Nicola Sturgeon gets told off for getting ‘personal’ during FMQs
The Prime Minister will be faced with the burden of Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP even if Scotland fails to achieve independence, Express.co.uk was told. It comes as the First Minister started her campaign trail to Holyrood’s May elections. She will use the ballot as a mandate to push ahead with a second independence referendum, but only if the SNP secure a majority.
The SNP are keen on holding the vote after the pandemic but “in the first half of the new parliamentary term”.
Many believe the party will breeze the election as Scotland is “without any serious opposition”.
Mr Johnson has launched a five-step plan to stop Indyref2.
Yet, even if he is successful, said Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the Canadian separatist Parti Québécois, the SNP will continue to play a significant role in politics.
The warning comes as yet another obstacle to Mr Johnson in preventing the fall of the UK.
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Asked how the SNP might consolidate itself should independence fail in a second vote, Mr St-Pierre Plamondon he told Express.co.uk: “It doesn’t matter.
“The level of support for independence in Scotland makes the SNP the centrepiece of politics over the coming years.
“The real question is not what the SNP will do if there’s another defeat, but of what the SNP will achieve when it wins.
“That conversation is much more interesting, it’s like opening a new chapter.
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“It will have multiple effects on very intangible things like self-confidence, initiative, entrepreneurship, international recognition and awareness.”
He said he believed Mr Johnson will find it difficult to “credibly argue” against independence given that Ms Sturgeon’s reasons for Indyref2 mirror many of those used by the Prime Minister for Brexit.
While Mr St-Pierre Plamondon is confident that the SNP will move Scotland in a new direction if it achieves independence, others have questioned the role Ms Sturgeon’s party would play.
The SNP has dominated Scottish politics for the last ten years.
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Prior to that the country was considered Labour heartlands, the party having won the largest share of the vote in every general election from 1964 to 2010.
The beginning of the Tens marked the SNP’s crusade north of the border.
Yet, Robert Johns, Professor in Politics at Essex University and investigator on the Scottish Election Study, told Express.co.uk that Ms Sturgeon’s dominance would likely cease if she secured independence.
This is because the SNP would have achieved its mission and sole reason for existence.
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Other parties would become empowered to return to the fore and pick holes in the party’s policies post-independence, with more confidence, strength, and fervour in tow.
Ultimately, Professor Johns said Scotland would recalibrate and the political playing field would once again level-out into a “multi-party state”.
Looking to the SNP’s future, he said: “Before 2011 and before the referendum was called, Scotland had a multi-party system: the normal course of politics was for parties to have coalitions.
“Labour and the Liberal Democrats did it, the SNP was a minority government for four years and sought support from the other parties and got things through that way.
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“That was all kind of normal, so I don’t think the SNP issue is going to disappear, but when the independence issue is resolved, I think it’s likely to go back to being one of the larger parties in a multi-party system.”
At this point, he said other parties who might gain popularity would have to weigh up the “less tolerable” of oppositions to partner with.
Prof Johns said: “There will be questions for Labour about who do you find it less tolerable to go into coalition with, the SNP or the Tories? Or whoever it may be.
“But this period where the SNP is by a mile the largest party and capable of challenging on its own, I don’t think it’s a long term option in Scotland.”