It will be Mr Yousaf’s job to bolster activists’ morale at a particularly difficult time for the party and the pro-independence movement as a whole, which comes just two days after the death of the party’s most revered politician, Winnie Ewing, was announced Energy and hope for the future.
The Caird Hall meeting is presented as the start of the summer’s Yes campaign and follows the latest paper published on Monday on the need for a written constitution, updating the Scottish Government’s Independence prospectus.
It is intended to replace the special conference organized for March to discuss Nicola Sturgeon’s plan to use the next general election as a “de facto referendum”.
But the event was canceled after Ms Sturgeon dramatically announced her resignation as First Secretary and the SNP began a leadership contest to succeed her.
Prior to her decision to resign, her plan to use the next general election as an alternative to a referendum to gain independence had, and by that point already, caused significant dissent within the SNP, even among those who were generally fiercely loyal to the party leadership The events surrounding the police investigation in April were one of the reasons for her resignation.
Senior SNP MP Pete Wishart expressed concerns in January that a de facto referendum would be a “huge gamble” risking destroying independence for a generation and the SNP’s position as Scotland’s most important party.
And while he said he supports Ms Sturgeon’s plan to make the next general election a single issue for the integrity of the UK, he called it “quite the worst way to settle Scotland’s constitutional future”.
Glasgow South MP Stewart McDonald, also a Sturgeon supporter, said at the time that the de facto plan was a “mistake”.
Continue reading: The SNP faces hidden dangers as Yes voters shift as a new Indy newspaper is published
He wrote in The Scotsman: “For many years we have separated the SNP vote and the pro-independence vote. If we are to relinquish this patiently worked out position – which is vital to 16 successful years of government and to advancing our cause – then we should do so only on solid, solid merit and not on a roll of the dice. If we lose it will be difficult to come back.”
Other senior party members were also skeptical, and many were concerned about the impact on long-term independence if the SNP failed to win more than 50 percent of the vote in the general election, which Ms Sturgeon had set as the threshold for victory.
All eyes will now be on Mr. Yousaf, who outlines his preferred path to achieve his party’s founding and driving goal.
During the leadership election, he appeared to distance himself from the de facto referendum plan, arguing instead that the SNP needed to build consistent and majority support for independence.
But in recent weeks, the idea of the de facto referendum – which seemed utterly discredited and discarded in February – seems to have made a rather odd comeback.
When asked last month if a de facto referendum was still on the table, Independence Secretary Jamie Hepburn seemed to suspect so.
“Well, the First Minister has said no options should be taken off the table as long as it is rightly within the parameters of a legal electoral process, so that will be part of our discussion,” he told the BBC.
Given the massive unrest the de facto independence referendum has stirred up in the SNP during its short existence, my assessment is that it’s unlikely to be revived on Saturday.
The policy direction the SNP is now giving is…
…would you like to read the full article? Sign up for a free account unspun Newsletter and receive it directly in your inbox every weekday evening at 7 p.m. Click here 👈