Labour shilly-shallying on indy cements the 2016 Scottish election as a two way vote choice

Rookie Scottish Labour Leader, Kezia Dugdale, desperate to claw back some Labour voters from the SNP’s maw, first declared that she would give her MSP’s the freedom to campaign for Scottish independence – clearly contemplating a near future where this would be an issue yet again.

The doughty Scottish Conservative Leader, Rush Davidson had, from the outset, made it clear that her party was unequivocally committed to the judgment that the best future for Scotland was continung membership of the British union and that the Conservatives would always fight for that.

With the likeable but lightweight Leader of the scant handful of Liberal Democrat MSPa, Willie Rennie, making the same decision as Dugdale and announcing that he too would free his MSPs to campaign in favour of Scottish independence, the Scottish Conservatives were left the sole Scottish party with a reliably immovable support for the union.

This made and makes that party the only secure recipient of the votes of those who do not support independence for Scotland. The Davidson declaration set her party as the only one that can be trusted to oppose the next campaign for indy – which the First Minister has herself scheduled openly for a launch this coming summer, 2016.

Understanding too late the latest own goal she had scored, Dugdale has just made a transparently oppotunist effort to nuance her last position to a new one of renewed but limited support for the union. [The political digestif that is Rennie has done the same]. Dugdale’s stance is now that she will not support a second independence referendum in the next parliamentary term.

Now that’s really telling them.

As For Argyll has said, the series of troubled waters the SNP will experience throughout the coming term [many of their own making] will leave the clearly unwilling leadership with no choice but to play the indy card in the 2021 Scottish Election, to try to secure thier re-election at that stage.

The cack-handed Dugdale attempt to try to claw back ground carelessly thrown away can only make Labour’s electoral situation even weaker.

A party and a party Leader that cannot make up their minds on the most important issue for Scotland in 300 years  and swing around the political compass from one half thought stance to the next, is not a safe home for any intelligent vote.

Those who believe in the long term enduring value of the mutuality that is the British union have only one certain place to put their vote – the Conservatives have never varied in their sure support for that union of history, territory, markets, language, currency, cost-sharing and familiarity.

The two-way choice

Voting this May is a two way choice for the intelligent Scottish electorate.

  • Those who passionately support the campaign for Scottish independence can only strategically vote for the SNP – and give the party BOTH their Constituency vote and their Regional List vote. This unequivocal support will enable their party to demonstrate its absolute dominance and the strength of public opinion for indyref 2. The First Minister and her Deputy, John Swinney, have each made it clear that they are asking for both votes. However much other parties may seek political advantage in draping themselves  in a veil of indy and hint at changes in perspective, the SNP is the only party with the certain settled will and the current power to deliver it. If an independent Scotland is to be achieved, its supporters must drive for it now. The moment is moving away.
  • Those whose allegiance to and belief in the continuing value of the British union remains – and those who have come to that view in the knowledge of the economic and defence vulnerability of an independent Scotland that they did not understand in September 2014 – can best buttress their position by voting to ensure what will be the most effective opposition to the separatist SNP. There is only one way to vote to do this – and to provide the necessary demonstration of quite what is the strength of the pro-union vote today. That way is to put the Scottish Conservatives, who will come nowhere near winning – into the position of principal opposition party after the election, a role only they can effectively deliver.

So how do pro-union Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters vote?

The most satisfactory way for loyal Labour and Liberal Democrat voters who are also committed to the union to use their votes is:

  • to give the candidate of the party they traditionally support their Constituency vote – demonstrating unequivocally the continuing electoral support for that party;
  • to give their Regional List vote to the Scottish Conservatives – even if they break the habits of generations to do so – to ensure that the ascendancy of a one party nationalist state is held to account by the only unequivocal and focused unionist opposition.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • I don’t think that is reasonable to say that those who will still vote Liberal and Labour in the constituency vote should then give the list vote to the Conservatives. Yes the Labour constituency vote will be low at around 15 to 20% with the Liberals on maybe 4%, but why would any of the rump voters then give their list vote to the Consetvatives. It just doesn’t make sense. Indeed, there is every chance that a rump Labour or Liberal voter who does not do one and two will do two for the SNP. Indeed, more than ever the Tories are being found as absolutely wanting. The budget fiasco, the nonsense of transferring all local authority schools in England into pre privatisation academy trusts, the EU civil war, and now their sleeping on the job as the UK steel industry collapses and the minister refuses to contemplate state protection to save the industry and the loss of around 30,000 direct jobs and hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs. With a hopeless bunch like that down south, why would anyone give their list vote to the Conservatives branch office up here. Wishful thinking Newsroom, very wishful thinking,

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

    Willie March 31, 2016 1:07 am Reply
    • willie, I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick here. It’s not a UK election – that was last year. This is the Scottish Elections were are talking about, so your criticism of the UK party is rather irrelevant. And before you retort that they are all the same, I remember very clearly you and your kind forever bleating about how Scottish Labour was a ‘branch office’ of UK Labour and should have it’s own direction…

      So, why don’t you actually use the right comparisons when trying (desperately) to criticise the Scottish Tories? Of course, we all know the answers – you can’t.

