How did the 2021 election result in a mandate for a referendum?

The Scottish Government has a mandate to hold a referendum on Scottish independence.

The 2021 SNP Holyrood election Manifesto laid out the terms of this cast-iron mandate, stating: “If the Covid crisis has passed, the SNP intention is for the referendum to be within the first half of the five year term – once the crisis is over but in time to equip our Parliament with the full powers it needs to drive our long term recovery from Covid and build a better, fairer nation.”

In the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary election, a pro-independence majority of SNP and Scottish Green MSPs were elected to the Scottish Parliament on a platform of holding a referendum. More than in the 2011 election which was accepted by all Westminster parties as a mandate for a referendum.

The 2021-22 Programme for Government has turned this manifesto promise into official government policy.

The Scottish Government has published the document ‘Scotland’s right to choose: putting Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands’ which makes the case for giving the people of Scotland a choice about their future, specifically a referendum on independence.

The Scottish Government has a bold vision for an independent Scotland and the people of Scotland have the right to choose our future.