Our Aim: To Raise Support for the UK from 55% to 65%Tweet
This article examines significant statistics from the Holyrood 2016 election; looks at the performance of the main pro-UK parties; considers where they are likely to go from here; and concludes by urging them to emphasise their pro-UK credentials and adopt a strategy to raise pro-UK support from 55% to at least 65%, and reduce the "45%" down to 35%. Yes, it can be done!
The photograph shows Alistair McConnachie of A Force For Good, on the Buchanan Gallery Steps, with Nicola Sturgeon on Wednesday 4 May 2016. The next day, Election Day, we were on the front page of The Herald, The Times (Scotland) and The Scotsman and inside virtually every other newspaper. We really coloured election day Red, White and Blue!
This article by Alistair McConnachie was posted on this site on 18 May 2016.
First, let's crunch some numbers.
Electorate and Turnout
The electorate in Scotland at the 5 May 2016 election was 4,099,407. 1
Constituency Turnout - 2,279,153
Regional Turnout - 2,285,752
Average Turnout – 2,282,453
Average Turnout as % of Electorate – 55.6% 2
Holyrood Turnout compared to Westminster Turnout
During the past 19 years, since the 1997 referendum, people in Scotland have consistently shown considerably more democratic political engagement with British politics at Westminster, than they have ever done with Holyrood. Turnout at Holyrood has never surpassed its "peak" of a mere 59% in 1999, whereas at the Westminster election in 2015 it was 71.1%.
1997 - 71.3%
2001 - 58.2%
2005 - 60.6%
2010 - 63.8%
2015 - 71.1%
Average over 19 year period (1997-2016) = 65%
1999 - 59%
2003 - 49.4%
2007 - 51.8%
2011 - 50.4%
2016 - 55.6%
Average over 19 year period (1997-2016) = 53.2% 3
Pro-UK v Anti-UK Vote
Here we add up all the votes for the broadly "pro-UK" parties on the Regional List. The Regional List is a good measure because it fields the widest diversity of political views.
We are including those which we know have a stated position on the British Union. There were other parties standing who do not have a position and we have not included them. (Those were Christian, Women's Equality, various Independents, and Libertarian). We are also aware that some people who voted for UKIP might support separation, and some people who voted for the Greens might vote to stay in the UK. However, the platforms of these parties are well enough known for us to correctly make this generalisation.
Pro-UK on Regional List
Lib Dem: 119,284
A Better Britain – Unionist Party: 2,453 (Glasgow only)
Scottish National Front: 617 (North East Scotland only)
Communist Party of Britain: 510 (North East Scotland only)
TOTAL = 1,129,431
% of Regional Turnout = 49.4%
% of the Electorate = 27.6%
Anti-UK on Regional List
TOTAL = 1,129,657
% of Regional Turnout = 49.4%
% of the Electorate = 27.6%
Anti-UK majority of 226 (!)
% Electorate voting SNP
The SNP took 1,059,897 on the Constituency Vote and 953,987 on the Regional Vote. Averaging that out, we get 1,006,942 which is 24.6% (say 25%) of the overall electorate.
One in four voters is what we always imagine the "hard core" SNP vote in Scotland to actually be – and presumably its entire "hard core" vote turned out.
The problem in the City has always been extremely low turnouts at Elections. Again this year, the Turnout failed to rise about 50%, although at 47.4%, it was 6.6% up on 2011's figure of 40.8%.
Electorate of Glasgow 522,988
Turnout 248,109 = 47.4% 4
Below we exclude the parties whose policies on the Union are not stated.
Pro-UK on Glasgow Regional List
Lib Dem: 5,850
A Better Britain – Unionist Party: 2,453
TOTAL = 101,876
% of Turnout = 41.1%
% of Electorate = 19.5%
Anti-UK on Glasgow Regional List
TOTAL = 140,546
% of Turnout = 56.6%
% of Electorate 26.9%
Rise performed poorly throughout Scotland, despite being the darlings of the Media-Left and being boosted regularly in The National newspaper, including having a candidate with a weekly column.
