Scottish Elections: The Prospects of the May Elections and its Impact on the Independence Referendum

Brexit, the biggest challenge for the UK in recent decades, has significant consequences, especially for the re-emergence of separatist voices in Scotland.

Scotland has stated its outspoken opposition to leaving the EU from the outset, and its people, unlike the rest of Britain, voted against Brexit alongside their politicians.

While Brexit was approved by 52% of the people across the UK, 66% of Scots voted against it. This significant difference was an important sign from the very beginning: Scotland is on its way to independence from Britain.

Now, at the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021, despite all the Brexit pressures on London on the one hand, and the consequences of the lockdown due to the new coronavirus strain on the other, Boris Johnson has promised the good news of a final agreement with the EU.

Does the Agreement Solve all the Problems?

After great efforts by London and the EU to conclude a free trade deal, it appears that the free trade agreement is going to solve all economic consequences of Brexit, but it is not that simple.

This has not allayed Edinburgh’s negative feelings about Brexit. Nicola Sturgeon will still be looking for an independence referendum.

Sturgeon has made it clear that no agreement would replace the EU. This means that Scotland is still looking for a way back into the union, even if it has to pay a price for independence.

Sturgeon’s tweet saying the EU “leaves light on for Scotland” shows that they are looking to rejoin the EU.

The devolved government of Scotland is well aware that the issue is not merely the economic consequences. London’s autonomy in leaving the EU and ignoring Scotland’s demands has strongly provoked nationalist sentiments.

The sentence by Sturgeon that “It’s time to plan for our future as an independent European country” is very meaningful and important.

She is indicating that Scotland is strong enough to make independent regional and international decisions.

The Scottish Elections and the Question of Independence

The idea of ​​Scottish independence from Britain has been circulating in the local political community for many years now.

The independence referendum was officially held for the first time in 2014. The referendum was held with the consent of London, but the result was not very satisfactory for the Scottish nationalists.

Fifty-five percent of those who voted in the referendum were against the idea of ​​secession from Britain; as a result, the idea of ​​independence was set aside for a while at least.

But with the Brexit debate, the idea of Scottish nationalism grew again. The results of an official survey showed that more than 68% of Scottish citizens want independence.

Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party (SNP) strongly defend the idea of ​​Scottish independence from Britain, and the rise of nationalist sentiments in the country has given them a chance to try their luck at another referendum to pave the way for independence. Boris Johnson, however, has explicitly stated that London does not agree to a re-run of the referendum.

According to London, Scotland has shown its unwillingness once to become independent and there is no need for a second referendum.

On the other hand, sturgeon is smart enough to know that it is better to do everything legally so that the process progresses with minimal friction and erosion.

It seems that as a first step to prepare for the referendum, Sturgeon is waiting for the parliamentary elections in May 2021.

The outcome of the parliamentary elections will give her and her party the power to convert their idea into action with more authority, backed by a majority in parliamentary seats.

The Scottish National Party is currently the leading party in Scotland, with 63 of the 129 seats in parliament.

But sturgeon believes that this figure is not enough. The SNP, which lost 21 seats in the House of Commons in the 2017 British elections as compared to the previous term, is looking forward to holding local elections to secure a landslide victory with popular support.

The Combination of Scottish Parties and Electoral Prospects

It is clear that not all Scottish parties agree with the idea of ​​independence from Britain.

Parliament is currently dominated by five major parties:

  • With 63 of the 129 seats, the SNP is the largest and most powerful party.
  • The Scottish Conservative Party is Scotland’s second largest party with 31 seats.
  • Third place goes to the Labour Party. The party holds 23 seats in the Scottish Parliament.
  • The Green Party of Scotland is the fourth largest party in Scotland, with six parliamentary seats.
  • And the Liberal Democratic Party of Scotland is the fifth largest party in Scotland with five seats.

The SNP was the only party seeking an independence referendum at the outset. In recent years, however, the issue of Brexit has also motivated the Green Party to lean towards independence.

It is noteworthy that the other three parties oppose holding a referendum. The Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Scottish Liberal Democrats are opposed to independence from Britain.

These three parties are not very significant separately, but their combined power cannot be ignored.

In fact, 59 of the 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament disagree with the idea of ​​independence or even holding an independence referendum.

This is a matter for Sturgeon who wants to launch a political campaign to put pressure on London and gain independence.

Sturgeon seems to prefer holding out the idea of independence at least until the elections in May 2021 in order to determine her position and that of the SNP in the Scottish Parliament.

The Prospects of the Scottish Elections in May 2021

The result of Scotland’s local parliamentary elections, apart from the impact they will have on the country’s politics, will have crucial consequences for the country’s independence.

The hopeful point for the SNP is the rise of nationalist sentiments in the country.

The withdrawal from the EU, apart from all its political shocks for Britain, has also had important consequences for the people of Scotland.

The Scottish Government believes that the time has come for the country to be able to decide for itself and its future on its own.

Scotland’s issue is not just about the economy and the consequences of Brexit. Rather, it is the deeper independent identity and freedom of action.

Sturgeon, representing Scottish separatists, has come to the conclusion that the issue of Scotland is the right to choose and leavint the future in the hands of the Scottish people.

So, she will wait for the results of the local elections to vigorously defend her position in the referendum and put pressure on London.

What Do the Statics Say?

Surveys show that the SNP is currently at the peak of its popularity.

According to recent surveys, 55% of Scottish people will vote for the SNP in the next election, giving the party 73 seats in parliament.

The Conservative Party, the strongest opposition party to the SNP, will remain Scotland’s second most powerful party with 22% of the votes and 27 seats.

The Labour Party won 14% of the votes. It will be able to win 19 parliamentary seats and remain Scotland’s third most powerful party.

The Green Party, which recently agreed to hold an independence referendum, has won fourth place jointly with the Liberal Democratic Party.

Each of these parties will hold five seats in the Scottish Parliament.

According to the polls, 56% of Scots will vote in favour of independence and 44% will vote against.

Of course, it is clear that the results of the polls are numbers on paper, and we will have to wait for the elections to determine the real results.

But if the political trend in Scotland continues in the same way and nothing new happens in the realm of its politics, we will see the decisive victory of the nationalists and the strengthening of the idea of ​​independence from Britain.

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