Scottish referendum in doubt after steep losses for SNP in United Kingdom vote


The leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) took the Scots' 62%-38% vote to stay in the bloc as a reason to call for a second referendum on independence, which voters had rejected by 55% to 45% in 2014. Paul Masterton took the constituency - which 20 years ago had been the safest Tory seat in Scotland - from the SNP's Kirsten Oswald.

Ruth Davidson has dismissed a suggestion she will seek to break the Scottish Conservatives away from the United Kingdom party following a humiliating General Election result for Theresa May.

Mr Neil, who stepped down from government previous year, said it was imperative for the First Minister to move the debate on from independence.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon was joined by husband Peter Murrell at their polling station in Glasgow while Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale cast her ballot in Edinburgh.

Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall, said the charity was "deeply anxious" about any DUP involvement in the new government given the party's poor record on LGBT rights.

Reuters reports, "An updated BBC forecast predicted May's Conservatives would win 318 of the 650 seats, eight short of a majority, while Corbyn's left-wing Labour would take 267 - producing a "hung parliament" and potential deadlock".

"We had a very clear message in this campaign and there wouldn't have been so many SNP losses tonight if Nicola Sturgeon hadn't tried to force through an unwanted second independence referendum in March", she said.

"Now, we have to wait and see how things shake out".

Ms Davidson, tipped by many as a future UK Tory leader, hailed a "historic" night for her party and said the result ended the prospect of another independence vote soon.

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Rivals accused the SNP of setting aside day-to-day devolved government, including in health and education, to focus on splitting Scotland from England despite the rejection of independence by a 10-point margin nearly three years ago.

A party needs to win 326 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons to form a majority government.

Instead, it could have turned out to be a once-in-five-years opportunity if the Scottish National Party had made further inroads on Thursday.

Ms Sturgeon's apparent willingness to reconsider her demand for an imminent Scottish independence referendum contrasts with a more bullish tone in recent months. Scotland had voted overwhelmingly against withdrawal from the European Union, so Sturgeon believed support there for independence would increase. However, both May and Sturgeon have been weakened by the general election and this reality sums up the complex picture emerging from a very polarized nation.

While May likely overestimated Britons' commitment to the hard Brexit she has advocated, Sturgeon likely underestimated such a commitment for Scotland.

Mr Linden previously worked for Alison Thewliss and he said that experience would help in his new role. Scots voted to remain part of the a margin of 24 percentage points.

"We stand ready to play our part in that alliance".

Thursday's vote offers the strongest indication so far that the answer would now be "No".