Polling guru John Curtice predicts Alex Salmond’s party to deny SNP overall majority

Alex Salmond: John Curtice predicts what could happen to SNP

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Polling expert Sir John Curtice claimed Alex Salmond’s new party could prevent the SNP from winning an overall majority on their own in the Holyrood election. While speaking to George Galloway on his chat show, Sir John admitted that while Mr Salmond is unlikely to win enough votes he will cause disruption for the SNP. Mr Galloway said: “I laid out three possible outcomes from this.

“One that the two wings or two cheeks from the same backside of the nationalist movement will eat each other and damage their cause and therefore both fail.

“A second is a super majority of MSP is obtained, albeit on a very lower share of the vote.

“A third is the affair discredits the process and it ends up strengthening Boris Johnson’s refusal to grant a second referendum.

“These are the three I thought of, you may have others professor.”

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Sir John highlighted a possibility that could cause significant disruption for the SNP.

He said: “Mr Salmond might fail to pick up very much.

“He doesn’t add or create a super majority but along the way, he does just well enough to deny the SNP the chance to get an overall majority on their own.

“At the heart of this you have to understand a bit about the Scottish electoral system.

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“We have an electoral system in Scotland whereby 73 MSPs are elected directly in the constituencies but there are 56 which are elected from a party list.

“These lists of MSP are allocated via a proportional representational formula such that the total number of MSP, both constituency and list is proportionate as possible to the outcome of the list vote.”

While speaking to Times Radio, Sir John went into greater detail of the difficulties facing the SNP.

He said: “Actually, rather than there being lots and lots of MSPs from different parties, might the position of the independence parties be stronger if one of those parties i.e. the SNP has an overall majority on its own.

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“The difficulty for the SNP is that yes, sure, for the most part, they are unlikely to win list seats in most regions.

“However, there are two regions where it did do so last time and it could do so again – South of Scotland and the Highland region.

“The point is that where the polls are at at the moment, there’s about a 50-50 chance of an overall SNP majority and for that to be realised they probably do need to pick up two or three list seats in those two regions.

“By standing therefore on the list, Mr Salmond is potentially making it more difficult for the SNP to get an overall majority.”

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