First, let’s state for the record, that as a Scottish based site we are 100% pro Scottish Independence.
We believe that Scotland is perfectly able to stand on its own two feet and would be a successful independent nation.
We’ve written about it here, here and our “What Happens When An Englishman Drinks A Can Of Irn-Bru“, which went crazy viral last year was a pretty big giveaway too.
But without focusing 100% on the independence question – although admittedly much of it does – here are 9 reasons why you should vote SNP on both the constituency AND list votes on the 5th May.
1. We can trust the SNP to stand up for Scotland
Let’s not beat about the bush here:
The interests of the Scottish people are not a primary concern of the governing Westminster party.
Indeed, I believe it would be fair to say that a significant proportion of the English population is not their primary concern either.
After the pre-referendum love in, infamous promises in ‘The Vow’ and Gordon Brown promising ‘near federalism’, securing any tangible new powers turned into a battle.
And even then, in many cases:
For example, Wings Over Scotland has done an excellent job today of explaining how if the SNP were to raise income tax rates in Scotland (as Labour have proposed) the result could very well be a net loss in tax take for the Scottish government.
Fortunately, the SNP has been strong in fighting Scotland’s corner, and careful not to fall into any of these traps.
Beware of Conservative governments bearing gifts.
2. The SNP has a solid record in government
Despite what the press would lead you to believe, the SNP has a pretty solid record in government.
At the very least they have mitigated the impact of a Conservative government since 2010, but here are some other notable achievements:
- Maintained free university tuition
- Free prescriptions
- Free dental work
- Free eye tests
- Mitigated the bedroom tax.
- Increased the number of Police Officers and maintained the same
- Abolished bridge tolls
- Frozen council tax
- Free travel for the elderly
- Free care for the elderly
- Followed through on their manifesto commitment to a referendum.
- Built the new South Glasgow Hospital and are building numerous infrastructure projects throughout Scotland, on time and in many cases under budget.
- Helped finance and deliver Glasgow 2014.
- Instituted the Scottish homecoming programmes which have brought in hundreds of millions of pounds of tourism revenue
- Employment in Scotland is at a record high
- Scotland has the second highest level of female employment in Europe
- They have built and continue to build thousands of new homes
- Protected and engaged in helping grow the Gaelic Language
- 50/50 Gender split cabinet
They are far from perfect, but the fact that their approval rating remains high after 10 years in Government is a testament to the job they have done.
Nicola Sturgeon’s personal approval rating also remains high.
3. The independence question has NOT gone away
If you hadn’t been following Scottish politics, and happened to tune into the leader’s debate on the BBC on Monday, it would be easy to form the opinion that Scotland wanted to move on from the independence question.
But when Willie Rennie (remember him?) gets the biggest cheer of the night, it’s obvious that something is not quite right.
This cartoon by Chris Cairns sums it up beautifully:
The primary argument put forward by the unionist leaders was that the SNP should “respect the democratic will of the Scottish people”
Scotland had clearly, and unequivocally said no to independence.
And by continuing to put forward the case for an independent Scotland the SNP was not respecting the wishes of the majority of Scots.
But as Harold Wilson said (probably) a week is a long time in politics.
Opinion polls since the referendum have been consistent in showing that support for Scottish independence has not diminished in the last 18 months, and has more than likely increased.
And the above notwithstanding, the purpose of a political party is to put forward policies and argue the cases for them. We don’t live in North Korea, so if we don’t like those policies we don’t have to vote for that party.
The SNP have been clear that indyref 2 won’t happen until it is clear that a majority of Scots want independence.
Which is exactly the point of democracy.
We are probably not quite there yet, but we are close and a final push should see us over the line.
The independence question is still very much alive,
4. A vote for the SNP is NOT a vote for independence
There is going to be no unilateral declaration of independence.
If we are going to get there, it’s going to be through the proper democratic process and another referendum.
Which means, that even if you are not sure on the independence question, you can vote for the SNP safe in the knowledge that you will have the opportunity to make that decision at a later date.
5. An SNP majority is not guaranteed
While all the polls suggest the SNP will retain (or increase) their majority in the Scottish parliament, this is by no means guaranteed.
Scot Goes Pop’s recent poll of polls shows the SNP polling at 51.3% of the constituency vote.
To give some context to this figure, in the 2011 election, the SNP secured 53 constituency seats on 45% of the vote.
While their share of the vote has certainly increased, the spread will not be evenly distributed throughout the country.
It is therefore highly unlikely that the SNP will win all 65 constituency seats.
And as 65 is the number required to form a majority government, list seats will be required for the SNP to stay in power (at least as a majority government).
6. There will not be a pro-independence opposition
The country remains pretty evenly split on the independence question.
Unionist parties will almost certainly share around 50% of the vote (constituency and list) and while Labour are likely to lose some seats, the chances are they will pass straight over to the Conservatives.
The Scottish Greens may gain a couple of seats, but the chances of RISE gaining any seats are very slim.
Which unfortunately means a vote for them would be a wasted vote.
Wings Over Scotland has an excellent breakdown of why this is the case here.
7. The Scottish Greens are not fully committed to Scottish independence
Firstly, let me state that Patrick Harvie is the man.
An eloquent, principled politician with lots of great ideas about how Scotland could be better run.
But in terms of Scottish independence, while remaining in favour, the Greens are not clearly committed to a second referendum.
The party’s official policy would be to proceed with a second referendum when presented with a petition signed by “an appropriate number of voters”.
Wings states that this “appropriate” number is 1 million, which would be almost 1 in 4 of those who registered to vote in the 2014 independence referendum (4.29 million).
1,617,989 Scots voted for independence, so getting 61% of them organised to sign a petition would be challenging.
8. Scottish Labour is a mess
Scottish Labour is a total mess.
Kezia Dugdale seems a nice enough lady, but her policies (when they don’t just consist of SNP bad) are all over the place.
The knives are out and by the end of the week, she may well be gone.
Which means we are likely to have our 6th Scottish Labour leader in 5 years:
- Johann Lamont (17 December 2011 – 24 October 2014)
- Anas Sarwar (acting: 24 October 2014 – 13 December 2014)
- Jim Murphy
- (13 December 2014 – 13 June 2015)
- Iain Gray (acting: 13 June 2015 – 15 August 2015)
- Kezia Dugdale (15 August 2015 – present)
They have no idea what they stand for anymore and their current polling reflects that.
At least with the Conservatives we know what we’re going to get. As distasteful as that something is to this site.
There is no point even commenting on the non-entities that are the Liberal Democrats.
9. Voting SNP is the best way to secure Scottish independence
Sorry, back to independence again to finish.
After Scotland is independent (yes IS) there will be a fresh dawn in Scottish politics.
A new, truly Scottish Labour party may emerge from the ashes.
The Greens may have a shot at getting some real representation in a fully loaded Scottish parliament.
But until that happens, the SNP will remain the best vehicle for driving us towards Scottish independence.
It may not happen in the next parliament.
Although if you held a gun to our heads for a prediction, we would say that it will and that there will be another referendum – returning a conclusive YES vote – around 2019.
We don’t think there will be a Brexit, but clearly if there was that would be grounds for an earlier vote.
We can see the appeal in voting for the Greens (or Rise) on the list vote, but tactical voting is always a gamble.
We will not be gambling with our vote, and will be voting SNP x 2 tomorrow in the Scottish election.
We hope you will do the same.