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Pro-independence daily sheds fifth of readers since election

The editor of pro-Scottish independence daily The National says he has lost almost one fifth of his print readers since June’s General Election.

Callum Baird admitted sales have taken a “huge hit” following the vote, in contrast to a “brilliant” first six months of the year which saw the Glasgow-based newspaper’s circulation increase when compared to the 12 months before.

The 8 June poll saw the Scottish National Party’s share of seats in Westminster fall from 56 to 35, with Callum saying the result had been perceived as a “setback for independence”.

He made the admission in a piece marking three years since The National was launched, in which he answered some of the most common questions about the paper.

National Nov

In a section under the heading ‘How are sales anyway?’, Callum wrote: “We had a brilliant first six months to the year – our circulation was up on the previous 12 months, which is pretty much unheard of in newspapers.

“But since the General Election result – and the perception, at least, of it being a setback for independence – our sales have taken a huge hit.

“The brutal truth is that we have lost close to a fifth of our print readers since a high point in June. We have a good solid number of digital subscriptions which is increasing (nearly 5,000), but our readers need to be clear that the printed newspaper will only exist as long as people keep buying us, and buying us regularly.

“There have been occasions this summer when we’ve lost an average of 300 readers from one week to the next.”

In another section of the ‘Q & A’ piece, Callum responded to a question on weyhcommented on the fact owner Newsquest could “pull the plug at any minute”.

He wrote: “Well, yes. But they won’t, as long as we’re financially viable. The only time Newsquest will ever get involved in The National is if enough people aren’t supporting the paper. So long as our readers keep buying us every morning, we’ll be there.”