Tens of thousands of Scots demonstrated in the rain in Glasgow on Saturday to demand a second referendum on Scottish independence. The demonstration, the first of eight planned this year, comes a month after the British general election, where the Scottish National Party (SNP) led by Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon won an overwhelming majority of 48 of the 59 Scottish seats.
The demonstration, organised by “All Under One Banner”, a movement created after the first referendum, gathered some 80,000 independence supporters according to their own estimates. Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon did not take part in the demonstration, but wished “good luck to all those who are walking for independence today.”
“All Under One Banner” (AUOB), which claims to be independent from political parties, is holding seven other events this year in Peebbles, Elgin, Edinburgh, Stirling, Kirkcaldy, Glasgow again and Arbroath next April, the month that will mark 700 years of the Scottish Declaration of Independence.
“After the general elections, where the SNP obtained 44 percentof the votes in Scotland, how many more mandates will they need? I have a lot of hope for an independence referendum in the year, but I have a feeling that it could be delayed until 2021 because of the legislative elections.”
In the aftermath of the SNP’s victory in the December 2019 elections, Nicola Sturgeon asked Boris Johnson to transfer the powers allowing the Scottish Parliament to organise a second referendum. Boris Johnson, who is opposed to Scottish independence, only responded to say that he would “carefully consider” Ms Sturgeon’s request.
The referendum held in September 2014 – which had been given the green light by then-Prime Minister David Cameron – resulted in a victory for the “remain” side with 55 percent of the vote, against 45 percent for the “leave” side. But the Brexit vote in June 2016, has since favoured the independence cause in Scotland, which is significantly more Europhile than its English and Welsh neighbors, and where 62 percent of voters rejected Brexit.