Election is wide open (John Tulloch)

The would-be main contenders like, predictably, to characterise the Orkney and Shetland election as a “two-horse race”. However, I’m not so sure.

Both Labour and the Tories have been rising in the polls, Labour particularly rapidly from a low base, and the overarching political backdrop of Scottish independence and Brexit have produced a situation in which the constituency election is potentially wide open.

For example: If the 36 percent who voted for independence all vote SNP, the SNP might win however, if pro-EU unionists unite around the LibDems, Mr Carmichael could hang on. If Labour’s national resurgence is reflected locally, they could also do very well and if the 43 percent who voted for Brexit all vote Tory then a Tory win is perfectly feasible, too.

This is obviously dawning, doubtless as a result of doorstep canvassing, on the SNP. They are frantically trying to divert attention from local (toxic) issues, back to their old favourites, tired old UK national sound bites like, “Tory austerity”, “Scotland never gets the government it voted for”, “we want Indy”, “media bias”, etc.

Six of the last eight letters in The Shetland Times online have been from pro-SNP sources, with no less than four from local SNP spin-doctor and former arch-school closer Jonathan Wills. The sense of panic is palpable. You can smell it.

The SNP’s track record in Shetland is atrocious. Notable local issues include:

• 23 per cent cut in SIC funding since 2011, while the SNP Scottish government received an increase;

False claim they will “radically renegotiate” the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) on rejoining the EU, knowing it to be non-negotiable;

SNP candidate Miriam Brett’s refusal to sign the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) Brexit pledge to fight for full abrogation of the CFP;

Reneged undertaking to fund Shetland’s inter-island ferry funding deficit (£6.5 million per year subsidy by SIC);

Reneged pledge to cut NorthLink ferry fares;

Shetlanders who still want to vote SNP on Thursday should do so and if instead they want to vote for whatever other party/candidate combination they believe will best represent Shetland’s vital interests then they should vote as they see fit.

The Orkney and Shetland election is wide open and tactical voting may lead to the disappointment of a narrow defeat for your preferred candidate.

John Tulloch




Add Your Comment
  • Lilian Cameron

    • June 5th, 2017 18:08

    Maybe because you don’t live in Shetland you are unaware that “Scottish” Labour maps do not include Shetland! Might affect their potential vote I reckon.

  • Peter Hamilton

    • June 5th, 2017 18:38

    Anyone not sure about what to do with their vote should consider the possibility of voting tactically to annoy Ian Tinkler and John Tulloch.

    • Shuard Manson

      • June 5th, 2017 21:54

      I had the temerity to suggest they might be shooting themselves in the foot. I am stupid according to these sages. I won’t be voting SNP but if Miriam gets in, she owes a debt of thanks to Tinkler, Harmer & Tulloch.

  • Robert Sim

    • June 5th, 2017 22:49

    I see John Tulloch continues his disingenuous spin around the Labour and Tory resurgence in the Scottish polls. You’ll notice that John as ever carefully avoids giving any poll figures because “resurgence” is a relative term here. A Survation poll reported today gives the SNP 40 per cent; the Tories 27 per cent; Labour 25; and the LibDems six per cent. In other words, even with reduced totals, the SNP is going to have by far the largest number of Scottish seats in the House of Commons. ‘Scotland Votes’ suggests those figures translate to 46 MPs for the SNP, seven for the Tories and three each for Labour and the LibDems.

    Only one party will therefore be able to claim to have a mandate to speak for Scotland after this Thursday. The UK-based parties will soon forget Scotland once the election is over. That will undoubtedly apply during brexit, where we will see Scottish interests come last. In the context of a very small Tory majority, therefore, a strong SNP bloc will be able to defend Scottish interests. It makes sense for Shetland and Orkney to return an SNP MP and be protected by that strength.

  • John Tulloch

    • June 6th, 2017 9:44

    Only 40 percent for the SNP? Down from 50 percent in 2015?

    By your own figures the SNP has lost 20 percent of its support since 2015. Thank you for confirming that “Peak SNP” is past and their popularity is seriously on the wane.

    Electoral Calculus (EC) deliberations (see link) show that, as I said, the Tories and Labour have recovered markedly from 2015 lows, Labour, meteorically so, in recent polls, while SNP support is poised to fall off a cliff.

