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The First Minister believes the election will be “without question, the most important in Scotland’s history” and an SNP victory would represent a record term in power. She says voters will be presented with a “stark choice” between her party and the “utterly regressive” Conservatives in the May 2021 Holyrood ballot.
But Whitehall has dismissed the suggestion stressing that Boris Johnson made clear there “wouldn’t be a second referendum”.
Ms Sturgeon highlighted the SNP manifesto for the election will include a commitment to hold a second Scottish independence referendum.
New opinion polls suggest the SNP could be on course for an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament – and that a majority of Scots now favour independence.
Analysis of a Panelbase poll last month indicated the SNP could have 74 MSPs out of 129.
The same survey also found support for independence at 54 percent, with 46 per cent wanting Scotland to stay part of the UK.
Meanwhile, a YouGov poll last week found 53 percent of those it surveyed were in favour of independence – and a greater proportion (57 percent) will vote for Ms Sturgeon’s party in May.
The First Minister said she will “relish the chance to return to politics as normal once circumstances allow, especially as we look ahead to next year’s election”.
She said: “That election will be, in my view without question, the most important in Scotland’s history.
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“Not only will it provide a stark choice between the progressive policy platform offered by the SNP and the utterly regressive agenda of the Conservatives, it will be an election which is, at its heart, about democracy.
“We are privileged to live in a democracy. But if that is to mean anything it must mean accepting the results of free and fair democratic elections.
“In the event of another election win for the SNP, it would be utterly untenable and unsustainable for the Conservatives to stand in the way of the democratic will of the people of Scotland.”
A Whitehall source told Express.co.uk following the First Minister’s announcement: “The Prime Minister has made clear that there won’t be a second referendum.
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“The SNP said this would be a once in a generation vote for the Scottish people, this is a clear backtrack.”
They added “the people of Scotland made its decision” stressing that this “should be respected”.
Dean Lockhart MSP, Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman, added: “This is a bit rich coming from a First Minister who doesn’t respect the outcome of either of the recent referendums.
“The people of Scotland have already voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.
“If Nicola Sturgeon really wanted to defend democracy, she would accept the results of that independence referendum and drop Indyref2.”
But a Scottish Government source added there was “one power grab being attempted – and that is the one the Tories are mounting on the Scottish Parliament”.
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