SNP crisis: Sturgeon on alert as poll shows support ‘going in reverse’ ahead of election

Question Time: Scotland will 'thrive independently' says guest

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The latest Savanta ComRes poll found support of Scottish voting intention had dropped for the first time in three months. Around 47 percent said they would vote for independence while 42 said no. Just ten percent said they didn’t know.

Chris Hopkins, associate director at Savanta ComRes, said: “Our latest Holyrood poll for The Scotsman has some interesting changes from last month, most notably in the proportions saying the SNP ‘is divided’ rising by six points and, simultaneously, ‘is united’ dropping by eight points.

“These figures naturally have coincided with the ongoing Salmond inquiry and while there appears to be very little direct impact on the SNP in terms of the Holyrood voting intention, we do see a four-point drop in the indyref2 voting intention, although Yes still lead by six points.”

Despite the drop in the polls, SNP deputy leader Keith Brown argued Scotland’s future “must be in Scotland’s hand – not Boris Johnson’s”.

He said: “With 21 consecutive polls showing majority support for independence, it is clear that Scotland’s future must be in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s.

“People in Scotland have the right to decide their own future, in a post-pandemic referendum.

“The issue at the very heart of the election in May will be who has the right to decide what sort of country we should be after the pandemic – the people of Scotland or Boris Johnson?

“Scotland can reject Brexit, Tory austerity cuts and Westminster governments we don’t vote for – and choose to build a strong, fair and equal recovery as an independent country.

“While polls are encouraging, the SNP will not take anything for granted.

“The only way to guarantee Scotland can decide our own future is with both votes going to the SNP in May.”

Ms Sturgeon has demanded a second referendum vote this year after support for independence grew during the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the Scottish public taking to the polls in 2014 and voting to remain part of the UK, Ms Sturgeon said a second referendum should be held in the “earlier part” of the next Scottish Parliament term.

She said in November last year: “I think the referendum should, for a whole variety of reasons, be in the earlier part of the next parliament.

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“I intend to say more about this before the election in our manifesto, but we are still in a global pandemic that I feel a bit more hopeful about seeing the end of that than I did even just a couple of months ago.

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty ahead.

“I’m a life-long believer and campaigner and advocate for independence, bit right now I’m also the first minister of Scotland.

“My responsibility is to the health and wellbeing of the country and trying to steer it through a pandemic and I’m very focused on that.”

However, Ms Sturgeon’s push for independence has been met with criticism with people arguing the First Minister should focus on recovery from the pandemic than independence.

Last month, the SNP were called out for the timing of their ‘independence taskforce’.

Unionists claimed it showed the SNP was deeply “out of touch” given people’s concern about coronavirus, the vaccine rollout and economic recovery.

MSP Anas Sarwar, who is standing to be Scottish Labour leader, said: “The SNP’s priorities are wrong.

“Right now, political leaders should be focused on the coronavirus crisis, the vaccination programme and creating stability for the people of Scotland.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, what is needed is a taskforce on jobs, health and education – not on independence.”

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