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Scotland’s election: a stepping stone to independence? – podcast | News

Nicola Sturgeon has said that next week’s election in Scotland is the most important in the country’s history. The SNP is once again promising to hold a referendum on independence if it wins a majority in the Scottish parliament.

The Guardian’s Scotland correspondent, Libby Brooks, tells Rachel Humphreys that the pandemic has cast a long shadow over the campaign, with very little door-knocking or in-person campaigning.

The campaign has also thrown up some surprises, not least with the launch of a rival pro-independence party fronted by the former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond. He has argued that despite his well-documented rift with his former SNP colleagues, his new Alba party can be part of a “supermajority” for independence.

As Scotland continues to slowly lift its strict lockdown, polling suggests appetite for independence is dropping. There is also strong resistance from Westminster to allowing a new referendum to go ahead. But if pro-independence parties hold a majority after next week’s vote, the issue is likely to dominate the coming months and years in Scottish politics.

Nicola Sturgeon Launches The SNP Election Manifesto<br>GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - APRIL 15: Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon, launches the SNP Election Manifesto during campaigning for the Scottish Parliamentary election on April 15, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Speaking as she launched the party's manifesto, Ms Sturgeon said frontline NHS spending would increase by at least 20% over the next five years - which she said would total £2.5bn. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

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