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  • Writer's pictureJim Manclark

Solidarity joins with Alliance for Independence


Solidarity now part of Alliance – Urges other YES parties to join

The Alliance for Independence (AFI) are welcoming the first of Scotland’s smaller pro-indy parties into their fold, as they prepare to battle for regional list seats in next year’s Holyrood election.

The Executive of Solidarity agreed (Saturday September 19) to join the fledgling umbrella group, whose campaign will bid to boost pro-independence seats and MSPs under the slogan 'Max the Yes'.

It was formed earlier this year, urging Yes voters to give the SNP their first constituency vote and AFI their second vote, in the belief that standing only on the regional list for Holyrood could return enough pro-indy MSPs to give the Yes movement an unassailable supermajority in next year's “independence” election.

Solidarity have committed to AFI despite the Electoral Commission (EC) rejecting the Alliance’s bid to register under its current name, saying it could mislead voters by suggesting it represented all pro-indy parties, including the SNP. AFI leaders will meet the EC this week to try to settle the issue.

The EC did, however, accept the principle of an alliance of smaller parties as outlined in AFI’s constitution, which has opened the way for Solidarity’s decision to link up with AFI. Solidarity is the first party to join AFI and interim leader Dave Thompson, a former SNP MSP, has welcomed their backing.

He said: “We are delighted that Solidarity has decided to fight next year’s Holyrood election under our banner. It is great that Solidarity realise the potential of all of the smaller pro-indy parties coming together to ‘Max the Yes’ in next year’s Holyrood election to build a supermajority for independence.

“We hope that this will encourage the other smaller pro-indy parties to seriously consider the option of now uniting with AFI and Solidarity to create an unstoppable force for independence at next year’s election.

“Solidarity will now have a seat on the Steering Group of AFI, working with us as we develop our campaign over the next few months, and this will also be offered to any other smaller parties who come on board.”

In a statement, Solidarity said if an indy-supporting majority was elected to Holyrood next year, it would make a second indyref inevitable and uniting the pro-indy movement was “imperative”.

They said: “Solidarity believes that the 2021 Holyrood election is the most significant in the new Parliament’s twenty-one-year history. This election will determine Scotland’s future and will historically be referred to as the Independence Election. Should the Scottish people elect an independence supporting majority next May it will make IndyRef2 inevitable in 2021 and given the consistent and significant lead for YES in an unprecedented eight successive opinion polls, independence will be the outcome of that new referendum.

“Uniting the pro-independence second vote in those elections is imperative. In 2016 almost one million second votes for the SNP were not just wasted votes but actually assisted unionists to get elected. Despite attracting over 953,000 second Regional List votes the SNP failed to secure a single list seat in six of the eight regional list areas.

“In these special circumstances Solidarity agrees to join the Alliance for Independence project to unite as many of the smaller independence parties as possible.

“In so doing we would encourage other independence supporting parties like the Greens, SSP, ISP and others to follow suit. Maximum unity behind the YES parties is absolutely essential in 2021.”

Dave Thompson added “We will be bringing Solidarity’s membership of AFI to the attention of the Electoral Commission as proof that other smaller pro-indy parties will, indeed, join AFI under our umbrella, in the hope that this may alter their view on the acceptability of our name, the Alliance for Independence (AFI).”

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