Ben Wray: Don’t capitulate on ScotRef, Nicola: It’s time to learn the real lessons

CommonSpace columnist and Common Weal head of policy Ben Wray says it would be a mistake to take indyref 2 off the table

SINCE the General Election result in Scotland has become evident, the UK press, Ruth Davidson, Kezia Dugdale and Willie Rennie have all been very clear – indyref 2 is dead. 

This is to be expected – they were always going to jump on any loss in SNP support to push their anti-independence narrative. More worrying is that this has not been refuted by the SNP leadership. 

Nicola Sturgeon has said that the possibility of a second referendum did have an effect on the 21 SNP losses and that she will consider in the coming days what she will do.

Read more – Robin McAlpine: Six reasons for indy supporters to feel cheerful

It would be a grave mistake on the part of the first minister if she were to capitulate to the unionist chorus and take an independence referendum off the table. The independence movement must make it clear to Sturgeon that we expect her to stick to the Scottish Government’s democratic mandate at such a crucial moment.

First off, a second referendum is not fundamentally why the SNP lost support – it lost support because it did nothing to motivate the Yes base. Sturgeon’s campaign was insipid and uninspiring, and the low turnout among Yes voters in 2017 is proof of this. 

The No side was more motivated, and clearly some Yes voters decided that Corbyn’s Labour offered more by way of hope than the SNP in this election.

The results bear this out. Turnout was down in Scotland by five per cent on 2015, whereas UK-wide it was up 2.5 per cent. The number of SNP votes was down 500,000, but Labour – which increased its number of Scottish MPs from one to seven – actually got less overall votes in 2017 than 2015.

A close reading of key independence-supporting areas in the west-coast of Scotland where Labour made gains provides us with conclusive evidence of the de-motivation of the core Yes base.

Sturgeon’s campaign was insipid and uninspiring, and the low turnout among Yes voters in 2017 is proof of this. 

In Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, turnout was down over 5,000 on 2015. Labour won with its vote only increasing by 2,000 when it was chasing an SNP majority of over 11,000. 

The big change was that the SNP vote fell by a huge 11,000. Labour won the seat by just over 1,500 votes – the lower turnout made the difference.

This picture played out in Glasgow North-East in even more stark terms. Turnout was down over 6,000. The Labour vote went up less than 1,000, but the SNP vote fell by more than 8,000. Labour won the seat by just over 200 votes.

Of course, in both constituencies there was also significant increased Tory support, but we are not talking about big numbers here – after all these are among the poorest and most Yes-voting constituencies in Scotland. 

They have not become anti-independence overnight. The west of Scotland was, and I believe still is, the bedrock of independence support, but it shouldn’t have been taken for granted by a campaign that seemed much more interested in appealing to Tory voters than Yes supporters.

A second referendum may look politically unfeasible right now, but that could change rapidly depending on how Brexit develops. It would be a colossal mistake to take indyref 2 off the table.

Indeed, since Brexit the SNP leadership has seemed vaguely ambivalent about the fact that a big chunk of its support voted leave in the EU referendum. Since then, the party has been excessively europhile, assuming wrongly that its core base would continue to support it regardless and hubristically thinking that the europhile middle-class who voted against independence in 2014 could now be the key converts to take Yes support over the line. 

This strategy never made sense based on an analysis of Scotland’s demographics, as there are not enough middle-income voters in Scotland to make the difference. It’s that failed strategy which should be dead now, not a second referendum itself.

Secondly, Sturgeon must keep sight of the bigger picture here. The UK state has now reached new depths of crisis. A lame-duck and humiliated prime minister in hawk to the DUP will now lead Brexit negotiations, with a resurgent left in England polarising the country even more. The situation is extremely volatile; voters are moving position quickly. 

A second referendum may look politically unfeasible right now, but that could change rapidly depending on how Brexit develops. It would be a colossal mistake to take indyref 2 off the table, and thus not keep her options open.

Polls show some movement against indyref 2 since its peak immediately after Brexit, but nothing that should warrant panicking. If Sturgeon gives away our one bit of leverage in these negotiations, Scotland will be at the mercy of the Tories.

Read more – Jim Sillars: Here's what the SNP and the Yes movement now need to do to build the indy case

Finally, Sturgeon should stick to the democratic mandate that she was elected on as first minister on in 2016, which was to pursue a second referendum if there was a concrete change in circumstances, such as Britain voting to leave the European Union. 

