Nicola Sturgeon will still be Scotland’s First Minister after Thursday’s election. The SNP may have a slim majority in the Holyrood parliament, or she may lead a minority government, dependent on the support of her party’s Green allies. Either way her Government will be legitimate, but its moral authority may depend to some extent on the turn-out in the election. If that is below 60 per cent, Sturgeon’s mandate will not be impressive. Winning half the vote in an election ignored by four voters in every ten is hardly a resounding endorsement, even if it is as convincing as Boris Johnson’s occupation of Number 10 Downing Street on less than 44 percent of the vote in the December 2019 General Election.
While the four home nations have distinct problems, addressing them piecemeal would be a huge mistake – the government needs a united strategy to preserve the Union.