Irish Republican News · May 6, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Election triumph for Scottish nationalists

The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) could be on course for a historic victory in the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh, wiping the board in constituencies across that country.

There has been a significant swing to the SNP from both Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dems have also suffered a historic reverse in local elections across England and Wales.

In Scotland, however, the election results could signal a historic break with London rule.

Alex Salmond’s nationalists secured an increase in its vote by as much as 18%, forcing out two former Labour ministers in the first results.

Swings to the SNP varied from 6% to 11%, enough to secure all but one of the constituencies declared so far.

If the results are repeated across Scotland, the SNP could take 59 out of 73 constituencies in that nation. Labour’s leader in Scotland, Iain Gray, was in danger of losing his seat.

It now appears certain that the Scottish nationalists will lead a majority government in the Holyrood parliament. As a result, the long efforts of the SNP to secure a referendum on Scottish independence appear much closer to fruition.

SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon said the party is “already on course” for an historic night.

Labour’s deputy leader, Harriet Harman accepted a referendum on Scottish independence was forthcoming, but refused to believed that the union between England and Scotland could be coming to an end.

“Obviously, if the results (in Scotland) are as disappointing as they appear to be, we will have to reflect long and hard on them and learn lessons,” Ms Harman said.

“But I hope that the price won’t be paid of people being pushed into independence in Scotland when clearly that is not actually what they want.”

Results from the Assembly election in the north of Ireland will start to become available tomorrow, while counting in the local elections will not begin until Monday.

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© 2011 Irish Republican News