Scottish independence: Poll results illustrate big problems for the SNP in referendum battle

Our poll results today illustrate some big problems for the SNP as the battle over a second independence referendum heads to the courts and beyond.

First there is the ongoing stalemate over the question itself.

Research by Savanta ComRes found support for No at 51 per cent and Yes at 49 per cent, once undecideds are removed.

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Interestingly, 10 per cent of respondents were undecided. We’ll come back to them.

Then there is the fact that a majority (53 per cent) do not think there should be an independence referendum in October next year, with just 40 per cent backing the idea.

This is a blow to Nicola Sturgeon just days after she named a proposed date of October 19, 2023. But it probably won’t be a surprise.

Polls have consistently shown Scots don’t support a referendum on the timetable favoured by the SNP.

Elsewhere, 41 per cent opposed holding a referendum without the relevant powers being granted by the UK Government through a section 30 order, with just 37 per cent backing such a vote.

Asked if they would take part in a referendum held without a section 30 order, 67 per cent said they would and 17 per cent said they wouldn't.

On Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon announced her referendum legislation will head to the Supreme Court in a bid to determine whether Holyrood has the power to push ahead without UK Government approval.

Many legal experts don’t fancy her chances.

The First Minister knows this and she also knows the clock is ticking.

Is there enough time to convince those crucial undecideds before October 2023?

Many of them will be worried about issues such as currency, pensions and borders, and we’re still waiting for answers.

Perhaps the Scottish Government has accepted there probably won’t be a referendum next year.

If it can’t secure a vote, Ms Sturgeon has said the next general election will be a “de-facto referendum”.

This throws up all sorts of complicated questions.

But the same old problems remain.

Scotland is a deeply divided country, and it does not appear to be in any rush for a second referendum.

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