TL;DR version [Updated with figures from the YouGov polling of 12-16 May]: If you’re looking for the best possible balance of pro-EU MEPs from the current Scottish List for the May 2019 EU Elections, the tactically smart thing to do is for the current voting intentions for the SNP, LibDems and Greens to hold up, and for any further defections from Labour or Tory to go to either the Scottish Greens or SNP (in that order of preference).
This update from my earlier analysis is now based on the YouGov/TheTimes poll of 12-16 May, whose voting intentions for those who have said that they’ll vote would translate to either four or five seats for pro-EU parties and 1-2 seats for the Brexit Party. In all models, neither Conservative nor Labour win any seats.
Assuming a 45% turnout and allowing a 5% margin of error at each stage, and with five of Scotland’s six seats allocated under the d’Hondt system, the SNP will have 3 seats, the LibDems 1 and Brexit Party 1.
The way the d’Hondt system works means that any party that only marginally loses a seat at any stage of the allocation other than the last will win the allocation at the next step. However, it all comes to a head at the last seat alloction (seat six), where the SNP, Scottish Greens and Brexit Party are all within 2.6% of each other – well within the margin of error in polling.
So, if there’s no shift from the current YouGov voting intentions we could end up with any of these scenarios:
But that last seat currently has the Scottish Greens and Brexit Party in a dead heat on votes, with the SNP just 4,400 votes behind.
As the LibDems win either seat four or five quite comfortably, but don’t appear to have a realistic shot at two seats, the best advice here is for anyone who hasn’t yet made up their minds or is departing the respective train wrecks of the Conservative and Labour parties to vote Scottish Green or, if they can’t face that, SNP. On current voting intentions, that last seat will be very tight indeed.
The worst case scenario appears to be two Brexit and four pro-EU seats, but it would take very little extra on the Green or SNP votes to leave Brexit with a single seat, with the rest safely in pro-EU hands.
You know what to do…