The delusions of Labour in Scotland

There’s delusion, and there’s Labour in Scotland delusion. On Wednesday in the Guardian Katherine Sangster, the national manager for Scottish Fabian and a former Labour Holyrood candidate, penned an article optimistically, or you might more accurately say misleadingly, entitled “This is how Labour can win back Scotland – and achieve a majority UK government.” Link here:

The piece was subtitled : “With the SNP vulnerable and the union debate stalled, Labour could succeed in Scotland, but it must offer the change people crave.” The piece then went on to fail to say what that ‘change’ might be. Notably it failed to construct a cohesive argument even on its own terms. Sangster noted that Labour could only hope to take at the very most four Scottish Westminster seats from the Conservatives and so must target SNP seats if it hopes to win a majority in the Commons. However seats won by the SNP are seats which also help to deprive the Conservatives of a majority in the Commons. It could be argued that from a Scottish perspective the best outcome at the next UK General Election would be for the Conservatives to lose their majority but for Labour to rely on some deal, tacit or formal, with the SNP in order to form a majority.

We all ought to have plenty experience by now in seeing what happens when a British party achieves an absolute majority at Westminster, English political concerns become paramount and Scotland’s interests are at best marginalised or at worst actively treated with contempt. A Westminster majority for Keir Starmer who pays lip service to the notion of the United Kingdom as a voluntary union of nations even as he denies Scottish democracy and refuses to specify what the democratic route to another independence referendum might be, disingenuously asserting that it’s for those who want to ‘break up the UK’ to set this out.

That’s despite the fact that the pro-independence parties had already operated on the transparently democratic principle that such a route consisted of the pro-independence parties winning a majority in the Scottish Parliament after an election in which a pledge to hold an independence referendum was prominent in their manifestos. However as we all know, when the pro-independence parties did just that, all of a sudden it’s not good enough for Keir Starmer who has shifted the goalposts and invites us to guess where he’s put them now without giving any clues. Which terribly conveniently for Keir means that he can triumphantly proclaim : “No, that’s not it!” should independence supporters labour [pun intended] under the misapprehension that they have demonstrated a democratic mandate for another independence referendum in some other way.

This is profoundly cynical and deeply undemocratic, particularly coming as it does from a man who tells us his mission is to restore integrity and trust in Westminster politics. It was telling that Katherine Sangster does not spell out a route that might be acceptable to Labour, confining herself to saying that Labour must must “avoid the ‘no compromise’ unionism versus independence stances that the SNP and Tories are locked into,” as thought there is a moral equivalence between those who believe in democracy and those who seek to thwart it. Yet she is talking here about a Labour party in Scotland which has been captured by the ‘no-compromise unionism’ of Anas Sarwar, Ian Murray and Jackie Baillie as comprehensively as the Conservatives have been captured by the Brextremist right.

Labour in Scotland is a party which rejects potential candidates deemed to have been ‘tainted’ by sympathies for independence yet has no problem at all with candidates who once occupied senior positions in the Orange Order. That looks very much like ‘no-compromise’ unionism from where this SNP voting former Labour supporter is sitting. Scotland ditched Labour primarily for being too right wing with Reeves, Cooper, Miliband et al in 2015. So which bit of the even more right wing offering now on the table do Labour commentators think is going to appeal to Scotland?

The basic problem for a Labour party in Scotland which seeks to capitalise on the recent turbulence within the SNP and capture votes from disaffected SNP supporters is that much of the dissatisfaction is found amongst SNP voters who feel that the party has not made sufficient progress in attaining Scottish independence, key reasons for which is that it would not only guarantee that Scotland always gets the governments that it votes for, but would also offer the opportunity of a much closer relationship with the European Union and the chance to visit the question of the monarchy. The question which Sangster does not engage with, is that the ‘change’ that Labour offers does not include change in any of these areas.

An opinion poll published on 30 March 2025 found that a mere 14% of people in Scotland are happy that the UK has left the EU and shows a stark division in opinions on Europe between Scotland and the rest of the UK ,yet under Starmer Labour has not only rejected another referendum on EU membership, it has also set its face against rejoining the Single Market and the Customs Union. Labour is as monarchist and as pro-Brexit as the Tories and even a majority Labour government would merely mean a respite from a Conservative government that Scotland did not vote for. The electoral pendulum in England will eventually swing back to the Tories, who will then set about trying to undo everything that Labour had done during its time in office.

Despite Starmer’s lip service to Scotland, Scottish votes can only make a difference when political opinions in England are pretty evenly divided. England always gets the governments that it votes for. UK General Elections are won or lost in England, indeed due to the unfair first past the post system which Labour has no plans to change they are won or lost in a very small slice of English political opinion. The slice which Labour is aiming its pitch at consists of Brexit supporting voters in the so-called ‘red wall’ seats in the Midlands and North of England. Scotland is merely a by-stander. Labour has committed to full on English nationalism as much as the Tories have.

The real challenge for Labour in Scotland is to prove that it values Scotland as much more than as a prop for its English ambitions, because most voters in Scotland, certainly those sympathetic to independence rightfully believe that it doesn’t. There is absolutely nothing in Katherine Sangster’s piece or anything issuing from the mouth of Anas Sarwar, to change anyone’s mind on that. Tell you what Labour, commit to the devolution of broadcasting, the abolition of the House of Lords, to a proportional voting system for UK General Elections, and to giving the Scottish Parliament the power to hold another independence referendum, and if Scotland still votes against independence, then maybe, just maybe, we can talk about voting Labour again.


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232 comments on “The delusions of Labour in Scotland

  1. Bryan says:

    So annoyed was I by this article and by one in the Guardian by Dani Garavelli the day before who is a columnist for the Herald that I took pen to paper to decry the ignorant bias by the Guardian.
    Their lead in Scotland Severin Carrel is another person who seems to know what’s best for us is a return to Labour in order to get back to the natural order of things.

  2. Clachangowk says:

    Outstanding performance by Humza at FMQ.
    Getting Independence was his main theme through almost every answer he gave. No doubt now that he will do everything possible to get the Independence we all want

    • andyfromdunning says:

      You are correct in the our new FM talked independence. Talking about it is not doing it you only need to think about the pre election words from NS.

      How is he going to do this? hopefully better than the last eight years. I await a firm plan and action before I will vote for the party again.

      Mr Hepburn can if he had support build the Indy case, build back SNP membership and get us a vote in May 26. Does he know how? There are steps that can be done working with others.

  3. wm says:

    The labour vote in Scotland was given up when “New Labour” decided to go for what they described as the “middle England” vote, which was to be located in the south east of England, no where near middle England, they now depend on the seats in London and the south of England, (real TORY land) where people on average are five times better off than they are in Scotland. When these people vote labour it does not make socialists they are English labour supporters just like AS,JB, and wee Murray. These are the reasons the English Labour Party have became pro-Brexit etc. they do not want to loose their English vote. Scottish Labour no longer exists end of.

  4. Hamish100 says:

    It just shows the false impression the folk in England have. Similar in delusion to a Muscovite thinking the Russians are welcomed in Ukraine.

    In fairness the new FM got off to a fiery start and to show up the deficiencies of Devolution set against the promise of Independence.

    More please and make Westminster election de facto referendum and doubters will support the cause from the wider Independence movement.

  5. Capella says:

    The Guardian is no longer the paper of the left. Under the editorship of Katherine Viner it has veered off into the weird world of identity politics and driven out writers like Suzanne Moore and Hadley Freeman. What’s left? Apologists for the Uniparty? As Labour become bluer and bluer they lose their voters in Scotland who remain stubbornly left of centre. This why they resent the SNP so much. The SNP captured the left of centre ground and left Scottish Labour with nowhere to go.

    What will happen to the 40% of Labour voters who are said to favour independence?

  6. James Mills says:

    We in Scotland are constantly told by apparatchiks of Labour/Tory in England ( and some up here too!) what THEY KNOW Scotland wants .
    Oh to be so gifted !
    We are at the mercy of the undemocratic nature of the MSM which is owned , body and soul , by forces totally opposed to Scottish self-determination .

    Our ( sic ) newspapers have had daily headlines trashing Scotland and its Government since the SNP came to power . They NEVER give any credit for some of the good that has been achieved by the Scottish Government , yet a Tory Government which has shown itself to be equal parts incompetent and corrupt is supported to the hilt by this same media .
    Some people ( many who should know better ) repeatedly decry the seeming lack of movement in the statistics towards Independence .
    Is it any wonder when 24/7 we are bombarded by our ( sic ) media telling us how dreadful everything is in Scotland under the SNP Government ?

    We are like someone in an abusive relationship who is constantly denigrated , belittled , scorned , humiliated etc…they often come to believe that this is the truth and see themselves as the abuser sees them .

    Every fault , mistake or poor decision by the Scottish Government is highlighted and exaggerated by the MSM . Similarly , Scottish politicians who couldn’t win in a one-horse-race are daily lined up to pour scorn on our efforts to run our own affairs .
    Yet a Westminster Government which has squandered eye-watering amounts of Public money on PPE , Test and (lost without ) Trace , HS2 , Bridges to Nowhere , ….is STILL in office without any great public outcry !

    Next time you feel that we are losing the battle for Independence just consider that DESPITE daily, weekly , monthly , annual attacks on the SNP , the Scottish Government , the YES Movement etc… we are still , I believe , at least on parity with the NO side , who have had every possible advantage from the media .

    But remember , the Unionist State has NOT been pushing THEIR case for staying in this Union . Their strategy has been wholly NEGATIVE since 2014 . They have nothing left to promise – ”the economic strength of the Union ”, ”Membership of the EU ”, ”A valued partner ” , ”lead us …” – sh*te !
    We are daily faced with threats to our Parliament from Labour and Tory parties who do not value the Scots , only their assets .
    We are daily faced with the deeply disturbing anti-democratic nature of both major Westminster parties .
    We are daily faced with the sinister destruction of Civil liberties under this current regime – and I do not hold out any hope of much being different under Starmer’s Labour ( sic ) Party .

    Independence is our way out – and we need to stay united to claim that prize . Bickering over who won and who lost party elections in not the way forward . If you can’t say something positive about our fight for Independence then better to hold your tongue .
    Neither the SNP nor any other party will gain us Independence – that is down to you and me , the people . The opponents of Scottish democracy will revel in any apparent disputes among Independence supporters . They have successfully personified the fight for Scottish Independence as Alex Salmond’s or Nicola Sturgeon’s or the SNP’s obsession .
    We have to show that this is not about the SNP or any individual . Difficult to do when the massed ranks of the MSM are against us – but it was never going to be easy to take away England’s crutch . Without us they are diminished , they are poorer , they are a shadow of their Imperial past .
    Take heart ! Don’t let the bast*rds grind you down !

  7. Handandshrimp says:

    I saw the article and left my opinion on it via the gift of CiF.

    Same old total lie that Labour can only win with votes from Scotland. Labour only wins if they can persuade England they are Tory enough.

    Is it just my PC has the formatting on the article above gone funny?

  8. Capella says:

    I watched FMQs and was impressed by the performance from Humza Yousaf. He was combative, articulate, well informed and easily turned the tables on the opposition. Happily, he mentioned “independence” as often as possible as an antidote to perpetual, cruel Tory Westminster rule. Also, he stressed the focus on social justice albeit through mitigating Tory theft of the public finances until we are able to use the powers of an independent state.

    A good start. Holding on firmly to the left of centre ground is essential to keeping Labour out of power in Scotland.

  9. JP58 says:

    Labour’s mantra in Scotland with apologies to JFK – ‘ask not what Labour can do for Scotland but what Scotland can do for Labour.’
    The new Labour approach is ‘now that we have told you there will be no independence referendum you might as well forget about independence altogether and stop talking about it.
    This is primarily a ‘Scottish’ Labour approach and is quite a contrast to Labour in Wales.
    I am a former Labour voter who always despised the Tories and I now feel the same way about Labour in Scotland. I am sure I am not alone.

