Support for Scottish independence surges to equal record high of 58%

Support for Scottish independence surges to equal record high of 58 per cent as voters desert ‘toxic’ Boris Johnson ahead of key elections in May

  • Figures in Savanta ComRes poll for The Scotsman newspaper today 
  • Support for splitting UK at 58 per cent, level to a figure reached in October
  • Scots Tory leader admitted this week he doesn’t mention PM while campaigning

Support for Scottish independence has surged to equal a record high as Boris Johnson’s premiership continues to alienate votes north of the border, a new poll revealed today.

A Savanta ComRes poll for The Scotsman newspaper showed support for splitting the United Kingdom at 58 per cent, level to a figure reached in October.

The numbers are a boost to SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon ahead of Holyrood elections in May in which her party is expected to sweep to a comprehensive victory. 

But they will be a headache for Mr Johnson, who has positioned himself as ‘Minister for the Union’ since taking power last year.

This week the leader of the Tories in Scotland, Douglas Ross, admitted he does not mention Mr Johnson when campaigning, leading the SNP to claim he is ‘toxic’ north of the border. 

The figures will be a headache for Mr Johnson, who has positioned himself as ‘Minister for the Union’ since taking power last year.

The poll findings, released today, showed a 58-42 split when undecided voters were excluded. With Don’t Know’s included, the split was 52-38 in favour of independence, with 10 per cent yes to make a decision.  

 SNP deputy Leader Keith Brown said: ‘This poll – the seventeenth in a row with a clear majority for Yes – shows that independence is becoming the settled will of the majority of people in Scotland. 

‘Faced with an arrogant, out-of-touch Tory government at Westminster, which side-lines Scotland at every opportunity, and is dragging Scotland out of the EU against our will, it’s no surprise that people want a better future.’ 

At the last referendum in 2014, 55 per cent of Scots voted to stay a part of the UK, with 45 per cent backing secession.

Mr Johnson hit the headlines last month when he told Tory MPs that Scottish devolution had been a ‘mistake’, before later U-turning on the comments. 

On Tuesday, Mr Ross told Times Radio  he was ‘not bringing up the Prime Minister’ on the doorstep as he campaigns for the Holyrood elections.

The Tories are currently the second-largest group in the Scottish Parliament, but are not expected to unseat the SNP administration.

Mr Ross said: ‘I’m focussing on, you know, how we take the challenge to the SNP, so I’m focussing on their domestic record. 

‘I’m not bringing up the Prime Minister, if he comes up, some people like him, some people don’t, that’s the nature of politics. You know, he is not immune to the opinion poll ratings that suggest he is considerably less popular than other political leaders in Scotland.

‘But he is the Prime Minister of the whole country, he is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and he is absolutely passionate about the UK remaining a strong family of four nations together.’

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