Many of us lent our vote to the SNP in that election for that very reason. Even in this election, Sturgeon said it was not about a second referendum because she already had a mandate, but that if the SNP won a majority of seats it would bolster her position. She did win a majority of seats, albeit narrowly.

This is no time for the first minister to wave the white flag. If she does, the SNP becomes irrelevant to the Brexit process at exactly the moment it needs to exert influence. 

The shock of the UK election is exactly because the crisis of the UK state is at a very deep stage. Independence is part of the answer to that crisis. Kicking a second referendum into the long grass now would be a disaster of historic proportions.

Picture courtesy of Scottish Government

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Comments

Sceptical Scot

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 15:45

'A second referendum may look politically unfeasible right now'

....and bears are known to favour woodland for the purposes of defecation.

OlwenMcG

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 18:23

Excellent article.
Membership of the SNP surged post referendum because people like me wanted to continue the fight towards independence and membership of the SNP seemed to be the way to do that. The 2015 election result is unlikely to be repeated but GE17 result is not what it should have been.

The FM should not have entertained a procession of interviews and debates which focussed almost entirely on devolved issues. She played, foolishly in my opinion, into the hands of the mainstream media and, worse, into the hands of Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale both of whose campaigns focused on only ONE message: no to a referendum.

It is not enough to keep repeating that we have a mandate - we know that we do. What people needed to hear was why SNP MPs are needed in Westminster and what they actually DO there. Every moment discussing schools and NHS in Scotland in televised debates and interviews was a wasted opportunity because our MPs have NO influence on these devolved matters.

We have lost outstanding MPs because the wrong battle was fought. They have been let down - hearbreakingly - because they paid the price for not debating, discussing and campaigning on Westminster issues and by not shutting down the disgraceful, undemocratic argument against a second referendum.

No-one can have any issue with people being against independence but how DARE anyone argue against the democratic process! To lose seats in a GENERAL ELECTION to two parties who had not a single policy was a disgrace and we should be apologising to our MPs who lost their seats for letting them down so badly.

The fight for Independence must continue but, if seems likely, there is to be another election in a few months let us campaign on Westminster issues. Do not let Ruth Davidson get away with zero focus on appalling policies...I suspect Kezia won't be advising people to vote Tory again.

Sorry about the rant... I am soooooo angry!

ben-c

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 20:27

It is fascinating to read your article and many others by Mr McAlpine et al. What is so striking is that almost all of the arguments are made about how to achieve independence, but precious little time is spent arguing the case for why.
Perhaps I've missed an archived trove of logic and reason (if so, please point me to it), but as someone who sees far more risk then reward in independence, but wants to and is willing to debate the substance of the case, I must say that I'm a little disappointed. Indeed it increasingly seems that one seems to have need a preconceived belief in the case for independence for any of your articles to be relevant.
Nevertheless, debate is far better than the puerile ranting that passes for it on twitter so please keep it up, but I'd be pleased to read more on: why?

Ben Wray's picture

Ben Wray

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 23:05

Go to allofusfirst.org/library - you will find our trove there answering not just the why question l but 'what' and 'how' to.

 

Lysdexic

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 14:58

The snap election was a two-pronged affair.
1. Increase the Tory majority.
2. Dispose of indiref2.
Nobody could predict Corbyn's sudden surge, so the Tories were caught off-guard.
In Scotland, it was business as usual - villify the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon in particular.
This was achieved by relentless propaganda by all three Unionist parties and backed up to the hilt by media coverage.
Devolved issues became the focus of the attack - completely inappropriate for a Westminster election. At the same time, the devolved performance deflected away from scrutiny of the Tories performance in Westminster for Ruth Davidson.

The result?
The Corbyn surge ruined the party nationwide and the Tories suffered an embarrassing result with less seats than they started with and only able to form a minority government.
In Scotland. the Unionists still failed to destroy the SNP who returned a large majority with 35 seats - miles better than all the Unionist seats combined - and so far, indiref2 is still on the table.

