Scotland’s election: a stepping stone to independence? – podcast
Nicola Sturgeon has said that next week’s election in Scotland is the most important in the country’s history. The SNP is once again promising to hold a referendum on independence if it wins a majority in the Scottish parliament.
The Guardian’s Scotland correspondent, Libby Brooks, tells Rachel Humphreys that the pandemic has cast a long shadow over the campaign, with very little door-knocking or in-person campaigning.
The campaign has also thrown up some surprises, not least with the launch of a rival pro-independence party fronted by the former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond. He has argued that despite his well-documented rift with his former SNP colleagues, his new Alba party can be part of a “supermajority” for independence.
As Scotland continues to slowly lift its strict lockdown, polling suggests appetite for independence is dropping. There is also strong resistance from Westminster to allowing a new referendum to go ahead. But if pro-independence parties hold a majority after next week’s vote, the issue is likely to dominate the coming months and years in Scottish politics.