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Exclusive: Nearly half of MSPs say it will be more than a year before getting back to normal after lockdown

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Exclusive: Nearly half of MSPs say it will be more than a year before getting back to normal after lockdown

Almost half of MSPs believe it will be more than a year before Scotland gets “back to normal” after the COVID-19 lockdown, with a further 23 per cent saying it will take at least six months and up to a year, according to exclusive polling by Holyrood magazine.

Asked “when you think about ‘getting back to normal’ following the COVID-19 lockdown, when do you think that will happen?” 46 per cent said more than a year, 23 per cent said between six months and a year, 15 per cent in four to six months’ time and 13 per cent between two and four months.

With a question hanging over the timing of the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, more than half of the MSPs, 51 per cent, said they believed the ballot should go ahead as planned in May next year, while 41 per cent said it should be postponed and just eight per cent of MSPs said the election should be held electronically.

On life post COVID-19, MSPs were given the option to pick more than one statement, 27 per cent of MSPs agreed that “the NHS should be better funded”, and 27 per cent also said, “we will approach inequality differently”.

Further, 16 per cent of the MSPs said people would “continue to be kinder to each other” and 15 per cent agreed with the statement that “the economy will be “based on wellbeing rather than wealth”.

With evidence that the environment has already benefitted from the lockdown, 15 per cent of the politicians said that they agreed that “the environment and climate change will take priority”. No MSPs said they believed politics would be less partisan after the pandemic.

Asked what their priorities would be once lockdown ended, with the option to pick more than one answer, 34 per cent of MSPs said their priority would be to visit family, 29 per cent to see constituents, 17 per cent were keen to make the hairdressers one of their first points of call and just five per cent said a priority would be to go to the pub. Other answers included going on holiday, going to football and having a meal out.

The polling, carried out by Holyrood magazine, was sent to all Scottish MSPs during lockdown before the First Minister announced some lifting of restrictions. Just under a third of MSPs answered the poll, which was anonymous.

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