UK election day important for Scottish separatists

UK election day important for Scottish separatists

The British vote Thursday, 6 May, for local elections crucial to the unity of Boris Johnson and the United Kingdom, with Scottish separatists hoping for a convincing victory to pave the way for a new self-determination referendum.

Postponed for a year because of the pandemic, these elections should allow 48 million voters to renew some 5,000 seats in 143 local assemblies in England, elect a mayor in the capital London and appoint new parliament constituencies in Wales and Scotland .

“It’s a Big Day” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday, In a video posted on Twitter, Calling upon the British to go to the polls and vote for its formation, the Conservative Party, facing only opposition “playing the political game”, according to him. Open at 7 a.m. local time, offices will close at 9 p.m. Results are expected only on Friday and very slowly throughout the weekend.

In Scotland, a country of 5.5 million people, they will potentially be decisive for the future of the United Kingdom. If the separatists in power win a majority in the local parliament, the head of the Scottish National Party (SNP), First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, intends to pressure the central government in London to be able to hold a new referendum. . free.

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poor turnout

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (right) meets with voters outside a polling station in Glasgow, Scotland, on May 6, 2021.

In 2014, Scots chose 55% to live in the United Kingdom. An argument made by the Conservative prime minister, Boris Johnson, who has the last word to strongly oppose a new consultation, which according to him may not take place, “once per generation”.

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Supporters of a new referendum recalled that Brexit, which was opposed by 62% of Scots, was a game-changer. Also the pandemic, which boosted Nicola Sturgeon’s popularity, was credited with good management of the health crisis.

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After months of elections promising SNP growth and a majority in favor of independence, the party may be disillusioned. A Savante comres survey was done for the newspaper Scotsman He predicted the worst score since coming to power in 2007 with 59 out of 129 seats (-2). “It’s Really Played on a Razor’s Edge”, wrote on twitter Nicola Sturgeon encourages her supporters to vote.

In the absence of a majority alone, the formation would however be able to rely on the Greens and the new party, alba (“Scotland”, in Gaelic), former Scottish leader Alex Salmond, former mentor of Nicola Sturgeon, who became her rival after a rift within the independence camp.

double test value

These elections also have a double test value. For Boris Johnson, the legislative elections in late 2019 followed a tidal wave of conservatives, with the promise of achieving Brexit now in effect. A test also for Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer, whose party has been running side by side with elections for the first time since they took a head on their historic defeat in legislative elections in April 2020. “We fight for every voice”he said on Wednesday. “Whatever the outcome, I will take responsibility. “

Building on the success of the coronavirus vaccination campaign, Boris Johnson remains in the polls despite several scandals, including funding the renovation of his official apartment, and a very heavy pandemic toll – more than 127,500 dead.

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Accused of sexual harassment, the outgoing elected official is likely to switch conservatives by electing his new deputy, especially around Hartlepool, a Labor stronghold in the north-east of England. Quite an icon after being taken over by the K Tories in 2019 “Red Wall” Labour, sectors that were affected by the industrialization of the north of England.

The Labor Party in London is in much better shape. Five years after becoming the first Muslim mayor of a major western capital, Labor Sadiq Khan has been given the winner for a second term, far ahead of conservative Sean Bailey.

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AFP. world with

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