Not such a resounding success for the Tories after all - who are now supposedly in bed with the bigotted, homophobic DUP.
Now more than ever, we need to keep that indiref2 commitment alive and kicking - it clearly has Westminster rattled - after all, they don't want to go down the tubes and see us scamper off to a bright exciting future as an independent country.

official_grant

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 20:32

While I agree that it makes sense for Sturgeon to keep indyref 2 ammo in the gun to help Scotland during the process... the problem if this;

Sturgeon comes out this week and says 'there's no mandate for a hard brexit, deliver a soft brexit and a referendum is off in this parliament.' (which is what she was saying in the spring anyway).

It just looks weak, that she is trying to give herself an out on indyref2 due to lost support.

Remember, when the statement about indyref2 was made, Sturgeon et al felt sure that a UK gov rebuff would build support for a referendum in Scotland. Clearly this has not happened and the UK Gov would feel even more bullish about knocking back a section 30 order.

Clearly there needs to be moving parts here for independence to happen.
1 - a disastrous brexit which people in Scotland clearly realise as damaging.
or
2 - the simple passage of time, when voters believe it is acceptable to ask the question again.

At the moment, 2 seems more likely. But that obviously means the stars have to align again with a massively popular election win to deliver a referendum, and then a more convincing campaign to deliver a victory.

After Thursday, you'd need to be a big optimist to think Sturgeon will deliver this in 2021. Hopefully Thursday does allow Sturgeon to see she has to take the shackles off and be bold, rather than simply trying to not say very much and hope that people keep turning out.

Peter Dow's picture

Peter Dow

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 22:28

No, it was Sturgeon's government of Scotland that was truly "uninspiring".

Scots rightly believe that the Scottish government "day job" was not being done well.

The political failure of leadership was that Sturgeon accepted ownership and responsibility for the SNP government failures - in the economy, in education, in health, in council services.

The correct political strategy was to hold the Scottish conservatives in large part responsible for the failures of the Scottish government's "day job" because it didn't have enough money to invest for growth and prosperity.

Cuts in money and performance have been the story of the Sturgeon government whereas a smarter political campaign would have fought harder for more money, a better fiscal framework with more borrowing powers.

Also there was managerial incompetence. Sturgeon is not a "details" First Minister and neither is Michael Matheson - together they have allowed the police and courts to run amok, making political prisoners of patriotic Scots like myself.

No doubt other SNP ministers have been second rate - the top financial team of Sturgeon, Swinney, Mackay and Brown - are 2nd rate politicians, not competent ministers. They turn for advice to "experts" but they pick the worst experts to listen to most - such as Anton Muscatelli - who advised them on the fiscal framework.

The SNP was not a problem of style but of substance. Sturgeon and her team are light-weight and rely heavily on the civil service to decide EVERYTHING.

In fact, if the SNP ministers were NOT THERE AT ALL and the civil service ran everything, the performance would be all but identical. That explains everything.

The SNP needs better leadership. The only hope to save Sturgeon is if she will finally to listen to good advice - FROM ME.

But she doesn't call, doesn't write to me ...

So right now, indy ref 2 is doomed - whether it is held or not - because the Scots are going to conclude - if Sturgeon's "day job" is the best Scotland can offer - WE ARE BETTER OFF TOGETHER.

It's not true because I am much better than Sturgeon.

If Commonspace really wants to hold and win indyref 2 then it should be promoting me, and not just in comments.
____

Peter Dow is a Scottish scientist and a republican socialist whose legal human rights are cruelly violated by the police and courts in Aberdeen, where he lives.

Peter Dow's political defence blog publishes the truth about the wrongful and unjust royalist arrests, prosecutions, convictions and punishments he endures.
http://peter-dow.blogspot.co.uk/

MauriceBishop

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 14:35

If you believe in democracy, you have to be willing to accept results that did not go your way.

In 2014 we were told we were voting to settle the matter for a generation. There weren't any caveats to those assertions. The answer was an an unambiguous "No".

In this GE we were told that a vote for the SNP would be an endorsement of their decision to abuse their position at Holyrood to demand a re-do. And again, the answer was an unambiguous "No". The "unionist" parties (Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems) got a 62.4 % overall vote share and greater than a 50% vote share in every constituency in Scotland.

And now here is CommonWeal saying "don't take 'No'" for an answer.

When it is is the VOTERS who say 'No', you have no choice but to listen.

MauriceBishop

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 16:13

The SNP have "disappeared" the IndyRef2 crowdfunding webpage, after raising at least £470K (that was as of May 13, who knows what the final total was).