  10. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye Paul, Labour HQ are not only NOT getting it, they are ignoring it to preserve their place at the political/media cartel’s table, Sarwar is doing what he does to show his da a gong essentially…

    Politics used to be about reflecting public concerns, now it seeks to dictate public concerns, “small boats” as good an example as any.

    I can’t recall which Opinion polls demonstrated the point so pointedly, but despite all the bullshit had been that heaped on their sample of England’s electorate there were two standout contradictions to the stance of both principal parties on NO to addressing Brexit and NO the Scots being “allowed” to hold an Indy referendum – Over 60% were opposed both, yet not a cheep from MSM.

    Meanwhile HMS James Cook’s focusses today on Scotland/Politics from a purely impartial but “Scottish” perspective –
    – “Humza Yousaf’s first FMQs hit by series of disruptions” – In prime promotion spot not because of what he had said but to obliterate it.
    – Similarly the much recycled “Margaret Ferrier: MP faces Commons suspension for Covid train trip”, almost 3 years after the event and ignoring several Tories having having had to take a “back seat” later, in some cases in the back of a black maria.
    – In third there is is the “Ten men arrested over Scottish League Cup final disorder” as if Celtic v Rangers was ever “modern” politics.
    – Yet in 4th spot sits “Noah replaces Jack as Scotland’s top baby boy name”

    Essentially the HMS James Cook version of events today in politics is bams disrupted Yousaf’s first PMQs, a bam SNP MP who screwed up is to be censured by WM, bams disrupted a fitba match, and Scots new parents believe the UK is sinking and God gave them a clue..

    • grizebard says:

      Oh yes, pseudo-Scottish Labour back at their tired old game, depress everybody with endless complaints that “things aren’t working”, combined with woolly talk about meaningless “change”, which amounts to nothing more than “back to the good old days” when they could lord it over everyone as their natural due and otherwise totally ignore us.

      With a potential WM byelection in the offing, and the UKGE not so far away, it is more essential than ever that these false friends are kept in the political dustbin where they belong. They plead for our support, yet offer absolutely nothing in return. In the current political standoff over a referendum, Labour must pay, and keep on paying, for their one-way democracy.

      Only when there’s no realistic hope of Labour ever getting back in charge in Holyrood, or having a non-trivial cohort of Scottish MPs again in WM (whether they prevail there or not), will the tipping point for indy finally come.

  11. scottish_skier says:

    From IPSOS as I posted the other day, showing Labour ‘benefitting from the SNP civil war’ ((c) British media) by, erm, going backwards.

    • Capella says:

      How then do you explain the SGP poll which shows a distinct move from SNP to Labour of 5% ?

      • Alex Clark says:

        The SGP poll was conducted between the 7th and 10th March. As you can see the most recent IPSOS poll as shown in the graphic above was conducted on 23rd March so is the most recent.

        Polls will differ over time and between companies, you are trying to compare apples with pears.

        • Capella says:

          The IPSOS poll I can find is dated the 17th – 21st March, which is more recent. But the IPOS “favourability trends” for Labour don’t measure shifts in voting intention. The SNP might still be more favourable than Labour even though voters may have shifted to Labour.

          • Alex Clark says:

            That’s what I said, you are comparing apples and pears and the two polls are not comparable.

            • Capella says:

              I was actually commenting on the proposition that Labour were going backwards:

              showing Labour ‘benefitting from the SNP civil war’ ((c) British media) by, erm, going backwards.

              I was wondering how enjoying a 5% increase in votes could be described as “going backwards” even though they are still less popular than the SNP.
              According to SGP this translates into an extra 16 seats in a GE whereas the SNP would lose 13 seats.

              Seats projection (current boundaries, changes measured from 2019 result): SNP 35 (-13), Labour 17 (+16), Liberal Democrats 4 (-), Conservatives 3 (-3)

              • Alex Clark says:

                Since when did you think it beneficial to start talking up the chances of Labour taking votes from the SNP on this blog?

                • Capella says:

                  Since I was converted to dealing in the reality based world of facts over ideology. The facts are always friendly, wishful thinking not so much. If there is a shift to Labour don’t you think we should be analysing why?

                  • Alex Clark says:

                    No, I really don’t, I think we should be getting behind the new leader of the SNP as that’s the only hope we have of becoming Independent anytime soon.

                    Abandon the SNP and you abandon any chance of Independence for decades, it’s that simple.

                    • Capella says:

                      I have already commented on the new leader and said he was impressive in FMQs. I also said the the SNP needs to retain the centre left ground in order to defeat Labour. I also posted a clip of Humza Yousaf dealing decisively with Pam Duncan Glancy on tackling poverty. I think I supported HY more than anyone else so far on this thread.

      • scottish_skier says:

        I have a tendency to favour IPSOS as they don’t use stilly erse non-standard (in any country in the world) 9 year old weighting (2014), which James, like myself, is highly critical of.

        If we did balance out the two, Labour have made no gains anyway, as one saying something either way means no net gain for labour due to the ‘SNP civil war’, so at worst ‘standing still’. Also, labour were getting low 30’s on the back of the Tory demise 6 months ago, which again means = getting nowhere.

        That SGP reported poll has 6% other. Most of that will be green who vote SNP on the day, meaning it suggests no change on 2019.

        Sarwar was positive back in 2021, but lost favourability and has remained netural to net negative largely since. Certainly zero signs of growing popularity – the opposite. But then Labour are right-wing pro-brexit, so that’s not a shock.

        Certainly if Labour had gained from the SNP, it couldn’t be due to GRR as Labour support that. Some Labour MSPs could not be more passionate! The only party that might have gained from GGR would be the Tories, which has just not happened unsurprisingly because people think GRR isn’t important, but stuff like the cost of living crisis is.

        As noted in past posts, the main beneficiary from the SNP over the past 6 months or so has been the Greens, at both Holyrood and Westminster VI level (albeit this won’t happen in reality as noted), probably due to the fight over GRR pushing liberal SNPers Green.

        The unionists picked a stupid hill to die on given 2/3 of unionist parties backed GRR and the only party opposed is the one that most Scots just won’t vote for.

        • Capella says:

          If there is a Rutherglen by-election it will be interesting to see the result. I agree that people are unlikely to swing to Labour because of the GRR as Labour and the Lib Dems are just as captured by this as the SNP. The Greens are on another planet. Also agree that most Sots, like me, will never vote Tory.

          However, the most likely outcome is not voting at all. This is what happened in 2017 when the SNP lost 21 seats in Westminster.

        • Capella says:

          BTW the unionists haven’t died on the GRR hill but Nicola Sturgeon is gone and Humza Yousaf is pirouetting trying to find a way out of this mess. Appointing the architect of the mess to the position of Deputy First Minister and Finance Minister may not help.

          • scottish_skier says:

            So Nicola Resigned over GRR? This is news to me. I thought she’d got tired of it all after 16 years (JHC) at the helm / joint helm? Have you got a link to some data showing she was plunging in popularity and jumped before she was pushed? 🙂

            I have not noticed a particular mess myself. Although British nationalists seem absolutely determined to convince me of this! ‘SNP civil war!’ and whatnot. But I’ve heard that since I was old enough to take an interest like 30 years ago.

            What I saw just happen is SNP members voted basically identically to me. They liked both damn near equally, but Humza a smidgen more. They were 52% Yousaf/48% Forbes. In my case, I only opted Yousaf because so many on here were shouting for Forbes! Was close to tossing a coin.

            In terms of supposed ‘division’ in the party that unionists are on about… is there any evidence the vote was not just a normal / Gaussian distribution / bell curve pattern? Or are we really to believe half of members were on the Forbes extreme and the other on the Yousaf extreme, separated by a huge gulf as the British nationalists would have us believe? Same for SNP voters / potential voters? That I have seen no evidence for at all. Everyone I know is very like me; they could really make their mind up as they saw good qualities in both. That’s normal people / members, not the relentlessly campaigning geeks.

            Of course the small groups on either extreme (of the bell curve) who put their candidate on a pedestal, viciously attacking the opposing one / their supporters – and those that give the slighted criticism of their favourite – tend to shout the loudest, giving the impression of division, at least to themselves. It’s like GRR the public are not ‘horrifically split’ on the matter, but rather have a range of mixed views forming a grey area between for and against. But then those waving placards are either viciously opposed or campaigning for with every fibre of their being. Tis always thus! This is why most want the bill pursued (a majority rising to 2/3 when DKs are excluded), either by amending to get around any clashes with the equality act, or via the courts. And that was with the poll stacked against!

            So na, until I see some solid evidence of any mess and the party is horrifically divided, I’m not going to buy that unionist line. We just had a leadership contest – all perfectly normal for parties, but it’s just been a very long time since the SNP had one, so folks have forgotten what they’re like.

            Not once, ever, has anyone I know showed the remotest concern about GGR. It’s a niche thing. And it’s only the Brexit Tories who oppose – the Remainers are for!

            • scottish_skier says:

              The bottom para was supposed to go before the second last, but somehow I posted before moving it around.

  12. Ken says:

    Guardian click bait. The BTL posters put them straight. Most were sympathetic to Scottish Independence.

    It just needs people who support Independence to go out and vote for it every election. Local, Holyrood, GE, Too low turnout.

  13. Ken says:

    The count down has started to a GE election. To get the unionists out. A better outcome towards Independence.

    The Tory on Debate Night going on about the state of City centres. They caused it. In collusion with Labour. The nine supposed to be chucked out of the Party. Still there, The list 3rd rate losers. What an embarrassment.

  14. Alex Clark says:

    It will make no difference whatsoever to the people of Scotland to have Labour in power in Westminster. It won’t give us the right to make the choices we might want to take in future.

    Change is on the way, especially in energy use and how it is produced. Scotland is in a very enviable position compared with every other country in Europe maybe with the exception of Norway and Sweden

    Labour have a plan though with what to do with Scotland’s energy potential. They will sell it to the highest bidder and take all the money made will go straight into the Westminster treasury’s coffers to be spent as they see fit.

    Scotland will get the crumbs from the table, it’s the 1970’s oil grab all over again and we cannot let that happen. Independence is a must, keep our eyes on the prize.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I’d go further Alex, Labour in power at Westminster will only be a veneer of difference across the UK as a whole just as their last stint in power.
      eg – The Blair/Brown era reversed nothing of the Thatcher etc era industrial brutality.
      The legacy distortions of the “energy market” which penalised Scots to the advantage of southern England were never top of Labour’s agenda for remedy and still are not.

      UK politics is in a Groundhog Day existence, only Scots can escape the rinse/repeat through Independence…

  15. Dr Jim says:

    One extra vote for Labour will hear them trumpet that Scotland doesn’t want self determination, we want English rule, we don’t want to decide for ourselves, we want England to decide, we want rid of the SNP because the English union is great

    The Labour party doesn’t care about governing Scotland
    The Labour party only wants Scotland to be its propaganda release to England

    Sir Kier Starmer is a Tory, because England won’t buy into Labour if they’re not Tories
    Problem immigration is a creation of both these parties so they can sloganize their propagandized solution to England’s *don’t look at what we did* problems everywhere else

    England’s solution to everything is blame the nasty furriners, oh but not the Ukranian nasty furriners they’re OK fine and dandy until just one of them commits a crime as soon as the war’s over, and they will, because all furriners are nasty furriners

    Remember that Scots are nasty furriners if we don’t agree with England, it used to be the 65 countries that took their independence from England’s empire, then the Irish, it’ll be the Welsh soon enough

  16. Capella says:

    Pam Duncan Glancy at FMQs tried to claim that the SNP government had failed to reduce poverty as much as Labour. What she fails to take into account is that the Labour administration in Scotland was backed by a Labour administration in Westminster. The SNP, thanks to Better Together Labour, are saddled with a Tory administration in Westminster. That’s why poverty levels are high.

