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Final campaign mission

Brian Taylor | 15:25 UK time, Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Polls and party intelligence both suggest that the SNP maintains a lead as we approach polling day in the Holyrood elections.

There is, of course, contention about the extent of that lead - and still greater contention about whether any such lead can be overturned.

Few, if any, believe that the gap is as wide as represented in the STV poll, broadcast last night in tandem with their debate.

But the general view is that the Nationalists have contrived to turn round a Labour advantage since the outset of the campaign.

The Tory response to this apparent eventuality has been to posit the likely return of Alex Salmond as FM - and their leader, Annabel Goldie, as his resident chaperone.

In the final days of the campaign, they have modified this somewhat to encompass more of a "plague on both your houses" message: arguing that they would counter "both Nationalism and Socialism" at Holyrood.

Perhaps they felt the original line was a little too concessionary towards the SNP. Perhaps they felt they needed to stress their Conservative roots as well as their Unionist ones.

Intriguingly, the Liberal Democrats have taken of late to mirroring the Labour argument: to the effect that the SNP in office would jeopardise economic recovery by their focus upon an independence referendum.

Nationalists acknowledge that the independence issue has been raised with them a mite more frequently - by those with potential concerns - since Labour began to focus upon it at the start of last week.

But they insist they counter this with the referendum, stressing that the issue of independence is not settled at this election but only determined by a subsequent plebiscite: one that the SNP would not seek to call early in the next parliament.

In short, they argue, folk are not frightened by the association of the SNP with independence - or they can be assuaged.

They point further to the newspaper advertisement listing endorsements from business folk. Not, they freely acknowledge, backing independence: rather backing the economic competence of the SNP ministerial team and their leader.

Labour strategists insist that they are doing better on the ground than the nationwide polls suggest. They liken the response more to 2010 than 2007.

They say their constant focus upon jobs is matching the prevailing mood.

One concern they acknowledge features seats where there is a pre-existing LibDem vote. If that drifts, will it disperse to other parties evenly - or mainly shift to the SNP?

Answers after tomorrow.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Intigingly Alex Salmond is to campaign in East Lothian on the final day suggesting the polls may just be right. You don't waste time in safe seats you go where a final push might tip a result over the edge.

    He's going for the jugular because it seems the published polls and private polling suggest that unless there is a Subway in Haddington Ian Gray now has nowhere to hide

  • Comment number 2.

    i think that Brian is right. The SNP lead is tangible but overstated in the opinion polls. I wonder why that's the case? People used to be worried to admit to voting Tory in public - is that now the case with Labour?
    Or, if you watched newsnight last night, you'd have heard John park say that labour was concentrating on getting known supporters, in key consitiuencies, firmed up and ferreid to the polls. Whilst Shirley Anne Sommerville gave the message that the SNP was still delivering a broad message to the wider public across Scotland as a whole.
    If it's tight, then the labour tactic is a good one - market segmentation and targetting.
    I genuinely hope that the Labour Party get trahed in this election but I honestly can't see the SNP getting 60+ seats. My guess:
    SNP 52
    Labour 48
    Tories 13
    Libdem 9
    margo 1
    Greens 6

  • Comment number 3.

    3 o'clock news on Radio Scotland.
    1 soundbite
    Tavish what's his name
    Tomorrow is all about independence and if you vote SNP you vote for independence.

    No other comment, no qualification of that statement and shocking that this type of subderfuge is allowed by "Nation shall speak peace unto nation" ...Someone has got to be avvin' a larf!

    Funny that in the last few weeks the most I've heard anybody banging on about independence has been the Con/Dem/Lab.

  • Comment number 4.

    Yes every poll for the last seven weeks has shown the SNP in front by a comfortable margin. The polls have also all shown that where the LibDem vote disperses it is going to the SNP by a factor of 4 to 1. The information is there if we care to look for it. I think the state of Labours campaign is well evidenced by their targets, it is not about them trying to attract voters but rather trying to hold on to their core vote.
    End result will be that the SNP will be the biggest party, but will probably end up not more than 5 or 6 more than Labour, why because the Libdem vote will tighten as will Labours.

  • Comment number 5.

    Anybody considered that actually this Nation could return the Conservatives as the second largest party. noo that wid shak' the hoose.

  • Comment number 6.

