It's disappointing but not surprising that the very sensible resolution tabled by Chris McEleny and Angus MacNeil, calling for the next Holyrood or Westminster election to be used to seek an outright mandate for independence in the event that a Section 30 order is refused, has not even been allowed to go forward for consideration at the SNP conference. However, this does not necessarily mean that the leadership would never consider the proposed course of action under any circumstances. What it does mean is that the leadership is determined to keep an iron grip on the strategy for achieving independence, and to not give the membership any meaningful say at all. Indeed, over the last couple of years the leadership has been pretty determined not to even keep the membership informed about what the strategy is. At a Women for Independence event a few months ago, Nicola Sturgeon urged Yes supporters to just leave "process" to her and to get on with campaigning instead. I'm not sure that's a sustainable position when many Yessers have had a reasonable suspicion that there isn't actually a specific plan for getting around the roadblock of Westminster's refusal to respect the mandate for a second independence referendum.
That said, another comment from Ms Sturgeon at the same event left the impression that she was minded to use the next Holyrood election to obtain a mandate, not for independence itself, but for a referendum. Yes, I know we already have such a mandate from the 2016 election, but the theory seems to be that yet another one might somehow break down Westminster's resistance. There was an intriguing comment in the New Statesman a week or two back that "many Scottish MPs" (whether this referred to SNP MPs, or Tory MPs, or both, wasn't made clear) now expected Nicola Sturgeon to engineer an early Holyrood election for that purpose. I must say that if we are going to go down the road of seeking a superfluous repeat of a mandate we already have, I would much prefer it to be done in a snap election, because at least that means less valuable time would be squandered. And it would almost be like a 'free hit', because under the rules, as long as a snap election takes place before November 2020, the next election in May 2021 would go ahead as scheduled. So if the snap election didn't work out as hoped, we would have another chance before too long. Probably the worst-case scenario for a snap election would be the SNP being returned as a minority government but without a pro-indy majority. (Although at the moment it seems that a pro-indy majority would be the most likely outcome.)
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Some good news from the Scottish subsample of the latest GB-wide YouGov poll...
SNP 45%, Conservatives 20%, Labour 13%, Liberal Democrats 10%, Brexit Party 9%, Greens 2%
YouGov's Scottish subsamples appear to be correctly structured/weighted, so the only problem with them is the small sample size.