Sunday, 15 March 2009

SNP fall behind in Scotland

Although the Conservative party’s lead over Labour has fallen by 2 points in the last month, David Cameron’s personal approval rating has reached a new high, according to the latest YouGov poll. However the survey’s most eye-catching finding is in relation to Scottish politics.

For the first time since it formed a minority government at Holyrood, the SNP has fallen behind Labour in the regional opinion poll. It seems that Alex Salmond’s insistence on a referendum on independence is beginning to test Scottish voters’ patience. Only 32% agree with the First Minister’s contention that it is appropriate to hold a vote on secession from the United Kingdom next year.

With Gordon Brown’s party remaining unpopular nationally it is indicative of deep disillusion with the SNP’s nationalist agenda, to the exclusion of effective governance, that Labour has edged ahead in Scotland.

The Scottish government’s strategy of short term populism allied to its agenda of stoking resentment against Westminster is a dreadfully impoverished vision at a time of recession. Perhaps the electorate is beginning to see through Salmond’s hubris.

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