Current Affairs Politics

The Scottish Parliament’s New Pro-Independence Majority

The largest number of votes submitted in an election for the Scottish parliament and the largest tally of support recorded by pro-independence parties in an election for the Scottish parliament, yet this weekend most of the UK press has been leading with editorials and opinion pieces proclaiming that the nationalist movement has no mandate to demand or hold a second independence referendum, echoing the words of the Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem parties. It is extraordinary stuff, reflecting the delusional view of Scotland that exists within the politics of Greater England, whether on the ideological right or left.

The fact remains that a narrow majority of Scots voted in favour of groups that have placed a plebiscite on separation from the United Kingdom as the centrepiece of their manifestos. And voters have expressed their support for this policy of separation despite the vociferous opposition of much of the local and national press in Britain, including the partisan advantage given to pro-union opinion in the news media over the duration of the election campaign, and the attempts at tactical voting by union-minded voters in some areas (not to mention some electoral chicanery in key constituencies).

If the Tory government in London continues to set its face against a second referendum north of the Anglo-Scottish border then it looks like the UK may be heading towards a Catalan-like standoff in the near future, an event that will be in no one’s interest. Unless, of course, the critics of the Scottish National Party turn out to be correct and that the real comparison is with the old Convergència i Unió (CiU) alliance in Catalonia which spent much of its time talking about independence while committed to regionalism until events on the ground forced its hand.

The Alba Party may have represented something of a false start due to its association with the now divisive figure of Alex Salmond and some questionable people on the socially conservative fringe of the nationalist movement but it could also be the opening sign of a far greater fissure beneath the surface in Scottish nationalism. Leaving the ever-more urgent constitutional question, also applicable to this country, still to be asked: “If not now, when?”

Scottish Parliament Election May 2021, Final Tally of Seats:

Scottish National Party 64 (+1)

Conservative Party 31 (-)

Labour Party 22 (-2)

Scottish Green Party 8 (+2)

Liberal Democrats 4 (-1)

Pro-independence parties: 72 seats (56%)

Anti-independence parties: 57 seats (44%)

8 comments on “The Scottish Parliament’s New Pro-Independence Majority

  1. Diarmuid Breatnach

    your comparison with Catalonia moves me to advise the Scotland lndependence movement to KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM

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  2. Fundamental difference between Catalonia and Scotland:

    Spain’s constitution says the state is “one and indivisible”, so secession of any part is a complicated business.

    On the other hand, the UK is said to be “a voluntary union”.

    Refusing a demand for Scotland’s Indyref2 will turn the Uk openly and constitutionally into a “coercive” Union, paradoxically increasing Scotland’s desire to leave

    Liked by 2 people

  3. benmadigan beat me to it.
    It will suit the SNP (and Greens) that Johnson and his cabal have set their faces against a referendum. The more people are denied something, especially something they feel they’re entitled to, the more determined they’ll become. It helps enormously, too, that the Tories, and Johnson in particular, are despised in Scotland.
    The SNP and the Greens fought the election on holding a referendum “at some point during this parliamentary term” and were heavily endorsed by the electorate, which should allow them plenty of breathing space for countering Alba pressure for immediate results.
    No doubt the Tories will start throwing (or, more likely, promising to throw) a fortune at Scotland. I can’t see this having much effect – too many years of Westminster treating Scotland as a poor relation for people not to see through that. Besides, are they going to throw a similar fortune in appeasement money at NI, on top of the fortune they already throw in that direction? If so, how’s that going to go down in the deprived regions of England and Wales? Not that I think for a second they would care overly much about NI leaving the UK (as long as it went relatively quietly), but they’ll certainly care about the optics of having two parts of the UK simultaneously pushing to hold referendums on the union, and each taking encouragement from the other.
    What we can be certain of is a no-holds-barred, black propaganda campaign against the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon in particular.

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  4. I see Andrew Neil is leading the charge in the Daily Mail.
    What essentially he’s arguing is that most Scottish people who voted SNP did so because Nicola Sturgeon performed so well on Covid. Though, according to Andrew (who now lives in France, if I’m not mistaken) she didn’t ACTUALLY perform any better than Johnson, she’s just a better communicator than him. He also alludes to a few opinion polls to support his theories on a referendum. Why bother having elections when you can have opinion polls, eh Andrew?
    It’s terrible the knots we twist ourselves into, and we’ve all done it, when trying to make the facts suit our opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read that piece. Awful stuff. He led with the claim that the SNP failed because they didn’t gain an overwhelming majority and the rest of it was equally slanted.

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  5. One of those lines where you immediately go, “God, I wish I’d thought of that.”
    The Guardian’s Scotland correspondent, Libby Brooks, on how Salmond’s failure to win a seat will restrict his ability to cause mischief for the SNP: “… he’s now a thorn without a side.” 👏

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No answers on currency, constitution, pensions, defence, borders, share of UK national debt all the important stuff for the Scottish voters to consider, issues that have not been dealt with by the SNP in serous detail…do not forget that Labour were the number 1 party for many years in Scotland till hey stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories back in 2014….a vote for the SNP is for some a vote against these parties and not necessarily a translated vote for independence

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    • Of course all of that and a lot more has yet to be worked out, which is hardly surprising at this point. And no-one is arguing that securing a referendum guarantees a majority will vote for independence. However, to suggest that an unspecified percentage of the SNP vote is in fact a protest vote is ludicrous. Clutching at straws.

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