THE popping of corks and the tinkling of glasses will be heard in Labour headquarters for some time and deservedly so. However, when the inevitable hangovers clear, the reality will dawn around the actual vote and the Labour share.

It is quite astonishing that the party's share of the vote is less than that achieved by Jeremy Corbyn in 2017 and up only 3% from the party’s share in the 2019 election. Labour has achieved power with the lowest share of the vote of any party with a majority in history. 

The Liberal Democrats would also do well just to reflect that even with over 70 seats, their share of the vote was less than that achieved by previous leaders Charles Kennedy, Paddy Ashdown and Nick Clegg respectively.

It is abundantly clear that the election was a straightforward referendum on the Tory party and that one cast one’s vote in accordance with the desire to remove the Tories rather than any huge desire for a Labour government.

Finally, early analysis shows that if the Reform party had not stood in the election then two-thirds of the seats they have won would have gone to the Tories.

Sir Keir Starmer will have noted that the combined share of the Tory party and Reform far exceeds the Labour share of the vote despite a 170-seat majority.
Richard Allison, Edinburgh.


PR can fix this broken system

THERE can be nothing that more clearly that demonstrates the need for electoral reform than the general election results.

With 34% of the vote, Labour secured 64% of the seats. While the Liberal Democrats achieved 12%  of the vote, they secured 11% of the seats, with Reform, in contrast, surpassing this with 14% of the vote, but only receiving one per cent of the seats.

Give the increasingly multi-party nature of our democracy, these distortions will only worsen. The system is clearly broken, and we vitally need the introduction of proportional representation to restore faith in it. 
Alex Orr, Edinburgh.


Risks of switching to e-voting
THERE’S merit in Mary Thomas’s wish for changes to our current UK election system (letters, July 4). It’s always difficult to understand why a party’s percentage of the vote isn’t reflected in the number of seats they get.

Having said that, if PR had been in effect on Thursday then a coalition of Tories and Reform would have a majority to form a government, which I doubt would have pleased Mary.

However, I completely disagree with any move to electronic voting, as the current system cannot be hijacked by cyber criminals or unfriendly nations. That alone means we should stick with the current postal voting or voting at the polls.
John Gilligan, Ayr.

* WHEN the dust has settled, let us remember that 40% of the electorate does not care who governs the UK. That is what we really have to worry about.
Malcolm Parkin, Kinross. 


Will the SNP accept this new reality?
FOR at least the last 12 years the effectiveness of political leadership in the UK has been severely limited by two constitutional issues, the UK’s relationship with Europe and Scotland’s relationship with the UK.

With the election of a UK Labour government holding a large majority, it appears that the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum will finally be accepted and the reality of that (in my view, unfortunate) decision accepted.

Labour’s priority appears to be to address the issues that are important to people in this country such as the economy, the health service and education. At the same time, they intend to take steps to improve co-operation with Europe in the context of no longer being a member of the EU.

In terms of Scottish independence, the SNP has never accepted the result of the 2014 referendum and has persistently tried to keep that debate alive. Their most recent effort was to declare the election a de facto referendum on the basis that every vote for them is a vote for independence.

Well, the de facto referendum results are in and there were just over 700,000 votes cast for the SNP, around 30% of the total votes cast. Clearly, independence is not the main priority for the Scottish electorate. Unfortunately I suspect it is too much to hope that the SNP government will accept the reality of the situation. 

That would mean ceasing to manufacture grievances against Westminster and whinging about a ‘democratic deficit’; rather, they would focus on constructive co-operation with the incoming UK government to improve the lives of people in Scotland who are largely facing the same issues as people living elsewhere in the UK.
George Rennie, Inverness.

Time for a change at Holyrood, too
THE theme of this election was 'change'. The result of this election is change. 

There is one party in particular that has to get this message and it is the SNP. It fought this election on independence being the first line of its manifesto. It fought this election on it being a de facto referendum on independence.

It was humiliated, and even the vote-share for the minor independence-seeking parties was negligible too. Politicians must stop pontificating and listen. The message is pointed. Independence is not a priority. The SNP has no mandate for this. Time for a change at Holyrood, too.
Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.

* WHAUR’S yer de facto referendum noo?
Alex Gallagher, Largs.

* I FINALLY find myself in agreement with the SNP. Their absolute hammering at the general election is all Westminster’s fault! 
Duncan Sooman, Milngavie.

* IT was a little ironic that the quest for Scottish Independence was finally buried on Independence day. 
Peter Wright, West Kilbride, Ayrshire.

