Sturgeon under pressure: SNP faces new rival party in push for Scottish independence

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Alliance For Independence is to be launched within two weeks, with former SNP MSP Dave Thompson among its members. The new independence party is hoping to put forward 96 candidates in next year’s Holyrood election.

Mr Thompson has made clear that it would not challenge the SNP in constituency seats and it would only contest regional list seats in an effort to increase the number of pro-referendum MSPs at Holyrood.

Holyrood uses the Additional Member system meaning voters have two votes in elections.

In the first vote, a voter chooses a candidate to represent one of Scotland’s 73 constituencies and each constituency elects one MSP.

A second vote is used to select 56 additional members who represent eight different parliamentary Regions.

However, in the second vote, the voter votes for a party rather than a candidate.

This method should increase the number of pro-independence MSPs at Holyrood.

Mr Thompson said: “After we launch, anyone is welcome to join us.”

The idea has been backed by SNP MP for East Lothian Kenny MacAskill who urged voters to back a second pro-independence party as well as the SNP at the next Holyrood election.

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He stressed the current Holyrood voting system made it hard to get a majority in both constituency and seats in an electoral region.

Mr MacAskill added: “Both Votes SNP’ just doesn’t work.

“What better way of allowing Scottish voters a choice than a specific ‘independence’ option on the list.”

Meanwhile, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has sent a “show not tell” message to SNP activists on campaigning for independence amid growing signs of impatience in the nationalist movement.

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Asked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr if she was putting the breaks on Scotland’s future, The First Minister, said “At time when I and the SNP have not been talking about independence all the time but getting on with the job of autonomous decision-making and trying to get the right decisions to get the county through a crisis, support for independence appears to have increased.

“So maybe there is a bit of a lesson in there about show not tell.

“I want to see Scotland become an independent country, and none of that has changed but I think that people across Scotland right now would expect me to have my entire focus on leading the country through the biggest crisis that any of us have ever experienced and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.

“If in the process of doing that people can see the benefits of autonomous decision making then, as I say, perhaps there’s a lesson there.”

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