Scottish Election Results

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Alistair Campbell
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Scottish Election Results

Post by Alistair Campbell » Sun May 08, 2016 2:36 pm

There's usually some sort of discussion on events like this (particularly from a chess perspective).

I am aware of 3 current or recent players who stood for election to Holyrood.

Former Olympiad player (and former Lib Dem MP) Alan Reid took the Lib Dems from 4th to 2nd in Argyll and Bute with a 9% swing from the SNP.

Another regular Olympiad player Andy Muir stood as Independent in Dumbarton polling a decent 641 votes. In a rare success for Labour, the sitting MSP (and non-player AFAIK) Jackie Baillie squeaked home with a majority of 109 over the SNP.

The UKIP lead candidate for the Lothians List, Alan Melville (who played for Edinburgh Civil Service), thought he might have had a chance of election had other results fallen his way, but UKIP underperformed their poll ratings and didn't come close in the end. Alan had a public spat with UKIP's Scottish leader and I imagine there could be recriminations.

(I'm happy to field questions on these or any other aspects of the election :D )

John McKenna
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Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by John McKenna » Sun May 08, 2016 4:05 pm

Would you agree, Alistair, that the results in general in the recent UK-wide elections were a kind of 'potpourri' in the literal French language sense of being a "rotten pot"?

For example, the reduction of Labour to a third-place party in the Scottish Parliament shows a high degree of national schismaticism, not to say even schizophrenia, with an increasing polarisation, between Nationalists and Unionists, with an important minority of double-dealing Scots who will vote Tory in the elections to Holyrood but SNP in those to Westminster. Talk about having your Barnet-formula cake and eating it!!

Not that the denizens of London are any the less two-faced - after electing a two-term Tory buffoon as mayor they've decided it's time to return to the Labour fold that's now being shepherded by a kind of surly son of a nomad (pardon my vocab. but despite his protestations I can't think of a better way to describe how I think of him).

I shudder to think of the continuing distortions and machinations that will be perpetrated upon the UK's voters as the EU Referendum campaign reaches a climactic crescendo.

It reminds me of the scene at the end of Bridge on the River Kwai, in which the British Army POW MO, pronounces the words -
Madness! Madness!
as the Japanese and British COs both struggle against Allied commandos to preserve the infamous bridge from certain destruction.

Of course, earlier in the film, the British POW's CO had explained the method of his madness to his MO -
Major Clipton: The fact is, what we're doing could be construed as - forgive me, sir - collaboration with the enemy. Perhaps even as treasonable activity. Must we work so well? Must we build them a better bridge than they could have built for themselves?

Colonel Nicholson: If you had to operate on Saito, would you do your job or would you let him die?... Would you have it be said that our chaps can't do a better job? You're a fine doctor, Clipton, but you've a lot to learn about the army.
Last edited by John McKenna on Sun May 08, 2016 8:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Craig Pritchett
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Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by Craig Pritchett » Sun May 08, 2016 4:18 pm

Despite his strong showing, Alan Reid failed to get a Lib Dem List MSP spot, so no very strong chess-playing MSPs in the new Holyrood Parliament, alas; although my local East Lothian constituency winner, Ian Gray (Lab, an ex-leader of the Scottish party and a very nice guy), did once turn out, many years ago, in a (mis-)match (though great fun)between MSPs and Scottish juniors just before the Parliament moved into its current building.

Just seen immediately previous post and immediate response ... don't forget that Holyrood elections are run on a Proportional Representation basis. The SNP, it's true, didn't quite win just about every constituency MSP spot but it wasn't far from that. The PR system saved the blushes of Cons almost as much as Lab. Check out the numbers.

John McKenna
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Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by John McKenna » Sun May 08, 2016 8:39 pm

Thanks for the pointer, I'll try to check out the numbers and make them square with the crowing of the Conservatives and the reticence of Labour to say much here in England.

I forgot to mention the unexpected rise of UKIP in Wales and the Anti-Austerity Party in Northern Ireland. What's that all about?
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Neil Graham
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Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by Neil Graham » Sun May 08, 2016 10:01 pm

John McKenna wrote:Thanks for the pointer, I'll try to check out the numbers and make them square with the crowing of the Conservatives and the reticence of Labour to say much here in England.

I forgot to mention the unexpected rise of UKIP in Wales and the Anti-Austerity Party in Northern Ireland. What's that all about?
Harry Lamb failed to win a council seat at Bolton by just 100 votes - Labour retaining the ward.

