Oh dear, Nicola! Sturgeon dealt blow as Scottish independence support dips in latest poll

Indyref2: Scottish independence cost discussed by expert

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A Panelbase poll revealed support for Scottish independence was four points lower than April prior to the Holyrood elections. The poll revealed just 48 percent of people would back independence, once ‘don’t knows’ were excluded.

Meanwhile, backing for the Union stood at 52 percent, again once ‘don’t knows’ were taken out of the equation.

It comes after senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove has said he “can’t see” Boris Johnson granting a new referendum on Scottish independence before the next general election.

Mr Gove – who is responsible for countering the push for independence – said the Prime Minister’s focus was completely focused on recovery from the pandemic “for the lifetime of this parliament”.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a vote should take place before the end of 2023 but has stressed constitutional matters would be addressed once the Coronavirus pandemic is over.

On the exact timing of another referendum, 19 percent said a referendum should be held in the next 12 months.

However, the figure rises to 35 percent for the next two to five years whilst 46 percent said there should not be a referendum in the next few years.

The Panelbase poll, commissioned for The Sunday Times, also indicated that 22 percent of voters said Scotland was likely to become independent within the next five years, regardless of the independence argument.

Some 24 percent of respondents said the country was likely to become independent within five to 10 years, while another 24 percent said it was not likely “at any point in the next few decades”.

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Sir John Curtice, Scottish polling guru said the figures indicated there was “cooling of the independence ardour” since the Holyrood election.

Following the data, the Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde the SNP could not risk letting the independence debate “be off the boil for long”.

He added: “Rather, the party needs to embark on a campaign to persuade more Scots of the merits of independence.

“Otherwise, Ms Sturgeon might find herself stuck with a promise to hold a referendum that she has little hope of winning.”

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Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “The UK’s broad shoulders have helped every part of the country through this crisis, from protecting jobs to a successful vaccination programme, so it is not surprising that more people are recognising the benefits of remaining part of the UK.

“The Scottish Government should listen to what voters are saying and focus on the Covid recovery, which will take many years – and not re-open old divisions.

“As part of the UK we can build a recovery that leaves no community behind.”

 

A Scottish Conservative party spokesperson said: “This poll confirms last month’s election result that only the Scottish Conservatives can build Scotland’s real alternative to the SNP.”

Panelbase polled 1,287 Scots earlier this month. 

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