Politics

Sturgeon ‘in no rush’ to hold independence referendum as polls suggest SNP will lose

Nicola Sturgeon discusses Scotland’s restrictions

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The SNP leader fell just one seat short of a majority during last week’s Holyrood election but despite the shortfall, the SNP together with the Greens still have a majority for pro-independence. Unfortunately for pro-independence Scots, the Indyref2 vote probably won’t happen for some time.

Writing for The Scotsman, Ian Swanson, Political editor for Edinburgh Evening News explained why a vote wouldn’t be set in the near future.

He wrote: “The first reason there will be no early vote on Scotland’s constitutional future is that, despite the campaign claims of opponents, there was never going to be one ‘in the middle of a global pandemic’ and the First Minister said so repeatedly.

“But secondly, Covid aside, she is in no rush to hold Indyref2 because the evidence of the polls suggests she might well lose.”

Opinions on independence are relatively split, with last week’s polls in The Times, The Scotsman and DC Thomson suggesting that there was more support for remaining in the UK over independence.

The latest Holyrood election had a record high voter turnout with 63.2 percent with an improvement in every constituency across Scotland.

However, despite this record, the levels still lagged behind the most recent General Election which had 68.1 percent turnout.

Mr Swanson suggested that when comparing the vote share of pro- vs anti- independence parties, the election results confirm the nation is still split almost 50:50.

He added: “There are those in the nationalist movement who want to press ahead with a referendum as soon as possible.

“Ms Sturgeon says she wants it in the first half of this parliamentary term, but it seems unlikely she would choose to hold it unless the polls are more encouraging.”

Mr Swanson continued to outline several reasons for why the vote should be delayed including, currency, EU membership, UK borders and more.

He said: “The party also needs time to revise its case for an independent Scotland.

“Brexit and Covid mean the situation has changed dramatically since 2014 and much of what was said then is now obsolete.

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“So there will be no referendum imminently – but the arguments will rage nevertheless.”

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