Comment: Get out and vote, even with a heavy heart

Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

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MAYBE it’s all part of the comedown from the frantic campaigning and fleeting euphoria of the Independence Referendum.

It was inevitable that there would be some sense of anti-climax after the intensity and excitement of the indie vote 20 months ago. But there is no denying that today’s Scottish Parliament election has failed to grab the public imagination in anything like the way that the referendum or even Westminster poll last year did.

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Perhaps it’s election fatigue setting in, or the distraction of the impending EU referendum, or the sense that there is nothing at stake beyond the scale of the SNP’s victory. Whatever is the root cause, there is certainly a sense of weariness among the voters, if not among our politicians who continue to campaign with passion and gusto.

It would be a mistake, though, to write off the importance of voting today. For a start, the very expectation that the SNP will stroll to victory raises at least an element of doubt about that outcome. Complacency among its suppporters could offer an opportunity to another party. Could the Greens grab the chance of a position from which they could push their agenda harder?

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It is hard to get excited about any race for second place, but with the Conservatives talking up their chances of becoming the official opposition the fallout for Labour could be tremendous. Coming third would be a shattering blow psychologically, one from which it would inevitably be asked, can the party survive.

Beyond party politics too, there are important issues. There are many good and able politicians, wearing rosettes of various colours, who work hard to make their part of Scotland and indeed the whole country a better place. Those individuals deserve our support. So, even if it is with a heavy heart, get out and vote. If you don’t, you forfeit all rights to complain about what might happen next.