Majority of Scots favour independence if UK votes for Brexit


A majority of Scots would vote for independence if the country was removed from the European Union (EU) against its wishes, a new poll has suggested.

If the UK as a whole opts to leave the EU in June, but voters north of the border want to stay in, just over half of those questioned by ICM wanted a second independence referendum to be held, when undecided voters were excluded.

The poll, for the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, also found in those circumstances there could be a slim majority in favour of exiting the UK.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly warned that if Britain votes to leave the EU but Scotland opts to stay in, this could trigger a second vote on the future of the UK.

The SNP leader yesterday announced her party is to launch a fresh drive this summer aimed at increasing support for the "beautiful dream" of independence.

This will seek to persuade voters who ''wanted to be persuaded'' in 2014 but  ''ultimately didn't find our arguments compelling enough'', Ms Sturgeon said.

Pollsters at ICM questioned 1,000 Scots on whether a second independence referendum should be held if the country voted to stay in the EU but the UK as a whole wanted to leave.

This found 48% backing holding another referendum, compared to 44% against  and 9% who did not know.

When these undecided voters are excluded, 52% thought there should be a second independence poll with 48% against this.

When asked how they would vote in a second independence referendum, 49% said they would vote for Scotland to leave the UK, with 43% in favour of the Union and 8% undecided.

But when these undecided voters are excluded, that could see 53% vote for independence.

The poll also found 50% of those questioned would vote for the UK to stay in the EU, with 35% in favour of leaving, while 15% are undecided.

When undecided voters are excluded, this could see Scotland vote by 59% to 41% in favour of remaining part of Europe.