First past the post

I am grateful to Douglas Turner for his agreement (Letters, 1 September) with the points in my earlier letter concerning how 
Scotland voted in recent UK-wide elections.

Mr Turner, however, states that I omitted the fact that there is only one Conservative MP in Scotland. He should have read my letter more carefully because I did 
indeed make that very point while noting that the first-past-the-post system gave the SNP five seats more than the Tories for only 3.2% more of the popular vote. I am happy to state, in response to his request, that the shares of the votes for the individual parties in question were: 19.9% for the SNP, 18.9% for the LibDems and 16.7% for the Conservatives – not a huge lot in it.

Like Mr Turner, I am not a great proponent of the first-past-the-post system and I do not have any issue with the seats allocated to the various parties at Holyrood 
in the 2011 election under the PR system.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

What I do have an issue with – and which Mr Turner fails completely to address – is the main point of my previous letter. This concerned the persistent vilification, by the SNP in particular, of the party/parties voted for by what even Mr Turner admits is a very significant proportion of the Scottish population and, by implication, of the people who voted for them, to the extent that Yes supporters in several previous 
letters have demanded that they get out of their own country.

David K Allan

The Square


Douglas Turner (Letters, September 1) writes of the “benefits of the proportional representative system we have in Scotland”. He does not acknowledge, however, that the system we have is not guaranteed to produce proportional representation.

In the 2011 elections the SNP returned 45% of the vote. For exercising their right to vote these 45% of the voters were rewarded with 69 seats - 53% of the total. That does not seem fair to me. It does not “all add up in the end” as your heading suggested.

No doubt the response of SNP supporters would be that that is democracy. The system as it stands does indeed allow for such an anomaly. Mr Turner states that this system “would apply when we have independence”. Would he be happy with this system if he was one of the 55% of voters who did not get the government they voted for?

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue