CONGRATULATIONS to the SNP for winning our election with a landslide record number of votes and share of a large turnout. I cheered at every constituency hold and win, especially in my own Edinburgh Central constituency.

Further gains were only denied by substantial tactical voting from Union-supporting parties.

I would have been delighted if further gains had given the SNP an overall majority, but their achievement of 64 seats is still a remarkable endorsement of their mandate.

I was equally pleased with the Greens winning an additional two seats to increase the overall independence-supporting seats to 72. However, a great opportunity to increase these numbers further was missed by the selfish “me, me, me” strategy of Both Votes SNP. As a keen supporter of independence, I would have welcomed an additional 10 Green MSPs, displacing six-or-so Tory ones. This could have been achieved if SNP voters had used their second votes more wisely, rather than wasting them on party loyalty.

More than one million second SNP votes resulted in only two list seats, one each in Highland and Islands and the South of Scotland regions. In spite of warnings by myself and others, a record number were wasted in the other six regions.

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Thankfully an increase in the Green vote increased their seats, in spite of their “allies”, the SNP. In Lothian, the Greens hung on to their second seat against the Tories, who in losing Edinburgh Central had their list seat chances enhanced.

I assume that SNP voters did not act maliciously against the Greens in supporting their party. Sadly, the same cannot be said about the SNP who would have understood the implications of their strategy.

They have demonstrated recently in their treatment of members like my excellent MP, Joanna Cherry, that they will not tolerate any deviation from their narrow party line.

I suspect this attitude indicates that they are at least ambivalent to dealing with a less-powerful Green Party in the new Government.

Hopefully a second referendum will be forthcoming in due course. To achieve a Yes vote this time, the whole movement will need to unite with their involvement.

The SNP are by far the biggest and most important party, but they must be willing to cooperate more. A good start would be to offer to govern in conjunction with the Greens. Can you think of anyone more qualified to lead our renewable industry development than Lorna Slater?

Campbell Anderson


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FOR the best part of a year, every opinion poll had been predicting a majority of constituency MSPs for the SNP, meaning that the party would be entitled to few, if any, top-up seats from the regional lists.

Yet many people in the SNP, including the most senior members, have stubbornly persisted in promoting this mantra, intensifying their efforts since the appearance on the scene of the Alba Party.

In the event, the vast majority of list votes for the SNP were wasted because they played no part in electing MSPs. The only exceptions were single list SNP MSPs in the Highlands and Islands and South of Scotland regions. Thousands upon thousands of list votes wasted that could have been cast for Alba or the Green Party, and increased the overall pro-independence majority in the new Parliament. The expression that springs to mind is “cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face”.

Peter Swain