Election results 2019: Nicola Sturgeon says PM has ‘no right’ to block Indyref2

UK

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Media captionSturgeon: Indyref mandate “renewed and strengthened”

Nicola Sturgeon says Boris Johnson has “no right” to stand in the way of another Scottish independence referendum after an “overwhelming” SNP election victory.

Scotland’s first minister said the result “renews, reinforces and strengthens” the mandate for Indyref2.

During the campaign, the prime minister said he would reject any request to hold an independence referendum.

But Ms Sturgeon said it was “the right of the people of Scotland”.

In a speech in Edinburgh on Friday, she told Mr Johnson: “You, as the leader of a defeated party in Scotland, have no right to stand in the way.

“The people of Scotland have spoken. It is time now to decide our own future.”

Nicola Sturgeon says she won’t pretend that every single person who voted SNP necessarily supports independence. But she will insist this result is a thumping endorsement of her demand for a second referendum.

She will make an official request in the next few days to be granted the legal power to hold an independence vote.

And we know that Boris Johnson will refuse, sparking a huge debate about whether the Conservatives are ignoring the democratic choice of Scottish voters.

It’s a debate that can only escalate as we leave the EU – and one which may fuel support for independence itself.

The SNP leader said it was time for Mr Johnson “to start listening” to voters in Scotland.

She added: “I accept, regretfully, that he has a mandate for Brexit in England – but he has no mandate whatsoever to take Scotland out of the EU.”

The Scottish government will next week publish a “detailed, democratic case” for letting Holyrood decide on whether there should be a second independence referendum, said Ms Sturgeon.

However, interim Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said: “We are not going to support a request for a second independence referendum and I don’t believe the prime minister will either.

“We are going to stand by the people who voted for us last night and the two million people who voted no in 2014.”

The SNP won 48 seats in Scotland in Thursday’s election after securing 45% of the vote – 8.1% more than in the last general election, when the party won 35 seats. One of those MPs, Neale Hanvey, will sit as an independent.

The Conservatives won six seats, three in the north east and three in the south of Scotland; the Liberal Democrats won four; and Ian Murray was left as Scottish Labour’s only MP when he held Edinburgh South.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson will step down after losing her Dunbartonshire East seat to the SNP by 149 votes.

Jeremy Corbyn said he would not fight another election as Labour leader after his party suffered a heavy defeat.

Across the UK, the Conservatives secured their biggest majority since the 1980s in what Mr Johnson described as a “historic” election victory.

However, the party’s vote fell by 3.5% to 25.1% across Scotland. The Labour vote was down by 8.5% to 18.6%, while the Liberal Democrat vote actually increased by 2.8% to 9.5%.

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Media captionThe tale of Scotland’s general election

Ms Sturgeon has already said she will ask the UK government to transfer the legal powers to hold a second referendum to the Scottish Parliament through what is known as a Section 30 order – as happened in 2014.

Next Thursday MSPs will vote on the final stage of legislation which sets out a framework for any future referendums to be held in Scotland.

The pro-UK parties oppose the Referendums Bill but it is set to pass with SNP and Green backing.

For a nationwide breakdown of results, see our results page.

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