Polling guru shatters Sturgeon’s dream about independence vote
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The SNP conference is coming to a close on Monday in Aberdeen, where Nicola Sturgeon will be making a closing speech to conclude the three-day convention. Scotland’s First Minister is engaged in a judicial battle with the UK Government over the legality of holding a second independence referendum without Westminster consent. But recent opinion polls show Scottish public opinion is polarised on the issue, with 50 percent against it – raising doubts about whether Scots would vote for independence.
Chris Curtis, polling guru at the Opinium Research agency, said the balance would tilt towards staying in the United Kingdom.
He told GB News: “In most polls, even in the past few years, we have seen ‘no’ slightly ahead of ‘yes’ on that independence question.
“So, I still think it’d be no. If there were change in teh short term, it’d still probably be more likely that Scotland would vote to stay rather than leave.”
Mr Curtis added the polarising issue has defined Scottish politics over the last few years and has been a decisive factor in the SNP’s three successive Scottish Parliament elections.
He said: “And as you said, the reason these are still entrenched views is the fact that it is still the biggest dividing line in politics.
“It still means that when most people vote in Scottish Parliament elections, they’re not thinking about how well the Scottish NHS is being run, or how well Scottish schools are doing.
“They’re thinking about independence, which is one of the reasons why the SNP continues to do so well in those Scottish elections.”
However, Mr Curtis said the younger generation lean toward independence and could trigger a shift in the medium term.
He said: “What I would say about independence in the medium term is what we’re seeing in the data is a lot of young people who are turning to the age of 18 are a lot more likely to be supporting independence.
“So, whilst we haven’t seen a sort of dramatic shift over independence over the past few years, I still think that if this generation effect happens of younger people becoming old enough to vote, are still strongly supporting independence, I think in the medium term we could see a Scottish population that does want Scotland to break away from the UK.”
Despite a still divided Scottish population on independence, Nicola Sturgeon is adamant to hold a legal second referendum in the aftermath of Brexit. The First Minister considers Scotland has been taken out of the EU against their will, as a majority of Scots (62 percent) voted to remain in the EU.
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The Supreme Court will hear arguments from Scotland and the UK Government on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then will make a judgement of the legality of such a referendum.
If Nicola Sturgeon gets the green light, she pledged to hold a vote on October 19 of next year.
However, if the Supreme Court rules against it, Ms Sturgeon said the SNP would fight next General Election, due to be held in 2024, solely on a platform of whether Scotland should be independent, making it a “de facto” referendum.
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