Nicola Sturgeon is playing the long game on indyref2

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Media captionNicola Sturgeon: "We will continue to pursue the democratic case for Scotland's right to choose, we will do so in a reasonable and considered manner."

Nicola Sturgeon has set out, in 38 detailed pages, what she believes is an irresistible case for why Scotland should be allowed to choose its own future.

In other words, why it should be up to Scotland when to hold another independence referendum.

At the moment permission is required from Westminster to allow a vote. The first minster wants that power ceded to the Scottish parliament so she can take charge of the referendum process.

She knows that her arguments are not going to change Boris Johnson's mind on the matter. He believes another referendum is unnecessary and divisive, insisting the matter was settled in 2014 when Scotland voted 55% in favour of remaining in the UK.

So this document, this renewed case for Scottish self determination, is not really aimed at the prime minister or anyone else in Westminster.

It is an attempt to persuade the Scottish electorate that they are being denied their democratic rights.

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Image caption The Conservatives put opposition to independence at the heart of their campaign in Scotland - but lost seven seats

The SNP are clearly hoping to recreate the debate that took place in the 1990s, and culminated in the creation of the Scottish parliament.

Throughout that decade, politicians who favoured constitutional change argued that there was a yawning democratic deficit as Scotland was being ruled by Tory governments which had little support north of the border. A debate which created an unstoppable demand for devolution.

The more Westminster refused, the more Scotland resisted - until the devolution of substantial power became known as the "settled will of the Scottish people", and was made a reality in 1999.

The argument over Scottish independence will not be settled anytime soon. Nicola Sturgeon will not stop pursuing her case, no matter how many times she is rebuffed by Westminster.

And she clearly believes that if she keeps arguing that Scotland's democratic voice is being ignored she will build the case in voters' minds not just for another vote, but for independence itself.

The longer she has to wait the more convinced she is that she will win. She may be asking for a vote before the end of next year, but she is really playing a much longer game.

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