Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Angus Robertson accused of ‘misleading’ voters over election leaflet claims

Angus Robertson leaflet
Angus Robertson.

Former SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson has been accused of misleading voters over claims Holyrood’s proportional list system is used to “determine the winning party and who can become first minister”.

Mr Robertson, a former Moray MP who is standing in the Edinburgh Central constituency at next month’s Scottish Parliament election, made the claim in a leaflet sent out to members of the public this week.

He told voters: “You have two votes in the Scottish Parliament election: the first for your constituency MSP, and the second that determines the winning party and who can become first minister.

“As your local SNP candidate, I would be honoured if you would vote for me with your first vote and cast your second vote for the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon as first minister.”

The former SNP group leader has been criticised by opposition parties over the claim and accused of trying to “dupe voters into giving his party their support”.

Angus Robertson Salmond inquiry
Angus Robertson, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

Under Holyrood’s Additional Member System, the public is given two votes: one to select a single candidate to represent their constituency and another for the party or people they would like to represent their region.

To create a more balanced parliament in line with the country’s views, each party’s regional vote is divided by one more than the number of seats it has won so far in that region, including constituencies.

This means the more constituency seats a party returns, the fewer list seats it will win. Depending on the region and results for other parties, the rough regional vote share required for each seat is typically around 5-6%.

There is no option for voters to directly choose who they want as first minister and it is not correct to say that the list vote necessarily determines the winning party.

Scottish Liberal Democrat electoral candidate Bruce Wilson, who is running against Mr Robertson, said it is a shame he “feels the need to mislead voters”.

“The proportional list system is not a vote for who you want as first minister, it is a vote for who you want to represent the region,” Mr Wilson said.

“What’s more, because it is a proportional electoral system, people can vote for who they actually want without worrying about wasting their vote.”

Former SNP MP Kenny MacAskill, who is running on the regional list for the Alba Party after defecting last month, said: “This is disingenuous from Angus Robertson.

“But it shows he realises that Alba’s message is hitting home in Edinburgh, as elsewhere. This isn’t about securing a first minister but delivering an independence supermajority.”

‘Damaged brand’: Alex Salmond not on Alba Party leaflets

‘Desperate’

A Scottish Conservative spokesman described it as a “desperate attempt by a senior SNP figure to try to dupe voters into giving his party their support.”

The SNP lost Edinburgh Central to Ruth Davidson in 2016 by just 610 votes, following extensive campaigning by the Scottish Conservatives.

Mr Robertson was Moray’s MP from 2001 to 2017 until being ousted by Douglas Ross, the man who would go on to become the Sottish Tory leader.

An SNP spokesperson said: “Only both votes SNP can guarantee re-electing Nicola Sturgeon as first minister and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson‘s.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier Scottish politics team

More from The Courier