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Scotland: SNP seeks mandate for fresh independence referendum

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The election in Scotland could have profound consequences for the whole of the UK
The election in Scotland could have profound consequences for the whole of the UK   -   Copyright  AFP
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People are heading to the polls in Scotland this week in an election that could have profound consequences for the whole of the UK.

The ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) is seeking a mandate for a fresh referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon, also SNP leader, hopes for a majority in the devolved parliament in Edinburgh to back her plan for a second referendum by the end of 2023, or after the pandemic.

But opinion polls suggest the party may not achieve an outright majority and could seek a pro-independence coalition.

Fifty-five per cent of Scots voted "no" to independence in 2014, which UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has described as a "once in a generation" poll.

The SNP says independence will create a "fairer, more prosperous nation" and wants an independent Scotland to rejoin the European Union.

But parties that want to stay in the UK fear another vote would hurt a post-pandemic recovery.

Find out more in the video player, above.