London / Edinburgh (AP) – Scotland has elected a new parliament, accompanied by an emotional debate on independence. More than 4.2 million people were called to vote in the British part of the country on Thursday.
The ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) is hoping for an absolute majority. She then wants to intensify her calls for a new independence referendum.
Other parts of the UK also voted on “Super Election Day”: a new parliament was also elected in Wales, and new city councils and district councils and mayors in much of England – including London. Ballots could be submitted until 11 p.m. (CEST). The results are largely not expected until the weekend.
The outcome of the parliamentary elections in Scotland is expected with great excitement. The SNP currently rules with the tolerance of the Scottish Greens. It is hoped that an absolute majority would add to the pressure on London.
In a first referendum in 2014, 55 percent of Scots voted against secession. However, the SNP argues that the situation has fundamentally changed with Britain’s departure from the EU, which was rejected by the majority of Scottish voters. The UK government has so far strictly rejected a new referendum.
One benefit to Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is extremely unpopular in Scotland. According to a study by the University of Bristol and King’s College London, three quarters of Scots (72 percent) distrust the British Prime Minister when it comes to fighting pandemics.
A majority of Scots (55 percent) also think that the government in London has not put in a good figure at all in the fight against the corona virus. Recently, however, opponents of independence have caught up in surveys, also due to the success of the UK government’s corona vaccination program.
In Scotland, as in Germany, there are first votes for the election of direct mandates and second votes for candidates coming to parliament via regional lists.
In London, the incumbent Labor party, incumbent Sadiq Khan, has run for a second term as mayor. According to polls, he is well ahead of his conservative challenger Shaun Bailey in favor of the election.
The English public mainly watched Hartlepool. A by-election for a parliamentary seat took place in the north-east English port city. According to surveys, Prime Minister Johnson’s Conservatives had a good chance of taking over the Labor Party’s mandate after decades. “It’s an important day at the polls,” Johnson tweeted. “Hopefully everyone will go out and vote.”