  17. John Main says:

    A few tens of thousands of SNP members have just decided the First Minister for 5.5 millions Scots.

    Where’s the democracy in that?

    • Handandshrimp says:

      There are a great many things in this world to carp about but the mechanism for selecting a new FM should one step down doesn’t seem very high on the list. It was used when Dewer passed away, when McLeish stepped down and when Salmond stepped down.

      Even in a presidential system like the US, when Nixon stepped down Ford stepped up.

      The SNP polled well two years ago, they have the numbers to continue that is democracy. The same is the case for the slow motion car crash in Westminster. The Tories have the numbers to continue with multiple leaders.

      Of course there will be elections and both Humza and Sunak can put their performance in the job to the test just as Nicola did in 2016 and 2021. That also will be democracy.

      • Gay Sandy says:

        Completely fed up with all the negative comments since the election what a load of nasty people throwing all their rattles out as if it would work the total opposite you will find from today on. (Note to Scottish-Skier yes I used capitals on purpose) The parliament is tied 64 SNP and 64 Others sitting including the seven greens. It was designed to have 129 members with the presiding officer neutral BUT if the parliament vote is tied they always vote with the sitting government of the day. Which means in practice they do have a majority please stop spreading the English Lie S.S. that they don’t? That just shows you what an astounding vote and turnout that was in May 2021 to break the myth it could never ever happen as Labour & Conservative keep saying today and compounding the lie again and again! Challenge it please everyone who can I am just a lowly gay with next to know influence..thanks lol!

    • Golfnut says:

      I’m guessing Sarwar and co have forgotten that it was a Labour Bill which set up the rules for the election of the position of First Minister.

    • UndeadShaun says:

      No the MSPs in holyrood decided who was 1st minister, not members. Its not automatic, unlike westminster its put to a vote in the parliament.

      So no, members choose leader and the leader puts themself forward for the post. They need a majority to become 1st minister.

      This method has been used previously when Donald Dewar passed away and Alex Salmond resigned.

      And we do not have a presidential system, here you vote for a party using ATV pr system.

    • grizebard says:

      The SNP members didn’t, if you had only been looking properly. The SNP indeed chose their new leader (as is their full right), but it was the Scots Parliament that chose our new FM. And the Parliament, lest you have also forgotten, was elected by The People.

      Try to get your constitutional facts straight before just sounding-off, please.

    • scottish_skier says:

      First ministers, like prime ministers under PR democracy, have basically no executive powers (personal ability to make laws), and are simply elected by the parliament to lead it / speak for it; the parliament itself having the ultimate executive power. Even if Scotland was independent, the PM (formerly FM) would have no power to make laws. Therefore they do not need to be elected by popular vote.

      Only presidents have some personal executive powers in limited areas, hence are directly elected by the public, at least in democratic republics.

      Except in the UK. Here, an unelected PM does have effective executive powers in a range of areas like a president, but not elected. Such as a finger on the nuke button, and of course to refuse us a S30 on a personal whim it seems…

  18. Alex Clark says:

    It was a majority of MSP’s in Holyrood who elected the First Minister, SNP members elected the leader of the SNP, that’s democracy.

    • John Main says:

      I guess we must agree to disagree then.

      That’s not democracy.

      That’s a stitch up.

      It’s every bit as much of a disgrace and a travesty as a few thousand Tories landing us with Truss and now Sunak.

      Sticking an SNP badge on the travesty does not miraculously turn it pure and worthy.

      It still stinks.

      • Alex Clark says:

        It looks like it’s not just me who you disagree with.

      • scottish_skier says:

        So Norway isn’t democratic? Neither is Finland? Nor Sweden? Nor Iceland? Nor…

        Pray enlighten us with your wisdom here.

        • John Main says:

          Definition of Democracy – a way of governing which depends on the will of the people.

          The people did not vote for Yousaf.

          Consider yourself enlightened.

          • scottish_skier says:

            The PMs of those countries (and so many more) are elected the same way as our FM; by the parliament because they (the FM/PM) have no law making powers, only the parliament has.

            Democracy requires those that can make laws to be directly elected. Yousaf, like Sturgeon…Salmond… and those that went before, cannot make laws. End of.

            I accept you probably cannot be enlightened here. The concepts seem to simple.

          • Melb Don says:

            Unfortunately you don’t understand what parliamentary system Scotland and most, if not all, countries use. Scotland does not have democracy for its Parliament, it has a representative democracy, This simply means the people vote for a candidate to represent them within the Parliament, and their democratically elected representatives have on their behalf elected Humza Yousaf as the FM of Scotland.

  19. bringiton says:

    Whether Scots vote Labour,Tory or Liberal they are voting to ensure that Scotland,within the UK state,will never have the right to self determination.
    The London parties try to make out that we don’t need independence and that it is a distraction from getting on with the day job of implementing decisions made in Westminster.
    No other self respecting country,including England,would put up with these sort of constitutional arrangements.
    Labour are a historic anomoly in Scotland,a party which used to represent working people but is now the leftish wing of the Tories.
    They will,of course,try to hide that from Scots.

    • wm says:

      Anybody voting Labour in Scotland is voting for the English labour party who put England first, and the same goes for the other two English parties.

  20. Dr Jim says:

    Labour only ever pretended to be the party of the working people, they were voting fodder for the English dictatorship union, a pretense at democracy while doing the Tories work for them

    Keep the plebs in line and England succeeds in the maintenance of its control
    Without Scotland’s oil, gas, energy, water, oceans and Northern hemisphere access England is nothing but the nation of shopkeepers it always was
    Without the city of Londons finance district England is a poverty stricken polluted basket case with its own nuclear weapons parked in its own country making it the target of the world instead of them making Scotland the target of their enemies

    If Vladimir Putin carries out his latest threat where is the number one target ?

    The entirety of central Scotland gone with fallout of 100 miles in every direction, England comes out of that pretty safely, so that’s just fine isn’t it, and the very reason they put their nuclear shit in Scotland, very caring and sharing union eh, but certainly successful from and England point of view, at least they keep their voters alive

    Scotland? oh dear how sad never mind

    • Alan D says:

      It ain’t the 80s anymore. Russia has a nuclear force which is barely functional, never mind reliable. We see what institutionalised corruption did to their aircraft carrier and their entire military. There’s no way their nuclear forces escaped this corruption and incompetence.

      The fuckwits can’t even carry out a test launch on short notice. He tried ordering one during Biden’s visit to Kyiv last month. It failed.

      Putin’s number one target is not Faslane. If he intends to nuke NATO, the number one targets has to be NATO’s nuclear-missile submarines at sea. He does not have the capability to do this – his submarine fleet is as old and broken as everything else is.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Of course your vast experience of military issues foreign and domestic was gained where now?
        If the US says Putin is operational and a threat when it comes to nuclear weapons then he is, if Russia were not the US would have finished this war a year ago

  21. Ken says:

    Kate Forbes and Ivan McKee should have definitely been left in their jobs.

    Lying to win does not cut it, Leave that to the unionists.

  22. Capella says:

    Margaret Ferrier may be suspended from the HoC for 30 days the standards committee recommends. That would almost certainly trigger a bi-election in Rutherglen. The rules of the HoC are that, if an MP is suspended for 10 days then the constituency can open a recall petition. It will be interesting to see whether Boris Johnston and Rishi Sunak are suspended. Rumour is it will be only for 9 days in their case.

    If there is a bi-election the contest will be between the SNP and Labour.

    • Handandshrimp says:

      I think the reason the Tories on the committee voted for 9 days for Ferrier was because they didn’t want to set a precedent on COVID matters. The other members did want to set a precedent. I think Ferrier is going to be crushed not because her error was greater but because there are bigger fish to fry and the oil needs to be hot.

      • James says:

        The SNP member also voted for 10 days. But yes Labour will most likely gain the seat. The national swing SNP to Lab is 9.7% and they only need a 4.8% swing to gain the seat, so even with the vagarities of a By-Election they should get the seat.

        • Handandshrimp says:

          The lower number of days is probably fair in relation to the error made but politics always rears its face in these things. Labour both fancy a by election which may or may not happen but they also want to put pressure on Boris. Hard to argue he should get 9 days if Ferrier gets 30.

    • Legerwood says:

      The recall petition needs to get 8,000 signatures from people living in the constituency in order to trigger a by-election. No easy matter to accomplish and possibly quite time consuming yet Labour, and the media, seem to be talking as if the by-election is a done deal and Labour will win it.

      • Capella says:

        It’s 10% of the registered voters required to trigger a bi-election. Since the seat must have a high number of Labour voters “a seat which has changed hands in the last 3 elections” (Philip Sim) a petition will likely get 10% and Labour will be very keen to take on the SNP now with a new leader in place and their ratings improving. If Labour don’t go for a recall they will look rather cowardly.

  23. Hamish100 says:

    Kate Hoey ex labour MP saying that Northern Ireland is a colony of the eu. ( not U.K.)
    Democratically elected MLA’s at stormont would be like the Vichy government.

    How did labour hide this bitter “No surrenderite” in plain sight.

    To work with the eu makes you a collaborator. What a bitter women.

    How ironic.

    I assume Scotland is a colony too from the Labourite sitting in the unelected Lords.

    • Alec Lomax says:

      Baroness Hoey, if you don’t mind !

    • davetewart says:

      Hoey was an extreme Left wing labourite , hidden from view as the labour mp for Vauxhall , that’s in londoninium.

      How can a human brain deal with being a colony of Direct Rule westminster being great but being a voting member of the EU , BAD.
      We in Scotland really know that answer, 3 unionist parties in Hollyrood calling for more expenditure from the Capped Pocket Money from our Imperial masters, who can’t see that the solution is to be a Normal Country taking decisions for ourselves.

      Have a look at the minister for women in westmonster not Playing that Game when asked about the benefits of the Pacific Block deal, seems that some forecasts are great but others are totally unreliable, you chose which to support your leader’s Lies and not by balance.

      Latest from coffey, lack of living seafood off Newcastle!!!, nothing to stop you going out to 9 miles instead of fishing within 3 miles.

      • UndeadShaun says:

        Yes 4 p per £100 on gdp.

        Against £4 per £100 less on gdp after leaving EU.

        And probably more in Scotland

    • “How did labour hide this bitter “No surrenderite” in plain sight.”
      Never mind Kate Hoey

      Closer to home, SLAB hides a few of the same in plain sight.

  24. yesindyref2 says:

    Just to cap off an inglorious week, Richard Walker in the National:

    Humble pie for Yousaf’s doubters – but big challenges still lie ahead—big-challenges-still-lie-ahead/

    and it’s not just the headline, this is what he said:

    THOSE who questioned new First Minister Humza Yousaf’s commitment to prioritising independence and driving home the urgency of achieving it should be eating humble pie this morning.


    This is triumphalism and – gloating – at its worst, but comments below the line have been the same after Yousaf’s win, along the lines of : “Suck it up, buttercup”, and even worse commands like: “Shut up and eat your porridge”.

    Unity? Healing? You have got to be kidding. And it’s also far too early to judge Yousaf – for either “side”.

    There IS a big lesson here though and it might have value for some time in the future – after a YES vote, there should be no triumphalism and gloating by YES supporters, just some empathy and careful attempts to heal any divides. There will need to be Independence Ambassadors.

    • Capella says:

      I noticed that article by Richard Walker. It’s the kind of hubris the “progressive” wing of every party (except of course the Tories) suffers from. The National also has an article by Owen Jones, poster boy of identity politics:

      FOR anyone on this island with a progressive disposition, the triumph of Humza Yousaf as SNP leader and Scottish First Minister should be a relief.

