Scottish Elections 2021
Let’s have a quick look at how voting in Scotland works?
Each registered voter is asked to cast 2 votes, resulting in MSPs being elected in one of two ways: 73 are elected as First past the post (FPTP) constituency MSPs and 56 are elected as Regional MSPs, and it is this regional (list or 2nd vote) that seems to be causing the most confusion amongst voters, so how does it work?
Seven MSP’s are elected from each of the eight regional groups of constituencies using what is known as the D’Hondt formula. This basically divides your regional or list votes by the amount of constituency seats won plus one.
The question being asked by many people on social media is; “Should I give both of my votes to the SNP (SNP 1&2), or should I vote SNP on the Constituency and ALBA Party on the Regional/List ballot (SNP1 & ALBA2)”
In order to answer this we must first take a look at some examples from previous elections…
Central Region: The SNP won 9/9 seats. This meant that the SNP list votes (129,082) were divided by 10 (9+1) giving us an effective SNP list vote of only 12,908 allowing four Labour & three Tory MSPs to gain seats from only 110,705 votes.
NE Scotland: The SNP won nine constituency seats, so their list vote of 137,086 was again divided by 10 (9+1) reducing it to 13,709. the SNP returned zero list seats while the Tories got four, Labour two and one for the Libdems.
West of Scotland: 136,000 SNP 2nd (List) votes returned no SNP MSP’s and allowed three Tories, three Labour and one Green MSP in through the back door.
In 2016, the SNP won 59 constituency seats and returned just four list seats, so out of 900,000 SNP2 list votes the SNP got only four seats while the opposition parties grabbed a massive 46.
So as you can see, traditionally voting SNP 1 and 2 has allowed the tories and other unionist parties in through the back door while returning very few SNP List MSP’s.
So knowing this why do the SNP keep insisting on SNP 1&2? Well the answer is simple, the SNP are hedging their bets in case the constituency vote does not go as expected and the regional seats are needed.
We need to look at all the angles and cast our votes to return the maximum number of pro-indy MSP’s into Holyrood as we can. This may mean voting SNP 1 & 2 in some areas and splitting the vote SNP1 ALBA Party 2 in others.