SNP to face ‘big argument’ on Scottish independence if Sturgeon fails to secure majority

SNP: Expert issues warning over failing to get majority

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Voters in Scotland head to the polls tomorrow with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hoping to lead the SNP to a historic outright majority at Holyrood. Ms Sturgeon has set out her pathway to a second independence referendum in the event of a strong SNP performance in Thursday’s elections. However Scottish Daily Mail Political Editor Michael Blackley believes pro-independent supporters will have a hard time securing a second referendum if the SNP fails to win a majority at the ballot box.

Mr Blackley told Mike Graham on TalkRADIO: “If there is not an SNP majority there will be a big argument that there shouldn’t be an independence referendum.

“Nicola Sturgeon will demand that it happens if there is a pro-independence majority.

“But for the pro-union parties, they will point to some of the recent polling that shows that there are only about one in four Scots that actually support that idea of having a referendum in the next two years under Nicola Sturgeon’s timetable.

“So there are big questions over whether that will actually happen if the SNP does fail to get an outright majority itself.”

Ms Sturgeon has promised SNP supporters a second referendum could be held as early as 2024.

The SNP leader also argued the party would have the democratic right to hold another poll should Scottish voters return a majority of SNP MSPs on Thursday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson isn’t “entitled to stand in the way of the democratic choices of the people of Scotland”, according to the First Minister.

Speaking in Glasgow ahead of the election, Ms Sturgeon said: “I’m saying if Boris Johnson wants to stop it, he would have to take legal action.

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“If Boris Johnson didn’t do that, by definition it would be a legal referendum. If he did do that [take legal action], the courts would decide.

“But actually, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here because I believe that if the people of Scotland vote for this, if the support for independence continues, then it is not sustainable for any Westminster Prime Minister to stand in the way.”

However, the latest polling data suggest an SNP majority at Holyrood is far from certain with one poll putting the party six seats short.

A survey carried out by Savanta ComRes suggests SNP support has slipped in by three points in constituency vote to 42 percent, and down two points for the list vote to 34 percent.

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Robert Suthers, head of polling at BMG, said: “There is no question that the SNP will be returned as the largest party in Holyrood next week, but their prospect of a majority remains on a knife-edge.

“With little movement since our last poll in mid-March, there is no real evidence that any party has gathered significant momentum ahead of voters casting their ballot next week.

“Using a uniform seat calculator – a general guide of estimating how votes might translate into seats – our member suggest the SNP could win a small majority of seven, thanks to a clean sweep of constituencies.”

Meanwhile, a separate poll conducted by YouGov for The Times found that 45 percent of people would vote ‘yes’ in a future independence referendum, while 55 per cent said they would vote ‘no’ to leaving the UK.

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