Two weeks to go in SNP ‘listening exercise’ on Brexit and independence
THE LEADER of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, has urged party activists to lead a final campaigning effort as part of its nationwide consultation on Scotland’s future.
A ‘national survey’ was launched by the party in September as part of a much publicised attempt to engage voters in the chaotic aftermath of Scotland’s vote to remain in the European Union.
The party said that “seismic change” to Scotland’s democracy and economy since 2014 – the Tory majority government and Brexit votes – meant the public should be asked for views on independence in a fresh context.
This week the SNP announced that it had received almost 1.7m total replies to the survey, which has been led by dozens of the party’s campaign branches.
Now Sturgeon has asked activists to aim for 2m replied by its St Andrew’s day deadline, building on the existing campaigning delivering hundreds of thousands of national survey leaflets, hosting regular street stalls, and focusing specifically on ‘swing voters’ from the 2014 independence referendum.
Sturgeon, in an email to campaigners, said: “Since the launch of The National Survey, people up and down the country have been having conversations about what future is best for Scotland.
“They’ve given their views – on Brexit, protecting Scotland’s interests, and independence. When I launched The National Survey I set out my ambition to reach at least two million people by St Andrew’s Day. So far, 1,673,289 people have made their voice heard.
“We’re not there yet – we’ve got just two weeks to get to two million. I asked you to speak to a least five people a month over three months – 15 people in all. So, have you? If you have, great. Keep going! If not, there’s still a bit of time.
“In these final two weeks, let's get our heads down, keep working hard and having those conversations. We’re almost there – let’s do this,” she added.
The scale of the listening exercise suggests that the SNP would have a significant ‘voter ID’ advantage at the start of any fresh independence referendum.
The SNP’s membership increase – now at over 124,000 – means it has unrivalled resources to launch community campaigns and focus on voters the party wants to persuade.
The Scottish Government has also launched a consultation on a draft Scottish Independence Referendum Bill 2017, which will run until January 11 2017.
Picture courtesy of National Survey
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