Politics, Europe

Scottish National Party on course for 4th term in power

Pro-independence party has clinched 46 seats so far, 65 needed for overall majority

Ahmet Gurhan Kartal   | 08.05.2021
Scottish National Party on course for 4th term in power 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

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has won 61 seats so far and commands a clear lead as the vote count continues on Saturday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s pro-independence party now needs four more seats for an absolute majority in the 129-seat Parliament.

She said on Friday that “a majority has always been a very, very long shot.”

“I’m feeling extremely happy and extremely confident that we are on track as the SNP for a fourth consecutive election victory and to have the ability to form a government again and that’s an extraordinary achievement for any political party,” she said in Glasgow.

The SNP is now set to win a fourth term in power in Scotland as it has received 48% of votes, according to results declared so far, with the Tories at 22% and Labour at 21%.

According to some local news channels, the SNP is projected to win 63 seats, only two seats short of majority.

The turnout was over 70%, well above the national average of 55% in the 2016 elections.

As the count continues on Saturday, Conservatives have won 12 seats, Labour 6, Liberal Democrats 4, and Greens secured 2 seats.

The election is significant in terms of its aftereffects, as a pro-independence majority in Parliament will mean a second independence referendum in the near future.

'Extraordinary and historic'

Speaking on live television, Sturgeon described the result as "extraordinary and historic".

Sturgeon said Scotland's people voted for a pro-independence majority in Parliament, even though the results are not fully clear yet. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be "picking a fight with the democratic wishes of the Scottish people" if he tries to block another vote, she added.

"You will not succeed, the only people who can decide the future of Scotland are the Scottish people."

There is "no democratic justification" if London tries to block a second referendum on Scottish independence, Sturgeon said.

It is "not a decision for Boris Johnson or any Westminster politician", she added.

Johnson has constantly rejected the idea of a new referendum on Scottish independence, repeatedly saying that Scots made their choice in a 2014 referendum.

However, Sturgeon has argued that circumstances have changed with Brexit, and Scotland has been dragged from the EU against its will as 62% voted to remain part of the bloc in 2016.

“I think that count is still taking place and we’ll have to see what happens,” Johnson told The Telegraph.

“I listened to the Scottish election carefully. My impression was that they moved away from the idea of a referendum, and I think very wisely.”

Johnson said now was not “anything like the time to have more constitutional wrangling.”

“I think a referendum in the current context is irresponsible and reckless. Let me leave it at that,” he added.​​​​​​​

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