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The SNP’s electoral dilemma has been misdiagnosed

Where the party has lost voters, they were turned off by its pro-European stance—not its support for a second independence referendum

By John Curtice  

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire/PA Images

It has been a tough few months for the SNP. In June the party lost 21 of the 56 Westminster seats that it had secured two years previously. Later that month the party’s leader and First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, put her plans to hold a second independence referendum by spring 2019—that is, before the UK is due to leave the EU—on pause. Meanwhile, the party’s attempts to persuade the UK government to soften its stance on Brexit have so…

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