a few. Grassroots organisations have realised in the new politics, it is sometimes better to ignore the ‘advice’ from the top and get on with pulling the coals out of the fire.  

A tactical voting survey was carried out for the Scotland in the Union organisation which says that voters would switch to opponents of the SNP in greater numbers than to the Nationalists.

All you need to win is one more than the other person, if the research is correct and it is a snap shot in time, there are about thousands of extra votes floating about which if secured for selected candidates could help saving many Labour and Liberal Democrat seats.

Alastair Cameron, from Scotland in Union, said:

“These figures are from across Scotland, so the proportion could be significantly higher in key constituencies. We’re hearing examples of intended tactical voting in many constituencies, as people look closely at the realistic options available to them. People are realising that without tactical voting, they could accidentally hand victory to divisive candidates who won’t work positively for Scotland and the UK.”

Although party leaders don’t appear to grasp the scale of the problem or think everything will be okay on the night, they should have a re-think, Senior Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind is among the senior figures that have backed tactical voting, he gets it; he understands what the overview is.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind says Tory voters in areas where the party has no hope of winning could switch to Labour or the Lib Dems in order to keep the SNP out. And the same goes the other way round, in an area where a Labour Candidate has no hope in a month of Sundays; people should switch and vote Conservative where their candidate is the main contender.

SNP Candidate Angus Robertson said:

“The reality is that tactical voting campaigners are trying to get more Tory MPs elected in Scotland, which would make David Cameron’s re-election more likely – underlining the importance of electing a team of SNP MPs to make Scotland stronger at Westminster.”

For years, the SNP have relied on Scotland hates Conservatives, must be a shock for him to realise that people hate the Scottish National Party even more, and tactical voting isn’t going away, it will be updated for Holyrood 2016.  

Lib Dem deputy leader Sir Malcolm Bruce said:

“People who have voted for other parties in the past are backing the Liberal Democrats this time round. We have an excellent team of hardworking candidates and in each of our 11 seats voters have a straight choice between the Liberal Democrats, who will grow the economy and invest in the NHS, or the SNP who want a second referendum and would ramp up our debt.”
Quite so ma’am!

So, one in seven people voting tactically is a good start, however, the numbers should climb, this election is a test bed for future elections, Scotland needs a new type of politics, in fact it also needs a new type of nationalism, something that the SNP cannot deliver as it is a ‘rat ship’.  You just have to open the daily paper or turn on the TV to see what kind of dross the SNP plan to ship to Westminster.

Unpopular Nicola Sturgeon trying to split the Labour vote in Scotland said:

“I wish that he (Miliabnd) would be tougher and not be kicked around so much by the Tories. I think he should be bolder in saying that he will respect the wishes of voters. That means talking to others, it means compromising. I was the deputy leader of a minority government for four years. At a very practical level, unless you are prepared to respect the wishes of the people who vote, and talk to and compromise with other parties, you don’t get your business through.”

Leaving aside the pap in this her diatribe above, the leaders of Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems in Scotland need to talk and compromise with each other, to get their candidates through, and accept in an area where someone hasn’t any realistic chance to tell their core support to switch.

For those still unsure of the scale of the problem and why tactical voting is needed, a poll of 1,003 adults in Scotland asked people who they feel would “try to get the best deal for Scotland at Westminster”.

42 per cent favour Nicola Sturgeon, with Jim Murphy trailing on 8 per cent and Ed Miliband on 3 per cent.

And Sturgeon is selling a pig in a poke of sheer fantasy, awhile ago the London School of Economics published an article on political ignorance of the electorate; this is what I have said in the past. Education is the key, and the first order of business of whoever wins and becomes the Westminster Government is the realisation that the Scotland Office needs an enhanced role in Scotland, also the Westminster Government needs to make their leader in Holyrood, a Westminster Cabinet Minister, this can easily be done via the Lords. Parties need to up their game as just pottering along has really produced the desired effect.

Once these changes are made then, it will be time to go see unpopular Nicola Sturgeon and her rat pack to have a real political fight!

