HUMZA Yousaf is to resign as First Minister and, if some of the more hopeful Unionist commentators are to be believed, that’s it for independence.

Yousaf’s resignation was necessitated by his reliance on independence as a “magical-thinking solution” and a focus on “populist politics of flags”, according to two Labour-affiliated figures with apparently very little idea of what’s actually happening.

Others, such as Unionist think-tanker Sam Taylor, claimed that the turmoil in the SNP would lead voters to conclude “that independence would simply be the same shit-show” and switch off to the idea.

READ MORE: Who should replace Humza Yousaf as SNP leader? Have your say

But despite proclamations of doom from the same voices as you’d expect, it seems unlikely that the latest problems in the SNP will have any effect on support for independence in the polls at all.

After all, the party has recently seen much worse headlines than a leader resigning after one year in power. Not two weeks ago, its chief executive for two decades, Peter Murrell, was charged in connection with embezzlement.

Since his wife, Nicola Sturgeon, announced her own resignation in early 2023, the polling numbers for the SNP have slid down to be roughly neck-and-neck with Scottish Labour.

However, independence polls have held steady and not reflected a decline in support.

The people of Scotland do not seem to conflate the issue of independence with the day-to-day political goings-on in any one party – even if that party is by far the biggest pro-independence voice Scotland currently has.

READ MORE: Inside the Bute House press conference which saw Humza Yousaf resign

But while the support for Yes remains strong, the avenues available to achieve it have been rapidly depleted. There’s no second referendum on the horizon as the Supreme Court made sure it would need Westminster’s approval.

With no democratic routes to independence available – and Unionist politicians quite happy not to tackle the obvious hypocrisy in their position – voters appear to have turned their priorities to more immediate issues: the cost of living crisis, the NHS and the Conservatives at Westminster.

Voters are looking to lend their vote to a Labour Party who may be able – with the full powers of Westminster – to do a better job on tackling those issues than the Tories have. If they so desire. And kicking Rishi Sunak’s cabal of lackeys out is also a hugely motivating factor.

So, while the SNP may lose some votes in the next General Election, is support for independence going away? That seems vanishingly unlikely.

As the UK Government continues to trample on the devolution settlement (Tory peer David Frost claimed after Yousaf’s resignation that it handed “wholly excessive” powers to Scotland), people will become more and more frustrated with its limitations.

In his resignation speech, Yousaf seemed to point to this frustration – which many Scots feel – in our nation not having the powers that independence would give.

“If only every person in Scotland could be afforded the opportunity of being first minister for just one day, on the very next day it is my belief that they would vote for independence with both their head and their heart,” he said.

If that sense of frustration and limitation is widely felt by Scots calling out for change, they may decide on a vote for independence.

Who is on manoeuvres to lead the SNP at any given moment will be of little consequence.