Support for Scottish independence reaches record high of 55% – the exact REVERSE of the 2014 referendum – as Nicola Sturgeon seizes on Boris Johnson’s coronavirus shambles to boost bid to break up the union
- Breakaway backing now 55-45 in favour, the mirror opposite of 2014 result
- Pro-independence organisation Business for Scotland commissioned the poll
- CEO Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp said writing ‘definitely on the wall for the union’
Support for an independent Scotland has soared to a record high this week – as Boris Johnson holidays in the country.
Backing for a breakaway has hit 55-45 in favour, the mirror opposite of the 2014 referendum result, a survey by Panelbase found.
The research, carried out this week, comes as Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon continues to take advantage of Boris Johnson’s flailing handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pro-independence organisation Business for Scotland commissioned the poll, with chief executive Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp hailing the results as a ‘huge landmark’ showing the ‘writing is very definitely on the wall for the union’.
Overall, 51 per cent of those questioned said they support independence, 42 per cent said they would vote to stay in the UK and 7 per cent of voters were undecided.
When undecided voters were excluded, 55 per cent favoured Scotland leaving the UK, with 45 per cent preferring to stay in the union.
Mr MacIntyre-Kemp said: ‘The reversal of the 2014 result is a huge landmark – 55 per cent Yes will send shockwaves throughout the political world.
Overall, 51 per cent of those questioned said they support independence, 42 per cent said they would vote to stay in the UK and 7 per cent of voters were undecided. When undecided voters were excluded, 55 per cent favoured Scotland leaving the UK, with 45 per cent preferring to stay in the union
Supporters of Scottish independence gather at the site of the battle of Bannockburn, near Stirling, for an ‘All Under One Banner’ event this afternoon
The research, carried out this week, comes as Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon continues to take advantage of Boris Johnson’s flailing handling of the coronavirus pandemic
The Unite trade union has said NHS workers are at breaking point after a survey of members found widespread concerns about staff shortages and working overtime.
A total of 2,198 Unite Scotland members completed the survey, with 51 per cent saying they do not feel valued as an NHS worker.
Some 83 per said they experienced staff shortages ‘frequently or sometimes’ and 79 per cent said they worked beyond their contracted hours.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has insisted healthcare workers’ efforts during the pandemic have been deeply appreciated.
James O’Connell, Unite regional officer, said: ‘The mass survey findings of 2,200 NHS Scotland workers should be a wake-up call for all involved in the management of the nation’s health service.
‘Around four out of every five NHS workers are working beyond their contracted hours and experiencing acute staff shortages.
‘The scale of the problem is unsustainable and the workforce is at breaking point.’
He called on the Scottish Government to urgently reopen pay negotiations for NHS staff.
Asked about the survey at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, the First Minister said: ‘I will never be able to find the words to properly convey my appreciation and admiration for the people who’ve worked in our health and care services over the past five months.’
Referring to the pay deal, she added: ‘We are in the final stages of a three-year deal for Agenda for Change and the Health Secretary will be taking forward negotiations for the next period of that.’
‘There is no conclusion to draw from this new set of data other than the writing is very definitely on the wall for the union.’
He added: ‘The referendum that will be demanded following May 2021 Holyrood elections, on these figures, would start with Yes to independence commanding a 10 per cent lead.
‘Independence is now significantly the majority decision of the people of Scotland and its momentum looks solid.’
SNP depute leader Keith Brown said support for independence is ‘soaring’.
With the Prime Minister repeatedly ruling out having a second independence ballot, Mr Brown said: ‘Boris Johnson’s attempts to deny the right of the people to decide their own future is now utterly unsustainable.
‘When we look at Boris Johnson’s handling of coronavirus, and his Tory Government’s contempt for all things Scotland, it is no wonder that the majority of voters in Scotland want to make their own decisions on the future of our country.’
He added: ‘With consecutive polls putting support for independence above 50 per cent, it’s clear this is not a trend but the established position of the Scottish electorate.’
Ms Sturgeon has confirmed a pledge to hold a second independence vote will be in her party’s manifesto for next May’s Holyrood elections, which her party is widely expected to win comfortably.
Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the pro-independence Scottish Green Party, also welcomed the survey.
He said: ‘I’m delighted to see yet another poll show that ever more people in Scotland believe that it is time to choose independence.
‘It’s no surprise that momentum towards independence continues to build in the face of utter contempt shown to Scotland by the Westminster Government.
‘Boris Johnson’s disastrous handling of the pandemic and his sleekit attempts to undermine the democratic mandate of the Scottish Parliament have not gone unnoticed.
‘The people of Scotland deserve so much better and by taking our future into our own hands we can build that better Scotland.’
:: Panelbase questioned a total of 1,011 people across Scotland between August 12 and 18 for the research.
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