Flynn: SNP can retain all its seats at Westminster – and gain more

The party’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn did accept however that support for the SNP has taken a ‘slight dip’ in opinion polls.

Katrine Bussey
Wednesday 29 May 2024 10:03
Stephen Flynn said he hopes the SNP will gain seats at the General Election (PA)
Stephen Flynn said he hopes the SNP will gain seats at the General Election (PA)

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has insisted his party can retain all of its Scottish seats at Westminster – and even win more.

While he conceded support for the SNP has taken a “slight dip” in the polls, he also said the party will have a mandate to push for independence if it wins a majority of Scottish constituencies in the July 4 General Election.

The SNP won 48 seats at the last Westminster election in 2019, but defections and a by-election have reduced its tally of MPs to 43.

Polls currently put Labour ahead in the contest, with the latest survey suggesting support for Sir Keir Starmer’s party is at 36% and the SNP is trailing on 32%.

Mr Flynn told Sky News he is confident his party’s “positive message of putting Scotland first” will help it “get over the line and deliver for the people of Scotland again”.

Mr Flynn said: “I’m looking to retain every single seat that we have, and also looking to win other seats from other parties, because that is what you do in an election.

“I’m very confident with the policy platform we’re going to put forward, with the clear fact that we are the ones who always put Scotland first at Westminster, unlike all the other political parties.”

The SNP last year backed a policy declaring that winning a “majority of the seats at the General Election in Scotland” should enable the Scottish Government to “begin immediate negotiations” with the UK on independence.

Mr Flynn insisted that should still apply, even if the SNP loses seats.

He said: “The winner in an election gets to take forward their manifesto and ultimately it will be for us to seek to do that.

“The big question here, and it is a question Keir Starmer is going to have to face up, is at what point does he recognise the democratic views of the Scottish people?

“We know the Conservative Party don’t, whether that is Theresa May, Liz Truss, Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak.

“Is Keir Starmer seriously going to go into the election and say he is going to stick to the same policy platform as the Conservative Party when it comes to the people of Scotland, 50% of whom back Scottish independence?”

Speaking about the election, Mr Flynn added: “The poll is going to take place on independence day, which I think is quite a nice thing for people to keep in their minds.

“The reality is people in Scotland have got very many challenges in their life at this moment in time. If we can make the positive case for why they should back us, to put Scotland first at Westminster, we should do that.

“Of course what we would ultimately like to see is for Scotland to become that independent nation so we don’t have to rely upon Westminster to try to improve the lives of people.

“We can take that power into our hands, decide our own future and make sure that the austerity, Brexit and cost-of-living chaos that Westminster has brought is ended.”

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