John Curtice: SNP now losing independence support

The polling expert said latest polling showed the SNP had created political difficulties for itself

The SNP is losing the support of people who believe in independence, according to a new poll.

The poll also found First Minister Humza Yousaf is not popular with SNP members or the wider Scottish public, and almost a third of SNP supporters are sceptical of the partnership with the Greens.

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If there was a general election tomorrow, the SNP would still come out as the top party in Scotland with 38 per cent of the vote. This is two percentage points down on April. They would also win in a Scottish election with 39 per cent of the constituency vote and 32 per cent of the regional vote.

AN independence march in 2018AN independence march in 2018
AN independence march in 2018

However the poll, which was carried out by Survation for True North and the Holyrood Sources podcast, also found support for independence sits at 48 per cent - still short of the 50 per cent needed to break away from the UK.

Polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice now says this shows the SNP is losing the support of those who believe in independence. Speaking on the Holyrood Sources podcast, he said: "The truth is that we are looking at a situation where a political institution is in trouble, even though the cause for which it's in favour isn't in trouble.

"Whereas in the middle of January, 76 per cent of those people who voted for Yes in 2014 were saying they'd vote for the SNP, that figure is now down to slightly below two thirds. Whatever Nicola Sturgeon's intention in resigning as leader she has created a sequence of events whereby support for the SNP has gone down. In electing Humza Yousaf the SNP have created political difficulties for themselves."

He added only 45 per cent of those who voted SNP in 2019 think "favourably" of Mr Yousaf. The polling also found Labour would be the second biggest Scottish party in both Westminster and Holyrood if a general election or a Scottish election was held tomorrow.

A new poll has found SNP supporters and the wider Scottish public don't like Humza Yousaf as first minister.A new poll has found SNP supporters and the wider Scottish public don't like Humza Yousaf as first minister.
A new poll has found SNP supporters and the wider Scottish public don't like Humza Yousaf as first minister.

It estimates Labour would be "breathing down the SNP's neck" on 31% in a general election. The Conservatives would come third with just 18 per cent and the Lib Dems trailing on nine per cent.

Similarly in a Holyrood election, Labour would win 30 per cent of the constituency vote and 26 per cent of the regional vote, with the Conservatives knocked back into third place on 19 per cent in both votes.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar also polls slightly more favourably than Mr Yousaf.

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Professor Curtice added Labour is "incredibly lucky" with the results of this poll.

He said: "I think the story is very simple. Part one of the story is Partygate. Part two of the story is Liz Truss. And part three of the story is the SNP leadership contest. In other words, the Labour Party north of the border is profiting from a sequence of mistakes by their opponents.

"By sitting still and not messing up and at least having both a UK-wide and a Scottish leader who people at least regard as being respectable, if not necessarily something they have a great deal of enthusiasm about, the apples have been falling into Labour's lap, frankly on both sides of the border."



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