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Support for Scottish independence at record high: Poll

Support for Scottish independence at record high: Poll

The Union flag and the flag of Scotland are seen flying side by side at Bankfoot in Perthshire, Scotland, on Jan 10, 2012. (File photo: Reuters/Russell Cheyne)

EDINBURGH: Support for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom has risen to a record high of 58 per cent, an Ipsos Mori poll released on Wednesday (Oct 14) suggested.

The poll of 1,045 adults aged over 16 across Scotland, conducted from Oct 2 to 9, saw only 42 per cent back staying in the union once undecided voters were stripped out.

"Our latest poll will put a spring in the step of nationalists but makes grim reading for unionists," Emily Gray, the managing director of Ipsos MORI Scotland said.

"The Scottish public have shifted even further towards supporting an independent Scotland, with record numbers now saying they would vote 'yes'."

The poll indicated strong support for the Scottish National Party (SNP) led by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has won widespread public backing for her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some 72 per cent of Scots are satisfied with the job Sturgeon is doing, according to the poll.

Scotland, whose devolved administration in Edinburgh sets policy in areas including education, health, transport and local government, is due to hold parliamentary elections in May next year.

Gray said SNP support, buoyed by Sturgeon's high satisfaction ratings, looks "very strong" and would further bolster calls for another vote on independence.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly ruled out transferring the parliament powers from London to hold another referendum.

The last vote, in 2014, saw Scots vote by 55 per cent to 45 per cent in staying together.

Sturgeon has promised to set out the terms and timing for a new independence referendum - dubbed "indyref2" - before May next year.

The SNP argues it has a new case for an independence vote because a majority of Scots opted to stay in the European Union in the 2016 referendum.

The nationwide result - to leave - changed the dynamics of the three-centuries-old union with the rest of the United Kingdom, it said.

Sturgeon said the challenges of coronavirus were being compounded "completely unnecessarily" by Brexit.

Source: AFP/jt

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