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SNP infighting and a successful vacine roll-out could ward off Scottish independence

9 11 5
03.02.2021

It was a sacking so abrupt, it shocked even by Westminster standards. The departure of Joanna Cherry from the SNP frontbench was not announced by the party in its reshuffle press release. Instead it fell to the influential Scottish National Party MP to break the news – along with her displeasure – on social media.

It is a turn of events that encapsulates the current problem the SNP is facing: itself. The party’s knack for endurance, the fact that it is polling at over 50 per cent ahead of the Holyrood elections after 13 years in power and Nicola Sturgeon’s positive approval ratings in her handling of Covid mean there’s been a growing sense among ministers that the only thing that can stop the march of the SNP is the SNP.

Much has been made recently of the battle Boris Johnson faces when it comes to keeping the Union together. The SNP are forecast to win a majority in the Scottish parliament elections in May. At that point Sturgeon will demand a second independence referendum – and should the Prime Minister refuse, as he has said he will do, the Scottish Government will look to hold one anyway.

Given the Prime Minister’s low approval ratings in Scotland compared to Sturgeon’s – there’s around a 100-point gap – it’s easy to see why the prospect of another poll makes ministers queasy. The general hope is to push a vote into the long grass until at least one of Sturgeon or........

© iNews


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