Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to push for a second independence referendum as her Scottish National Party (SNP) secured “historic and extraordinary” fourth consecutive victory in the parliamentary election.
As the final results were declared on Saturday, the SNP will form the next Holyrood government with 64 seats, just one short of an overall majority, reports Xinhua news agency.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Conservatives have secured 31 seats; Scottish Labour 22, Scottish Greens eight and Scottish Liberal Democrats four.
In atelevised speech, Sturgeon said the SNP had won the most constituency seats and secured the highest share of the constituency vote in the history of devolution.
According to the BBC, the turnout of 66 per cent during the election on May 6 was the highest since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999.
“It is then to kick-start and drive our recovery with an ambitious and transformative programme for government,” Sturgeon said.
“And, yes, when the crisis has passed, it is to give people in Scotland the right to choose their future. All of that is what I promised and all of that is what I intend to deliver.”
Sturgeon said the result of the election meant there was “no democratic justification whatsoever for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson or anyone else seeking to block the right of the people of Scotland to choose our future.”
She insisted that holding a referendum was now “the will of the country”.
Earlier Saturday, Johnson told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that it would be “reckless and irresponsible” for Scotland to hold a referendum right now.
“I don’t think this is anything like the time to have more constitutional wrangling, to be talking about ripping our country apart, when actually people want to heal our economy and bounce forward together. That’s what people want,” he said.
In the first Scottish independence referendum held on September 18, 2014, the “No” side won 55.3 per cent voting against independence and 44.7 per cent voting in favour.
Meanwhile in the 2016 Brexit referendum, a majority of Scots voted for the UK to stay in the European Union.