In figures which will be a boost to the SNP’s push towards holding an independence referendum next year, 43 per cent of Scots said an independent Scotland would be “better off”, with the same percentage stating it would be “worse off”. One in ten said independence would make no difference, with 4 per cent stating they did not know.
The figures are the latest from Ipsos’s UK KnowledgePanel, which interviewed a representative sample of 6,944 people aged 16 and over between October 13 and 19. In total, 2,086 people in Scotland were interviewed for the survey.
Scots were most likely to say Scotland would be better off independent, with just 21 per cent of UK respondents agreeing. Northern Irish respondents were the next most likely to agree with that statement, with 28 per cent backing the Scottish economy to thrive after independence.
Across all four nations and the UK as a whole, around four in five people said they believed the economic outlook for the country was negative.
Scots and those in Northern Ireland are also the most pessimistic about the long-term future of the union, with two thirds (67 per cent for both) stating the UK would not exist in its current form within 20 years.
Almost half of Scots (49 per cent) believe the union will end within the next five years, faster than those from other nations. However, a majority of English voters (55 per cent) and Welsh voters (61 per cent) said they do not expect the union to exist in its current form within 20 years.
Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos Scotland, said the figures show neither pro-independence nor pro-union campaigners “enjoy an advantage” on the issue of the economy after Scottish independence. She said: “With the cost-of-living crisis deepening, most people expect gloomy economic times ahead, and the measures that governments at both Holyrood and Westminster set out over the coming months to help weather the crises may well shift public views on Scotland’s economic future further.”