The week in the Scottish Election – debate, baby badgers and up in the polls

This week saw the first leaders’ debate of the Scottish election campaign and Willie absolutely smashed it. Here’s his opening statement:

And can we afford to tackle climate change?


The photo-ops

No campaign is complete without  some great Willie photos. Here’s one with a well behaved animal:

Daphne, the star of the first photo opp in the giant deckchair, was back to show Willie finer points of Connect 4.

A giant chess game:

He was grilled by STV’s Colin Mackay:

He spoke to Radio Tay about our idea for a Commission to look at ways of ending violence against women and girls:

And the effort seems to be starting to pay off:

The week in morning runs:

Some gorgeous skies this week:

All these press calls and press attention don’t happen by themselves. This week, a massive shoutout to the fabulous press team who organise all this and think up the ideas.

I’m just hoping against hope we’ll get some alpacas in the mix before the end of the campaign.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Congratulations to everyone involved. I’m exhausted just reading about all of the places Willie’s been, never mind thinking of all of those morning runs.

    We’ve got some great policies and I just hope they can be heard amongst the noise about tactical voting and how to game (or not) the system.

    It was the same at the 2019 general election. Far too many column inches and social media bandwidth taken up by discussing the polls and what that meant for tactical voting. If I weren’t already convinced, it’s underlined why I prefer the Single Transferable Vote system. Not only can’t you rig it, it actively encourages positive campaigning instead of the abusive stuff that has become an accepted part of the election cycle.

  • Nonconformistradical 5th Apr '21 - 8:26am

    “If I weren’t already convinced, it’s underlined why I prefer the Single Transferable Vote system. Not only can’t you rig it, it actively encourages positive campaigning instead of the abusive stuff that has become an accepted part of the election cycle.”

    Agree absolutely – but….. – since it takes power away from political parties I wouldn’t hold my breath…

  • Brad Barrows 5th Apr '21 - 8:27am

    You appear to have missed that the more recent Panelbase poll has the Liberal Democrats losing support and, if repeated on Election Day, could see the Liberal Democrats down to just 4 MSPs – less than the Green Party and the new Alba Party

  • @noncormistradical – unfortunately that’s the problem with all forms of PR. The people with disproportionate power now don’t want to see an end to those disproportionate ways.

    However, there have been some campaigners for PR who have backed AMS due to it being (apparently) simpler, and I think because they think that maintaining an element of FPTP makes it an easier sell for parties that benefit from FPTP now. And because the list element can be used to keep the party HQ, or at least the party members, more say than the general voter, over who wins seats.

    Up until now, campaign groups like Make Votes Matter have been very wary of declaring a favoured voting method, and I think have been trying to tempt Labour traditionalists with the apparent security of AMS, but it will be interesting to see how much that changes with this high profile example of the short-fallings of AMS. Or if some groups pushing for AMS are thinking about how to get it to work for them. The Scottish Greens definitely adjusted their electoral strategy a number of years ago, and dare I say it policy focus, to take advantage of the possibility of picking up list votes from SNP supporters. They will probably benefit in the short term from greater awareness of this trick, but it also makes it more obvious that their fortunes are very dependent on keeping in the good books of the SNP supporters.

  • Russell Simpson 5th Apr '21 - 12:42pm

    @Fiona @noncormistradical
    The problem is not with AMS (or MMP as they call it in NZ) but with the way it is used in Scotland. For some bizarre reason the issue of “overhang” has not been dealt with in Scotland. It’s equally bizarre that noone is talking about it given the prominence Salmond’s entry has given it. AMS/MMP is ONLY proportional if the total number of seats per party is the same as the actual vote split of the party vote. The party list should also be national rather than regional to be proportionate. Germany and NZ deal with this and the system works perfectly. In the 2016 vote the SNP should have had 4 seats taken away after the party vote. Instead they were given 4 more. What is stopping the SNP creating a new party called the National Party of Scotland. Those wanting independence could vote SNP on 1st vote and NSP on 2nd vote and get 65% of MSPs! Think about it!

  • Funny how things disappear. Here’s what the Guardian said today which LDV (a bastion of free speech and radical thought ?) decided to remove last night :

    The Guardian, 10 April, 2021 “BBC flooded with complaints over Prince Philip coverage
    Corporation opened dedicated complaints form on its website to deal with high volume of comments”.

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