Monday, April 10, 2017

Local Election Misinformation

I'm getting to the point where I almost despair of our chances of clearing up the misunderstandings about how the STV voting system works in time for polling day on 4th May, because people are so wedded to what intuitively (but wrongly) seems 'obvious'.  This morning, I posted a link on Facebook to my blogpost about how I planned to rank the eight candidates in my own ward, and within no time at all several indignant comments had been posted telling me that I was wrong to use my lower preferences on the unionist candidates.  Apparently if we all just leave the unionist boxes blank, we'll help to "drive the unionist parties out of our councils" and prevent unionist councillors getting in "via the back door".

Now, listen.  There is no requirement to rank all or most of the candidates, and in some circumstances (if you're lucky) you may not cause much harm if you decide not to do so.  But if you think you are doing any actual good by leaving several boxes blank, you're deluding yourself.  A pro-indy vote is not somehow more "emphatic" if you don't rank the unionists.

As long as you make sure that you rank every single pro-indy and non-unionist candidate ahead of every single unionist candidate, your preferences for the unionist parties will only be taken into account in one very specific circumstance - namely when only unionist candidates are left in contention for a particular seat.  If a seat has to be filled, and only unionist candidates are in the running for it, how do you think you're going to stop a unionist from being elected by effectively abstaining?  You can't - it's physically impossible.  But what you can do is influence the outcome, and and help prevent the most objectionable unionist candidate from winning.  It's possible you genuinely may not have any view at all on which unionist party is the most objectionable, and that's fine - but I do have a view, and deep down I think most of us do.  If it's a straight choice between a Lib Dem councillor and a Labour councillor, I would prefer Lib Dem.  If it's a straight choice between a Labour councillor and a Tory councillor, I would - just about - prefer Labour.

*  *  *

There's also an anonymous commenter on this blog who has been putting out false information about how votes are transferred when candidates are eliminated - he or she is saying that if you rank the Greens first and the SNP second, only a portion of your second preference vote will transfer to the SNP if the Green candidate is eliminated.  That's simply untrue - your whole vote will transfer.  I don't think this is malicious misinformation - the commenter seems to be getting the procedure for eliminated candidates mixed up with what happens to 'surplus votes' from candidates who reach the quota early on and are declared elected.

204 comments:

  1. You're wrong. Plain and simple. The way the stats of STV tumble - you give greatest advantage to those you have chosen by not ranking those who you don't want.

    As the votes are redistributed - both from lower candidates being eliminated and the propotional redistribution of the excess votes from candidates who have reached the quota - "leapfrogging" can and does occur.

    It may be one of your choices that happens to.

    You minimise the chance of your prefered choices not suffering that fate that by NOT ranking anybody else.

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    1. "you give greatest advantage to those you have chosen by not ranking those who you don't want"

      No. No, no, no. That is absolutely, totally untrue. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but it really bothers me to see people being misled like this. Your second preference WILL NOT EVEN BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT until your first preference has been either elected or eliminated. The 'accidental leapfrogging' you're talking about is LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE, Norman.

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    2. James is right. I've stood as a council candidate in the last and I've watched the system work at the count. I've been to tutorials and seen PowerPoints about it. Norman, what you describe DOES NOT HAPPEN.

      Smart STV voters know to keep their vote in play as long as possible to gain maximum influence, and so they vote all the way down the paper.

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    3. Sorry you don't get a free lunch. I'll explain:

      CASE1
      1: SNP
      2: SNP
      3: Green

      CASE2:
      1: SNP
      2: SNP
      3: Green
      4: LibDem
      5: Labour
      6: Tory

      The sum of all possible outcomes by definition always adds up to 100%.

      CASE1
      Probability your vote helps a Unionist = 0%
      Probability your vote goes exclusively to Indy = 100%

      CASE2
      Probability your vote helps a Unionist = something %.
      Probability your vote goes exclusively to Indy = (100 - something) %

      Soz, but if you dispute this then you are disputing basic maths here.

      The two different cases cannot produce the same outcome.

      You want to hedge your bets and have a say in the Unionist candidates if your Indy candidates don't get elected.

      The price to be paid for that bet is that you reduce the probability of success for your Indy candidates.

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    4. Oh God how can someone have got hold of the wrong end of the stick quite so firmly? It's a death-grip, I tell you.

      Let's assume all the pro-independence candidates are elected. Almost inevitably (in fact, unless there's only one and he gets the last seat allocated), pro-indy voters' votes will then transfer as fractions of a vote further down the line.

      This is the point where these votes can influence WHICH unionist gets the last seat. In many cases this is really important, both as regards having a somewhat less toxic councillor than a Tory, and in depriving the Tories of a councillor that might allow them to take control of the council.

      You CANNOT POSSIBLY dilute your pro-independence candidates' votes by doing this. There is no downside at all. And the upside is that you may prevent a Tory getting a seat.

      When you're wrong, using phrases like "you don't get a free lunch" isn't a good look. Just saying.

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    5. Norman, I am trying very hard to stay patient here, but you are posing as someone who understands STV when you quite clearly don't. You are misleading people about how the system works, and it isn't on.

      In your case 1, the probability your vote helps unionism is 0%.

      In your case 2, the probability your vote helps unionism is also 0%.

      If you dispute that, it is YOU who are disputing basic maths. "Soz", and all that.

      USING LOWER PREFERENCES IN STV IS RISK-FREE. Full stop, end of story.

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    6. I think the problem is that Norman understands this so poorly that he's "not even wrong". He's got hold of an entirely unhelpful way of looking at it and can't see that this is leading to a completely wrong conclusion.

      Unless people work through the transfers to understand when a vote or a fraction of a vote will transfer and when it won't, they'll never figure it out.

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    7. Norman - please believe us!

      My ward has 4 seats; 1 !!! :-( SNP candidate & 1 Green (unlikely to get in). If SNP & Green voters dont rank ALL others ( [True] Independents; LibDem; Lab ) then Tories likely to win seat(s) and could take minority control of Perth Kinross council (as currently forecast ! )

      #RankToriesLast

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    8. Rolfe, you wouldn't happen to have those powerpoints would you or a similiar information source? I'm not sure if I'm borderline dyslexic but textual explanations eventually cloud out any clear thinking or comprehension for me. I think i need to Google STV myself but any references would be helpful. Thanks

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    9. Sorry, it was something Christine Grahame's brother brought to a branch meeting to explain it to us. It was good in that he clarified a lot I hadn't appreciated, but he still didn't put forward the point about the benefits of voting all down the ballot paper. I had to figure that out later.

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    10. Simple example James - my own ward. The Tory Boy will get elected on 1st preference votes. So Indy supporters ranking Labour and LibDem on their ballot papers has helped how exactly?

      All you do is create a risk that your vote could now be transferred to a Unionist candidate as the further STV rounds unwind.

      And "but you are posing as someone who understands STV when you quite clearly don't.." - quit the willy waving James - you were somebody I respected a lot - not now.

      Anybody who comes out with crap like that is clearly somebody who knows they've got it wrong - but whose ego is now in the way.

      If you want to discuss this further - take it up with me on Facebook - and I will be more than happy to test your knowledge to exhaustion.

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    11. Norman, you haven't listened to a word that I, or Rolfe, or several other people on this thread have said. You don't understand the system, we've taken a great deal of time to correct your misconceptions, and you're simply sticking your fingers in your ears and insisting you were right, without even making the slightest effort to rebut any of the points that we've made (a telling sign that you know, deep down, that you can't). It seems to me you're also now becoming borderline-abusive.

      This is not like the dispute last year over how the AMS system worked, where the differing viewpoints were subjective to some extent. You are simply objectively wrong. Lower preferences in STV cannot dilute or harm your higher preferences UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATEVER. That is an indisputable fact. By pretending that the opposite is true, you are misleading people in a very, very serious way. Please stop. Thank you.

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    12. James, Paul Kavanagh has put together a blinder of an STV guide for dummies. Maybe it will help with Norman https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/vote-until-you-boak/

      Hope it helps.

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    13. I don't think anything will help with Norman - he doesn't want to understand, and there's no cure for that.

