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Ash Regan Splits From SNP Over Issue Of Independence

Oli Harris

Former SNP member Ash Regan has defected to the Alba party, to become its first MSP, citing the ‘diminishing focus’ on the issue of Scottish independence as her reason.

She said the party was ‘diverging from the commitments (they) made’ 

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, outlining the reasoning behind her decision to leave, she said the party was ‘diverging from the commitments [they] made’ in the 2021 manifesto.

The split comes just over a year after Regan resigned from her ministerial position over opposition to the Gender Reform Recognition bill, and just over seven months after losing the SNP leadership bid.

The decision to defect is in direct opposition to previous statements Regan made saying, “If I’d wanted to go and leave and go to Alba I would have done it by now, wouldn’t I?”

Humza Yousaf said […] the defection was “no great loss to the SNP”

SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf said in the Scottish parliament that the defection was “no great loss to the SNP”. 

However, the news has come just after a major defeat for the party in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, and new polling has shown only fifty-five percent of previous SNP voters would vote for them again in a potential general election.

Scottish independence […] the most important issue for Scottish voters

According to the Scottish Election Study (SES), the drop in support is linked to a perception that the SNP no longer supports Scottish independence as strongly as it used to.

A study conducted by Redfield and Winton found that Scottish independence was the most important issue for Scottish voters, beating out the environment, education, and housing.

Regan is not the only SNP member to defect to Alba, with councillor Chris Cullen making the switch shortly after, and Alba MP Neale Hanvey alluding to more shifts, stating it was ‘not a single event.’

Oli Harris

Featured image courtesy of Serge Taeymans via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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