Nicola Sturgeon has signalled she would urge SNP MSPs to vote against a motion for independence when the Scottish Parliament reconvenes after the election.
The First Minister was asked if she would vote against a motion put down by Alex Salmond ‘s Alba party which would instruct the Scottish Government to open discussions with the UK government immediately.
Throughout the campaign the SNP leader has said her party would look at the independence question following the coronavirus pandemic.
If re-elected as First Minister next week Sturgeon said she would focus on steering Scotland safely out of the devastating pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 Scots.
During an interview on the Radio 4 Today programme Sturgeon was asked if she would vote against the Alba motion about starting negotiations for another vote on the constitution immediately.
She said: “The polls right now, and I understand polls are polls, will suggest that’s not going to be the reality next week.
“Alba are polling at two, three per cent or there about, but we’ll see what the election throws up next Thursday.
“My immediate focus, if re-elected next Thursday, is to get back to work to continue to steer this country through covid.”
Presenter Justin Webb interrupted to ask: “So you’d vote against Alba if they suggested it?”
Sturgeon replied: “I don’t believe we should propose a referendum right at this moment. I am a lifelong believer in independence, I want Scotland to be independent, but firstly we’ve got to steer the country through the crisis.
“We’ve got to build the majority for independence through patient persuasion, and people who are serious about achieving independence I think understand that.
“I actually think of ‘super-majorities’ and gaming the system, and trying to bulldoze our way to independence almost regardless of the state of public opinion risks putting those that we are looking to persuade of the case for independence off rather than pulling them towards us.”