Scots would vote No by 12-point margin, says poll
Scotland would vote No to independence by a 12-point margin if a referendum were held tomorrow, according to the latest poll.
The research was backed by Lord Ashcroft, a former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party who published the results in Holyrood Magazine which he acquired in October.
It shows that Scot would vote No to independence by 56% to 44%, excluding don’t knows and those who would not vote, while 29% of voters said they had changed their mind on the independence issue at least once.
The poll also found that Scottish voters reject SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s plan to treat the next general election as a de facto referendum.
They also oppose the Gender Recognition Reform Bill and believe the SNP government has different priorities from them.
Only 33% of those interviewed believe Yes would win an immediate referendum, with 25% unsure, and just 36% predicting a Yes victory if such a ballot was held within five years.
While nationalists will point to Lord Ashcroft’s loyalties, his previous polls found a four-point lead for Yes in August 2019, and a 51-49 lead for No in April 2021.
In his commentary Lord Ashcroft wrote: “To the four prime ministers who have quit Downing Street since Nicola Sturgeon took up residence at Bute House, the First Minister must have seemed enviably immune to the laws of political gravity. If those laws now seem to be reasserting themselves, my latest poll of over 2,000 Scots helps explain.
“If we see an overall theme here, could it be that a party claiming to be uniquely in tune with Scottish people is losing touch? If gravity is finally doing what it does, Sturgeon and the SNP seem to be giving it a helping hand.
Findings from the survey of more than 2,000 Scots include:
- In a referendum tomorrow, Scots said they would vote No to independence by 56% to 44%, excluding don’t knows and those who would not vote. 42% thought a referendum would result in a No vote, with 33% believing Scotland would vote for independence tomorrow. 29% of voters said they had changed their mind on the independence issue at least once.
- Asked what they thought were the three most important issues facing Scotland, Scots’ top answers were health and the NHS, the cost of living, and the economy and jobs. Asked what they thought the SNP government were treating as its three main priorities, their most frequent answers were getting Scottish independence, gender recognition and trans rights, and health and the NHS.
- 22% said they supported the Gender Recognition Reform Bill and the UK government was wrong to block it. Almost twice as many (43%) said they opposed the Bill and the UK government was right to block it. Overall, 29% said they supported the Bill, with 54% opposed. 50% said the UK government was right or within its rights to block the Bill, while 33% disagreed.
- Only 21% (including 44% of 2019 SNP voters) agreed that every vote for the SNP and the Greens should be taken as a vote for independence, so the next general election should be treated as a de facto referendum. 67% agreed that people vote at elections for lots of different reasons so SNP and Green votes should not be assumed to be votes for independence.
- 36% (including 58% of 2019 SNP voters and 48% of 2014 Yes voters) said an independent Scotland should join the EU without a further referendum. 32% said an independent Scotland should have a referendum on whether or not to join the EU, while 16% said Scotland should not join the EU.
Researchers questioned 2,105 adults in Scotland aged 16 or over online between 26 January and 3 February. Data has been weighted to be representative of all adults in Scotland.