Sturgeon’s worst-case scenario laid bare by Sir John Curtice – UK would HALT Indyref2 hope

SNP's independence argument always 'falls apart' says Wallace

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Ms Sturgeon and the SNP have continued to campaign for Scottish independence, with Scotland’s First Minister insisting they could look to hold a second referendum on the issue as early as this year should her party achieve a majority in the election. Prime Minister Mr Johnson has repeatedly knocked back Scottish independence demands from the SNP, insisting the result from the referendum in 2014 must continue to be honoured. Scotland’s ruling party the SNP, which currently holds a minority Government, head into the crunch election on May 6 heavy favourites to once again come out victorious and possibly even achieve a majority.

During the last Scottish election in 2016, the SNP won 64 of the 129 seats on offer in the Holyrood parliament – slightly less than the 50 percent required to achieve an overall majority.

Scotland’s ruling party has been tipped to go one better and win a majority in just under three months’ time, in a move that could pile the pressure on Mr Johnson over Scottish independence.

But polling guru Sir John Curtice has warned another minority Government would firmly hand the advantage to the UK Government over a second referendum.

He told “The only question of serious interest in this election is do the SNP get a majority or not?

“The worst-case for the SNP is they get another minority administration.

“That would make it much easier for the UK Government to say no to a referendum and make life difficult for the SNP to push for independence.

“The UK Government will have to think through what it is going to do if it does not stop the SNP getting an overall majority and what would be the best way of playing the prospect of a referendum.”

But Sir John also warned the UK Government could be faced with a huge problem – even if they are successfully able to block a second referendum on independence.

He added: “It is a lot easier for the SNP to win an overall majority of Scottish MPs than it is to win a referendum.

“If in the end the UK Government is successfully able to block a referendum, they then have to think about what the SNP will do next.

“The consequence of that may well be the SNP regarding a majority of MPs as a mandate.

“We did have three elections in a row with small majorities and that can still happen again.”

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Earlier this month, Ms Sturgeon suffered a major nightmare after a bombshell new poll revealed support for Scottish independence had plummeted.

The poll undertaken by Savanta ComRes for The Scotsman which interviewed 1,002 adults aged 16 or over online from February 4-9 has suggested support for another vote is slipping away.

The survey showed support for independence has dropped below 50 percent when those who voted “don’t know” are included for the first time since December.

Just under half (47 percent) would vote “Yes” in the event of a second referendum, with 42 percent voting no and 10 percent undecided.

Excluding “don’t knows”, support for independence in a second referendum was 53 percent – down by four points from the previous poll.

But despite this new hammer blow for Ms Sturgeon, the poll found the SNP is still on course for an overwhelming result at the Scottish elections in three months’ time.

The SNP is set to be supported by 54 percent of Scots on the constituency vote, with 43 percent backing the ruling party in the regional list.

This would see the SNP return 71 MSPs and sit with a majority of 13 in the 129-seat Scottish parliament.

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