Support for remaining in the EU rises in Scotland, finds YouGov

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 15 August 2018 in News

With ‘don’t knows’ excluded, 66 per cent would support the UK remaining as a EU member state, compared to 34 per cent who support leaving

Image credit: Press Association

Support for staying in the EU has increased in Scotland over the two years since the Brexit referendum, according to a new poll from YouGov.

The survey, based on a sample of 2,000 people, found that with ‘don’t knows’ excluded, 66 per cent would support the UK remaining as a EU member state, compared to 34 per cent who support leaving.

The poll found that 83 per cent of SNP voters and 74 per cent of Labour voters in Scotland support continued EU membership.

Overall 43 per cent said they thought Brexit would make Scottish independence more likely, with six per cent saying it would make it less likely.

In 2016 Scotland voted to stay in the EU by 62 per cent to 38 per cent, with every local authority area seeing a vote for Remain.

YouGov found 48 per cent of voters in Scotland want a public vote on the outcome of Brexit negotiations, with 31 per cent opposed.

While Nicola Sturgeon has stopped short of backing calls for a second vote on Brexit, the First Minister has previously suggested it would be “hard to argue against” the idea of a vote on the terms of leaving the EU.

Speaking to Holyrood last year, she said: “I think there’s a lot of water to go under this bridge but when you hear the case for, not a second Brexit referendum on the principal, but a referendum on the outcome, sometimes it’s quite hard to argue against that because people – and this is very different to the independence referendum – because people literally had no idea what they were voting for.

“So I think it’s an argument that, depending on where things go over the next few months, may actually gather a lot of strength.”

The Lib Dems are campaigning for a second vote, while former foreign secretary David Miliband has also voiced support for the idea.

The poll found 65 per cent of voters say the UK government is ignoring Scotland’s concerns on Brexit, with 16 per cent disagreeing.

It found 70 per cent of Scots said they do not trust the UK government on Brexit, compared to 21 per cent who do.

Meanwhile 48 per cent said they do not trust the Scottish Government on Brexit, against 42 per cent who do.

A total of 80 per cent agree that “It is likely that many of the promises made by politicians in favour of leaving the EU will be broken”, including 69 per cent of people who voted Leave.

Former YouGov president Peter Kellner said: “Today’s YouGov poll of Scotland for the People’s Vote campaign shows how opinion is beginning to shift on Brexit.

“Support for a public vote on the outcome is growing across the UK but is particularly strong in Scotland where most people did not want to leave in the first place. There is deep pessimism about what Brexit will mean for Scotland and the next generation. Around two-thirds of Scots think the UK is ignoring their concerns and don’t trust Westminster to take these decisions.

“But the survey suggests the leaderships of both the SNP and the Labour Party are in the wrong place with most of their supporters.

“There may be an electoral dividend in Scotland for one of these parties if they strengthen their position. For instance, by a margin of three to one Labour supporters want Jeremy Corbyn to campaign for a public vote while Nicola Sturgeon may yet want to move faster than she has in backing such a route on Brexit.”

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