What happens if there is no indyref2 before the next Holyrood election?
I am of the view that the SNP (and other secessionist parties) have several mandates going back to 2016 which allows them to demand indyref2 because of Scotland being dragged out of the EU against her will. But what I think as Englishman is irrelevant, what matters is the views of the SNP and independence voters and supporters. Will they really enjoy not having the indyref2 they were promised and voted for? If Sturgeon fails to deliver she might be ousted by someone willing to deliver on those promises.
Nicola Sturgeon isn’t stupid, she knows if she is granted her wish for a second independence referendum and Yes loses then Scottish independence is deader than a dodo, she will have single handedly killed Scottish nationalism stone dead. The Yes movement cannot ask for indyref3 if they lose indyref2, they will be effectively telling the Scottish electorate that they are ‘too poor, too wee, too stupid’ to realise what they voted for. The current polling indicates that No win would win again.
So Nicola Sturgeon finds herself in a catch 22 scenario. I’m ruling out UDI or a section 30 less referendum as that presents even more problems for her.
I suspect most of us will baulk at this bet from Smarkets that may take nearly four and a half years to mature and I don’t think the terms should put people off, I suspect there’s not enough time for a second referendum and successful divorce negotiations to take place before the next scheduled Holyrood election but if the odds improve on No I’ll be tempted to back that.
The status quo for supporters of Scottish independence will be untenable, she has to do something, things that might end her tenure long before most of us expect, especially if Sturgeon doesn’t escalate matters if the UK government keeps on refusing to grant a section 30 order, I’d expect for her to be replaced by someone who talks about UDI or using the next Holyrood as a de facto referendum on indyref2 if she responds meekly to the UK government’s refusal to grant a section 30 order.