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Majority of Scots now back independence - but do not want referendum in next two years

Majority of Scots now back independence - but do not want referendum in next two years
2 min read

A majority of Scots now want independence from the rest of the UK, according to a new poll.


According to the poll, 51% of Scottish voters are now in favour of breaking up the United Kingdom, compared to 49% who still back the Union.

It is the first time the pollster has put the pro-independence campaign in the lead since 2015.

The poll also found that one in five of those who voted No in the 2014 independence referendum and Remain two years later are now in favour of Scotland going it alone.

However, 56% of Scots oppose SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon's calls for "indyref2" to take place this year, although most want one to take place within the next five years.

The poll also found that Ms Sturgeon remains the most trusted political leader in Scotland, far ahead of anyone who could lead the pro-Union campaign in a future referendum.

Chris Curtis, political research manager at YouGov, said: "These are concerning times for unionists both north and south of the border with Yes gaining considerable ground on No since 2014.

"But ultimately, whether a referendum happens won’t be decided by polling, but the political manoeuvres of the Scottish and British governments.

"If there is a referendum, Scottish opposition to Brexit does give nationalists an opportunity to win more voters over to their cause.

"Yet the fundamental problem that flummoxed the Yes movement in 2014, that independence would damage the economy, still exists and could still set them back in indyref2."

Responding to the poll, SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: "Brexit, and the chaos of Westminster under the Tories, make it abundantly clear that Scotland should be an independent country.

"This key poll, published just before Scotland is dragged out of the EU against our will, shows that the momentum is well and truly behind the campaign for independence. No wonder the Tories are running scared.

"People in Scotland must now have the chance to control their own future."

Boris Johnson has insisted that the UK government will not give the Scottish Parliament the legal power to hold another independence referendum.

Nevertheless, Ms Sturgeon will set out her independence plans in a major speech on Friday - the day that the UK formally leaves the EU.

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