The 2021 Scottish parliament election was billed as an epoch-defining moment. The SNP framed it as the most important vote since devolution in 1999. The Scottish Conservatives pleaded with voters to support their party, even if it was just this once. The pro-independence Scottish Green Party urged people to “vote like your future depended on it”.
People in Scotland agreed. Turnout across the country was up by more than 10 per cent, with queues of voters determinedly waiting to cast their ballots. Hail and snow, unseasonal even in Scotland, did not deter voters from flocking to the polls.
But anyone hoping an enthused electorate would deliver a resolution to the perennial question of Scottish independence will be disappointed. After all the huffing and puffing of the election campaign – all the pleading and arm twisting – the people of Scotland have returned a parliament for the next five years that looks very much like the one it had for the previous five. The country, it seems, is still very much split down the middle.
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