Scotland: election analysis – “I expect a long fight for a second referendum”

Scotland: Election Analysis -

Regional elections in Scotland have ended. Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party clearly won the election – but missed out on an absolute majority. What this means for the question of Scottish independence from the United Kingdom are now two stories.

Sturgeon together with the Greens claim to have won a majority in parliament for independence.

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland:
“Therefore the referendum cannot in any way be called my request or the request of the SNP. It is a promise to the people – by a clear majority of MPs elected to the national parliament. It is the will of the people.”

On the other hand is Boris Johnson. He does not want to go down in history as the British Prime Minister under whom the state fell apart. Vocal from London: Before the first referendum in 2014, the SNP missed an absolute majority.

Nikolai von Ondarza, Science and Politics Foundation:
“These two stories are colliding now and I really expect there will be a long fight over whether or not a second referendum can happen. It will not happen immediately, but something that will happen in 2022, 23 or later.”

The SNP has won 64 seats, missing a majority. But that’s enough with the Greens’ eight seats. Nevertheless, the road to Scottish independence is complicated. The Edinburgh government must pass an independence referendum law. And then the Supreme Court decides whether it needs approval from London to implement it.

Nikolai von Ondarza, Science and Politics Foundation:
“The major legal battle is over the interpretation of the so-called Scotland Act, which sets out what powers the Scottish Parliament has. And the one ability it does not have is to decide between the union of the United Kingdom and the states of England and Scotland. determines.

Johnson’s biggest argument is the 2014 referendum. He has long held the view that this question is being settled for a long time.

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Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister:
» We conducted a referendum in 2014. It was important. It was – I think everyone agrees – something that happens once in a generation.”

An opportunity that exists once per generation – that too was the opinion of SNPs seven years ago. And at that time the country decided against independence with 55.3 percent of the votes.

But: a lot has happened since then. Scotland voted 62 percent against Britain’s exit from the European Union – and now has to accept a harsh Brexit. She, therefore advocating for independence, changes everything. And it complicates things for Johnson.

Nikolai von Ondarza, Science and Politics Foundation:
“Because many of the arguments against Scottish independence were certainly arguments against Brexit as well.”

Johnson is now playing for time. He has created his own power. Elections were also held in England – with great success for the Conservatives. Until a possible court decision, Johnson will now do everything possible to persuade Scots to remain part of the UK.

Nikolai von Ondarza, Science and Politics Foundation:
“Above the vaccination campaign. But we can also assume that in the future a lot of money will be sent to Scotland to show that it is worth living in the UK.”

It is entirely possible that he will be successful in this. Because the mood is not as clear as Sturgeon would like to portray it.

Nikolai von Ondarza, Science and Politics Foundation:
“There are also substantial studies that there are also some SNP voters who support the party as a left-wing party, who make social policy, but are not one hundred percent sure of themselves whether they want independence.”

In the end it will also be very decisive When There will be a possible V-V referendum. Because elections have ups and downs. There was strong support for independence at the start of the year – that too due to the poor handling of the pandemic. The mood has changed since the success of vaccination, now the opponents of freedom are a little ahead.

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Nikolai von Ondarza, Science and Politics Foundation:
“It depends on the exact moment and the exact political circumstances when the referendum actually takes place. And so both sides will consider very carefully: when is the best time for me, when can I call the referendum and then I can call the Scottish population.” How can I include myself?”

It is unlikely Sturgeon will win legally and go ahead with the referendum without Lohden. And so, in the end, the decision may lie with Johnson anyway. Still, it cannot be ruled out that it would allow a referendum. In the hope that freedom advocates will fail again – and thus in the long term.

Nikolai von Ondarza, Science and Politics Foundation:
“If they lose it again. Then one can assume that this question really needs to be answered for several decades.”

And how is the EU dealing with this controversy? She now has to decide whether she wants to see the debate as a purely domestic issue, as it did in 2014, or whether she wants to send a positive signal to EU supporters in Scotland. And that decision is a complicated one.

Nikolai von Ondarza, Science and Politics Foundation:
“Because London would see this as a hostile act if the EU were to approach Scottish independence advocates very positively. Because from London’s point of view it would actually be an attempt to isolate the United Kingdom.”

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