March 12, 2016 4:50 pm

Scottish leader seeks more backing in new independence push

Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, walks in the hall after her speech at the Scottish National Party spring conference at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, Saturday March 12, 2016.

Andrew Milligan/PA via AP

GLASGOW, Scotland – Scotland’s leader has called on supporters to increase the vote for her Scottish National Party in a May election, part of a renewed push for independence from the United Kingdom.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told her party’s spring conference Saturday that strengthening Scottish Nationalist control of the Parliament in Edinburgh would set the stage for a revived independence campaign.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon new leader of Scottish National Party

Sturgeon’s SNP holds 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats in the British Parliament in London. It is polling strongly ahead of the May 5 vote for the 129-seat Scottish Parliament, which the SNP has narrowly controlled since 2007.

Sturgeon hopes to stage a new Scottish referendum that would overturn a September 2014 vote in which 55.3 per cent decided to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom alongside England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

© 2016 The Associated Press

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