#BothVotesSNP is key to winning the 2021 Holyrood elections

Opinion | 06/07/2020

Recent polling shows not just the exciting prospect of an increased SNP majority at Holyrood in 2021, but also a small yet sustained majority in favour of independence. The usual caveats apply - it's only polling and it's still a long time until the elections next year. But if these numbers are continued, it will be impossible for the UK government to resist calls for an independence referendum off the back of a landslide win for the SNP next year.

All of which makes it even more important that we make sure we maximise our voting potential. The introduction of new pro-independence parties whose sole aim is to game the system and get more pro-independence seats may seem enticing at a quick glance, but here's a few reasons why this is such a bad idea:

  1. Without a sizeable amount of SNP voters giving their list vote to smaller parties they won't win any seats, but it will still take away votes from the SNP. So it simply risks splitting the vote with no benefit to the SNP or the wider independence cause.
  2. Our message to voters needs to be clear and unambiguous, trying to manipulate the list vote risks making the voting process unnecessarily complicated and messy.
  3. In 2016, a higher share of voters gave their list vote to smaller pro-independence parties than in 2011 and the number of pro-independence seats went down. That is despite the fact that the total number of pro-independence votes went up. Voting solely for the SNP gives us the best chance of getting a majority.
  4. The most important reason is the most simple though: it's completely unnecessary. The SNP has won an outright majority at Holyrood before and can do so again, especially if the momentum from current polling is maintained.

Doug Daniel, Member Support Convener wrote a great paper with a lot more detail on this subject, which can be found here.

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