The Dundee meeting on June 24 replaces the special conference that was due to take place in March on the de facto referendum but was cancelled, as it appeared at the time, with the plan itself, following the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon as leader of the SNP and Prime Minister. .

Campaigners at the weekend were no doubt delighted to learn of the new efforts by Ms Sturgeon’s successor, Humza Yousaf, to update the independence strategy, advance the party’s central cause at the gates and honor some of the commitments, like the promise to become ‘first activist’ as well as FM – which she made during the leadership contest.

The upbeat message of the summer campaign may have helped reignite members’ enthusiasm at a time when their party is experiencing its biggest crisis in 50 years, party chairman Michael Russell said.

But there are also pitfalls for the SNP in putting independence too at the forefront of its activities.

A series of polls have suggested that it is currently not a priority for the majority of voters and that the most pressing issues they face are the cost of living crisis and the NHS.

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Pushing for independence when many are worried about how to pay the next gas and electric bill, what to cut out on a trip to the grocery store, and how long Mom will have to wait for a hip replacement risks looking out of place. with public opinion and even a rather self-indulgent exercise in party management.

The SNP will, of course, argue that independence is itself part of its solution to the cost of living crisis and address the problems of the NHS, blaming Brexit for some of the problems, such as higher prices and a shortage of staff in the social care sector.

But the big challenge for the party is that while they may have a diagnosis that many Scots find credible, especially among the 62 per cent who voted to stay, they have yet to come up with a solution that seems feasible when the prospect of independence and rejoining the party the EU seems to be regressing into the very distant future.

Mr Yousaf and his party will have to address how to respond to soft voters thinking of switching to Labor on the grounds of ‘why vote for you when you can’t deliver what you want, when I can vote for someone else who can help ? alleviate some of my immediate problems and avoid a new Conservative government’.

It is a problem that the SNP will have to address soon and that some members of the party are already taking with concern.

The dismissal yesterday of the appeal of former SNP MP Margaret Ferrier against her suspension from the House of Commons for 30 days has brought by-elections in Rutherglen and Hamilton West one step closer with a possible timetable for voting in the autumn.

“No one is talking about independence these days apart from the SNP. The focus should be on good governance and the cost of living crisis,” an SNP activist told me.

“I’ve been to the gates several times in Rutherglen and Hamilton West and it’s the energy bills and the NHS that come up time and time again, so that’s what our campaign should focus on, emphasizing what we’re doing at Scottish government level. like the payment of the Scottish child”.

Another activist was more blunt: “The Indy summer campaign FM was talking about is a total waste of time. There’s no point in campaigning until we have the answers to [what’s seen as the] obstacles and some sort of insight into what indy means to the person on the street. The ‘obstacles’ are currency, pensions, the border, EU issues.”

It was no coincidence that Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar was on the campaign trail yesterday in Mrs Ferrier’s constituency with a message to voters about…

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