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SNP 'Replaces' Labour in Thursday's Scottish Parliament Election - Leader

© Sputnik / Mark Hirst Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP)
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) - Sputnik International
The Scottish National Party (SNP) has "replaced" the Labour Party in Thursday's 2016 Scottish Parliament election, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said Friday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Labour's collapse in Scotland has been caused by the party's alliance with the Conservative party against Scottish independence during the country's 2014 independence referendum, she stressed, adding that the SNP has gained strength across all part of Scotland.

"The really spectacular story other than the success of the SNP in this election has been the collapse in the Labour vote <…> the SNP hasn't so much beaten Labour here as completely replaced Labour in Glasgow and in huge parts of the central belt of Scotland," Sturgeon said in an interview with Sky News.

Scottish Elections - Sputnik International
Will Scotland Vote for Independence in First Post-Referendum Election?
Despite the SNP success the party’s former Deputy Leader Jim Sillars told Sputnik that he was concerned about the Scottish campaign's focus on Sturgeon, describing it as a “personality cult”. The question of Scottish independence will continue to dominate Scottish politics following the election, he added.

“Unionists are already saying it’s time for SNP to forget about independence, and that would be a mistake because the myth of the big successful UK economy rapped round little vulnerable Scotland, will be dispersed later this year when recession pressures come on the UK economy,” Sillars said.

The latest data coming in from the Scotland Parliament election count shows that the SNP is leading with 58 seats. The SNP is followed by Conservative party, which gained 15 seats, while Labour gained 11, the Liberal Democrats gained four and the Green Party also has four seats so far. Votes in a total of 92 of 126 constituencies have so far been counted. An 65-seat majority is needed for a party to win the election.

In the previous 2011 Scottish Parliament election, the SNP gained 64 seats, followed by Labour with 38 and the Conservatives with 15.

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