Huge leap forward for Scottish independence
Huge leap forward for Scottish independence

Scotland is on course to secure independence by 2016 after a near-revolutionary transformation in British politics today.

Election results this afternoon have confirmed that the Scottish Nationalist Party has secured an extraordinary overall majority and outright control of the Scottish parliament at Holyrood outside Edinburgh.

The victory for Alex Salmond’s party is all the more historic as electoral legislation had been designed in London with the clear intention of preventing such a possibility.

That was swept aside in a stunning landslide victory which saw Labour crushed in its heartlands and the Liberal Democrats reduced to the role of a fringe party.

After the most dramatic election Scotland has ever seen, SNP candidates surged to victory in areas they could never have imagined winning, taking the scalps of some of Labour’s biggest hitters and ousting the other London-based parties from previously safe seats.

At 2.25pm today, the declaration for Keith Brown in Clackmannanshire and Dunblane gave Mr Salmond the magic number of 65 seats which will ensure the SNP has an overall majority in the 129-seat Scottish Parliament - the first time that has been achieved by any party and once thought to be impossible.

A referendum on independence from the rest of Britain is now almost certain to be held within the SNP’s next five-year term.

Mr Salmond said wins across the country meant the SNP could now properly be described as the “national party”, represented in all parts of Scotland, sweeping seats in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, in the highlands and the lowlands.

“Firstly, I think it demonstrates that Scotland has outgrown negative campaigning. I hope after this result we’ll see an end to negativity and scaremongering in Scottish politics - no more insults to the intelligence of the Scottish people.”

Referring to an SNP forerunner, the National Party of Scotland, he added: “Some 70 years and more later, the SNP can finally say that we have lived up to that accolade as the national party of Scotland. We have reached out to every community across this country.”

Referring to the collapse of Labour’s vote in central Scotland, he added: “I suppose it’s a bit like the American bison. I dare say we’ll still see one or two dotted about, but the great herds of Labour have gone forever.

“It is clear from the indications we’ve had so far that it is likely the SNP has been bestowed trust in a way that no party ever has before in a Scottish election. We will take that mandate and that trust forward. We’ll take it forward to increase the powers of our parliament.”

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2011 Irish Republican News