Allan Little on BBC Newsnight last night, suggested:
‘But there is little doubt that an affair that began with allegations of sexual misconduct by as powerful man has had the effect of damaging a female head of government who had been enjoying unusually high levels of public trust and approval. There’s a special anguish in this for long-term campaigners. The bitter feud between the two outstanding figures in Scottish politics gathered momentum at a time when support for independence had been surging to new highs sustained over many months, it’s now fallen back. A few weeks ago, polls were showing that 55% were planning to vote for the SNP in the constituency vote in May. That would have given them an overall majority. That too has dipped back into the 40s.’
This is a clear example of kind work even the better journalists do and demonstrates their unreliability.
Leaving aside Little’s lazy conflation of SNP popularity, trust in the First Minister and support for independence, only the same thing for uninformed outsiders, this report on the 22nd March ignores the last two polls, published days before, suggesting the dip may have been temporary:
BBC Newsnight has a level of support staffing most media outlets can only dream of. Not updating Little’s comment that support for independence has fallen back, did not result from shortages of time or staff but a determination to stick with the narrative he and they liked, regardless of changing facts. These people are storytellers before public servants. An apparent recovery of support does not fit the story they wanted to tell, days before.
On support for the SNP:
In the last four polls, support does seem to have ‘dipped into the 40s’, but only just, and the BMG poll suggests it may be climbing back out. However, more important, Little emphasises the risk to the SNP’s overall majority and so any future referendum, when the last poll suggests an overall majority of 3 and with the Greens, a ‘whopping’ pro-indy majority of 19!
James Kelly explains this best: https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/03/support-for-independence-boomerangs.html
Also, where is the evidence that the Fist Minister is damaged? I’d put money on her coming out of this more trusted.
Finally, I’ve now heard two experienced campaign managers suggest there has been no loss in support for independence but merely a vaccine rollout boost for the Union. Immunity from the desire to leave the Union may only last for a few weeks.