A very different general election in Scotland
General elections north of the border have always had a distinctive flavour. But the dynamics in Scotland this time feel very different, in two ways.
First, it is perhaps the only part of the UK where Brexit may not be the defining issue of the campaign. At least as important is that other big constitutional divide that dominates Scottish politics: the debate between independence and union.
Second, there is no one who would bet against the Scottish National Party (SNP) emerging yet again as the dominant force. The only doubt is over the size of its winning margin.
Independence and Union
In 2017, the SNP won 35 Scottish seats—more than the other parties put together. It was by some distance the SNP’s second best ever performance in a general election.
However, coming hot on the heels of a staggering performance in 2015, the loss of 21 seats was a profound disappointment, which led the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to press pause on the independence process.
The finger on that pause button has now been well and truly lifted.
The SNP leader has put the demand for an independence referendum…