Scottish independence is “not about SNP” - so who are the other political players in Scotland?

Sarah Spickernell
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There are two pro-independence parties represented in Scottish parliament (Source: Getty)
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has said that the independence referendum is not about the SNP, but about giving Scottish people the right to have the government of their choice.
At an event in Glasgow marking his 10th year as leader of the pro-independence party, he told the BBC: "This isn't about the SNP, it isn't about any political party. It's about the right of Scotland to have the government of our choice at each and every election. That's why so many people who normally vote Labour are swinging towards 'Yes'."
He added that whether the SNP came to power if Scotland became independent would be “the choice of the people of Scotland”.

What other parties are there?

Besides the incumbent Scottish National Party, there are five major political parties in Scotland. In each case they are separate from the main parties, but most have representatives in Westminster.
Scottish Labour Party: The most prominent after the SNP, this centre-left party is pro-union. Although it has fewer MSPs than the SNP, it has by far the most MPs at Westminster. It operates as the UK's Labour party in Scotland, and until 2009 it won the largest share of the Scottish vote at every general election since the 1960s.
Scottish Conservative Party: Part of the British Conservative party in Scotland, it has a centre-right philosophy promoting conservatism and British unionism.
UKIP Scotland: Has a UKIP MEP, but no Westminster presence sa yet.
Scottish Liberal Democrats: centre to centre-left and pro-Europe, this social-liberal party is one of three state parties within the federal Liberal Democrats. The other two are the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the Liberal Democrats in England.
Scottish Green Party: This is the only other major party to support independence for Scotland. It is left-wing and has a strong focus on environmentalism. It also has no Westminster representatives.
The graph below shows how much each party is represented in UK parliament, Scottish parliament and European parliament.

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