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Scottish independence support 'rocketing', poll suggests

Independence supporters attend a rally outside the Scottish Parliament following the Supreme Court verdict

Scottish independence support 'rocketing', poll suggests

More than half of Scots would now vote Yes to independence, new polling reveals.

A total of 56 per cent of people would vote to end the union in an immediate referendum, while 44 per cent would vote No.

The figures relate to those with a voting intention and very likely to vote.

And the research by Ipsos' Scottish Political Monitor suggests the SNP will win 58 seats at the next UK general election, with Scottish Labour on one and every other party facing a wipe-out.

The SNP has hailed the figures, which follow the news that the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to legislate for a fresh referendum without Westminster consent.

Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos in Scotland, commented: "Whether this is a temporary 'bounce' in the wake of the recent Supreme Court judgment or a longer-lasting trend remains to be seen."

The polling was cited by new SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn in his first PMQs in the role.

It was carried out in conjunction with STV News and found support for independence has risen by six points since the most recent survey in May.

The figures show a "clear lead for Yes", Ipsos said, but "the public remain divided on the best time to hold another referendum".

While 35 per cent want this before the end of 2023, which is the Scottish Government's preference, 34 per cent believe it should be later. 

The proportion of those who say there should never be another referendum has dropped five points since May to 26 per cent.

"Treating the next election as a de facto referendum on independence appears unlikely to dent the SNP's vote share," Ipsos said, with 53 per cent of those likely to vote saying they will back Nicola Sturgeon's party in this situation. Another two per cent say they would vote for the pro-independence Scottish Greens.

That's despite a drop in levels of trust in the SNP to tackle a range of issues. Trust in the party to manage the NHS is down 18 percentage points since April last year, and the public now says healthcare is the top issue for the country.

Meanwhile, Sturgeon remains the most popular of Scottish party leaders, with a net satisfaction rating of 12 per cent, compared with three per cent for Labour's Anas Sarwar.

For Douglas Ross of the Scottish Conservatives, the figure is -38.

Only 13 per cent of people said they'd vote Conservative at the next general election, while 24 per cent would vote for Labour.

Gray said the SNP's plan to fight the next general election as a de facto referendum remains a "high-risk strategy", but said that "the indication from this poll is that, at this stage at least, this is not harming their electoral chances".

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said "the momentum behind Yes is rocketing": "For too long, Tories and Labour have claimed that now is not the time for the people of Scotland to choose their own future. This poll shows clearly the people think now is the time. The Westminster parties need to recognise and respect that."

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