Great Britain

53% of Scots now support independence, new poll finds

Nearly three in four Scots believe the country would “fare better” outside the United Kingdom, a new poll has found.

Of the 53 per cent of those surveyed who backed independence, 71 per cent also said that Scotland would “fare better without being part of the UK”.

More than 1,000 Scottish adults were involved in the research, which was carried out between 18 and 22 February by Savanta ComRes for ITV’s Tonight programme.

Support for Scottish independence has grown since the country voted to remain part of the UK in 2014.

But the margin of support could be narrowing: a Savanta ComRes poll found 58 per cent of Scots in favour of independence in November last year.

Covid, Brexit and political leadership are the key independence battlegrounds, according to the Scots ITV spoke to.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been embroiled in a row with former SNP leader Alex Salmond in recent weeks, after a government investigation into his conduct was found to be unlawful.

Sturgeon told a Holyrood committee that she “deeply regrets” the probe, but refused to “apologise for the behaviour of someone else”.

ITV’s survey, commissioned ahead of their UK: The End of the Union? programme, also found that 39 per cent of people in Wales are in favour of Welsh independence, which they say is the highest level of support ever recorded.

43 per cent of people in Northern Ireland said that they would unify with the Republic of Ireland.

The findings are likely to be embarrassing for the British government, who have placed particular importance on the unity of the UK.

When elected prime minister in 2019, Boris Johnson appointed himself ‘Minister for the Union’ and later set up the ‘Union Unit’ to fight calls for Scottish independence.

A new committee focusing on the union was recently announced.

This article was amended on 6 May 2021. It previously said that 71 per cent of respondents in a poll believed Scotland would fare better outside the UK. However, this figure related only to respondents who supported independence.

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