This has been a dreadful year for the SNP as it lurches from crisis to crisis and plummets in the polls.

The party was excoriated yesterday by our Writer at Large, Neil Mackay, who argued that the end game was fast approaching. ‚ÄúThe party‚Äôs arrogance‚ÄĚ, he wrote, ‚Äúhas been its defining feature for years. Instead of developing intelligent tactics to deal with Labour‚Äôs resurrection, its base scoffed and sneered. ‚ÄėNobody will vote Red Tory‚Äô they hollered.‚ÄĚ

Read his column here ūüĎą

Today, however, one of our correspondents predicts a brighter outlook for the SNP at the next Holyrood election.

Derrick McClure of Aberdeen writes:

"Neil Mackay‚Äôs weekly jeremiads on the SNP and its imminent doom are always splendidly written, but he consistently overlooks two important facts: predictions based on statistics are no more certain than predictions based on configurations of the heavenly bodies; and there is no such thing as ‚Äúpolitical inevitability‚ÄĚ.

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That the Tories will lose next year‚Äôs Westminster elections seems very likely; but it will be the Tories who lose and not Labour that ‚Äúwins‚ÄĚ in any positive sense. Labour has neither achieved nor even promised anything to make it a credible party of government, and it will (probably) drift into power for no other reason than that the Tories‚Äô record is so atrocious that they would lose, or deserve to lose, to Mr Mackay‚Äôs nearest Cub pack. And if it does turn out that the SNP loses a batch of its Westminster seats to Labour, this will (I predict) make a Labour comeback in the subsequent Holyrood election not more but less likely; for the simple reason that in the interval between the two elections Keir Starmer‚Äôs government and Scotland‚Äôs Labour MPs will have shown themselves as useless and as irrelevant to Scotland‚Äôs needs and aspirations as they have always been.

There is no denying that the political scene at present is so bleak as to invite jeremiads from all sides. The hope for Scotland is in independence; and the SNP, even in its present dishevelled state, is the only party by which this can be achieved. An independence-supporting columnist like Mr Mackay would be better employed in calling on the SNP to get its act together than in predicting its collapse."

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