— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) August 20, 2014
Just ten days before the first postal ballots arrive
In the wake of polling suggesting that Alex Salmond himself might be hurting the YES case it has been made known that the First Minister is saying publicly that if the price of winning independence is his job then he’s ready to step aside.
This comes after YouGov found that 45% of Scottish voters polled thought he was the wrong man for the job and just 57% of YES voters backed him.
This is how the Scotsman is reporting Salmond’s comments this morning.
“Referring to Greek mythology and the 17th-century Scots prophet the Brahan Seer, he said: â€œIf I had the Delphic oracle, or a soothsayer, the Brahan Seer, was sitting in this audience and the Brahan Seer said to me, â€˜Listen, you retire from politics tomorrow and I guarantee you Scotland will be an independent country in the spring of 2016â€™, I would shake hands on that right away â€“ absolutely….If the Brahan Seer said to me, â€˜And the other cost of getting independence is the SNP has to be abolishedâ€™, then I would agree to that as well, because this is about the people of Scotland for the first time in democratic history having the ability to determine the government of their choice.
â€œItâ€™s the choice of the people of Scotland thatâ€™s the important thing.â€
To me this is a smart move because inevitably the campaign is being portrayed in personal terms between Salmond for YES and the Alistair Darling for NO. To many observers Salmond’s big mistake in the first TV debate was to make personal attacks on Darling and I think the SNP leader realises that. This will help defuse it.
Yesterday’s YouGov/Times Scotland poll found that as Darling’s stock is rising Salmond is falling. Just 35% of those sampled said they trusted the First Minister with 58% saying they didn’t – a net negative of minus 23.
Darling’s figures were 38% “trust” to 52% “not trust” a net negative of minus 14.
There is a lot left in this election and time is running out.