      Ruth Davidson is setting out a pretty clear vision for what her party would do in Scotland – a vision which keeps axes low, but ALSO ensures that those who can afford it pay their share – like prescription charges or tuitition fees. The bottom line is this – your party, the SNP, think that those on high incomes should get free prescriptions – despite the fact that these very people have the highest disposable income and can absolutely afford it. The SNP think that we should be getting the poorest into higher education through free tuition – the same as the Tories. The difference between the Tories and SNP is that the Tories don’t think that the wealthiest should also get it free and should contribute a capped amount – which would be reinvested into education.

      I wonder if you should consider viting Tory willie, as the Tories in Scotland are certainly more progressive than the SNP. It is the Scottish Tories proposing a new tax band as well…the list goes on, but with the SNP, they are completely constipated trying to please everyone whilst not actually doing anything to help those in most need.

      Ruth Davidson has the gumption to say she would re-introduce prescription charges – and now the conversation can begin – one that is long overdue You can’t have a deficit like Scotland has and continue to spend like there is no tomorrow.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

      JB March 31, 2016 10:46 am Reply
      • The point about universal benefits is that they are much easier and cheaper to administer than means-tested ones. If the better off are to contribute accordingly this is best done through a progressive tax system, one which takes account of assets as well as income.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        Arthur Blue April 1, 2016 10:22 am Reply
  • Whilst you may be right, Newsie, from a national perspective, I would argue that from an Argyll & Bute perspective you are wrong.

    Unionists from Labour and Conservative parties should be encouraged to vote (1) for Alan Reid who is the only candidate who is in a position to deny the seat to the SNP.

    Until the SNP agree to honour their commitment to the settled will of the Scottish People in indyref (1) and get on and govern the country then all elections in Scotland will be bipartisan affairs. Keeping the SNP out of any seat will be important.

    Alan Reid is a proclaimed Unionist whose vote increased in the last election in which he stood. He was 5000 votes behind the SNP and Labour and Conservatives were way behind.

    I would ask supporters from both parties to support him in this election. It would be nice to see a seat snatched from under the noses of the SNP and by a Lib Dem too since they have been written off as irrelevant by the nationalist pundits on this site.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

    JimB March 31, 2016 9:45 am Reply
    • We would wholly agree with the local strategy of unionists of all hues giving their Regional List vote to the Scottish Conservatilves – and giving their Constituency vote to Liberal Democrat, Alan Reid.
      Mr Reid is without question the best possible unionist alternative to the separatist SNP’s Michael Russell.
      Alan Rneid is a very knowledgable and experienced politician who served all interests in Argyll and Bute well and honourably until he was unseated as local MP in the nationalist felling of 2015.
      Mr Reid’s experience is needed in the sad parochialism of the chamber in Holyrood.
      For Argyll fully endorses his candidacy in this contest – as it endorses Labour’s Jackie Baillie’s candidacy in Dumbarton [for its Helensburgh and Lomond electorate]. Jackie Baillie is another serious senior ability Holyrood cannot afford to lose.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

      newsroom March 31, 2016 10:21 am Reply
    • Get your facts right JIMB,
      The libdems came fourth last election.
      The SNP had a majority of 8,543 over the Tories with Labour third
      The Libdems were over 10,000 votes behind the winning SNP
      Newsquat and yourself up to the usual misinformation again.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

      Keitho March 31, 2016 3:57 pm Reply
  • Ah the yooniists still fighting the SNP!

    Get over it guy’s 2014 is long gone move on.
    Red Tories , blue Tories lib Tories all support Osbornes austerity and Cameron’s attack on the weak and vulnerable since he is strong and respected in the world since he can fire nuclear weapons) providing the US give him his PIN number)!

    Vote for the party that will support Scotland first and always.

