Commenting on the election of Humza Yousaf as leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and also as Scotland’s First Minister, former party member and SNP junior defence spokesman Stuart Crawford reckons the SNP has signed its own death warrant.
Crawford said: “The SNP has made the same mistake that all political parties seem to make when electing a new leader; they choose an individual who appeals to party members rather than looking outward to determine who is most attractive to the electorate as a whole.”
“In this contest it was clear from the outset that Yousaf had the support of senior members of the SNP hierarchy and inner cabal as the ‘continuity candidate’ who would seek to continue the work of Nicola Sturgeon, and this support has proved decisive. Polling indicates that Kate Forbes was more popular with the general public.”
“Yousaf’s majority, however, was far from a convincing win. His problem is that, in all the three major ministerial posts he has held previously – transport, justice, and health – his personal performance has been underwhelming, and his credibility as a competent First Minister therefore questionable.”
“He faces a major task in bringing the various warring factors within his party together again and calming the turmoil in the wake of a number of senior resignations. Most commentators agree that the prospect of Scottish independence has receded with no legal or constitutionally binding route to that goal available. In any case, his hands will be full with domestic issues, like sorting out the disastrous Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and Gender Recognition Reform Bill fiascos.”
“It may be, of course, that Yousaf is merely an interim FM, keeping the seat warm until other more senior politicians like Angus Robertson return to the fray. But the prospects for the SNP remaining in power after the next Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2026 are looking increasingly grim.”
Lt Col Stuart Crawford’s latest book Tank Commander (Hardback) is available now