Scottish independence supporters are calling Thursday’s election the most important in the nation’s history as they vow that if they win a majority in the devolved parliament, they will push for another referendum on breaking from the United Kingdom.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) is close to controlling the devolved parliament – known as Holyrood – outright in Thursday’s election.
The only time the SNP have won a majority before in 2011, Britain’s then-Prime Minister David Cameron bowed to pressure and agreed to a referendum in 2014. Scots then voted by 55-45% to remain in the more than 300-year-old union.
However, even if they win a majority, there are no defined rules for how Scotland can force another referendum. The British government says the law means that Scotland would require the permission of the British parliament, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said he will reject any such demand.
Without a clear democratic path to another referendum, the SNP will need to exert political, moral, or legal pressure to force another vote.