Former SNP Deputy Leader Backs 'YES Alliance'
Sillars warns SNP that without a pact “many of its MPs will be swept away”
Former SNP Depute leader, Jim Sillars, has declared in favour of an electoral pact among independence-supporting parties. He joins former Cabinet Secretary Alex Neil and current MPs Angus Brendan MacNeil and Joanna Cherry in speaking out this week in favour of the concept being considered favourably by the SNP. Writing today (11 June) for the Sunday Mail, Mr Sillars said;
“The SNP may have written Alex Salmond out of its history, but they would be well advised to respond positively to his reincarnation’s proposal of a pact, to field United Scotland candidates, at next year’s Westminster election –especially when a series of polls shows many of its MPs are going to be swept away.
Around 45% of Scots voters want independence. In our first-past-the-post system that guaranteed the SNP massive victories in 2015, 2017 and 2019. But Nicola Sturgeon’s failure over a referendum, her mad coalition with the Greens, and the incompetent shambles the Holyrood government has become, has soured so many, their vote can no longer be had for the asking.
This loss of confidence in the SNP is what the polls reveal. The former spearhead of the movement has been blunted. It is doubtful if Humza Yousef can sharpen it again to reap that 45% vote. The question Salmond asked, and answered, is how do you save the SNP, and with it, the independence movement from an electoral hammering?
His idea, of all parts of what is now a split-independence movement getting together, with the present SNP MPs included, to stand as United Scotland candidates, was first floated in April, with my support. Now he has formalised it this month with a letter to the SNP. Are they big enough, sensible enough, aware enough of the danger they are in, to talk to him, because a United Scotland platform looks like the only way to re-capture that 45% and place those elected with their votes in a key position, for Scotland, in the next House of Commons. Why not give it a try in Rutherglen?”
Responding ALBA Party leader Alex Salmond said;
"Jim Sillars is one of the best political strategists ever in the national movement. His is a voice which will be heeded if the SNP membership are allowed to determine their party strategy over coming months.
Not only is an alliance between the independence parties the only way to save SNP seats it is increasingly obvious that it is now the only way to have independence on the ballot paper full stop.
The key objective of the YES alliance is for each participating party to have as paragraph one in their manifesto that they are seeking a mandate to negotiate independence with Westminster - to finally settle up not settle down.
We must face new political realities. For the first time ever the concept of independence is now much more popular across Scotland than the SNP as a political party. And across the wider national movement an alliance between YES parties on independence has vastly more credibility than speculating about Westminster deals with a unionist Labour party on more devolution."