In Scotland, decisions had to be made regarding seats in the 129-member Parliament in Edinburgh and in Wales in the 60-member Local Assembly. In England, voters were able to vote for nearly 5,000 candidates in 143 council districts, and voters were able to vote for 25 city councilors and the mayor in London City Hall.
A large part of the election series called Super Thursday Election was supposed to take place at this time last year, but the British government postponed elections for a year last March due to the coronavirus outbreak. This is the main reason why so many different elections are held across the country one day.
In London, the incumbent mayor of the opposition Labor Party, Sadiq Khan, contested his second term. His main rival was Sean Bailey, the ruling Conservative Party candidate.
The largest share in the Scottish parliamentary vote is what the Scottish National Independence Party (SNP), which rules Scotland, has achieved. As if the Scottish National Party could form a government again with a sizeable parliamentary majority, it would likely give a big boost to the preparation for another independence referendum. A referendum on independence had already been held in September 2014, but 55 percent of participants at the time still voted not to separate Scotland from Britain.
However, in the referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union in June 2016, a narrow national average of 51.89 per cent voted to exit, while 62 per cent of Scots voted for more EU membership.
Since then, Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party, has consistently expressed her view on the necessity of another referendum on Scottish independence, as Scotland was forced to leave the European Union despite her stated intention to stay, largely because of the English votes.
Sturgeon also mentioned in several statements that he believed that Scotland could return to the European Union in a relatively short period of time as an independent country.
Already in January, the SNP submitted a draft for another referendum on independence. The document stated that if the Scottish National Party managed to form a government again after the Scottish Parliamentary elections in May, Scotland would ask the British government to delegate exclusive authority to the Scottish Parliament to draft the Independence Referendum Act. According to the project, an unsustainable situation could arise if the British government refused this request.
However, Conservative British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly stated that he is not prepared to contribute to another Scottish independence referendum because he believes the 2014 referendum has settled the issue for a generation.
Cover photo: Getty Images
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