Politics, World, Europe

Scottish election underway as people queue up to vote

Voters have mixed feelings on independence from UK, but pro-independence majority predicted

Ahmet Gurhan Kartal   | 06.05.2021
 Scottish election underway as people queue up to vote People arrive at polling stations to cast their votes for Scottish Parliament election in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom on May 06, 2021. ( Hasan Esen - Anadolu Agency )

EDINBURGH, Scotland 

More than 4.28 million people in Scotland are casting their votes on Thursday in a most decisive election for nearly a decade.

Polling stations are attracting many people and more than a million people have reportedly cast their votes by midday.

The election is particularly important as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) is pledging a recovery from the pandemic and a second independence referendum, dubbed indyref2.

The Alba Party, formed by former First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond, is also promising a second referendum on independence, alongside other smaller parties, including the Greens.

Scottish Conservatives promise an orderly recovery from the pandemic and stronger Scotland within the UK.

Mixed feelings

Anadolu Agency asked Scottish voters as to what they think of such a referendum.

A voter in central Edinburgh said she did not support the country’s independence and the UK should remain as it is.

“I would vote to stay in the UK. I would campaign for that. I would work night and day as I did in the last time.”

Another voter told Anadolu Agency that he did not “want particularly an independent Scotland,” but the way central UK government is behaving and blocking a referendum, the independence referendum can become a reality.

“Independence would be a disaster”, an Edinburgh resident added.

An observer for an independent candidate told Anadolu Agency, on central UK government’s blocking an independence referendum, that the action would not be democratic.

“I support independence fully, unequivocally,” he said.

Another voter said she reckons that a pro-independence parliament would prevail after the election, adding that she is “absolutely for independence.”

She said the country voted to remain in the EU referendum but it had to leave the bloc with the rest of the UK.

2nd referendum

A second independence referendum in Scotland can only be legitimate if it receives approval from the UK government.

The Conservative government in Westminster under Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said they would not allow such a referendum as Scottish people made their choice in the first referendum held in 2014.

Around 55% of Scots voted to remain in the UK in 2014. However, 62% of population voted to remain in the EU in 2016 referendum, which initiated the Brexit process and Scotland had to leave the bloc together with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The latest opinion polls indicate there could be a pro-independence majority in the Scottish parliament.

The polling stations will close at 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) but the counting will start Friday morning because of COVID-19 precautions.

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Scottish election underway as people queue up to vote

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