At the end of the day it all adds up

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I find myself in the awkward position of agreeing with some of what David Allan has written (Letters, 29 August).

Mr Allan has clearly done his research and has produced a small raft of statistics which demonstrate clearly how the first-past-the post voting system acts against natural democracy.

We should be grateful to Mr Allan for highlighting how the quirks of this antiquated system mean that it can never be truly representative of the wishes of the electorate. Mr Allan (admittedly a shade tacitly) comes close to announcing his own political allegiance and this too is something of a breakthrough where the No voting contributors to The Scotsman are concerned.

However, when he says that “right-of-centre voters in Scotland add up to a large component of the population” he seems to be lumping the Liberal Democrats in with the Tories. Something that their voters would have vehemently denied prior to the coalition, but which is undeniable now.

It also smacks of desperation to claim as an indicator of success that their combined vote was 35.6 per cent as opposed to the SNP’s 19.9 per cent and Mr Allan declines to share with us what the individual percentage votes for the Tories and Lib Dems were.

The fact that the Tories have only one MP in Scotland is also omitted. Again we should be grateful to Mr Allan for highlighting the benefits of the proportional representative system we have in Scotland and which would apply when we have independence.

In the 2011 election for the Scottish Parliament, the right-of-centre parties gained 21.8 per cent of the vote with the Tories garnering 13.69 per cent and the Liberal Democrats 7.93 per cent.

In total 434,366 people voted for the right-of-centre parties, which is indeed a sizeable component of the around two million voters who actually went to the polls.

For exercising their democratic right to vote, these 
voters were rewarded with 20 seats in the Scottish Government, which seems fair 
to me.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh

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