Indyref2: Expert discusses Nicola Sturgeon's referendum stance
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The First Minister’s SNP won the most seats in the 2021 Scottish election, but they are still short of a majority. As SNP officials begin their push for a second Independence referendum, Lord Forsyth of Drumlean told Westminster the First Minister only wants a vote “when she is sure she can win it”.
Lord Forsyth, who served as Secretary of State for Scotland from 1995 to 1997 under Prime Minister John Major, spoke in the House of Lords about the Queen’s Speech.
During the debate, he took Ms Sturgeon to task for calling IndyRef2 a matter of “when not if”.
He told peers: “Nicola doesn’t want a referendum.
“The last thing she wants is a referendum.”
Splashing embarrassment on the SNP’s dreams of independence, Lord Forsyth pointed out support is dwindling.
He added: “Because she only wants a referendum when she is sure she can win it.
“They themselves said that they would need at least 60 percent of the electorate supporting them and support is on the decline.
“But she does want to talk about having a referendum because it is a diversion from her record – her record which is abysmal.
“Scotland is the drugs capital of Europe with 24 funerals every week and she thinks she should be concentrating on talking about the need for a referendum.”
However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Tory Government were also skewered by the former Scottish secretary.
He questioned why Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove only came to Scotland the day after the votes had been counted.
Lord Forsyth told peers: “We need ministers to go north of the border and explain to people how they benefit from having the strength of the United Kingdom around them, because they do not know it, and to lose it would put us in desperate, desperate times, faced with Nicola Sturgeon’s Brigadoon vision of an economy.”
The Prime Minister recently said in an interview with the Telegraph: “I think a referendum in the current context is irresponsible and reckless.”
On May 6, the SNP won 64 seats in the Scottish Parliament election, one short of a majority.
However, independence-supporting Green’s won eight seats, while the Conservatives returned 31 and Labour won 22.
The most recent poll on Scottish independence, from Savanta ComRes on May 4, showed ‘No’ was in the lead by eight points.
In the survey and excluding ‘Don’t Know’ votes, ‘Yes’ polled at 42 percent but ’No’ polled at 50.
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