Scottish referendum in doubt after steep losses for SNP in UK vote

Britain's vote to leave the European Union 12 months ago forced First Minister Nicola Sturgeon into formally calling for a second independence referendum in March of this year, but she was quickly slapped down by Prime Minister Theresa May, who rather condescendingly told her and the country that "now was not the time" for a second plebiscite.

In Moray, SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson saw his majority of more than 9,000 overturned, with Tory Douglas Ross taking a seat held by the nationalists for the past 30 years.

In the early hours of Friday morning, Sturgeon said that the poor results meant that she would need to "reflect" on the appetite for a referendum.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson claimed the "tremendous" result for her party showed people had rejected the SNP's "attempts to ram through" a second independence referendum - and that the north-east in particular felt ignored.

Opposition parties have called for the SNP to rule out another independence referendum after the party lost a swathe of its Westminster seats.

But after suffering such a large blow overnight, it could be much harder for them to argue that the Scottish people are keen for a re-run of the independence vote. In fact, on the anniversary of the last legislation passed, the Scottish parliament debated a fresh independence referendum.

"What we've got is a crushing result for the SNP, they've lost 20 seats if not more and further than that they've watched their majorities crumble".

Mr Swinney spoke after a dramatic election night which saw the SNP lose seats to the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Acknowledging that she was "disappointed", by Thursday's election results, Sturgeon said that she would refrain from making "rash decisions".

THE Scottish National Party looked on course for major losses as exit poll predictions appeared to be correct.

There was better news for the SNP's Mhairi Black, the youngest MP in the last session of Parliament, who narrowly held Paisley and Renfrewshire South despite a big drop in her share of the vote - a majority of 2541, down 3143 on the 2015 result.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said the SNP vote was "crumbling in their heartlands" and that voters had been persuaded to come back to her party with the help of "Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity message".

"But we will want to play a trying to, if we can, secure a progressive government at Westminster".

Sturgeon said it was "a disappointing result" for her party, two years after it won a landslide in Scotland.

The Conservatives won 13 seats in Scotland, the party's best performance in the country since 1983. In Scotland, we've produced the most pluralist election result in half a century. Although pro-independence activists celebrated the party's sudden rise at the time, there was also a sentiment that Scotland's nationalists had just missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The Tories won the region of Angus from the SNP, previously among one of the nationalists' safer seats.

"Perhaps this is one area where Theresa May delivered", he said.

Took a call I never thought I would: SNP source says there'll be "questions" tomorrow over the Sturgeon/Murrell leadership of the party.

The popular view is that the SNP hit a near flawless storm as Brexit-supporting yes voters abandoned the party in the fishing and farming communities of Aberdeenshire, the two-party race developing across the rest of the United Kingdom encouraged a return to pre-2015 Westminster voting patterns, and the SNP was punished for demanding a second independence referendum (#scotref) while health and education outcomes have faltered.

  • Zachary Reyes