Do you suppose they will be issuing refunds? Or will they use it for some more joyriding for the FM in a custom livery helicopter?

iainw

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 18:28

You seem to have missed quite a lot, not just the 'trove' of articles you so earnestly seek.

Your overwhelming sense of disappointment will no doubt be addressed when the Common Space staff introduce their bespoke pointing to articles service which is shortly to be trialled.

In the meantime please feel free to rant on here or on Twitter where your totally non - peurile debating skills are much appreciated

Made me laugh anyway.

iainw

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 18:49

Oh dear Maurice, did you spend all your pocket money on the crowd funder and not get a ride in Nicola's chopper?
Sending you big hugs and if you supply your address I'll send you some soor plooms and a few sherbert dib dabs to make up for it.

iainw

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 18:47

Maurice, I fear you have clicked the wrong link, you need to redirect to the Hootsmon or Dame Kevna Everage's blog where your homespun reinvention of the democratic process can be posted. Kev will even let you draw graphs as well.
Don't forget your crayons if you haven't already chewed them all.

UCSvet

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 09:37

The election in 2015 was fought in Scotland WITH the support of the YES movement, a grass roots movement which the SNP immediately publicly disowned following the 2014 referendum.. This in itself will have accounted for some of the drop in SNP voting figures in 2017

In 2015 the Labour Party still visibly Blairite its leader linked publicly to the Tories anti Independence stance fought on a Manifesto of austerity lite. It was easy not to vote for the Labour Party.
The Scots experienced sending 56 MPs out of a possible 59 to Westminster to lend the Labour Party a spine in a hung parliament. Unfortunately for them and us the English electorate found them as lacking in credibility as we did and elected in a Tory government.
Our fighting 56 found themselves all dressed up with nowhere to go. These lessons were not lost on the Scots.
We had given the SNP as much as they were entitled to expect and they could only deliver pretty speeches.

The 2017 election presented the Scots with a Labour manifesto and leader they could vote for. Countless thousands chose not to. It's an absolute miracle that the SNP won the huge number of seats that they did given that the candidates had no record of achievement in Westminster on which to seek election. Despite being the party opposed to austerity, when there was a spontaneous demonstration of 150,000 against austerity in London OUR MPs found somewhere else to be that day. Perhaps they were only against Scottish austerity.
The stratagy the SNP leadership chose to adopt was to build on the 62% vote they secured in favour of remaining in the EU. It put clear blue water between the Scottish and the English electorate and they thought it would secure them the same base vote in the GE. Unfortunately the unionists parties determined otherwise. They tried to force the SNP into defending independence and they failed to do that
What was inexcusable happened during the Scottish " leaders" debate the Three Craws ( Davidson,Dugdale and Rennie) were cawing in unison " no one wants a referendum" providing Nicola a perfect riposte that perhaps they hadn't been in Glasgow when 20,000 people gathered to declare " we do" The embarrassiment would have been that SHE WASNT THERE EITHER.
Now I know that demonstrations are only one form of political activity but I ask readers to briefly imagine a demonstration promoted by a party of 100,000 members led by that party's candidates standing for election and addressed by the first minister. Fighting for independence Catalan style.
Any backtracking on the principle of a Scottish referendum would signal the end of the SNP. We can decide when negotiations are clear enough for the Scots to decide whether the conditions meet their needs. Leaders NEED to lead. There's an old saying" if you ain't gonna piss get off the pot."

UCSvet

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 22:28

The election in 2015 was fought in Scotland WITH the support of the YES movement, a grass roots movement which the SNP immediately publicly disowned following the 2014 referendum.. This in itself will have accounted for some of the drop in SNP voting figures in 2017

In 2015 the Labour Party still visibly Blairite its leader linked publicly to the Tories anti Independence stance fought on a Manifesto of austerity lite. It was easy not to vote for the Labour Party.
The Scots experienced sending 56 MPs out of a possible 59 to Westminster to lend the Labour Party a spine in a hung parliament. Unfortunately for them and us the English electorate found them as lacking in credibility as we did and elected in a Tory government.
Our fighting 56 found themselves all dressed up with nowhere to go. These lessons were not lost on the Scots.
We had given the SNP as much as they were entitled to expect and they could only deliver pretty speeches.