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    14. Simple example James - my own ward. The Tory Boy will get elected on 1st preference votes. So Indy supporters ranking Labour and LibDem on their ballot papers has helped how exactly?

      By making it more likely that the LD (if you put him/her first) will get elected instead of the Labour candidate.

      Btw, Norman, I see you haven't posted since last night. If you've realised you made a mistake, it'd be good to acknowledge that so that folk reading this thread are in no doubt that ranking all candidates is risk-free.

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    15. RE: Norman Ross

      "The sum of all possible outcomes by definition always adds up to 100%.

      Soz, but if you dispute this then you are disputing basic maths here."


      Allow me to dispute your grasp of basic probability theory! Statistics isn't maths, by the way - you can't sum probabilities like they're quantities of apples from high school algebra :)

      The situation you describe in your Case One does not sum to 100% - you can't add probabilities up in this way. Each total probability is proportional to the WHOLE SUBSET of possible ordered outcomes, and you've only listed three ordered potential outcomes in case one. It's the same type of logical error as saying that because you're the only person who's bought a lottery ticket, the probability of you winning the lottery is 100%.

      Case one effectively should be (using the standard notation P(X) to denote the Probability of Event X occurring)...

      CASE ONE:
      Probability your vote helps a Unionist = 100% - Sum of{P(outcome 4),P(outcome 5),P(outcome 6)}
      Probability your vote goes exclusively to Indy = Sum of{P(outcome 1),P(outcome 2),P(outcome3)}

      Neither of these are 0% probabilities, because the P(outcome x) is not zero. And the same rule applies for Case Two:

      CASE TWO:
      Probability your vote helps a Unionist = 100% - Sum of{P(outcome 4),P(outcome 5),P(outcome 6)}
      Probability your vote goes exclusively to Indy = Sum of{P(outcome 1),P(outcome 2),P(outcome3)}

      Both of these Cases have the same probabilities for the two scenarios as you described them!!

      The CRUCIAL difference is that in Case Two, you're providing more support for the slightly gentler Unionists and none at all for the stinking Tories. The danger of Case One, is that you're weakening your vote and increasing the probability that others will bid up the Tories. Ranking the Tories last is AN ACTIVE VOTE for them coming in last, whereas not voting for them at all can become a vote for them coming in right underneath the candidates you did list, because you're giving all candidates that you didn't rank. What the actual important difference between your two cases therefore is this:

      CASE ONE:
      Probability the Toryscum gets elected = 100% - Sum of{P(outcome 1) P(outcome 2), P(outcome 3)}

      CASE TWO:
      Probability the Toryscum gets elected = 100% - Sum of{P(outcome 1), P(outcome 2), P(outcome 3), P(outcome 4), P(outcome 5)}

      I hope you can see that in Case Two, the Sum of the probabilities of outcomes 1 - 5 is greater than the sum of the probabilities of oucomes 1 - 3 (you can see this is obviously true, as P(outcomes 1 - 3) is a subset of P(outcomes 1 -5) and since probabilities are never negative therefore P(outcomes1 - 5 ) >= P(outcomes 1 - 3) ALWAYS AND FOREVER.

      This means that in Case Two, the probability of electing the Tory scumbag is smaller than in Case One. And the same rule applies for whatever party is your most hated party - don't only use half your vote like in Case One!! :)



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  2. My problem (and I think that of many people) has been forgetting that your vote can still influence the outcome even after your favoured candidate has been elected. In 2007 and 2012 I just voted for the SNP and then for a couple of no-hope independents, because I physically didn't want to rank a Tory or Labour or LibDem candidate, and I sort of incoherently thought I didn't care which of them got in anyway if the SNP candidate didn't.

    I was wrong two ways. In our ward, of course I really would rather a LibDem got in than a Tory, when I actually put my mind to the question. And I was totally forgetting that even if the SNP candidate got a seat, there was the possibility of a fraction of my vote transferring and continuing to influence the eventual result.

    In fact it didn't matter in 2007 or 2012 because the SNP candidate was the last to be elected so none of his votes transferred at all. But it is important this time because the new SNP candidate is likely to get one of the first two seats, and so transfers are likely to arise. And it REALLY matters because the third seat is likely to be a straight fight between the LibDem and the second Tory candidate, and thinking about the balance of power in the council it's a no-brainer that it's better for the SNP if the LibDem gets in.

    But can I get this through to the SNP office-bearers or activists? I wrote a paper on it and it was discussed at a meeting and they agreed I was right but "we can't really go round saying that so it just has to be 'vote SNP only' on the doorsteps."

    People who have been properly educated in this system, or who have seen enough of it up close and personal to have worked it out (like the voters in Northern Ireland) know the important thing with STV is to keep your vote in play as long as possible. Stop ranking after a couple of candidates and you effectively abstain.

    It was Irish nationalists voting right down the paper and voting other unionist parties above the DUP that deprived the DUP of its veto majority. They were literally told to hold their noses ("vote till you boak") and rank all the other unionists no matter what. And it worked.

    We could deprive the Tories of a significant number of councillors if all independence supporters voted right down the paper and made sure the Tories were last. This could well affect the overall balance of power in several councils in the SNP's favour. As well as putting Theresa May's little scheme for this to be an anti-referendum election into a tail-spin.

    But nobody will acknowledge this. No SNP activist is being instructed in how it really works, or to point out to voters that as well as voting SNP-1 (and 2 and 3 where appropriate) they need to go right down the paper and put the Tories last if they want to minimise the number of Tory seats.

    It seems as if even SNP elected representatives - MPs and MSPs - don't get it and are just banging the drum for "don't vote for anyone but the SNP". It's absolutely insane.

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    1. When I stood for the council it was a by-election and I knew I wasn't going to get the seat. STV by-elections are an unfair and unjust horror, but not this time because it wasn't the SNP councillor who had resigned. (THe Tory had resigned and another Tory got in.)

      Anyway, knowing I wouldn't be elected, I said to the branch convenor, can you tell me whether our councillors would prefer the Tory or the LibDem to get in at this by-election? Because I have a preferential vote and I'd like to put my second preference for the candidate our councillors would prefer to have as a councillor. (It wasn't actually clear-cut because there was something to be said for not upsetting the existing balance of the council and not having a stronger LibDem group in the coalition administration.)

      I was told, literally, you're SNP, you don't ever vote for anyone else. Vote for yourself then stop. So I shrugged and did that. In the end it was transfers from me to the Tory that got him elected. Most of my votes transferred to the LibDem, but the Tory was so close to quota that he only needed a few and he got them.

      My vote could have been in there helping the LibDem (though in reality one vote wouldn't have altered the outcome), but it wasn't. I had been instructed to abstain at the point where it really mattered in that election, the choice between LibDem and Tory.

      And we're doing it all again. The same person who said "just vote for yourself" is the one who read my paper and then said "but we can't say that, it has to be 'only vote SNP then stop' on the doorsteps."

      I blame the SNP for leaving its officebearers and its activists in the dark on this. It's an abrogation of responsibility.

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    2. What I take from that is if no one that voted SNP had put down tory they wouldnt have won and this and prev article are actually saying to list them as it wont affect the vote?

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    3. @Anonymous. No No No No No. the advice is to list everyone except the Tories (or you can list them last - which is effectively the same thing). But if you don't list e.g. the Lib Dems and Labour ahead of the Tories by leaving them blank you open up the chance for Tories to win council seats ahead of someone e.g. a Lib Dem who would be much easier to work with for the SNP...

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    4. The Scottish local council STV voting system is known as the "weighted inclusive Gregory method", which is not the best such system, but its pretty darn good if understood correctly and used properly.

      The real problem with this method is its about as hard to understand well as quantum physics. Like with physics though, if you can't wade through the equations or numbers, it often helps to visualise the process in some way.

      So lets all imagine that instead of a ballot paper the election is held live in front of a large audience. Each voter gets given a voter paddle when they go in. Everyone has a good idea beforehand of their personal likes and preferences, and the candidates are all lined up on the stage like a game show. A compere comes on and explains the rules of the contest. You have one vote, but unlike a Westminster election, if your favourite gets knocked out, you're allowed to stay and transfer your full vote to your next choice.

