SNP sees support for independence COLLAPSE as impact of Nicola Sturgeon's resignation hits

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Support for an independent Scotland slipped following Sturgeon's shock resignation

Carl Bennett

By Carl Bennett

Published: 10/03/2023

- 15:38

Updated: 11/03/2023

- 00:02

A poll has revealed the majority of Scottish voters don't know who is the best candidate to replace the outgoing First Minister.

Nicola Sturgeon’s dream of an independent Scotland continues to slip away as support for the country to breakaway from the United Kingdom falls.

A new poll has discovered that the majority of Scottish voters would vote to remain at a second independence referendum.

The poll was conducted following Sturgeon’s shock resignation as the First Minister.

The Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey saw that 45 per cent of voters would vote in favour of an independent Scotland, with 55 per cent saying they would rather stay as part of the UK.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola SturgeonSupport for an independent Scotland slipped following Sturgeon's shock resignationPA

This is a contrast to their previous poll, which saw 52 per cent of voters in Scotland saying they would support leaving the UK.

The latest survey also showed the majority of the Scottish public don’t know who is the best replacement for Sturgeon.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes remains the favourite, with 25 per cent of respondents choosing the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP. Humza Yousef has 18 per cent of voters support with outsider Ash Regan getting 14 per cent.

But 44 per cent of Scots said they don’t know who the ideal candidate is.

Humza Yousef, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan during a hustings event

The majority of Scottish voters admit they don't know who is the best replacement for Sturgeon


Despite an apparent slip in the mood music in Scotland over independence, the SNP remain the best-supported party north of the border. They hold a 10-point lead (39 per cent) over nearest rivals Labour (29 per cent), with the Scottish Tories in third (22 per cent).

The poll saw that 42 per cent of Scots approved of Sturgeon’s time in office, but 40 per cent disapproved.

Redfield & Wilton surveyed 1,050 eligible Scottish voters between 2 and 5 March.

The campaign to replace Sturgeon as SNP leader and first minister has been hit by infighting as candidates take aim at each others’ government records and their social views.

Ash Regan, Kate Forces and Humza Yousef during a hustings event

Kate Forbes remains the front runner to replace Sturgeon


Seemingly kicking the SNP whilst they’re down, Sir Keir Starmer said the leadership contest shows the party has “lost its way” with voters.

The Labour leader is hoping his party can capitalise on the moment and win over voters lost to the SNP in previous elections, telling reporters in Glasgow the party was “falling apart.”

Ash Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader, agreed with Starmer, saying none of the candidates vying to be Scotland’s next first minister are of the same ‘calibre’ as the outgoing SNP leader.

Scottish Labour leader Ash Sarwar and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

Sarwar and Starmer have both questioned the future of the SNP


Sarwar said: “I think it’s fair to say we don’t fear any of the candidates. I will take any of them.

“I think the other important point to make is, I have profound disagreements with Nicola Sturgeon. I don’t agree with her politics.

“I’ve been battling on the frontline of politics with her for over a decade, but I think even the most ardent SNP supporter would accept that none of these candidates are of the calibre of Nicola Sturgeon."

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