SNP attacked as postal vote campaign redirects to party’s own website – furious row erupts
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The Holyrood election row broke out over a postal vote campaign which redirects to the SNP’s own website when clicked on. The SNP registered the domain, postalvote.scot is part of a campaign to encourage people to have a postal vote especially if they cannot get to a polling station due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Google’s algorithms mean the site is one of the highest for searches about how to register to vote without travelling to a polling station.
The Scottish Tories have claimed the SNP was not “playing fair”.
Miles Briggs MSP, Scottish Conservative Chief Whip said: “The SNP appear determined to turn Scotland into a one-party state.
“Those at the top of the SNP have serious questions to answer about this shady approach.
“It has more of a whiff of murkiness about it. It’s a shameless attempt to try and dupe voters.
“The nationalists should explain why they think this misdirection is acceptable.”
In response, an SNP spokesperson said: “Two million people may vote by post in May, so we’ve made applying as simple as possible.
“Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, postal voting is the safest option.”
It comes as staff at South Ayrshire Council were to be offered social media training after an official account retweeted a post from an SNP candidate standing for Holyrood.
Council chief executive Eileen Howat has written to staff warning them not to “share or repost content of a political nature.”
But opposition members accused council chiefs of “blatantly promoting” one of their own elected members.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives, whose candidate John Scott is also standing in Ayr, said: “This is completely inappropriate for an official council account to be blatantly promoting election campaigning from the SNP’s candidate.
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“Officials running social media accounts must take care at all times not to show any bias towards any political candidate as we head towards the election.
“South Ayrshire Council bosses also must remind all staff urgently to be responsible when being active on social media.”
A South Ayrshire Council spokesperson, added: “A genuine error was made by a member of staff in retweeting a post from a councillor.
“The council is clear that official accounts must be politically neutral in content including retweets.
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“The retweet was taken down as soon as the council was made aware of it.
“The chief executive has reminded staff of the importance of ensuring that council accounts contain no political content and training will be offered to staff where appropriate.”
It comes as another poll has shown a majority of Scots support independence – while also revealing an increase in the number of people who believe the SNP is divided.
Research by Savanta ComRes for The Scotsman newspaper found 47 percent of people could vote Yes if there is a second referendum, with 42 percent opposed to independence and 10 percent undecided.
When those who do not know how they would vote are excluded, the poll puts support for leaving the UK at 53 percent – down four percent on January – with four percent backing the Union.
An Electoral Commission spokeswoman, said: “The commission’s code of conduct for campaigners states that parties should always encourage voters to return any application forms directly to their electoral registration office.
“They, the [SNP] has complied with this.”
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