Martin Lewis grills Nicola Sturgeon over independence bid
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Closing the Scottish National Party (SNP) conference, Nicola Sturgeon said she hoped “the Scottish and UK Governments can reach agreement to allow the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland to be heard and respected” with a second Scottish independence referendum, to be held in 2023. She said she hoped to act in “co-operation not confrontation”, but warned: “Democracy must – and will – prevail.”
However, a new poll shows that the general Scottish public might not be on side with the First Minister.
Polling conducted for Politico by Redfield and Wilton Strategies shows a small majority believe the power to hold a referendum should lie in Westminster and aren’t currently convinced that independence is the way to go.
Of 1,000 Scottish voters polls, 43 percent said they agreed that Scotland should only hold a second independence referendum if the UK Government agrees to it, while 38 percent disagreed.
Excluding those who don’t know or don’t hold an opinion either way, the poll showed that a small majority of 53 percent believe it should be up to Westminster.
Those polled also backed Scotland remaining in the UK. by 47 percent to 44 percent.
This is a narrower margin than the 55-45 result in 2014 but some way off the big Yes leads enjoyed by Ms Sturgeon and her supporters 12 months ago when support for independence was at a peak.
Both sides, however, will see opportunity in the one in 10 Scots who remain undecided, with the potential to sway voters on side.
On the matter of timing for any referendum, voters were largely united against the idea of holding a vote in the next year – 34 percent support and 50 percent oppose.
However, responders were more divided on holding one during the next five years – 41 percent in support and 42 percent opposed.
Elsewhere, polling has shown that support for indyref2 is on a knife-edge.
A recent poll by Opinium for Sky News of 1,014 adults between September 2 and September 8 found 51 percent of people would vote for independence.
However, support for the referendum itself polls lower, with just 31 percent in the Opinium poll supporting indyref2 in the next two years.
Another 31 percent said there should be no vote at all.
A further 15 percent said there should be a vote in the next five years, while 13 percent said there should another referendum, but not in the next five years.
Another poll, published one day after the Opinium poll, put the support up to 52 percent in support of independence against 48 percent opposed.
This second poll, undertaken by Savanta ComRes for The Scotsman, interviewed 1,016 Scottish adults aged 16 and above between September 3 and 9, 2021.
Ms Sturgeon, however, will not be swayed by the polls, telling delegates: “As we emerge from the pandemic, decisions fall to be made that will shape Scotland for decades to come.
So we must decide. Who should be making those decisions: people here in Scotland or governments we don’t vote for at Westminster?
“That is the choice we intend to offer the Scottish people in a legal referendum within this term of Parliament – Covid permitting, by the end of 2023.
“I said earlier that my approach to government and to politics will be, as far as possible, co-operation not confrontation.
“The experience of the pandemic and the challenges we face as a result reinforces my view that this is the right approach.
“So it is in that spirit of co-operation that I hope the Scottish and UK governments can reach agreement – as we did in 2014 – to allow the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland to be heard and respected.
“But, this much is clear. Democracy must – and will – prevail.
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