Good night fore­cast for SNP would ‘re­in­force’ case for ref­er­en­dum

The Scotsman - - ELECTION 2019 - By SCOTT MACNAB

The SNP’S man­date for a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum on in­de­pen­dence will have been “re­in­forced” if the party makes the sweep­ing gains fore­cast in exit polls.

The exit poll fore­cast the Na­tion­al­ists would take 55 seats, well up on ex­pec­ta­tions. The re­sult would be just one short of the party’s re­mark­able haul of 56 seats in 2015, af­ter a cam­paign over the past month which was dom­i­nated by the SNP’S de­mand for a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum on in­de­pen­dence next year.

But se­nior Tories played down claims of a man­date for indyref2 next year in line with Nicola Stur­geon’s de­mands.

Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Humza Yousaf told Sky News: “Our mes­sage could not have been clearer – we stood on a very clear man­date to stop Brexit, to let Scot­land have its own say and to lock Boris out of Num­ber 10. In­de­pen­dence was very much front and cen­tre of our cam­paign.

“Boris John­son, any UK Gov­ern­ment if they’re Democrats can­not deny the voice of the Scot­tish peo­ple – it’s not for Boris John­son to dic­tate when there’s an­other in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum. That is a choice for the Scot­tish peo­ple and the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment.

“If the SNP wins no­body can deny that gives us a fur­ther man­date – we al­ready have a man­date – but a fur­ther man­date for an­other ref­er­en­dum in 2020.”

The elec­tion cam­paign which had fo­cused heav­ily on the key con­sti­tu­tional is­sues of Brexit and a sec­ond Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum.

Ms Stur­geon, the Scot­tish First Min­is­ter, has al­ready pledged to send a let­ter re­quest­ing Holy­rood be given the power to hold a fresh bal­lot on the is­sue to the new prime min­is­ter be­fore Christ­mas.

Fi­nance Sec­re­tary Derek Mackay added: “I think what’s clear from these num­bers, even if you look into the de­tail – it is di­ver­gence, we are di­verg­ing from the rest of the UK.

“If the rest of the UK has voted Tory we won’t be get­ting Brexit done, it will just be the next stage of this whole sorry saga,”

Scots Tory fi­nance spokesman Murdo Fraser said the pre­dicted Tory ma­jor­ity of 86 would be the party’s best re­sult since 1987. “This would be giv­ing a Con­ser­va­tive Gov­ern­ment for the UK with a work­ing ma­jor­ity, a very sub­stan­tial work­ing ma­jor­ity able to carry for­ward its agenda for the next five years and able to get Brexit done,” her added.

But Mr Fraser played down sug­ges­tions that the re­sult in Scot­land gave the SNP a man­date for in­de­pen­dence.

Clock­wise from far left: Boris John­son goes to vote with his dog Di­lyn; Jeremy Cor­byn; Jo Swin­son and her part­ner Dun­can Hames; Nicola Stur­geon; Elmo in ac­tion in Is­ling­ton; the Ed­in­burgh count gets un­der way; the count be­gins in East Ren­frew­shire; Boris John­son cam­paign­ing in South Ruis­lip

0 Humza Yousaf: ‘We stood on a very clear man­date to stop Brexit’

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