      There is one difference though. Remember we're choosing not one candidate, but three or four out of the field. If your favourite wins outright a place in the first round, you still keep your vote, only under the rules it gets much smaller, your voter paddle shrinks. If your favourite only just wins then the "weight" of your vote going forward will be tiny. But if your favourite wins the round by a landslide, you get to carry a sizable fraction of your voting power forward to the next round. Your continuing voting power is weighted to make it fairer for the remaining contestants, as your vote has already helped your party to win.

      The contest then goes to a number of rounds. In each round the person in last place is told to leave the stage. There is then a re-vote, and everyone who supported that person is allowed to transfer their full vote to their next choice. It goes on in this way for a number of rounds like the apprentice with a "firing" each time, but instead of just candidates being fired for being last, there is this thing set up at the start called the "quota". The quota is simply the total number of people in the hall divided by the number of places available. If there are four places and at any time you hold at least a quarter of the total votes then you cannot be beaten into fifth place, hence you get elected. You leave the process and all the people who pushed you over the line in that round get their voting paddles chopped down in size.

      Note that voters almost never lose all influence in the outcome until the bitter end is reached. The only time your vote would be completely used up would be when your first choice in a round only just equals the quota figure. There would then be no surplus votes to go forward to the next round, and you'd be holding up a voting paddle that had no area left to be seen by the judges.

      Now the thing is, this would be a lot more exciting than voting anonomously in a private booth. It would have all the pzazz and adrenalin of Eurovision (sorry James!), and you'd be on tenterhooks until the very last round. The question you have to ask yourself is this: Would I stop when my SNP/Indy people are all either elected or eliminated, just walk out the hall, or would I carry on enjoying the experience of tipping my voting weight behind whomsoever I deemed the least-worst candidates in each remaining round? If all my indy choices were a bust I'd still have my full weight paddle, and in that case, I might consider the tory leaflets declaring this May's election to be about "No to Indyref 2", I would surely want to stay around to make sure if possible to admonish this Ruth Davidson pledge with maximum prejudice.

      That really is what STV is about. Vote till you boak is one way of putting it, but really, its about sticking around till the bitter end to grasp whatever electoral consolation prizes remain. And the number rankings you enter against candidates on the ballot are a mathematically perfect proxy for being present at a live contest with rounds of elimination.

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    5. That's a really good analogy.

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    6. Very good description but just one wee mistake, I think. The quota is the total number of votes divided by the number of seats plus one. For a four member ward that's 20 % of the votes.

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  3. Are all the votes counted at the end to give a total percentage for each party? I would hate my vote to be counted in any total for a unionist party.

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    1. The convention is that only first preferences are counted as the 'popular vote'. There's no other practical way of calculating it, anyway.

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    2. James is right. Only your first choice will be counted when it comes to declaring what percentage of the vote each party got.

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    3. The way the system works effectively gives you a shot at influencing which unionist candidate gets the last seat if it comes down to that. There is no possible downside to doing that. Why wouldn't you vote the Tory right down to the bottom? In what universe, given the situation where that seat must go either Tory or LibDem, would you say "I don't care"?

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  4. The seems like something that kids should be taught in School, rather than have them come out blinded into the light of a non FPTP system.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. But there are also a lot of people who left school way before this system was in use. I don't believe any real effort has been put into explaining why you should vote all the way down the paper. It's not AV and a lot of people think it is.

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  5. Presumably leaving your least preference party off altogether would make no difference? ie.

    1 SNP
    2 Green
    3 Lab
    4 Tory

    is the same as

    1 SNP
    2 Green
    3 Lab

    ?

    (For those of us who can't even face giving our 37th pref to a Tory ;-) )

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    1. Yes, the very last preference makes no difference - that can be left blank and it'll have no practical effect.

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    2. If you think about it a different way, you might want to make that ranking nevertheless. In fact, the higher the number the bigger the insult to the candidate you allocate it to. I fancy insulting the Tory candidates good and proper.

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    3. Hehe, it's a pity that if we insult them at an appropriate level it would probably be considered a spoiled ballot. ;-)

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    4. Not necessarily. It's harder to spoil your ballot than the publicity suggests. So long as the voter's intention is clear, and within the rules of the election (for example you can't put two candidates equal and I don't think you can miss out a number) or identify yourself on the ballot paper, the vote will be counted.

      I'm not recommending it, mind.

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  7. This is very clear.
    My conclusion is to NOT RANK AT ALL people I don't want to represent me. Also, to vote #1 for preferred outsiders (but that's a gamble)...

    http://www.moray.gov.uk/moray_standard/page_68268.html

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    1. Voting #1 for a preferred outsider isn't a gamble at all. If that candidate fails to make quota then the whole of your vote transfers to your next choice. No risk.

      Your conclusion sounds good but it's wrong. The STV system gives you a chance of two bites at the cherry. Your first bite hopefully elects the person you want to represent you. But even after it's done that, a fraction of that vote can then influence WHICH unionist gets elected rather than another unionist. You're proposing to throw away your second bite.

      If you seriously don't think the Tories have to be hammered as hard as we can hammer them, I respectfully suggest you re-evaluate your priorities. Vote Tories last. A high-numbered rank isn't a compliment or an endorsement you know.

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    2. Oh, I see. Someone explained the "vote #1 for a no-hoper" trick on the other thread. It's an obscure wrinkle and it doesn't work in the Scottish system anyway.

      Only vote #1 for a no-hoper if they're your true preference. Greens, I'm talking to you.

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  8. James, I know it's a real pain to keep repeating to the hard of understanding about STV and the importance of putting yoons at the bottom of your list, but please keep plugging this until the council elections. Every vote counts, after all, and every penny that finally drops will help. :)

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    1. It's not even every vote, it's every fraction of a vote. A lot of the transfers that come into play in this scenario will be fractional transfers from SNP candidates who're elected in the earlier rounds. So we really need lots and lots of people chipping in their fractions to have a real effect.

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    2. It's also not about putting unionists at the bottom. It's about putting TORIES at the bottom. That means putting LibDem and Labour candidates slightly above bottom. Grit your teeth and do it.

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    3. Vote til you boak, never a truer word!

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    4. Vote til you boak, never a truer word!

      We need to schedule a coffee around June to discuss the results, I think!

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  9. "But if you think you are doing any actual good by leaving several boxes blank, you're deluding yourself."

    In your opinion!

    When one sees all the unionist parties as equally loathsome, then one can leave all the unionist parties blank, and sleep at night.

    If you really think they sing from different song sheets consider this:

    UKIP - Loathsome, will say anything to get elected

    Conservative - Loathsome, will say almost anything to get elected

    Labour - Loathsome, will say what they think will get them elected, but will defer to the union or abstain when it comes to the crunch.

    Lib Dem - Loathsome, will say anything inoffensive to get elected, and will jump into coalition with anyone, but will defer to the union at all times.

    Leave em blank, and let others take the credit for unionist politicans being elected. Their fault.

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    1. UKIP ain't going to be elected anyway, so they're irrelevant. Labour and the LibDems are dying on their feet. A few more councillors isn't going to change that. Also, at council level, they're less toxic than the Tories and more of them rather than Tories will help the SNP form coalition administrations, in contrast to more Tories helping the Tories form administrations (with or without coalitions.)

      Your choice, but you're passing up your chance to help influence whether the SNP is actually able to form governing administrations in some councils.

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    2. AnonymousApril 10, 2017 at 6:17 PM - you are absolutely, fundamentally wrong. The people in NI who want a united Ireland understand the system better than you do, have as much distaste (or more) for unionists as you do, but - as has been pointed out above - used their preferences wisely to ensure that the DUP got the lowest possible number of preferences. If you think that you have a greater dislike of unionists than Sinn Fein voters, then you don't know what you are talking about!
      Alex Birnie

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    3. Well said Alex. I read tweets from people who'd had to work on their parents for weeks to persuade them to go any further down the rankings than SDLP. But they managed to persuade enough people to do it to make the difference.

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    4. UKIP - Loathsome, will say anything to get elected

      Conservative - Loathsome, will say almost anything to get elected


      So according to you, UKIP will say anything to get elected, while there are some things the Tories won't say, and they are exactly equivalent? Doesn't make a lot of sense.

