In brief

SNP to put new independence referendum at centre of its UK election campaign

Party wants Scotland to leave UK, remain in the EU after Brexit

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Author: SNP
Demanding a second independence referendum will be one of the main axes of the campaign of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the UK election to be held 12 December in the midst of the Brexit crisis.

SNP MP Pete Wishart told the BBC that his party aims at “stopping Brexit” and “putting the case that it is the Scottish people’s right to choose the future” of Scotland. This, according to the party, involves the holding of a second referendum, with the stated aim to achieve independence and remain in the EU.

In the SNP’s first video after the UK Parliament gave green light to the snap election, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says “it is time to place Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands. Let’s win our nation’s independence.”

Sturgeon has said that SNP support to a Labour government after the general election —the pro-independence party rules out any deal with the conservatives— is conditional to a London-Edinburgh agreement to hold a second independence referendum.

Opinion polls foresee a decline in the Conservative Party’s voting share. But bigger losses by the Labour Party, combined with the effects of the UK’s first-past-the-post electoral system, could give Boris Johnson’s Tories the absolute majority they failed to achieve in 2017 under Theresa May’s leadership.

Polls also point out that the SNP is on track to achieve a better result than in 2017, which could give them more than 40 seats (the party now has 35).