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  • Writer's pictureJim Manclark

Independence still the favoured option.

All the more reason why we should #MaxTheYes at the elections next year by having all the smaller parties coming together.

Full story below.

RECORD levels of Scots believe the majority of the country would back independence if a referendum was held now, a new poll has revealed.

Nearly a third of Scots who voted against independence in 2014 have changed their mind and are either unsure or would vote Yes. Almost twice as many No voters have moved to Yes than have in the opposite direction.

And most people believe if a majority of pro-independence MSPs are elected to Holyrood next year it should be treated as a mandate for another referendum.

The new findings have been revealed in a Survation poll of around 2100 people, conducted on behalf of think-tank Progress Scotland.

The SNP said the poll sent a “powerful message” to politicians in Westminster, showing voters switching from No to Yes at a “staggering rate”.

Nearly two thirds, 64%, of those who hold a view say Scotland would become independent if a vote was held now, the survey found.

It is the highest proportion recorded in a “wisdom of the crowd” question, which aims to find out opinions based on a group, rather than single experts.

The poll also found 19% of No voters from 2014 now say they do not know how they would vote in another referendum while 13% now back independence. In contrast of those who voted for independence six years ago, only 8% would now vote against and 9% are unsure.

Excluding voters who do not know how they would vote, there was 53% support for leaving the UK compared with 47% against, backing up a series of polls this year which have found majority support for independence.

If a majority of pro-independence MSPs are elected to Holyrood next year, more Scots believe this would be a mandate for another referendum.

Of those who expressed an opinion, 56% would support another vote taking place against 44% who would be opposed. And those backing the idea includes 26% of No voters in 2014. Top issues for deciding how to vote in a second referendum were the NHS, the future of the economy and Brexit.

The Scottish Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the performance of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon were also cited as key influences. Progress Scotland’s managing director and former SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson said the poll – which was conducted between September 25 to October 5 – showed how much opinion is changing in Scotland towards independence.

SNP deputy leader Keith Brown said: “This new poll sends a powerful message to politicians in Westminster: nearly two-thirds of Scots see the future of their nation as an independent country.

“Every day, Boris Johnson’s Brexit-obsessed Tory Government at Westminster make the case for Scotland’s independence with their total disregard for our people, our government and our Parliament.”

He said it was no surprise that the poll showed people are moving from No to Yes at a “staggering rate”. “Since the 2014 referendum, the broken promises from the No campaign have been plain to see. Scotland has been dragged out of the European Union against our will, the Scottish Government has been wilfully ignored by Westminster and Boris Johnson is now threatening our Parliament with a grubby power grab.

“Only with independence can Scotland realise its full potential, taking our seat with other independent European nations and making decisions in the best interests of all who live here.”

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