UKIP failed to promote any particular message for this election, which was surprising given that an EU Referendum in the near future meant that this was the ideal time for it to come into its own. Many of its sympathisers will also have switched to "Ruth Davidson for a Strong Opposition".
The Greens may have reached their high-water mark. Many SNP people will have voted Green on the second list. It is not certain that they will do that again.
Some have accused the Greens of splitting the separation vote and allowing Ruth Davidson to win Edinburgh Central. Will the Greens stand down there in 2021 to give the SNP a free run? Not necessarily. The Greens may well have fallen out with the SNP by that time.
It is also worth noting that the separatists like to keep it in the family. One of the Green MSPs, John Finnie, is the father of one of the SNP MSPs, Ruth Maguire.
A word here for the interesting result of A Better Britain – Unionist Party which stood in the Glasgow Region and picked up 1 less vote than Rise. It did this despite having had virtually no publicity. It had no Royal Mail leaflet delivery, no leaflet distribution at all, no coverage on the TV (except one brief spot on the Andrew Neil show several months ago), no newspaper publicity, and no public meetings. All it had was a modest Facebook page, and Twitter presence, and a good position, logo and slogan on the Ballot Paper ('No more Devolution, No More Referendums'). It also produced 7 excellent and original papers on the philosophy of its authentic British Unionism on its website. 5
The "Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party" stood in all 5 Regions of Wales and picked up a creditable 44,286 votes (4.4%) for this radical policy! 6
Now let's comment on the 3 main "pro-UK" political parties.
The Conservatives came second on the Regional Vote and more than doubled their number of votes – up from 245,967 in 2011 (12.4%), to 524,222 (22.9%). A remarkable result which saw them beat Labour by 88,303.
They even got more votes than Labour had received in the Regions in 2011 (523,559).
Numerically, its Constituency Vote rose in 72 of the 73 FPTP seats (except Orkney). It shot up from 276,652 (13.9%) in 2011, to 501,844 (22%). 7
One of the consequences of this is that it will be harder for the SNP, in particular, to attack the Tories generally as "unrepresentative" in Scotland. They cannot realistically do this when "the Tories" came second on the Regional List and is the main "opposition" in Holyrood!
Tom Peterkin, the political correspondent for The Scotsman stated that if Annie Wells (second on the List for the Conservatives in the Glasgow Region) was elected to Holyrood then it would be "an outcome that would surely show that the anti-Tory psychological barrier had at least been partially breached." 8
In Glasgow, the Conservative Regional vote more than doubled – and their vote share virtually doubled – from 12,749 in 2011 (6.1%) to 29,533 (11.9%) and they returned two MSPs...including Annie Wells!
So clearly, something is happening in Scottish politics.
Our hope is that this result will start to shift the retarded "anti-Tory" political rhetoric in which Scotland has been mired for decades now.
One thing is for certain. The Conservative gains are a result of the SNP banging on about another referendum. Huge numbers of people do not want another one, and the Tories articulated that more clearly than anyone else.
Furthermore, opposition to a referendum is what drove people to vote tactically in places like Edinburgh Southern (Labour), Edinburgh Western (Lib Dem) and Edinburgh Central (Tory).
Have the Tories peaked?
In some FPTP (First Past the Post) seats, it may still be possible to beat the SNP, especially if there is tactical voting from Labour and Lib Dems. However, because of the way the D'Hondt system works, then – if the Tories won more via FPTP – they might lose seats on the Regional. Furthermore, many of the remaining FPTP seats are SNP v Labour contests. To gain more seats, Tories will need to really push Regional voting.
Willie Rennie's surprise FPTP win in his Constituency of North East Fife, would have been helped by his strong message against a second referendum in the campaign's last TV debate, as well as tactical voting by Unionists.
