As with all social media, a single post can cause widespread mayhem; and this was no different when a number of them emerged this morning showing two letterheads and a leaflet both seemingly from the SNP, one letterhead and one leaflet advocating that people don’t vote for any parties at, all after voting SNP 1 and SNP 2, the other letterhead advocating that nobody vote for the SNP. I suspect the second letterhead is a joke, but the first certainly isn’t funny.
In West Fife, I’ve taken the opportunity to actively promote the other pro-indy parties in my literature because I understand this ward better than most. It’s a three-seat ward with a traditional Labour voter base. Therefore, the SNP only have a hope of getting one seat if they are lucky. Kate, the incumbent councillor who is now independent but was elected as an SNP councillor, only got in on count 7, but because of SNP 1/2, it allowed a conservative councillor to get in as well. My aim is to organise yes voters in such a way to get 2 pro-indy candidates in, and knock out the conservative who got elected by default as a consequence of SNP 1/2 in a staunch labour ward.
The only real prospect in this ward of getting two pro-indy candidates is to vote (and it might seem selfish to say it, but this is purely based on the maths) for the independent first, then SNP 1 and 2, followed by the other pro-independence parties. That being said, I take no role in advocating exactly what order pro-indy supporters vote 2,3,4,5 in this ward, that’s up to them. It’s merely an acknowledgement that voting 1 for me, regardless of the order of vote for 2,3,4,5 will likely mean a second pro-indy councillor and the second pro-indy candidate likely being SNP (just basic logic based on voter intentions). There’s very little chance of a second SNP councillor in any circumstances.
However, while Alba and the Greens are very unlikely to get a seat in the ward (just a fact), their being voted for at the end of the ranking by pro-indy supporters is still very important to the success of both myself and the SNP candidate. It increases the likelihood of more rounds of counting, and therefore the chances of turning the ward to Yes.
The same is true across Scotland. Voting for all the pro-indy parties, irrespective of colour, in whatever order you so choose, increases the likelihood of the SNP getting extra seats in marginal wards. This is exactly the reason SIF wrote to all pro-indy parties asking them to promote voting for all parties. So the idea that they would actively seek to spike other pro-indy parties by declaring “do not vote for other parties”, rather than adopt a more passive approach of simple SNP1 and SNP2, is antithetical to their own chances. If true, it could only be seen as an act of spite because its overall result will mean unionist parties crossing the threshold faster than they otherwise would be compared to more rounds with more counts.
Trying not to simply react to literature that could or could not be true (because we’ve seen deliberate attempts of people in the past to modify existing SNP leaflets and pass them off as being legitimate in order to undermine local voting intentions), I decided to contact the SNP directly, asking them two questions.
1. Were all three of the following issued by the SNP.
2. If not, which ones were not, and which ones were.
Attached to the email I put the two images from social media:
I shall let you know what the answer is from the SNP as soon as I get one. But I sincerely hope this is not true, because the backlash from the movement will be well deserved if it is. That’s because this would be a shift away from just advocating for itself as a party, to deliberately undermining the cause as a whole, especially considering the leaflet bears the Yes logo on it.
Update: SNP’s response in writing is at the bottom of this page.
In the meantime, for my own ward, the only strategy to turn West Fife Yes, is the following one.
Update 17:40 07/04/2022:
The SNP have responded.