    I wrote the following on 16th February on the "Trendspotting" Entry of this blog

    "The observant amongst you will have noticed that

    a) An opinion poll putting the Northern British Parish Branch of UK Labour ahead is immediately hailed by the BBC as incontrivertible evidence that the Gray Man will be waving to the population of a grateful North Britain from the steps of Bute House on May 6th and the headline "SNP FAILURE" is splashed everywhere.

    b) An opinion poll putting the SNP Ahead (actually, showing a massive increase in SNP Support since the last poll as well by the way) is hailed by the BBC as being, "here, hey, wait a minute, that can't be right can it ? Must be dodgy. Lets tell you why this poll is nonsense."

    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose ?

    Indeed, the only poll that matters is tomorrow, and Brian, I'd be hanging on to your Swingometer if I were you.....

  • Comment number 7.

    "Few, if any, believe that the gap is as wide as represented in the STV poll, broadcast last night in tandem with their debate."

    If I ever doubted that the BBC has become the voice of the Labour party, this statement by the unbiased, impartial BBC Scottish Political editor has successfully removed that doubt.

  • Comment number 8.

    “ But the general view is that the Nationalists have contrived to turn round a Labour advantage since the outset of the campaign. “

    Wow Brian I bet that hurt! Bet you gritted you teeth typing that one.

  • Comment number 9.

    contrived ? really Brian. words of American journalist and author Walter Lippmann:

    “… the most destructive form of untruth is ... propaganda by those whose profession it is to report the news … For when a people can no longer confidently repair 'to the best foundations for their information,' then anyone's guess and anyone's rumour, each man's hope and each man's whim becomes the basis of government … Incompetence and aimlessness, corruption and disloyalty, panic and ultimate disaster, must come to any people which is denied an assured access to the facts.”

    “In so far as those who purvey the news make of their own beliefs a higher law than truth, they are attacking the foundations of our constitutional system. There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and shame the devil.”

  • Comment number 10.

    If more evidence was required have a look at the odds being offered by the bookies.
    PaddyPower was the SNP at 1/12 to win most seats Labour are at 11/2. Now bookies are rarely wrong. Very interesting odds available for some of the individual constituencies. http://tinyurl.com/6546udq
    They also opened a book on the next leader of the Labour group at Holyrood, it is a far from impressive list Andy Kerr is second favourite and Jackie Bailee is next. It does make me think if Labour lose this election it could be at least two elections before they are in a position to challenge. Clearly they need new blood and fresh ideas, only new blood might be some list MSPs elected this time, but will be the election in 2016 before they can introduce any significant number of new faces.

  • Comment number 11.

    “Polls and party intelligence both suggest that the SNP maintains a lead as we approach polling day in the Holyrood elections.”
    “There is, of course, contention about the extent of that lead - and still greater contention about whether any such lead can be overturned.”
    “Few, if any, believe that the gap is as wide as represented in the STV poll, broadcast last night in tandem with their debate.”
    “But the general view is that the Nationalists have contrived to turn round a Labour advantage since the outset of the campaign.”
    Can it be possible that the “Labour advantage” at the outset of the campaign was contentious too, perhaps the MSM had mistakenly painted a less than honest picture?

  • Comment number 12.

    Who's Iain Gray ? Are the Americans looking for him too ? At least it will all be over by Friday and Labour in Scotland will be as dead as the proverbial Do Do. Will they go ape and get skeletor to come to the rescue , if they can find a safe seat in a by election ? Mind you I suspect after tomorrow it might not be possible to find a safe Labour seat anywhere in Scotland. And what of poor Tavish ? He might be the only Lib Dem left in the country too with a wee bit of luck. Bet Bin Liner wishes he had never filled in that census form !

  • Comment number 13.

    "Polls and party intelligence both suggest that the SNP maintains a lead as we approach polling day in the Holyrood elections." -

    Brian I wouldn't start partying quite just yet, remember there's still those postal votes to overcome.

  • Comment number 14.

    My general thought on 'the undecided' is that they are the ones that do not bother voting. Labour seem to be hoping that they will all suddenly decide on the day and vote for them. Could it be possible that they wont vote and even less likely to go out if its raining as the weather forecast predicts.

    Annabelle Goldie might not have the influence she had the last time or indeed actually be requested for much if the SNP get the increased amount of seats predicted. Would Labour back the Tories again to vote out SNP policies in a SNP minority government though ?

  • Comment number 15.

    An hour and a half after this blog was published and only one comment has been approved! You'd think the BBC would be a bit more organised and have a moderator ready!

