Support for the SNP and Scottish independence falls squarely in the crosshairs

Support for Scottish independence, the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon have all fallen sharply amid criticism of the “fiasco” in the party’s approach to trans rights.

A YouGov poll showed support for the SNP in Holyrood elections has fallen to its lowest level in five years, with voting intentions for Westminster elections the worst since 2019.

The poll showed Ms Sturgeon’s personal approval rating also fell into negative territory – from 7 per cent in October to minus 4 per cent.

Meanwhile, support for Scottish independence fell from 53 percent to 47 percent, the lowest level since last spring.

The poll results come as the former SNP deputy leader said the gender reform bill, which would make it easier for Scots to change gender, would be equivalent to Margaret Thatcher’s disastrous “poll tax” with Ms Sturgeon.

Jim Sillars told the Sunday Times: “The foundation of our case for independence – that we could do things better ourselves – is being undermined by this gender fiasco.”

Ms Sturgeon threatened legal action after the prime minister confirmed Westminster would block her controversial gender identity legislation becoming law.

Referring to the case of Isla Bryson – a 31-year-old trans woman who was convicted last month at the High Court in Glasgow of raping two women – Mr Sillars said: “Men can prey, if there is a law bill, manipulating him into invading women’s safe spaces. The recent rape case is not the only case that will affect her”.

Awaiting sentence, Ms Bryson was initially held at Cornton Vale, a women’s prison near Stirling. After widespread public outcry, she was transferred to HMP Edinburgh.

The Scottish government then announced a moratorium on the placement of male sex offenders in women’s prisons.

Ms Sturgeon said earlier this week that it is “almost certain” that Bryson is not actually transgender – agreeing that she is only claiming it is an “easy way out”.

The YouGov poll commissioned by the Sunday Times found that support for the SNP in the next Holyrood election has fallen from 50 per cent to 44 per cent when it comes to the constituency vote.

Responding, SNP MP Joanna Cherry, a critic of Ms Sturgeon’s legislation, tweeted: “Time to admit that feminist criticism of self-identity and the GRR bill was right, eat humble pie and get this mess done resolved before it does any further damage. to the reputation of our party, our parliament and the cause of Scottish independence.”

Ms Sturgeon has said she plans to hold the next UK general election as a “de facto referendum” on Scottish independence.

But commenting on the survey results, polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice said the “transgender prisoner issue” had affected support for the SNP.

Sir John said: “Although the decline in support for independence is likely to be part of the explanation, it appears that the defeat suffered by the Scottish government, particularly on the issue of transgender prisoners, has affected the support of the SNP as well. .”

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