Labour is stuck in a bad place. Alex Massie summed it up (our emphasis):
Who is Labour for? What constituency or interest does the erstwhile people's party now represent? The answers to these questions are not immediately obvious. Labour wanted to talk about anything except the national question in this election oblivious to the fact that the national question is the first thing any party must answer in modern Scotland. Are you Team Yes or Team No? Labour cannot win without Yes voters but it has, as yet, no way of winning those lost voters back. Moreover, every move it makes to appeal to those voters risks alienating their remaining Unionist support. This election was another reminder that trying to ride two horses usually ends in embarrassment. And pain. Labour cannot out-Nat the Nats and nor can they out-Unionist the Tories. 9
Furthermore, it now finds itself a victim of the rhetoric which it pioneered to demonise the Tories, during the '80s and '90s.
In particular, it was Labour, and people like Robin Cook, Donald Dewar and John Smith, who after their shock and anger at losing to John Major in the 1992 General Election went all-out to contaminate the Tory brand in Scotland. It was also these people who pushed the notion – which was not correct – that "Scotland never gets what it votes for" when in fact, post-war, it got what it voted for two out of three times!
Malcolm Rifkind summed it up when he was quoted in The Observer:
Rifkind said he believed that at the heart of Labour's problem was that the tactics it used to toxify the Conservative brand as anti-Scottish in the 1990s were coming back to haunt them.
"Once you say you can't govern Scotland unless you have a majority in Scotland that is equivalent to saying Scotland should be a separate country. Because essentially they were using nationalist rhetoric despite being a unionist party.
"The Labour party made a huge mistake and they have been reaping that whirlwind ever since."
Rifkind laughed: "There is a saying in Scotland, 'Aye, if ye didnae ken, ye ken the noo'. To translate, "If you didn't know before, you do now." 10
After 1992, Labour also went all-out to establish the Scottish Parliament...which has become its Gallows.
Labour Adopting Nationalist Dis-Explanations
Remember that the long-term aim of the SNP is to convert Labour supporters to its fold.
A "dis-explanation" is an explanation deliberately intended to mislead another person into adopting one's own beliefs and intentions. [We may have made this word up.]
Labour should beware of adopting nationalist dis-explanations for its failures.
For example, the journalist Lesley Riddoch is a master (mistress?) at providing puzzled unionists with nationalist answers which are intended to lure them into her nutty net.
For example, she recently stated that the unionist parties have been "punished for failing to represent the 37 per cent of Scots who wanted the more meaty, near-federal Scottish parliament Gordon Brown promised but failed to deliver." 11
That is just deliberately wrong! Virtually nobody voted at the Holyrood election with that consideration. Her words are only intended to beguile people in the Labour Party (Deputy Leader Alex Rowley, Henry McLeish, David Martin MEP, George Foulkes – we're looking at you) to continue to promote her policy; a policy which is highly favourable to the ultimate independence wishes of nationalists such as herself.
Another example of the theme is that Labour was "punished" for "siding with" the Tories at the referendum. The indirect implication being that Labour was punished for supporting the Union. The lesson being that Labour should stop supporting the Union.
Unfortunately, some people in Labour, devoid of their own explanations, have seized on such self-serving SNP dis-explanations for its own failures.
It is as if the SNP man is shouting over the fence: "You failed Labour, because you stood with the Tories instead of standing with the SNP. You sold out the people of Scotland because you didn't advocate independence."
Later that evening, the Labour man is sitting at the dinner table: "Oh, you know, love, I've been thinking. I think we failed because we stood with the Tories instead of standing with the SNP. We sold out the people of Scotland because we didn't advocate independence."
Wife: "Where on earth did you get that idea?"
Labour man: "I thought it up all by myself!"
There may still be hope for Labour though.
The Example of Jackie Baillie
Jackie Baillie was one of only 3 Labour MSPs to win the First Past the Post ballot. She did so while standing firmly for the Union, opposing a second referendum, and advocating for Trident. Perhaps there is a lesson there!
Labour and Tactical Voting
There may also be some seats where the Labour candidate could win by making pro-Union soundings to not just their traditional supporters but, specifically, to Tories and Lib Dems. This is especially so in those seats where there is no chance of a Tory or Lib Dem win. However, that won't happen if people never hear a pro-UK message from their Labour candidate at all.
