English voters believe Scottish voters 'have a right' to independence referendum, poll suggests

Voters in England are more likely to believe that Scotland has the right to hold a second independence referendum than not, a new poll has suggested.

The poll, undertaken by Savanta ComRes for Left Foot Forward, suggests that a plurality of voters across the UK believe the SNP should be allowed to hold indyref2 following their election victory earlier this month.

The survey interviewed 2,131 people aged 18 or over across Britain between May 14 and 16.

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A new poll suggests English voters believe Scotland has the right to hold a second independence referendum.

The figures come after a poll by the same company for The Scotsman suggested that Scots were split on the issue of whether the Scottish Government have a mandate for a second independence vote.

However, the new poll states that 39 per cent of voters across Britain believe Scots have the right to another independence vote, versus 34 per cent who do not.

This is replicated when restricted to just English voters, with 38 per cent of voters in England believing there is a right to indyref2 versus 34 per cent who do not.

The poll also claims Scottish voters believe there is a clear right to a second independence vote, with 46 per cent of voters believing the SNP should be allowed to hold indyref2 versus 32 per cent who believe the should not.

Nicola Sturgeon is unlikely to call for another referendum any time soon, however, stating that recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will be the SNP Government’s first priority following the election.

The Scottish Government has indicated it is willing to legislate for a second referendum through Holyrood, though this would likely be subject to a legal challenge either by the UK Government or by another interested party.

The SNP has ruled out a so-called ‘wildcat’ referendum – one held without the agreement of Westminster.

In 2014, a section 30 order allowing for legislation to hold a legal referendum to be passed in Holyrood, was agreed to by the UK Government.

The poll adds one in four (27 per cent) of Conservative voters in the UK believe the SNP has the right to hold a referendum, though a majority (52 per cent) disagree.

This is in contrast to Labour voters, with a majority (51 per cent) of those backing Sir Keir Starmer’s party supporting the right to a referendum, compared to 21 per cent against.

The poll comes as a new Scottish Labour MSP said her party was in need of an “honest assessment” of their prospects, criticising the party’s “muddled” stance on independence.

Writing in the Scottish Left Review, Carol Mochan, who was elected as a list MSP in the South of Scotland said: “Labour simply is not seen as a serious challenger to the SNP by most. The sad fact is, though we are no longer met with anger on the doorsteps or the phones, what remains is a worrying indifference.

“When the dust settled over the weekend following the election count, we were not even close [to coming second]. That is of serious existential concern to a party that once utterly dominated Scottish political life.

“If we reach the next Scottish Parliament election with the same muddled priorities, I think it is more than likely our vote will drop further.”

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