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  10. This article by Craig Dalzell of Common Weal is a good read on how the process (and maths) of STV works:

    https://thecommongreen.scot/2017/04/07/how-scotland-votes-a-guide-to-the-scottish-council-elections/

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    1. It's a helpful basic guide but it doesn't explain what this blog post is about. Indeed, it actually misrepresents the "vote till you boak" hashtag. It says, when you reach the point where you would prefer none of these people to be elected, stop.

      This is incorrect. It fails to take into account that even though you might prefer none of these people got a seat, the count may fall such that one of them WILL get a seat. If the last seat is between two people you dislike, you can't stop one of them getting the seat.

      What you can do is influence which of the two gets the seat. James is trying to point out that no matter how much you dislike the other unionist parties, the Tories are the ones we need to vote down at this stage.

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  11. Its a real learning curve on here but no wonder the lay man on the street just gives up with this shitty system. Its murder. My wife is as smart as anyone I know if I tried to explain this she would look at me as if I was bonkers. I'll be making sure I list Tories last, especially where I live its Tory central( I know how do you think I feel ) but I totally understand that the thought of ticking that box goes against every fibre of my being. Thanks to yourself James and the contributers on the comments for opening this up so we can feel more understanding of how it all works without it I'd be flapping in the wind.

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    1. Don't think about it as a tick. Think about high numbers as beng an insult and go gleefully down the paper giving the ones you hate most the biggest insults.

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    2. Thank you very much for this I was one who voted SNP only then stopped now I will ensure the Tory is last on my list.

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    3. Thank you very much for this I was one who voted SNP only then stopped now I will ensure the Tory is last on my list.

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    4. I did that before I really thought it through. The system is easy enough to operate, but it really needs to be explained why it's important to keep your vote in play as long as possible. That just isn't intuitive.

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  12. Strange how you nat sis are not interested in a decent local candidate who works for the punters. Any thick Nat sis will do for you lot of fascists going by your comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
  13. My first four votes are easy, 2 SNP candidates (existing councillors) followed by 2 independents, both of whom voted Yes at the last indyref. Now it gets difficult. I am going to have to grit my teeth, hold my nose, and not put wee Alex Gallagher last. Even though he is possibly the most obnoxious person I have ever met, at least he is not a Tory.

    Fairliered

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I share your pain as Tom is more sane than Alex but the Tories have made this a mini referendum so to the bottom they go. I will be holding my nose voting for the Muppet Gallagher second last though.

      Delete
    2. If you're familiar with voting patterns in your ward you may be able to figure out which rankings are actually important and which aren't. For example, here I know that only two things really matter. One is putting the SNP candidate at no 1, and the other is ranking the LibDem above both Tories.

      None of the other candidates has a hope of getting a seat, so it doesn't really matter what I do with them. I'll put the Green second and I'll probably put any independents above LibDem and Labour (in that order), but these choices are really academic.

      Delete
  14. Do we use the surplus voting system? It would be great if you could explain it if we do

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. If a candidate is elected over quota, surplus votes are transferred pro rata as fractions of a vote so that nobody's vote (or a part of it) is wasted even if the candidate got way more votes than he actually needed.

      The only way to waste your vote is to give up before you've ranked all the candidates (or all but one, whatever).

      Delete
    2. Rolfe we do not use the surplus system, only candidates that are eliminated have their vote transferred.

      ------------------------------------------------
      copy paste of post from prior article

      This is nonsense, here is a link to how it works: http://www.moray.gov.uk/moray_standard/page_68268.html

      Now lets say there are 3 candidates running for 1 seat.
      Candidates A, B and C.

      The quota for this example will be total valid votes cast / (number of seats available +1) then add one to that result, as in the example I linked.

      Now lets say as in the total number of votes cast is 8000 the quota would be 8000/(1+1) = 4000, then add the 1 = 4001.

      Now if Candidate A & B get 3500 Votes each and candidate C gets 1000. No candidate is over the quota so the 1st round is finished with candidate C being eliminated.

      In the 2nd round the 2nd preference of Candidate C's voters is looked at lets say 200 were for A and 800 were for B.
      These votes are 'Transfered' to each candidate depending on who was the 2nd preference.

      Candidate A gets 3500 1st pref from 1st round and 200 from 2nd round, B gets 3500 1st pref from 1st round and 800 from 2nd round.

      So after 2nd round A has 3700 and B has 4200, B wins.

      In fact this shows that there are only cons to listing all preferences and no pros.

      Delete
    3. You are absolutely wrong about this. You seem to have misunderstood the system quite badly I'm afraid.

      If your preferred candidate is eliminated then your entire vote transfers to your next preference. Your entire vote. All of it. Not just a bit of it. Your vote doesn't lose value.

      If your preferred candidate is elected with more votes than needed to make quota, then the surplus fraction of your vote that wasn't needed to make the quota is transferred to your next choice. This may be the source of your confusion.

      In this way there is no possible down-side to using all your preferences, and considerable advantage because it can let you keep out the Tory from the last seat.

      Delete
    4. The surplus transfer is where the danger lies if your aim is to keep Conservatives out. Assuming it's down to only Lab, LD and Con then the order you pick is important if there's more than one seat up for grabs. If the one you pick manages to clear the quota then any surplus goes in a ratio determined by all the votes they've got. Statistically LD voters give a slight edge to a next preference for Cons. Lab are far more set on LibDs.

      So your best option for keeping out a Conservative after SNP, Green , trusted pro - indy and neutral is Labour.


      Unlike Northern Ireland we're being asked to choose between two "unionist" parties to eliminate a third.

      However the fact is that only around 7% of nationalist/unionist voters give any preference to candidates outwith their faction. The average number of preferences is 3 and rarely are 5 or more given.

      Obviously some people reach bokeing point sooner than others.

      Delete
  15. I believe the catchphrase in Northern Ireland was "vote 'til you boke."

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thats not true, if a candidate is elected their votes do not transfer there is no surplus vote sharing only candidates that are eliminated at each round.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oops meant to be a reply to Rolfe regarding his assertion that we use the surplus voting system

      Delete
    2. If a candidate is elected and they have votes over the quota then the surplus fractions of these votes transfer to the voter's next preference. That's how it works. I've been at a count (my own) and seen it done. I've sat through PowerPoint presentations on it.

      Delete
    3. I dont believe you, and I doubt you have ever stood for any election council or otherwise.
      Please provide a link to a credible source that says this.

      Delete
    4. You are correct about the surplus I admit that I was wrong.
      However I am certain that listing any candidate you dont want to win will increase their chances of winning, especially as I was wrong about the surplus

      Delete
    5. I stood for the SNP in the Tweeddale West by-election in October 2013.

      I'm getting confused by these "Anonymous" comments. I don't know if the two above are by the same person or not. Still, here goes.

      You vote for your candidates in order of preference. Your vote, the whole of it, stays on your first preference until that candidate is either elected or eliminated.

      If your first preference is eliminated then your vote, the whole of it, is transferred to your next preference. That goes right on until you run out of preferences. So voting a losing candidate as #1 is not a wasted vote as your vote should eventually land on someone who is going to be elected and it doesn't lose any power because it has been transferred.

      If your favoured candidate wins a seat, your vote is not necessarily all spent. If your favourite candidate gets 10% more votes than was needed to make the quota to be elected, then a proportion (I think it's 10% but don't quote me on that) is then transferred to your next choice. This is to make it fairer so that votes aren't "wasted" by being piled up for a candidate who doesn't need them.

      Your vote, or fraction of a vote which is still in play, will never move off your higher-ranked candidates until they have been elected or eliminated. The only possible influence a ranking for a unionist party can have comes at the stage where all pro-indy candidates are out of the race, having already been elected or knocked out. At this stage your tenth-of-a-vote or whatever can influence whether the Tory or the LibDem gets the last seat. That's why you're being urged to do this.

      You're only increasing a LibDem's chance of beating a Tory. You're not giving them any help at all to beat a pro-independence candidate. Think about it.

