Yes needs 55% to legitimise independence Gerry Hassan tells BBC Scotland

A left-wing academic has claimed that a simple 50% +1 majority for Yes in a second Indyref will not be enough for Scottish independence.

Gerry Hassan also claimed that no referendum could be called until the Alex Salmond situation had been concluded and that the SNP mandate won in the 2016 Holyrood election had been weakened.

Hassan made his remarks when appearing as a guest on the BBC Scotland show Good Morning Scotland.  Asked about the possibility of a second independence referendum, the academic and writer claimed that a win by one vote would not be enough and claimed Yes would need at least 55% to legitimise the result.

He said: “You need to win by a margin, a percentage, numbers to cancel out legitimately the first vote to make the No side realise they lose.”

Hassan claimed that Yes needed to win by the same 400,000 margin as ‘No’ had in 2014 saying: “You need to change eight hundred thousand voters in net to win by a legitimacy.”


The left-wing academic’s view was echoed by fellow Good Morning Scotland guest Andy Collier who went further and insisted Yes required to reach 60% in a second Indyref in order to legitimise independence.

“I agree with Gerry I think fifty per cent plus one on this next time will not be enough […] I think to settle this fully, sixty – forty would probaby be about right.”


The programme contained a string of additional controversial claims, each going unchallenged.

Hassan also claimed that the fifty five percent of people who had voted No in the 2014 referendum were being disrespected and that it was they, rather than Yes voters, who should be listened to.


The academic also insisted the SNP mandate to hold a second referendum, won in the 2016 Holyrood election, had been weakened and that no Indyref could be held until the Alex Salmond issue had reached resolution.


Hassan’s comments were ridiculed on social media with many taking issue with his claim that a simple 50%+1 majority would not be enough for independence.

One twitter user said: “He’s entitled to his opinion, but I don’t think his argument is well founded. And whatever the timing of inevitable Scottish Independence turns out to be, I don’t see why the Alex Salmond issue should have any influence one way or another.”

Another was less diplomatic: “The whole segment was shite. I found myself shouting at the radio at what I was hearing, particularly the nonsense about not being able to hold Indyref2 whilst Salmond’s court case is running. Utter, utter pish.”

However Hassan refused to answer criticisms levelled by this site on the failure of BBC Scotland to offer any challenge to his controversial views.

The former RISE supporter, who is a regular guest on BBC Scotland, merely repeated his claims when asked to address the lack of balance by BBC Scotland.


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