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Does the SNP now have a mandate for #Indyref2? Expert comment

Dr Alexander Smith comments: "It is difficult to argue that the election was anything other than an extraordinary result for the SNP, who now form government for an historic fourth term in Scotland.

"With the support of the Scottish Greens, there is a convincing pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament, with a mandate to hold a second independence referendum.

"The Johnson Government remains emphatically opposed to a fresh referendum, so the stage is now set for further constitutional wrangling north of the Anglo-Scottish border.

"While the UK Conservatives will try to make much of the SNP’s failure to achieve an overall majority in their own right, after falling short by one seat, their case against a new independence referendum appears weak.

"Suggesting the focus should remain on post-Covid recovery is undermined by the fact they persisted with Brexit while the pandemic had entered its tragic second wave, a constitutional upheaval that radically altered the material context in which Scots voted in the 2014 referendum – the central argument for revisiting the subject of independence for Scotland.

"If the UK Government has to resort to the courts to halt the Scottish Parliament from holding a second referendum, that would speak to the weakness of their democratic case for opposing it. We are in uncharted constitutional territory here and it remains to be seen when – rather than if – a new independence referendum is called."

10 May 2021


Sheila Kiggins

Media Relations Manager

07876 218166