Covid has reduced Scottish independence to a basic question: Sturgeon or Johnson? | David Clegg

For some, the first minister’s strong leadership has shown what a Westminster-free Scotland could look like

Pro-UK Scots are tired, angry and confused. They are convinced the last six months should have exposed what they see as the fundamental foolishness at the heart of Nicola Sturgeon’s campaign to break up Britain. Instead, the Scottish first minister’s approval ratings have soared, support for independence is at a record high and a creeping sense of dread among unionists has morphed into something closer to blind panic.

Their discomfort has been occasioned by the way public attitudes have shifted during the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, they are unsettled by the overwhelmingly positive response to Sturgeon’s ubiquitous presence on television as the figurehead of the nation’s fight against Covid-19.

In a recent interview with my newspaper, the Courier, psephologist John Curtice said the virus has been the key driver in changing minds on the constitution. “Certainly there has been a further increase in support for independence since coronavirus kicked in, and that is why we are now at an average of around 53-47 [percent in favour],” he added.

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