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Scottish Green voters hold mixed views on independence, poll finds

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie at the party's manifesto launch - Image credit: screengrab of event livestream

Scottish Green voters hold mixed views on independence, poll finds

Scottish Greens voters hold mixed views on independence, with their support for Scotland going it alone less than clear-cut.

An opinion poll by Lord Ashcroft Polls found that only 43 per cent of those who intended to vote Green in a constituency supported independence, while 46 per cent were against it.

Of those likely to vote Green in the regional list vote 68 per cent would support independence, while 23 per cent would vote against it.

Green supporters were also more likely to have changed their minds about independence compared to supporters of other parties.

Of those planning to vote Green in a constituency 44 per cent had changed their minds, 15 per cent once and 29 per cent more than once.

A total of 47 per cent of those who were likely to vote Green on the regional list had changed their minds about independence at some point, 26 per cent once and 22 per cent more than once.

This compared to around a third of SNP supporters having changed their minds on independence and only 11 per cent having changed their minds more than once.

Conservative supporters were least likely to have changed their views on independence, with 10 per cent of those planning to support the party having switched views once and just two per cent more than once.

Those planning to vote Conservative were also less likely to disagree with the party line on independence, with only three per cent saying they supported independence.

Meanwhile, 11 per cent of Lib Dem supporters and 12 per cent of Labour supporters said they would vote yes.

Among nationalists, eight per cent of SNP supporters in the constituency vote and nine per cent in the list vote said they would vote no and 14 per cent of those who were planning to vote for Alba said they would vote no to independence.

Those who would currently vote yes were more likely to have changed their minds than those who would vote no, suggesting a possible swing from no to yes.

However, overall the poll put views on independence as slightly in favour of the Union but statistically too close to call, with 44 per cent for independence and 45 per cent against.

That works our as 49 per cent for independence and 51 per cent against once ‘don’t knows’ are excluded.

The polling of 2,017 adults in Scotland was carried out online between 7 and 19 April 2021, with the results weighted to be representative of the whole country.

This was followed by eight focus groups in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Ayr.

Although the Scottish Greens have a policy of supporting independence, it is not so core to the party’s identity as it is for the SNP or Alba.

Former Scottish Greens leader Robin Harper revealed in 2013 that he was voting no in the 2014 independence referendum.

And in an interview with Holyrood magazine in December, former Green MSP Andy Wightman described the Greens as “not a nationalist party.”

“It's not, it is a decentralist party,” he said.

“Give me powerful, strong, meaningful local government and I'll reject Scottish independence.

“We're a localist party, we reject the nation state. Our policy is to reject the nation state.”

Commenting on the polling, Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said: “The Scottish Greens support independence for a purpose, so that we can become a normal European country and lead the continent in renewable energy.

“This poll shows that our voters recognise that whatever your view on Scotland’s future, it should be up for the people of Scotland to decide, and that we need urgent action on the climate emergency regardless.

“With only nine years before the deadline set by the Paris Agreement to reverse global warming, this election is the moment to vote like our future depends on it.”

This is an updated version of an earlier story, which used figures relating to the constituency vote only

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