Scottish independence: EU split may boost Yes vote

SUPPORT for independence could increase if voters think the UK is likely to withdraw from the EU, a new poll has found.

Scottish voters may be more likely to vote for independence should the UK look likely to withdraw from the EU. Picture: PA

• A new poll has found that support for the Yes vote would increase if people thought it likely that the UK would leave the EU

• 44 per cent would vote for independence if the UK was likely to withdraw from EU, while another 44 per cent would oppose independence regardless

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• Analysts suggest undecided voters would most likely be swayed by EU question

The yes campaign received a boost, putting it neck and neck with the no campaign, when those surveyed were asked to consider the prospect of leaving Europe when deciding how to vote in the 2014 referendum.

The Panelbase poll of 1,004 people for the Sunday Times and Real Radio Scotland recorded support for independence at 36 per cent when it asked “should Scotland be an independent country?”.

Meanwhile, 44 per cent answered no, and a further 20 per cent said they did not know.

But when asked “how would you be likely to vote in next year’s Scottish independence referendum if the UK was looking likely to vote to withdraw from the EU?”, 44 per cent said they would be likely to vote yes, matched by 44 per cent likely to vote know, while 12 per cent said they did not know.

Commenting on the poll findings, Ivor Knox, of Panelbase, said: “The prospect of the UK leaving the EU has little impact on those Scots who have formed a view on independence, but among undecided voters three times as many tend to support independence as oppose it, under those circumstances.”

The poll, which was conducted between May 10 and 16, comes after the Conservatives published a draft bill, paving the way for a referendum on Britain’s EU membership in the next parliament.

David Cameron wants Britain to remain in the EU under renegotiated terms which he wants to put to the public in an in-out referendum to be held by the end of 2017.