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by Staff reporter
17 August 2020
Next year’s election to be ‘the most important in Scotland’s history’, says Nicola Sturgeon

Image credit: Holyrood, Anna Moffat

Next year’s election to be ‘the most important in Scotland’s history’, says Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon says next year’s Scottish election will be “without question, the most important in Scotland’s history”, in an exclusive piece for Holyrood magazine.

Writing in Holyrood’s 2020 Annual Review, which comes out this week, the First Minister and SNP leader said she would “relish the chance to return to politics as normal once circumstances allow, especially as we look ahead to next year’s election”.

“That election will be, in my view without question, the most important in Scotland’s history,” Sturgeon said.

“Not only will it provide a stark choice between the progressive policy platform offered by the SNP and the utterly regressive agenda of the Conservatives, it will be an election which is, at its heart, about democracy. We are privileged to live in a democracy. But if that is to mean anything it must mean accepting the results of free and fair democratic elections.”

She said the SNP’s manifesto would include a commitment to an independence referendum and “in the event of another election win for the SNP, it would be utterly untenable and unsustainable for the Conservatives to stand in the way of the democratic will of the people of Scotland”.

The FM’s comments come after a YouGov poll for The Times revealed that 53 per cent of Scots – excluding “don't knows” – would vote in favour of Scottish independence, up two per cent from January and the highest level of support for independence ever recorded by YouGov.

The poll also found the SNP was on track to win 57 per cent in first-past-the-post constituencies, compared to compared to 20 per cent for the Tories, 14 per cent for Labour and six per cent for the Lib Dems.

The leader approval ratings from the poll put Sturgeon on +50 points, following her handling of the coronavirus pandemic, while Boris Johnson dropped to -50 points.

Polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice recently told Holyrood’s Politically Speaking podcast the coronavirus crisis had shown “that people think that Nicola Sturgeon is doing a very good job of dealing with the coronavirus, whereas Johnson is regarded as doing a bad job”.

“The last three months have, arguably, been the most important in the history of devolution. Not only in Scotland, but arguably across the whole United Kingdom,” Curtice said.

“The Scottish Government has been making crucial life and death decisions about public health, about the health service and of course about care homes, that have had a prominence and an importance and an impact to our daily lives.

“This has put the Scottish Government front and centre in the lives of people in Scotland because under devolution public health and health is a devolved responsibility.”

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