      Ours is an age of “culture war”, a euphemism for cynically weaponised backlash against the claims for justice of minorities and women.

      If Kate Forbes – who is instinctively against LGBTQ rights and abortion – had triumphed, it would have been hailed as a victory for social reactionaries across the Western world.

      “Even the SNP have rejected wokery!” would be the new battle cry of Telegraph provocateurs and GB News trolls. The pressure on Labour from the left would have subsidised, encouraging them to glide further rightwards.

      Instead, a Muslim politician who champions LGBTQ rights – a path previously trodden by London’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan – is the victor.

      They won’t be satisfied until their enemies are cancelled.

      Unfortunately, I have already cancelled my subscription so I can’t cancel it again!

      • James Scott says:

        I read this absolute load of tosh, it’s lies, mischaracterisation, borderline racist and anti heterosexual
        There’s PC and there’s outright pish to infer that someone must promote a thing or they’re against a thing
        Equal rights mean just that, not more than equal
        This constant over inflation of minority groups equality just because they’re a minority has gone far too far when it becomes the tool of blackmail politics to argue that such minorities will refuse to vote for you if you don’t prioritise them above the general population

        It’s also bad politics in the long run, minorities are by definition a minority, their political threat of vote loss is objectionable and risks alienating the majority

        Balance not bias is required and any government that doesn’t remember that flirts with the majority of voters voting with their feet also, and that’s a tad more damaging to those politicians who pander to minorities blackmail tactics

        Nobody saying I was daft to cancel my membership now

      • grizebard says:

        More evidence, alas, that The National has inherited some of the worst tendencies of out-in-the-wilderness Labour. It seems to prefer to indulge itself in airless “progressivism” of interest to few rather than diligently engaging with a wider public that still needs won over to independence. (A strategy that would also do marvels for its commercial viability, incidentally.)

        I gave up on it myself some time ago, though, and haven’t looked back. I wish it wasn’t like this, though. It’s not as if we have a surplus of convincingly supportive media!

      • yesindyref2 says:

        It’s not just the 48% who voted for Forbes, she was the most popular amongst the undecideds and noes – precisely the audience the National should be trying to reach. Should they eat “Humble Pie” as well?

        Anyways, here’s another article:

        New poll gives SNP bounce after Humza Yousaf elected leader

        Turns out the Scottish subsample was just 106 people, 21% of whom didn’t pick a party, so it’s 48% of just 85 voters. That’s just plain ignorance, pushing that subsample poll as in any way representative.

        • scottish_skier says:

          Damn, didn’t check!

        • Capella says:

          I think most of us are waiting and watching and taking note. The “progressives” will have to present a programme for government. The NEC will have to do something about their failure to run a transparent leadership election. Then we will see which “side of history” everyone is on and who is eating humble pie.

        • Legerwood says:

          On first preference votes HY was well ahead of KF: 48.2% to 40.7%. AR’s second preference votes which brought KF up.

          • Capella says:

            Yes the tally amongst the members shows he was ahead. But in the general voting public, Kate Forbes was ahead, specially among the soft NOs i.e. the people we need to persuade.

            • Legerwood says:

              It was an election for party leader by party members. Any poll of the general public was irrelevant unless it was carried out to try to influence the result.

              He was elected by the party members to lead a party that had been elected by the people of Scotland to govern and he will lead the party and if done well will once again persuade the voters of Scotland to vote SNP and for Independence. For that to happen, however, also requires those members whose candidate did not win to respect the choice of their fellow members and stop their carping and get behind their leader and work for a successful outcome.

              • Capella says:

                Well, good luck. As a former member I no longer need to vote for anyone I don’t agree with. In the end of the day it is the people of Scotland who are sovereign.

                • Legerwood says:

                  I have never been a member of any political party so had no vote in the party election. I do have an interest though in who won the election since they would almost certainly become FM.

            • scottish_skier says:

              I wasn’t aware of any poll of ‘soft nos’, i.e. people who said they were this? And anyway, people don’t vote for independence because of a leader. Sturgeon was hugely popular but that had no impact on Yes support. It climbed steadily – with waves on the rising tide – in response to events (and the long term demographic changes historical events have had on things). It will continue to do so whoever is FM. It’s a slow movement of tectonic plates which may, at times, shunt forward sharply in the form of earthquakes (excuse the geologist metaphor).

              As I noted a number of times in polling posts, Forbes was much more popular with Tory and Brexit voters (who ultimately had to have an SNP FM), but that’s not her fault and well, let’s be honest, we can probably safely put it down to the protected characteristics (at least 2 of these would have right wingers freaking out) of her main opponent rather than anything else. Among Yes voters, the top two were very closely tied. Hence the result – SNP voters reflecting Yes voters. Same for Labour and Lib Dem voters – the former being the most Yes of the two.

              I imagine those leaning to Yes would be more like those actually now backing Yes rather than hardened Tory brexiters. So in that sense, short of any evidence, I’d think a poll of soft Nos would have them kind of half and half / liking both fairly equally too.

              Given most Yes voters struggled to decide between the two – hence the close tie – I think anyone going around attacking either candidate viciously will only hurt themselves. Certainly, I imagine both Forbes and Yousaf would not want the support of anyone doing this as they are very decent people.

              I really do think it’s a mistake to assume that people were polarised over the candidates. As I talked about last night, there’s no evidence for this. In fact the result says they liked both almost equally. It was STV too. It wasn’t a binary choice, but a preferential system. So if people liked all three almost equally, they still had to give them a ranking, so putting one ahead of the other. That or not vote. In fact a lot of members didn’t vote. Given the close tie, the probably didn’t because they couldn’t choose (although we can’t be sure).

              I basically voted (1) 43% Yousaf (2) 42% Forbes (3) 5% Regan, much like SNP members in general.

              I understand some people were like 90% Forbes, 10% Regan or 100% Yousaf!, but these just don’t reflect most party members nor the public as the result and polling shows. Husbands and wives will not be at each other’s throats because one went Forbes and the other Yousaf. The slanging matches and insults going around are confined to those on the extremes who idolised one and hated the others. But these inhabit politics websites, so… 🙂

  25. Dr Jim says:

    Margaret Ferrier did wrong, no two ways about it, no getting round it, but you have to say, she’s about to lose her job for what she did, but Boris Johnson gets a payoff pension

    There’s another reason not to have anything political to do with England’s union
    They’re very strange corrupt and mysterious sense of justice where continuous denial means innocent, and if you apologise as well you’re elevated to the House of Lords and a lifetime of £££££££$$$$$$$$

    • Legerwood says:

      Worth remembering too that she was arrested, charged and served a Community service order for what she did.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Remember our original clinical go to lady at the beginning of the pandemic
        I can’t remember her name but a Northern Irish woman I believe
        She lost her job for going in her car to the countryside with her family, and none of them were positive for Covid
        Again they broke the rules, but it seems rules are infinitely more important when it comes to Scots who have the slightest connection with the Scottish government, but in England? meh

        How about Tories Murdo Fraser and his buddy Liz Smith out for their regular hill walkies together come Covid or come shine

        Barnard Castle anyone?

  26. Legerwood says:

    Here is a good analysis of the proceedings and voting of the Committee that looked in to the Margaret Ferrier case and decided on suspension.

  27. scottish_skier says:

    Good to be back to normal polling life!

    The ‘civil war’ can now continue, with ‘Labour benefiting’ and whatnot.

    New poll gives SNP bounce after Humza Yousaf elected leader

    THE SNP has seen a popularity bounce after Humza Yousaf took over as leader, fresh polling has revealed.

    Research by Polling People for GB News predicted the SNP would take 48% of the vote in a Westminster election, among voters who picked a preferred party.

    This was the highest among any of the parties in Scotland, with Labour at 20%, the Tories at 14% and the LibDems at 9%, among voters who stated a preference.

    The SNP’s rating in the latest poll, carried out on Yousaf’s first full day as First Minister, was up from research carried out on March 22 this year, which predicted 44% of Scottish voters would back the party.

  28. craig murray says:

    I am deeply uneasy about the Margaret Ferrier thing. It seems to me that there is a world of difference between someone who is ill, with an illness that impairs your judgment, trying to get home, and Boris having numerous rule breaking piss ups while healthy.
    Yes Ferrier was wrong, but she has been punished repeatedly and this is now just vindictive and unkind.

  29. Hamish100 says:

    Yes, being punished multiple times for the same “crime” is not the mark of a just society. Still we aren’t in a just society and labour in particular will try their best to fool the public that they care about Scotland.

  30. Capella says:

    As Legerwood says above, Margaret Ferrier has already been arrested, charged and served a community service order for her action – which was not illegal in England where she travelled from – but was in Scotland.

    Three years later, a HoC committee decides that she must serve a 30 day suspension which may trigger a by-election.

    If Boris Johnston and Rishi Sunak are not also served with 30 day suspensions for their actions which were illegal in England at the time, then the law is being perverted for political ends.

  31. Hamish100 says:

    I see Russell trying to mix it in The National with the behaviours at Holyrood. Conflating 2 different issues ( oil and demos in Parliament)and by doing so misses the real target the desk thumping, video recording tories who have encouraged such behaviours.
    I do think we need a new President of the snp to clear the air.

  32. yesindyref2 says:

    In a Monday, March 13, 2023 post from SGP, the politics polling expert from IR1 and ever since:

    In the Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll, Kate Forbes has a lead over Humza Yousaf among SNP voters and Yes voters from 2014, but she also has an absolutely enormous lead over Yousaf among No voters and people who vote for unionist parties.

    No voters from 2014:
    Kate Forbes: 69%
    Humza Yousaf: 19%
    Ash Regan: 11%

    Labour voters from 2021:

    Kate Forbes: 55%
    Humza Yousaf: 28%
    Ash Regan: 17%

    Conservative voters from 2021:

    Kate Forbes: 83%
    Humza Yousaf: 9%
    Ash Regan: 8%

    Liberal Democrat voters from 2021:

    Kate Forbes: 63%
    Humza Yousaf: 20%
    Ash Regan: 17%

    Which shows that Forbes was indeed by far the better candidate to reach the undecideds and NOes.

  33. yesindyref2 says:

    And Scot Goes Pop’s latest post with expert analysis:

    Independence support stands at healthy 48% in new Savanta poll – but concerns grow that Yousaf’s leadership is unsustainable as SNP lead in Westminster voting intentions drops to six points

    which shows Westminster SNP at 30 seats (30), and Holyrood SNP at 46 (46)compared to Labour 42. If this was sustained it would be a total disaster.

    Welcome to the real world 😦

    • Capella says:

      I’m glad SGP has returned to analysing polls again which is refreshing, if also depressing when the results aren’t encouraging. The new leadership hasn’t got the luxury of losing the trust of voters. They are off for a two week break. Let’s hope they spend it devising policies that voters will support.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        He’s had some great posts recently, and some sound analysis. Well, he does have a degree in politics which is where the analysis comes in.

    • Eilidh says:

      Interesting article not much drop in Indy support but significant Snp one. Not surprising after that bun fight of a leadership campaign. I do wonder who all these folk who support Indy but not Snp any more will vote for. Not Alba I think. My worry is they do not vote at all

      • yesindyref2 says:

        I think that’s a very well thought out comment, Eilidh.

        If the SNP are obviously doing something strong about Indy I’d say most will hold their noses yet again and vote SNP. But if Yousaf is all about the extreme Green stuff, ruining the economy, trade, business, then you could be right to worry, some won’t vote at all, likely including me.

  34. Hamish100 says:

    I suspect that come an election – whenever and if it is the Westminster one then if it is made a de facto referendum, those currently holding their nose, those who feel a bit deflated will come around and vote for independence.

    The wider independence movement will reenergise and coalesce around this objective.
    If snp leadership decide not to make it about independence but solely domestic issue then people may just decide to vote by sitting on their hands.

