Tavish Scott, a member of the Scottish Parliament from the Shetland Islands, was elected party leader Tuesday, The Scotsman reports. He won 60 percent of the vote of party representatives against two opponents.
The governing Scottish National Party wants a referendum. In the past, the leadership of the other major parties, Labor and the Liberal Democrats, have opposed one, but Wendy Alexander, leader of the Labor Party, recently changed her mind.
"We had Wobbly Wendy, and now we have Twisting Tavish," a spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond told The Scotsman. "Tavish Scott was previously known for his hard-line opposition to a referendum and now we look forward to him upholding Liberal Democrat principles and supporting the Scottish government's referendum bill in 2010."
Polls show that a majority of Scottish voters don't support full independence, although many believe Scotland should have more autonomy, The Scotsman said.