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UK: towards 6 May election. Curtice (Univ. of Strathclyde) to SIR, referendum on Scottish independence “likely”

John Curtice (Photo: University of Strathclyde)

“The kind of majority that the Scottish Prime Minister wins in the 6 May election will have an impact on the constitutional crisis marking the relations between the British government and the government north of Hadrian’s Wall”. John Curtice is a renowned expert in Scottish politics and tensions between London and Edinburgh. Professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, he told SIR news agency that it will be very difficult for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to turn down the Scottish National Party (SNP)’s request for a second independence referendum (IndyRef2) after the 2014 one, if Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon wins an absolute majority in the Scottish parliament at Holyrood in the upcoming election on 6 May. “There is an important precedent in 2011, when David Cameron admitted that having won 69 of the 129 seats in the 2011 election, the SNP had gained ‘a moral right’ to ‘IndyRef1’”, the expert explains. “If the SNP does not need the Greens to govern, Boris Johnson will not be able to justify a “no” to Nicola Sturgeon, who has repeatedly called for a new independence referendum. Precedents are important in British politics. The question is how long it will take for the Prime Minister to say “yes”, for it is clear that the British government does not want an independent Scotland. The call for a second referendum, however, will come anyway because the SNP will certainly win, although it is not known by how much”.

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