    If you want votes then it has to be the cause of Independence and act on it.

    • bringiton says:

      The London based political parties here in Scotland have made the last few elections almost entirely about independence.
      So,what’s sauce for the goose……

  35. James Mills says:

    According to the Parliamentary committee which handed down a 30 day suspension ( still to be rubber-stamped by the Commons ) to Margaret Ferrier , she had ”damaged the reputation of Westminster ” !!!
    Can someone please explain how that is possible after 13 years of Tory incompetence , corruption and farce ?

    • Dr Jim says:

      If you were to make a list of English MPS who’d damaged the reputation of Westminster you’d run out of internet then come to the conclusion Westminster never had anything but a bad reputation in the whole of recorded history to damage more than it already was

  36. scottish_skier says:

    Regarding the Savanta poll…

    Statistically, a no change poll which just continues support for the various parties at the same level, within variance, seen since mid-Feb following Sturgeon’s resignation.

    Indy support basically unchanged by all the recent party ‘turmoil’ and why would it? That would be a ridiculous notion.

    No actual sign of any new leader impact as yet. May well need a few weeks to see if there is any clear effect.

    Variance is of course 6% (actual value +/-3% within a 95% confidence interval) for a given pollster. The below are also all using non-standard (by best practice) 2014 weighting, which both SGP and I agree is almost definitely favouring no / unionists, with this effect getting worse with each passing month.


    SNP for Westminster a smidgen higher than what Yougov got on Feb 20th and same as the last Yougov (39%) / Panelbase (40%) / Survation (40%). 38…40..40..39…39% = no change.

    Over the same time frames…

    On the Holyrood constituency…43%(SAV)…42%(YG)…40%(R&W)…39%(PB)…41%(SUR)…43%(YG)…39%(SAV) = no change again

    On the regional list…32%(Sav)…35%(YG)…29%(R&W)…32%(PB)…33%(SUR)…35%(YG)…33%(SAV) = no change

    So the loss of Sturgeon / leadership hangover continues based on this. Forbes would likely be facing the same – after all, she looked the favourite over the above timeframe. And damn near won too.

  37. yesindyref2 says:

    You need to read Scot Goes Pop to see how to interpret polls, as he knows what he’s doing. You do NOT compare the figures for one pollster against another to see if there’s any change, you compare figures for the SAME pollster, as he did, and as I quoted above.

    • Dr Jim says:

      That’s James Kelly’s interpretation of how to interpret polls, which he changes when it suits his own narrative

      Everybody’s biased

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Well, that’s as maybe, but his figures do seem to be borne out by Savanta themselves:

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Sorry about the long twitter. But also from Professor Poultice:

        The 6 point @theSNP lead over @ScottishLabour in tonight’s @Savanta_UK poll is the narrowest since shortly after the #Indyref.

        (poll in Scotland of 1009 adults)

        So much for any “honeymoon period”.

        • Handandshrimp says:

          I don’t think there was any danger of Humza having a honeymoon period. The post election noise from the MSM media has if anything been more hostile than during the leadership election (a given and would have been just as hostile whoever won) and the angst from within and in the wider Yes movement is equally fraught. Wings and SGP are if anything even more anti than the Daily Express.

          Humza can’t rely on a honeymoon being gifted to him he will have to work for it. Given it is Labour that is pressing it is I suppose at least something that Humza is up against Sarwar. I would consider Humza somewhat to the left of Sarwar and considerably to the left of Sir Keith.

          • yesindyref2 says:

            Research from the likes of Natcen shows Scotland as being slightly more left wing than England – but that’s slightly, not a lot. Other polls in the past have disappointed socialists.

            If the SNP go too far left, and leave Labour occupying centre-left in Scotland, the SNP could go even further down in the polls. Yousaf being left of Sarwar is not neccessarily a good thing at all, the SNP have been taken to the left by the Greens already since the Bute House agreement (reverse takeover as I call it).

            Sarwar (-4) also enjoys a popularity rating considerably higher than Yousaf (-20), and leaders count in elections.

            Yousaf has a lot of work to do.

            • Handandshrimp says:

              As I said, Humza will have to work for his honeymoon. My observation that he is somewhat to the left of Sarwar is simply that Sarwar cannot make the “we are the true centre left” pitch. Sir Keith’s pro Brexit, law and order pitch is, frankly, scary. It may play to the gammon collective in England (possibly) but I’m not sure about here. Also, as an election approaches the forces of doom in the English press will go to town on Labour and the gap will diminish. Labour may still win but I think a 188 seat majority unlikely…unless the Tories implode even more which is always a possibility. These are volatile times.

      • Eilidh says:

        Well said Dr Jim. To be honest I bypass a lot of stuff on here about polls because they do not interest me. Opinion polls involve a small part of the population. I am always suspicious about who takes part in them and the companies themselves. For me the only important polls are actual elections Hollyrood,GE and council ones.

    • scottish_skier says:

      Note in my post, the first and last polls of the series are from Savanta (SAV) for comparison (for the reasons you say). They are all within variance of each other (+/-3 = 6%). Although I realise I forgot to add the SAV 42% Feb 17 for Westminster, which is within statistic variance of the most recent 39% too; well within at only half the possible 6% range for a 95% confidence interval.

      Comparison with other polls is as important as comparison with the previous one from the same pollster. That’s how you know if a pollster is showing a common pattern or one at odds with the others, which would make you question it. In this case, Savanta looks almost identical to it’s past one; SNP is slightly up on some VIs (regional list) and slightly down (Westminster, Holyrood C) on others. It also neatly matches what others using similar methodologies have been showing since Sturgeon stepped down.

      Here is Westminster VI graphically captured from Prof C’s site:

      This particularly offering from Savanta looks like it might be on the upper end for Labour in variance, with the Tories a but higher too.

      The drop in all when sturgeon resigned is clear and the wider picture seems to be largely flat for the SNP since, hence me suggesting that conclusion for now.

      On the regional list, it seems the higher labour value has come from ‘other’ not SNP (as they are up on the last savanta), which might support that being simple variance as it looks to be from elsewhere too.

      • scottish_skier says:

        This graph shows how the main narrowing between SNP and Lab in around Sep 22, and was due to a Tory to Labour swing. Then came a further SNP drop when sturgeon resigned. It’s not recent.

        I’ve always though SGP should get into plotting data up. A picture speaks a thousand words as they say.

  38. Ken says:

    Needs to get Kate Forbes and Ivan McKee back in government. Or lose out.

  39. Dr Jim says:

    Humza Yousaf has a serious problem as SNP leader that the party had better sort out PDQ
    No account seemed to have been taken as to what the country might have thought of this appointment should it ever occur, and such results of this folly are now coming in too late after the event

    The narrative spun by opposition to Scottish independence by Tories Labour and Liberal Democrats joined with that of every stupid newspaper and TV media piece of nonsense has stuck to him, although not 100% deserved nevertheless bad news always sells better than good, the public are always quick to believe the worst in people because they’re conditioned to it and it’s easier, plus in Humza’s case whether folk want to believe it or not comes right along with the racism factor, so those who didn’t care much one way or the other about him now totally dislike him just because of that alone, and again whether folk like it or not Scotland has its share of racism like any other country, even on the independence argument

    Humza might be a jolly lovely warm and wonderful chap but that in itself makes no difference if you’re one of those people

    I’m a big Nicola Sturgeon fan and she’s done marvelous things for Scotland that go unnoticed by many because if a thing doesn’t affect you then by rationale of human nature you tend to forget about them or not care, until those things are taken away of course, if Humza hopes to win anything against the upcoming shitstorm media and opposition threat he will have to remind Scotland of what will be removed from them if any of the English parties win the next elections, he must use the record of Nicola Sturgeon’s government policies in reference to the financial mitigations the Scottish government offsets to do that

    Humza has no record of success at anything because the media and opposition have successfully crushed even the slightest achievement by him

    So how does Humza Yousaf become the sales face of the SNP and Scotland? well the fact is he can’t and the SNP blew it by not taking that into account and I’m both shocked and amazed that did nobody point this out? did nobody question the notion that racism would be a factor? did nobody point out that women instinctively won’t be handing over their babies to him like they did with Nicola? did nobody just simply ask the question “are you nuts?”

    The right kind of smile is worth a thousand votes every day of the week

    I wonder which candidate smiled like that, just like Nicola Sturgeon did?

    Sales Sales Sales, a FM needs to be able to do that, people buy what they like the look of before they think about the depth of any policy
    You can tell them you will cure cancer, but if you can’t smile in the right way when you’re doing it no one will hear you

    Nicola Sturgeon at one time could’ve sold radiation poisoning and folk would’ve bought it, I worry that people will sling Humza a total deefey

    • jfngw says:

      You paint a depressing picture, do we not have the ability to look beyond the surface. Will we be confined to England’s continual control of our country because of petty issues of not like liking someone’s colour, consumed by bigotry of various hues.

      If that’s the case then we will get what we deserve. as other countries are actually fighting to retain their independence we give it and our resources away cheaply. Celebrating receiving their beads of reward as they send their people up here to tell us how inferior we are.

  40. yesindyref2 says:

    Righty. I should be out unblocking drains, ho hum, any excuse.

    There WAS actually an article in the National about the bad Savanta poll, here:

    but at the end it says this:

    Despite the gloomy results, they are significantly different from other polling reported on by The National today.
    Research from Polling People predicted the SNP would take 48% in a Westminster vote, with Labour at just 20% – drastically different numbers from Savanta’s.
    The poll was carried out on Yousaf’s first full day as First Minister.

    Comparing that subsample of 106 adults, with the FULL Savanta poll of 1009 adults. And the result of that ignorance and sheer spin, is that they made a public fool out of a good active SNP MSP:

    SNP MSP Rona Mackay said: “It is hugely welcome to see strong support for the SNP and our progressive vision for Scotland’s future.”

    The National’s desperation to show its selected SNP leader is good, by spinning subsamples, same as others who do the same, can do actual damage to credibility.


  41. Dr Jim says:

    One again Labour’s Sir kier Starmer complains about Brexit without mentioning the word Brexit, because well he’s still trying to sell New Tory Labour to England and remember they voted for it, so no boat rocking for Labour’s Sir Kier Starmer

    Well he might lose votes if he mentions Brexit Brexit Brexit, folk in England might think he really never wanted Brexit

  42. scottish_skier says:

    Here we go. Smoothed polling average (of all the latest polls from each pollster) adding in the latest Savanta.

    SNP seem to have lost 4% on the list since May 2021, mainly to the Greens, but also a few % to Labour. Little to nothing to Con.

    The Lab/Con swing is obvious, and when you plot these against each other you get an R2 of 0.89, consistent with very strong correlation.

    There is only a weak correlation between SNP and Lab (R2 = 0.69), suggesting much less switching going on here. Similar with Green (0.62), although the low Green share doesn’t help here. But people SNP losing a few % to both since May 2021 is the statistical pattern net. No large shifts though. The biggie is Con to Lab.

    Obviously, switching from SNP to Green or Lab cannot be GRR related. With no movement to Con, opposing that seems to not have helped the Tories at all. People are far more interested in Brexit, the cost of living crisis etc, and the disaster of the English Tories.

    • scottish_skier says:
      SNP 31% (-1)
      Labour 27% (-)
      Conservatives 20% (+3)
      Greens 10% (-2)
      Liberal Democrats 6% (-2)
      Alba 5% (n/a)

      That’s 46%+ for pro indy parties. Within variance, the same as 2021.

      Hence Yes on 48%.

      All with non-standard 2014 weighting.

      No leader effect showing yet that I can see. Remains unchanged since sturgeon left.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Is there some reason you selectively quote only the “Scottish Parliament regional list ballot“, without clarifying that?

