Scottish independence: Why does SNP need to hire actors to play Yes converts for £600? – Murdo Fraser

Last week’s survey for Progress Scotland, the campaign group fronted by the former SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson, gave some encouraging news for unionists, with its revelation that 25 per cent of those who voted Yes to independence in 2014 had changed their mind, whilst only 12 per cent of former No voters had switched to Yes.

Are people flocking to join pro-independence campaigners like these outside Holyrood parliament? (Picture: Andrew O'Brien)
Are people flocking to join pro-independence campaigners like these outside Holyrood parliament? (Picture: Andrew O'Brien)

It drove a coach and horses through the claim of many in the pro-Scexit camp of a surge in support for independence.

Undaunted, SNP strategists decided to go ahead with a party broadcast featuring “former No voters” who had changed their minds and would now vote Yes for independence.

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A website listing offered struggling actors £600 each to appear in the propaganda piece, saying that they were No voters who would now vote Yes.

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It all points to the desperation in the SNP at their failure to convince anyone of the merits of their case.

If there really were tens of thousands of former No voters switching to Yes, surely rustling a few up to take part in a TV broadcast would not be so difficult?

And yet, here we have party chiefs having to resort to offering a £600 bribe to unemployed actors to play the part.

It also means we have to take with a serious pinch of salt any claims from the SNP about voters who have switched in their direction. How will we know they simply haven’t been paid to say that?