Majority of voters still against Scottish independence, poll finds

Voters in Scotland would oppose independence in a second referendum by 57% to 43%, according to a poll.

The latest Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times Scotland found the figures unchanged from a previous survey six months ago.

Researchers questioned 1,037 people in Scotland and found support for the SNP had fallen among voters at Holyrood and Westminster.

Asked about their Westminster voting intentions, 36% said they would vote SNP, down five points from the previous poll in September.

The Conservatives took second place on 28% (plus one point), with Labour on 27% (plus three) and the Liberal Democrats and Greens unchanged on 6% and 2% respectively.

The survey predicts the SNP would remain the biggest party at Holyrood in the next election based on constituency voting intention, with 40% of respondents planning to vote for the party, a two-point drop from the previous poll.

The Tories, Labour and Lib Dems remain unchanged on 28%, 22% and 6% while support for the Greens rose one point to 3%.

Regarding the timing of any further Scottish independence referendum, 58% do not want one in the next few years, 17% want one during Brexit negotiations and 25% when these are finished.

The number of people who expect Scotland to become independent in the next five to 10 years has dropped slightly, down two points to 27%.

The number who do not expect independence at any point in the next few decades has also dropped two points to 30%.

A total of 19% (down one point) envisage it happening in 10 or 15 years, while 11% (plus one) expect it to take 20 or 30 years.

SNP Business Convener highlighted his party's 12 point lead (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Derek Mackay highlighted his party's 12-point lead (Andrew Milligan/PA)

SNP business convener Derek Mackay MSP said: "After 11 years in government, the SNP still hold a double-digit lead over the nearest opposition party - testament to our record of delivering for the people of Scotland."

The poll "shows the public continue to trust the SNP to stand up for Scotland against out-of-touch Tories at Westminster", he added.

"Meanwhile, Labour under Richard Leonard are lost in the wilderness and remain unfit for opposition, never mind government."

Ivor Knox from Panelbase said: "The last six months of Brexit negotiations with the EU have made no discernible net impact on the Scottish independence debate, with positions entrenched on both issues.

"In common with our poll last September, over a quarter of 2014 Yes voters actually favour leaving the EU, creating a major obstacle against the SNP using the unfolding Brexit situation to further the cause of independence."

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