Well, if you thought the election would reconcile Scotland’s great constitutional divide, then I’m afraid you’re as delusional as Alex Salmond. Yes, the most boring election in living memory has had an impact after all – by simply ramping up the volume of the Yes/No squabble to 11.

So here we go again, back to the drawing board, or rather calculator, as logic-defying, prejudice and blind party allegiance play their part in denying mathematical reality.

The pro-independence camp’s case for a referendum mandate is unassailable. The moral imperative laid down within the confines of a more proportional parliamentary system than Westminster only adds weight to their argument. If Boris Johnson could justify the completion of Brexit on a majority of 80 seats and 43.6% of the popular vote in 2019, then the SNP and Greens can more than justify their case for Indyref2 after securing a majority of 15 seats on 49%.

Even the most ardent unionist would have to come up with some pretty spectacular mental contortions to reject this, but of course they will.

Read more: Yes or No isn’t much of a choice if you don’t want either

And sure as Shinola, Douglas Ross has already cited a lack of legal “competence” within Holyrood, Michael Gove has raised SNP’s failure to secure an overall majority, while Johnson – a man not unaccustomed to playing by his own rules and getting away with it – has refused to budge his Winston Churchill bust one millimetre on the matter.

Common sense dictates, however, a vote must go ahead. Firstly, there was no binding clause in the original referendum to say it was a once in a generation vote, despite the aforementioned former FM’s pronouncements. So why should the circumstances that led to the first referendum not apply again? The inherent danger with this is an endless cycle of election, majority, referendum, No/Yes, repeat – but once the referendum genie has been let out the box, there’s no going back.

Secondly, it would be ridiculous to deny the election wasn’t dominated by one subject – the constitution. The two parties that gained the overall majority in Parliament did so on an explicitly Indyref2 campaign. How can this be ignored? It can’t, and a new vote has to be their reward.

Read more: Millennials: Yorkshiremen take note, times are tough for young people

But let’s make one thing clear. Accepting Indyref2 is not the same as voting for independence – it is an appreciation of how democracy should work. As someone who voted Yes in 2014, I’m not convinced, at this moment in time, I would vote the same way again.

Declining standards in schools, care home deaths and wasteful ferry contracts, to name but a few shambolic, indeed shocking, episodes, do not auger well for a brave new world. And the economic case hasn’t exactly been badly made, it’s non-existent.

But this is not the point. Regardless of your voting intentions, Indyref2 is inescapable on democratic and historic terms. For the dominant partner to simply pick and choose is not only inconsistent, it’s a moral outrage, that renders Holyrood a sham.


Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.