The "Home Rule" Danger
Some elements of the Labour Party in Scotland have recently been promoting the idea that Labour should adopt "Home Rule" for Scotland.
How does this differ from the extensive devolution and "Home Rule" which Scotland has already got? Who knows? We doubt they know either.
We spoke about this on our Facebook page here at UKaForceForGood.
One thing is for certain, there is no demand for it, and at least one Labour member has pointed this out.
Sheila Gilmore, former MP for Edinburgh East, wrote about her experience of canvassing at the Holyrood election. She pointed out, as we have long pointed out, that there is no demand for "more powers" rather than independence, on the doorsteps (our emphases):
In the constituencies where I was involved (mainly Edinburgh Southern but also Edinburgh Eastern) some people raised the constitutional question, but mainly to establish where Labour and our candidate stood. Did we want to see a second referendum? Had Labour gone 'wobbly' on independence? I would say that the majority of these questions came from former 'No' voters. Virtually no one was saying they wanted 'more powers' or 'Devo Max' or 'Home Rule' either explicitly or indirectly.
One of my campaign jobs was to pass all the door-knocking queries to the candidate for a letter or a phone call. A need for yet more powers simply did not figure. For those who want independence there is no middle ground which is satisfactory. It is never enough...
We have argued for the increased powers now available because we believe that these can help us make real change and improvement in Scotland. Why start arguing now, even before these new powers have been tested, that these are not enough? That makes it sound as if we don't really believe our own arguments. 12
No demand or not, we have to be prepared for this notion to catch on. Labour is unlikely to grasp for much else.
Apparently, Daniel Johnson, the MSP who was elected for Labour in the Constituency of Edinburgh Southern "believes the party should back federalism." 13
This makes Labour look totally unprincipled.
Out of one side of its mouth it is saying that we have the most powerful devolved parliament in the world, and out of the other it is saying that we need yet "more powers" for it.
There is no consistency. There is no sense that these people are working from any kind of firm understanding of what they are playing with.
It is all just about perceived short-term advantage, with no long-term thought given to the consequences. Is it any wonder they keeping getting their hands burnt!
Here is how all this may possibly play out: Labour in Scotland may indeed adopt a "Home Rule" position.
Virtually nobody will know what that even means, or how it differs from what we have already got, but hey ho.
In which case, the party in Scotland will go into the 2020 General Election supporting the concept of "Home Rule for Scotland" in the hope that it gives them some sort of advantage against the SNP.
If the Party wins in the UK, and regardless of whether it has a majority of MPs in Scotland (or any!) then Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn will initiate another Scotland Act.
Presuming it is Corbyn, he will do this because he has absolutely no philosophy of the United Kingdom. To the extent that he has a philosophy about it, he is opposed to it, as the many photographs of him with Sinn Fein demonstrate, and as Alex Massie's article "Jeremy Corbyn should not be allowed to rewrite the history of his support for the IRA" documents. 14
Even if it were not Jeremy Corbyn, and presuming a leader of the Labour Party does not arise between now and then who has a strong pro-UK attitude and a desire to promote the British Union, or at least maintain the status quo, then that person will listen to the Party in Scotland. If it tells them that the Labour Party nationally should adopt "Home Rule for Scotland" then the Party at the British level will do so – because it is presently lacking a British Imagination.
If Labour is not elected in the UK in 2020, then the Labour Party will still go into the 2021 Holyrood election with a platform of Home Rule for Scotland. The aim will be to try to take votes away from the SNP.
While it is doing this, it will probably enjoy the support of the Lib Dems, because the Lib Dems always claim to be a "Federalist" party. This is despite the fact that the Lib Dems as a party, as well as all its candidates and members, have given no thought at all to how this would actually work, or to its consequences.
In such fluid circumstances, the Union would be far from secure!
SO, CAN we RELY UPON the CONSERVATIVES to keep THE BRITISH END UP?
At this stage, we can't bet on it!
