Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she will consider running a Scottish National Party parliamentary candidate in England — despite the party’s central commitment being the “restoration of Scottish independence.”
“I’m tempted,” the SNP leader told actor Alan Cumming in an interview for The Big Issue magazine.
“There are a lot [of people] in England — a lot who contact me — who feel completely disenfranchised that there is nobody speaking up for them.”
Sturgeon appeared to be suggesting that the deep unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour has created a vacuum in English politics for the kind of progressive politics espoused by her party.
The SNP have never run a candidate in England, and Sturgeon has previously ruled out running one in the future, but her strong leadership qualities have impressed English voters before.
After she took part in the party leaders’ debate before the 2015 general election, the question of whether non-residents can vote for the SNP appeared in a list of “most searched-for” Google terms.
In the aftermath of the election, the party reported a “surge” in English membership, driven mainly by Labour and Green voters looking for a more “radical” alternative.
Sturgeon is yet to explain how the party would reconcile the fact that its founding mission is that of pushing through Scottish independence with having candidates in England.
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