Sunday, 22 April, 2018

Ruth Davidson dismisses Scottish Tories breakaway claim

Melinda Barton | 20 June, 2017, 02:14

The general election in the United Kingdom witnessed two strong female leaders prior to the electoral result representing the Conservative Party (CP) and Scottish National Party (SNP) respectively.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have joined calls for the SNP to rule out a second independence referendum.

"I think it's very clear that any plan Nicola Sturgeon had for a second independence referendum has to disappear as a result of this election". While the the SNP won almost all available seats in 2015, this was largely because the pro-independence vote rallied behind one party, whereas the Unionist vote was split three ways between Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. But it fell precipitously from the highs it reached at the general election in 2015, when lifelong Labour voters who had voted for independence migrated in huge numbers to the SNP. The Corbyn-led party is predicted to win 41 per cent vote share within the 18-24 age segment.

The election also saw a partial revival for Labour, which once dominated politics in Scotland but was reduced to just one Scottish lawmaker in 2015.

When asked to respond to Neil's comments an SNP spokesman pointed STV News to the First Minister's comments on the morning after the election.

But Mr Russell insisted that Ms Sturgeon and John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister, were "right to say that we need to reflect on this over a period of time".

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said plans for a second independence referendum are now "dead", while Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said the issue must now "disappear".

While Sturgeon said she was pleased the SNP had won the election in Scotland with a majority of the possible 59 seats, she admitted she was "disappointed" with the party's losses and said independence was "a factor" in the defeats.

The Prime Minister had now "lost all authority and credibility", Ms Sturgeon said. She added she was open to forming a "progressive alliance" at Westminster.

Ms Sturgeon continued: "I want to also make particular mention of Alex Salmond, my friend and mentor for nearly 30 years, and without a shadow of a doubt the giant of modern Scottish politics - someone who has devoted his life to serving this country".

"SNP MPs who last night lost their seats have paid the price for what was a massive political miscalculation on Nicola Sturgeon's part".

But Murdo Fraser, a Conservative member of the Scottish parliament, dismissed the SNP's claim that a result in line with the exit poll would make the nationalists winners.

What is she saying now? "I'm afraid that's not enough". "And I think she came across in the campaign as not only as wooden and robotic but actually pretty insincere".

The Daily Telegraph reported that a strengthened Ms Davidson now wanted to "tear her Scottish party away from English control" after tensions during the campaign, and that her aides were working on a deal to set up a separate organisation in Scotland, albeit with a close relationship with the English party.

"We also have to listen to voters who did not give the UK (Conservative) party the mandate it sought".