JOHN Curtice has given his verdict on the impact of the Scottish Greens stating that independence is not a “red line” for a potential deal with Labour.

The top pollster said there could be a “potential risk” that it would turn off Yes supporters, but pointed out that the party’s support is not “as strongly pro-Yes”.

The professor of politics at Strathclyde University told The National that there is a “long way to go” until the 2026 Holyrood election, and stressed that if, hypothetically, Labour did win, they would likely run a minority government, potentially supported by Tory votes.

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We told how Slater was asked on the BBC Sunday Show if the party would consider a power sharing agreement with Labour or if independence is a “red line”.

“The Greens are open to conversation wherever we have points in common,” she said.

“I think the challenge for Labour is: What do they have in common with us? Because it’s hard to know what they stand for at the moment.”

Asked if that meant independence isn’t a red line, Slater (below) added: “Absolutely not.”

The National: Martin Geissler asked Lorna Slater if the Scottish Greens could do a deal with Labour in the future

Speaking to The National, Curtice gave his assessment of what impact this could have on support for the Scottish Greens.

He said: “Obviously it's a potential risk, because certainly while Green voters are not as strongly pro-Yes as SNP supporters, there is no doubt that the Greens are picking up a fair number of people who vote for the SNP, and those who vote [for the SNP] on first vote are Yes supporters.

“So yeah, there's an obvious potential risk.”

Curtice added: “One of the things that we don't really know, at least from commercial polling is to what extent are the people who vote SNP on the constituency and Greens on the list, to what extent are they people who basically are Green supporters, but the Greens are not standing on the constituency or there's waste of time voting for them, or are they SNP supporters going hang on, it's a waste of time voting for the SNP because they're not going to get any more seats in in my region.

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“As to the extent to which that divides, I'm not sure.”

The pollster added that the Greens were “doing nicely” out of the power-sharing deal with the SNP so far, with recent polling putting them on course to return a record number of MSPs at the next Scottish Parliament election.

And as Curtice pointed out, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said in the wake of Slater’s comments that his party would run a minority government if they were successful at the next Holyrood ballot.

If that hypothetical situation did occur, Curtice said Labour would likely lean on the Tories for support, rather than the Scottish Greens.

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“One of the problems Labour will face is they are likely to be in as much of a minority as Salmond was between 2007 and 2011, and will probably ironically be dependent on doing much the same kind of deal as the SNP did between 2007 and 2011 which is basically talking to the Tories,” he said.

“Those are the only ones who are likely to have the number to take them over the line, but how many seats the Tories will get is somewhat in doubt.”

However he caveated that there is a “long way to go” until 2026, and the outcome of the General Election, expected to be held next year, could cause Scottish Labour some issues.

“The same one that bedevilled them in 2007, which is, they’re part of a party that’s unpopular in Westminster,” he added.