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EX-SNP LEADER IN POLL ANGER; Salmond is 'defeatist'.

Byline: Mark Aitken

Alex Salmond has been accused by a former SNP leader of defeatism over his bid for a twoquestion referendum on independence.

Gordon Wilson said party members were "perplexed" by the First Minister appearing to favour a second question on offering more power for Holyrood on key issues.

And he warned confusion over the issue had "drained away" public support for independence.

Wilson, who led the SNP from 1979 to 1990, is the most senior Nationalist to insist voters are given a straight yes or no choice.

Writing in the Sunday Mail today, Wilson says: "With the Government trailing hints of watering down that commitment by asking the people a second question on more powers for the devolved Scottish parliament, many SNP members are perplexed.

"Already this confusion has drained away public support for independence.

"As yet, the Scottish Government have not agreed a second question on the ballot paper.

"There is only one reason why they would do so - defeatism - stemming from a belief that they can't deliver a Yes vote for independence."

Salmond has hinted that a second question on extra powers for Holyrood is on the ballot paper in 2014.

Opponents claim he is trying to give himself a safety net if voters reject independence.

An opinion poll last week showed support for breaking up the UK had slumped to just 30 per cent.

The Scottish Government yesterday said that their consultation on the referendum had received 26,000 responses.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "We set out our preferred question in the document but have always said we would listen to the view expressed in the responses."

ALL OR NOTHING: P16

CAPTION(S):

CRITICISM Wilson
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 15, 2012
Words:282
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