A whole year has passed since the Scottish Referendum resulted in 55 per cent of the country voting against independence from the United Kingdom. Yet in honour of the anniversary, thousands of Scots have insisted that were the vote to take place today, the result would be a decisive ‘Yes’ for independence.
Over 10,000 people rallied at Glasgow Square on the anniversary of the vote with a cross-section of SNP supporters, Greens and anti-Trident activists all represented. The question is begged as to whether the decision of 2014 is representative of Scottish preference today.
David Cameron made clear on the anniversary his belief that Scotland is here to stay and that some are almost obsessed with the idea of independence. Indeed, while another referendum could result in a victory for seceding, it may be poor timing.
While his interests are invested in Scotland staying, he does raise the counterargument that some may want independence for its own sake rather than on a premise of doing what is actually best for the country.
Nicola Sturgeon said it would be wrong to bring about a second referendum “without a fundamental change of circumstances” or belief that “a significant number of those who voted ‘No’ last year had changed their minds.”
The debate revolving around the referendum thus has two points of question. The first is whether a Scottish referendum would result in independence. The second is whether it would be right for another referendum to be held in the first place. Just because the result might be different doesn’t necessarily justify the vote.
The largest sign that a change of circumstances has taken place is the composition of party prominence in Westminster following the 2015 general election.Changing from six to fifty-six seats out of a possible fifty-nine overnight shows a massive swing in favour for the pro-independence party and a resounding shunning of the traditional Westminster parties.
The result displays a practical consensus among the Scottish electorate in terms of party allegiance but is this simply the belief that the SNP is the only party seen to represent Scottish interests rather than the best?
With 45 per cent in favour of independence last year and 55 per cent against, the party only need to swing 5 per cent to bring a vote in their favour and this is exactly why they feel that it would be good to have another referendum quickly.
It is through strong and active campaigning that opinion polls believe pro-independence support jumped from 26 per cent to 45 per cent.
The SNP fears that the 45 per cent may slip and that it would be better to spend a few months to build on the already existing momentum.
Time is vital, as the actual results of devolution, following the recommendations of the Smith Commission, have not been given time to be evaluated.
With the government trying to give concessions to Scotland it is only right that a few more years be given to see if the concessions prove successful.