Nicola Sturgeon has thrown down the gauntlet – but who would dare to stand against her in the next Scottish referendum?

It’s often been said that Nicola Sturgeon is more cautious than her predecessor Alex Salmond, but she has taken a huge political gamble, one that’s incredibly risky not only for her, but also the SNP and the wider independence movement.

Risky because not only do opinion polls not show a decisive majority for independence, but because the economic case for independence – so important during the first referendum – is now much weaker. The First Minister says she wants the second ballot to be “fact based”, but many of those facts are presently much less helpful than they were

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