BREIGHTMET WARD

LOCAL ELECTIONS 2016

Deborah Newall (LAB) 1,230
Harry Lamb (UKIP) 1,130
Sandra MacNeill (CON) 888
Stephen Howarth (LIB DEM) 94
Pamela Spurling (GREEN) 89

Craig Pritchett
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Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by Craig Pritchett » Sun May 08, 2016 11:43 pm

Perish the thought, but there is a good tabular summary at the much maligned (but in fact sometimes quite useful) Wiki site: scroll down to it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_ ... tion,_2016

This provides an excellent overview of Holyrood's PR system and its (intended proportional) effects with the all important numbers. Scots electors have two votes here: constituency (person) and list (party). The table shows that:

1. SNP won 59/73 constituency seats on the (traditional Westminster) first past the post system ... on the back of a popular vote that was virtually equal to that of Cons + Lab combined;

2. SNP only added a further 4 List seats ... despite again polling a popular vote (for party this time) that was again almost equal (though slightly less) than the popular vote for Cons + Lab combined, who each boosted their MSPs in total by over 20 seats each.

3. certainly Cons can 'crow' to a degree about 'replacing' Lab as second largest MSP group in Holyrood ... but they were coming from an awfully low base ... and if Holyrood were run on a Westminster voting system, the SNP would have had a representation of almost the same scale as in the last Westminster election ... read that how you wish.

John McKenna
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Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by John McKenna » Mon May 09, 2016 12:11 am

Thanks very much, Craig, for giving those results with your astute annotations and the link to the tabular summary.

I will think about it all, but right now the way I read it is that the Scots should have voted for independence in the Scottish Referendum. That would have been the honest way, however, they chose the canny way.

I fear that in the EU Referendum the English will also vote with their new calfskin wallets instead of their old hearts of oak.

The British and Europeans have sold their birth rights for a mess of multicultural pottage just as the Romans did in the end.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John McKenna
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Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by John McKenna » Mon May 09, 2016 12:45 am

Thanks also to Neil Graham for drawing attention to an interesting result - from a chess perspective - in Bolton, further above.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Mick Norris
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Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester

Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by Mick Norris » Mon May 09, 2016 8:29 am

Neil Graham wrote:Harry Lamb failed to win a council seat at Bolton by just 100 votes - Labour retaining the ward.

BREIGHTMET WARD

LOCAL ELECTIONS 2016

Deborah Newall (LAB) 1,230
Harry Lamb (UKIP) 1,130
Sandra MacNeill (CON) 888
Stephen Howarth (LIB DEM) 94
Pamela Spurling (GREEN) 89
As I live 2 minutes walk away from that ward, I think it is an astonishing result and an indication of just how badly Labour have done - they should be walking away with it

Harry was of course the Parliamentary candidate for this area, so obviously does have some name recognition now with voters
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

NickFaulks
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Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by NickFaulks » Mon May 09, 2016 10:13 am

Alistair Campbell wrote: but UKIP underperformed their poll ratings
I never understood how UKIP could possibly do anything in Scotland. Look at the name of their party - the Scots don't even want to be in the UK.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

John McKenna
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Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by John McKenna » Mon May 09, 2016 11:51 am

... the Scots don't even want to be in the UK.
Nick, I just don't think that's true - the Scots currently want their right legs in and their left ones out of the UK. As we all know, the EU Referendum in June would shake that all about and change their stance if England vote leave because the Scots probably want to be in the EU more than they want to in an independent UK, despite there being a not insignificant number of Unionists.

And leave England should since there's no point in being in the EU anymore unless you jump in with both feet. The monobloc is going to be solidified further and further by its continental architects and the watering-down and cherry-picking predilections of UK governments are going to achieve less and less and less...
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Mon May 09, 2016 1:09 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
Neil Graham wrote:Harry Lamb failed to win a council seat at Bolton by just 100 votes - Labour retaining the ward.

BREIGHTMET WARD

LOCAL ELECTIONS 2016

Deborah Newall (LAB) 1,230
Harry Lamb (UKIP) 1,130
Sandra MacNeill (CON) 888
Stephen Howarth (LIB DEM) 94
Pamela Spurling (GREEN) 89
As I live 2 minutes walk away from that ward, I think it is an astonishing result and an indication of just how badly Labour have done - they should be walking away with it

Harry was of course the Parliamentary candidate for this area, so obviously does have some name recognition now with voters
How badly they have done in Bolton, very possibly.

Labour ended up nationally with a net loss of hardly any councillors at all, something you would never guess from BBC coverage in particular ;)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by Alistair Campbell » Mon May 09, 2016 1:52 pm

I’ll give some home-spun analysis, before addressing specific comments later, if I may.

What we appear to have is a combination of local, regional and national factors, which affect the results in different ways – there are lots of competing forces moving votes to and from parties.

The electorate has expanded now that 16 and 17 year olds have the vote.
.
The turnout was up 5% from the 2011 election but down 15% from the 2015 UK election. The reduction may be because most of the Indy-ref “Increase in engagement” has evaporated or because of the alleged predictability of the result; new tax raising powers may have encouraged some previous stay-at-homes to turn out.

Nationally there has been a swing both from Lab to SNP and from SNP to Con - which may imply Scotland is more heterogeneous than might have been thought.

Perhaps curiously the polls showed a big move in support from Lab to SNP immediately after the 2014 Independence referendum that has been largely maintained. I am told this is due to a shift in allegiance from pro-Indy Lab supporters. I’m sure ongoing doubts about the leadership or the direction of the party don’t help, and thus in former Labour strongholds like Glasgow you saw the SNP win seats from Labour.