  • Comment number 16.

    @gunnergoz #1

    Funnily enough there is a Subway on the high street in Haddington, was in it the other day ! There may be a hiding place but Labour have still been found out (shame its taken 50 years of continuing social decline in the West of Scotland to get us here)

    Slainte Mor

    Ross-shire_lad

  • Comment number 17.

    Well Brian how intriguing as you are apt to say.

    Subtle stuff indeed , a deft mixture of smoke and mirrors linking the SNP with the Tories, hinting 'look folks' they may be pals at heart. Also these Lib/dems are agreeing with labour so why don't some of you Lib/dems just leap over and support Labour on Thursday and you Labour waiverers see even the Lib/dems are with us, it must make sense.

    Then 'whistling in the wind' the labour knocking on doors is bringing out their core vote and will yet be sufficient to cut the mustard on Thursday. Oh and finally ,just to hedge my bets, 'in case' if the Lib/dem vote does go to the SNP instead of the Labour party I have an escape clause that gets me home free, it was the Lib/dems that did it.

    Well Brian you have had a month now to declare, as a neutral observer, who has run the best election and who is best to run the government of Scotland for the next 5 years. But you didn't did you!

    I dare say that you will be busy on radio and TV in the next 48hrs but do try and make a comment at some point, we will all be riveted--- Not here though on another site 'that cannot be named' because people over there Unionists and Independence supporters can make their point and argue their case with few sitting on the fence.

    Best regards

  • Comment number 18.

    I live in East Lothian - there's a very big anti-Gray sentiment at the moment so the FM may well find some rich pickings....and a gray scalp to boot!!
    In general I'd also like to see a positive campaign win over a negative one - last minute attacks that disrespect the intelligence of the voters to understand the choices available to them should always be punished at the ballot box.
    2 votes - make them count.

  • Comment number 19.

    Brian pursues simple reporting, the polls say a lead but it may not be as big, Labour say it won't be as bad, the conservatives try to state their conservative and unionist roots, Liberals have taken on their views on independence. But there is no interpretation, no commentary, what are the consequences of strategies or tactics of any of the parties. We are not enlightened by the wisdom of this experienced political journalist. Why, Brian, why you must have some insight to offer. This is a schoolchild level of journalism. Are you old and tired? Are you short of ideas? My license fee, which is compulsory, deserves a better service than this. You should be shining a light on our political scene.

  • Comment number 20.

    "Funny that in the last few weeks the most I've heard anybody banging on about independence has been the Con/Dem/Lab." from Fasteagle

    Old habits die hard and old alliances in Scotland seem to take even longer - Tavish Clegg is fully aware that his vote is eroding to the SNP.......he must be the only person on the planet who thinks that copying Ian Gray is the recipe for success. Panic panic panic.....The mind boggles!!!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    This is politics of the low. Forget policies, forget the people because apparently every vote for the SNP is in reality a vote for independence. I feel that Labour and the Liberal Democrats are taking voters for granted by assuming such nonsense. The public understand that the constituation can only be changed through referendums (in a UK context anyway) and tomorro is about the future of the Scottish Parliament... not a referendum on independence!

    I understand the massive difference between the two and I also expect most of the Scottish public see the difference. So please, Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates please do not insult our intelligence.

  • Comment number 22.

    9 out of 10 comments awaiting moderation on the eve of the election: Might this constitute a record?

    Should the outcome of the vote favour the SNP and the Greens might an enquiry be launched into journalistic practices by the mainstream print and broadcasting media in Scotland? And might the Council of Europe be involved as well as rapporteurs from the UN as was previously the case re UK institutional violations of internationally recognised democratic norms relating to Scotland?

    It has happened before. And monitoring the evidence relating to this particular institution by a a number of other researchers relating to coverage regarding this election in particular, it could conceivably be on the cards again. Especially so given the charter of the organisation reflected in its global branding.

    Intriguing stuff.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    Where has the invisible Andy Kerr been this last week... out supporting Ian Gray?

    Where has the invisible Jackie Baillie been this last week... out supporting Ian Gray?

    Where has the invisible Richard Barking [oops sorry Baker] been this week.... out supporting Ian Gray?

    Maybe I've been missing the extensive coverage of their activities but I think they have been prominent by their absence from the front line campaign. Why?

    Could it be that Labour's private polling has idicated that they should return to their consituencies and prepare for unemployment or are they working tirelessly to hold on narrowly to their former safe seats so thay can mount a leadership bid starting Friday 9.00am?

