No, Sarwar does not lead Yousaf on "best First Minister" polling - that was last month
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by James Kelly
12h ago
This is a rare example of me rushing to defend Humza Yousaf, but an element of 'professional pride' kicks in whenever I see Wings deceive his readers about opinion polls -  "Anas Sarwar is preferred by voters as the next FM (the stat that really tells you who’s going to win elections), but only by a solitary point over the hapless and beleaguered Yousaf – who’s barely enjoyed a single good day in his year-and-a-bit in charge." That's not true.  Mr Campbell is referring to the March edition of the monthly Redfield & Wilton poll, which showed Sarwar move ahead of Yousaf on the he ..read more
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The case against a small political party treating its own members as the enemy
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by James Kelly
3d ago
As regular readers will remember, I was elected at the start of the year to a working group which is reviewing the Alba Party's constitution.  For confidentiality reasons I can't give a running commentary on the progress of that, but obviously having been involved in the process for a few weeks, I've become much more exposed to the main arguments against having a fully-fledged internal party democracy.  In view of that, I think it might be helpful to post an updated version of my own arguments in favour of democratisation, because ultimately it's rank-and-file members who will decide ..read more
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On the whole, it would be a relief if the Greens withdraw from the coalition
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by James Kelly
4d ago
As long-term readers may recall, I initially supported the idea of an SNP-Green coalition after the 2021 election.  The unionist establishment and media were rather implausibly arguing at the time that the SNP falling one seat short of an overall majority somehow tarnished the mandate for an independence referendum, and it seemed to me that putting together a government with a clear parliamentary majority comprised of two parties that both had commitments to independence and to a referendum in their manifestos was a powerful way of making the point that the mandate was in fact watertight ..read more
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The Murrell development is no cause for celebration - but there may be a silver lining
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by James Kelly
5d ago
Of all places, I was at the AGM of Alba North Lanarkshire when the news broke about Peter Murrell last night.  Understandably, a touch of schadenfreude rippled through the group, but personally I didn't feel any cause for rejoicing. As an independence movement, we need the SNP to get out of jail at the general election, and the prosecution of Murrell (especially the timing of it) makes that harder. On the plus side, a recovery for the SNP is likely to depend on the toppling of the continuity Sturgeon faction, and that also now becomes much more likely - but the problem is that there just ..read more
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Keir Starmer reels in HORROR as Labour loses its outright lead in Scotland, according to shock new Norstat poll
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by James Kelly
1w ago
Apologies to anyone who thought from the title of this post that it's a completely new poll - it was in fact published on Monday, so you may have already seen it.  I was up to my neck that day due to an Alba committee meeting and a few other things, but I thought I'd better bring the numbers to you belatedly. Scottish voting intentions for the next UK general election: SNP 32% (-1) Labour 32% (-4) Conservatives 16% (-) Liberal Democrats 9% (+2) Reform UK 5% (+1) Greens 4% (n/a) Alba 2% (n/a) Labour going from a three point lead to level-pegging may look like possible margin of error noi ..read more
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More on Craig Murray and dual party loyalties
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by James Kelly
1w ago
It's rather timely in view of my previous post that Craig Murray has now written a blogpost setting out more details about his plans to stand for the Workers Party of Britain in Blackburn, even though he is a member of the Alba Party.  Now, as I've done before, I want to make clear that I am not in any way having a go at Craig - I think Alba should absolutely be flexible and tolerant enough to allow one of its members to stand for another party in England.  But I also want to ensure that other Alba members can expect similar levels of flexibility and tolerance in equivalent situation ..read more
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Poll of Polls: Support for independence stands at 49.6% so far this year
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by James Kelly
1w ago
We're now over one-quarter of our way through general election year (no, I don't buy the notion that Sunak will cling on until January 2025), and the independence movement obviously finds itself in a very challenging situation because the SNP are in real danger of losing the majority they hold among Scottish seats at Westminster.  However, it's worth drawing breath and taking stock of the other side of the coin - ie. just how extraordinarily strongly the support for independence is holding up as the SNP have slipped back. As far as I can see, there have been nine independence polls so fa ..read more
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A red letter day as Neil MacKay may not be completely wrong about absolutely everything
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by James Kelly
1w ago
Here's a question I never thought I'd ask myself: is Neil MacKay actually half-right about something?  He's got a typically provocative column in the Herald about how the independence movement is tearing itself apart as the general election approaches.  But it's not, as some people automatically assumed from MacKay's track record, about "evil Cybernats" or "Alba splitters".  It's instead about divisions between the SNP and the Greens, and between different factions of the SNP. If part of MacKay's point is simply that pro-independence parties should not be standing against each ..read more
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Bombshell Redfield & Wilton poll shows a clear majority for independence, but the SNP slip to second place in YouGov poll, posing the question for SNP members: is factional Humza rule REALLY worth losing the general election for?
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by James Kelly
2w ago
Should Scotland be an independent country? (Redfield & Wilton) Yes 51% No 49% More details and analysis to follow shortly ..read more
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Two queries
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by James Kelly
2w ago
Someone claimed on the previous thread that there was a new poll out today showing the SNP on 49 seats.  That seemed highly unlikely, and having checked I couldn't see anything.  I then made five or six attempts to respond to the comment by asking if people were just inventing numbers at this point in the hope that no-one would bother checking.  But I couldn't get my comment published.  I don't know if the bug is at my end or if it's affecting everyone.  I was going to ask people to let me know if they were having the same problem, but of course if they are, it would b ..read more
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