Half of the UK believes Scotland should accept a second independence referendum
More than half of people in the UK believe Scotland should hold a second independence referendum within five years if the Scottish national party wins a majority in the May 6 election, a poll by polling company Ipsos Mori found.
A poll of more than 8,500 people is likely to increase pressure on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reconsider any refusal to allow any repeat of the 2014 referendum, which the Scots rejected by 55-45 per cent.
Scottish Parliamentary elections on 6 May could be a turning point for the UK’s constitutional future on Thursday with the SNP publicizing plans for the referendum It hopes to maintain it by the end of 2023. Less than a quarter of people surveyed in Ipsos Mori in the UK said they thought the UK would exist as it is today in a decade.
According to the latest polls, the SNP is on track to win more than half of the 129 seats in the Scottish parliament next month, a remarkable feat considering the proportional representation system it represents. Although the SNP is short, polls say most of the pro-independence MSPs will be in the Holyrood chamber in Edinburgh.
Ipsos Mori 51% of the people in the UK believed that the SNP should be allowed to hold an independence referendum in the next five-year term of parliament if the party wins a Holyrood majority. He found that 40 per cent of the UK government needed to block that vote.
“If the Scottish National Party gets the most seats, it seems likely that current levels of support will make it much more difficult for the UK government to reject a second independence referendum,” said Emily Gray, Ipsos CEO Mori Scotland.
SNP leaders called the 2014 referendum a “once-generation” event, but argued that there was growing support for independence and that when the UK withdrew from the EU – 62% of Scottish voters opposed it – they justified another vote on the constitutional question.
Johnson has repeatedly stressed that he will not accept a second referendum, and suggested in January that this should not be allowed. At least until the 2050s.
The UK government did not want to respond directly to Ipsos Mori’s findings or respond to the SNP majority, saying it wanted people in Scotland to see the UK and inappropriate administrations “working together” and was irresponsible in pushing for a second referendum.
“The UK is the most successful political and economic union the world has ever seen,” the UK government said.
A poll of a “knowledge panel” of people randomly selected to represent the UK’s Ipsos Mori highlighted the widespread uncertainty about the country’s constitutional future.
Only 24 per cent believed that in 10 years the UK would be as it is today, 53 per cent believed it was not and 23 per cent did not know it. Nearly 60% of respondents believed that Scottish independence would weaken the UK, and 41% said it would make them “mostly sad”.