Pro-independence parties in Scotland have won a majority in the country's parliamentary elections, with the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Greens getting 65 of the 87 seats so far declared for the 129-seat parliament.
Scotland's First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has called her party's election results "a historic achievement". She added that a referendum on independence is now "a matter of fundamental democratic principle".
"The SNP and Scottish Greens both stood on a clear commitment to an independence referendum within the next parliamentary term...And both of us said that the timing of a referendum should be decided by a simple majority of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament," Sturgeon said, as quoted by the BBC.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said that he will not allow another independence referendum in Scotland, saying that Scots already backed remaining in the United Kingdom in a "once in a generation" poll held in 2014.
Sturgeon, for her part, insists that there is "no democratic justification whatsoever" for Johnson to block a referendum.
The victory of pro-independence parties indicates that Edinburgh is in for a clash with London over Scotland's independence bid, with the standoff likely being settled in courts.