Scottish independence


Sir, – In your recent editorial on Scottish independence, you make the rather bald assertion that the recent election result in Scotland “makes the democratic case for a referendum unanswerable” (“The Irish Times View: Scots take shine off Tories”, May 10th).


The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats together got 50.4 per cent of the constituency vote in Scotland last week (and that’s before you count minor parties and Independents who oppose independence).

The SNP and the Greens together got 49 per cent.

How can it be said that the democratic case for a second referendum is “unanswerable” when a majority of votes cast were for parties which vehemently oppose such a move?

The two pro-independence parties have achieved a majority in the Scottish parliament not by majority vote of the people, but by the vagaries of the PR electoral system.

The election result does not show any great change in public opinion in Scotland, and in fact it suggests that the bitter divisions of the 2014 referendum continue to this day.

Support for the three pro-union parties has fallen by just 3 per cent in the last decade.

Nicola Sturgeon, a canny politician, clearly recognises this and fears that a headlong rush towards a second referendum could result in a second defeat.

As a result, she has faced pressure from within the SNP over the last year for not pushing hard enough for a second vote. Boris Johnson, a volatile and unpredictable politician to say the very least, may well be tempted to call their bluff.

Supporters of Scottish independence should be careful what they wish for. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 3.