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Poll pours cold water on conference referendum talk

Between Trump storming out of the G7 to meet his new friend from North Korea, the build-up to the World Cup and the ongoing sunshine, you may have missed another event at the weekend. Nicola Sturgeon's legion of followers trooped up to the North East on Friday for SNP conference in Aberdeen.

But if they were expecting the starting gun to be fired on indyref2, the SNP members were left disappointed. The recent publication of the Growth Commission report had created an expectation the SNP were preparing a renewed push for a referendum.

Yet in her keynote speech, she pulled her punches. She told the audience to concentrate on the why, not the when, and didn't say the 'R' word once. In her TV round yesterday, she even said people should stop obsessing about the timing of indyref2. Of course, her caution is well placed – that was revealed in the exclusive polling commissioned by Scotland in Union.

Fully 51 per cent of Scots said they would oppose Nicola Sturgeon's threats to ask for the right to hold a referendum later this year while just 38 per cent said they would support her. As for the Growth Commission, it has made little impact – 62 per cent of those who polled said it made no difference while 20 per cent didn't know.

Desperate SNP spinners clung to the line that 13 per cent said they more likely to support independence while six per cent said they were less likely. But the cumulative total of those 13 per cent plus those who said they would vote Yes anyway only took them to 34 per cent – barely a third of Scots. Nicola Sturgeon looked like a woman who knew the odds were stacked against her but had to put a show on for her audience to keep them on board.

She made it through the weekend but its feels like there is a day of reckoning for the SNP to come – a choice between the majority of SNP supporters or the majority of Scots.

There are severe consequences for displeasing either side.

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