IF the results of the exit poll prove right, the SNP is on track to increase its dominance over Scotland, strengthening Nicola Sturgeon’s calls for a second independence referendum.
The exit poll has put the party on 55 seats, 4 short of the total across the country and 20 more than the outcome achieved in 2017. This would mean that the SNP would continue to be the third largest party in the Commons.
Reacting to the poll, Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “Exit poll suggests good night for @theSNP – but it is just an exit poll and there are many marginals, so let’s just wait and see. What it indicates UK wide though is grim. #GE19.”
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) December 12, 2019
It comes at the end of an election campaign which focused on key constitutional issues of Brexit and a second Scottish independence referendum, where the First Minister pledged to send a letter requesting Holyrood be given the power to hold a fresh ballot on the referendum before Christmas.
However, Tory Minister Michael Gove claimed there would not necessarily be a second referendum if the exit poll was correct. He said in an interview with ITV News that he does not believe that another independence referendum was inevitable, adding that it would not be the right decision for Scotland or the United Kingdom.
Across the whole of the UK the Conservatives are projected to secure a majority of 86, with Labour plummeting to just 191 seats against the Tories’ 368 – their worst result since 1935.