Yours sincerely

George Laird

The Campaign for Human Rights a Glasgow University


Freddy said...

Well said George

Smudge said...

I swear to God that we had Angus (Agnes) Robertson round our door just under 2 weeks ago. He had his half a dozen or so arseholes with him, most of them female, plus one old bloke in his late 70's at least. This shepherd Robertson and his flock of NATZ sheep knocked on our door. I swear this is true. I told him in no uncertain terms that I had "no interest whatsoever" in the bigoted, lying rubbish he and his cult followers were spouting. "Ok,, that's fine, that's fine" said whinging Robertson, as I shut the front door on him. I hate this political SNP rubbish coming into my front garden. PLEASE VOTE TACTICALLY FOLKS.

Anonymous said...

well said georgieboy , but is it too late , are they too stupid.

I will be voting Labour to stop em if I can

anyway Ecks past comes back to haunt him

Dear Alex…an open letter to the former First Minister from an old schoolmate
APRIL 29, 2015NOSNP2015
An open letter to Alex Salmond from Allan Sutherland

Dear Alex,

We go back a long way. The contents of this letter will be no surprise, I’ve said the same things to you several times in person. I got no clear answers then and I don’t expect any now.

We are both “Black Bitches”, from a Linlithgow Council house. We went to school at the same time, our mothers were classmates, our dads fought as sappers and sailors during the war. We shared the same Scottish history lessons, the same English teacher, the formidable Charlie Mungall, the same pride in our great Scots who built the British Empire and those bastions of democracy, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

We lived the traumas and glories of the great Scottish football teams of the 60s and 70s and the same harmless (for me at least) chip on the shoulder about the English. We both got honours degrees in Economics. Mine included Marxist Economics, Public Finance, and Currency Unions.

Our house was more Tam Dalyell than Billy Wolfe (the SNP leader in the 60s and 70s), but I felt that, honestly presented and argued as an opportunity to go it alone, to stop blaming Westminster for all our ills, and sort out the big issues facing our country, the sacrifices and upheaval could be worth it.

Then I realised the SNP were not being honest about issues facing the country, that you had started to curtail our democracy and freedom of speech, exchanged our traditional patriotism and pride for nationalist, populist sleaze and recruited the worst types of voters for your cause.

The real issues facing Scotland are our oversized public sector, blame and entitlement culture, poor diet and lifestyle causing huge stress on the NHS, declining standards of education, lack of employable skills, poor parenting and lack of good, cheap housing. You don’t talk about any of this because, despite having the devolved powers, you have done little about it in the last 9 years.


Hun fae Perth said...

Apologies for the long rant George.

I can think of a million reasons not to vote SNP. What I don't understand is why so many of my fellow Scots seem to think the SNP is what our country needs. Voting these bastards into power will destroy our country and there will be no going back. Not like voting Tory for a time then Labour etc etc. The Nationalists will bring nothing but heartache. Not for us but for our Grandchildren. They are not going to have a happy existence in the future because of our generation supporting a bunch of twats. There's no going back from this. Cameron and Miliband seem oblivious. The SNP will, as a by product of their ridiculous policies, create cultural genocide of the real Scot, by importing more and more Islamic immigrants, to fuel their twisted desires. We will end up with a Scottish version of corrupt Tower Hamlets in Holyrood. You mark these words. They have started already. Look at that Muslim bloke Yousaf. What has he ever contributed to Scotland ? Nothing is the answer. The SNP put him there just to capture the Muslim vote. I can not write how I truly feel about Muslims in our country. I hope one day I will be free again to do so and I'm not talking about SNP free !! Too much PC and pandering to religions and minorities for my liking. I best stop. I don't want to take over George's blog with my ranting from Perth. Well Denmark just now. Vote Tory in Perth North and Labour in Perth South and keep the SNP out. Added bonus is that you get to keep another useless Muslim out of our politics in Perth South. We all need to speak up more about Islam spreading in our country and taking hold of our politics. We need to be able to talk freely. We can't do this under the Natz. VOTE THE SNP OUT.