A Conservatives led government will refuse to accept the SNP has strengthened its mandate to hold a second independence referendum even if Nicola Sturgeon’s party wins more Westminster seats than her Unionist rivals in June’s general election.
Speaking on the BBC, Conservative MP David Mundell rejected the idea that there could be an explicit Scottish result. The Secretary of State for Scotland insisted that the election was a UK wide contest and that there would be no acknowledgement of an SNP win.
Asked by BBC Scotland reporter Glenn Campbell if an SNP win would strengthen the First Minister’s indyref mandate, Mundell replied: “This is a UK wide election. The decision of the people of Scotland in September 2014 was to remain part of the United Kingdom and therefore elections for the UK parliament are across the whole of the United Kingdom.”
The comments from the senior Conservative MP appear to be at odds with the campaign being run by the leader of the Conservatives in Scotland. Ruth Davidson is already on record as saying the snap election is an opportunity to send a message to the SNP on the issue of another independence referendum.
Davidson said: “If you do believe in tactical voting and you have a principled belief in keeping the United Kingdom together and respecting the decision that we made in 2014, actually your vote is for the Scottish Conservatives.
“You have a Labour leader in Jeremy Corbyn who says he would be happy to let another referendum happen, the Lib Dems just aren’t strong enough.
“It is very much a case of, if you’re not supporting the SNP and you want somebody to stop their drive to break up Scotland then the Scottish Conservatives are your best bet.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already insisted that a win for the SNP will enhance her existing indyref mandate. Speaking in London the day after the Prime Minister announced the snap election, Nicola Sturgeon said: “if the SNP wins this election in Scotland and the Tories don’t, then Theresa May’s attempt to block our mandate to give the people of Scotland a choice over their own future when the time is right will crumble to dust.”