SGA members have made us aware they would like to know more about the Election on May 6th and candidates they can vote for.
We have been providing overview information on several seats (relevant to members) prior to the Election #SP21. (see these on our website news pages). https://www.scottishgamekeepers.co.uk/latest-news/
Please note: The SGA is not affiliated to any political party. The information is intended only as a helpful guide, offered from the perspective of members' interests, as requested.
People should vote according to personal choice. However, we will give advice for circumstances in which people would wish to vote solely for the purposes of protecting their profession.
In looking at seats, we have provided an analysis based on what candidates have done for rural workers in Holyrood (track record) or, if not yet elected, looked at standpoints on issues to gauge where they might sit in relation to workers on river and land.
What Choices will you have on the ballot paper?
On May 6th, voters will get the opportunity to vote for which person they want as their Constituency MSP in in Clackmannanshire and Dunblane. This person will be an individual representing a party (White coloured paper).
Voters will also get the opportunity to vote for a Party in the Regional List (Peach coloured paper) for Mid Scotland and Fife.
For the Constituency vote (white paper), the person with the highest number of votes becomes the Constituency MSP. In the regional list (peach paper) a total of 7 MSPs are selected to represent the Mid Scotland and Fife region.
This allocation is worked out around the share of the party vote on the peach paper. If a party has already won the Constituency seat, they will win less regional list seats in that region. The system is designed this way to avoid any one party dominating.
In the constituency vote (white paper), SNP's Keith Brown will be strong favourite to take the seat again. He saw off Labour's Craig Miller by 6721 votes in 2016 and it would take a major swing for the seat to go red.
Indeed, on the white paper, it's 'as you were' in terms of the 3 main contenders. Brown and Miller will again face a challenge from Alexander Stewart from the Conservative, just like 2016.
The greater interest in this seat is likely to come on the peach paper for Mid Scotland and Fife region. Although Labour were 2nd in the constituency vote last time (white paper), the Conservatives were second placed on the peach paper and both Labour and the Conservatives will want to convert as much peach paper vote as they can in the hope of returning regional MSPs for Mid Scotland and Fife region (see regional result for 2016, below).
The race for 2nd place on the peach paper will define Labour or Conservative fortunes in Mid Scotland and Fife region.
One worry SGA members have been contacting our office about is whether a vote for SNP means they get the Greens as part of the deal.
The Green Party recently published its manifesto which pledges to end, what it terms, ‘bloodsports’ including shooting and angling. They will ban driven grouse shooting, reintroduce species and incentivise the removal of sheep from the hills.
For those seeking to vote in terms of their employment, specifically, the Green manifesto represents the likely loss of over 13 000 rural workers’ jobs. See their manifesto, here: https://greens.scot/ourfuture
Should the SNP fail to win an outright majority at this election (which current polling shows is possible) they may again choose to join with the Greens in order to form a majority. Given the Greens’ unhidden desire to end the employment interests of sections of the rural workforce, SGA members should make themselves aware of the dangers in this possibility.
Give this, SGA Chairman Alex Hogg has written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon seeking reassurances for rural workers that any potential SNP/Green pact will not mean Scottish Government adopting the Green manifesto pledges, mentioned above, which will be so damaging for rural workers and their families. You can read the Chairman’s letter, here. To date, we have not had a response from the First Minister.
On whether an SNP/Green pact might comes to pass, leader of the Greens, Patrick Harvie, was quoted in the Scotsman newspaper on April 30 saying, that 'most of our members would be willing to have the conversation' after the Election. (below)
To find all candidates standing in Clackmannanshire and Dunblane plus Mid Scotland and Fife region- (and all the other Scottish constituencies)- see: https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/politics/6918475/scottish-election-full-candidate-list-standing-my-area/
*This seat analysis, which fulfils a requirement of our members to provide voting information on their behalf, has been produced by The Scottish Gamekeepers Association, a Company limited by guarantee, Company number SC386843.