Sturgeon says new vote is ‘will of the country’ after Scotland elects pro-independence majority

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Another referendum is the “will of the country” first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said after Scotland elected a majority of pro-independence MSPs.


The SNP won a total of 64 seats in the Scottish Parliament – one more than in 2016, but one short of the total needed for a majority. With the Scottish Greens having their best ever Holyrood performance, returning eight MSPs, the parliament now has 72 MSPs who support a second independence vote. Former first minister Alex Salmond’s Alba Party – which had been campaigning for an independence “supermajority” – failed to get any MSPs elected.

Speaking on 8 May, Sturgeon said her first focus would be on the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, but that the people of Scotland should be able to decide on the constitutional question “when the time is right”.

An independence referendum was pledged in the manifesto of both the SNP and the Scottish Greens, and Sturgeon declared:

It is a commitment made to the people by a majority of the MSPs have been elected to our national parliament.

Read on...

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It is the will of the country.

Given that outcome, there is simply no democratic justification whatsoever for Boris Johnson or anyone else seeking to block the right of the people of Scotland to choose our future.

If the request is rejected, Sturgeon said, “it will demonstrate conclusively that the UK is not a partnership of equals and that – astonishingly – Westminster no longer sees the UK as a voluntary union of nations”.

She added:

That in itself would be a very powerful argument for independence.

POLITICS Elections
(PA Graphics)

Patient persuasion

She also appealed to independence supporters, telling them they must “patiently persuade our fellow citizens” of the case for an independent Scotland.

The win by the SNP, the fourth consecutive victory for the party, saw more votes cast for them in local constituencies than in any other election since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Tories returned 31 MSPs, equalling their 2016 performance. Meanwhile Labour was down two on 22 MSPs and the Liberal Democrats saw their number of members reduced from five to four.

Prime Minister visits West Midlands
Boris Johnson holding a half empty glass (Phil Noble/PA)

Earlier on 8 May, prime minister Boris Johnson – who has overseen nearly 130,000 coronavirus deaths – insisted it would be “irresponsible and reckless” to have such a ballot as Britain emerges from the pandemic.

Despite MSPs who support independence winning a majority, he told the the Daily Telegraph his impression was that Scottish voters had “moved away from the idea of a referendum”.

New future

Scottish Green co-leader Lorna Slater said as part of work towards a “new greener future” for Scotland there must now be a referendum. She said:

Voters have delivered a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament, with the Scottish Greens playing a vital part, and it is now incumbent on Boris Johnson to recognise that democratic mandate.

One of the seats taken by the SNP was in Glasgow Kelvin, where Kaukab Stewart became the first woman of colour to be elected to Holyrood in its 22 year history – with Tory Pam Gosal later joining her as an MSP

Meanwhile, Labour’s Pam Duncan-Glancy became the first permanent wheelchair user to be elected to Holyrood on the Glasgow list.

Earlier on in the day, the Tories had held the key seats of both Aberdeenshire West and Galloway and West Dumfries.

Wins and losses

Although Sturgeon’s party made other gains in the constituency votes at Holyrood on 7 May, its success in gaining Ayr and East Lothian, from the Tories and Labour respectively, meant they lost seats on the South of Scotland regional list  – with the energy minister Paul Wheelhouse ousted as a result.

While Labour recorded its worst performance in the Holyrood election campaign, new leader Anas Sarwar, who took charge less than three months ago, said the party had something “to build on for the next five years”.

He stated:

We are significantly ahead of where we were just 10 weeks ago, and I’m incredibly proud of everything our activists have achieved.

Our campaign for a national recovery defined this election campaign, and we will take that energy into the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie conceded it was “frustrating” his party had not been able to gain more votes. Even so, he said that “our message clearly got through and had a big appeal on the doorsteps in our strongest areas”.

He added:

The issues we highlighted will be important in the next five years. Those are mental health, early years education, an industrial strategy for recovery, and action on the climate emergency.

