Greens say voters could have been duped

Concerns have been raised that Borderers who wanted to vote for the Green Party in last Thursday’s election may have been duped into voting for the Independent Green Voice party instead.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 2:45 pm
Scottish Greens candidate Laura Moodie, who just missed out on gaining a list seat in the South of Scotland region.

The latter group, run by far-right activist Alistair McConnachie, changed its logo just before the election, from a “thumbs up” clenched fist to a leaf, with the word ‘Green’ more prominent.

As it appeared alphabetically before the Scottish Green Party, it’s believed many people wrongly believed they were voting for them.

Indeed, Independent Green Voice, a party which did no campaigning ahead of the election, has no online presence, and published no manifesto, garnered 1,690 votes, while the Scottish Green Party, with 18,964 votes, fell just 115 short of gaining a list MSP in the South Scotland region, with the party’s candidate Laura Moodie just missing out.

At the count in Kelso on Friday and Saturday, several ballot papers were discounted by officials as they showed both parties marked with a cross.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said: “Independent Green Voice, now a front for fascists, was allowed to use a logo with ‘green’ in big letters and the other words in small print on the ballot paper.

"This attracted enough votes to potentially prevent two additional Scottish Green MSPs to be elected, one in Glasgow and one in the South of Scotland.

“There are serious questions about how the Electoral Commission allowed such blatant electoral deceit.”

The elections watchdog says it can only take action where there is “likely” to be confusion between parties, rather than the mere possibility of confusion.

A spokeswoman for the Electoral Commission said: “We assess all applications for party names and emblems against the criteria set out in law, including the requirement to ensure that in our opinion voters would not likely be confused between two parties as a result of how their identity marks look on a ballot paper.

“If a party’s application meets the legal criteria it must be registered.

"As part of our assessment process we invite comments from the public and other parties.”