I suspect the switch from SNP to Con is due to the detoxification of the brand, the reduced need to “keep Labour out” and possibly coalescence of the “Yoon” vote. In the “farming” seats of the Borders, Perthshire and Aberdeenshire you saw swings from the SNP to Tory, with the Tories picking up a couple of seats.

The Edinburgh seats were an interesting case study – the SNP lost Western back to the Lib Dems, Southern back to Labour and amazingly Central to the Tories (where the presence of a Green candidate may have had an effect). In some of the other seats it may not have been clear who was the best placed Unionist candidate.

In the Northern Isles, the Carmichael effect seemed to work the wrong way round from predicted – absolutely massive majorities for the incumbent Lib Dems.

Labour only won 3 constituency seats – Ed Southern (closely correlated to their only Westminster seat), Dumbarton (see above) where the incumbent defied party policy on Trident (since the base is in her constituency) and East Lothian. In the face of it, that last result looks somewhat exceptional – perhaps it is a tribute to the personal characteristics of Mr Gray. Perhaps it is just due to the combination of various movements - Anti-SNP Lib Dem to Lab, Indy Lab to SNP, and SNP to Tory, with the net effect Iain lost fewer votes than his SNP counterpart.

Labour’s alleged anti-Semitism problems may have helped lose them Eastwood (although it was Tory territory not long ago).

What was also interesting was the increased propensity to split votes between constituencies and the list. I think there could be 5 reasons for this:

• A belief that voting SNP/SNP would mean the 2nd vote would be wasted as the SNP would take so many constituency seats there could be no “top-up”. The Greens were the beneficiaries
• A reluctance to endorse Labour fully – OK, give them 1 vote, but vote someone else with the second. Again, the Greens were beneficiaries
• The voter’s first choices (e.g. Green) wasn’t standing in the constituency so the first vote had to be “lent”.
• People tactically voting for the best placed Unionist Party with the constituency vote then reverting to their real party on the list
• Some desire to be share or be fair, and split votes.
Last edited by Alistair Campbell on Mon May 09, 2016 2:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by Alistair Campbell » Mon May 09, 2016 2:27 pm

John McKenna wrote:Would you agree, Alistair, that the results in general in the recent UK-wide elections were a kind of 'potpourri' in the literal French language sense of being a "rotten pot"?
No – I don’t think they were rotten.
John McKenna wrote:For example, the reduction of Labour to a third-place party in the Scottish Parliament shows a high degree of national schismaticism, not to say even schizophrenia, with an increasing polarisation, between Nationalists and Unionists, with an important minority of double-dealing Scots who will vote Tory in the elections to Holyrood but SNP in those to Westminster. Talk about having your Barnet-formula cake and eating it!
Certainly there has been a lot of chat about the “Ulsterisation” of Scottish Politics with votes increasingly being split on Indy/Yoon lines. The commentator David Torrance has a piece in the Herald about this, but it’s behind a paywall, so I haven’t read it. I think it is an issue, but I’m not convinced how long-term it will be.

Whilst there may be a movement from SNP to Tory I’m not sure to what extent that is motivated by the Barnet Formula. In my experience the fiscal framework is poorly understood.
John McKenna wrote:I forgot to mention the unexpected rise of UKIP in Wales and the Anti-Austerity Party in Northern Ireland. What's that all about?
In a wider context I thought financial crises tend to result in increases in “fringe” anti-establishment party support.
John McKenna wrote: I will think about it all, but right now the way I read it is that the Scots should have voted for independence in the Scottish Referendum. That would have been the honest way, however, they chose the canny way.

What on earth does this mean? If you are accusing me of not being honest, I think you need to explain.
NickFaulks wrote:
Alistair Campbell wrote: but UKIP underperformed their poll ratings
I never understood how UKIP could possibly do anything in Scotland. Look at the name of their party - the Scots don't even want to be in the UK.
The Scots do want to be in the UK – we had a referendum on the matter. Did you miss it? It was quite a thing up here.
Polls since show a slight but steady decline since in support for Indy and of course neither the Greens nor the SNP explicitly campaigned on Independence(in terms of manifesto commitments).

I don’t think social attitudes differ particularly across the UK, but voting behaviour does. The anti-establishment vote has to find a home somewhere, and Scots elected a UKIP MEP 2 years ago. However (and I feel my attempts at objectivity starting to crumble) Mr Coburn perhaps came across as too much of a clown in the recent campaign which may have cost votes.

NickFaulks
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Re: Scottish Election Results

Post by NickFaulks » Mon May 09, 2016 3:27 pm

Alistair Campbell wrote: The Scots do want to be in the UK – we had a referendum on the matter.
The view from England is that they fell for exactly the same scare tactics and foreign interventions now being deployed down here and have been regretting it since the morning after.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

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