Stur­geon makes sec­ond in­de­pen­dence vote her top pri­or­ity

Scottish Daily Mail - - The Brexmas Election - By Rachel Wat­son

NICOLA Stur­geon will put the SNP’s push for a sec­ond in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum at the heart of her elec­tion campaign.

The First Min­is­ter said its mes­sage would be ‘clear, sim­ple and un­am­bigu­ous – vote SNP to de­mand in­de­pen­dence and se­cure Scot­land’s right to choose’.

The Na­tion­al­ists are con­fi­dent of pick­ing up a string of seats from both Labour and the Con­ser­va­tives. At present, they have 35 MPs – down from the 56 they won at the 2015 gen­eral elec­tion.

If Jeremy Cor­byn fails to se­cure a Labour ma­jor­ity, it is likely he would be forced to ask the SNP for their sup­port in prop­ping up his gov­ern­ment.

At the SNP con­fer­ence ear­lier this month,

Miss Stur­geon was ex­plicit that in the event of a hung par­lia­ment her party would make an­other ref­er­en­dum an au­to­matic condition of SNP sup­port.

She told Mr Cor­byn: ‘If you don’t re­spect Scot­land’s right to choose our own fu­ture at a time of our own choos­ing, don’t even bother pick­ing up the phone.’

Miss Stur­geon has pledged to seek a Sec­tion 30 order – needed to hold a legally-bind­ing ref­er­en­dum – be­fore Christ­mas, with plans for a vote next year.

How­ever, it is un­likely that this de­mand will now be made be­fore the elec­tion.

Yes­ter­day, she said: ‘The SNP is ready for an elec­tion.

‘We stand ready to take the fight to the Tories, to bring down this un­demo­cratic gov­ern­ment, and give Scot­land the chance to es­cape from Brexit and de­cide our own

fu­ture. A win for the SNP will be an un­equiv­o­cal and ir­re­sistible de­mand for Scot­land’s right to choose our own fu­ture.’

Miss Stur­geon will front a pro-In­de­pen­dence rally in Glas­gow at the week­end.

SNP West­min­ster leader Ian Black­ford added: ‘We on these benches are sim­ply not pre­pared to sit back and al­low Scot­land to be taken out of the Euro­pean Union against its will. I wel­come the op­por­tu­nity of an elec­tion.’

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