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Majority support for Scottish independence as dismay with UK Government voiced in poll

14 Dec 2022 2 minute read
Scottish independence supporters march through Glasgow. Photo Lesley Martin PA Images

Scots have backed independence from the UK in a fifth straight poll as dismay was voiced in the performance of the UK Government.

The Scottish opinion monitor – a survey of 1,210 Scots done by YouGov on behalf of the Scottish Election Study – was published on Wednesday.

The poll found that, when undecided voters were removed, 50.2% backed separation from the rest of the UK in what appears to be a trend towards independence since the ruling of the UK Supreme Court that the Scottish Parliament does not have the powers to hold another vote.

Support for independence has risen from the last opinion monitor, when it was logged at 47.6%.

The data also shows that 76% of respondents felt that the UK Government had done a bad job since the 2019 election and just 5% felt they had done a good job, with 11% saying the government’s record had been neither good nor bad and a further 8% saying they did not know.

In contrast, 37% said they believed the Scottish Government had done a good job since last year’s election – although just 8% answered “very good” to the question, while 34% disapproved of its record.

General election

Following the Supreme Court ruling, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP would fight the next general election as a de facto referendum.

But the new poll shows that, among decided voters, 41% backed the SNP – shy of the 50% required to win such a vote.

Dr Fraser McMillan, a researcher with the Scottish Election Survey, said: “It’s quite clear that support for independence has increased in recent months.

“However, our data suggest that, as was the case at the height of the pandemic, recent Yes gains are probably more to do with diverging perceptions of UK and Scottish government performance than more abstract procedural arguments.

“This raises big questions around what might happen to public opinion on independence in the event that Labour win a majority at the next UK general election.”

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