Election 2016 tidbits: Things you may have missed

May 6th, 2016


SNP Manifesto
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In the aftermath of last night’s eventful election, there’s been plenty of analysis through the media and online. We here at ScotlandVotes couldn’t be left out and so here is the thoughts from Weber Shandwick’s Public Affairs Team in Scotland. Contributions from Moray Macdonald, Luke Skipper, Niki Stark and  Duncan McKay.


A number of talented MSPs were unfortunately the victim of electoral bad luck last night. The Parliament will be a poorer place without the likes of Stewart Maxwell, Jim Eadie, Sarah Boyack and Alison McInnes. DM


Not only if the Scottish Tories’ result remarkable, so is the diversity of the group. Experienced MSPs such as Murdo Fraser, Liz Smith and John Scott are joined by a range of people from all walks of life, including many with business experience, which will be novel for the Parliament. MM

Paradigm shift

Gone is the battle between two centre left parties. Now begins the era of the left and right. This is a fundamental re-alignment of Scottish politics with a whole host of new spokespeople and policy teams. LS

d’Hondt curiosities

The AMS system threw up some interesting results. The SNP won 156,000 more votes in 2016 than 2011 but still picked up fewer seats. Last night’s results demonstrate just how difficult it was to achieve the 2011 majority result. DM

Edinburgh: The Rainbow City

Big wins from Alex Cole Hamilton for the Lib Dems and Ruth Davidson shows where there are affluent areas the unionist vote is catalysed and comes out in large numbers. It also vindicates Ruth’s decision to parachute into that seat. LS

The Ruth, The Whole Ruth and Nothing But The Ruth

Putting Ruth Davidson front and centre of their campaign worked wonders for the Scottish Tories. It was a high risk strategy, but one they pulled off. Expect the clamour amongst the London commentariat for Ruth to come to Westminster and take over the reigns as leader when David Cameron departs to be ratcheted up in the near future. DM

Powerful messages

The Scottish Tory surge is largely down to some amazing communications work. You couldn’t miss their call around voting for a strong opposition and crucially, it worked. Textbook case study on how to package and then deliver a message. MM

Brexit? Nae chance

UKIPs dismal performance backs up the perceived notion that Scottish is more pro-EU. They needed to make a breakthrough here to get any momentum.  Just compare and contrast to Wales – one has to wonder what that means come June 23. LS

Hey, it’s new politics, same as the old politics

Remember that democratic awakening that Scotland went through during the referendum? Well it looks like it’s gone back to sleep. 55.6% is still a big turnout as far as Scottish Parliamentary elections go, but how does turnout drop 15% in just one year? And with only 35% of the parliament compromised of women, it’s clear there’s still significant barriers to leap ahead. DM

Lack of policy

This election was largely about personalities not policies. Remember the clamour for costed manifestos in 2011? They didn’t exist this time around and may allow the SNP some wiggle room when they run a minority government. MM

The ’51’

51 new MSPs will be sworn in next week (although four are returning after a term or two’s absence). That should certainly shake up debates in the chamber and hopefully the much-maligned committees too. Many of those who featured in our #16for16 series are due to be sworn in next week.  DM

The power of a strong personal vote

While the SNP had hoped the Alastair Carmichael scandal may make Orkney and Shetland vulnerable, Lib Dems Tavish Scott and Liam McArthur delivered exceptional results. Far from scraping a hold, both Tavish and Liam campaigned their hearts out and increased their vote shares by 20% and 31% respectively. NS




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