Former SNP MP says party can win independence as soon as next year

An SNP election candidate, who has previously served as an MP and MSP for the party, has claimed that the Yes campaign will secure, hold, and win an independence referendum within the next 14 months.

Anne McLaughlin

Anne McLaughlin, who is standing to re-take the seat of Glasgow North East that she lost in 2017, says that conversations she has had on the doorstep give her confidence to make the bold prediction.

She told the National: “I believe there will be a referendum next year and I have full confidence we can win. It is not sustainable for either the Tories or Labour to continue blocking it.

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“Out on the doorsteps I come across a lot of voters who are moving from No to Yes. They may have moved initially because they oppose Scotland being taken out of the EU or they can’t stand Boris Johnson, but once they have made that move they then see the positive reasons for backing independence, they are saying we can do so much better than this. It’s brilliant to hear the journey they have been on.”

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Ms McLaughlin was also an MSP for Glasgow between 2009 and 2011, but failed to be re-elected, later standing as a candidate in a Westminster by-election held in her hometown seat of Inverclyde.

She won the seat of Glasgow North East in 2015 as part of the SNP wave of that year, with a swing of almost 40% from Labour, so large that it was unable to be captured on the BBC's election 'swing-o-meter'.

However, the seat was won back by Paul Sweeney of the Labour Party at the snap election of 2017.

Ms McLaughlin added: “Last night I spoke to someone who voted No and then voted remain and now thought Scotland should be given the chance to be independent.

“He told me ‘I can’t allow what’s happening to my country to keep happening’. And he told me ‘I can’t be waiting any longer for Labour to get into power and maybe do something differently or maybe not.”

Nicola Sturgeon has not specified the exact date that she wants to hold a second referendum, but has frequently mooted the latter half of next year as a potential timescale.

Any efforts by the Scottish Government to hold a second referendum on independence are likely to be blocked at Westminster if Boris Johnson remains in power, although Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have been less strident in their opposition to a poll.