Poll positions

Colin Hamilton’s comment (Letters, 2 January) that the SNP gained 53 per cent of the seats from 45 per cent of the vote, indicates that there is a way to go before we all understand how the single transferable vote version of proportional representation works.

The 45.4 per cent (53 seats) Mr Hamilton refers to relates only to the constituencies (first-past-the-post) element of the system. The SNP also received 876,421 votes (16 seats) in the Regions section of the election, taking their total of seats to 69. Supporters of the unionist parties may not like it, but the result clearly reflects the wishes of the voters. Maybe it’s time for them to accept it.

Douglas Turner

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Derby Street


Douglas Turner is quite wrong in stating that the SNP secured 53.5 per cent of the votes in the regional lists in the 2011 Scottish Parliamentary election (Letters, January 2).

His claim prompted me to look at the Election 2011 12-page results pull-out produced by The Scotsman, where I discovered that the highest regional vote was only 52.7 per cent for the SNP in North-east Scotland. With results of less than 40 per cent in both Glasgow and the Lothians, it is clear that less than half of those voting in 2011 were supporting the SNP, regardless of whether the constituency or regional list votes are used.

I can only assume that Mr Turner has confused the number of MSPs returned to Holyrood with the actual votes cast, since the 69 MSPs representing the SNP accounted for 53.5 per cent of the total number of MSPs.

Such logic, if applied to the Scottish votes and results in the UK election in 2010, gives the SNP with six MPs – only 10.2 per cent of the total, despite having secured 19.9 per cent of the votes cast in Scotland.

Sandy Gemmill

Warriston Gardens