      Delete
    6. If I am being asked to prove that I stood as a candidate in a council election, James can confirm that I am the SNP candidate named on this page.

      https://www.scotborders.gov.uk/info/20071/election_results/570/local_government_by-election_results/2

      Delete
    7. There are a number of good explanations of this rather complex system available online. Worryingly, one of the Anonymous commenters on these threads has misunderstood one of them and keeps posting the same extract while declaring that it proves something it most certainly doesn't prove.

      Smart operators know that the way to "game" an STV system is to keep your vote in play as long as possible. The DUP were defeated in Stormont a few weeks ago by a campaign to get nationalist voters to do exactly this - vote up other unionist candidates above the DUP (although below the nationalist candidates of course). It worked. There shouldn't be any argument about it.

      But we're plagued by people who think they understand the system but actually don't madly spamming away with their misleading assertions.

      Delete
    8. There are a number of good explanations of this rather complex system available online.

      Thing is, it's only complex for the vote counters. For the voters, it absolutely could not be more simple: rank your candidates in order of preference, and you can't go wrong. No other voting system makes it this easy. I think people get confused because we have so many different systems, and all the rest have tactical considerations to take into account.

      Delete
  17. In reality, the 2 SNP candidates and the Tory are almost certain to be elected. The remaining seat is currently held by Labour (Gallagher), but one of the independents (who only just missed out last time) will hopefully take his place.
    I was surprised when I saw the list of candidates that the tories had not put up a second candidate.

    Fairliered

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is a helpful blog post. Even I now understand the ins and outs.

    Its not about electing unionists, its about what unionists get elected.

    Having some say in that is more useful than not having any say at all. And since those votes won't go to any Tory-esque headlines about Ruthy being the saviour of Tories in Scotland...

    It seems clear to me at least.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm voting green 1st ,if snp supporters want call me a fool idiot ,that's their problem

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you know the Green candidate?

      Delete
    2. Why would anyone call you a fool idiot for doing that? You support the Green Party, you put their candidate as #1. Of course you do. Why would you do anything else?

      Delete
    3. So say we all.

      Delete
  20. Just wondering what your preferences would be when theres UKIP & tories standing? We have 3 SNP, 1 green, 1 TUC, 1 Lib Deb, 2 labour, 1 UKIP & 1 Tory standing locally. its the end of the ballot that gets tricky for me. I dont know which is the lesser of two evils at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I my view it doesn't matter. UKIP have never won a council seat in Scotland and I don't think they're about to start now. I think any UKIP candidates will be eliminated before any independence-supporter's vote gets transferred beyond the pro-indy candidates.

      You really only have to agonise over how you rank people who stand a realistic chance of getting a seat. The others are a bit academic.

      Delete
    2. I tend to agree with Rolfe that it's likely academic but from a moral point of view I'd always put UKIP below Tory (and likes of BNP etc below both of them). If you put Tories last and UKIP ahead of them then you are essentially saying in a straight run off between the two you would prefer UKIP. That's not the case for me. Tories might be bad but at least they are generally sane. Kippers are generally disruptive clowns who would go into co-alition with the Tories anyway but have leverage to make them even worse...

      The analogy below makes a lot of sense for me. "My usual vote is to start at both ends, at the top with the ones I really like, and at the bottom with the ones I really hate. Then I can meet in the middle with the ones I'm less bothered about"

      Delete
    3. I would agree with that. The converse view might be that we want the Tory group to be as small as possible so even a UKIP councillor might be preferable, but I don't think that stacks up anyway. Mainly, the UKIP candidate isn't going to be elected anyway so it doesn't matter where you rank him, but in terms of big numbers being an insult he rates an even bigger insult than the Tory.

      Delete
    4. thanks for the replied. I think its a moral case for me. Although at the moment the tories do seem worse than UKIP. Maybe Ill just wait and see how I feel when i vote as its probably doesnt make much difference when its that low down the voting scale.

      Delete
    5. As UKIP aren't going to get a seat then it doesn't matter where you rank them in practice. However your low rankings of candidates who are actually in with a chance can matter a great deal.

      Delete
  21. The system used in Scotland is slightly different from Northern Ireland, but this only matters if your first preference goes to a candidate who is eventually eliminated, and at the point they are eliminated, your second preference has already been elected.

    It's a fix applied in Scotland to a very rare fiddle in Ireland, and you can safely ignore it when you vote.

    If you hear someone going on about Gregory or "Weighted Inclusive Gregory" being a different system to Irish STV, then they are technically right - but it's an obscure technicality and you don't need to care.

    Stick to the proposal above the line: vote until all the remaining candidates make you equally inclined to puke ("vote till you boak").

    My usual vote is to start at both ends, at the top with the ones I really like, and at the bottom with the ones I really hate. Then I can meet in the middle with the ones I'm less bothered about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent, Richard. I now have a method fixed in my mind.

      Delete
  22. My usual vote is to start at both ends, at the top with the ones I really like, and at the bottom with the ones I really hate. Then I can meet in the middle with the ones I'm less bothered about.

    That is an extremely good way of thinking about it. I'm going to pass that on.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Just found out what STV really means after all these years (sort of). Now Im more worried about Electronic Counting!! How can I vote without my ID or proof of address, hopefully the bar code on the back of the ballot paper will sort it out (not!!). Just asked Local
    authority how they monitor this stuff and its all tosh BTW my Indy Ref Ballot paper was blank on the back, e counts LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, the indyref ballot papers weren't blank. A lot of people thought they were after the event but not one single blank-backed paper was photographed, or reported to the polling clerks at the time.

      Electronic counting is necessary for STV because of the fractional transfers. We'd still be at it next week if we had to do it by hand. It's not nearly as transparent as manual counting of FPTP or AMS, but you can see what's going on and watch the scanning. Any paper the machine isn't 100% sure about is projected for everyone to see and when the technicial manually records the voting intentions everyone can see what they've done and can disagree if they want.

      At my count the papers that were projected as being unable to be read by the machine included some that were absolutely clear to the eye but just some minor quirk of the writing had caused the machine to pull them out for manual checking. It was reasonably reassuring.

      I think it would be very difficult to fake, and would require a conspiracy of so many people that it practically speaking couldn't be done.

      Delete
    2. You seem very informed and I thank you kindly. However, I truly can assure you that my Indy ref paper was blank on the back, so was my sons and my partners. We didnt even realise there was supposed to be a barcode on them until someone posted a link showing what the papers were like. My partner was so pleased to vote for Indy he almost forgot to fold it and put it in the box, he waved it like a flag and as I said before our papers were all blank on the reverse side.
      Presuming the ecount has an algorithm to manage this counting process and as you quite rightly point out would take forever if done by hand. It would not require and great many people to alter the results at all only one or two. The algorithm is the key, altering any results would be incredibly easy.

      Delete
    3. I thought my indyref ballot paper had been blank on the back too. It was only later that I realised I must have been mistaken, and later still - at the 2015 general election - that I realised how I had come to make the mistake.

      Delete
  24. Hah, indeed.
    Just make sure you have the correct low number to start with. You need to have all the numbers placed if you've used the lowest one too.

    ReplyDelete
  25. North, West and Central Sutherland Edit
    2007: 1xSNP; 1xLib Dem; 1xIndependent
    2012: 1xSNP; 1xLib Dem; 1xIndependent
    2007-2012 Change: No change
    North, West and Central Sutherland - 3 seats
    Party Candidate % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4 Count 5 Count 6 Count 7 Count 8
    SNP George Farlow (incumbent) 26.23% 626
    Independent Hugh Morrison 22.5% 537 541.5 554.9 563.9 601.3
    Liberal Democrats Linda Munro (incumbent)††††††††† 18.89% 451 455.6 478.7 506.8 529.2 530.5 566.7 613.4
    Scottish Senior Citizens Russell Taylor 8.21% 196 199.1 210.5 225.6 235.8 236.2 257.7 349
    Independent Neil MacInnes 7.21% 172 175.4 180.1 190.1 198.4 198.9 234.1
    Scottish Christian Hector MacLennan 5.32% 127 127.9 129.1 140.2 147.2 147.6
    Conservative Les Mason 4.06% 97 97.5 100.6
    Independent Jess Thomas 4.02% 96 97.7 110.5 118.5
    Scottish Green Mandy Haggith 3.56% 85 89.9
    Electorate: 4,913 Valid: 2,387 Spoilt: 16 Quota: 597 Turnout: 2,403 (48.91%)

    These are the results from my ward last election. George, the SNP candidate got 623 votes, 26 over the quota of 597. Did his voters second votes then get redistributed at a value of 26/597 to the other candidates. The bottom candidate was then eliminated, and their voters second votes redistributed. This happened with the next two bottom candidates, before Hugh Morrison was elected. His voters over quota 2nd votes were distributed at a fractional value, before another two candidates were eliminated, and Linda was voted on as the third candidate.

    I hope the table of votes shows ok, otherwise it can be found at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Council_election,_2012

    ReplyDelete
  26. 1. You walk intae the pollin station and register. 2. You take your ballot paper to the booth hoping the Nat sis are not watching you. 3. You look at the ballot paper with an intellectual capability. 4. You put a cross using the pencil made available on the ballot paper for the Scottish Labour candidates. 5. On leaving you look out for the pale looking Scottish Nat si flagwaving intimidators and tell them you voted Nat si. 6. You go home and laugh at the losers. This is Scotland not Erdogan Turkey. We Scots respect the ballot box.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carlotta 'GWC2' VanceApril 11, 2017 at 10:45 PM

      Why are you obsessed with the First Minister of Scotland's knickers Carlotta Vance?

      Delete
  27. Theresa Trumpette, Ruth Davidson and their revolting kipper toriesApril 11, 2017 at 10:46 PM

    The National‏Verified account @ScotNational 2h

    Tomorrow @ScotNational Ruth: I back rape clause - Davidson hides behind spokesperson to confirm she’s in favour of cruel UK Tory policy

    ReplyDelete
  28. Perr wee Jock Fascists nae dig ni ty. Takin the English su sidy and wan tin the German sub si dy. Crawlin sad bastards. Makes ye larf.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
  29. As usual, Wee Ginger Dug explains it in an easy to follow example.

    https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/vote-until-you-boak/

    ReplyDelete
  30. Here's a question I'm a little curious about. How are transferred votes apportioned in Scottish council elections? In Ireland, under the STV system, when a surplus is to be distributed, the count staff do not go down through every single vote to determine what proportion of the electorate would like their second or third preference transferred to X, Y or Z. Rather, they take a random sample of votes and transfer on that basis. Naturally, the party officials are hawk-like in their supervision of how "random" these samples are, but I was wondering if something similar happens in Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe so are slightly not coming correct. The randomness is in that all the votes are shuffled AT THE BEGINNING . so after one reaches the quota, the next preferences are random. As were the first in fact. Overall, there is some extreme possibility that it would be tilted. Imagine 10k people mucking their poker bands. Each has a rubber band around it. They are then thrown in a cement mixer and then taken out and counted. Its possible that more bands with aces come out early. But seriously , not a worry.







      Delete
    2. When I saw the count it was done electronically and as far as I know the computer took into account all the papers. Why not? Once the data are entered, which they are by optical scanning in the first phase of the count, it should all be there to be accessed.

      Delete
  31. BritNats on ParadeApril 12, 2017 at 6:44 PM

    The Spain Report‏ @thespainreport 2 hours ago

    Leicester fans fight police in Madrid. Flares, bottles. "Spanish bastards, Gibraltar is ours!"
    Via @PintsandPyro

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a typical Scottish toon weekend. Booze bags and slappers fightin over who is gonny shag the burd. Vomiting up at the taxi rank. Modern independent Scotia here we come. And Gibralter is British as is Scotland. Get it up ye fash.

      Delete
    2. Just for you Nat si. The Jock Black Watch are the most popular regiment in Gibralter. Fast forward with the bayonet they are. Jocks Gallery was dug out by the Jocks.

      Delete
    3. Yoons hate Scotland so much they even hate English people who move there.

      pic.twitter.com/4X7vd6mjU8

      Delete
    4. The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
  32. Nat si fash leaflet through the door tonight. Says we will give people their voice back!
    This Glesga ya Nat si numpties.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandApril 12, 2017 at 11:10 PM

      The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist Neo-Nazi hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister

      Delete
  33. 1. Conservative
    2. UKIP
    3. Lib Dem
    4. Labour (maybe).

    As for voting SNP and co., I would sooner have my guts sucked out through my anus by a particularly powerful vacuum cleaner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carlotta ColostomybagApril 12, 2017 at 11:12 PM

      "The undecideds and the bottlers will put it in the back of the net for 'remain'. I'm sure Cameron also has a few tricks up his sleeve to deploy in the dying days of the campaign."

      Carlotta 'Aldo' Vance

      Delete
    2. The Nat sis are an anus party and always being shafted.

      Delete
    3. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandApril 12, 2017 at 11:18 PM

      The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist Neo-Nazi hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister

      Delete
    4. Your anus is suspect for infiltration from foreign bodies. Willies.

      Delete
    5. James, your little Unionist friend gets more homophobic by the day. I pretty much try to skim past his inane and/or disgusint offerings but when they do catch the eye, they've gone past offensive. He is going to start losing you readers, if you care. Just a thought.

      Delete
  34. BritNats on ParadeApril 12, 2017 at 11:16 PM

    Alex Andreou‏Verified account @sturdyAlex 3 hours ago

    Greek newscaster giggled as he read that drunken Leicester yobs are rioting in Barcelona over Gibraltar. It's sort of magnificently idiotic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greeks need to giggle after being shafted by the Germans. And the Jock Nat sis want the German cock up em.

      Delete
    2. The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial, homophobic and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
  35. BritNats on ParadeApril 12, 2017 at 11:17 PM

    The Spain Report‏ @thespainreport 5 hours ago

    Leicester fans fight police in Madrid. Flares, bottles. "Spanish bastards, Gibraltar is ours!"
    Via @PintsandPyro

    ReplyDelete
  36. It's a bit of a problem if all the Unionists are objectionable though. Is there really much to choose between Labour and the Tories, especially since they so often form coalitions? I have to question that there is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The reason for putting Tories last is that they are fighting local elections on a national issue, I.e. No second referendum. If they increase their number of councillors they will trumpet this, with the support of the BBC and MSM as proof that Scots don't want a referendum.

      Delete
    2. Goldie carried the first Nat si Gov. Tartan Tories and real Tories. Rich getting richer in Scotland and the poor cluttering every street corner in Glasgow.

      Delete
    3. Was that you I tripped over in Glasgow yesterday, with your polystyrene cup, scabby dug and begging bowl, GWC2?

      Delete
    4. Ma dug isnae scabby! And what makes you think the two million Naw voters want a referendum? The brexit is just a red herring by you Nat sis. Any excuse to reverse the original vote. What excuse (hard done tae story) would you use if there had not been an EU vote?

      Delete
    5. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandApril 13, 2017 at 7:20 PM

      The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial, homophobic and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
  37. As far as I'm concerned I'm voting for the best most competent councillor I can get.

    These people are actually running the services that effect your every day lives so I want the best I can get no matter what there political complexion.

    I live in a four member ward in Dundee that currently has two SNP councillors, one Labour and one Tory. I know personally all four of them and am acquainted with their records and abilities. It is this knowledge that I will use to decide their ranking on the ballot paper. The best councillors by far are one of the two SNP and the Tory. So there is my numbers 1 and 2. I hate the Tories agendas in both Holyrood and Westminster as much as the next man but that is not what I'm voting for here. To that end I will rank my decent competent Tory councillor above any incompetent or unknown SNP or Green candidate any time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fair enough. And if your vote goes any way to pushing that Tory over the line then in all probability the vast majority of any surplus he has will go to the next Tory candidate should there be one.

      Delete
    2. Don't elect an idiot based on the colour of their rosette.
      That's how people like Paul Monaghan and Jacob Rees Mogg manage to end up in office.

      Delete
  38. Thanks Rolf for giving my presentation on stv a tag. It was about explaining to our voters why it is necessary to vote SNP 1 & 2 in a two SNP candidate ward. How the vote transfer works. Also why vote management is so important and how to set your distribution. I agree with vote til you boak. I will rank SNP 1&2 on my ballot paper followed. By green at 3. Then the unionists I dislike least then Tory at the bottom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are completely anti-Tory then why vote for tories at all? Surely you just vote for the seps then lefty unionists then leave the Tory option(s) blank?

