Nicola Sturgeon believes in destiny. In an interview with the Financial Times published yesterday, the First Minister claimed that another referendum on Scottish independence is inevitable because of the demographics of independence. “I’ve got democracy on my side”, she argued, “if they think it’s about playing a waiting game, I’ve probably got time on my side as well.”

Putting aside the arrogance of an elected politician believing their desired political outcome is down to fate, rather than the quality of their own decisions and the democratic process, how realistic is this claim? Do Scotland’s demographics put it on a one-way train to separation, or might the world’s most successful union of nations endure for a while yet?

The truth is more complicated, and more contingent, than the SNP is willing to admit.

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