All eyes in the United Kingdom are turning today to Scotland and its fateful parliamentary elections scheduled for Thursday. The issue of separation from the British crown tops the agenda of the election campaign led by the Scottish National Party led by Nicola Sturgeon, which promised to go ahead with steps to organize a new referendum for secession.
Sturgeon relies on her ambition to organize a new referendum on a number of factors, the first of which is the expectation that her party will win the absolute majority in Parliament, then the state of popular anger at the results of Brexit (leaving the European Union), because the majority of Scots voted against Brexit, so there is a resident feeling that they have London I decided to withdraw against their will.
Who will win the elections?
Most opinion polls agree that the Scottish National Party (SNP) will lead the current elections, but they differ in the number of seats it will win.
A survey conducted by the “Financial Times” newspaper expects that the party will achieve better results than the results of the 2016 elections, which means close to achieving an absolute majority and winning about 69 seats out of the 129 complex seats in Parliament.
On the other hand, the latest opinion poll conducted by the Opinium Foundation in partnership with the British “Sky” network showed that the Scottish National Party would win the elections by only 51%, which is an uncomfortable rate for the party if it wants to enter the battle of organizing a referendum. A new separation, and according to the same poll, the Conservative Party will come in second place by 23%, then the Labor Party third by 19%, and the two parties are both opposing the organization of any new referendum on secession.
Who holds the separation project?
Nicola Sturgeon relied heavily on her political fate by organizing a new referendum for secession, after the 2014 referendum in which the majority of Scots voted to remain in the United Kingdom, and in her election program for the year 2019 and for the current elections, and Sturgeon promised to apply to the British government in London to organize a new referendum.
This unbridled ambition of Sturgeon, who wants to immortalize her name as the first to succeed in bringing independence to her country, collides with a thick wall named Boris Johnson, and the British Prime Minister deals with this file with great caution, and has previously confirmed that any referendum is only held once in every generation.
Although Sturgeon had previously stated that Johnson had promised her to reconsider the issue if she succeeded in winning an absolute majority in Parliament, sources close to Johnson denied the issue, and by following Johnson’s path, the man is working to strengthen national sentiment in the kingdom, not to dismantle it.
What is Sturgeon’s plan to organize a new referendum?
Last March, the Scottish government presented a bill to organize a referendum on secession, which, if passed, would become a law allowing the organization of the referendum, but without having any mandatory and procedural character, given that the approval of the referendum remains exclusive to the British Parliament in London, which Known to have an absolute majority of conservatives.
In order for the Scottish National Party to show its seriousness in organizing the referendum, it published a document entitled “The Road to the Referendum”, explaining the steps that will ultimately lead to organizing this historic event. The party intends to request the activation of Article 30, according to which the Parliament in London grants the Scottish Parliament the competence to organize the referendum.
In the event that the government in London refuses to approve the referendum, the Scottish National Party says that it will proceed alone in organizing the referendum, and at that time the Johnson government can object, and the matter is referred to the Supreme Court to decide on the legality of this procedure, and on paper it is expected that the court will invalidate the results of any A referendum takes place without the approval of the British Parliament, but the door remains open to all options, because there are no legal precedents in this regard that can be relied upon.
Do the Scots support secession?
7 years have passed since the 2014 referendum in which the Scots refused to separate from the kingdom, and a lot of water ran under the bridge, as the saying goes, and it changed the popular mood, especially after the decision to secede from the European Union. Many opinion polls show that the Scots are hesitant, with a slight inclination to the camp in favor of secession.
With the onset of the new Corona virus (Covid-19) epidemic, the percentage of supporters for independence increased, according to an opinion poll of the IPSO Foundation, which confirmed that the majority (59%) would vote in favor of secession if the referendum was organized immediately (that is, during the year 2020 and the beginning of 2021).
This feeling is attributed to anger over the results of the Brexit and the way the government in London managed the Corona epidemic file, but since last February, the same institution has confirmed that the percentage of supporters of secession has decreased, and the situation has returned to swing between the two camps without one of them having a preponderance over the other.
As for the latest Opinum poll conducted last week, it confirms that the level of support for secession is declining, and it showed that only 50% support secession, and the same percentage of opponents, and this is an uncomfortable situation for the Scottish National Party, given that 42% support secession during The next five years, while the remaining percentage believes that it is necessary to wait a longer time before organizing the referendum.
On the other hand, the citizens of the rest of the United Kingdom have no objection to the British government granting the Scots the right to organize a new referendum, and according to a survey by the “Financial Times” newspaper, half of Britons support the idea of a new referendum for secession in Scotland.
Practically, everything depends on the decision of Boris Johnson, who finds himself in a comfortable position given the absolute majority that he possesses in Parliament, and his popularity has improved internally after the success of the national vaccination program, and he has no real pressure to allow this referendum.