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Welcome to The Conversation: Scottish left with more than Brexit on their minds

Scotland is brimming with marginal seats in this election. Half of them have a majority of less than 2,000; a quarter have a majority of less than 1,000.

Scots voters could well hold the keys to Downing Street in their hands on the 12th December, with every vote counting toward which leader gets into Number 10 the next day.

Glasgow North East is going to be one of the key battlegrounds. Four years ago, Labour lost it to the SNP. Two years ago, Labour won it back - just - by 242 votes.

For the latest in The Conversation series on ITV News, we went to the Drygate brewery and restaurant in this constituency. We found much the talk is about who’s best placed to lead the country through these turbulent times.

Brexit is part of the discourse, but unlike in some communities across the UK, it doesn’t quite dominate as much as that other constitutional dilemma: Scottish independence.

Brewers discuss their political views. Credit: ITV News

This election has been billed as a kind of referendum on having another independence referendum. If the SNP win the majority of seats, they’ll use it as a springboard to demand the next Prime Minister gives the Scottish Parliament the necessary powers to hold indyref2 before the end of next year.

If the next PM is Boris Johnson, he’s already answered with a hard “no.”

If it’s Jeremy Corbyn, he’s indicated Labour would be agreeable, but “not in the early years of a Labour government.” That flies in the face of Nicola Sturgeon’s plan for the timing.

The chefs exchange different views. Credit: ITV News

We also found a lot of exasperation - anger at how Scotland’s voice is consistently drowned out in Westminster elections. Keep in mind the Conservatives haven’t won more than 50% of the vote in Scotland since 1955, but Scotland has ended up being ruled by a Tory government in 9 out of the 16 elections since then.

That is one of the key drivers behind the independence movement. However, it is also pertinent to point out that whichever party has secured the biggest vote in Scotland has won 8 out of those 16 elections.

The 2019 election is one of those that looks like Scotland’s voice can be heard, particularly with so many marginals on a knife-edge.

The 13 seats won, somewhat unexpectedly, by the Conservatives in Scotland in 2017 proved crucial in making them the biggest party last time around. How many of these they can hold onto, or how many they lose to the SNP or Labour, might just make the difference between a Boris Johnson majority and a Jeremy Corbyn minority government propped up by Nicola Sturgeon.

More from the 2019 Conversation series: