The list vote: The case for taking no risks with the pro-indy cause

James Kelly of ScotGoesPop

So what is all this raging fuss about pro-indy voters and the regional “list” vote?

Perhaps in the absence of any inter-party tensions during the current Holyrood election campaign, the best way to vote on the list has provoked considerable heat among pro-independence supporters.

The SNP, widely expected to walk away with the constituency vote, is campaigning on a #bothvotesSNP ticket and its supporters argue vehemently that any variation will risk losing a majority of pro-indy MSPs after May 5.


But other parties, including RISE and the Greens, want that regional list vote in order to boost their chances of getting representation at Parliament, and some recent polls indicate that the Greens in particular could benefit from the tactic.

The proportional model has thrown up anomalies. It is aimed at producing a true reflection of voting intentions. The SNP are concerned that while they will be the biggest party, voters’ using their list votes in a tactical way may backfire and leave the party with no overall majority.

This would dismay pro-independence supporters, even though parties such as the Greens support independence. SNP campaigners argue that the real beneficiaries might be “unionist” parties.

Then again, if there is no majority for independence in the parliament, it could be argued that this reflects true public opinion. The Yes lobby got 45 per cent at the 2014 poll, not a majority. A fair number of SNP voters at the Parliamentary elections may not be independence supporters.


James Kelly, pro indy poll blogger, of ScotGoesPop, argues in this PhantomPower video that pro-indy voters should vote SNP in both ballots.

James, a regular contributor to Newsnet Radio podcasts, looks at other parliamentary models from around the world that influenced the Holyrood system and gives a two-minute illustration of the much misunderstood D’hondt model that determines the overall make up of the Scottish Parliament. He examines the case for this and the option of second guessing the unpredictable Holyrood system, arguing that it’s a gamble that could set back the case for independence.

Watch and decide for yourself: