Home News Removing Humza Yousaf ‘worst thing Unionists could have done’, says John Curtice

Removing Humza Yousaf ‘worst thing Unionists could have done’, says John Curtice

Removing Humza Yousaf 'worst thing Unionists could have done', says John Curtice
Removing Humza Yousaf 'worst thing Unionists could have done', says John Curtice

Eliminating Humza Yousaf has been described as “the greatest mistake Unionists could’ve committed” in the run-up to the general elections, according to the nation’s foremost polling specialist.

Renowned academic, Professor John Curtice, expressed to our reporters that the anticipated appointment of John Swinney as the succeeding First Minister will offer the SNP a chance to mend fences prior to the crucial nationwide vote.

However, the experienced man of letters from University of Strathclyde expressed concern that the seasoned Nationalist is confronted with a daunting “task of uniting the party” after encountering a number of hiccups throughout the past year.

The SNP witnessed a notable decline in their popular support following the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon and due to intensification of an ongoing inquiry into party finances. Additionally, they face a rejuvenated Scottish Labour party, who are optimistic about supplanting the Nationalists from their stronghold across the nation in the looming general election.

Upon inquiry about the impending challenges for Swinney as the new party head, Curtice explained: “Unifying the party comes first. Then, he needs to mend bridges with the Greens, who, judging by the events of last week, seem to be the only viable source of sustained support for a minority administration.”

The next step, according to Curtice, is for Swinney “to convince the Scots that the SNP’s governing track record is superior to their current opinion.” Furthermore, he must renew interest in the conversation about independence, which has lately been tepid, and more broadly, restore some faith in the SNP’s ability to deliver a competent government to Scotland. That’s a significant hurdle!”

He also has to revive independence discussions, which have been rather lacklustre. More broadly, he needs to restore some people’s faith in the SNP’s capabilities to provide Scotland with competent government. That’s a considerable challenge!”

Curtice went on: “After being on the sidelines for a year, his approval ratings are presently stronger than when Sturgeon resigned. Now he’s in a more favourable position than he was a year ago. As the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder – especially given what the citizens have undergone over the past year.”

“Bringing down Yousaf was perhaps the worst blunder the Unionists could’ve made. It’s a fresh beginning now. Yousaf was relatively unpopular, and he was laboring to address an evidently challenging scenario. Time will tell how Swinney performs.”

Curtice concluded by saying that the SNP, now under new leadership, has an opportunity to rectify things – though they don’t have much time until November.

When asked if the new leader could reverse the SNP’s slump in the polls ahead of this year’s general election, Curtice commented, “There’s not as much time as they would have preferred, presuming the election will be in November, but there’s still some opportunity for a turnaround.”

“One of their primary tasks has to be to win back some of those votes. Yousaf was very proactive in distancing himself from the Greens as polls pointed towards Yes supporters shifting their votes to the Greens and Alba.”

“The most immediate task is to convince Yes supporters that, regardless of their dissatisfaction with the SNP so far, if they wish to promote the cause of independence, those votes are necessary.”

The fact that Swinney won the leadership contest without contestation helps the SNP evade a repeat of the bitter succession race that transpired in March 2023. The result which saw Yousaf, Forbes and Ash Regan exchange heated arguments during many live discussions.

When asked if this will boost the wider independence campaign, Curtice responded, “If the new First Minister can perform exceptionally, they have a formidable agenda.”

“It’s a challenging task for the SNP to regain their initiative, especially since they still have an ongoing investigation hanging over them. They need it to conclude.”

“If they succeed in performing well, in uniting their party, and doing a better job than Yousaf was able to, they might be able to turn some of those numbers around.”

“Although it may seem unrealistic for the SNP to retain every constituency they won in the last election, the primary objective should be to secure enough MPs to outnumber Labour in North of the Border and the Lib Dems across the UK.”

Curtice concluded: “Even if they lose 10 seats, they could still achieve their goal.”

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