There is an influential "federalising" element within the Scottish Tory Party also.
For example, an article by journalist David Torrance (who supports a federal UK) quoted an unnamed Tory MSP a couple of days after the election saying "We need to continue to change, we need to continue to distance ourselves from London and support a federal UK." 15
Also, consider their very recent behaviour: The Conservatives had total power to change those elements of the Scotland Bill (now the Scotland Act 2016) which might damage the integrity of the United Kingdom – but they did not do so, even when the dangers were pointed out to them.
For example, it is the Conservatives who have been at the forefront of bringing in, what amounts to, a federal tax structure – making us officially "Scottish" not British taxpayers – thereby destroying the tax solidarity which the British State has hitherto upheld, and which it depends heavily upon.
The Conservatives have devolved the power – via the Scotland Act 2016 – to abolish the British Transport Police, among other unwanted and unnecessary changes which do nothing to promote a wider British Unity.
They have done these things despite being heavily lobbied for 18 months by groups such as ourselves and others.
The Tories spoke about defending the Union at this election (and thank goodness they did) but they did not stand on, nor do they have any policies (nor does any other party) to bring Scotland and England closer together, either politically or culturally.
Therefore, when the Tories say they believe in the Union – while that is obviously a good thing – it is still only words.
There is no evidence of any actual policies which will strengthen the Union either at the Scottish level, or more importantly at the British level – where they actually have the power to make them happen!
That is not to say that some will not come in time, only that there are none at present.
The Conservatives were elected partly on the claim that they would "hold the SNP to account". However, it looks like it is going to be for us pro-UK people to ensure we hold the Conservatives to account.
So, where does this leave us?
INDEPENDENCE REMAINS NAT PRIORITY
We should be under no illusions that separation, and the break-up of the UK, remains the primary goal of the SNP. They will exploit any circumstance in order to promote it.
For example, shortly after the result, when asked if Scotland can put an independence referendum to bed for the next five years, Ms Sturgeon replied: "No, the position I put forward in the SNP manifesto got the support of almost 50% of the population." She continued: "There is an independence-supporting majority in the Scottish Parliament if you take the SNPs and the Greens. My manifesto said in certain circumstances the Scottish Parliament should have the right to propose another referendum." 16
The nationalists also enjoy many advantages, presently and forthcoming.
1. Endless Money for Massive Advertising
We don't know what it was like outside Glasgow, but in the run-up to the election, all the prime billboards, and we mean all the prime billboards along the Clydeside Expressway were plastered in giant posters of Nicola Sturgeon. Virtually all the red top newspapers had full page adverts for the SNP on pages 2 and 3, in the editions running up to and including 5th May.
2. Nats will Benefit from Changes to the BBC
Changes to the BBC in Scotland might start to make what is happening politically in England and the rest of the UK appear very peripheral and distant. This is exactly what the SNP wants, and it is the reason it has been lobbying the BBC for changes. For example, the BBC in Scotland is soon to have to answer officially to a Holyrood (SNP-controlled) committee.
Despite all the talk about social media, TV still has a massive impact upon the way people vote.
Consider this question: To what extent is the fact that the South of Scotland voted against separatism due, in part, to the fact that much of this area does not receive relentless STV propaganda on terrestrial broadcasting? STV has a constant and wearying focus on "Scottishness" and the politics of "Scottishness".
The South of Scotland receives "Border News" instead, which is a North of England-based channel. This helps to emphasise the local connection between "Scotland" and "England" and helps to blend the whole concept of "Scottish" and "English" into one larger British theme for many of the people who live in this area.
3. Ongoing Influence of The Herald Stable of Newspapers: The National, The Sunday Herald, and The Herald
The National is not really a newspaper in the normal sense of the term. Rather, it is a Daily Briefing Paper for the separatist movement – which is developing philosophy and policy, promoting activism, and documenting intelligence on its enemies, in a way that normal newspapers simply do not.
