New poll puts Scottish independence on a knife-edge
Scotland remains split on the constitutional question with a new poll putting support for independence at 51 per cent.
The survey by Opinium, carried out for Sky News, found that when undecided voters were removed, slightly more than half would vote to leave the UK.
It’s the first poll since April to show any lead for independence. The last Opinium poll had Yes and No on 50 per cent each.
The survey also showed that 13 per cent of people who voted no in 2014 would now vote yes. No voters are now more likely to be undecided than yes voters (10 per cent to 6 per cent).
Earlier this week, Nicola Sturgeon signalled her intention to hold a vote before the end of 2023, but the poll found that just 31 per cent of voters said they believed there should be another referendum in the next two years.
However, that is up from 27 per cent in May.
When asked how they’d vote in a General Election, 51 per cent of respondents said they’d back the SNP, while the Tories were on 21 per cent, and Labour on 17 per cent.
On Holyrood voting intention, in a Scottish Parliament constituencies vote, the SNP is up +3 points, with 51 per cent of the vote share, while the Conservatives are on 21 per cent (-1) and Labour on 18 per cent (-4).
On the regional vote, the SNP are on 40 per cent (no change), while the Tories are on 21 per cent (-1), and Labour are on 16 per cent (-2). The SNP were up three points from May, at 51 per cent. The Tories were on 21 per cent (-1) and Labour are on 16 per cent (-2).
Those surveyed were also asked about their views towards the SNP's agreement with the Scottish Greens.
By 44 per cent to 33 per cent, voters feel the news is "good for Scotland". SNP voters were most likely to agree with that statement, Tory voters were least likely and Labour voters were divided by 42 per cent against while 30 per cent were for.
In a Scottish Parliament constituencies vote, the SNP is up +3 points, with 51 per cent of the vote share, while the Conservatives are on 21 per cent (-1) and Labour on 18 per cent (-4).
On the regional vote, the SNP are on 40 per cent (no change), while the Tories are on 21 per cent (-1), and Labour are on 16 per cent (-2).
Opinium asked voters how much they trust political leaders when they talk about “the current debate over Scottish independence”. Nicola Sturgeon was the most trusted, with a net trust rating of +22. However, that’s down four points since May.
Boris Johnson has had a bit of a boost, with his rating up nine points. Despite that, he still polls at -34.
Anas Sarwar is down four points to +9, while Douglas Ross is up seven to -17.
Chris Curtis, senior research manager at Opinium, said: “While there may not be a burning appetite for another referendum on Scottish independence, the data shows why the nationalists would stand a better chance of winning second time around.
“Firstly, Brexit has muddied the economic arguments that swung the results in 2014. Back then, the median voter thought independence would damage their personal finances and damage the Scottish economy. Now, the median voter thinks that it wouldn’t make much difference to either.
“The next 'No' campaign, if there is one, is also going to find it difficult to find a messenger who can appeal to swing voters. Of the 13 Scottish politicians, we tested Nicola Sturgeon was the only one trusted by voters to talk about the date on Scottish independence. Fifty-five per cent say they trusted what she had to say, compared to just 25 per cent who trust the Prime Minister.”
Earlier in the day, a Survation poll carried out for the pro-UK campaign group Scotland in Union found that 57 per cent of people in Scotland would vote to “remain” part of the United Kingdom in a referendum – with only 43 per cent in favour of “leaving” the UK