Appetite for another Scottish independence referendum wanes as Labor rebounds north of border

Local election results in Scotland show there is “zero support” for another independence referendum, MPs have said.

While Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP increased its seat count, it was only backed by just over a third of voters.

Meanwhile, Scottish Labor under Anas Sarwar made healthy gains and found themselves a hair’s breadth from taking Glasgow, after adding five councilors to give them a total of 36, compared to 37 for the SNP.

It also put Labor in second place nationally, having been pushed back to third place by the Conservatives under Ruth Davidson a few years earlier.

It came after Mr Sarwar said constitutional issues such as independence did not get him “out of bed in the morning”, before insisting he was completely against another referendum.

The former dentist and scion of a wealthy Glasgow family led a high-profile campaign, attacking Sturgeon for what he said were failures on issues including the NHS and education.

While Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP increased its seat count, it was only backed by just over a third of voters.

Meanwhile, Scottish Labor under Anas Sarwar (pictured) posted healthy gains and found themselves a hair's breadth away from taking Glasgow, having added five councilors to give them a total of 36, compared to 37 for the SNP.

Meanwhile, Scottish Labor under Anas Sarwar (pictured) posted healthy gains and found themselves a hair’s breadth away from taking Glasgow, having added five councilors to give them a total of 36, compared to 37 for the SNP.

Ms Sturgeon said she was ‘delighted’ with the results, saying her Nationalist Party had ‘gained a mile of country’, sending a ‘strong message’ to Boris Johnson.

But after all the tallies were voted on, it was clear that the decline in Tory support – the Tories lost 63 councilors – benefited the other main parties by a much larger margin.

While the SNP won 22 new seats, Labor and the Lib Dems won 20 each while the Green Party won 16.

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell, the former Scottish Conservative secretary, said bluntly: ‘This is not an endorsement of independence.’ He has absolutely no support from voters.

Meanwhile, Daniel Johnson of Labor, MSP of Edinburgh Southern, argued the results proved voters were “suffering from fatigue” over the independence issue.

“They’re tired of the constant banging of the constitutional drum,” he said.

The election has raised hopes that traditional Labor supporters will “go home”, after switching to the Conservatives in a bid to beat the Nationalists five years ago.

Following their boost north of the border, Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting rejected any potential alliance with the SNP to help Labor conquer Scotland in the future.

He told Sky News: ‘We are in completely different places from the SNP on the fundamental question of the future of the UK.

“No agreements, no pacts, no compromise on this. We are here to earn it. We want to win the next general election.

“I think these results provide us with the basis on which to do this. But we are not interested in backroom deals or skirmishes and as far as the SNP specifically is concerned, we know very, very clearly where we stand on the future of the UK, the future of the Union.

A survey conducted by Survation in April found that 53% would vote

Research by Survation in April found 53% would vote ‘no’ in a separatist referendum, excluding those who said they were undecided

Wes Streeting said Labor was giving the SNP a ‘run for its money’ after the results in Scotland.

The shadow health secretary told Sky News: ‘The Tories in Scotland have fallen back a long way, not least because they have been sacked by their own leadership in Westminster and have a weakened and spineless leader in Scotland.

“I think actually it’s Labor now leading the way for the future of the UK where people can actually vote not just to oppose the Conservatives in Scotland through the SNP , but they can vote to replace the Conservatives in Scotland by voting Labor in the next general election.

Sturgeon suffered a major blow last month when a poll found support for independence was down, with a majority of Scots wanting to stay in the UK.

A Survation study found that 53% would vote ‘no’ in a separatist referendum, excluding those who say they are undecided.

The figure was up one point from a year ago, with trackers showing trade unionists consistently ahead of the game.

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