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Poll: Almost half of Scots say SNP candidates have not made independence case

Almost half of Scots think that the three candidates running to replace Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader have failed to make a convincing case for independence, a new poll suggested.

The research, for communications agency The BIG Partnership, found 46% of those questioned thought none of the contenders vying to be the next SNP leader and Scottish first minister had achieved this.

A quarter (25%) said Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has the most convincing case – with 18% thinking this of Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and 11% saying this for former Scottish Government minister Ash Regan.

Meanwhile, seven out of 10 (71%) of No voters said none of the three would-be leaders had made a convincing case for independence.

Paul Robertson, head of public affairs at The BIG Partnership commented that the poll “will make sobering reading for those who want constitutional change”.

He stated: “All three candidates have talked of their plans to grow support for independence – a key priority for the SNP.

“But our poll highlights the scale of the challenge. Almost half of the public don’t think any of the candidates have made a convincing case for independence – rising to 70% of ‘No’ voters who are crucial for the SNP to win over.”

The polling, which was conducted by Opinion Matters, saw 1,000 Scots questioned between Tuesday March 7 – after the first TV debate of the leadership contest had taken place – and Friday March 10.

When asked who would do a “good job” as first minister, Ms Forbes was the only one of the three candidates to achieve a positive net rating.

She scored plus 10 in this, compared with ratings of minus 11 and minus 13 for Mr Yousaf and Ms Regan respectively.