IndyRef 2 Plans To Be Outlined In SNP Manifesto

13 September 2015, 06:00

The SNP will set out the timescale for a possible second referendum on independence in its manifesto for next year's Holyrood election, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Scotland's First Minister confirmed the party's manifesto will include more details on the circumstances under which another vote might be "appropriate''.

The revelation comes almost a year after Scots voted by a margin of 55% to 45% to reject independence.

Since then the SNP has gone from strength to strength, notching up thousands of new members and winning a landslide 56 of Scotland's 59 seats in May's general election.

Ms Sturgeon has come under increased pressure to clarify her position on a second vote ahead of the party's conference in Aberdeen next month.

She told the Press Association: "Our manifesto will set out what we consider are the circumstances and the timescale on which a second referendum might be appropriate, but we can only propose.

"It's then for people in Scotland, whether it is in this election or in future elections, to decide whether they want to vote for our manifesto and then if there is in the future another independence referendum, whether that's in five years or 10 years or whenever, it will be down to the people of Scotland to decide whether they want to vote for independence or not.

"So at every single stage this is something that is driven by and decided by the people of Scotland, not by politicians.''

A recent Ipsos Mori survey for STV suggested 53% of voters in Scotland would back independence if there was another referendum.

The same poll put support for the SNP in the constituency vote at next year's Scottish Parliament election at 55%, compared to Labour's 21%.

Ms Sturgeon said: "It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that support for independence has risen in the past year.

"We've seen a Conservative Government renege on its promises on more powers, we've seen them continue to impose austerity on the most vulnerable, George Osborne arrogantly pressing ahead with investment to support the renewal of Trident even though the House of Commons hasn't decided to renew Trident, our membership of the European Union being jeopardised.''

The First Minister has previously said a material change in circumstances, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will in the forthcoming in-out referendum on UK membership, could act as a trigger for a second referendum on independence.

She said: "`Ironically, given the scaremongering about our European Union membership during the independence referendum, if we find ourselves being taken out of Europe against our will I think it is beyond any doubt that people will at least want to consider again the question of independence.''

Ms Sturgeon added: "I've always believed that Scotland will become an independent country so there's no change in position there. I think that's the direction of travel we're on. But that's my opinion, I'm one person, one politician.

"Whether I end up being proved right or wrong will be down to what the majority of people in Scotland decide.''