Scottish independence: Poll shows lead for 'Yes' vote for first time since 2015

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon speaks at the launch of the party's General Election campaign, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Friday Nov. 8, 2019.  The Scottish National Party is officially launching its campaign for Britain’s upcoming Dec. 12 election, with the SNP hoping to put Scotland a step closer to independence. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon wants a second independence referendum in the wake of Brexit (AP)

The prospect of an independent Scotland has received a boost after a survey showed a lead for a ‘Yes’ vote for the first time in five years.

According to a YouGov poll, 51% of the 1,039 Scots surveyed supported Scottish independence, compared to 49% who opted for the ‘No’ vote.

The narrow lead nearly echoes the 52/48 split in the EU referendum in 2016 that will see Britain leaving the EU on 31 January.

According to YouGov, the shift towards independence comes from Remainers in Scotland moving towards Yes.

Two thirds of Scotland voted to remain in the EU in Scotland and the Scottish National Party (SNP) won 48 seats on an anti-Brexit and pro-independence platform.

The survey shows that 21% of those who voted Remain in 2016 but No in the 2014 independence referendum have now moved over to the Yes side.

While the results may prove satisfying reading to SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, who is pushing for another referendum as soon as possible, most Scots (56%) do not think there should be a referendum this year.

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A majority are also against a referendum next year, even if the SNP win the Scottish parliament elections in May 2021.

However, nearly half (44%) believe there should be another referendum in the next five years – putting more pressure on Boris Johnson to go back on his vow not to grant one.

Holyrood has endorsed Ms Sturgeon's calls for a second independence referendum, after first minister Ms Sturgeon insisted such a vote is “necessary".

 Popular protester Daz Man in his trademark outfit with his sign as he stands in front of the pro-union counter-demonstration in Union Street during the march. 80,000 supporters came out in support of Scottish Independence following the UK General Election and the upcoming date of January 31st when the UK will leave the European Union, dragging Scotland out of it against its will, as a result the group All Under One Banner held an Emergency march through the center of Glasgow to protest against both London rule and Brexit. (Photo by Stewart Kirby / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Some 80,000 supporters came out in support of Scottish independence following the UK general election (PA)

MSPs passed a motion put forward by Ms Sturgeon calling for a referendum to be held "so that the people of Scotland can decide whether they wish it to become an independent country”.

The motion, backed by 64 votes to 54, now calls on the UK Government to "reach an agreement with the Scottish government on such a referendum taking place on a date and in a manner determined by the Scottish parliament”.

Ms Sturgeon has warned of the consequences for Scotland of both Brexit and a Boris Johnson Government, telling MSPs: "Given what the Tories have in store, proposing a further decision on independence isn't simply legitimate - it is necessary.”

Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon launches the party's election campaign bus, featuring a portrait of herself, at Port Edgar Marina in the town of South Queensferry, Scotland, before setting off on a tour of Scotland for the final week of the SNP's General Election campaign, Thursday Dec. 5, 2019.  Britain's Brexit is one of the main issues for all political parties and for voters, as the UK goes to the polls in a General Election on Dec. 12. (Jane Barlow/PA via AP)
The first minister believes Brexit means Scotland should have a second independence referendum (AP)

She accused UK ministers of being "completely deaf to Scotland's interests, needs and voice", adding that their vision for the UK is driven by "jingoism and xenophobia”.

Independence, she argued, would give Scotland an alternative future.

The first minister added: "In my view it is beyond doubt now that the only realistic way for Scotland to return to the heart of Europe and to ensure we get the governments we vote for is to become an independent country."

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