Nicola Sturgeon crisis as support plummets – damning new poll sparks SNP alert


Nicola Sturgeon grilled by Peston on ‘irrelevant independence’

And pollster Chris Hopkins said the First Minister was now facing an uphill task to seal the emphatic win she needs to bolster her case for another referendum on the issue, Today’s poll, carried out by Savanta ComRes on behalf of the Scotsman, makes worrying reading for Mrs Sturgeon exactly a fortnight before the election on May 6.

When it comes to Holyrood’s binary voting system, SNP support in the Holyrood Constituency contest stands at 46 percent, down three points, with the Tories on 25 percent and Labour on 20 percent, both up two).

With respect to the Holyrood List vote, which is a form of proportional representation, the survey puts support for the SNP at 38 percent, also down two.

The Tories are on 23 percent, up two points, with Labour on 17 percent, down one.

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister (Image: GETTY)

Savanta ComRes

Savanta ComRes’s poll shows a dip in SNP support (Image: Savanta ComRes)

Alex Salmond’s new Alba Party has failed to make any impact, polling just one percent of the list vote.

Mr Hopkins said: “These latest figures show the SNP potentially missing out on a majority, but there are still plenty of routes for them to get one.

“While ‘both votes SNP’ has never made the most of the SNP’s dominance, increasing their vote on the List could top up the seats they need, but they’d require a sizeable shift in their favour from these latest figures.

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Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon campaigns door to door (Image: GETTY)

“Instead, squeezing the soft Labour constituency vote in seats in South Scotland, for example, could help them overtake the Conservatives and give the SNP the majority they crave.”

“That could be easier said than done, though; With the Conservatives up in this poll, and a healthy proportion of Labour voters more likely to trust the Conservatives than their own party to protect the union, the Conservatives will also be trying to squeeze Labour in an attempt to hold off an SNP challenge.”

Mr Hopkins added: “Based on recent polling, I think the appetite for independence is dropping a little bit.

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Douglas Ross

Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservatives (Image: GETTY)

Anas Sarwar

Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader (Image: GETTY)

“The vaccine rollout has gone pretty well so the figures we are seeing in Scotland may be a slight reflection of increased Conservative support across the UK.”

According to electionpolling.co.uk’s swingometer, if SavantaComRes’s poll is accurate, it would leave the SNP two seats short of a majority in Holyrood.

However, with the Green Party potentially taking as many as eight list seats, there would nevertheless be a pro-independence majority returned to Holyrood.

Scottish election factfile

Scottish election factfile (Image: Express)

The poll also suggests Tory leader Douglas Ross’ personal favourability has dropped to a net -13, down two points, with recently installed Labour leader Anas Sarwar up four points to +6.

Commenting, Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “These latest polls confirm the recent trend of rising support for remaining in the UK, with the successful UK vaccination programme and UK-wide support for jobs and businesses reminding us that we are stronger together.

“This should send a message to the SNP to stop prioritising division ahead of the issues that really matter to people – Covid recovery, NHS and social care, and jobs.

“The SNP’s negative vision to divide Scotland is being rejected and the people of Scotland want politicians to bring our country together and build a recovery for everyone.”

Mr Ross yesterday accused Mrs Sturgeon of being “churlish” by not accepting that the coronavirus vaccination programme is one of the “unquestionable benefits of the union”

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond’s Alba Party has failed to make an impact (Image: GETTY)

The pair clashed on the issue in a virtual debate staged by the National Union of Students in Scotland, with the First Minister claiming it is “simply not true” to suggest Scotland could not have procured vaccine doses in the same number if it was no longer part of the UK.

He said: “The best country in Europe is actually Hungary at 38.2 percent.

“By any measure we are miles ahead here in Scotland.

“And the fact that Nicola Sturgeon refuses to accept that is because of the procurement and the development of the vaccines that the United Kingdom has taken forward is churlish, is irresponsible, and the fact that she got so angry at even being questioned about that shows she doesn’t want to accept the unquestionable benefits of the union of the United Kingdom in delivering our way out of this pandemic through the vaccination programme.

Mrs Sturgeon hit back, saying: “At the start of this year, when you were wrongly saying that the vaccination programme was running behind the rest of the UK, you were claiming then it was the Scottish Government’s vaccination programme.

“Now that it is doing really well, you’re saying it is the UK Government’s vaccination programme – make your mind up.”



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