Expert Nats are facing an indy dilemma
The SNP are suffering from “political lethargy” and facing an “existential crisis”, according to a leading constitutional expert.
Writing in the Sunday Mail ahead of the start of the party’s annual conference today, Matt Qvortrup said the SNP’s goal remains Scottish independence – and with a second referendum off the table until at least 2021, the party have lost direction.
The political science professor, who correctly predicted the public would vote by a four-point margin in favour of Brexit during last year’s EU poll, said: “Having lost the 2014 referendum, and with no prospect of another on the horizon, the SNP are facing an existential crisis with no immediate solutions.”
He added: “The SNP administration are suffering from political lethargy to a degree almost identical to Theresa May’s Tories.”
Qvortrup, once described by Alex Salmond as “the world’s foremost expert on constitutional referendums”, revealed how he met the then first minister in 2012 to discuss a vote on Scottish independence.
He said he asked Salmond why he was holding a referendum when there was likely to be a No vote.
According to Qvortrup, Salmond replied: “Because we are the Scottish National Party. Independence is what we are about.”
Qvortrup wrote: “And so it is for the SNP. The party are above all a party who aspire to create an independent Scotland. All else is secondary.
“In this regard, the SNP are like all other national parties all over the world. They may espouse a welfare state and other policies normally associated with social democratic parties in Scandinavia.
“But people do not join the SNP out of a burning sense of social indignation but because they feel Scotland ought to be an independent country.”
He said the party could learn lessons from the Parti Quebecois, who lost two independence referendums, adding: “Scotland is not Quebec but there are clear parallels.
“If the SNP are not careful, they may falter like their comrades in Canada.”