      Delete
    2. Colostomybag VanceApril 13, 2017 at 7:19 PM

      "The undecideds and the bottlers will put it in the back of the net for 'remain'. I'm sure Cameron also has a few tricks up his sleeve to deploy in the dying days of the campaign."

      Carlotta 'Aldo' Vance

      Delete
    3. As long as you rank all the other candidates, you don’t actually need to rank Tory Tom, just ensure that he’s pushed to the bottom. But you do need to rank the other candidates to ensure the Tory is at the bottom of the pile. It’s just easier, and safer, to explain to people to list all the candidates on the ballot in order of gorgeous to god-awful. This is why you need to use your second third fourth etc preferences, and vote until you boak to keep the Tories out.

      Delete
  39. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 13, 2017 at 7:17 PM

    DeniseCouper‏ @GraceBrodie 8 hours ago

    YouGov polling

    Teresa May

    Approval

    UK +23
    Scotland -26

    Good ideas to improve the country

    UK +7
    Scotland -30

    In touch

    UK -14
    Scotland -46

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not getting the faux outrage over the so called "rape clause". We have legal abortion in this country. That renders the argument moot. If you have a child you do so through choice. That the government is allowing any kind of exceptions proves that they are being quite liberal in this matter.

      Delete
    2. Scumbag Vance the BritNat twatApril 13, 2017 at 9:43 PM

      Wings Over Scotland‏ @WingsScotland 4 hours ago

      Ruth Davidson: mask off, boots on and going all-out for the "complete and utter scumbag" vote.

      Delete
    3. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 13, 2017 at 9:55 PM

      Rape Crisis Scotland‏ @rapecrisisscot 8 hours ago

      Act NOW to end the #rapeclause! Find your MP at https://is.gd/R9cRv5 & write to them - template letter at https://is.gd/fw3sDk

      Delete
  40. Wee nippy n the fat fuhrer n the confusing electoral system;

    Wee nippy; Ah jist cannae get ma heid roon it man. So ye put yer candidates in order o preference. Ah think ah get that bit. But if there's twa tories n a wahnt tae vote for baith o them, dae a pit them joint furst?

    Fat fuhrer; Tories?? Ye wahnt tae vote toarries???!!!! Get away ya pervert!

    Wee nippy; Oh, a slip o the tongue. Although ah dae quite like them. There's jist somethin mysteriously appealin aboot a party that wahnts a united, strong country wae a sound economy an low taxation.

    Fat fuhrer; Ah cannae believe whit am hearin! Yer breakin ma heart lass!!

    Wee nippy; och am only jokin! Right, so how dis this votin system work? Can we get somedae fae NASA tae explain it?

    Fat fuhrer; Nae need fur that lass. Ye jist remember this - vote tae ye boak. Its whit they dae in Northern Ireland and they're gettin on jist fine! Ye jist list everybody on ra ballot as a preference til ye've exhausted aw the options.

    Wee nippy; Ye mean.....vote fur the tories?

    Fat fuhrer; Aye lass. Its complicated. But yer just gonnae huv tae bae scum for a moment or twa. That should be easy, ah've managed it ma whole life! Noo, whits fur eatin?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scumbag Vance the BritNat twatApril 13, 2017 at 9:43 PM

      Wings Over Scotland‏ @WingsScotland 4 hours ago

      Ruth Davidson: mask off, boots on and going all-out for the "complete and utter scumbag" vote.

      Delete
  41. I'm standing for the Greens in Wester Ross Strathpeffer and Lochalsh, the largest area ward in the UK so very rural. I'm meeting two sorts of voter: Indy supporters who are sympathetic to the Greens but understandably are voting 1 and 2 for the 2 SNP candidates in this 4 member ward. The Yoons, mainly older English people, are voting Tory even if they think of themselves as socialists! Such is the strength of the constitutional question that it polarises to the two parties.

    It looks as though Theresa May's exhortation to use the council elections as a referendum has taken hold. The result will be very interesting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So you feel it is appropriate to call people in your constituency yoons? Maybe you could put a yoon marker on their doors.

      Delete
    2. All a Green will do in local government is leave your bin to rot. I'm sure both yoons and seps understand this.

      Delete
    3. Carlotta 'Aldo' VanceApril 13, 2017 at 9:36 PM

      Why are you obsessed with the First Minister of Scotland's knickers Carlotta Vance?

      Delete
  42. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 13, 2017 at 9:44 PM

    DeniseCouper‏ @GraceBrodie 8 hours ago

    YouGov polling

    Teresa May

    Approval

    UK +23
    Scotland -26

    Good ideas to improve the country

    UK +7
    Scotland -30

    In touch

    UK -14
    Scotland -46

    ReplyDelete
  43. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 13, 2017 at 9:45 PM

    Kimberley ����‏ @Indy_Kimberley 4 hours ago

    .@RuthDavidsonMSP It's not bad enough you want to traumatise rape victims & their children ur now using their pain to point score. Monster.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 13, 2017 at 9:46 PM

    GillianMartin‏ @GillianGMartin 2 hours ago

    It speaks volumes that even the anti SNP person is looking to the SNP to mitigate the worst of UK policies. I suppose we should be flattered

    ReplyDelete
  45. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 13, 2017 at 9:47 PM

    nicky neighbour‏ @nickyneighbs 5 hours ago

    Replying to @RuthDavidsonMSP

    Are you really saying that the rape clause is OK because the Scottish Govt could mitigate against it?! What about women in the rest of UK?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 13, 2017 at 9:51 PM

    @KatieKhaleesi‏ @KatieKhaleesi Apr 12

    @KatieKhaleesi Retweeted Ruth Davidson

    Ruth's cowardly way of saying she supports the Rape Clause.
    Repulsive

    ReplyDelete
  47. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 13, 2017 at 9:54 PM

    Jeanette McCrimmon‏ @IndyLassie 2 hours ago

    Ill-advised @ScotTories demand @ScotGovFM mitigate their immoral #RapeClause in Scotland, but not the rUK. Shameless!
    #ScotRef

    ReplyDelete
  48. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 13, 2017 at 9:56 PM

    Rape Crisis Scotland‏ @rapecrisisscot 8 hours ago

    Act NOW to end the #rapeclause! Find your MP at https://is.gd/R9cRv5 & write to them - template letter at https://is.gd/fw3sDk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You seem obcessed with rape and benefits. I recall the Nat sis saying they would make up any difference in benefit cuts if any.

      Delete
    2. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandApril 13, 2017 at 10:39 PM

      The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist Neo-Nazi hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister

      Delete
    3. I enjoy your repetitive post. It just proves you are a Nat si idiot with no political argument.

      Delete
    4. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandApril 14, 2017 at 1:09 AM

      you're a witless yoon wasting their time making a twat of themselves on a blog where everyone laughs at your stupidity

      Delete
    5. Everyone! So you actually speak to another benefit seeker!

      Delete
    6. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandApril 14, 2017 at 2:34 AM

      You were the April Fool you shit for brains Yoon zoomer twat.

      Everyone self-evidently laughs at you on here.

      Delete
  49. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 13, 2017 at 10:40 PM

    Rape Crisis Scotland‏ @rapecrisisscot 8 hours ago

    Act NOW to end the #rapeclause! Find your MP at https://is.gd/R9cRv5 & write to them - template letter at https://is.gd/fw3sDk

    ReplyDelete
  50. Tory rape clause! Tory rape clause! Quick, the tories are legalising rape - stop them! Lock up your daughters!

