The Scots will get a say whether or not they want to leave the union and go it alone but polling out today from our friends at Ipsos Mori hints that despite being the most popular leader and leading the most popular party it isn’t looking good for Alex Salmond as support for an independent Scotland has fallen by 5% since the last time the company conducted a similar survey in June.
58% of those polled said that they preferred to stay in union – up 3% from June with those who wanted to leave down 5% to 30%. The undecided’s moved up 2% to 12%.
However it isn’t all bad news for Alex as 50% of those polled said they were satisfied or better with his performance for a net +10% overall rating. The plan though seems to be clear as the only other major party that will be campaigning for an independent Scotland is the Green party and their leader is the second most popular with an overall +6% positive about his performance. However alarming this is down 6% from June where both Patrick Harvie and Alex Salmond had sky high approval ratings of +12% and +13% respectively.
The other three parties are unsurprisingly going along the lines seen elsewhere across the UK with Labour being beloved and the Tories and the Lib Dems looking down instead of looking up. Labour though are the party on the move as net satisfaction of the Scottish Labour leadership has steadily increased since the start of the year when Johann Lamont took charge and the public according to this poll believe that she is doing a very admirable job.
So things aren’t looking great for Alex Salmond as he starts this campaign to leave the United Kingdom but 24 months is a long time in politics and a lot could change. If he is to be victorious he needs to convince Scots that they’ll be better off away from Westminster. I think it is fair to say the fact it is a straight Yes/No vote hurts the SNP as most Scots like the safety net of Westminster but would like more devolved powers. Without that safety net would Scots really be better going it alone?
That is what he’ll have to convince them of but the early polling suggests that it’ll be an uphill battle for the SNP leader.
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