Scotland would vote for independence if Britain left the EU against the wishes of a majority of Scots, a new poll has suggested.
More than half (54 per cent) of Scots would vote Yes in a post-Brexit second independence referendum, according to the survey which underlines the dominance of the SNP in Scottish politics.
Nicola Sturgeon has said indyref2 could be triggered if Scotland votes to remain in the EU< but is forced out by the rest of the UK voting for Brexit.
The Ipsos MORI poll for STV News surveyed 1,000 Scottish adults and found that 54 per cent would vote Yes in those circumstances. Thirty-nine per cent could vote ‘No’ and seven per cent said they were unsure.
With May’s Scottish Parliament election approaches, the poll found 53 per cent would cast their constituency vote for the SNP (up three points from November 2015, when the question was last asked).
Unlike other recent polls with put Labour and the Conservatives neck-and-neck, the Ipsos MORI poll put Kezia Dugdale’s party ahead of Ruth Davidson’s. One fifth of those sampled (20 per cent) said they would vote Labour - no change from the previous poll.
Support for the Scottish Conservatives fell by two points to 16 per cent with the Scottish Liberal Democrats on six per cent (down one point).
The SNP vote also increased on the regional list vote with just under half (49 per cent) said that they would back the SNP (up three points from November), while Labour remain on 19 per cent. The Scottish Conservatives stand at 15 per cent (down one point) while the Scottish Liberal Democrats remain at eight per cent and the Scottish Greens drop one point to six per cent.
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The poll also found Scots are strongly in favour of remaining in the EU (62 per cent would vote to remain versus 26 per cent who would vote to leave and 12 per cent who are not sure) with the gap in opinion still wider than it is across Britain as a whole.
Mark Diffley, Director at Ipsos MORI Scotland said: “Our latest STV poll confirms the strong position of the SNP. By this time in the run up to the 2011 Holyrood election we saw signs of shift in support from Labour to the SNP; there are no signs of a shift back in that support this time. The most striking finding from the poll is the potential support for independence in the event of a second referendum being called if Britain exits the EU against the will of the majority of voters in Scotland. There is a lot which has to play out before that scenario materialises but it does highlight what is potentially at stake in the forthcoming EU vote.”