Scottish election polls: Voters turn on Nicola Sturgeon – implications for independence

Scottish independence: 'Confidence is very low' in Sturgeon

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Local elections will offer Britons their first national vote since 2019 this week, as the polls open in every home nation. The races will primarily elect councillors who operate at a community level, but should also measure attitudes to national issues. The SNP has its plans for an independence referendum hanging in the balance, and recent polls show the party is struggling in its bid to receive a second mandate.

Scots have become disaffected with Nicola Sturgeon recently, as the UK-wide cost of living crisis bites.

The crisis has left Britons with spiralling energy costs, higher food prices and little help from elected representatives.

The issue has become a central theme of the elections across the UK, with many people voting for the candidate who they believe can soften the blow.

Polling shows the issue could pull focus from independence, as fewer and fewer Scottish voters hold a positive view of their First Minister’s work.

A Deltapoll commissioned by Scottish Labour shows growing dissatisfaction among residents.

The poll of 1,001 found that a minority – only 21 percent – thought she was doing “very well” or “quite well”.

The majority – 44 percent – felt she was performing “quite” or “very” badly.

Of the remaining respondents, 29 percent said she was doing “neither well nor badly”, followed by six percent who weren’t sure.

The news could spell disaster for the SNP during the May 5 ballot, with most parties pinpointing the cost of living as the most pertinent issue facing voters.

Ultimately, failure to make ground in Scotland could interrupt Ms Sturgeon’s plan to hold a referendum in 2023.

Her perceived mishandling of the crisis has allowed parties that focus on it, but don’t have plans for independence, to gain ground.

A Panelbase poll recently found that Scottish Labour has managed to leapfrog the Conservatives.

Anas Sarwar has helped rehabilitate the party’s image in Scotland, boosting it to 24 percent.

The result is a four-point gain on November 2021 and exceeds the Scottish Tories on 21 percent.

Their gain has also eaten into the SNP’s lead, with the party now on 42 percent.

That marks a six-point decline from 48 percent last November.

Ms Sturgeon has argued that her party being the largest in Holyrood shows that residents support independence.

But if polling holds and she loses ground, that assumption will come under attack.

And the drive for independence is diminishing, other polling shows, after support reached 58 percent during the pandemic.

YouGov, Survation and ComRes have found that 53 percent of Scots would vote “no” during a referendum, giving the yes vote the disadvantage on 47 percent.

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