Scottish independence in crisis as SNP membership plummets by 30%

Nicola Sturgeon announces she is to step down as SNP leader

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Membership of the SNP has plummeted by nearly a third in just over a year. The party’s membership has fallen by almost 32,000 members – from 103,844 in 2021 to 72,186 at present. The decline, which amounts to a 30 percent drop, took place over just 14 months.

This is a worrying sign for the party, which is currently undergoing significant turbulence after Nicola Sturgeon announced her resignation last month.

Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, finance minister Kate Forbes and former minister Ash Regan are currently battling it out to succeed her.

Announcing her resignation, the outgoing First Minister said the “time is right” for her to step down, something she said she knows “instinctively”.

She described her decision to leave the post as a “duty”.

The outgoing SNP leader also appeared to give up on her dream for Scottish independence, saying she wants her party to choose its plan for pursuing the goal without the influence of a leader who might not be around to carry it out.

She said: “I free the SNP to choose the path that believes to be the right one.”

Speaking about the future of the independence movement, she added: “By making my decision clear now I free the SNP to make the right decision”.

“We’re at a critical moment”, she warned, saying “the cause of independence is bigger than any one individual.”

Ms Sturgeon became the country’s longest-serving first minister after more than 8 years in the role.

She took over as the party leader in November 2014 after the SNP’s failed independence referendum, taking over from Alex Salmond.

A new poll conducted by YouGov showed that support for independence in Scotland has fallen below 40 percent following the announcement of Ms Sturgeon’s resignation.

The survey showed that 39 percent of Scottish voters support independence from the United Kingdom, compared to 47 percent who want to remain part of the union.

The poll spoke to 1,002 adults in Scotland between March 9 and 13.

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