SNP leads in Scottish election as vote count continues

SNP secures 39 seats; needs 65 for majority in Holyrood

Ahmet Gürhan Kartal   | 08.05.2021
SNP leads in Scottish election as vote count continues 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 )


The Scottish National Party (SNP) remains within reach of a majority in parliament as early election results Friday gave it a clear lead with 39 seats.

Scotland’s first minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said “a majority has always been a very, very long shot.”

“I’m feeling extremely happy and extremely confident that we are on track in 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,” Sturgeon said at a news conference in Glasgow.

Sixty-five seats are needed for a majority in Holyrood, the Scottish parliament.

The results saw the SNP with 47% of the vote, with the Tories at 22% and Labour with 21%.

Some crucial seats, including Dumbarton, were held by non-independence parties as a result of tactical votes by unionist parties.

The turnout exceeded 70%, more than the national average of 55% in the 2016 elections.

As the count was coming to the end on Friday and will continue Saturday because of coronavirus restrictions, Lib Dems won four seats, Conservatives have three and Labour secured two.

The Alba Party, formed weeks ago by former SNP leader Alex Salmond has failed to win a seat and is predicted to receive around 2%.

The election is significant because its after effects as a pro-independence majority in Holyrood will mean a second independence referendum in the near future.

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

But 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.

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