By Steven Paterson former MP for Stirling
We’re all familiar with the great postal vote conspiracy, right? The industrial scale deception perpetrated by agents unknown to ensure the Yes side didn’t win the 2014 Independence Referendum?
After all, the evidence was overwhelming, and all over social media afterwards, so it must be true. All those piles of votes being shifted about: it was fixed!
Except there’s one wee problem with this particular conspiracy theory, which it shares with other whoppers such as the well-known faked moon landings: its complete and utter nonsense. There would have had to have been fleets of bin lorries transporting hundreds of thousands of ballot papers to be incinerated somewhere – at every count nationwide – and nobody talking about it afterwards, or else we would have to believe that the many experienced SNP counting agents witnessing the count somehow missed hundreds of thousands of votes being deliberately miscounted.
So what? Well, the perpetuation of the ridiculous independence referendum ballot paper conspiracy continues to have an unwelcome consequence for those of us who support the SNP and independence for Scotland. It’s this: due to mistrust of the system this fiction encourages, supporters of the SNP are far less likely to sign up for postal votes than supporters of other parties, and especially the Tories. And since postal voters are 96 percent likely to vote versus non-postal voters at 73 percent likely to vote in any given election, this gives a clear advantage to our opponents, and especially to our Tory opponents.