The 2017 election presented the Scots with a Labour manifesto and leader they could vote for. Countless thousands chose not to. It's an absolute miracle that the SNP won the huge number of seats that they did given that the candidates had no record of achievement in Westminster on which to seek election. Despite being the party opposed to austerity, when there was a spontaneous demonstration of 150,000 against austerity in London OUR MPs found somewhere else to be that day. Perhaps they were only against Scottish austerity.
The stratagy the SNP leadership chose to adopt was to build on the 62% vote they secured in favour of remaining in the EU. It put clear blue water between the Scottish and the English electorate and they thought it would secure them the same base vote in the GE. Unfortunately the unionists parties determined otherwise. They tried to force the SNP into defending independence and they failed to do that
What was inexcusable happened during the Scottish " leaders" debate the Three Craws ( Davidson,Dugdale and Rennie) were cawing in unison " no one wants a referendum" providing Nicola a perfect riposte that perhaps they hadn't been in Glasgow when 20,000 people gathered to declare " we do" The embarrassiment would have been that SHE WASNT THEIR EITHER.
Now I know that demonstrations are only one form of political activity but I ask readers to briefly imagine a demonstration promoted by a party of 100,000 members led by that parties candidates standing for election and addressed by the first minister. Fighting for independence Catalan style. Any backtracking on the principle of a Scottish referendum would signal the end of the SNP. We can decide when negotiations are clear enough for the Scots to decide whether the conditions meet their needs. Leaders NEED to lead. There's an old saying" if you ain't gonna piss get off the pot."

geacher

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 10:34

"Any backtracking on the principle of a Scottish referendum would signal the end of the SNP." We see today that the SNP have removed their indyref2 Crowdfunding link from their Facebook page. Is this the beginning of the end of the SNP then?