        Here’s the bits you “missed”:

        Scottish Parliament constituency ballot:

        SNP 37% (-2)
        Labour 33% (+2)
        Conservatives 17% (+3)
        Liberal Democrats 8% (-)
        Greens 5% (-1)


        Seats projection (changes measured from 2021 election): SNP 48 (-16), Labour 37 (+15), Conservatives 26 (-5), Greens 10 (+2), Liberal Democrats 6 (+2), Alba 2 (+2)

        That’s “SNP 48 (-16)”.

        THAT would be a disaster, and a massive change.
        since 2021. A Unionist majority of 9. Bye bye Indy.

        Also this:

        Scottish voting intentions for the next UK general election:

        SNP 39% (-1)
        Labour 31% (-2)
        Conservatives 19% (+3)
        Liberal Democrats 5% (-1)

        Seats projection (with changes from 2019 election): SNP 34 (-14), Labour 14 (+13), Conservatives 6 (-), Liberal Democrats 5 (+1)

        TWO full opinion polls in a row showing a huge drop for the SNP.

        • scottish_skier says:

          TWO full opinion polls in a row showing a huge drop for the SNP.

          -1% is not a statistical drop, never mind ‘huge’.

          I have been following the list most closely as it is the PR part and the only vote which is non-tactical as it’s proportional representation. We therefore get to see what parties people really support free from tactical considerations. Hence, e.g. we see true Green, Alba support etc. It also ultimately decides the allocation of seats in Holyrood. Constituency seats already won are simply deducted as party of the list seat allocation process to make things as close to PR as possible based on the list.

          In terms of Westminster, these are not a Scottish elections and don’t reflect how people want Scotland governed. In Westminster elections, large sections of the electorate vote for parties they don’t want in government, but prefer to others (e.g. prefer Lab to Con if it must be one of the two). In the national, there’s an article on how Lab and con are going to recommend their voters do exactly this to try and stop the SNP.

          In the case of the SNP, Scots know that SNP MPs will never form part of a Westminster government. So people voting SNP are not voting for the Westminster government in a way that reflects their party preference, but either for independence, to pressurise the former (e.g. on the vow in 2015), or tactically (e.g. because they don’t support indy, but it’s Tory – SNP battle locally and they hate the Tories). An excellent is example is 2010, where Scots wanted the SNP governing Scotland, but tactically voted for Labour at Westminster (you could actually see this tactical switch in polling ahead of it). This led to the 201o ‘labour landslide’ (coming home to Labour eh?) followed by the 2011 SNP one. This was not change of affiliation, but a huge 2010 tactical vote followed by a non-tactical PR one (on the list). So if you wanted to understand what Scots really wanted, then the 2011 list vote was your answer.

          The above event also caused headaches for pollsters using 2010 weighting. People were telling them they gave the SNP a massive victory, not Labour, and weighting to correct this made Yes too small. This was people saying what they had really wanted to vote in 2010 and had done in 2011 (for the SNP), not what they’d actually done. A similar issue is now happening with the 2014 weighting. Probably part of it is regret, but the main issue is that it’s 9 years on and the electorate is younger and much more pro-indy. It’s beeing handed the past voting pattern of an older, more pro-union electorate, causing Yes / SNP down-weighting. IPSOS and Findoutnow don’t do this and use standard, internationally accepted methods such as used by pollsters for the UK (no past vote weighing or if this is done, to the most recent national election +/- referendum, although even EU 2016 is really too long ago now).

          As for all the panel base figures, they all show no statistical change on the last poll. The average change for all main parties is:
          -1% SNP
          0% Lab
          3% Con
          -1% Lib

          That is no change at all. None. Maybe a slight gain for con, but that’s too tiny to have any confidence in. Variance is 6% for a 95% confidence interval 3% is most likely noise unless its seen to be sustained over long periods. Polling is a an amateur throwing darts at the board. It’s pure probability. You can have 5 polls in a row showing the SNP on 39% when they’re on 45%. Do 100 and you should start finding you are definitely averaging out around 45%.

          Polls have been static since Sturgeon stepped down – that causes a wee drop on a longer term gentle decline from post 2021 peak honeymoon. They are not as good as the SNP are used to because Sturgeon left. There has been no ‘Humza’ effect as yet statistically that I can see personally. I do this kind of data analysis for a living, albeit it with chemical engineering data, so I’m quite content in my conclusions. Polling is not about politics in the end, it’s about data sampling methods and statistical probability.

          I will get round to plotting up the others like I have the regional list when I have a chance, but the graphs are on Prof C’s site (just not averaged, so more like the dart board).

          Forbes would have inherited this post-Surgeon position too. However, the next election is in 2026, so only idiots would make knee-jerk reactions right now, particularly with events having made zero impact on indy support.

          The main concern might be a 2017 one in the case of a snap UK election, even though that matters f’ll for indy as it’s not a Scottish election, but an EU parliament type one. However, the Tories are creeping up UK-wide and will be gaining the confidence to stick it out and hope to prevent a Labour landslide 2 years from now. The Bojo threat diminishing here will help.

          Anyway, going forward, all indy supporters will be hoping for better SNP polling as we emerge from the lost of Sturgeon hit. If they are not and try to sell ideas of disaster rather than a set-back due to the exit of Sturgeon, they are clearly not indy supporters. I wish well to all indy parties and am pleased to see 5% Alba here. They’re not for me, but in the end, it’s the %Yes and the total % for all Yes parties that matters to me, hence me putting that in my plots.

          As for people leaving the SNP due to Yousaf winning. this seems wholly illogical to me given Forbes and Yousaf are all but equally popular. Their voters both backed the other. Forbes voters said ‘if we can’t have her, we want Yousaf’, while Yousaf voters said ‘If we can have him we want Forbes!’ (like me and Mrs SS). I’d understand if the result was like 80% Yousaf with almost none of these rating Forbes with a second preference, but instead, members embraced both candidates. It was Regan they thought ‘Na, no chance’ about.

          • scottish_skier says:

            The average SNP change in Savanta was -2% for reference. That is no change.

            ‘Huge Drops’ is what you’d read in the Daily Mail / Spectator in response to such polling.

            • yesindyref2 says:

              Writing 10,000 words doesn’t mean what you write isn’t total gibbering gibberish.

              I kindly gave you a chance below to stop embarrassing yourself any more, but you didn’t take it.


              • scottish_skier says:

                It think it’s you doing this, but I’ll let others judge.


                Nor is ~4% since Sturgeon resigned either! 🙂

                Holyrood constituency graph with thoughts added to the bottom of the thread.

              • scottish_skier says:

                The post was 1,032 words, not 10,000. 10,000 is HUGE

                An order of magnitude bigger. 🙂

                It’s a complex issue and my thoughts were for a wide audience so they might appreciated our discussions too.

              • Gay Sandy says:

                I don’t read any of your stuff anymore like many others I scroll through it this site is to promote Scottish Independence end off finish or get on track or get off lol x

  43. scottish_skier says:

    Erm, aye. there’s just no real evidence for this. 60% of those that voted Yousaf went on to vote for other candidates as their second preference. 38% of Yousaf voters voted for Kate Forbes and 22% voted for Regan.

    Forbes voters liked Yousaf a lot; 47% said they wanted him if they couldn’t have Forbes. 37% went for Regan as their second choice. Forbes voters quite substantially preferred Yousaf to Regan, which is at odds with what you might have expected given that it was ‘all supposed to be about GRR’ according to the right-wing English BBC, Spectator etc. I sort of fell for that, thinking it might be the case.

    In the end however, if the battle had been Regan – most anti-GRR – vs Yousaf, Forbes voters would have gone for Yousaf, the most pro-GRR!. They literally did that but it’s forgotten as Forbes made round 2 and Regan was eliminated.

    It’s just malicious britnat people trying to peddle the idea of ‘hate-filled civil war with the party in strife’. There’s no evidence at all for this.

    SNP division after Humza Yousaf election ‘overestimated’, expert says

    THE SNP is likely to follow a “path of unity” despite the “vociferous” criticism between candidates during the leadership contest, a political analyst has predicted.
    Dr Lynn Bennie, reader in politics at the University of Aberdeen, said the result of the ballot which saw a sizeable number of supporters of Kate Forbes voting for Humza Yousaf as their second choice – and vice versa – showed there are “all sorts of different issues at play”.

    I’ve been called a ‘snake’ for voting for Kate Forbes and Humza Yousaf, and, well Regan too. I f’n voted for Forbes.

    But then I smell the britnat fear because support for indy hasn’t changed at all (why would it? Countries don’t give up indy over party leadership elections, that’s just comical), so this is to be expected.

    Yousaf does now need to prove himself. As others have said, he won’t inherit Sturgeon’s largely never-ending Honeymoon, as that belonged to her. Forbes would have been in exactly the same position.

    • scottish_skier says:

      The most popular combination was Forbes then Yousaf, with 9585 votes – closely followed by Yousaf then Forbes at 9178 votes.

      Nice. 🙂

      This is the truth of the matter, and anyone insisting otherwise, even when this is pointed out to them, should be viewed with suspicion.

      STV is form of preferential PR, not British nationalist divisive binary.

    • Capella says:

      “I’ve been called a ‘snake’ for voting for Kate Forbes and Humza Yousaf, and, well Regan too. I f’n voted for Forbes.”

      Not true.

      You were called a snake on the previous thread because of your attitude to some of us resigning from the SNP. It was nothing to do with how you voted.

      ‘You can deflect till the cows come home.
      The fact remains you did (in as many words) say to Capella,Jack,Dr Jim and others “piss off…we’re better off without you.”
      That makes you a snake in my book.’

      Also, you told us more than once that you voted Yousaf first and so did your wife.
      Do you not remember these statements?

      Who are you suggesting should be viewed with suspicion?

      • scottish_skier says:

        If you can quote me being unpleasant to people who have decided to resign as members of the SNP, that would be useful. Without going over old group, the snake comment seemed to relate to me being honest throughout the campaign about what I thought and how I voted rather than a single comment. This was that I liked both basically equally, but had to put an order of preference. Here it is for people to judge:

        I simply noted that if people did not support the aims of a party / did not want to help it further these, then (obviously), the party would make better progress without them. I am happy to link to this simple, blindingly obvious, statement of fact:

        Moving on…

        I voted for both Yousaf and Forbes, as did my wife (also Regan, but as third preference, not ranking her would have the same effect). The vote was STV. It was not binary. Some people only voted for Yousaf, some only for Forbes.

        Out of a total of 50,494 votes cast, the figures show 9763 only chose Yousaf on the ballot, while 3419 had Forbes only and 572 had Regan only.

        We were not among these.

        Like most SNP members, my wife and I voted for both top two candidates. We very, very narrowly had to put Yousaf first as he was more 7/10 for us, with Forbes 6.8 or something. Regan like >1/10. If the battle had come down to Forbes v Regan, my wife and I would have been on team Forbes and have helped her get elected.

        I struggle to understand how some people are unable to comprehend this. I hoped the uni prof article might help understand what actually happened.

        Again, the vote was not binary. You could vote for all three, and select your top two, but you could not vote for candidates equally, even if you wanted to. So if you liked Forbes 0.00000000001% more than Yousaf, you had to rank her ahead of him. It’s therefore stupid to suggest in such instance that people were ‘against’ Yousaf or Forbes, / didn’t vote vote for them when they did (ranked them as 1 or 2) as some seem to be doing with the division chat.

        Finally, if people say stuff that isn’t true, even when you point it out, it obviously arouses suspicion. I fail to understand what’s wrong with stating the obvious, especially on the interweb where nobody knows who anyone is. I’m a ‘snake’ remember? A snake who has done his best to remain as neutral as possible through all this, and talk objectively about polling etc. A snake willing to say he liked both candidates and well, to be honest, I did wonder whether it would be better if Forbes won. The result shows I was very far from alone in not really knowing what option was ultimately the better.

