New Survation poll on independence finds majority of Scots would choose to remain in UK

A majority of Scots would choose to remain in the UK if an independence referendum was held tomorrow, according to a new poll, while fewer than one in ten believed constitutional affairs were among the most important issues facing Scotland.

The polling, conducted by Survation on behalf of Scotland in Union (SIU), asked 1,011 respondents how they would vote if a referendum was held tomorrow.

The question read: “If there was a referendum tomorrow with the question 'should Scotland remain part of the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom?', how would you vote?”

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A total of 49 per cent said they would vote to “remain”, while just 37 per cent said they would vote to “leave”.

A further 10 per cent chose “don’t know’, and 4 per cent said they would not vote.

Excluding those two groups, 57 per cent of people said they wanted to “remain”, while 43 per cent wanted to “leave”.

The question asked focused on whether Scotland should remain or leave the UK, rather than a direct question on independence.

Most recent polls have mirrored the question from the 2014 referendum, which asked if they believe Scotland should be independent.

A majority of Scots would not back independence if a referendum was held tomorrow, according to major a new poll, while fewer than one in 10 believed constitutional affairs were among the most important issues facing Scotland. (Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images)

The survey is the latest to show support for independence fading in recent weeks, despite 21 polls in a row previously putting the ‘Yes’ vote in front.

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Last week, polling conducted by Savanta ComRes on behalf of The Scotsman found just 45 per cent of Scots would vote Yes, 47 per cent would vote No, and 8 per cent did not know.

In the latest polling, conducted between March 9 and 12, Survation also asked respondents to choose up to three issues they felt were the most important facing Scotland.

More than half (53 per cent) chose “Covid-19 recovery”, while 48 per cent chose “NHS and social care” and 46 per cent chose “economy and jobs”.

Meanwhile, just 8 per cent opted for “constitutional affairs and independence”.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of SIU, said the results showed the SNP should focus on the coronavirus recovery.

“This poll shows that a majority of people in Scotland want to remain part of the UK,” she said.

“This confirms the recent trend in polls, with the successful UK vaccination programme and UK-wide support for jobs and businesses reminding us that we are stronger together.

“The SNP should stop prioritising division ahead of the issues that really matter to people.

“A staggering 92 per cent of Scots do not think that independence is one of the top three issues facing Scotland."

But SNP depute leader Keith Brown labelled the polling “desperate” and accused SIU of deliberately trying to “confuse” independence with Brexit.

He said: "This election comes down to a stark choice – who should decide the country’s future, and lead our recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Should it be the people of Scotland or Boris Johnson?

"Voters will see right through this desperate attempt to rig the question in a deliberate bid to confuse independence with Brexit.

"If the people of Scotland back a referendum at the coming election, then that is what will happen – inventing fresh barriers to put in the way of voters getting a say simply will not stand.

"Scotland's future must be firmly in Scotland's hands – not Boris Johnson's."

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