Support for Scottish independence from the UK leaps to record high

Jimmy Nsubuga
·2-min read
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks during an event at the Ozone, Our Dynamic Earth, in Edinburgh, Friday Jan. 31, 2020, to outline Scottish independence plans on the day that the UK is set to leave the European Union. (Jane Barlow/PA via AP)
Support for Scottish independence has risen (Picture: AP)

Support for Scottish independence is at a record high due to how the country has responded to COVID-19, according to a new YouGov poll.

In total, 53% of Scottish people said “Yes” when they were asked if they would vote to leave the union.

This compares with 47% who voted “No” – the largest lead ever on a poll from YouGov on the issue.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon has been praised for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.

She has responsibility for health policy, and has been more cautious than Boris Johnson in easing lockdown.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 27: First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon during a visit to the NHS Louisa Jordan at the SEC, Glasgow, to learn about the venue being adapted for treating outpatients on July 27, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Nicola Sturgeon has been praised for the way she's handled the pandemic. (Getty)

Scotland, which holds about 10% of the UK's population, has had no deaths from COVID-19 since mid-July.

The UK as a whole, which uses a broader methodology to count deaths that is being reviewed, has recorded 1,362 deaths in that time.

Scots previously rejected independence in a 2014 referendum by 55%-45%.

The results of the new poll were driven by people who voted No in the 2014 referendum then Remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum, 30% of whom changed their vote to Yes.

Support for Scottish independence has increased by 4% since January.

The poll also revealed Sturgeon still has huge support, with 72% of Scots thinking she was doing a good job.

Even a majority of people who voted against independence in the last referendum thought she was doing well.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (C) wears a face mask as she talks to nurses during her visit to the field hospital the NHS Louisa Jordan, set up at the SEC in Glasgow, Scotland on July 27, 2020, where she learned about how the venue, first setup to treat COVID-19 patients, is being adapted for to treat outpatients. (Photo by Andrew Milligan / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW MILLIGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Nicola Sturgeon talks to nurses. (Getty)

It is the latest poll to suggest rising support for Scottish independence and could strengthen calls for another vote on the matter.

The Scottish National Party (SNP), which runs the devolved administration in the nation, insists it has the right to call another vote.

Johnson has said the 2014 referendum was decisive and should be respected.

The poll also suggested the SNP were on course for an unprecedented majority in the Scottish Parliament in elections next year, setting up a possible constitutional clash with Westminster.

YouGov polled 1,142 adults between 6 and 10 August.

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