INDEPENDENCE is off the agenda if the SNP lose the next General Election, the party’s policy convener has warned.

On this week’s Holyrood Weekly podcast, Toni Giugliano said that the upcoming UK-wide ballot was an “important moment” for the SNP ahead of the upcoming independence convention on June 24 in Dundee.

We previously told how Giugliano said it was necessary that the SNP had “space” to thrash out its independence strategy at the event, which was postponed following the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon.

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Giugliano also gave some insight on his hopes for what the convention itself will look like, and what he believes the SNP’s strategy should be going forward.

Acknowledging that recent issues around the finance probe and some fallout from the leadership contest have “absolutely” had an effect on support for the SNP, Giugliano said that despite having “everything thrown at it from all corners” the party is still ahead of Labour in the polls.

“I'm up for a fight. I really am up for a fight, because we need to get match ready to win the General Election to put independence front and centre,” Giugliano said.

“Because if we don't, and this is my message to fellow Yes colleagues who are hoping for a different outcome here.

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“If we don't win the election, if the SNP weren’t to be in government, independence is off the agenda, and it is off the table.

“So let's come together and ensure that we win this General Election, and ensure that independence is front and centre.”

It comes after two polls, one from YouGov which showed Labour picking up 23 additional Scottish MPs, and a second from Ipsos showing Yes at 53%, but a drop in voters backing the SNP.

The party’s independence convention was originally due to be a special conference to discuss whether or not to pursue a de facto referendum at the next election.

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Giugliano, however, says the focus should be on winning a majority of seats.

“If we win a majority of seats, we have won the election, because it's an election, it's not a referendum,” he said.

“There's a difference between an election and a referendum. If you win an election, you win that based on the majority of seats, and I think it's important that we don't set ourselves up to fail here.

“I've seen varying degrees of proposals, but for me, you fight an election based on the realms of what that is, and that is an election you win, if you've won a majority of seats.”

With the General Election looming, expected to be in the final months of 2024, the policy convener said he believed building support for independence should be channelled through a Yes campaign.

“A Yes campaign whereby we make the arguments collectively,” Giugliano explained.

“There is already a lot of Yes campaigning happening on the ground.

“But actually, I would like to see the consolidation of a Yes campaign, perhaps with a figurehead.

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“A very small organization on a structural level, but a real grassroots organization on the ground. So, small in terms of the structures, but actually really quite significant in terms of how it would appear on the ground.

“I think what that would do, is it with the lowest appeal to those who perhaps, you know, don't get much from political parties, perhaps are turned off by political parties or politicians.

“Having non-political figures I think can really go a long way.”

The Holyrood Weekly podcast is available to stream on Spotify, the Omny streaming platform and The National’s website each Friday.

You can listen to Episode 20 below.