Majority of Scots back independence, poll finds

The new survey reveals a 6-point lead for Yes. Picture: Michael Gillen
The new survey reveals a 6-point lead for Yes. Picture: Michael Gillen
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A majority of Scots would back independence if there was a referendum tomorrow, a new poll has found.

The TNS survey gives Yes a 6 point lead (53%-47%) stripping out the 11% of Scots who don’t know. It comes after a recent STV poll also found majority backing for leaving the UK.

The SNP still still has commanding lead over Labour going into next year’s Holyrood election, although new Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has closed the gap slightly.

The SNP is on 58% (down 4%) in the constituency vote for next May’s vote, while Labour is on 23% (up 3%).

In the regional vote, 51% of those expressing an opinion supported the SNP (down 3 points) with 24% for Labour (up 4).

Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland, said: “SNP support remains at a very high level; Labour, which will be encouraged by making a modest dent in the SNP lead, is likely to have been helped in the past month by the election of Kezia Dugdale as leader in Scotland, and perhaps by the news focus on its UK leadership election.

“But it should be noted that the 23% poll support is still below the 24.3% it received in its General Election defeat by the SNP.”

Conservative support in the constituency vote stood at 12% (unchanged) with the Liberal Democrats on 5% (up 2 points). This represents a seven point cut in the SNP lead to a still formidable 35 points.

Survey respondents were also asked how they would vote if there was a referendum on independence ‘tomorrow’ – 47% said they would vote Yes, 42% No and 11% did not know.

Stripping out the don’t knows, this would give a lead to the Yes side by 53% to 47%.

Younger voters remain the most committed to independence, with 59% of 16-34s supporting a Yes Vote, with 28% for No (and 13% don’t know). Among those aged 35-54, Yes leads by 53%-39% (8% don’t know), and the over-55s favour a No vote by 58% to 31% (12% don’t know).

The survey also shows that the long-time Labour stronghold of Glasgow, which went for Yes in the referendum, is still in the Yes camp: the Yes lead in the city is 50% to 38% (12% don’t know). The No side has a six-point lead in the North East (49%-43%, 8% Don’t know) and a five-point lead in the Lothians (45%-40%, 15% don’t know).