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Archive for April 26th, 2007

Scottish Election 3

I predict a riot.

This election sees ballot papers being counted electronically for the first time.     A nervous evening for the officials then, particularly if the vote is close.     If the electronics go wrong, we are in for a huge mega fuss.   Already, there is a shortage of electronic fixers on election night – fewer fixers than counting centres.

We have been bundling papers and counting them for many elections now.    It is tried and tested.    I hope the new system works.

I will be at my local count, so will keep you posted.

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Scottish Election 2

Canvassing tonight.    Western edge of Perth.    Warm sunshine.     I get the feeling that folk really don’t have the measure of this election yet.    The MSPs are elected on a first past the post system for each constituency with a party vote for a list system of MSPs to make up the balance.     So you vote for a candidate and then for a party.

On the same day, we are voting for Councillors – but on a different voting system – single transferable vote.   Voters will have to rank candidates from 1 down to wherever they want to stop.

The trouble with all of this is that it is complicated – it is genuinely impossible to calculate the effect of voting tactically, for instance.    I met people today who would never vote for the SNP – ever, but who failed to grasp the message that the only way to shift the SNP out (first past the post, constituency vote) is to vote Conservative.   (In the Perth seat).

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Scottish Election 1

Only a few days to go until the election in Scotland.   We are electing our third set of MSPs as well as local councillors.      It is going to be a very interesting result.    Much disillusionment with the Lab/Lib coalition that has been in for the past 8 years, so the Nationalists SNP may gain from a protest vote.    That is understandable, but the major question of independence makes this a protest vote with a difference.      There are many who are fed up with the current arrangement, but who also really detest the Nationalists.     Who will these people vote for?

The Tories are running a good solid campaign, and Annabel Goldie is doing surprisingly well as leader.    Unfortunately thay have ruled out going into coalition with anyone else, which rather closes all doors at an early stage.    They do have a well thought through, and achievable manifesto.

The SNP promises will not add up without big income tax increases – The Financial Times has a damning report today.      And the prospect of smirking Alec Salmond as First Minister genuinely fills me with dread.    Please …….. no.

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