Support for independence lower now than in 2014, finds poll

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 26 April 2019 in News

With undecideds removed 61 per cent would vote to stay in the UK, while 39 per cent would vote for independence

Image credit: PA

Support for Scottish independence is lower now than it was in 2014, according to a new poll by Survation.

The polling, conducted on behalf of Scotland in Union, found that 56 per cent of those surveyed would vote for Scotland to remain as part of the UK, while 35 per cent would vote for independence, with eight per cent undecided.

With undecideds removed 61 per cent would vote to stay in the UK, while 39 per cent would vote for independence.

The poll found 77 per cent of respondents said they would definitely vote in a future independence referendum, while just five per cent said they would not.

But 35 per cent said there should never be another Scottish independence referendum, 17 per cent backed a second referendum but not for ten years, nine per cent said there should be one in the next five to ten years, and ten per cent said another referendum should take place in two to five years. Meanwhile 21 per cent said there should be another referendum within two years.

The poll found 43 per cent of those surveyed thought independence would be worse for Scotland's economy than Brexit, 30 per cent thought it would be better for the economy than Brexit, and 14 per cent thought independence would be no better or worse economically than the UK leaving the EU, with 13 per cent saying ‘don’t know’.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said the poll was proof that “Nicola Sturgeon is refusing to listen to the people of Scotland”.

She said: “In a hammer blow for the SNP, only a fifth of voters want a divisive second independence referendum within two years, and over half say there shouldn’t be one for at least a decade.

“It’s no surprise that support for leaving the UK has fallen to below 40 per cent, with many former Yes voters changing their minds.

“They have seen how difficult the Brexit process has been and know that we are stronger together.”

But the polling also found support for the SNP well ahead in Westminster voting intentions, with 41 per cent backing the party, compared to 24 per cent in support of Labour, 22 per cent for the Conservatives, eight per cent for the Lib Dems and five per cent for other parties.

SNP Depute Leader Keith Brown said: “This poll has backfired in spectacular style for Scotland in Union – who are clearly running scared of giving people in Scotland the choice over their future.

“The SNP meets for our Spring Conference with the wind in our sails, while the unionist parties continue to languish in the political doldrums.

“We’re 19 points clear of the Tories as we stand up for Scotland against the damage that their Brexit plans will inflict on jobs and our NHS. They’ve slumped into a dismal third place behind a beleaguered Labour party.

“This poll shows that almost two thirds of people back another referendum and that a majority think Scotland would be better off or no worse off with independence. That’s a great vote of confidence in the benefits of taking our future into our own hands.

“Despite their best efforts in employing a skewed question on support for independence conducted before the First Minister’s announcement this week, Scotland in Union have done us a huge favour.”

Asked which issues should be prioritized by the Scottish Government, 71 per cent said the NHS, 38 per cent said the cost of living, 37 per cent said the economy, 35 per cent said education, and 19 per cent said the environment and climate change.

The poll was based in a sample of 1,012 people in Scotland, aged 16 and over, between 18 and 23 April 2019.

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