    Gray has been hung out to dry by his party.


  • Comment number 25.

    "Intriguingly, the Liberal Democrats have taken of late to mirroring the Labour argument: to the effect that the SNP in office would jeopardise economic recovery by their focus upon an independence referendum"

    So the liberals have not jepordised economic recovery with their voting referendum?

    This union is not working (and never will for Scotland).

    Nuff said!

    C McK

  • Comment number 26.

    “ Labour strategists insist that they are doing better on the ground than the nationwide polls suggest. They liken the response more to 2010 than 2007. “


    Are these the self same strategists who:

    Abandoned their failing 2011 campaign to…… err revert to their 2007 loosing campaign.

    Advised Elmer to do a runner twice once at Central station and again at Asda


    Never mind Brian ‘things can only get better’, I very much doubt it, but as you say:

    Answers after tomorrow.

  • Comment number 27.

    I hope Alex Salmond does win, he has ran a much smarter and more positive campaign. He's gone out, met people (not hidden from them), stood his ground, put his case and told us what he wants to do for Scotland. He has campaigned for something! What has Labour done? Apart from hide? They first tried to use Scotland as a leg up at Westminster, technically the first thing they did was nothing assuming we'd all come to our senses and mindlessly vote for them as their manifest destiny is to rule, but I'll ignore that part. Then once the whole using Scotland as a pawn of the London part of the party fell flat (gee, wonder why?), they started not telling us what Labour would do but attacking the other parties. They ran a negative campaign that hasn't stopped. This morning I got a flyer through the door which simply had in big black on yellow letters "DON'T VOTE SNP" and the Labour logo. Yeah, that will inspire me.

    The other parties, well we all know what the greens stand for, buses, windmills, and wearing hemp sandals. The Lib Dem message can be summed up as "Nick Clegg made us do it, please don't hurt us". And Auntie Annie has done a good job at trying to make us all forget she isn't actually a tory. I'd rather have Alex Salmond than mudslingers and cowards from the other parties.

  • Comment number 28.

    Hot off the STV presses - The Future's Bright - The Future's Independence!

    A poll of polls on the final day of the Scottish Parliament election campaign has put the SNP on track for victory as a strengthened minority administration.

    The ‘super-poll’, by public affairs consultants Webber Shandwick, predicts 59 seats for Alex Salmond's party, which would mean it would need the support of just six other MSPs to push through legislation.

    The analysis of three recent opinion polls suggests Labour will have 42 seats, Conservatives 12, Greens eight and Liberal Democrats seven. Independent Margo Macdonald would also return.

    Slainte Mhor

  • Comment number 29.

    Oh, and one further thing. An answer that I've never got from my local Labour candidate; why when they believe the UK has the right, yea the undeniable right, to decide on voting reform and must be given a voice to decide this for themselves, for ourselves, why do they insist that Scotland cannot be allowed to vote on its own future? Why must a referendum be prevented at all costs?

    I'd seriously like an answer to that because I'd quite like a vote on it. I'd probably vote no, but I could be convinced otherwise. At the very least it would get it off the table for the next political generation and future elections could concentrate on issues without having to dodge the obfuscating rhetoric.

  • Comment number 30.

  • Comment number 31.

    I strongly object that I have to pay for this.


    Hopefully the new government will address the problem that is BBClabour.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    I wouldn't go boasting about that poll. It even highlights itself that it does not recognise the local factors that I feel also must try to be considered when it comes to polling.

  • Comment number 34.

    Intelligent people understand clearly that economic recovery and a genuine shift in emphasis towards a broader, more balanced economy and independence are linked.

    You simply won't get any of the former without the latter!

  • Comment number 35.

  • Comment number 36.

    We now, seemingly, live in a state whose political leaders believe in self-determination for a whole rag-tag bunch of various peoples around the globe - including, in North Africa, for factions whom they oppose on the battlefields of Afghanistan.

    However, those same dissemblers do not feel that the people of the ancient nation of Scotland should enjoy that same right.

    No matter what your political persuasion, that should be a matter of concern to 'democrats' of every hue.

  • Comment number 37.

    My prediction for tomorrow - for what it's worth.

