Salmond’s first wobble

News that the Scottish Lib Dems have decided to sink the SNP’s referendum 2010 Bill is a dog bites man story . Alex Salmond will hardly be surprised. But is his strategy of blaming the unionist majority in Holyrood for denying the People’s right to have a vote on independence still paying off? The latest You Gov poll may be a significant straw in the wind. It’s Alex’s first setback with public opinion since the SNP minority government was formed in May 2007. Only last June, in the Euro elections The SNP secured 29.1 per cent of Scottish votes, with Labour on 20.8 per cent and the Tories on 16.8 per cent. But now… .. Quite a shift, when you consider how Labour faring in GB as a whole.

“….according to Weber Shandwick’s website Scotlandvotes.com, the voting intention figures would give Labour 45 Holyrood seats to the SNP’s 41.The Conservatives would get 20 seats (up three), the Liberal Democrats 18 (up two) and the Greens five (up three).

A separate calculation by Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University’s politics department gave Labour an even bigger lead, at 45 seats to the SNP’s 39.
He said overall support for the SNP was roughly where it was in 2007, but support was up for the Greens, Tories and Liberal Democrats on the regional vote, hurting the Nationalists. The regional vote gave the SNP most of its seats in 2007.
The poll found support for the SNP has slipped in recent weeks, putting them level with Labour on 29% for voting intention in the regional vote.”

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London