Blog: Local elections 2022: What Scotland’s vote means for UK and Brexit – Express

When Scottish residents submit their ballots this week, they will be helping to reshape all 32 councils that are north of the border. The latest opinion polls are suggesting a good day at the office for and the , while is expected to overtake the as Scotland’s second-biggest political entity.

According to one recent survey, the SNP are predicted to win as many as 44 percent of all first preference votes in the council elections.

If Ms Sturgeon’s party were to achieve this, it would represent one of the most dominant election performances in recent memory, particularly since the beginning of devolution in Scotland.

The research was conducted by Survation for the independent election analyst Ballot Box Scotland and is also anticipating Labour to take the second spot from the Tories by one percentage point.

So, if the election results do mirror what is predicted to happen, what could this mean for the UK?

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A win for the SNP would likely be used as justification for a second independence vote to take place.

Ms Sturgeon has vowed to hold another Scottish referendum by the end of next year and she has recently said neither Covid nor the Russian invasion of Ukraine will derail those plans.

Indeed, when the SNP released their manifesto for the local elections several weeks ago, they made clear their intention to give Scottish residents a second chance to choose their own destiny.

Throughout the Brexit turmoil at Westminster and at times during the Covid pandemic, opinion polling showed record support for independence among Scottish voters.

One Ipsos Mori survey in October 2020 found 58 percent said they would vote ‘Yes’ to independence, while 42 percent would vote ‘No’.

But more recent polling has shown a slide in support for independence.

For example, a recent poll by YouGov demonstrated that more Scottish voters wanted to remain part of the UK (53 percent) than pursuing an independent Scotland (47 percent).

And in March 2022 similar results were seen, with a poll by BMG/The Herald showing 49 percent voted ‘No’ on whether Scotland should be an independent country, eight percent undecided and 43 percent voted ‘Yes’.

Nonetheless, Ms Sturgeon said earlier this week she was “convinced” Scotland would choose independence from the UK if a second referendum took place.

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While still part of the UK, local election results in Scotland are unlikely to have an impact on ongoing negotiations between the UK and EU.

Elsewhere, on Thursday, local elections are also being held in England and Wales, while Northern Ireland will elect a new General Assembly.

Polling stations open from 7am to 10pm, though if you are queuing at 10pm you will still be allowed entry to vote.

Results from the local elections are expected to come through in the early hours and throughout the day this Friday, but some councils are also likely to declare on Saturday.

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