Marcus

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 13:16

Last Thursday was a bad night for the SNP and indeed for the indy movement. Dugdale, Davidson, Rennie and the British establishment have portrayed this as a defeat for independence and the British State will do everything in its power to try and ensure that independence is dead in the water. The SNP lost 21 seats last Thursday and saw their vote fall in every single seat. Their vote fell by almost 500,000. Yet their website has declared that they won the election. Of course this is correct in that they have the most seats in Scotland. They also state that this is the second highest amount of seats they have ever had. And again this is correct. However, they did not gain these seats coming from a position of say six or seven seats which would have been viewed as a stunning accomplishment. They held these seats under a great deal of pressure from the Unionists and in particular in rural Scotland the Tories.
As said above the SNP’s vote fell by almost 500,000, although part of this can be explained by the fall in the turnout of around 300,000. It seems clear that these people were people who voted SNP two years ago and became disillusioned and disheartened with the SNP because they did not push independence in a forceful enough manner. Two years ago people voted SNP in large numbers because of the referendum defeat and the lies regarding the infamous Vow. In effect people voted two years ago for the SNP for independence and believed the SNP were the best vehicle to accomplish this. However, when pushed on independence by the Unionists the SNP have been on the defensive and subsequently have lost large numbers of pro-indy working class and lower middle class votes.
In 20 seats the SNP’s vote fell by 10,000 or more and in another seven their vote fell by between 9,000 and 9,500. These losses were primarily in working class Scotland and as stated were the result of people abstaining last Thursday. Certainly some voted Labour because of the Corbyn effect, although Labour lost votes to the Tories. Labour’s vote in Scotland only increased by around 10,000.
Throughout working class Scotland the SNP lost quite heavily. In Dundee their vote fell by 20,000; the Tories gaining in Dundee East and Labour in Dundee West, although neither party’s gains were substantial. The turnout in Dundee was down by 11,000 and these tended to be SNP voters two years ago.
In Glasgow the SNP vote fell by around 53,000 with both the Tories and Labour picking up SNP votes. Although again the largest amount of lost SNP votes was the 32,000 who did not vote last week but who voted SNP two years ago.
In Lanarkshire the SNP vote fell by 53,000 and in working class areas of Fife their vote fell by 32,000. Both areas saw a substantial fall in the turnout, with a fall of around 29,000 in Lanarkshire and 18,000 in Fife. It is safe to say that these 61,000 people voted SNP two years ago. The SNP also lost votes to the Tories and Labour, with Labour losing votes to the Tories as Labour people who are staunch Unionists switched to the Tories in order to preserve the Union.
In other major working class areas the SNP vote fell significantly. In Falkirk and Linlithgow their vote fell by 25,000, with Labour and the Tories picking up SNP votes, although there was a fall in the turnout of 11,500, almost certainly SNP voters two years ago. In Cumbernauld their vote fell by 10,000 and in East Kilbride it fell by 12,000. Again both Labour and the Tories picked up some of these voters. However, the fall in the turnout was also significant with a decrease of 6,000 in Cumbernauld and East Kilbride.
Inverclyde, Paisley and West Dunbartonshire all saw similar developments. West Dunbartonshire, along with Dundee, Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, a region that voted Yes saw the SNP vote fall by 11,000 with the turnout 7,000 less than two years ago. Labour and the Tories gained from the SNP here, although Labour were the main beneficiaries.
The SNP still picked up around 700,000 working class and lower middle class votes. However, thousands of working class people – probably around 400,000 – 450,000 – did not vote SNP last Thursday because they are tired of their inactivity regarding independence, although there is also the Corbyn effect with some working class people turning to Labour because they do not hold that the SNP is a left-wing party despite the SNP’s claims to be left of centre.
In rural Scotland and parts of Scotland with significant conservative communities in which large numbers of the people are reactionary right-wing Unionists the SNP lost twelve seats to the Tories. This is to be expected as the Tories galvanised the Unionists around their party with a strong pro-Union message based upon opposition to another referendum.
The SNP are in a precarious position and if there was to be another election quite soon there is every possibility that the SNP would lose many more seats. There are at least nine seats that they would probably lose if there was an election in the near future. These nine seats have seen the SNP’s majority fall to less than 1,000 and in four of these seats they have majorities of less than 100. It would be no surprise if these seats were lost in the next election, especially when we consider seven of these seats are in working class Scotland that would probably be lost to the SNP because of the Corbyn effect and the fact is that his popularity will continue to grow as the mess that is Brexit becomes known.
As Scottish Green co-leader said the SNP did not articulate a really clear message about independence and indeed whenever questioned on a referendum they went into retreat mode. When the Unionists stood up and made these last two elections about independence the SNP should have stood up and shouted loudly and clearly that they are a party that supports independence. Two years ago the Yes movement was galvanised around the SNP and that is why they won 56 of the 59 seats. People in the main two years ago voted for independence but this time did not think the SNP reflected their views on this most crucial issue and therefore responded by voting for another party or abstaining. The Tories galvanised the Unionist vote around them whereas the SNP did not respond in like and this is a big part of the reason we have seen this result last week.
The SNP made a mistake by saying that they are a party for the whole of Scotland. Now I understand this as they are a national party and as such they think they should represent everyone in Scotland. But at the same time I don’t really understand this because they are a party for independence and in that they are different from other political parties whose main objective is to govern, but this was never the reason for the SNP. They are not a political party in this sense, therefore they should be acting on behalf of those who want independence and no others. The hardline Unionists in Scotland have their own political parties and these people will never vote SNP and will never support independence, so why waste time trying to convince them. Whilst the SNP have chased these people’s votes they have not noticed the hundreds of thousands of Yes supporters leave them and either go elsewhere or abstain. The Blairite New Labour Party made the same mistake in chasing middle class reactionaries whilst their support was leaving them in their millions.
One other interesting aspect of this election is the fact that the SNP’s vote fell dramatically after only two years. New Labour did not see a fall in their support for three to four terms. Therefore what it took New Labour three to four terms to do the SNP have managed in only two years, i.e. alienate large sections of their support.
Either the SNP learn from the mistakes they have made or we the Yes movement create a party that will work for independence. I see no other way. We will see whether the SNP will learn, although John Swinney said the other day does not fill me with confidence. He said the prospect of another vote on Scottish independence was a “significant motivator” in the election result and that the party had to be “attentive to that point.” In effect what he seems to be saying is that they listen to what the Unionists have got to say. If this is the case then I don’t see any other option than the formation of a party that will reflect the views of all indy supporting Scots.

geacher

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 16:54

A well written and well thought out piece with a fatal flaw at it heart. The conclusion that indy supporters " became disillusioned and disheartened with the SNP because they did not push independence in a forceful enough manner." is 100% wrong. The SNP lost so many votes BECAUSE they pushed for indyref2 too strongly; that is why the unionist parties made it such an issue... the country does not want another referendum, and the failure of Sturgeon to recognise this was a serious error.

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