    SNP 55
    Labour 44
    Conservatives 16
    Greens 7
    Liberal Democrats 6
    Independents 1

  • Comment number 38.

    regarding the scare stories,put out by the unionist parties, when independence is mentioned. they are so right you know, they are scared, scared stiff!!.
    the Scottish unionist parties are scared of loosing the support of "waste minster " m.p.s
    no longer would they allowed to interfere in a Scottish election, and the Scottish unionist parties, would have to decamp from London to an address in Scotland
    the Scottish "waste minster m.p.s are scared to, scared that not only will they loose their jobs, but also that money trough they regularly dip into.
    the English mps are also scared, because they would know that the day of reckoning
    had at long last arrived,the oil and gas, whisky ,crown estates, offshore power, and
    much more, would no longer be a "freebie to waste minster.
    Aye, no wonder they are all scared!!!.

  • Comment number 39.

    #37 - "My prediction for tomorrow - for what it's worth."

    That'll do donkey, that'll do! (Shrek, 2001)

  • Comment number 40.

    Personally I was hoping that in this election the Northern British Imperial Colonial Coalition would do particularly badly; from the above linked super poll I can see that they are predicted to win up to 61 seats.

    In my view it is far more worrying that these rogues continue to hold on to their positions in such numbers than any Independence referendum. It shows how their well tested ploy of divide and rule works, if everyone realised what they're up to, they wouldn't have these numbers.

    I'm afraid that this is down to our impartial media.

    It would make me smile if at least one, or even all, of this insidious organisation's three northern leaders; Annabel Goldie, Iain Gray or Tavish Scott were routed during this event.

  • Comment number 41.

    What intrigues me is the unionist message against constitutional issues in the next parliament. Yet, they are the ones that created Calman, without it even on their manifestos. Were they not concerned about jobs then?

    Thereafter we have the Scotland Bill which will bring about constitutional change which nobody in Scotland even gets to have a vote on. The impacts and measures will take up some considerable time in the next term no matter who wins.

    Therefore the scare stories about a referendum on constitutional change taking up all the time compared to job creation is nonsense. This rhetoric is nothing but hypocrisy from the usual culprits.

    Why should the unionist cabal be able to force their London lead brand of constitutional change, handing powers back to London and the Scottish public do not get any say in it whatsoever? Worse the public were barred from the Calman hustings. So not only are they hypocrites but they are cowards into the bargain.

  • Comment number 42.

    anyone fancy a guess as to % turnout or av result?.

  • Comment number 43.

    Remember to write;

    "Scottish Independence"

    across your AV ballot :)

  • Comment number 44.

    #39 - That'll do donkey, that'll do! (Shrek, 2001)

    Indeed it will. For now.

  • Comment number 45.

    #40 - "I'm afraid that this is down to our impartial media."

    Anyone watching Channel 4 news tonight would see they really give Pacific Quay a run for their money in the "impartiality" stakes.

  • Comment number 46.

    7. bmc875
    "Few, if any, believe that the gap is as wide as represented in the STV poll, broadcast last night in tandem with their debate."

    If I ever doubted that the BBC has become the voice of the Labour party, this statement by the unbiased, impartial BBC Scottish Political editor has successfully removed that doubt

    So, if the victory for the SNP is not as big as the polls have predicted, will you be apologising to the Blogger on Friday?

  • Comment number 47.

    "Few, if any, believe that the gap is as wide as represented in the STV poll"
    Some of us didn't believe the Labour lead a month ago. But, heh, this is Brian the Brit talking...

  • Comment number 48.

    I predict a victory for the SNP and a defeat for the BBC !

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 50.

    A highly entertaining election, really interesting to see how it pans out now.

    It is clear that it is Salmond's to lose, but i suspect that the ability to take the momentum and step forward into a majority administration is the key thing. If they can't do it now, will they ever?

    I don't understand why you would spoil AV ballots, it will not be published and there will be many that are not completed so no real analysis of the spoiled ballot will happen. I urge all to vote on AV, in whatever your preference is, rather than make futile gestures. The UK government is important, even to the nationalists.

    If you want Independence, vote SNP.

    If you don't, tactically vote against them.

    But please vote.

  • Comment number 51.

    50. At 20:34pm 4th May 2011, ggg wrote:
    "If you want Independence, vote SNP. If you don't, tactically vote against them."

    And there we have it - Labour, Tories and LibDems - what's the difference?


  • Comment number 52.

    @42 I'm guessing about 58% turnout for Scottish elections, less than 35% national for AV (higher in Wales and Scotland) and a narrow victory for the "No" option, possibly more due to the anti-Nick Clegg feeling in public opinion than anything else.

