Europe Politics

Scotland's Sturgeon calls for fresh independence vote after UK election landslide

Key Points
  • The U.K. general election has granted the Conservative Party a clear ruling majority.
  • In Scotland, the Conservatives lost seats while the Scottish National Party performed well.
  • SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland has a renewed mandate for a fresh independence referendum.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks to the media at the SEC Centre in Glasgow during counting for the 2019 General Election.
Andrew Milligan - PA Images | PA Images | Getty Images

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Prime Minister Boris Johnson has no mandate to take Scotland out of the European Union and demanded a fresh independence vote on its place in the United Kingdom.

With all of the Scottish results now counted, the Scottish National Party (SNP) won 48 of the country's 59 available seats — 13 more than the pro-independence party won in 2017. The Conservative Party, while winning a large majority across the whole of the United Kingdom, actually lost seven seats in Scotland and now only has six MPs (Member of Parliament) in the country.

The Liberal Democrats took four seats and Labour, until recently a dominant power in Scottish politics, just one.

In the aftermath of the result, Sturgeon conceded that not everybody that voted for SNP would also support independence, but said Scotland was clearly owed the right to choose its future.

Speaking to BBC News, Sturgeon said: "Boris Johnson has a mandate to take England out of the EU but he must accept that I have a mandate to give Scotland a choice for an alternative future."

There is a mandate now to offer the people of Scotland the choice over our own future.
Nicola Sturgeon
Scotland's first minister

In a separate interview to Sky News, Sturgeon reinforced her message.

"There is a clear desire and endorsement for the notion that Scotland should not be landed with a Boris Johnson government and ripped out of Europe against our own will," she said.

It is understood that Sturgeon will now seek a "section 30" order from U.K. leader Johnson. If granted that would authorize the Scottish government to hold another a vote on leaving the U.K.

Despite the SNP gaining a swathe of votes in Scotland, transferring that power from Westminster may prove hard to secure. Before the election, Johnson said he would reject any such request and as the results became clear early Friday morning, Conservative cabinet minister Michael Gove appeared to reinforce that view.

"I don't believe that a second independence referendum would be right for Scotland or right for the United Kingdom," said Gove.

Scotland, part of the United Kingdom for almost 313 years, rejected independence by 55% to 45% in a 2014 referendum.