    There is no one else.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

    No Cheese Here March 31, 2016 10:28 am Reply
    • When you say vote for a party that will put Scotland first – is that a party that has not got the balls to raise tax on the wealthy? The party that fought for more powers but has decided not to use them? The party that will allow people earning many multiples of the minimum wages to get free prescriptions, despite the fact they can of course afford them, and in many case, would not object?

      Is this the party that refused to let councils increase Council Tax and would rather they were forced to make cuts that affect the poorest most?

      It’s a fact that in Scotland, the only party that refuse to mitigate austerity are the SNP. They have the opportunities to let the wealthy pay more and they refuse to act.

      The SNP are out for themselves, that it true, but it’s a myth to think they really care about the poorest in society – the last few weeks have proven that.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7

      JB March 31, 2016 10:54 am Reply
    • NCH

      Do I detect a hint that you think that NS’s pledge during the STV debate re Indy ref(2) is not worth a row of beans?

      You imply that SNP should also get over 2014, that it is long gone and time to move on …ergo no Indyrfef(2)

      Congratulations on having your damascene conversion.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

      scotnat March 31, 2016 12:39 pm Reply
      • pretendy Scot . Ans 1 No
        Ans 2- there will be another referendum when the Scottish people decide by voting for a party that will support one. I suspect they will.

        Are the anglo nats up for a Euro 2 referendum if the vote is close to remain part of the Eu?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

        No Cheese Here March 31, 2016 8:55 pm Reply
  • Alan Reith was rejected by the people just over a year ago when he was given the bums rush. But maybe things have changed, the mighty and moral Lib Dem will rise phoenix like from the ashes. Don’t think so!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 13

    Willie March 31, 2016 10:33 am Reply
    • Willie. Either you genuinely believe that Alan Reid’s surname is “Reith” or, along with the increasingly silly Hugh Jazz, you think it ever so clear of you to deliberately spell it wrongly. Either way, that makes you look stupid.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

      alex mckay March 31, 2016 2:28 pm Reply
  • Alan Reid inherited this seat from the popular Ray Michie.
    He didn’t have to do very much to be elected as it was regarded as a safe Liberal “dem” seat.
    He sat on his hands for the first two terms he was in parliament.
    He liked nothing better than having his photograph taken, a joke item even among his own supporters. Other than that he was anonymous.
    When the SNP’s Jim Mather won Argyll and Bute for the Holyrood parliament beating Libdem George Lyon (who has also inherited this seat from Ray Michie following her changing to Holyrood) Alan Reid was forced to waken up to fact that the gravy train he was on might not last too long. He was unable to up his game. The Libdems had been found out and he was one of those who had been found out most as being unable to connect with his electorate. At the age of about 61 years Alan Reid has proved he does not have the ability to be an MSP.
    Helensburgh is part of the Westminster seat but not part of the Holyrood seat and it is recognised that this is where a large chunk of the Libdem vote for Alan Reid came from. He has no chance now.
    Please go to the various hustings and see for yourself just how poor a candidate Alan Reid is.
    As for Jackie Baillie, I would rather trust a second hand car salesman.
    A weasel with words who self promotes rather look after the important issues concerning constituents.
    Sadly she will be back as she is No1 on Labour’s list nominations.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 13

    Keitho March 31, 2016 11:37 am Reply
  • “At the age of about 61 years Alan Reid has proved he does not have the ability to be an MSP.”

    Does age have any bearing on a persons capabilities of been an MSP ??? please expamd your comment.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5

    Karl Hughes March 31, 2016 12:12 pm Reply
  • Do you think Alan Reid is too old to appreciate the importance of green issues or is he just too old like that can’t change his spots thingy.
    He writes a lot of letters to the Oban Times like young hopeful politicians do to get recognised.
    His letters are not very good, always moany so I don’t think he’ll get recognised much better than before he started writing them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

    sara Swann March 31, 2016 4:08 pm Reply
  • A vote for labour,Tory’s (same thing) and the Libdems(absolutely useless) is a wasted vote.
    They do not have Scotland’s interests at heart,only Londons.The SNP will fight tooth and nail for each and every Scot.
    Now tell me the aforementioned Party’s will and then let’s debate!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    A.Salmon March 31, 2016 5:15 pm Reply
  • The liebrels are going to win. Must be true read it in the torygraph in London by the author Lyng Carmichie. His boss Cameroonian agrees saying it is the only way to stop the Scotch invading engerland for their 2nd homes. NationlISE THE BANKS HE shouts as it is all his mates RUK the steel. Buy Chinese.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

    No Cheese Here March 31, 2016 9:04 pm Reply

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