AROUND a third of SNP voters want the party to end their powersharing deal with the Scottish Greens, according to a new poll.

The Panelbase survey for The Times found that while 53 per cent of the party's supporters backed the Bute House Agreement, 35% want to see it ended, with the remaining 12% unsure.

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The future of the pro-independence pact came under scrutiny during the SNP leadership contest, with only Humza Yousaf, the eventual winner, committed to ensuring it continued as it had under Nicola Sturgeon. 

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Had either Kate Forbes or Ash Regan won it was likely the Greens would have walked away. 

However, after Mr Yousaf's victory, the party's council voted unanimously to keep the agreement in place. Last week, the First Minister reappointed the Green co=leaders to government with Lorna Slater keeping her brief as Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, and Patrick Harvie remaining in post as Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights.

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Over the weekend, Fergus Ewing, a former Cabinet secretary, described the Greens as “wine bar pseudo-intellectuals whose fingernails have never encountered dirt”.

He said the SNP should govern as a minority in Holyrood rather than power share with “fringe extremists that want to dismantle our economy” and “basically close down rural Scotland”.

“Losing the occasional vote or two doesn’t matter much,” he wrote 

“I hope for the sake of the party I have served for half a century that we will soon extricate ourselves from this connection with a party which is not so much green but deepest red – of the extreme left.”

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Responding, Green MSP Ross Greer suggested Mr Ewing should join Douglas Ross’s Scottish Tory contingent, claiming he is already singing “from the Conservative hymn sheet”.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Yousaf said the deal had been backed by 95 per cent of SNP members.

He said: "It has helped us to have a collaborative approach to government.

"It has helped us, of course, to have a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament and it has brought stability to the government.

"So I would just remind anybody in the SNP that this is a deal that the members overwhelmingly backed."