General elections fuel the Scottish independence debate | Free press


Edinburgh (AP) – With a view to a victory in the parliamentary elections in Scotland, the ruling party SNP has increased pressure on London for a new independence referendum. Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that there would be a referendum if there was a majority in parliament.

Your Scottish National Party (SNP) is heading for a clear election victory. An absolute majority is considered uncertain. However, along with the Greens, there should be a majority of those in favor of independence in parliament. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson again rejected another referendum.

Another referendum was “irresponsible and inconsiderate,” Johnson said of the Daily Telegraph newspaper (Saturday). “This is not the time to have constitutional disputes and talk about tearing our country apart, while the people are more concerned with healing our economy and moving forward together.” Most experts believe that a referendum would not be legal without London’s approval. But the result of the general election could increase pressure on Johnson to allow another referendum.

If the SNP does not get an absolute majority, this will play into Johnson’s hands, the British media predicted. In contrast, the SNP and partisan experts emphasize that the SNP result alone is not decisive. A majority in parliament is important. “Boris Johnson is not some sort of fief from Scotland,” said Deputy Prime Minister John Swinney. The Scottish electoral system provides compensatory mandates for weaker parties. That makes an absolute majority in the Edinburgh Parliament difficult.

The final result in the British part of the country was expected on Saturday afternoon. Due to the corona pandemic, the counting of Thursday’s vote had only started on Friday and was interrupted overnight. The SNP was on track: compared to the vote in 2016, it has already won three additional constituencies. For an absolute majority, however, she would have to conquer more constituencies and also hope for list places in conservative areas, according to expert John Curtice.

The dominant campaign theme was independence. Curtice observed tactical votes in different constituencies: there supporters of a union with Great Britain often voted not for their actual party, but for the representative of the opponents of independence with the greatest chance of victory. Turnout was 63.7 percent, higher than ever before. In many places there were long queues for polling stations.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court decides on a referendum. Sturgeon confirmed on Channel 4 that she would propose a new referendum bill. “If Boris Johnson wants to end this, he has to go to court. In almost any other democracy, this would be an absurd debate. If the Scottish people have voted for a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament, no politician has the right to stand in the way. “The SNP is aiming for a referendum by the end of 2023.

The UK government emphasizes that the independence issue was resolved in 2014. “It would be irresponsible to have another referendum and another debate on the constitution if we got out of this pandemic and focused on economic recovery,” cabinet member George Eustice told Times Radio. The SNP, on the other hand, emphasizes that the initial situation has changed as a result of Brexit. The majority of Scots had refused to leave the EU, but were outvoted.