Election Result Signals a Possible End of the United Kingdom
The results will be interpreted as a very clear mandate for Johnson to push forward in his plans for a quick departure from the European Union. And yet the irony is that it is precisely this insistence from many in the Conservative and Unionist Party, to give it its full name, that could lead to the breakup of the union, ending the United Kingdom forever. An October poll found that the majority of English Conservative voters would accept the fragmentation of the UK as a price for leaving the EU. Those voters may get their wish– and sooner than expected.
Scotland, who overwhelmingly voted to stay in the EU, gave the Scottish National Party (SNP) an enormous majority as the party won 47 of the country’s 59 seats on 45% of the total vote share, 12 more seats than it got in 2017. This is added to the 69 out of a possible 129 representatives in occupies in the local Scottish government, a remarkable achievement in a multi-party, proportional representation system.
The result is an undeniable mandate for a second independence referendum, the last on coming in 2014, where 45% of Scots voted to leave the union. Polls suggest that the majority will vote for independence this time. A key talking point from the anti-independence side was that the country could not be certain of staying in the EU if it left the UK, a trump card that has now turned to dust. Johnson has talked of blocking a second referendum, but SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has suggested they might organize one anyway, without the backing of London, and as imminently as in a few months.