The ruling Scottish National Party won the Scottish parliamentary elections, Thursday, but was less than one seat out of the absolute majority, according to the full results published Saturday night.

An absolute majority by the SNP would give that party a much stronger argument in demanding the right to hold a new referendum on Scottish independence, which must be approved by the authorities in London.

In the 129-seat Scottish Parliament, the Scottish National Party will have 64 MPs – more than one MP than it won in the previous election in 2016. The Scottish branch of the Conservative Party came in second, the same as before, and the third – the branch The Scottish Labor Party with 22 seats (2 seats lost), followed by the Scottish Green Party – 8 seats (up two) and the Scottish Liberal Democrats – 4 seats (1 down). The ALBA – a new party founded a few weeks ago by former Scottish Prime Minister and former Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond – did not win a single seat.

Results such as these mean that the parties supporting the independence of Scotland will still have a clear majority, as the secession is also supported by the Scottish Green Party.

This is the fourth consecutive victory for the Scottish National Party in elections to the Scottish Parliament, although it won only once – in 2011 it won an outright majority. After that election, then British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to hold a referendum in Scotland on independence. It happened in the fall of 2014, and its remaining supporters in the UK won 55:45 per cent.

Scottish Prime Minister and Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon described her fourth party’s victory as “historic and exceptional”. She said her priority would be to get the country out of the coronavirus epidemic, but when it is over, she wants a referendum on independence. As I have argued, there is no democratic justification for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, or anyone else in London, to obstruct the right of Scots to determine their own future.

Before the election, Sturgeon said she would like to see a referendum on independence in the first half of the new parliament’s term, that is, before the end of 2023. However, recent polls indicate that Scots have doubts once again that secession would be a good idea. In the last 14 studies, supporters of independence won only one out of three draws.

From London: Bartłomiej Niedziński (PAP)

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