First minister tells Boris Johnson she has renewed mandate after winning 47 of Scotland’s 59 seats
Nicola Sturgeon has challenged Boris Johnson to give Scotland the powers to hold a second independence referendum after the Scottish National party won a landslide in the general election.
The first minister said she had won “a renewed, refreshed and strengthened mandate” to call for a fresh independence vote after winning 47 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster seats, 11 more than in 2017.
n the most dramatic result, the SNP unseated Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat leader, in East Dunbartonshire by 149 votes, leaving the party leaderless.
Sturgeon said on Friday the Conservatives had focused their campaign in Scotland on opposing a second referendum but had been roundly defeated, hit by a series of losses at the hands of the SNP in seats including Stirling, Angus and Gordon.
“I don’t pretend that every single person who voted SNP yesterday will necessarily support independence, but there has been a strong endorsement in this election of Scotland having a choice over our future; of not having to put up with a Conservative government we didn’t vote for and not having to accept life as a nation outside the EU,” she said.
SNP strategists said the significance of its victory, which has echoes of its remarkable landslide in 2015 when it won 56 seats, was given greater weight by the contrast with the election result in England where the Tories won a significant overall majority.
By comparison, the Tories in Scotland had a very difficult election, holding only six of the 13 seats they won in 2017. Labour was humiliated, losing six of the seven seats they held to the SNP, belying the party’s confident claims in the final week of the campaign it would hold those seats and win several more.
The only surviving Labour MP in Scotland was again Ian Murray, who held Edinburgh South with a significant 11,095 majority. Murray, an arch-critic of Jeremy Corbyn’s, was Labour’s only Scottish MP after the SNP landslide in 2015.[ . . . ]
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