Devolution expert claims Sturgeon COVID-19 response ‘plays very WELL’ into IndyRef2 plans

IndyRef2: Sturgeon’s Covid response discussed by expert

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Kevin Meagher, an expert on British and Irish politics, told GB News on Sunday that the opportunity to make different rules for Scotland compared with the rest of the UK throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has most likely aided Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP in their fight for Scottish independence.

Asked if there is any substantial impact from the devolved powers’ ability to govern partly independently in the last two years, Mr Meagher said it is highly probable to have made a difference.

He explained: “I think the optics of that are very clear, I think that is very much what the SNP will be hoping.”

He noted how powers granted during the fight against Coronavirus has “put them [the SNP] in the position of being able to respond in real-time to a big serious issue and govern the country.”

Mr Meagher went on to suggest that if Scotland’s coronavirus response is “juxtaposed” to the approach taken in England by Westminster, then Ms Sturgeon’s actions during the pandemic “will play very well for the SNP”.

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He even went on to claim the SNP’s “numbers are still very good” on the issue of backing for a second independence referendum.

The devolution expert said: “The independence numbers, which have ebbed and flowed over the last year, seem to be starting to tilt again towards independence.”

In a poll conducted between December 15–22, 2021 by Opinium and The Daily Record, Scots were split 44 percent in favour, to 44 percent against Scottish independence.

While 12 percent were undecided, 1,238 were polled.

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While a poll undertaken by Ipsos Mori for STV between November 22 and 29 found 52 percent of Scots would vote in favour of independence should an election be held tomorrow.

Of the 1,107 adults aged 16 and over, who were asked by phone, 43 percent were against independence, 4 percent said they did not know.

Despite the mixed polling, Mr Meagher claimed that Ms Sturgeon’s response has “certainly done no harm” to the SNP, the independence campaign or her own credibility.

The First Minister of Scotland enforced different coronavirus restrictions to England this Christmas, bringing back table service and shutting nightclubs on New Year’s Eve in a bid to combat the spread of Omicron.

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The move triggered an exodus of an estimated 100,000 Scots over the border into restriction-less England where they filled northern England’s cities including Newcastle, Blackpool and Carlisle.

Ms Sturgeon has also introduced a £500 isolation grant for those impacted financially by the need to isolate.

A YouGov poll in November 2021 found that 41 percent of voters think she is doing a bad job as First Minister, compared to 53 percent saying she is doing well.

But the poll, conducted for The Times found the First Minster’s rating had fallen almost 40 points since a peak last year. Back then 72 percent of voters said she was doing well as First Minister, 22 percent said she was doing badly.

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