Nicola Sturgeon has said it is “ridiculous” to claim the case for Scottish independence has suffered after the SNP lost its majority at Holyrood.
Opponents say the Scottish people delivered a verdict on the constitution after the Nationalists fell two short of a majority share of seats in the Scottish Parliament.
But the six independence-supporting Green MSPs means that most of the country’s 129 MSPs still want to see Scotland leave the UK.
Ms Sturgeon said: “My manifesto said that in certain circumstances the Scottish Parliament should have the right to propose another referendum. What I acknowledged during the campaign and I acknowledge again today is that those circumstances do not yet exist.” She added: “I recognise in the campaign and I recognise now that those of us who have work to do to address the issues that meant that people, many people who could have backed the Yes campaign in the referendum, ultimately didn’t.”
The SNP leader has pledged to launch a summer drive to try to persuade Scots who voted No in the 2014 referendum about the case for Scottish independence
She added: “There is a majority of MSPs in Scotland who support Scotland becoming an independent country. So it’s a ridiculous notion to say that because the Conservatives managed to get scarcely over 20 per cent of the vote that somehow the case for independence has taken a step back. The contrary is the case.”