We can sink Sturgeon! SNP’s indy dream can be crushed by tactical voting in May

Indyref2: Ballantyne says there’s ‘huge gap’ in arguments

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Ms Ballantyne, an MSP who quit the Tories earlier this year to front the rebranded Brexit Party north of the border, sounding her warning with Ipsos Mori’s latest poll suggesting Mrs Sturgeon is on course for an 11-seat majority in the Scottish Parliament. Writing exclusively for Express.co.uk, she said: “Eyes on the prize, for unionists there is a sense of growing frustration and anger.

Voters in Scottish Parliamentary elections cast two ballots, one for one of 73 constituency MSPs, and the second for a party in eight regional constituencies.

Each of these elects seven members, meaning each eligible Scottish voter is represented by eight MSPs – one from the constituency, seven from the regional list – after the election.

In total, 129 MSPs are elected to the assembly.

In order to stop the SNP, Ms Ballantyne urged political rivals to set aside their differences for the good of the United Kingdom.

She explained: “We are the majority acting like a minority because we are still divided by our traditional left-right politics.

“Labour would rather vote with the SNP then support the Conservatives.

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Whilst Anas Sarwar talks of healing, he rejects any meaningful options to work with the other parties.

“Douglas Ross offers the hand of friendship with the confidence of knowing it will be rejected.”

Neither leader wanted to ask any of their candidates to step aside, and no candidates were offering, she said.

Referring to the Liberal Democrats’ Scottish leader, Ms Ballantyne added: “Meanwhile, Willie Rennie urges his supporters to stick with them knowing they will not come anywhere near winning most of the seats but instead ensuring a unionist party doesn’t.

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“They all urge ‘use both votes for us’ whilst the nationalists titter with glee at the easy pickings.

“Alex Salmond has joined the fray. But this is merely a distraction because whilst everyone haggles over the list and argues about the vote split the prize is being forgotten.”

Ms Ballantyne said: “Eyes on the prize, 73 first past the post constituency seats, 59 of which currently give the nationalists their power base; it’s the reason they control the parliament even as a minority Government.”

If the unionist parties placed all their hopes on “mere survival” through the 56 list seats, they were “playing to lose”, Ms Ballantyne cautioned.

She said: “To beat nationalism the major pro-union parties need to take the constituency seats and their focus and worry about the list is simply a taste of their strategic defeat.

“It will take more than this election to achieve but they should be making that start now.

“None of them alone can take on the rise of nationalism, they need each other.

“Instead egos and self interest have become the order of the day.

It was therefore up to voters to cast their ballots for whichever pro-union candidate stood the best chance of winning.

Ms Ballantyne said:”If their eyes are on the prize, then unionists will look at which unionist party can win their local constituency and vote for them without reservation.

“You can then vote for whom ever you want on the list vote and maybe, just maybe Holyrood will become what was intended, a coalition of parties whose eyes are on the prize.

“The prize of a Scotland with local decision making in the interests of the people, with the benefit of the union dividend.”

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