The Scottish Green Party today published a guide to effective voting in the Highlands & Islands. The Greens argue that in 2003 the 31,655 regional votes cast for the LibDems made no difference whatsoever to the outcome, because the LibDems picked up five constituencies in the region. (1)
The party points out that more Green votes are very likely to return more Green MSPs, whereas across Scotland regional votes for other parties have been wasted in large numbers both in 1999 and in 2003. Furthermore, Green MSPs in Highlands & Islands will make a real difference once elected, by making the changes needed to build a low carbon economy and tackling climate change.
Eleanor Scott, top Green Highlands & Islands MSP candidate, explained:
“Although the maths of this election are complicated, the bottom line is that where a party has already elected several MSPs, regional votes for that party may well be wasted. In the Highlands & Islands, a regional vote for the Lib Dems may literally make no difference to the outcome.
“Ironically, people used to say that a Green vote was a wasted vote, but under PR, more Green votes almost always elect more Greens and last time it was Lib Dem votes that were wasted in large numbers in the Highlands and Islands.
“Not only will a Green vote really count, but Greens will genuinely make a difference rather than opting for business as usual. We will take a stand against aggressive supermarkets which are ruining small businesses, and work with farmers to ensure they thrive in a changing environment.
“Whoever you back in your constituency, I urge you to first vote Green if you want change, and if you want a greener and fairer Scotland.”
It would have taken less than a fifth of those Lib Dem voters to switch to the Greens and Highlands would have returned a second Green MSP alongside Eleanor Scott.