Kate Forbes: The Unique Connection with Scots Voters Unmatched by Other SNP MSPs

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This is a pivotal moment for the SNP and the broader independence movement. The party’s electoral performance has declined, and we must recognize this and respond appropriately.

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The SNP must carefully rethink its strategy to reengage those who have become disenchanted, inviting them to reconsider what we can offer.

Simply doing more of the same will not suffice. We’ve already seen the results of that approach.

In challenging times, it might be appealing to stick with the familiar, yet it’s exactly these moments when we should seize new opportunities rather than shy away.

It’s barely been a few hours since the First Minister’s resignation. People need a moment to reflect on our current situation and think about the next steps.

Endorsing a ‘continuity’ candidate so soon mirrors last year’s election mishaps— a strategy we now know was flawed.

The SNP remains by far the largest political force in Scotland by membership, and one of the largest in Europe on a per capita basis. Our members represent a wide cross-section of Scottish society and rightfully deserve a say in the party’s future.

While a quick and easy coronation might seem appealing, now is the time to engage with our members, listen to their views, and energize them ahead of the upcoming General Election.

We must be candid with ourselves at this juncture. The choice of our leader should hinge on who possesses the clearest vision and the ability to sway persuadable voters.

Polls from last year’s leadership race clearly showed Humza was unpopular with the broader public, a fact we overlooked at our peril.

The Scottish Parliament is meant to function with minority parties collaborating to enact laws. In the last parliamentary session starting in 2016, the SNP, with the same seat count as now, successfully elected a First Minister and passed key legislation and budgets.

It’s absurd to think we ought to conform to a smaller party with differing views and priorities in selecting our leader. True political skill involves standing firm on your principles while also achieving goals through collaboration.

The Scottish public needs to see that their main concerns—health, housing, education, and the cost-of-living crisis—are also our priorities. We require a leader who can effectively communicate this and demonstrate that our party is moving forward.

Kate Forbes is exceptionally talented with a sharp intellect. She is approachable and well-liked, evident from her significant constituency win. She connects with segments of the electorate that others do not. If we are genuinely focused on the future rather than the past, we must make a prudent choice now.

Ivan McKee is the SNP MSP for Glasgow Provan.

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