By Lord Ashcroft
Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP government have had an unusually tough few weeks. As my new poll of more than 2,000 voters in Scotland confirms, the damage is largely self-inflicted. In particular, most Scots – including many former SNP supporters – oppose Sturgeon’s position on gender recognition and the idea of framing the next election as a de facto referendum on independence.
On the issue behind Sturgeon’s latest confrontation with Westminster – the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill – I found only just over one in five Scots (22%) saying they supported the Bill and that London was wrong to block it. Nearly twice as many (43%) said they opposed the Bill and the UK government was right to block it. Overall, more than half (54%) said they opposed the reforms, with 29% in favour. Half said the UK government was right or within its rights to stop the legislation, with 33% saying it was wrong to do so (more…)