        • scottish_skier says:

          old group = old ground FHS

        • Capella says:

          “Any political party is better off without members who don’t wish to be a part of it, support and campaign for it. These leaving only helps it.”

          A sly dig at those of us who had resigned.

          Claiming that you were called a snake for the way you voted is completely untrue. Nobody on this site has criticised anyone for the way they vote. We are all democrats here and you are entitled to vote in any way you choose. You are also entitled not to tell anyone how you voted.

          • scottish_skier says:

            Erm, I already linked to this quote in my post. I have no concerns about what is a simple statement of fact and not being unpleasant to anyone. Feel free to explain what is actually wrong with the statement / whether it is somehow incorrect.

            I mean do you believe the SNP is better off with you if you don’t want to be a part of it, support and campaign for it? That would be silly.

            Actually no, this is pointless.

      • Hamish100 says:

        As inspector clouseau said “ I suspect everyone and no one” or was it “ This is a very serious matter and everyone is this reuoom is under the suspicions”😃

        Still in these political correct days I still think “ I was attacked by a wandering transvestite” brings a wee smile to my mind 🥸
        One more:
        Clouseau: Does yer dewg bite?
        Inn Keeper: No
        Clouseau: Nice Doggy (bends down to pet a dachshund – it snarls and bites him)
        I thought you said yer dewg did not bite!
        Inn Keeper: Zat… iz not my dog!

  44. yesindyref2 says:

    RIP Ken Buchanan. A gent and a winner.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      And there’s the BBC for you:

      “Wales once again broke Scottish hearts after edging a breathless Six Nations encounter in Edinburgh.”

      Scotland 22 Cymru 34

      Cymru “edging” … Sheesh!

  45. yesindyref2 says:

    You have to wonder sometimes, if April Fool’s Day is a good idea!

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Is this one of them yesindyref2?

      Nicola Sturgeon laughs off online gossip of affair with French diplomat

      Adam Forrest

      Sun, 2 April 2023 at 8:44 am BST

      Former SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has laughed off online rumours of an affair with French female diplomat, but said the need to seek more privacy was “part of the reason” for her resignation.

      Among the claims she dismissed in the podcast were that she was a “secret lesbian” and had an extra-marital relationship with a French diplomat, with the pair buying a house from Andy Murray’s mother Judy as a love nest.


      • yesindyref2 says:

        It might be, Welsh Siôn, sorry I can’t read it, don’t do yahoo. But that is an old troll started by someone on Twitter for a joke, and people actually believed it – and still do. For it to be true, the whole staff of the Balmoral Hotel would have had to be in on it – that’s hotel staff with their turnaround of staff. Oh, and also the Police and everybody happening to be passing by and seeing the “brawl” – an I daresay, residents.

        People believe these things because they want to. That’s why they buy bridges!

  46. Capella says:

    Well what a surprise this is! Red and blue Tories are teaming up to save the union.

    Scottish Tories eye Unionist pact with Labour to block out SNP

    UNIONIST parties are hoping to capitalise on a drop in support for the SNP with a tactical voting pact bringing Tory and Labour supporters together, it has been reported.
    According to the Sunday Times, Scottish Tories will urge their backers to vote Labour in key constituencies at the next General Election in an effort to “end nationalist dominance”.
    The Scottish Tories want their Better Together partners to join them in a “vote smart” strategy which could help Labour win back seats around the central belt.
    In return, they hope Labour will help them secure wins in more rural areas.

  47. Capella says:

    Know your enemy. Here’s an interview with Keir Starmer in The Times indicating how Labour plan to gain votes:

    Keir Starmer: Trans rights can’t override women’s rights
    ‘For 99.9 per cent of women, it is completely biological . . . and of course they haven’t got a penis,’ says Labour leader

    The subject is just one of the contentious issues Starmer is wrangling with as he sets out his stall in the race for No 10…

    voter apathy will be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome. “Plymouth is really important to us because we need to say as much about rural and coastal issues as we do about urban issues…

    One area that he believes could benefit is childcare, with Labour expected to set out a major offer in its election manifesto that will guarantee support for all parents of children aged nine months to 11 years.

    and so on

    There are local elections in England on 4th May

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      There are local elections in England on 4th May

      Thanks for reminding me. I have to dig up some form of ID – just for the sake of putting a cross (the sign of the illiterate) opposite ‘None of the Above’. (Actually, scrub that – I don’t even have that option … Still need ID, though.)

  48. Bob Lamont says:

    Was amused to read Natalie El-Thicko-MP ignoring the Brexit elephant in the room when commenting on the Easter break logjams at Dover piling up, and naturally blaming the French….
    I feel sorry for anybody stuck 14 hours in coach to nowhere with only their “sovereignty” blanket for comfort, but what on earth did they expect ?

    This morning’s report is that despite extra overnight sailings, 14 hour waits are still being experienced…

    For what Scotland does post-independence, I do hope they follow Ireland’s lead in building up their own facilities and sailings to completely bypass the the mess made in England by incompetent Westminster government….

    No problems reported on Irish sailings, just a little busier than usual…

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Braverman has been saying the same thing this morning, too. (24 Hours after All Fools’ Day):

      Dover delays news – live: Unfair to blame port chaos on Brexit, says Suella Braverman

      Home secretary urges passengers stranded in long queues to remain patient

      Maryam Zakir-Hussain, Sravasti Dasgupta
      7 minutes ago

      Suella Braverman has said it is not “fair” to blame the hours-long delays at Dover port on Brexit.

      The home secretary said that in general “things have been operating very smoothly at the border” and she does not think “this is the state of affairs to go forward”.


  49. Dr Jim says:

    Without any hint or question of irony Tories and Labour in Scotland admit through Tory MSP Stephen Kerr that they intend to have a co-operative deal to become one British Nationalist party to oust the SNP from Scotland, and they do it in the newspapers social media and this morning on the BBC Martin Geissler friendly talky show for unionists without him even posing the question about this new BNP

    Well, the media and the British must work with each other to do the job mustn’t they
    while the other branch of the SNP opposition Alex Salmond gets himself his own wee show on Talk TV because well there’s no Russian TV to use for that purpose anymore

    If there’s anybody left who supports independence who can’t see yet this concerted effort by the English British to bring down Scotland then they’re running with blinkers and a very big sheepskin noseband on to cover all their senses

    The SNP are in a bit of trouble right now that’s for sure, but really? really? does anybody seriously think reverting to the English British party is preferable to Scottish independence ?

    The problems Scotland has weren’t created by the SNP, they were created by England’s union, England’s Brexit, England’s crappy pandemic handling “let the bodies pile high” and England’s racist attitude to all those who are not them, and a vote for them is a vote to end Scotland as a country where you can kiss goodbye to all the benefits of having our own parliament and be like England where their kids are £25 per week worse off than Scotland’s and their prescriptions are close on £10 a pop
    where bus travel is so expensive there’s little point in going anywhere because you certainly won’t be able to afford a train, if one ever turns up that is

    Vote England’s Britain and return to post WW2

    God save the King

    Can you hear them laughing ? you will if you do what they want

  50. scottish_skier says:

    Here we go. Holyrood constituency VI plot averaged (latest from each pollster) and smoothed.

    As can be seen, the resignation of Sturgeon caused the SNP to drop ~4%. This all happened before Yousaf became FM. It’s not due to him. Or at least, as it happened when both he and Forbes were close contenders, it’s the fault of both. 🙂

    But I’d say it’s neither – it’s a period of uncertainty and supposed infighting. A party leaderless and having a bit of a rammy with itself, with this blown out of all proportion by the britnats and those, erm,’independence supporters’ doing their work for them here.

    Things actually look like they are stablising now, as you might expect given the leadership contest is over. It’s even more flat without the smoothing.

    Labour did sneak 2-3% from the SNP out of the contest, but most of their recent gains have been from the Tories, starting about a year ago, and accelerating post mini-budget. The Tories did seem to have maybe snuck a couple of % from the SNP net, but GRR just really didn’t help them, and they seem to have stalled again now.

    The Greens gained a bit too – couple of % from the SNP. But under FPTP and due to the lack of Green candidates, you’d expect the SNP to poll maybe 44-45% on the constituency vote for a Holyrood election held tomorrow. This would be conservative due to 2014 weighting, which is hurting the SNP/Greens and Yes.

    This is hardly the end of independence, which is only like 48% worst case, as it’s with non-standard 2014 weighting as noted.

    In polling, as individual polls are scatter gun, it’s always better to look at the wider picture.

    All the evidence suggests Forbes would have started from Ppretty much the same position if it had been 52% her rather than the other way around, with her name on that final grey line.

    Of course those that idolised one candidate over the other will try to spin things their way.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Your last sentence betrays patronising sarcastic anger towards perfectly reasonable people who voted a different way to you
      Those people are or were SNP members entitled to their vote, as were you, they argued for the candidate of their choice as was their right to do
      What I observed none of them do was to patronise others over their different choices

      The result is the result, to use the word *idolise* in your reference to other members choices is insulting to their character and intentions, and reflects more upon you than them

      • scottish_skier says:

        It’s a statement of fact again. the National was guilty of it with it’s silly article of an SNP surge which I stupidly fell for without taking care to read.

        I’ve not accused any commenter of idolatry. Nor have I ever used personal insults to anyone nor either candidate. There were people on both extremes and they have been shouting the loudest. Their candidate was the saviour of Scotland and the other would mean the end of independence.

        Why people are so annoyed at me for not really picking side is beyond me.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Garrulous Garbage.

      It’s about the projected loss of SNP seats both at Westminster and Holyrood, where the Unionists could get in, shown by the drop in two full polls.

      • scottish_skier says:

        Why are you selectively cherry picking polls rather than looking at them all? You must have a reason for doing this? Is it a well intended one?

  51. scottish_skier says:

    Anyoo. I like debating and talking about polling patterns, but I don’t want to get into rammies with name calling and stuff.

    It’s not the best polling picture for the SNP, at least compared to what they’ve got used to. But then they’ve had much worse mid-term before.

    It remains very good for indy and hopefully things stay that way – and ideally improve – for both indy and all Yes parties as we put recent events behind us and focus on the way forward.

    Have a nice Sunday all.

  52. UndeadShaun says:

    Had a break.

    Sadly no change.

    Its hard work reading on judean peoples front/peoples front of judea.

    Leadership election is well past but still it continues.
    I did not vote for Humza but im hopeful he will do well.

    As others have said will read Pauls blog posts, but comments are just infighting now.

    So goodbye, im off to play GTA 5 or Call of Duty MW2 as its something better to do with my time than read this rinse repeat on why we are doomed.

    • Bob Lamont says:


    • Eilidh says:

      Yep in the past couple days I have been in these
      comments a lot less than normal but it is clear peace has not entirely broken out here yet. I don’t do gaming so it took a couple of minutes for me to figure out what GTA meant but enjoy. I am retreating now back to watching more Scifi The Expanse on Amazon Prime fab series, quite dystopian and one race of people in it have definite parallels with Scotland will throw in some Runrig music later on to also cheer me up. Bye for now

      • Tatu3 says:

        Ooh love The Expanse

      • UndeadShaun says:

        Expanse is good, I finished the series during lockdown and was left wanting more.
        Best scifi since the new battle star galatica and like it covers current topical issues in the show.

        If you can get Apple TV i would recomend Issac Assimovs foundation, with series 2 due this year. (Its about an all encompasing empire that starts to fall apart. Sounds familiar!)

        • Tatu3 says:

          We also enjoyed Battlestar Galactica, and Foundation. Looking forward to season 2

          • UndeadShaun says:

            Think its back in June.

            Though will need to watch S1 before then as it covered such a lot in S1

  53. scottish_skier says:

    Holyrood seat projection based on current averages as per graphs posted.

