FED-UP islanders are to form a new political party, the Sunday National can reveal.

Representing the Western Isles from the Butt of Lewis to ­Barra, it will be a further threat to SNP MP Angus MacNeil (below), who is already ­facing a challenge for his 2438 majority from Labour candidate Torcuil ­Crichton.

A source, who did not want to be named, said it was hoped social ­media accounts for the new ­Western Isles Party (WIP) would be opened within the next fortnight.

The source added that the focus would be on local ­issues and the party would be ­willing to work with other parties in ­government but it had not yet been decided if it would take a stance on Scottish independence.

The National:

“It’s very initial stages – we will be drawing up a full constitution in the coming months,” he said.

Policies to be covered by the new party include social housing, with ­demands for more flexibility in the Government’s five-year Strategic Housing Investment Plan, the proposed controversial Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) and how benefits from the proposed offshore windfarms can be maximised.

The new party is the latest sign of widespread dissatisfaction with the SNP and the Scottish Government on the islands, where the party and ­Scottish independence has previously had strong support.

Ongoing ferry disruption, which has caused havoc with the islands’ fragile economy, as well as the lack of affordable housing and population decline have led many to question their former SNP allegiance.

Although there are fewer than 30,000 inhabitants on the Outer ­Hebrides their votes are crucial for the survival of sitting MP MacNeil and it is a seat that the SNP can’t ­afford to lose. Having been MP since 2005, his defeat would be seen as a huge blow to the party.

While most of the anger is directed at the SNP government at Holyrood, islanders believe there will be a huge drop in the SNP vote at the next General Election and the question is whether the party can manage to turn opinion around in time.

Pro-independence and SNP supporter Fred Taylor, manager of ­Harris Marina, said he didn’t think the SNP had done enough to solve the two ­biggest crises of transport and ­housing on the islands.

“Without transport you don’t have economic development but Transport Scotland don’t see m to know what they are doing and now the SNP are being pressured by their own scandal so I can’t see that they are going to be able to hold the Western Isles,” he said.

Independent councillor Grant ­Fulton, said he was still “very pro-independence” but was no longer a member of the SNP.

“I want Scotland to be independent within the EU and at the moment the SNP are self-destructing – it just breaks my heart the way things are going, it really does,” he said.

“The irony is Scotland always says how disenfranchised we feel by ­Westminster but believe me, we feel much more disenfranchised now by Holyrood. We feel we are not part of Scotland because we don’t get the support the Central Belt does.

“The feeling up here is that we don’t count. Our representatives have not been vocal enough and we are all just sick of it. We need solutions now, not in two years’ time when the new ferries are built.

“Last year we had people ­sleeping in cars because the ferries had been cancelled and there was no ­accommodation. Now bookings are way, way down this year. It’s an ­absolute disaster and we are all just really hacked off.”

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Gordon MacDonald, chair of ­Harris Marina, has resigned his SNP membership and is adamant he would never vote for the SNP again in its current form, although he said he still supported independence.

Asked if he thought other ­islanders felt the same way, he answered: “Yes, 100%.

“I think it is guaranteed that ­Alasdair Allan [SNP MSP] will lose his seat, maybe less so Angus MacNeil but I can’t see him surviving either. Once trust and confidence evaporates it is very difficult to win it back. There has been such a succession of failed policies, incompetent decisions and waste of public money that it is very difficult to see them coming back from this any time soon.”

IF the SNP is to regain trust, he said the ferry service would have to be “radically reorganised” but although the need was urgent it would take time.

“There are too many ­organisations involved for one thing,” he said. “What I would like to get on the ­record is that Robbie ­Drummond ­[ferry ­operator CalMac chief ­executive] is not the guy who should be ­demonised – ­neither he nor his staff, because they are at the ­frontline and are ­carrying for the can for the ­negligence and ­incompetence of CMAL, ­Transport Scotland and ­behind them, the ­Scottish ­Government.

“Two things that need to be ­addressed are the procurement ­strategy and the design of the ferries themselves. The solutions have been around for a long time and promoted by some extremely experienced ferry builders and operators but have had very little success in gaining any traction with the current administration.”

However former SNP voter and ­independent councillor Paul ­Finnegan said that while the party would “take a kicking” he was unsure what the result would be.

“Certainly support has been dented but whether it is enough to unseat them I don’t know,” he said.

Finnegan gave credit to former transport minister Jenny Gilruth for listening to the islanders and managing to secure the building of new ferries which he said had repaired some of the damage to the Government’s reputation, but added that now she had been moved to the education brief and her replacement, Kevin Stewart, had resigned “the whole thing was up in the air again” and islanders still felt “left out and forgotten”.

“The SNP are definitely going to take a serious kicking but I don’t know if there is enough ill-feeling to kick them out,” said Finnegan.