    I recall enough economics to know that stock market analysts would put a “SELL SNP” rating on this chart. EC also predict that at least eight SNP seats will fall to the Tories. The graph ends, with your poll, on 2nd June, so still six days to go and plenty to play for.

    Unlike you I’m not taking the electorate for granted however I think you will find on Friday that Orkney and Shetland has been anything BUT a “two-horse race”.

    • Robert Sim

      • June 6th, 2017 14:36

      To repeat, John: “… even with reduced totals, the SNP is going to have by far the largest number of Scottish seats in the House of Commons…Only one party will therefore be able to claim to have a mandate to speak for Scotland after this Thursday.” I prefer the facts while you appear to prefer wishful thinking and spin.

      • John Tulloch

        • June 6th, 2017 15:13


        The Orkney and Shetland election is wide open and not, as you would have it, a “two-horse race”.

        Waffle away as much as you like, I never claimed the SNP wouldn’t be the largest party. I merely pointed out, using your own poll figures, that “Peak SNP” is past and that their support has fallen significantly while both Labour’s and the Tories’ have risen dramatically, since 2015.

      • ian tinkler

        • June 6th, 2017 16:14

        What a dreadful logic Robert Sim, so whatever party has the largest number of seats is the only one with a tight to represent anyone. Pure humbug and stupidity, each MP, whatever his or her party, has an absolute duty to represent his or her constituents. Only the SNP regard themselves as a herd/collective without individuality or the right to follow their unique views. What a horrible view of democracy you hold Robert Sim. No wonder people are beginning to see the SNP for what it is.

      • Robert Sim

        • June 6th, 2017 16:14

        John, you have absolutely no evidence to prove your assertions about the local election being “wide open”.

        I am pointing out the benefits of being part of the strong SNP group at Westminster, whereas you have nothing positive to offer – simply scare stories about the SNP and desperate appeals to vote tactically to stop the SNP – for no good reason that I can see. (And by the way this isn’t a Holyrood election so you can forget the litany of complaints about the devolved administration.) But carry on waffling if it makes you happy.

      • Robert Sim

        • June 6th, 2017 16:31

        It’s infinitely more “dreadful logic”, Ian, to vote negatively just to stop another candidate being elected, which is what you stated on here the other day you intend to do.

      • John Tulloch

        • June 6th, 2017 16:34

        Robert, you have no idea what evidence I have or don’t have. I can’t guarantee the figures I’ve had sight of are accurate however they are reputable and they do indicate that the Orkney and Shetland election is very close, indeed – and certainly, not a “two-horse race”.

        Btw, I am not advocating that people should vote tactically. They should vote for the party/candidate combination that they believe will best represent the vital interests of Shetland.

      • Robert Sim

        • June 6th, 2017 17:01

        “Robert, you have no idea what evidence I have or don’t have. I can’t guarantee the figures I’ve had sight of are accurate however they are reputable and they do indicate that the Orkney and Shetland election is very close, indeed”. That’s great evidence, John: “Take my word for it”. There is either concrete evidence in the public domain or there isn’t.

      • Ian Tinkler

        • June 6th, 2017 17:06

        It was on your advise Robert. You told me not to waste my vote. I will not, I have no particular favourite her, but I do know only one party founded on division and self-interest. I will vote to confound them. I am sure across Scotland many more will do the same. Did you hear Nippy is already considering an Indy3 if she loses indie2? No wonder, yet again investment, in Scotland is falling behind the rest of the UK again. If only that woman would start governing Scotland instead of hatred and confrontation of Westminster.

      • Johan Adamson

        • June 7th, 2017 8:51

        Actually, each MP has a duty to represent the whole country, not just Scotland. Vote Labour to ensure a Labour victory for the whole of the UK and indeed Europe.

    • Graham Fleming

      • June 6th, 2017 21:58

      Really Mr Tulloch, there has been a sub sample poll by Lord Ashcroft of the Northern Isles with the SNP leading on 56%.He also predicts the Conservatives to win an overall majority of about 60 seats hardly a slippage according to this pollster.But the real poll counts on Thursday, I am sure Miriam will thank you and your amigos if she is successful – for all your assistance, in getting her elected.

  • Peter Hamilton

    • June 7th, 2017 7:15

    It appears John Tulloch is being fed secret insider polling. Some think he may be a Lib-Dem / Tory stooge. Others may wonder if he is a person of interest to the CIA. Come on John, what secretive organisation is behind your curious claims?


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