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Scottish nationalist leader claims 'historic' victory in regional vote

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Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon claimed a "historic" win Friday in elections to the Scottish parliament.

[LONDON] Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon claimed a "historic" win Friday in elections to the Scottish parliament.

While the final results of Thursday's regional polls have yet to be announced, "what is now beyond doubt is that the SNP has won a third consecutive Scottish Parliament election." Ms Sturgeon said.

"We have tonight made history."

After early counting Friday, the SNP had won 58 seats out of a total 129 in the Scottish parliament. More than 30 seats had yet to declare.

In the last election in 2011, the SNP won a total of 69 seats.

The SNP is hoping to increase its hold on power in Scotland and gain a mandate to move towards a second referendum on independence from the rest of Britain after a failed attempt in 2014.

Ms Sturgeon has said the referendum on Britain's EU membership in June could be a trigger for the SNP to demand another independence vote - if Britain as a whole votes to leave the EU but Scotland votes to stay in.

AFP