Readers letters: Election figures point way to referendum

" David Cameron enacted a referendum on Brexit with a paltry 36.1 per cent of the vote”

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 7:00 am
Nicola Sturgeon is in no rush to call Indyref2 (Picture: Jane Barlow/PA)
Nicola Sturgeon is in no rush to call Indyref2 (Picture: Jane Barlow/PA)

Election figures point way to referendum

I am struck by the apparent claim that there is not a mandate to call a second independence referendum, given that by itself the SNP does not command an overall majority.

To highlight the scale of the SNP victory, the party achieved 47.7 per cent of the constituency vote in these elections, the highest achieved by any party since Labour’s victory in the 1966 UK general election, when it achieved 48.0 of the vote, including 49.8 per cent in Scotland.

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The SNP now holds an amazing 85 per cent of the constituencies in Scotland, smashing the 63 per cent of seats won by Tony Blair in Labour’s 1997 landslide victory.

Let us not forget, Prime Minister David Cameron enacted a referendum on Brexit with a paltry 36.1 per cent of the vote and this was enacted by Boris Johnson with a mere 43.6 per cent of the vote.

The Scottish Parlia-ment now has a pro-independence majority of 15 (64 SNP MSPs plus eight Greens) matching that of the 2011 election, which resulted in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

In that year the SNP achieved 45.4 per cent of the vote on a turnout of just over half the electorate, considerably less than the 64.2 per cent turnout in the 2021 elections.

People can disagree on how the UK government should respond to demands from a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament, but the party political composition of that majority is of no constitutional significance and shouldn’t in any way influence the decision.

Alex Orr, Marchmont Road, Edinburgh.

Wait for the answer you want to hear

My understanding of democracy is clearly wrong. I thought a question is put to the people, they vote and the majority result provides the answer. So I am at a loss to under-stand how the people of Scotland were asked back in 2014 if we wanted to be independent of the United Kingdom, voted and decided to remain part of the UK, and yet Nicola Sturgeon insists on still asking the question!

To interpret democracy the way Ms Sturgeon treats it, if a question is asked and answered but you don't like the answer, you don't have to pay attention to it, you just keep arguing until you get the answer you want. That sounds more like bullying.

It is simple really; question asked, people voted, result is answered, move onwards and upwards.

How can a person be upstanding as leader in a system they clearly have no respect for? And if you don't respect the system, why should you be respected?

Samantha Stephenson, Edinburgh.

Can politicians be all things to all men?

Ian Swanson's report on the Scottish elections within a few days of the dust settling was hugely helpful and informative (News, 10 May).

I did, though, fix on one part of Ian's piece where he highlighted the Green party candidate who secured a seat on the regional vote - their name does not matter.

Said candidate is reported as having "stood several times as a Green candidate for Holyrood, Westminster and the European Parliament", not forgetting, of course, seeking election to the City of Edinburgh Council.

Has politics really fallen to such a level where candidates are so fixated on personal advancement to political office that they believe they have all skills to bring to any institution in the political world?

I personally feel the four institutions mentioned above surely demand different skills and experience of their members. One or two maybe, but all four?

Douglas McBean, West Pilton Way, Edinburgh.