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Not yet Uhuru

May 4, 2007

What a mess. Scotland did not awake to a glorious new dawn, but to an election that has turned into an embarrassing farce. A petition has already been organised to protest the ‘stitch up‘.

Basically, two things went wrong: the electronic vote counting machines failed, and voters didn’t understand the slightly complex voting process, resulting in 7% of the ballot papers being spoiled. We’ve yet to see the final effects of having an intelligence test built into the election process.

As I expected, Labour still seems to be slightly ahead, though they’ve lost some key seats to the SNP: former ship building heartland Glasgow Govan, and Dundee West – meaning they’ve now lost that whole city, and their support is looking pretty sparse north of the industrialised central belt. Scotland’s first ever non-white MSP, Bashir Ahmad, got in for the SNP. Up to date results can be found here as they come in.

The polarisation over the main issue of the election – the ‘breakup of Britain’ – has meant that a lot of the smaller parties have been decimated. This may be a blessing in disguise, though it’s really disappointing for the Greens and Socialists.

The good news is that nobody voted for the Nazis, in England or Scotland. Must be the intelligence test built into the ballot paper.

Here are some prominent Scottish blogs on the election:

Rolled up Trousers:

“… I have to say that even I, with degree in politics, had to be reminded that the council vote needed a numerical response rather than an X. Three votes, three separate systems governing them. Someone somewhere needs a kicking, as there were plenty warnings about this.”

The Scottish Patient

“May 4th: The 100,000 Spoiled Ballot Papers: Mystery Solved?

I think I’ve spotted what may have caused the chaos and confusion with the 100,000 spoiled ballot papers. People coped fine with the STV system for the council election ballot papers, and there was a low percentage of spoiled papers using the STV system. That means the problem was with the first ballot paper for the Scottish Parliament.

I took a photo of my ballot papers in the voting booth with my mobile. At the top of it has the words: YOU HAVE TWO VOTES. My guess is that these four words confused people. If I am correct then the bulk of spoiled ballot papers will have two votes in the List column instead of one, thereby making it spoiled.

If this turns out to be the case then does that mean we should have a re-run of the whole election? Wow. What a mess. You heard the mystery solved here first.”

Inveresk Street Ingrate

“Scottish Elections 2007 – Ouch

The figure to note is the 10,759 votes for the Green Party, which ensured that Patrick Harvie was re-elected to the Scottish Parliament. Now add up the votes for the SSP and Solidarity:

Solidarity – 8,544 votes
SSP – 2,579 votes
Total – 11,123 votes

That’s a sore yin. Curious to see what Sheridan’s next move is . . . after the denunciations and recriminations that is.

Daft as it sounds, despite Solidarity outpolling the SSP by nearly 6000 votes in Glasgow, I think the latter has more of a future as a going concern than the shotgun wedding of Sheridan, the Swuppies and the Millies.”

What really shocked me about the elections was the media coverage. The Scum are a typical example: the front page had the SNP logo morphed into a noose, with the headline ‘Vote SNP and put Scotland’s head in a noose’. Pages 2 and 3 were tits, and pages 4 and 5 were downright lies about what an SNP victory would mean for Scotland, focusing on chaos, tragedy, economic collapse and terrorism. (The SNP would rid us of our nuclear deterrent!!!!! We’ll be vulnerable to all the nutters!!!) Page 6 was a full page on why you must vote Labour (perhaps they should have focused on how), and page 7 was tits again. The rest of the paper was celebrities and sport.

Their readers must have been really confused when they turned up at the polling station and there were no tits on the ballot paper. Except that there were, but that’s another story….

UPDATE: The SNP have beat Labour by one seat.

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