It is unlikely to go out of business since it is poncing off a particular demographic. Its sister paper, the Sunday Herald is the same; while the daily Herald plays a double game with its siblings. It promotes "Federalism/Home Rule" but not outright separation. The entire newspaper group is working in cahoots to move the debate one way only.
But all is not rosy for the SNP
Non-Existent SNP Activists
Evidence is emerging that many of the SNP new members are simply "paper only. For example, according to Tom Gordon:
As in physics, every action in politics produces some kind of equal and opposite reaction. In the SNP's case, its insistence on being able to hold a second independence referendum led to a Unionist backlash.
In previous elections, the Unionist vote split among the three opposition parties. But in 2016, thanks to a very focused campaign led by Ruth Davidson and Labour wobbles on the constitution, that tactical Unionist vote flooded to the Tories. The Lib Dem and Labour gains in Edinburgh Western and Southern were other examples.
There were other headaches too. The attitude of new members was a frequent complaint among old hands. "Yes, we've got a large membership, but a lot of that is inactive," said one source.
An SNP candidate added: "There was definitely complacency with the activists. We got bodies on the streets at the weekend, but nowhere near our true strength. An awful lot of people clicked the button [to join]. They don't come to meetings. A lot just sit on the net talking to each other. 17
We must Aim to raise the In/Stay pro-UK vote by at least 10%, from 55% to 65%, and to lower the Out/Leave vote from 45% to 35%.
That should be the bare minimum of our ambition!
We must ensure that opinion is always moving our way.
It should be a basic aim of all the pro-UK parties to ensure that the numbers of people wanting a second referendum are decreasing over time, not increasing. The 2016 result showed that huge numbers do not want another referendum.
1. Ensure our MSPs also place Scotland within a British Context It is disenchantment with British-wide politics which has led to so much of the soft separatist support.
Remember, as we pointed out at the start of this article, voters in Scotland have more democratic engagement at the ballot box with British politics than they do with Holyrood politics.
Britain is important to people in Scotland. Our MSPs should acknowledge this fact instead of always retreating into a parochial "Scottishness".
To get the Out/Leave vote down to 35% we will need to be able to point to inspired pro-UK attitudes and policies among our politicians at the British level. People will need to see that Britain is looking good at the national level and will want to be part of it.
As well as MSPs in Holyrood remembering and speaking about the importance of the British Context, it also requires the politicians at Westminster to stop being indifferent about the Union; to stop thinking it is Scotland's problem only, and to use their over-arching political power to pass policies to keep the UK together – not inadvertently or disinterestedly encourage its break-up.
All of that is a Big Ask, of course! After all, where is this pro-UK attitude going to come from when virtually all of Scotland's MPs are SNP - and when it appears many MPs in England are disinterested?
The Possible Influence of a Brexit
We've written about this before: 6 Reasons Why Brexit Would Not Lead to Another Scottish Referendum.
If Britain leaves the EU, then – if it is to work – it would require a project of national renewal, Britain-wide. It would require a new narrative for Britain, which captures everyone's imagination.
Granted, this is maybe wishful thinking; given the fact that all the political parties are against such a move. But if things changed, and the main parties embraced such a project – while the SNP tried to stand in its way – then the SNP might find itself out of the limelight, and confined to the fringes.
It may give many people in Scotland a reason to see the United Kingdom in a bigger, better light once again.
2. Continue to Develop and Promote the Philosophy of British Union
A journalist in The National, 'Wee Ginger Dug', the pseudonym of separatist Paul Kavanagh, wrote a sentence which struck us as close to the truth. He said, "Scottish Unionism is weak, fragile and conditional...It has been brain dead for quite a while now". 18
That is certainly not correct as far as the Unionism of groups like us at A Force For Good is concerned. We, and others, are developing a unionist philosophy with roots in our history, a living reason and a future purpose.
However, in the case of the official political parties – Conservative, Labour and Lib Dems – it does often appear to us to be "weak, fragile and conditional", and we would add, "inconsistent and indifferent".
Therefore, education is needed, and our work here – and those of our colleagues and friends who are also engaged in this great project – is needed more than ever.
