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Latest poll suggests growing support for Scottish independence

13 Dec 2022 2 minute read
A Scottish independence rally in Glasgow. Photo by LornaMCampbell is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

A new poll suggests Scottish voters back independence over remaining in the UK – but signals warnings for the de facto referendum method.

The YouGov poll, reported by the Times, of 1,090 voters found 47% would favour independence, while 42% support staying in the union.

Support for independence has increased by 4% since a previous survey in October, while the No vote fell by three points.

Some 8% were undecided, would not vote or did not state their preference.

However, when these voters were excluded, independence support totalled 53% compared with 47% for the union.

The Supreme Court ruled last month that Holyrood cannot hold a legal referendum without the consent of Westminster.

First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon then said the next general election will act as a “de facto referendum” – with more than 50% of the vote for pro-independence parties needed for a mandate.


But the survey shows voters could be unsure of that plan, with support for the SNP in a general election projected to fall two points to 43%.

Fifty-two per cent said they do not think a pro-independence vote majority would constitute a mandate for a referendum – with 23% of SNP supporters agreeing with this view.

Meanwhile, 39% of people said the de facto referendum would be enough to leave the UK, while 9% were not sure.

However, 51% believed the Scottish Parliament should have the power to hold the ballot, compared with 39% against and 10% undecided.

Voters were also against a 2023 referendum – 52% – with 38% in favour and 9% unsure, however 51% did say there should be a vote within the next five years.

Polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice, of Strathclyde University, said the poll was the highest pro-independence result recorded by YouGov, equalling a result last seen in August 2020.

He said: “On this evidence, just saying ‘no’ to another ballot does not look like a viable long-term strategy for maintaining public support for the union.”

His analysis puts the SNP at 46 MPs in the Commons at the next election, to be held before January 2025 – a fall of two.

It is the fourth consecutive poll on independence which has showed a lead for the Yes support, following surveys from Redfield and Wilton Strategies, Ipsos and Find Out Now.

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Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
1 year ago

It is only a matter of time before Scotland gains independence. We in Cymru must now prepare – we can’t be left with England (the Island of Ireland is heading for reunification). Plaid Cymru now needs to step up and 1/ talk and bring together all the fractions within the independence movement – divided we will fail. And 2/ start publicising the benefits of independence. Leaflets, broadcasts, articles in newspapers and local public consulations, for example. Our future is in our hands.

1 year ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

Yes Cymru is the vehicle for establishing a united front to take us forward.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

You are correct with one comment – Plaid Cymru must talk the talk and walk the walk on independence, no ifs, buts and maybes. But that’s not going to happen while cuddling up to unionist labour. Your second comment worries me. The great strength of Yes Cymru – and I suspect others who believe in independence – is that support is drawn from all walks of life and different beliefs, political and otherwise. To subsume these into Plaid Cymru – who’s commitment to independence is at best elastic – would do untold damage to the cause of independence. And your… Read more »

Julie Jones
Julie Jones
1 year ago

I was in Scotland three weeks ago. So many people I met said they’d support Indy – and a few of them were No voters or didn’t vote in 2014. There is a very solid foundation now to leave the Union. It will undoubtedly happen, in the not too distant future, and then we really will be trapped in EnglandandWales.

1 year ago
Reply to  Julie Jones

Good deal of English people worried about the erosion of their culture and falsification of history, so we may see movement there. But dominoes do fall, and will.

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