  • Comment number 53.

    One thing does worry me about the prospect of independence; it is something the labour party and tories haven't mentioned, and they may have missed a trick, because it is a real deal breaker. Er, we will still be able to get Doctor Who won't we?

  • Comment number 54.

    #50 Tomorrow's vote has NOTHING to do with Independence, that's a ploy (or lie) put about by the Unionist parties. If you don't want Independence vote 'No' at the referendum that will surely come in the second half of the next parliament.

    If you want a competent Government, with Scotland's interests at heart, vote SNP. If you don't then vote against them.

  • Comment number 55.

    i am officially done with the bbc. the election coverage has been shocking, the pro labour bias is worse. so i'll be watching stv for results.

  • Comment number 56.

    The ACTS OF UNION of 1707 was more of a shotgun wedding, ''twas only the landed gentry and nobles, who were the m.p.s of the day, voted for the union, even though the public at large instructed them not to vote "yes",little wonder some dare not return to their constituency for months!,the duke of Hamilton was probably the worst offender, dead against the union he was, until a few days before the vote it
    was pointed out to him (by whom?)that he would be libel to loose titles and land should he vote against.so he voted "for"!. a fore runner of the lib-dens?,or a modern day labourite !.
    aye, no referendum given then.
    actually, when I am down in England,and I get on very well with the folk there, I
    find that they are very relaxed about referendum and independence, seems to me
    it is only the politicians, mostly Scottish "waste minster" ones at that, who get all
    hot and bothered at the thought



  • Comment number 57.

    IMHO this is a watershed election. The number of undecideds shows that the reflex Labour vote in Scotland exemplified in the response to the agin the Tory vote of 2010 is breaking up. People are considering their position, it is very hard to change "Was I really wrong for so long?". If this change is happening, then can we drop the distasteful jibes about the unthinking Labour supporters who vote on the basis of what their fathers and grandfathers did as it will no longer be true, if it ever was.

  • Comment number 58.

    If the SNP get a majority, every decision they make will be to underline a separatist narrrative towards their sole aim. That does not make for good decision making. Expect short termist give-a-ways and tartan rhetoric.

    The reason that they were OK-ish in the last administration as they had to get support for policy, so their ill thought out or wrong policies (LIT, Tesco Tax, min pricing, Independence) could not progress.

    The above two points do make this election about idenpendance.

  • Comment number 59.

    55. At 21:15pm 4th May 2011, Megz wrote:

    i am officially done with the bbc. the election coverage has been shocking, the pro labour bias is worse. so i'll be watching stv for results.

    Without the Labour Experts giving there 'impartial' take on things.

  • Comment number 60.

    ggg
    all i can say is ill be voting for independence and let the spineless vote for the union

  • Comment number 61.

    Whats this, your second blog in a week Brian, such a prodigious output for the premier towering figure who casts the largest shadow in the Scottish, nae the British, journalistic world.

    Good job you're not paid by column inch (or source code Bytes). you'd be a few mock chop suppers short of a takeaway this week.

    Now, what have you been scripting this time. contentious polls?, wide gaps?, contrived swings? All rather safe sobriquets to be used instead of stating the bleedin obvious. That the SNP have taken this election campaign by the scruff of the neck with their enthusiasm, vision and positive attitude towards a Scotland that can be richer, safer, better educated and greener.

    I would shudder at your copy should you bear witness to 'The Second Coming'. Probably along the lines of "minor church leader apologises for delay in appearance due to failure of SNP to build AWPR".





  • Comment number 62.

    http://www.tartantommy.blogspot.com/

    Found this very interesting.

  • Comment number 63.

    patchbruce - do you find offending over half the electorate is a positive way of influencing voters?

  • Comment number 64.

    Heard Tavish telling lies again that this election is about independence, not fit to be re-elected as we want honest politicians lets hope the fox gets his lamb tomorrow.

  • Comment number 65.

    GGG,

    I am fed up with your continual assertions backed up without evidence.

    Please explain how a vote for the SNP is a vote for independence since independence requires at least a referendum. The SNP has promised a referendum with the intention of Scotland becoming an independent country. The SNP has not asked to act independently by-passing the public and to talk to the British government without first gaining public backing through a referendum.

    Please make clear how the SNP could underline a seperatist agenda. Once again you assert ridiculous claims without evidence. I am sorry for not buying the... that your selling.

