The Tories might be evil, but they’re not idiots.
They do think YOU’RE a bit dim, though.
Because firstly, even if that HAD been a careless slip-up, it would mean nothing to them. Even partially-alert readers recall Ruth Davidson’s insistence after the 2016 Holyrood election that Westminster shouldn’t block a second indyref after the SNP won a clear mandate for one.
That position was swiftly abandoned and so would the one tweeted today be. But that, of course, isn’t the tweet’s purpose anyway.
The Tories know that almost all Yes supporters are going to vote SNP on the constituency ballot on Thursday. That’s priced in and there’s very little they can do about it. What they worry about is the list, which is where nearly all their seats come from, and in which they could be massacred if SNP voters voted for other indy parties.
So the Tories (and Labour) want as many SNP list votes as possible, because they know that nearly all of them will be wasted votes which only deliver Unionist MSPs. The SNP only got four seats on the list in 2016, and that was from 42% of the vote – significantly higher than the 36-37% the SNP are polling currently.
The other thing that scares them is the thought of the SNP being reliant on another party that actually has a viable and active plan for delivering independence. The Unionist parties have just survived five years of an SNP/Green indy majority which didn’t take a single step towards another referendum, and they’re pretty confident that they’ll survive five more years of the same, since nothing has changed.
The Alba Party, however, aren’t in the game for cosy seats and salaries. Many of their candidates have given up cushy SNP careers and put everything on the line for a real shot at independence. Unlike the SNP and the Greens, they actually do scare the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems.
So it’s massively in the Tories’ interests to try to fool SNP supporters into thinking they should give both their votes to the SNP, on the basis of the ridiculous fantasy that Boris Johnson would cave in if the SNP got a majority by themselves. And going by the state of social media in the last few weeks, they might actually be right that SNP voters are dumb enough to believe it.
The only vote that frightens the Tories is a vote for Alba. It frightens them because it threatens to cut their healthy tally of 31 seats in half at a stroke, and it terrifies them because they think it might actually bring independence uncomfortably closer. If unsubtle tricks like this can get enough SNP voters to waste their list votes on Nicola Sturgeon’s motley crew of no-hoper list candidates, the Tories will celebrate long into the coming weekend.