THE SNP's former communications chief has said the coronavirus pandemic has "made the route map to independence clearer" but said that new pro-Yes parties will not work.

Fergus Mutch, who was the party's head of communications and research for the SNP from 2015 to 2020, predicted independence will be "front and centre" of the 2021 Holyrood elections.

Writing in the i Paper, Mutch said new pro-Yes parties such as the Alliance For Independence will not be successful, adding: "They give the Judean People’s Front a bad name and they’re doomed to fail."

READ MORE: Dave Thompson defends new Alliance for Independence party

He also said the outbreak has "tested the mettle of all our leaders", with the public having trust in Nicola Sturgeon.

He continued: "Boris Johnson thrives on bluff and bluster. He struggles with detail. 

"Meanwhile Scots have tuned in each day to see a First Minister in charge at the daily press briefings, speaking to a nation confident in the detail, owning mistakes with honesty, making progress toward eradicating Covid-19 altogether north of the border and, crucially, putting her trust in people. In return they have put their trust in Nicola Sturgeon, borne out by soaring approval ratings."

Mutch said the indyref2 campaign should be "simple" and involve building the push for Yes around economic growth and jobs to recover from the damage of coronavirus and propose high spending for schools and hospitals.

He added: "Scottish voters go to the polls in biggest numbers when the constitution is on the ballot. In these anxious times they also need a leader who they trust with public services and a fragile economy."

Mutch mentioned that John Curtice said this week that Scotland's place in the Union “is now less certain than it ever has been in the past”.

READ MORE: John Curtice: Scotland's place in Union 'now less certain than it ever has been'

"Polling expert Professor John Curtice is not prone to hyperbole. He was right to conclude this week that support for the union has 'never looked so weak'", Mutch continued. 

"The balance has tipped. A window of opportunity exists for the Yes movement. But it’s beyond next spring and no amount of table thumping impatience gets us there quicker."