    Yes instead of LIT what do you have? Council tax, which does not recognise individual earnings. You can earn mininum wage but the guy three doors down who earns 40, 50 or heck even 100k annually will pay give or take the same as you.

    Tesco Tax? Well.. you explain why this is a silly idea. The supermarkets earn billions and the tax which would have raised 20 million is really a drop in the ocean.

    Mininum pricing? Well... what do you have instead? That's right.... nothing, four years and the opposition offered no alternative ideas. The SNP stuck with their guns and was the sole party to actually try something daring to help combat Scotland's major, absolute major problem with alcohol.

    Independence? What are you afraid of? That we may actually vote for independence? According to unionists Scots don't care, won't vote for it and the SNP are wasting their time. Then why not settle the matter once and for all?

    I am quite suprised no one else here has actually held you to account for the things that you say.

  • Comment number 66.

    #63.

    I think he's expressing a personal opinion, not trying to influence votes. He's an individual who has the right to his own opinion just as you are.

  • Comment number 67.

    I honestly don't get why there is constant sniping at the BBC on here?

  • Comment number 68.

    Well said Tom, you can see the frustration you feel in your comment.
    Time to sign off but looking forward to casting my vote tomorrow, SNP twice for me, and proud to do so.

  • Comment number 69.

    #64. At 22:06pm 4th May 2011, cheesed_off wrote:

    Heard Tavish telling lies again that this election is about independence, not fit to be re-elected as we want honest politicians lets hope the fox gets his lamb tomorrow.

    and

    #65. At 22:11pm 4th May 2011, Tom wrote:

    GGG,

    I am fed up with your continual assertions backed up without evidence.

    Please explain how a vote for the SNP is a vote for independence since independence requires at least a referendum. The SNP has promised a referendum with the intention of Scotland becoming an independent country. The SNP has not asked to act independently by-passing the public and to talk to the British government without first gaining public backing through a referendum.

    -------------------------------------------

    This makes the "scare the Scots about independence" campaign look well and trying lame!

    Is there ANY Scot anywhere in the entire nation who isn't aware that it would take at the least a referendum and negotiations (probably lengthy ones) with Westminster and very possibly an additional referendum in order to achieve independence? Any?

    I doubt it. So all Tavish Scott and Iain Gray manage to do is make themselves look like bald-faced liars. It may firm up a few votes that were already going their way, but no one believes that a vote for the SNP is actually going to bring about independence OR that a government can only think of one issue at a time.



  • Comment number 70.

    #67. At 22:22pm 4th May 2011, salmondella wrote:

    Well, maybe because 2 blogs a week in the midst of an important political campaign by "BBC Scotland's political editor" is doing a pretty poor job. And go take a look at their online coverage. Very week. STV does a better job and the last I heard Scots PAY for this non-coverage.

  • Comment number 71.

    in the same vein as 66, i am just expressing my opinion.

    We all have them and we all enjoy sharing them on this blog. Just because i disagree with you does not make you right or me wrong.

  • Comment number 72.

    I see Labour is still trying to fool people that the SNP will be permanently distracted from growing the economy. If that's all they have left in their already depleted arsenal then they're on a hiding to nothing.

  • Comment number 73.

    67. At 22:22pm 4th May 2011, salmondella wrote:

    I honestly don't get why there is constant sniping at the BBC on here?

    Takes intelligence.;)

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.

    A man and a women join together in a Union. The company they both work for pays all the money they earn directly into a bank account in London that only the man knows the exact details of and only he has access to the account. Every week £1000 goes into this account, £500 from the man and £500 from the woman. Every week the man gives the woman £200 and tells her she only earned £100 but out of the goodness of his heart he is giving her £200. The woman thanks him very much and appreciates his kindness. After a while she feels bad and suggests some fiscal autonomy. Maybe she should get her wages paid directly into her own account and try and live within her means, if she is short she can come back to him and ask for some help. No said her partner, things are just perfect the way they are.

  • Comment number 76.

    Based on voting share at last Scottish election and number of seats compared to what I reckon this time:

    Big losers - LibDems
    Losers - Tories (likely to see smaller vote share and lower number of seats)
    Losers - Labour (although bizarrely their share of vote might actually increase)
    Winners - Greens
    Winners - SNP

    Big win would be SNP + Greens coalition. Its a disgrace that Brian gets through so many blogs with no mention of the Greens, despite their positive poll showings.

