FFS explains: SNP mandate and a second referendum

By Ferret investigative journalists

Ferret Fact Service | Scotland's impartial fact check project

The SNP returned 64 MSPs in the Scottish Parliament election, and formed a minority government, which will again look for support from other parties to pass legislation.

Since the 6 May election, an argument has been brewing over the SNP’s right to pursue a second independence referendum, and whether they have a ‘mandate’ for it.

Ferret Fact Service looked at the mandate and what it means for Nicola Sturgeon’s plans.

What is a mandate?

Usually, a mandate refers to the authority to carry out policy. This is widely regarded as being given by the electorate to the winning party in an election.

In Scotland, a political mandate is effectively given to the party who wins the election and forms the next government. However, because of Scotland’s electoral system, it is less likely for a party to win an overall majority of seats, so all but one government has had to rely on support from another party.

Nicola Sturgeon with members of the SNP in West Dunbartonshire and above at top of page with Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

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FFS explains: SNP mandate and a second referendum (theferret.scot)

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