General Election 2019: What could the election outcome mean for the chances of indyref2?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to seek a "Section 30" order from the new UK Government allowing a referendum on Scottish independence after the election - before the end of the year, no less.

Power transfer

This would bring about a transfer of power from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament to stage a repeat of the 2014 referendum next year. The Scottish Government needs this because power over the constitution in the UK lies at Westminster.

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A similar process brought about the Edinburgh Agreement which paved the way for the last referendum in 2014. The response this time will hinge on the result of the election.

The election outcome will have a pivotal impact on the prospect of indyref2


If Labour win, the prospect of a repeat of the 2014 vote on leaving the UK becomes more likely. Jeremy Corbyn has insisted he will not block such a vote if it is the clear will of the Scottish people - and it won't happen in the early years of a Labour Government.

The party has made it clear that the 2021 Holyrood election election - just 17 months away - would be the decisive factor. If pro-independence parties - likely the SNP and the Greens can win a majority, then Labour would give this the Green light.

Hung Parliament

But the prospect of a Labour majority seems slim. The best Jeremy Corbyn's party can likely hope for is hung Parliament which could allow it to form a so-called "progressive alliance" with other parties to secure the keys to Downing Street.

Under this scenario, Labour would need the support of the expected 40-plus SNP MPs and the a referendum - next year - would be Nicola Sturgeon price. She insists that the prospect of becoming Prime Minister would inevitable see Mr Corbyn compromise on the timing.

Tory majority

If Boris Johnson secures his expected majority, it would appear to draw a line under any prospect of a referendum taking place in the next five years.

Mr Johnson been crystal clear that he would reject any request from the Scottish Government for a Section 30 order. The anti-independence message and pledge to block a second independence referendum has been at the heart of the party's campaign. Scottish leader Jackson Carlaw even suggested it should be forty years before another vote takes place.

Ms Sturgeon insists this position would "unsustainable" if the SNP wins a majority. But it's not clear what she could do to break his resolve, since control in this areas lies at Westminster.

Wildcat vote

The independence movement in Scotland has strong links with Nationalists in in the Catalonia region of Spain who want independence from Madrid. But the First Minister has ruled out a "wildcat" vote, similar to that staged in Catalonia in 2017 which was ruled illegal by Madrid and saw its leaders jailed. If it is not done within an agreed legal and constitutional framework, the First Minister argues, it will lack the international recognition, particularly by bodies like the EU which Ms Sturgeon wants to see Scotland join after independence.

Legal challenge

Ms Sturgeon, though, has been tantalisingly pointing out in interviews that Westminster's control over staging a referendum has "never been tested in court" hinting that she may be ready to consider a legal challenge if all her exhortations for a power transfer fall on deaf ears.

After the success of the SNP's Joanna Cherry in spearheading the successful legal challenge against the prorogation of Parliament by Boris Johnson last month, it may be that resorting to the courts is no longer such an exceptional approach to resolving political disputes.