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  • Show Comments
    1. So 2016 was once in a generation. Then Krankie told us if the SNP got a majority this week it would warrant a second referendum. She didn’t get majority, but I see this is the new line.
      I assume she’ll respect the Orkney’s desire to hold an independence referendum should Scotland leave the Union.

      1. Just for the record “once in a generation” is a figure of speech. Our esteemed Prime Minister has used it several times. As for the referendum its called democracy. The idea is you offer a manifesto to the public and they vote on it – whoever wins the election gets to carry out their manifesto commitments. A referendum was in the SNP and Green manifestos. Krankie (as you call her) never said “.. if the SNP got a majority this week…” the media spun that one. I don’t know if you come from Scotland but you must know that the system was designed not to allow a single party to get a majority, the fact the SNP got one once was a fluke. As for Orkney, the SNP has always said it would enable Orkney to hold its own referendum. Check your sources.
        Even Thatcher said that all the SNP had to do was deliver a majority of MPs to Westminster to get independence. Well, we’ve done that a couple of times now, still part of the UK – though not the EU as we were told in run-up to the referendum. Where’s the Vow? what happened to all those powers we were going to get? We have Scottish Tory MSP Adam Tomkins suggesting the use of force to stop independence and Lisa Nandy wants to use Spanish style tactics of violence and imprisonment to stop Scotland exercising its democratic rights. Is this the side you want to be on?
        PS the referendum for Scottish Independence was held on Thursday 18th September 2014 not 2016.

      2. Pro independence parties – 72 Pro union parties – 57. Mibbe just me, but that looks like a win for the independence movement. Unless, of course, we collided with an alternative universe where the side that scores less is the winner?

        As for your once in a generation, krankie, Orkney bullshit. Just the usual meaningless & insulting ramblings of a sad & desperate, hateful unionist. You’re all the same.

    2. But what you don’t say is that a majority of votes cast in the constituency ballots were for pro-Union parties: 1,326,149 CON/LAB/LIB v 1,274,977 SNP/GREEN. And Sturgeon explicitly called for Unionist voters to vote SNP if they wanted her to continue as First Minister to lead Scotland out of the pandemic (using UK-funded vaccine, incidentally). Undoubtedly, many did so. There is no majority for Independence in Thursday’s Scottish Parliament elections, but the SNP has to continue to pretend that there is, otherwise their whole raison d’etre ceases to exist.

      1. “otherwise their whole raison d’etre ceases to exist.”

        Oh REALLY? Or perhaps the Scots like to vote for a Corbyn-left style govt, which reduces as much as possible the UK Tory’s attacks on the poorest. Perhaps they like having locally-owned industries rather than be part of globalist supply chains that can be closed at any time.

        You can Dream On that Scots are as hare-brained and frankly stupid as the Murdoch-reading morons south of the Border, but it simply isn’t true.

        And the longer we English continue voting in openly sociopathic – psychopathic – hard-right Govts of whichever colour, the more we ensure the breakup of the ancient Union.

        Corbyn could have brought us back together, for at least a generation.

        But the English Establishment, and just as importantly US far-right billionaire ‘black’ money – simply could not countenance the UK having a Govt that actually gave a shit about its people.


        It might not be right now, even if they get Indyref 2. But the reasons for blocking are exactly the same as the blocking of EURef2 – the vote will not go in the way that BloJo and his globalist financiers want.

        If you’re so confident the vote will lose, then support it FFS!

      2. Actually it was a majority for Independence as not all standing on the ticket were parties:
        50.1% pro-independence vote if you only include the SNP, the Greens and Alba
        50.4% pro-independence vote if you also include the Scottish Libertarian Party, Restore Scotland and Scotia Future
        50.5% pro-independence vote if you also include independent candidates who are well known to support independence, such as Andy Wightman and Martin Keatings

      3. Total Constituency & List votes for the SNP & Greens – 2,640,892.

        Total for the Tories, Labour & Libdems – 2,627,758.

        Pro-independence majority vote count – 13,134.

        Pro-independence seats – 72.

        Pro-union seats – 57.

        So, it’s looking like the SNP will be making good on their whole reason for being pretty darned soon. How cool is that?

        PS Yoon tears taste good 🙂

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