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SNP MSP Says Victory In The Scottish Election Will "Win" A Second Indyref

Colin Keir has defended his election leaflet after criticism from pro-union campaigners.

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Colin Keir, who represents the Edinburgh Western constituency, said in his leaflet that the SNP needs "the maximum number of MSPs elected in 2016 to win a second independence referendum".

Party leader Nicola Sturgeon said last September's independence vote was "once in a lifetime". However, before the general election, she said there were some circumstances – such as the introduction of English votes for English laws or Britain leaving the EU without the consent of Scottish voters – that could cause another independence vote.

It is as yet unclear whether or not the SNP will include a second independence referendum in its manifesto for the election, which is due to take place in May 2016.

The leaflet has been used by pro-union campaigners such as Blair McDougall, who led the Better Together campaign, as evidence that the SNP plans to go back on its "once in a lifetime" statement.

Once in a lifetime, no plans for another, etc


"The comments regarding a second referendum are based on my own view that circumstances are heading towards an inevitability that a second will happen," said the MSP.

"European referendum results in England being different in Scotland as an example. Add to this the 'vow' not living up to expectation as well as public discontent over a Tory government in London.

"I don't believe there will be huge cries for another referendum until Westminster finish with the Scotland bill, EVEL legislation, and the public feel the effects of austerity over time. People power will likely be the catalyst for change. If this happens we need a strong SNP presence at Holyrood.

"I accept the referendum result, I just see a certainty over the horizon, just a matter of time."

An SNP spokesperson said there are no plans for another independence referendum.

The timing of any future referendum is entirely a matter for the people of Scotland to decide – the people, not politicians, are in charge at every stage of the process. The First Minister has made clear we are not planning another referendum, but equally has made it clear that it is not in the gift of any politician and party to rule it out indefinitely.

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at

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