    Those who say vote for SNP is simply a vote for independence are clinging onto a long gone era in Scottish politics.

    Everyone - please vote, whoever you choose (including the AV thing too).

  • Comment number 77.

    #73 cheesed-off

    No, I still don't get it. And I'm pretty sure I'm at least as intelligent as some of those sniping. For example, I am able to correctly spell the Scottish Labour leader's surname. A lot, if not all, of the snipers appear to find difficulty with that ;-)

  • Comment number 78.

    Mr T, What's this, nae blogs for ages, then two open at the same time?

    And what's the pictures all about?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-13267750 plenty time?


    Well, I may not know a great deal about politics compared to many, but I do have high morals & principles. So my two votes will be for the SNP. This election has been quite an eye opener and quite a laugh too thanks to all Gray's gaffs, did you no hear about them?


    BBC Scotland, The Daily Record & the Labour party you're like three peas in a pod.
    Actually now the issue of Scottish independence has been raised I could say the same of Labour, LibDems & the Tories.

    It's been a funny election with the Labour party now becoming the new toxic Tories, what a turn around.

    One of the best laughs I've had during the election was seeing the large "vote Labour" signs which were neatly erected like an army of solders along the roadside at the entrance to a large industrial site being booted down and chucked in the back of a truck by some by travelling people as quick as they went up.

    I wonder if this was happening up & down the country? Iain Gray's not been insulting the travellers has he?

    It was a chilly night!

    On that note I'll say best of luck to Alex Salmond & all the Scottish National candidates.

  • Comment number 79.

    @77 someone with your usernamer is a bit pot and kettle getting upset at puns based on surnames would you not say?

  • Comment number 80.

    #71. At 22:35pm 4th May 2011, ggg wrote:

    in the same vein as 66, i am just expressing my opinion.

    We all have them and we all enjoy sharing them on this blog. Just because i disagree with you does not make you right or me wrong.

    -------------------------------------

    I didn't bring right or wrong into it, just pointed out that if he feels that way, it has nothing to do with convincing anyone else of his opinion. I happen to agree with you that it would be a poor and ineffective way to change opinions, but he has a right to say that if it's how he feels. Now when it comes to issues I think there are many, such as minimum pricing, on which you are dead wrong, but Tom answered you very effectively on that so I won't go into it.

  • Comment number 81.

    gunnergoz @ 25

    how the hell can Jackie Baillie, under any powers of imagination, be invisible ? A total eclipse of the sun would be harder to miss !

  • Comment number 82.

    79. - High Five.

  • Comment number 83.

    #79. R

    Very good point.

  • Comment number 84.

    I assume that BBC will be closing this blog for the election day. On that note, I have writing to do--must earn a living. So I wish all my friends in Scotland a great (and not too rainy) election day.

  • Comment number 85.

    I for one, have had my eyes well and truly opened during this election. I have followed all the blogs, here and elswhere, listened to all the coverage, as much as possible and watched all the debates. There are many issues I would liked to have seen more coverage of and more in depth analysis of many points, however there can be only two votes cast and mine will both be for the SNP. (There are too many reasons to list in all honesty

  • Comment number 86.

    77. At 23:04pm 4th May 2011, salmondella

    Can you explain why the BBC is the only site which will not allow links to a specific site whereas all other media sites allow it.

  • Comment number 87.

    Maybe they don't believe in freedom of speech, unusual for a media organisation.

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    #77 - " For example, I am able to correctly spell the Scottish Labour leader's surname. A lot, if not all, of the snipers appear to find difficulty with that ;-)"

    Isn't that simply because it would be difficult to get the grayman's proper name through moderation? ;-)

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    Did somebody forget the OFF switch ? The polls are open, you know !

  • Comment number 93.

    #92 Chiefy1724 ...mods are tetchy the day, everybody better watch what they post as my 2 removed posts prove :o)}

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 96.

    @42 i was surprised that none of the experts!,wanted to go for the % turnout figure, i am of the opinion that this election, turnout will be around the 40%mark,indeed 90 odd comments is hardly a ringing endorsment in the interest of this election , but the activists may have been out the job!,in fact ,i have been surprised at the low number of comments on all of brians blogs on this subject which brings me to my point ,is it not time for some sort of mandatory voting in elections ,how this is acheived i dont know,the majority in our work room this morning have no intention of voting for a variety of reasons so i will echo the comments of some previous folks please use your vote(s).

 

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