What Are the Polls Saying?

Immediately after the UK Supreme court gave its ruling on independence referendums being in the power of Westminster and not of Holyrood, we saw a jump in support for independence. The ruling was on 23 November. In the Ipsos Mori poll of 5 December, support for Yes went up to 56%.

We thought we’d take a look at 2022’s polling on support for independence:
Och, that last Savanta poll is a bit disappointing coming in at 49% Yes

The Savanta poll was done on 21 December. If you have a look at the Savanta polls on their own (on the third slide), you’ll see their polling results have been sitting at 49% Yes, pretty well all year. Just a shame that they didn’t poll in November and we could have seen if they picked up the jump in Yes support that other pollsters did.

A Tale of Two Halves? The Supreme Court Judgement and Attitudes towards Independence

All the data in this post come from What Scotland Thinks, the website run by Prof John Curtice. He has written about the significance of the jump in support of independence here. Have a look at it. It begins

The Supreme Court judgement
 that the Scottish Parliament does not have the legal authority to hold a referendum on independence was widely welcomed by unionist politicians. However, so far at least, it seems to have undermined rather than underpinned the foundations of public support for the Union.

Prof John Curtice, What Scotland Thinks, Dec 2022

One of the YouGov polls included a question on whether ‘the Scottish Parliament should or should not have the power to call a referendum on Scottish independence without the agreement of the UK government’.

Sir John did a bit of analysis of these responses: While 30% of all respondents said that Holyrood should not have that power, as many as 51% indicated it should. Among the latter were nearly a quarter (23%) of those who voted No in 2014 (whereas just 12% of 2014 Yes voters took the opposite view). Perhaps this an indication that, whatever their views on having another referendum, some people who are inclined towards the Union nevertheless think it is Holyrood rather than Westminster who should decide whether one does take place?

When Should the Next Referendum be Held?

That same YouGov poll (9Dec 2022) asked Scots when the next referendum should be held : in 2023? or within the next 5 years.

I had a look at the detailed breakdown in the poll. No surprise that Tory and LibDem voters don’t want a referendum either in 2023 or within 5 years. And also no surprise that SNP voters do. What’s perhaps more interesting is that a fifth of Labour voters want one in 2023 and two fifths want one within 5 years.

And just to end…. here is the breakdown for support for independence across different parties.

I’m betting that you are about to ask why only 80% of SNP supporters in this survey said they wanted Scotland to be independent. The breakdown shows that 12% said an outright No to independence and another 7% said they didn’t know. And no, I don’t know why. On the other hand, within Labour voters 54% said an outright No and 17% haven’t made up their minds yet.

OK that’s enough stats for one post!

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