In an open letter to the SNP leader, pollster Peter Kellner underlines the lack of Scottish support for independenceby Peter Kellner / May 25, 2011 / Leave a comment
Published in June 2011 issue of Prospect Magazine
Salmond in 2009. Picture: Saül Gordillo (ACN)
Congratulations on your stunning victory. You fought under a proportional voting system that was designed to prevent a single party winning an absolute majority. Yet the SNP achieved precisely that. A place in Scottish history is surely secure. But will history remember a man who ended 300 years of union with England and re-established Scottish independence? Or as someone who saw that prize slip from his grasp?
Your biggest problem is the flipside of your triumph. You won because of you, personally. You engineered a presidential-style contest with Labour’s Iain Gray. But Gray was grey. He wilted while you flourished. YouGov polls found that you were favoured by more than two-to-one.
Yet the same polls showed that Labour would beat the SNP in a Westminster general election; that the SNP borrowed Labour voters for this particular election to Holyrood. Few of these Salmond-lovers want independence. They want you to run Scotland as they think you do it well. But it’s good policies on jobs, schools, transport, student fees and healthcare that they want—not border posts at Berwick.