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'SNP have calculated conditions are right to revisit independence' - Dr Alex Smith

"The SNP have calculated conditions are right to revisit the question of Scottish independence sooner rather than later", argues Dr Alex Smith, a Scottish politics expert from the University of Warwick's Department of Sociology, following the comments by Alex Salmond, SNP MP for Gordon and former First Minister of Scotland, that a second referendum on Scottish independence is 'inevitable'.

Dr Smith, author of Devolution and the Scottish Conservatives: banal activism, electioneering and the politics of irrelevance, also says "the failure of Labour in Scotland and the consolidation of Conservative rule at the UK level" are reasons behind a call for a second vote.

Dr Smith's comment in full:

It should surprise no one that Alex Salmond believes a second referendum on Scottish independence is now inevitable. After 'Yes' secured an impressive 45% in the vote last September, which fuelled a surge for the SNP in the recent general election, when they swept Scottish Labour aside to win 56 of 59 seats north of the English border, the question of another referendum was going to become one of 'when' rather than 'if'.

What also works in favour of the Nationalists is the election of a Tory Government at Westminster, which now freed of its coalition partners the Liberal Democrats in the last Parliament is seemingly intent on deepening cuts to public services and the welfare state. This combination of factors - the failure of Labour in Scotland and the consolidation of Conservative rule at the UK level - means the SNP have calculated conditions are right to revisit the question of Scottish independence sooner rather than later, a development which will not be welcomed by the many hundreds of thousands of Scottish voters who continue to support staying in the UK.

Contacts:

For further information or to arrange an interview with Dr Smith please contact:

Tom Frew - International Press Officer; a dot t dot frew at warwick dot ac dot uk

0785433155

Dr Alex Smith;

Tel: (0)24 761 5195
Fax: (0)24 7652 349
Email: Alexander dot Smith at warwick dot ac dot uk