Scotland heads to the polls on Thursday for one of the most important elections in recent history, with the question of a second referendum on Scottish independence largely hinging on the result. Boris Johnson has repeatedly rejected all demands from Nicola Sturgeon to transfer the relevant powers to the Holyrood parliament to hold another vote, insisting the result from 2014 was a “once in a generation event”. But Ms Sturgeon has insisted she will ramp up plans for a second independence referendum in Scotland – should her party secure a majority of MSPs in tomorrow’s election.
The SNP’s election manifesto also states: “We are seeking your permission at this election for an independence referendum to be held after Covid – when the crisis has passed but in time for us to equip our Parliament with the full powers it needs to drive our long-term recovery from Covid.”
But one Scottish farmer has destroyed the argument for Scottish independence, warning a sharp rise in taxes would be needed to pay for the split from the UK.
Alan McClymont told AFP in a video interview posted on the news agency’s Twitter page: “I mean an independent Scotland, you know what, when I was 14-years-old, I thought that was a lovely idea.
“But now I know there is only one way to pay for it, and that’s through taxation.
“It isn’t going to be practical and no, definitely we would be much better together in the Union.”
Scottish sheep farmers are already feeling the financial impact of trade bureaucracy surrounding the border in the Irish Sea following Brexit.
Alec Telfer, a member of the Blackface Sheep Breeders Association, warned a post-independence hard border between Scotland and England – something recently suggested by the SNP – “would be madness”.
Last month, Ms Sturgeon admitted an independent Scotland would likely need a trade border with England.
READ MORE: Brexit LIVE: France ready to cut off electricity in fishing war
The SNP also dropped two points to 34 percent in the list voting intention, and if these figures were to play out tomorrow evening, it would make a majority for Ms Sturgeon all the more unlikely.
For the list vote, the Conservatives are up a single point to 23 percent, while Labour remains on 19 percent.
The Green Party are on nine percent, which could see them increase their representation in Holyrood, while the Liberal Democrats are on six percent, Alba on two percent, and others on six percent.
These results would leave the SNP six seats short of an outright majority in the Scottish parliament, according to electionpolling.co.uk’s swingometer.
Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes, said: “If these polling figures play out on Thursday’s vote, it’ll likely leave the SNP short of the majority they desire and is a fair reflection of a 2021 in which the UK government performance, and a new Scottish Labour leader, have helped shore up the vote in Scotland for the main unionist parties.”
But he warned: “Falling a little short of a majority is still ultimately a dominant performance from the SNP.
“Their disappointment should only be felt in the context of significant poll leads towards the end of 2020, where a disastrous year for a new Conservative government in Westminster, a lack of a Brexit deal and the first of murmurings at dissatisfaction with Keir Starmer were contributing to unprecedented numbers for the SNP and for independence.
“However, with some constituency races very tight, these numbers do not even necessarily present bad news for the SNP.
“If the drop in support we’ve seen in 2021 can be restricted to areas they’re already strong, Thursday could still yield a strong, pro-independence feel to Holyrood when MSPs return.”