Poll: Support for Indyref2 slips amid Brexit wrangling

Support for a second independence referendum while Brexit negotitations continue has slipped. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor / JP License
Support for a second independence referendum while Brexit negotitations continue has slipped. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor / JP License
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A majority of voters in Scotland do not want a second referendum on independence “in the next few years” while the UK is negotiating its withdrawal from the European Union, polling suggests.

Support for IndyRef2 to be held while Brexit talks are on-going with Brussels has fallen from 43 per cent in June last year, to 27 per cent in January 2017.

Meanwhile, opposition to a second referendum in the next few years has risen from 40 per cent to 50 per cent in the same period, while those supporting another vote after Brexit negotiations are complete has risen from 17 per cent to 23 per cent.

The poll tracker was published by What Scotland Thinks, a non-partisan website run by ScotCen Social Research.

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“It would seem that supporters of independence themselves may also be coming to the conclusion that Brexit may not provide an opportune moment for a second independence referendum after all,” said Professor John Curtice in a blog post.

“Just 27 per cent of all voters now think that an independence referendum should be held before the UK leaves the EU.

“That represents a drop of six points since last September and one of no less than 16 points compared with the position immediately after the EU referendum result became known.

“Even amongst those who voted Yes in September 2014 rather less than half (47 per cent) now think a second independence referendum should be held before the UK leaves the EU.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said Theresa May’s pursuit of an ­“economically catastrophic” exit from the European single market has made the prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum “more likely”.

Ms Sturgeon said a “hard Brexit” was against Scotland’s interests and presented voters with a choice between independence and a “race to the bottom”.

The Prime Minister has ruled out the Scottish Government demand for a separate Brexit deal allowing Scotland to remain in the single market.

Prof Curtice continued: “Perhaps for Ms Sturgeon there is a silver lining to this particular cloud.

“If many of her supporters are not convinced that an early indyref2 should be held in order to avoid Brexit, perhaps this means it will be easier for her to take a second referendum ‘off the table’ should she decide that holding such a ballot looks too risky after all.”