I know Reporting Scotland can find any number of folk in the street saying they don’t want another independence referendum but that doesn’t mean they would all be voting No if they got one. There’s no convincing evidence of that and the Yes vote is holding up in polls far too close to 50% for us to think we couldn’t push it over the line as the Brexit deal becomes clear, as oil prices boom, as EU nationals turn in support for Yes, as the mainstream media shrinks and as the Tories make embarrassing mistakes weekly in the run-up. I don’t often agree with psephologist and Professor John Curtice but his article in Prospect magazine today is right on the money. The link is below but here are the key points summarised for those without the time:
- The SNP vote is recovering, already 2 to 3 points up since June;
- The SNP is still way ahead of its rivals;
- The opposition is divided and not credible as an alternative government;
- The Tory boom has stalled as they fall back to third in polls;
- Support for independence is holding solid above 40%;
- Support for independence has polled as high as 47%;
- 25 to 33% of SNP supporters voted ‘leave’ in the EU referendum;
- Much of the drop in support, in June, seems likely to be due to the above;
- UK unionists care more about that union than the EU and so will never support the SNP;
I’d add one more point:
- The Labour recovery is very fragile and party support could split after the leadership election.
‘Indeed, rather than simply being occasioned by opposition to an early independence referendum (as is widely assumed), much of the drop in the SNP vote in June looks as though it was occasioned by the party’s ardent support for the pro-European cause. Between one quarter and one third of 2015 SNP voters actually voted to leave, and according to the British Election Study, support for the party dropped by 20 points between 2015 and 2017 amongst Leave voters, compared with just five points amongst those who voted to Remain.’
The EU has turned its back on the Catalans. France has said it will not recognise an independent Catalonia. The UK certainly won’t either. The EU’s economic policies remain neo-liberal unlike those of the SNP. Look at their treatment of Greece. In the light of all of this, it’s time for the SNP leadership to make a u-turn (not always a bad thing), go for and explain why, EFTA membership, publicly disown the EU over its treatment of Catalonia and its denial of the right to nationalise rail and energy companies, promise support for a Corbyn Labour government to kill Scottish Labour support and go for a referendum in 2020. We can win it.
Footnote: Back in 2014, one blogger compared me to Prof Curtice by saying he was like a Premier League player and I was like a reserve for the third team at Elgin City! A bit harsh? I bet I could have dribbled by him easy. One of my second or third or fourth cousins won the European Cup with Notts Forest!