Published On: Mon, Apr 15th, 2024

Humiliation for Humza Yousaf as SNP dealt poll blow after by-election | Politics | News

has been dealt another blow following the ‘s latest crushing defeat, with his party having dramatically dropped through the polls.

The party’s favours have been crushed for the second time in less than a year after the latest by-election in the home nation revealed a massive dip in support.

The SNP was among parties jostling for the Inverness South (Highland) council seat last week, with thousands of people turning out to elect a new local councillor.

But the First Minister’s candidate failed to clinch the seat, losing out to independent candidate Duncan Cameron McDonald.

While the SNP is no stranger to losing ground in Scotland, polls showed the latest defeat was particularly brutal, with the party having lost nearly 16 percentage points – trailing the Liberal Democrats in a city which has been a SNP stronghold for years.

Pollsters Britain Elects found that the SNP was one of two parties that saw a negative shift in their support.

Mr Yousaf’s candidate received just 19.4 percent of the 3,305 votes, while the local Conservatives received 16.1 percent.

The result was a small 0.8 decline for the Tories, but the SNP saw a massive 15.8 percent loss in its voting share, the pollsters found. Nevertheless, it was still a top contender, placing among the parties most favoured in the running for the Inverness council seat.

The leading candidate received 22.1 percent of the vote, while the Liberal Democrats came second with 19.7 percent, leaving the SNP in third place.

The Conservatives followed, with Scottish Labour coming fourth at 11 percent and the Greens fifth with 7.2 percent of the vote.

Winning candidate Duncan McDonald told the Press and Journal: “I’m hoping it was because I was honest. That’s what I want, openness and honesty.

“That’s what I try to portray and that’s what I told people on the doorstep. They reacted to that and voted for me.”

It comes as the party leader Humza Yousaf’s popularity continues heading south in the polls after the latest controversy surrounding the Scottish Government’s hate crime bill. A survey by Norstat has revealed that the First Minister has fallen in popularity by 15 points since January to -32 with the general public, the Scottish Daily Express reports.

He is even struggling among his own supporters, with just 29 per cent of people who voted for the Nats at the last general election believing he is doing a good job. Some 36 per cent think he has been poor in office. This net score of -7 is a huge drop from January when he scored +14 among SNP supporters.

While it might not appear as bad as it seems, and it is important to note that local factors are often at play at council by-elections, the by-election upset comes after the SNP was dealt an embarrassing defeat at Parliamentary level in late 2023. Scotland’s leading party was dealt a blow last year when it failed to secure less than half of its Labour rival’s votes during October’s Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election.

Scottish Labour candidate Michael Shanks clinched the seat with 17,845 votes, more than double those won by the SNP‘s Katy Loudon, representing a massive 20.4 percent swing.

The SNP‘s loss during that election was just one point different from the party’s latest defeat, with Ms Loudon’s 8,399 votes representing a 16.6 percent drop compared to the 2019 general election.

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