Nicola Sturgeon warned SNP independence poll horror is ‘continuation of spiralling trend’

SNP's independence argument always 'falls apart' says Wallace

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The First Minister’s dreams of independence are now hanging by a thread after the latest opinion poll suggested most Scots now want to stay in the Union. The results of the Survation survey serves as a huge blow to the SNP after 22 consecutive polls had shown support for independence.

The poll published in the Sunday Mail found 44 percent of Scots would vote to stay in the UK if a referendum was held tomorrow.

Just 43 percent of those asked would vote in favour of independence.

Once undecided voters were excluded, the survey had both sides dead-locked on a 50 percent share of the vote.

The poll asked 1,011 adults in Scotland from February 25-26.

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson warned the SNP support for independence was now on a downward trajectory.

The MSP for Edinburgh Central pointed out the survey was conducted before former First Minister Alex Salmond gave evidence to the Holyrood inquiry which has rocked the SNP.

In a post on Twitter, Ms Davidson wrote: “Just to be clear. This poll is a continuation of the trend, now demonstrated by multiple polling companies, that independence is losing support.

“And the fieldwork for this poll was carried out BEFORE Salmond gave evidence.”

On Friday, Mr Salmond gave evidence to the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints, which is investigating the botched handling of claims made against him.

Appearing before the committee, Mr Salmond repeatedly claimed Ms Sturgeon broke the ministerial code, but stopped short of saying she should stand down as First Minister.

Ms Sturgeon has been accused of misleading parliament over when she knew about allegations of harassment made against Mr Salmond.

Ms Sturgeon denies misleading parliament and is set to appear before the inquiry on Wednesday.

The SNP has outlined an 11-point plan to hold a second vote on independence if the SNP wins a majority in the Scottish Parliament elections in May.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to sanction a section 30 order – used in the 2014 referendum – where 55 percent of Scots voted to remain in the Union.

Pamela Nash, the chief executive of Scotland in Union, has welcomed the latest polling figures.

She said: “It’s welcome that support for remaining in the UK is on the rise.

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“People are recognising that as we navigate out of the Covid crisis with a successful UK-wide vaccination programme, we are stronger together.

“The SNP is obsessed with trying to divide Scotland, but the priority should be working together on a recovery for everyone in the country.”

SNP depute leader Keith Brown has said polls are tightening as May’s Holyrood elections near, but claims Scots “trust in Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP”.

He said: “The SNP continues to have Scotland’s best interest at heart, and will work hard every day to maintain the trust and confidence of the Scottish people.

“The people of Scotland have shown, in poll after poll and election after election, that they place their trust in Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP to lead Scotland through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

“May’s election offers Scotland two choices: more broken promises and austerity measures under Boris Johnson, or the right to decide if Scotland has a progressive future within the European Union as an independent country.

“With both votes SNP, we can deliver a strong, fair and green recovery and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s.”

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