Scottish independence: Support grows for Yes

Support for independence has grown, but not enough to overtake Scots who would vote No. Picture: PA
Support for independence has grown, but not enough to overtake Scots who would vote No. Picture: PA
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SUPPORT for independence has increased compared with 2014’s referendum result but the majority of Scots would still reject a bid to leave the UK, a new poll has found.

The YouGov poll for the Sunday Post newspaper showed that if there was another referendum tomorrow, 47 per cent would vote Yes while 53 per cent would vote No, when those who don’t know are stripped out.

“The support and enthusiasm the SNP now enjoy might dissipate if an independence vote is taken off the table”

John Curtice

Including those who said they were undecided, a total of 44 per cent opted for Yes, 49 per cent for No, 5 per cent are undecided and the remaining 2 per cent would not vote.

In September’s referendum, 45 per cent of people voted to leave the UK while 55 per cent wanted to remain in the union.

The YouGov poll of 1,000 people conducted last week found support for independence was strongest among young people, with 59 per cent of 18-24-year-olds saying they would vote Yes, and 41 per cent backing No.

Those aged between 25 and 59 backed a Yes vote by 53 per cent to 47 per cent, but support was significantly lower among those aged 60 and over, with just 32 per cent backing independence and 68 per cent backing the union.

The poll also quizzed people on whether the promise of another independence referendum in the SNP’s 2016 Holyrood manifesto would make them more or less likely to vote for the party.

The move would make around 15 per cent of Scots less likely to vote SNP but a further 11 per cent said it would make them more likely to back the party.

Nicola Sturgeon hasn’t ruled out including a promise of a second referendum in the manifesto.

She said that the general election, in which the party took 56 out of Scotland’s 59 seats, was not about independence but she has stated that a “material change” in circumstances could result in another vote being held.

In his analysis of the YouGov results, polling expert John Curtice said: “The nationalist movement probably needs to have 60 per cent support in the polls before it could be sure of winning.

“But not to promise a referendum could be risky, too.

“The support and enthusiasm the SNP now enjoy might dissipate if an independence vote is taken off the table.”