Humza Yousaf has left it too late to forge his own leadership
A good analysis of our current (heartbreaking) situation.
From my perspective, the only reason I will vote SNP in GE2024 is because Joanna Cherry is my MP. The NEC and the leadership have been trying to get rid of her for years. If they succeed I won't vote SNP. I can imagine plenty of Yessers in Rutherglen might well have felt the same. The people who are coming down the line as candidates have been hand-picked by HQ, and are the sort of people who joined the Labour Party in Scotland when I was young. They are careerists, and they don't care about independence any more than the Murphys and Alexanders cared about the redistribution of wealth.
As for Labour? They won with fewer votes than they achieved in 2019. Indy voters, on the whole, did not "come home to Labour". They just stayed home. Presumably that's why we're hearing so much about "swings" and vote percentages in the MSM analysis - the reality of voter numbers would contradict the narrative.
The only way out of this is for a Scotland United approach at the next election. We're in Scotland, so there's nothing we can do about the Tories; Kid Starver's Labour Party isn't inspiring anyone; and what are the LibDems even for? The possibility of losing their seats might galvanise SNP MPs to work with others. However, at the moment their idea of working with the wider Yes movement consists of telling us we all have to vote for them, and after allowing all those mandates to go to waste, that isn't washing with anyone.
There is a clear message for the SNP leadership in yesterday's result: People vote SNP for independence, not their stupid side projects. It's a message they've been ignoring since early 2020, when Sturgeon gave her speech on the day we Brexited, and dozens of long-term activists started leaving the party (this was before Alba existed). It's a message that requires courage to face and intelligence to navigate, and frankly I don't know if the SNP leadership has either.