Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) has won the Scottish parliamentary elections by far. The Election Commission in Edinburgh announced this on Saturday evening. With 64 seats, the nationalists are one seat short to gain an absolute majority.
Nevertheless, a majority of the new parliament seems to be in favor of the organization of a new referendum on Scottish independence. The Greens, who also support the referendum, also took eight seats in the 129-seat parliament in Edinburgh, according to the final results of Thursday’s polls.
In a first referendum in 2014, the opponents of independence won the case. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s British government rejects a new referendum, but nationalists argue that Britain’s departure from the European Union has fundamentally changed the situation. In Scotland, a large majority was against Brexit.
The Scottish Conservatives achieve a status quo with 31 seats. The Labor Socialists lose two seats to 22 MPs. The Liberal Democrats have to give up one seat and have four more. Former Prime Minister Alex Salmond’s party Alba failed to secure a seat.
At 66 percent, turnout was the highest since parliament was established in 1999.
Johnson advocates unity
After the election victory of the Scottish nationalists, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has argued for the unity of the different parts of the United Kingdom. “It is my passionate belief that it is in the best interests of the people of the United Kingdom, and especially the people of Scotland, if we work together,” wrote Johnson in a letter to Scottish head of government Nicola Sturgeon published Saturday evening. The usefulness of this collaboration was especially evident during the corona pandemic. “That’s Team United Kingdom in action,” said Johnson.
Johnson is not in favor of Sturgeon wanting to lead an independent Scotland back into the EU after Brexit. She already demanded that Johnson allow a new independence referendum.
Johnson wrote in the letter that the country is facing major challenges. The UK’s “broad shoulders” have protected jobs and businesses during the corona crisis. However, the economic recovery is a common task. Johnson invited Sturgeon to meet with his government and the leaders of the other parts of the country, Wales and Northern Ireland, to discuss how best to address common challenges.
Johnson wrote a similar letter to Mark Drakeford, the head of government of Wales, who also clearly won the parliamentary elections there.