6 weeks. It has taken just 6 weeks for Scotland to change their minds about independence.
A new survey released this week has shown that if the referendum were held again today Scotland would vote in favour of independence; 52:48 in favour of independence.
The new poll from YouGov for The Times has found that those who would not vote or do not know are included, split 49% for Yes and 45% for No, the poll of 1,078 Scottish adults between October 27 and 30 found.
The referendum split was 55 to 45 with the first supporting remaining a part of the union. The survey also asked about the likelihood of holding another referendum and in what time frame; 40% of people questioned think a second poll will be held within the next ten years. The figures also suggest that 46% of people asked wanted this to happen but 16% never want another one, the poll found.
This is just the most recent poll suggesting that the Scots want another chance to decide their fate. A Ipsos Mori poll for STV, taken over the weekend, found that two-thirds of Scots want another independence referendum within the next 10 years, while more than half think a vote on the country’s future should take place within just five years.
More than half of people surveyed, 53%, said they supported having another referendum if the Conservatives win a majority in next year’s general election while 54% said a vote on Scotland’s future in the UK should take place if the Tories win in May, but do not have any MPs north of the border. A worrying statistic if you happen to be a supporter of the Conservative party considering that in all probability they will not gain any MPs from north of the border. The chances of Labour becoming a power in Scotland also currently seem slim so a Conservative victory appears more likely.
Meanwhile, 55% are in favour of a second independence referendum if the UK votes to leave the European Union in 2017. This appears to be because they would not be deciding their own fate; the Scottish people may desire to remain in the European Union even if the rest of the United Kingdom were to leave.
Mark Diffley, the research director at Ipsos MORI said he was “not particularly surprised” by the findings of his and the YouGov poll. He said the September 18th referendum had generated an “unprecedented” interest in politics, with turnout in the vote reaching 85%.
He went on to add “As 45% of people voted Yes, you would imagine all of them would want another referendum. In terms of No voters, they could want another referendum for a variety of reasons, they are maybe somewhat disappointed with what has happened since in terms of extra powers and there may be people who were tempted to vote Yes but didn’t go through with it who would like the opportunity to have the debate again.”
Scotland’s first minister-in-waiting, Nicola Sturgeon, has already refused to agree with the pro-UK parties to rule out holding another referendum for at least a generation, insisting such a vote will be held “when the Scottish people decide the time is right”.
Sturgeon said to stem the ever growing desire for another referendum and independence campaign, Westminster must deliver on its vow of more powers for Holyrood. This would include putting a halt to cuts in the Scottish Government’s budget which the current government has slowly been manoeuvring to do.
This news however is not all positive for opponents of the Conservative government. The YouGov poll also found 43% of Labour supporters now back independence, with only 22% saying Labour represents their interests well against 65% who said the party represents them badly.
Data from the same poll suggests that Labour may well be swept out of Scotland in terms of MPs, with the Scottish National Party enjoying a 16-point lead over any of the Westminster based parties. The former Scottish Labour leader, Johann Lamont, left his position a week ago complaining that UK Labour treats Scotland like a “branch office”.
The new data appears to show that this was not just a passing fancy for the Scottish voters, the issue of independence is here to stay and the Scottish people will support a candidate who best serves these interests. Scotland has become wildly discontent with the way that London and Westminster has been treating them in terms of politics and how Labour has been almost dismissive of them. The rise of the Scottish National party appears to be a direct result of this and their bargaining strength has just increased massively. If the UK government does not start delivering on their promises to Scotland; we may well have another independence campaign before the decade is out.