Neil Oliver, the archaeologist and broadcaster, wrote a tremendous piece on the anniversary of the Union this year.
Let's conclude with his words...to live by:
Breaking something into pieces is infinitely easier than the act of creation. Allowing a great work to fall into disrepair for want of maintenance is easier still. The Union has been the work of centuries, taken on and completed by countless selfless people – statesmen, soldiers, common citizens. Great Britain has been here so long it can be easy to think it just happened, a work of nature like a mountain or an ancient tree. The truth is, it was ever a fragile thing.
Union is a dream shared by a people and kept real only by their imagination and conviction. If we neglect to maintain it, the temple will fall. All of it will be destroyed and so the work of centuries will be undone. 19
3. See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Scotland
4. Figures from The Herald, 'Holyrood 2016' supplement, 7-5-16, p.19.
5. We would urge those who want to understand its authentic British Unionist position to check out its articles at http://www.abbup.org
1. Death by a Thousand Cuts: Devolution and the Union, February 19, 2016
2. Why Federalism Won't Work: The Need for Real Unionism, February 26, 2016
3. Home Rule by the Back Door? The Dangers of the Smith Proposals, March 4, 2016
4. Understanding the UK: A Unionist Philosophy, March 11, 2016
5. Searching for Scottishness: Why Unionists are True Scots too, March 18, 2016
6. Flags and Symbols Aren't Everything, but they Still Matter, March 25, 2016
7. Back to Basics: The UK is a Country and a Unitary State, April 16, 2016
6. See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Assembly_for_Wales_election,_2016#Constituency_and_regional_summary
7. See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Parliament_election,_2011
8. Tom Peterkin, "There's all to play for in the battle for second place at Holyrood", The Scotsman, 5-5-16, pp.22-23 at 23.
9. Alex Massie, The Spectator Blog, 6-5-16 at http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/05/a-force-awakens-in-scotland-the-union-strikes-back
10. Daniel Boffey, "Losers no more: how the Tories stopped being toxic in Scotland", The Observer, 8-5-16, p.10.
11. Lesley Riddoch, 'A relatively lacklustre election campaign gave us an enlivening result', The Scotsman 'Holyrood 2016', supplement, 7-5-16, p.2.
12. Sheila Gilmore, "Home Rule proposals are a mistake", Labour Hame, 11-5-16 at http://labourhame.com/home-rule-proposals-are-a-mistake
13. Kate Devlin and Daniel Sanderson, "Foulkes calls on Labour to lead the drive for federal UK", The Herald, 11-5-16, p.6.
14. Alex Massie, "Jeremy Corbyn should not be allowed to rewrite the history of his support for the IRA", The Spectator Blog, 17-5-16 at http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/05/jeremy-corbyn-should-not-be-allowed-to-rewrite-the-history-of-his-support-for-the-ira
15. David Torrance, "The first round is won...but now the real fight begins", The Herald, 'Election 2016' supplement, 7-5-16, pp.12-13 at 13.
16. Edinburgh Evening News website, "Nicola Sturgeon to launch new Scottish independence campaign", 8-5-16 at www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/nicola-sturgeon-to-launch-new-scottish-independence-campaign-1-4122210
17. Tom Gordon, "Why SNP win spells pain for the Tories", Sunday Herald, 'Holyrood 2016: The story of an election' supplement, 8-5-16, pp.2-4 at 4.
18. Paul Kavanagh, "Ulsterised? More like Catalonia in the rain", The National, 11-5-16, p.16.
19. Neil Oliver, "SNP vision of independence is same as the Union, but dead", The Sunday Times (Scotland), 1 May 2016 at www.thetimes.co.uk/article/snp-vision-of-independence-is-same-as-the-union-but-dead-shwfm3r6l
If you like what we say, please support us by signing-up to receive our free regular Update email - which will keep you informed of new articles and relevant pro-UK information - by entering your details in the 'Subscribe' box at the top right of this page. You can find out more about Alistair at the About Alistair McConnachie page. And here is a link to Alistair McConnachie's Google Profile.