As you'll have gathered, we're in "blogging is light" territory, but I'll just very very briefly give you my thoughts on the new Scottish poll from Redfield & Wilton. Again, the independence numbers are outstanding, with the Yes camp slightly closing what was already a very small gap, and with a slender majority (after Don't Knows are excluded) still wanting an independence referendum within the next year - an extraordinary finding that drives a coach and horses through the mainstream media narrative (hu-llo Alex Massie) that there is no public demand for a vote.
On the party political voting intentions, the best that can be said for the SNP is that it's not getting any worse for them. They maintain slender leads over Labour on both the Westminster ballot and the Holyrood constituency ballot. They've slipped one point behind Labour on the Holyrood regional list ballot, but that's bound to happen now and again due to the very tight state of play. The real concern is the story the SNP are telling themselves that their "vote is holding up well in the circumstances". That means, perversely, that they're regarding the police investigation as a plus, because they reckon they'll bounce back into a healthier lead once the "circumstances" disappear. That's delusional in my view, and the only question is when they will realise that and start to panic. If it's one week before polling day for the general election, it'll be too late for them to take the necessary action - ie. a change of leadership.
As far as the disgraceful expulsion of Angus MacNeil is concerned, it's a classic example of a weak leader overcompensating by trying to look strong. My guess is that Fergus Ewing would also have been expelled (at least from the Holyrood parliamentary group) if the tragic death of his mother Winnie hadn't made that psychologically impossible.
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SCOT GOES POP FUNDRAISER 2023: This year's fundraiser has now been running for well over two months, and it's been partially successful - it's around a quarter of the way towards its target figure of £8500. Please bear with me as I plug away at continuing to promote it at the bottom of every blogpost, because there's very little point in leaving the job half-done - that would mean continuing with the current service for maybe two or three more months and then more or less stopping. We wouldn't necessarily need to hit the full target figure to avoid that outcome, but substantial progress would need to be made. Why is it a bit harder to raise money these days than it used to be? Obviously it's partly because of the cost of living crisis, but I think the bigger issue is that it's far easier for a pro-indy blog to inspire people to donate if it's pumping out a "purist" message that appeals to one of the two opposite ends of the spectrum - ie. either that the SNP leadership can do no wrong and deserve our unquestioning support, or that the SNP is unremittingly evil and must be totally destroyed. Scot Goes Pop has a much more nuanced analysis that is pretty much bang in the middle between those two extremes. But the glass-half-full way of looking at it is that £2000+ raised means that people still think nuance and independent thinking (alternatively known as "being in the scunnered middle") have their place. A million thanks to everyone who has donated so far, and anyone wishing to make a donation can do so HERE. Alternatively, direct donations can be made via Paypal (in many ways this is preferable because it cuts out the middle man). My Paypal email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org