Neil Mackay: SNP needs a counterspell to rediscover his soul

Yet now that these positions have been sworn for a while, we can see their impact on the SNP. Put simply, the party is falling apart. It is as divided as the Tory party at the height of its Brexit civil war or the Labor party under Jeremy Corbyn.

To the delight of the opposition, Forbes destroyed the SNP’s record in government – ​​a government of which she is a senior member as finance minister – with a brutality unionists must have envied.

Political parties at war rarely win elections, and the SNP’s polls are already rather dismal. Mhairi Black, the SNP’s deputy leader in Westminster, has even gone so far as to say that if Forbes wins, the party will split. Nicola Sturgeon had to respond by saying she didn’t think that was going to happen.

Let’s just think about it for a moment: the SNP is even split, whether it will split. The most successful political party of a generation imploded in a matter of days.

This week’s polls made really uncomfortable reading for nationalists. In November, 49% of people said they would vote yes to independence and 45% would vote no. Today it is 51% with no and 42% with yes. Even among SNP voters, support for Yes fell from 81% to 76% between November and March.

HeraldScotland: JOHNSTONE, SCOTLAND - MARCH 8: Scottish National Party (SNP) presidency candidate and Scotland's First Minister, Scotland's Finance Minister Kate Forbes attends the SNP leadership meetings in Johnstone on March 8, 2023,

In 2019 the SNP won 45% and Labor 19% in the UK general election. Today the SNP holds 39% and Labor 29%. The Holyrood vote is 40% SNP and Labor 29% – that’s 8% down for the SNP and 7% up for Labour. On the regional Holyrood list it is SNP 29% (down 11%) and Labor 26% (up 8%).

The SNP also seems far removed from voters. At the hustings, Forbes, Regan and Humza Yousaf relentlessly banged the independence drum. However, when the public is asked what the most important issues are, it is the economy at 71%, the NHS at 63%, with independence registering just 21% at the immigration level.

No matter who wins this leadership competition, the public can no longer trust the SNP…

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