    The 'rape clause' is a confection. There is nothing there. A government, operating with a finite pot of money, has chosen to distribute it in a particular way. As a woman, if you do not want a child, you can always abort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "nothing there" "a confection" Do we believe some Extremist Yoon twat or Rape Crisis Scotland? Tough one. :o)April 14, 2017 at 1:03 AM

      Rape Crisis Scotland‏ @rapecrisisscot 10 hours ago

      Act NOW to end the #rapeclause! Find your MP at https://is.gd/R9cRv5 & write to them - template letter at https://is.gd/fw3sDk

      Delete
    2. Aldo : you are an insensitive asshole. People who think Rape and Child bearing and childrens proper upbringing are subjects to be considered dismissively just plainly are the actual abominations whose soulless and valueless and greedy pursuit of money cause more actual disorder ,violence and death than all the criminal we are letting Beyond bars together. If you and your party members are so insecure and shallow that you treat women who have been raped this cavalierly you are not insensitive, uninformed, or just ignorant; you are in fact accessaries after the fact and thus evil.GO FUCK YOURSELF! Maybe god will make you pregnant in your balls and we can all just tell you to cut them off if you dont want baby.what if as a result of the aborted baby caused by rape enablers like you she cant have a child or gets permanent damage or dies.?? Rare? Yes. As rare as someone needing the 2 pounds this will save a greedy tory wanker like you? No! You are a mental wanker!

      Delete
    3. Does anyone else remember when Aldo conducted himself with grace and good humour? I miss that.

      Delete
  51. Are we any further forward with unionref2 by the way? Last thing I heard, Sturgeon had been well and truly put in her place by ra boss.

    As Depeche Mode would say, it's a lot like master and servant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Colostomybag Vance PredictsApril 14, 2017 at 1:06 AM

      "The undecideds and the bottlers will put it in the back of the net for 'remain'. I'm sure Cameron also has a few tricks up his sleeve to deploy in the dying days of the campaign."

      Carlotta 'Aldo' Vance

      Delete
    2. Real men dont gloat about Women being " put in their place". It is 2017 AD, NOT 2017 bc.

      Delete
    3. Ah, but she was put in her place by a woman!

      Delete
    4. Are you guys as keyed up for unionref2 as I am? I hear its to be in 2045, so the SNP can use the slogan "the 45 will prevail in 45!". Only, they'll need to get a majority this time so maybe 2051 would be a better idea.

      Oh I can't bloody wait!!! I'm so excited I might shoot the clock off the wall!!

      Delete
    5. Carlotta 'Aldo' VanceApril 14, 2017 at 2:26 PM

      "As a woman, if you do not want a child, you can always abort."

      Aldo scumbag Vance - Doesn't understand medical or moral complexity, thicker than a Daily Mail reader.

      Delete
    6. "Doesn't understand medical or moral complexity"

      That's a bit rich, coming from someone who clearly thinks children should be meal tickets.

      Delete
  52. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 14, 2017 at 1:04 AM

    DeniseCouper‏ @GraceBrodie 8 hours ago

    YouGov polling

    Teresa May

    Approval

    UK +23
    Scotland -26

    Good ideas to improve the country

    UK +7
    Scotland -30

    In touch

    UK -14
    Scotland -46

    ReplyDelete
  53. Nat sis as they do clutching at straw and supporting rape as do isis. Rapists should have public execution of their goolies. Aff wie ther baws.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandApril 14, 2017 at 2:35 AM

      The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist Neo-Nazi hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister

      Delete
    2. Merchant City Bent ShotApril 14, 2017 at 10:34 AM

      The poster is Scottish and you continually and knowingly lie. And Theresa May wears lovely knickers.

      Delete
    3. The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, arbitrary deportations and public mutilations, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial, homophobic and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
  54. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 14, 2017 at 2:38 AM

    James Chalmers‏ @ProfChalmers 7 hours ago

    Today's unsurprising politics news: "we support this policy; it's a disgrace you're not reversing it" isn't the killer line some folk hoped.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Calm yourself down. The state has no business paying people to have children - but has chosen to do so anyway, at population replacement levels, so as to ensure a workforce and state pension system for tomorrow. You could argue there is some sense in that - but only at population replacement levels i.e two children per couple. Now, its terrible when people are raped - and I'm certainly not a rape 'enabler'. If left to me I'd bring in draconian sentences for rapists including hard labour, whole life sentences and execution - depending on the seriousness of the crime. I don't see your SNP doing much in that regard. As they are soft left and far too liberal, they never will. But to return to the point here, a woman has control over whether she has a child. Yes, there is risk associated with abortion but most people would run that risk to avoid bearing their rapist's child. The religious may differ - but, then, that's their personal choice. Evidence for the sky fairy has yet to be provided.

    Oh f*ck, what is Columbo still doing on the telly?!?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Furthermore, if the SNP disagree with this policy, they should reverse it in Scotland. They have the tools at their disposal to do so. To describe a policy as horrifying and then refuse to reverse it for the sake of money shows that, after all the hot air and bollocks, you actually agree with the conservatives.

      Delete
    2. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 14, 2017 at 2:19 PM

      Citizen Moodie‏ @gregmoodie 5 hours ago

      Tory candidate denies BNP link and having ever used the email address neillrfc1690nosurrender@hotmail.co.uk. Haha.

      http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15224625.Tory_candidate_denies_BNP_link_despite_details_in_database/

      Delete
  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 14, 2017 at 2:23 PM

    Wings Over Scotland‏ @WingsScotland 53 minutes ago

    It's not just the rape clause that marks the Scottish Tories out as the Nasty Party:

    https://wingsoverscotland.com/blue-is-the-new-orange/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vote till you boak, folks. High numbers for Tories and their facilitators, low numbers for SNP and Green candidates. Remember - they brought this on themselves.

      Delete
    2. As long as you rank all the other candidates, you don’t actually need to rank Tory Tom, just ensure that he’s pushed to the bottom. But you do need to rank the other candidates to ensure the Tory is at the bottom of the pile. It’s just easier, and safer, to explain to people to list all the candidates on the ballot in order of gorgeous to god-awful. This is why you need to use your second third fourth etc preferences, and vote until you boak to keep the Tories out.

      Delete
    3. The Nat sis are in the business to try and make populist speeches to the thick masses that vote for them. However when they get the powers to implement their windbag rhetoric they decline. Westminster has not subsidised us enough is their excuse. Poor wee Jocks cannae afford tae pay merr tax.

      Delete
    4. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandApril 14, 2017 at 7:54 PM

      The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, arbitrary deportations and public mutilations, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial, homophobic and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
  58. Thanks James. We wondered how to vote so good information. Just voted with Rape Clause Ruth Party last.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are thick as shit if you wondered how to vote. Vote Labour that is the only way to get rid of the two Tory parties in Scotland.

      Delete
    2. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandApril 14, 2017 at 7:44 PM

      The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, arbitrary deportations and public mutilations, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial, homophobic and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
    3. I am far left from Scotland.

      Delete
    4. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandApril 14, 2017 at 11:36 PM

      The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, arbitrary deportations and public mutilations, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial, homophobic and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
  59. Wow! Some amount of trolling on this thread.
    Some volk must be worried by your advice, James.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Red Tory Blue Tory Kipper Tory Yoon ToryApril 14, 2017 at 7:51 PM

      It's easy enough.

      All the Pro-Indy parties first like SNP, Greens - 1234 etc

      Unaffiliated and lib dems in the middle - 5678 etc.

      Second last is Red Tory SLAB then put Ruth's SCON Tories last 9,10,11,12 etc.
























      .

      Delete
  60. Nat sis apparantly had a plan for a currency and a bank post Scottish referendum if tbey won. Pity they never told anyone about it before the referendum. It was a secret plan! You just have tae love the fash.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandApril 14, 2017 at 11:37 PM

      The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, arbitrary deportations and public mutilations, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial, homophobic and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
  61. I will vote SNP first, then Greens if they are standing, then probably Liberal Democrats, then Labour, then Tories last; if UKIP are standing then I will vote for them last. But hopefully I will get to vote for the horribles the last.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting kipper toriesApril 14, 2017 at 11:38 PM

    The National‏Verified account @ScotNational 1 hour ago

    Tomorrow's front page:

    The racism scandal engulfing the Scottish Tories ...

    with at least SEVEN council candidates now in the spotlight

    ReplyDelete
  63. What have we ascertained from this thread?

    1) The country doesn't understand the system used to elect its local councils.

    2) The SNP's internet stasi are terrified - absolutely terrified - of the Scottish Tories.

    ReplyDelete