Following the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary elections, the Scottish Green Party is accusing a rival political party, the Independent Green Voice (IGV), of electoral deceit. The legitimacy of the IGV has been called into question on the grounds that the party had no online presence during the campaign period yet managed to win a combined 3900 votes in its active regions: Glasglow and South Scotland. The Scottish Greens argue that the rival party uses a symbolic emblem that mirrors that of the official Green Party in an attempt to attract a wider support base.
“We have received anecdotal reports from our branch that they were seeing ballot papers categorized as ‘spoiled’ because voters had put two X’s on their peach ballot paper, one for each party identifying as ‘Green’.”
In light of alleged dishonest voter appeal, the Scottish Greens have submitted a complaint to the Electoral Commission (EC). The complaint contends that the IGV typed the word “Green” in large, bold letters on their emblem whilst displaying the implications of the party in small characters. These tactics allegedly attracted a wider support base as voters in the Glasglow and South Scotland ridings confused the IGV for the Scottish Green Party on their ballot. During the election period, the Scottish Greens expressed their frustration on their Facebook platform”
By law, the EC must ensure that registering political parties have distinct emblems and implications. This prerequisite is to ensure that voters are able to easily distinguish one party from another on their ballot. The Greens have publicly accused the EC of failing to properly scan the IGV and flag the party for electoral deceit.
Following the complaint, the EC responded by defending its decision to register the IGV as an active political party. The EC undermined accusations from the Scottish Greens, stating that similarities between party emblems are likely to arise in national elections, as there are about 400 registered political parties in Scotland.
More on the Independent Green Voice:
In 2003 Allistair Mconnchie founded the Independent Green Voice. According to its online description, this party takes on a socialist approach to world issues. The party leader emphasizes the importance of ecological awareness at all levels of governance. Moreover, all economies should be localized to promote regional food security and lower greenhouse gas emissions amid product transportation.
However, the seemingly progressive values of the IGV have been called into question in light of controversial comments made by the party founder. In 2001, Allistair McConnachie denied the event of the Holocaust on false grounds that there is no photo evidence of gas chambers in former Nazi Germany. In an interview with the Sunday Herald in 2018, he stood by his former comments but claimed he was not a Holocaust denier.
McConnachie was a Scottish organizer for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) from 1999-2001. However following his radical commentary, he was refused renewed party membership. After being expelled from the UKIP, McConnachie sought to broaden his platform through founding a pro union group in 2012: A Force for Good. This group advocates for the social, cultural, economic and political union of the United Kingdom. However the true intentions of his political party and union group have been called into question in light of his fascist commentary and alleged voter rigging. The Scottish Green Party addressed their concerns in a recent Facebook comment:
“A fringe organization called the Independent Green Voice…was putting forward candidates with links to the extreme right and amassed 1,690 votes across South Scotland.”
Amid the controversy, the Scottish Greens claim that the Allistair Mconnchie uses the IGV as an attractive platform to camouflage the fascist goals. This proved to be successful as the latter Green Party won 2210 votes in the Glasgow electoral region and 1690 votes in the South Scotland region. The Scottish Greens claim that the IGV robbed them of having a greater presence on the national level, as they were only a few hundred votes short of winning two more seats in Parliament. As the investigation into the legitimacy of the IGV continues, Scotland awaits the Commission’s verdict.