Setback for SNP
Independence poll shows 59% want to remain in UK
Despite regular marches, fewer want independence (pic: Terry Murden)
A new poll marking the fifth anniversary of the Scottish independence referendum has revealed that 59% of voters want to remain in the UK.
Only 27% of people support Nicola Sturgeon’s plan for a second referendum within 18 months and 87% of those who don’t want another referendum believe the 2014 contest was a ‘once-in-a-generation’ referendum, as promised by the SNP.
The poll will be seen as a blow to Ms Sturgeon and her party which would have been hoping to mark the anniversary with an upswing in support for a second referendum.
More than half of voters think a second referendum would make Scottish society more divided and 36% of 2014 ‘Yes’ voters now want to remain in the UK, according to the poll carried out by Survation on behalf of anti-independence group Scotland in Union.
Among former ‘Yes’ voters who now want to remain in UK, ‘protecting public services’ is the most popular reason for changing their vote, while 49% cite Nicola Sturgeon’s performance as First Minister. Nearly thirds (60%) of voters in Glasgow now support remaining in the UK.
Survation questioned 1,003 adults aged 16+ in Scotland between 12 and 16 September.
The poll asked people how they would vote in a second independence referendum with the question ‘should Scotland remain in the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom?’
The ‘once in a generation’ independence referendum in 2014 was conducted with a yes/no question.
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “Just five years on from the referendum that Nicola Sturgeon promised was a ‘once-in-a-generation’ contest, this landmark poll shows that 59% of people in Scotland want to remain in the UK.
People are seeing the chaos that Brexit has brought– Pamela Nash
“More than half a million Scots who voted ‘Yes’ in 2014 have now switched to supporting Scotland’s future in the UK to protect vital public services like the NHS and schools from the SNP’s drastic cuts.
“People are seeing the chaos that Brexit has brought, and know that Scotland leaving the UK would be much worse. Barely a quarter of people support the First Minister’s plan for a second referendum within 18 months, and she should now drop her reckless and deeply unpopular proposal.
“Over half of people think another referendum would make Scottish society more divided at a time when the country is already deeply divided.
“We are stronger together as part of the UK.
“It’s time to put the independence referendum divisions behind us and work towards a better future for Scotland as part of the UK, protecting public services and growing our economy, and building on our shared history and culture.”