  54. yesindyref2 says:

    This from the National “Humza Yousaf faces ‘rebel bloc’ of pro-business MSPs, say reports

    is of course being presented as a problem by the likes of the Herald, but is actually an opportunity for the SNP to get past the “cult discipline” tag, and split the MSPs into two groups in a way that keeps the party together while representing opposite views. In this case the pro-business part.

    That could appeal to a whole new swathe of voters, as well as bring back those who don’t support policies that are too far to the left, both for elections AND for Indy itself. Then you’d have the SNP Government in roughly the centre, with the Greens on the left and the Pro-Business group a little to the right.

    Question is – does the SNP have the sense to go for it?

    • Capella says:

      Reads like a case of “Let’s you and him fight”. The British media will assiduously push this “split” narrative in an effort to sow chaos. It’s their only hope.

      I read the Fergus Ewing article in the Daily Mail. Fergus really is a wee monkey. But he is also down to earth over e.g. dualling the A9 and “business friendly” policies which will become dominant soon. Kate Forbes was well aware of this in her campaign, mentioning the BRS and the soon to be a headache Highly Protected Marine Areas. The fact is that she and her supporters are more cautious over these and other contentious Green policies than the Humza Yousaf team claim to be.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Well, wherever there’s a problem there’s an opportunity, but first Yousaf would have to recognise the problem rather than spinning it away.

        I think without the rebels, the Bute House Alliance is doomed to be destroyed by the fully functioning Death Star next election!

  55. Capella says:

    To complement the article about the Better Together Band getting back together, here’s a reminder from 10 months ago of how the Labour and Tory parties colluded to keep the SNP out of power in Local Authorities. There’s no honour among thieves.

    Every Scottish council with a Tory-Labour deal – see the full list

    Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell described the agreements as “shameful”.

    The MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife told The National: “Anas Sarwar promised that there would be no deals or coalitions, so many who voted Labour in good faith will be shocked to see their councillors lining up with the Tories in local authorities like Stirling and Fife.

  56. scottish_skier says:

    Y-N for a snap, plan free referendum held tomorrow.

    The main trend is for all polls, the bulk of which use non-standard / very unusual weighting methods (namely 2014 weighting) not used as standard in the industry, and which they don’t use for UK polling (e.g. AV referendum weighting). The average of standard method polls (Ipsos and Findoutnow) is shown for comparison. James Kelly had an article on the issue and his concerns about 2014 weighting (9 years ago now!) in the National. I share these.

    That aside, in the main trend you can see the uptick due to the UKSC ruling. Then a small downtick due to Sturgeon stepping down, but very small. Then stabilised during the leadership contest.

    No sign of any Yousaf effect and he inherits Yes vote 1.2% higher than the small low in October 2022. It’s remarkably steady, but if you fit a linear trend, you get an overall baseline rise of 0.5% over the period since May 2021.

    • James says:

      Redfield & Wilton also do not weight by 2014 voting average Ipsos, Redfield & Find Out Now latest poll is 51.3% and that is with a 4-month-old Ipsos in it!

      • James says:

        Also not sure where you are getting 49% yes for as your smooth average. 3-10 point smooth averages all give 46% yes as does a 30-day smoothed average. To get 49% you need a 19-point/120 day smoothing which is, of course going back far to long to be accurate. Also not sure where you are getting ‘Yousaf inherits vote 1.2% higher than October 2022’ from as clearly not the case.

        • scottish_skier says:

          which is, of course going back far to long to be accurate

          Is this some sort of official rule or did you just decide that for yourself without any evidence? 🙂

          I’ve only included one older poll from December (Ipsos) as they’ve not done one recently. 1/6 means it’s not influential and leaving it out would be biasing towards the others. Keeping it in doesn’t do this as it’s 1/6. But eventually I will cut it out if 6 months pass.

          If I did that, my recent average would shift by 1% or so to 48%.

          I am averaging the last poll from each pollster, then averaging the last 5 of the former to smooth. I only include a single poll from each pollster so no pollster is favoured. While some pollsters poll a lot more frequently, this doesn’t obvious improve accuracy.

          The reality is that people don’t chop and change from week to week or even month to month. I don’t know anyone that backs indy one month then doesn’t the next, then backs it again a few months later. 🙂

          So my smoothing removes the unlikely peaks that your plot shows (e.g. approaching 54% Yes) and the troughs too.

          Of course there is no ‘correct’ method. It is highly subjective.

      • scottish_skier says:

        Good point – I hadn’t noticed that. It’s always after I post plots that someone posts something like this! 🙂 Anyhoo, all we can say is that the actual average may well above the conservative trend of all!

        It would be good to have a new Ipsos. However, given all the other polls are showing like basically no serious change pattern (other than a long term stead increase in the baseline), we could expect the same.

        Ipsos have actually polled quite a bit recently but not asked the Y/N question. Or maybe they didn’t and are not saying!

  57. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Take a break from Scotland for a little bit )if you can) and watch this video from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – the sort of documentary you’ll never see on the ‘British’ (ha, ha) Broadcasting Corporation.

    Very fair analysis, too – another thing missing from the Blasted Biased Company:

    • Capella says:

      Well that was exhilarating! But you’re right, you won’t see that on Brit TV in a hurry. Wales has definitely got the best choirs in the UK.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Remember, most of these aren’t really ‘choirs’ or ‘professionals’. Although, personally, I can’t sing a note, ‘ordinary’ Welsh folk belting out hymns, arias and the national anthem just do it ‘naturally’.

        • Capella says:

          I realised that they weren’t professional choirs but they just belt out songs with terrific volume. Must be the lung capacity from shouting in those valleys. Richard Burton and Michael Sheen are great examples. I remember when the Welsh male choir used to give the Red Army choir a run for their money at the Royal Variety Performance from the London Palladium!

          • Welsh_Siôn says:

            Careful – you’re dealing with a north westerner here whose hinterland is what English speakers call Snowdonia and the slate quarries therein. (Population of my ‘village’: 59 – divided along linguistic and cultural lines.)

            We’re not all coal miners (when there used to be such people), y’know! 😉

  58. Handandshrimp says:

    The wonderful thing about the Tories reviving the SNPOut thing is it resurrects the Red Tory/Blue Tory thing which really depresses some Labour activists.

    You do wonder if the permanently and strangely angry Kerr is doing it simply to spoil Labour chances.

    On Nicola and internet trolls, I saw a variation of a theme on Wings a weeks or two ago where a poster was posting the lesbian stuff and also about Nicola owning a £600,000 mansion in Portugal implying that is where the £600,000 went. These lies have done the rounds on Unionist sites for years. If there was the remotest possibility that any of this gossip was true the tabloid journalists would have been hospitalised with the number of multiple orgasms they endured.

    I did some time ago look into the Portugal thing and found a press article simply noting that Nicola and Peter had stayed at a villa in Portugal because Peter’s parents owned a time share there. It is remarkable how stories grow legs. I’m sure the poster on Wings was a Unionist troll stirring it. 5 years ago he would have been sent packing his ears ringing with facts. These days the trolls seem to run free range.

    Anyhoo, a week in and Humza has so far acquitted himself reasonably well. I liked the brief sent out by him stating what was going on behind the scenes and hopefully that will be a regular feature of a more open and transparent NEC and HQ office. It will take time to build from here but fortunately there is some time. Let’s see where this road goes. There aren’t any other roads so it is this or take up stamp collecting or something.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      There aren’t any other roads so it is this or take up stamp collecting or something.

      Definitely not the latter.

      Don’t you know the expression, “Philately will get you nowhere”?

    • Anonymousey says:

      It would be naive to assume that Scotland was immune to Qanon idiocy that is taking off elsewhere, though for here I vote we call them Half-Qanon given how wasted they seem to be.

  59. stewartb says:

    I woke up early this morning and turned on BBC Radio 4. At 5.45am – an odd time! – the BBC was broadcasting a profile of Mr Yousaf, including his community work prior to involvement in party politics.

    It was presented by Mark Coles who (I think) mostly broadcasts nowadays on the World Service. Perhaps it’s been broadcast to the ‘world’ too.


  60. scottish_skier says:

    Have to say I didnae ken Yousaf’s dad has been in the SNP for 50 years. Old school SNP.

    You learn something new every day.

  61. Hamish100 says:

    Personally I don’t get het up about “ if there was an election tomorrow, this may happen..” Since there isn’t an election in Scotland it is just hot air and those attacking the FM and the snp are basically siding with the unionists.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Governments don’t have to follow opinion polls, and at times should NOT follow them, that’s why they’re Governments, to do what is necessary and/or what is right, but not always popular. Like Covid lockdown.

      But they’d be daft if they ignored them. Bearing in mind the reduced figures for support for the SNP in the last two polls, there’s also this from that Times Panelbase poll. From the Herald article “Less than 20 per cent of voters back challenge to gender bill veto“, the relevant detail is this:

      Even among SNP voters in the poll, 35 per cent supported Mr Yousaf’s view, while 28 per cent wanted a compromise with the UK and 26 per cent said that the bill should be dropped completely. Eleven per cent said they didn’t know.

      That doesn’t mean that those SNP voters would change their mind, but bearing in mind that any legal challenge could take months and even years once started, it’s a consideration for any election that occurs after the decision to go ahead or halt – which has to be taken in the next 2 weeks.

      And there are other policies and actions that can affect the elections of the future, badly or well.

      The ones who are “siding with the unionists” are not the ones (hopefully including some close advisers) pointing out such potential problems to the leadership and giving their analysis, it’s those sitting down in the path of the stampeding elephants and joining hands and singing kumbaya with their fingers in their ears, probably because they really know they’re singing off key. Not that it will matter soon.

      Complacency is dangerous.

  62. Hamish100 says:

    Not complacency but self fulfilled prophecy if we talk ourselves down.
    There’s been a hiccup.
    You either vote for a Independence Party or vote for the unionists for which they all support brexit.
    Labour and tories in particular warn us that the immigrants in dinghies half filled with water as the “enemy” while just 2 years ago tories were prostituting themselves to Russian oligarchs for a game of tennis or lunch or a Brit passport or knighthood.
    As for transgender, I refuse to support jk Rowling’s view of the world that unless you agree with her you are anti-women. The right wing twist the narrative to suit their ultimate goal. Destroy independence, destroy Holyrood, destroy reputations. They corrupt the term woke. People singing kumbaya are not the enemy whatever their perspective of the world.
    It is the people in nice suits and smiles with the para militaries standing in the shadowy background and a butchers apron sewed to the their assault equipment.

    The Unionist/britnats are the lowest of the low and greedy with it and we should not jump to their narrative.
    Incidentally I think kumbaya is a nice song.🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🎶🇪🇺 I treat anyone who doesn’t think so with suspicion.

    • Capella says:

      The bigger danger is that disenchanted people will sit on their hands and not vote at all as in 2017.

  63. Dr Jim says:

    Put the right person and the right energy into a bad policy and you can sell it to the public just the same, hence Brexit, Scotland unlike England suffers from not being in control of the media who insist to the public that all SNP policies are bad

  64. Capella says:

    This tweet shows up on my Twitter timeline because for some reason I follow Pat Kane, that beacon of progressivity who says Kate Forbes is a bigot and should have no place in public life (but that’s by the by, I follow people I don’t agree with too)

    What will it take to stop Britain’s exposure to overseas gas prices? ⚡
    By 2030:

    🟡 Triple amount of offshore wind built
    🟡 2 new small modular nuclear reactors
    🟡 More grid infrastructure than was built in the last 32 years

    Scotland is a country fully supplied with renewable energy, with no need of nuclear reactors but in great need of grid infrastructure for which we currently pay the highest rates in Europe (even though the grid was paid for by the public in the first place and clearly it has not been maintained under private ownership as electricity blackouts demonstrate).

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