Meanwhile in Scotland, courtesy of Brexit, the long march to Indyref2 is about to begin

Tomorrow Nicola Sturgeon will unveil the SNPs economic case for  another independence campaign.  As it will focus attention on Scotland’s sluggish economic performance under an SNP government on the defensive, it’s a high risk strategy. Support for Indyref2  would first exploit resentment that the UK government has given no weight to the  big Remain majority in Scotland and will ignore  the Scottish Parliament’s  refusal to give consent to a Withdrawal Bill   that would fail to devolve powers over agriculture and fishing  …

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“Look, this Carthage obsession of yours. For Jupiter’s sake, let it go, man!”

With the Scottish First Minister, the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon, backing down, for now, from her previous strident position on indyref2 the BBC’s Scotland editor, Brian Taylor, detects the “scunner factor” at work. Voters in Scotland have thrilled to seven electoral tests in three years. They are already anxious over the uncertainty attendant upon Brexit. Are they ready for yet more eager talk from the SNP and the Scottish Government about the prospect of indyref2? Nicola Sturgeon has concluded that they …

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Signs of dramatic Tory revival causes new headache for Sturgeon’s Indyref 2 strategy

From the Sunday Times £ SNP set to lose 11 seats according to shock poll The Panelbase survey of 1,029 voters in Scotland — the first Scottish poll since Theresa May called a snap election — points to a surge in support that would take the Conservatives to 33%, up 18 points from two years ago. It amounts to their strongest showing north of the border since the days of Sir Edward Heath’s government in the 1970s before the steep …

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The political capital of asking for what you will not get…

Brexit has led to increasing demands for IndyRef2 and an NI border poll, and on principle, the British Government has not exactly been slow to rule them out.  Nicola Sturgeon is making the case that Brexit is changing the opinion of a large number of people in Scotland [A major change of circumstances? – Ed] and Sinn Fein have made a similar case. However, all of this is apparently for nothing, because James Brokenshire has to be persuaded that the …

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Mixed polling results leave it all to play for in the May v Sturgeon battle over Scottish independence

The war of words between Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May might  been expected  to boost Scottish support for  Indyref2 and independence. If so it hasn’t happened yet. The first snapshot of  a Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times coinciding with the SNP spring conference but  before Nicola Surgeon spoke is not immediately  encouraging for her, with NO to independence recording at 56% and YES at 44%. However 44% still thought Scotland would become independent within the next 5-10 years compared …

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Gordon Brown storms in with a “third option” for Scotland and the UK. The ideal compromise, or too much, too late?

  Churn over Theresa May’s flat refusal to allow Indy ref 2 continues unabated. The reality of identity politics is proving a lot more complicated than the dream. The big move today is Gordon Brown’s “third option” of a federalising UK  of which more in a moment. But first a verdict on yesterday. May was caught short by Sturgeon springing the referendum demand on her. Did  the prime minister  over-react in haste and did she have only herself to blame …

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What does May running up the Union Jack mean for Northern Ireland as well as Scotland?

Theresa May has spoken out very directly  to reject Nicola Sturgeon’s demand to be allowed  to hold Indyref2   in emotional British patriotic language which marks it out starkly from the language of Scottish nationalism.   “Our Party believes heart and soul in our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The union is more than just a constitutional artefact.  It is a union between all of our citizens, whoever we are and wherever we’re from. So our plan for …

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Challenges ahead of a #ScotRef (or #IndyRef2) will cut both ways…

] Today’s Polling Matters podcast has a useful conversation between host Keiran Pedley and Ailsa Henderson, Professor of Political Science at the University of Edinburgh. It’s a real anti-hype piece in which she does a good job of honing in on some of the crunch areas of #ScotRef (the updated SNP version of #IndyRef2). In her piece for the Herald today she covers some of the same ground (though in nothing like the same detail). One key is the shifting ground …

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“If I ruled out a referendum, I would be deciding that Scotland will follow the UK to a hard Brexit…”

The political gamble of Ms Sturgeon’s life, or so says Alex Massie in the Spectator. Well, maybe. She hasn’t actually called anything yet, just flagged her intention to do so within a set timeframe. However… Brexit, she confirmed, has changed everything. Before the EU referendum she had accepted there could be no grounds for a second referendum unless or until such time as there was evidence a significant number of Scots had changed their minds and were now prepared to …

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On #Brexit nothing is certain, even the assumption it would be followed by a Scottish exit

Much of what happens in the Brexit debate we should probably take with a large pinch of salt, whether or not it comes from a camp you favour or not. It’s a bit of a leap into the dark, so not all of the consequences, either way, can be reliably foreseen. It’s likely to be a class of Project Fear Mk II. One line to be particularly sceptical of is the idea that if the UK comes out of the …

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SNP will continue to take Scotland on a steady fiscally ‘conservative’ course…

Very perceptive take from Professor Paul Cairney on where the SNP is after their conference. The reality is there will be no second push for a referendum until the answer is likely to be significantly different (an expression of doubt that the new converts to the SNP would trundle happily into the Yes lobby this time). Nor will there be any sharp move towards the Nordic model of social democracy. (For a start the money is not there.) Paul notes clear fiscal policy …

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