Newton Emerson: Scottish election result not good news for Irish nationalists

Outcome has highlighted difficulty of judging whether a referendum should be called

Events in Scotland show that a result as close as 50 per cent plus one does not necessarily meet the test of making a nationalist win likely. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Events in Scotland show that a result as close as 50 per cent plus one does not necessarily meet the test of making a nationalist win likely. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Much thought is given to the impact of Scottish independence on unionists in Northern Ireland. Equal thought should be given to the impact on nationalists as Scotland lingers on in the union.

Following last week’s Scottish election results, the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) immediate call for another referendum and prime minister Boris Johnson’s dismissal of this as “reckless and irresponsible”, Social Democratic and Labour Party leader Colum Eastwood tweeted: “If there is a pro-independence referendum majority in the Scottish Parliament how can any British government deny a poll? You can’t be a democracy and ignore the wishes of the people.”

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