SNP increases its dominance over Scotland in general election exit poll strengthening Nicola Sturgeon’s calls for a second independence referendum
- Exit poll predicts the party will win 55 seats, 20 more than the outcome in 2017
- Just four seats short of taking all seats in Scotland, bolstering referendum calls
- Across whole of UK the Tories are projected to secure a stomping majority of 86
The SNP is on track to increase its dominance over Scotland – bolstering Nicola Sturgeon’s calls for a second independence referendum.
The hotly-await general election exit poll puts the party on 55 seats, four short of the total across the country and 20 more than the outcome in 2017.
Across the whole of the UK the Conservatives are projected to secure a stomping majority of 86, with Labour plummeting to just 191 seats against the Tories’ 368.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon arrives to cast her vote in the general election earlier today at Broomhouse Park Community Hall in Glasgow
The First Minister said the exit poll suggested a ‘good night for the SNP’ but called the UK-wide picture ‘grim’
The SNP would continue to be the third largest party in the Commons, with 55 MPs, the poll predicted, while Jo Swinson’s Liberal democrats would have 13.
Reacting to the poll, Ms Sturgeon tweeted: ‘Exit poll suggests good night for @theSNP – but it is just an exit poll and there are many marginals, so let’s just wait and see. What it indicates UK wide though is grim. #GE19.’
If the SNP was to win 55 of the 59 Scottish seats up for grabs, it would be the party’s second best ever result – and only one fewer MP than they secured in 2015, when they won all but three seats north of the border.
It would also be an increase of 20 on the 35 MPs that Ms Sturgeon’s party returned in 2017.
The poll suggests both Labour and the Scottish Conservatives could be in for losses north of the border, with the Tories having won 13 seats two years ago, while Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour secured seven Scottish MPs last time round.
It comes at the end of an election campaign which had focused heavily on the key constitutional issues of Brexit and a second Scottish independence referendum.
The First Minister has already pledged to send a letter requesting Holyrood be given the power to hold a fresh ballot on the issue to the new prime minister before Christmas.
But Tory minister Michael Gove argued claimed there would not necessarily be a second referendum if the exit poll was correct.
‘I don’t believe that another independence referendum is inevitable, quite the opposite,’ Mr Gove told ITV. ‘I don’t believe that a second independence referendum would be right for Scotland or right for the United Kingdom.’
The exit poll is organised by broadcasters and is considered a fairly accurate indicator of the final result
The exit poll – published at 10pm – is organised by broadcasters and is considered a fairly accurate indicator of the final result.
During the 2017 election, the first take of the exit poll correctly predicted the Conservatives would be the largest party across the UK, but stopped short of saying there would be a hung Parliament.
Across the UK, the Lib Dems effectively stalled on 13 after a dismal campaign by leader Jo Swinson.
Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn’s dream of a socialist Britain is now in ruins, with his time in charge of the party surely coming crashing to an end.
It is worse than the showing by Mr Corbyn’s hero Michael Foot, who was famously put to the sword by Margaret Thatcher with just 209 seat in 1983.
Welcoming the exit poll, Mr Johnson tweeted: ‘Thank you to everyone across our great country who voted, who volunteered, who stood as candidates. We live in the greatest democracy in the world.’
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