Alex Salmond: '˜Once in a generation' referendum was estimation

The former First Minister said it had only been an '˜estimation' that constitutional referendums were once in a generation and that the political landscape had now changed.

Alex Salmond believes that if Scotland is 'dragged' out of the EU a second referendum should happen. Picture: John Devlin

During the 2014 referendum campaign Mr Salmond stated that Scotland would only have to vote ‘once in a generation’ on the issue of Scottish independence.

Now the MP for Gordon believes a second independence referendum will be held much sooner.

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Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme yesterday, he said: “My estimation was that political constitutional referendums are once in a generation and I was making the example of 1979 and 1997 - that is why I always put it in that context every single time I said that.

“But of course, things have changed. And why have they changed?”

“Well since the referendum there has been 56 SNP MPs elected out of 59, the Scottish government has been re-elected with more MSPs than all the Unionist parties put together in the Scottish parliament and specifically, of course, on a manifesto promise.”

Mr Salmond added that: “if the circumstances are that Scotland gets dragged out of the European Union against the will of the Scottish people, then the Scottish parliament should have the right to hold another referendum.”

Last night Scottish Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale said: “It is only two years since we had our say in the biggest political decision in Scotland’s history.

“With all the challenges facing Scotland’s future, we shouldn’t return to the arguments of the past but should get on with using the new powers of our Scottish parliament”