The SNP will not have won a mandate to hold a second independence referendum even if the party wins more than half the Scottish general election vote, Ruth Davidson has insisted.
The Scottish Conservative leader was responding to questions from STV political editor Bernard Ponsonby when she was asked about her party’s indyref stance.
Pressed on whether she would accept the SNP had a mandate to hold a second independence referendum if Nicola Sturgeon’s party achieved over fifty per cent of the Scottish vote in next week’s general election, the MSP replied “Absolutely not, no”.
Davidson’s defiance followed the publication of the SNP manifesto which referenced a second independence referendum. According to the SNP should the party gain most seats in the general election then it will constitute a referendum ‘triple lock’.
The three components of the ‘triple lock’ constitute the Holyrood victory, the Scottish Parliament Section 30 vote and the UK general election.
Speaking at the SNP manifesto launch on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon said:
“Last year’s Holyrood election delivered the democratic mandate for an independence referendum in the event of Brexit, and the recent vote of the Scottish Parliament underlined that mandate.
“If the SNP wins a majority of Scottish seats in this election, that will further reinforce that mandate. And in these circumstances, any continued Tory attempts to block Scotland having a choice – when the time is right and the options are clear – would be democratically unsustainable.”
Davidson’s refusal to accept majority win for the SNP would constitute a mandate is identical to comments she made last year just before the Holyrood election. Then Davidson told Bernard Ponsonby “She [Nicola Sturgeon] will not have a mandate on the manifesto she’s published even if she gets a majority.”
However Davidson has previously accepted that a referendum mandate requires only a majority vote in the Scottish parliament.