I was at Cupar’s Farmers’ Market yesterday collecting signatures for the Conservative petition against a second referendum. I’ve been on street stalls with this petition over the last few months in places as diverse as Dunfermline, St Andrews and Cowdenbeath. The response has always surprised me. People don’t have to be asked or persuaded to sign; they come up to us demanding to sign, and it’s not just Conservative voters, but Labour voters and even SNP supporters.
But yesterday in Cupar following Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement on Monday that she would be seeking a second referendum, people were markedly more vehement. There was a universal feeling that at only two and a half years since Scotland voted decisively against independence, it was much too soon to go to the country again. People were all-referendumed out after Brexit as well, and did not want the added uncertainty in our political and economic life which the prospect of a second referendum would bring. It was also noteworthy that many of those who signed the petition were very negative about Nicola Sturgeon.
On the basis of yesterday’s experience, I’d say Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement of Indyref2 looks like it’s backfiring. Opposition to another referendum is hardening and spreading, and support for the SNP is beginning to ebb.