Nicola Sturgeon faces tough challenge as Ross calls for cross-party alliance against SNP

Nicola Sturgeon has 'cynical approach' to Indyref2 says expert

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Nicola Sturgeon has been hoping to secure an overwhelming majority at the polls to push ahead with her plans for a second Scottish independence referendum. Scottish Tories leader Douglas Ross however hit out at the First Minister as he insisted his party will hold the SNP accountable for their performance in power over the past few years. Appearing at an Onward online event said: “I am not afraid of Nicola Sturgeon’s poll numbers. No other opposition leader should be either.

“It is the job of Scotland’s opposition to call the SNP out – not to run and hide.”

Mr Douglas also urged members of the Scottish Labour and Green parties to stand up to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP following her hearing in front of the Scottish Parliament’s Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints.

He continued: “So as the main opposition to the SNP, I have to ask other parties – do you really think any of those actions are acceptable?

“Why would we let this government – or any government – away with this?”

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The Scottish Conservatives confirmed on Sunday they would table a motion of no confidence in SNP deputy First Minister John Swinney over his handling of legal advice during the Alex Salmond harassment inquiry.

Continuing his appeal, Mr Ross added: “When they abuse their power, cover up the truth, and trample on Parliament – don’t let them away with it.

“Join with us and stand up to them.

“Let’s send a message that we are Scotland’s opposition and what they have done will not be tolerated.”

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Calls for the resignation of Mr Swinney and Nicola Sturgeon has come as support for independence dropped, bringing the issue back to the knife-edge.

Following weeks of support for breaking away from the UK gaining ground, a Savanta ComRes survey commissioned by the Daily Express has shown support for the union taking a 51-49 percent lead over independence.

The survey in Scotland was the first in a year to show a majority against independence – when undecided voters are excluded from the calculation.

It follows a series of grim headlines for Miss Sturgeon, who is engulfed in a high-profile feud with predecessor Alex Salmond.

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When all responses were included, the poll showed 45 percent opposed to independence, 43 percent in favour, 11 percent undecided and one per cent declining to give their view.

Ms Sturgeon has been hoping to secure a majority at the Scottish Elections scheduled for May to ensure a new poll on independence could be pushed through.

The SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford last week suggested a new poll could take place as early as this year.

Boris Johnson has already rejected calls to grant the SNP permission to hold a new vote on whether Scotland should stay or leave the United Kingdom last year.

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