* I WASN’T too inspired by Starmer’s speech yesterday – but things can only get better.
L. Ferguson, Glasgow.

My priorities lay elsewhere
I HAVE voted SNP for the last 10 years, even since the independence referendum, but ran out of patience with their erratic performance in running the country and because they had run out of steam.

I voted Labour on Thursday for the first time ever, judging that it was important that Starmer defeat Sunak. Part of me feels sorry for the SNP’s fate but my priorities just lay elsewhere.
P McDonald, Glasgow.


Best of luck to Labour’s victors
I CAN only congratulate and wish the new Labour government the best of luck and hope that they can bring about the positive “change” they promised, because of the abject state of the British state.

The UK has gone backwards all my lifetime it terms of economic growth, wealth inequality and a comparative decline in standards of living, accompanied by a waning of our external influence as we have glissaded from Empire, Commonwealth, EU membership and international relevance.

Parliament consisting of many new members may be agreeable for a new regime but it does not lend itself to competent government.

I have, incidentally, been referenced recently in some correspondence, but I stand by my assertion about Thatcher’s response to Scottish Tory investment demands on highland roads, and Christopher W. Ide (letters, July 4) has totally misread a letter of mine: I was juxtaposing the response of the Tory government to the reported non-delivery of postal ballots in Scotland (not interested) and the same situation in London (an inquiry by the postal minister), not criticising the London Evening Standard for its excellent local coverage of the issue. 

GR Weir, Ochiltree.


Congrats due to BBC Scotland
CONGRATULATION S to BBC Scotland for its General Election all-night coverage.

I was dreading it, but presenter Martin Geissler’s knowledge was first-class, his quips were entertaining and his interaction with a variety of guests friendly and informative.

Importantly, he allowed his pundits to finish a sentence. Unfortunately, when they switched to Kirsty Wark in another studio she insisted on persistently interrupting her guests, often for no reason other than her own agenda.
Andy Stenton, Glasgow.

Chaos and shambles of care provision
YOUR correspondent’s letter, ‘Who can make real change for the most vulnerable? Please let us know you exist’ (July 1) makes several salient points concerning provision for people with learning disabilities in Scotland. 

The horrible future uncertainty faced by this group and their loved ones is almost too distressing to even think about.

Initially, the 2016 Carers Act promised to include both future and emergency planning for vulnerable people.  As a parent and unpaid carer, perhaps the biggest burden to carry is anxiety for your loved one’s future after you have become no longer able to care for them. 

The Carers Act, we were told, would address this through future and emergency planning.
I actually helped pilot some of the proposed improvements. Alas, at the 11th hour, these plans were downgraded from the proposed legally-upheld documents desired, to something akin to a wish list.

In the shambles and chaos of modern-day Scotland’s care provision, how can any person with care needs have any degree of confidence about finding care suitable to their needs?

When their vulnerability does not allow them to understand or express their needs and wishes, is there any realistic chance of the authority having the expertise or desire to act in the person’s very best interests? 

Without suitably qualified social workers even being available in many cases, without investment in care facilities, without reasonable working conditions and recognition of carers, the answer is very little chance indeed. 

Without adherence to a clear, robust and fit for purpose legal framework, service providers will continue to short-change the most vulnerable.

Like your correspondent, I too have reached out to the Minister for Health and Social Care for clarity on my son’s legal rights to services. I, too, was responded to by a civil servant, who also failed to answer my question and referred me to various dubious sources and guidelines.

Meanwhile, elections come and go with barely a word about vulnerable people without voices.
Duncan F. MacGillivray, Dunoon.


Directionless without Christian faith
JODY Harrison’s article, Glasgow far from flourishing as it marks 850th year' (July 5) does not mention the truncation of the original motto “Lord, let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of Thy word and the praising of Thy name” which denoted the city’s Christian foundation. 

Abandonment of Christianity in the 20th and 21st centuries has been accompanied by significant decline.

Restricting cause and effect to the realms of politics and industry neglects the deeper aspects of human consciousness and understanding. 

Jesus taught that we humans do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. People have given up on personal Christian faith. The nation has not prospered. 

Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP severed any residual tenuous connection. There is a blight of social and family disintegration and the substitution of alternative means of fulfilment. 

Our narrative recently recorded us as good-humoured football supporters. Christianity offers the vision, inspiration and energy for recovery but we are travelling in a far and distant land and have not yet found our way home.
Rev Dr Robert Anderson, Dundonald.