IT is a matter of historical fact that the 2016 Scottish election did not result in an independence referendum as Jim Sillars (Letters, February 13) points out. While this may be so, it is still important to acknowledge that in 2016 the constituency vote for the SNP actually exceeded its 2011 total where it achieved the “impossible” majority. The problem was that by doing better in the constituency section, winning another six seats, it gave itself correspondingly less chance in the regional list and duly lost 12 seats and with that its overall majority.

However, Mr Sillars is indisputably correct that there will not be another referendum until “support for independence rises to a level that cannot be ignored by the UK Government”. Just what that is I don’t pretend to know, but I feel it is becoming increasingly clear that while electoral support may be necessary, it is unlikely to be sufficient on its own.

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On Question Time shortly before the recent General Election, Kirsty Hair (then MP for Angus) argued against another independence referendum on the basis that in 2017 the SNP “lost seats”, as though 35 of 59 Scottish seats could no longer be considered a majority. Likewise, many Unionists insist that the SNP alone must secure a majority of seats at Holyrood for it to be a “mandate” for another independence referendum, even if other parties support a referendum and/or independence, affording majority support at Holyrood. Then, should the SNP secure another majority of seats, the requirement to secure a majority of votes will be wheeled out, even though Scotland has left the EU on the basis of 43.6 per cent of the votes cast in the UK as a whole last December for the Conservatives.

Mr Sillars is correct that the 2016 election result, where the SNP constituency vote actually rose rather than fell, “was not sufficient for the SNP to demand Indyref2”. I do though wonder what sort of electoral result would be enough, and if there is none, where we go next?

Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton.

I AM sure that we are all fully aware that Scotland's early history spanned the periods of the Picts, Romans, Northumbrian Angles, Britons, and later the Scots and the Norse. But surely the most significant event was the formation of the UK, effectively bringing together England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It brought both political and economic stability to these islands. That is why the people of Scotland voted against the SNP in the 2014 independence referendum: the majority of folks in Scotland simply do not want a divided country.

As far as most Scots are concerned Nicola Sturgeon is merely living on borrowed time politically. She represents a cause which can only lead to Scotland's downfall, both economically and politically; it is so obvious that the Scottish economy, under the SNP is already in dire straits, and if it continues on this path will only lead to much lower standards of living and prospects, for all of us Scots and our families.

So it is for these very reasons fellow that I suggest we should reject the diktats of Ms Sturgeon and her minority administration. It is high time that we cast aside the dream, or indeed nightmare, of another SNP-led Scotland after the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary Election. A great deal of improvement is needed in all areas of the administration in Scotland, whether one refers to Education, health, welfare, transport, police, local government, agricultural grants, and more. Scotland badly needs a new administration in 2021, one which is concerned with improving administration and public services, and not merely promoting its political aims and objectives.

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Indeed, is it really credible that Ms Sturgeon believes that by attempting to take Scotland out of the UK and into the EU that she can possibly achieve the "freedom" she apparently craves for Scotland? How on earth would she achieve that in an organisation which is emphatically less than democratic? Indeed that is precisely the reason for the departure of the UK from the EU at this point in time.

It has to be acknowledged that a potential new entrant such as Scotland would be a very small player in the EU. Is it likely in any case that it would be granted full membership when the state of its economy is taken into consideration? Most probably not.

Robert IG Scott, Ceres, Fife.

SHOWING a distinct lack of foresight, the SNP heavily criticised the change in the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer without recourse to the current circumstances surrounding its own Finance Secretary debacle. Now we have Jackson Carlaw winning the Scottish Conservative Party leadership by a huge margin giving Nicola Sturgeon little chance of criticising this appointment.

There is virtually nothing going right for the SNP but a huge number of issues going badly wrong. Not happy days now for the SNP and the outlook is not looking any better either. Jackson Carlaw is spot on. It is definitely time for a change in Scottish politics.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow G77.

ON hearing the news of the circumstances leading to the resignation of Sajid Javid, I couldn’t help wondering if the former Chancellor will now have a better understanding of the frustration affecting many who regard their nationality as Scottish but who are required to live under a Government chosen for them by the next-door neighbours.

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.

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