The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - BY PRO­FES­SOR JOHN CUR­TICE

Ni­cola Stur­geon has found her­self in a le­gal dis­pute with Alex Salmond, her ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy has been un­der fire, and her govern­ment’s at­tempts to in­flu­ence the course of Brexit have failed to de­liver any clear div­i­dend.

Yet none of this ap­pears to have un­der­mined SNP sup­port.

Many SNP sup­port­ers are con­flicted about the Alex Salmond af­fair. No less than 41% of those who voted for SNP last year say they do not know whether he was right or wrong to take the Scot­tish Govern­ment to court.

Still, among those who do take a view, Mr Salmond is backed by 46% to 13%.

More­over, no less than 62% loy­ally ex­press the view that Ms Stur­geon has been the bet­ter First Min­is­ter.

Yet Ms Stur­geon still faces one ma­jor prob­lem – she is tan­ta­lis­ingly short of ma­jor­ity back­ing for in­de­pen­dence.

And there is no guar­an­tee Brexit will de­liver her a Yes ma­jor­ity. While 16% of those who voted No in 2014 say it makes them more likely to back in­de­pen­dence, 10% of Yes vot­ers state the op­po­site.

Ms Stur­geon will be hop­ing that the fog of Brexit dis­ap­pears soon. Sir John Cur­tice is Pro­fes­sor of Pol­i­tics, Strath­clyde Univer­sity.

If there was a ref­er­en­dum to­mor­row ask­ing: Should Scot­land be an in­de­pen­dent coun­try? How would you vote?

If there was a ref­er­en­dum to­mor­row ask­ing: Should the United King­dom re­main a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Union or leave? How would you vote?

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