Surge in support for independence, new poll shows

alex-salmond.jpg
First Minister Alex Salmond's approval rating are up alongside
support for his party's core policy of independence IMAGE: STOCKPIX.EU

Scottish independence: Surge in support for independence, shows new poll

A new poll, released today, shows support for independence is growing in Scotland. There is also further good news for Alex Salmond as his party's popularity has grown alongside his own leadership satisfaction rating.

According to the latest Ipsos MORI poll, support for Scotland becoming an independent country has risen to 34 percent (+4) since a similar poll in October 2012 while those who believe Scotland should remain inside the Union has fallen to 55% (-3%) while undecideds stand at 11 percent (-1%).

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Respondents were asked the question which the UK Electoral Commission recommended be used in the referendum: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

The poll reveals a dramatic surge in support for independence among Scotland's youth. As many as 58 percent (+31%) of 18-24 year olds now intend to vote ‘yes’. Interestingly, those living in Scotland’s most deprived areas (43%) see independence as their favoured option while support for the Union remains stronger within Scotland's more affluent areas with 65 percent currently intending to vote 'no'.

First Minister Alex Salmond will also be buoyed by the poll's findings which show support for his party on the rise. In terms of voting intentions for the Scottish parliament the SNP stands at 43 percent (+3%) with nearest rivals Labour remaining static on 35 percent (n/c) while the Conservatives, LibDems and Others are on 13, 7 and 2 percent respectively.

As regards leader popularity the poll, commissioned by The Times, Mr Salmond's satisfaction/dissatisfaction rating is positive and has increased 50/43: +7, while David Cameron's rating in Scotland appears to remain negative 27/67: -40

Mark Diffley, Director at Ipsos MORI Scotland said:

“Our latest poll shows a boost in support for those campaigning for Scottish independence, who will take some encouragement from these findings. Having said that, support for independence is behind where it was a year ago and those campaigning for Scotland to remain in the UK retain a sizeable lead.

"The campaigns are entering new phases with a greater emphasis on the issues of substance that will be key in deciding the outcome of next year’s vote. With this in mind, this poll provides detail on where the two campaigns are strongest and weakest, allowing them to see where they need to concentrate their efforts.”

Welcoming the poll the Scottish National Party’s Business Convener Derek Mackay said:

“This is an excellent poll – for SNP support to be increasing almost six years into office, and be around the same level which delivered our landslide victory in 2011, is a fantastic achievement by any standard.

“And the increase in support for an independent Scotland – narrowing the gap with No by seven points since last October – is extremely encouraging.  We also know from the Social Attitudes survey that the independence option of the Scottish Parliament making all the decisions is the most popular choice for Scotland’s future – and the guaranteed way to achieve more powers for Scotland is to vote Yes in the referendum.

“Since this poll, the Scottish Government have published the detailed report of the Fiscal Commission which shows how we can have a stronger economy with the powers of an independent Scotland.  And an independent Scotland will be a fairer Scotland – instead of having cruel cuts such as the ‘Bedroom Tax’ imposed by a Tory-led government that Scotland didn’t vote for.  And the UK government’s own legal expert has agreed that the Scottish Government’s timescale for independence is ‘realistic’.

“We are also extremely pleased with the leadership satisfaction ratings – nearly six years as First Minister and Alex Salmond is plus 7, compared to a disastrous minus 40 for David Cameron after less than three years as PM.  And Nicola Sturgeon is plus 17 – compared to just plus 1 for the No campaign’s Alistair Darling, which may well reflect his own responsibility for the economic crash and Libor scandal that occurred on his watch as Chancellor in the last Labour government.

“The political landscape is changing in a way which is boosting the case for a Yes vote – not least as the damaging impact of Westminster's ill-thought out and unfair benefits cuts become sadly clear.

“The compelling case for a Yes vote is that only with independence will Scotland always get the governments we vote for, and we are confident but by no means complacent about achieving success in the referendum.”

The Ipsos MORI poll sample was 1,003 Scots from 4-9 February 2013

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published this page in News 2013-02-13 11:23:57 +0000