Exactly a week after the UK Supreme Court ruling showed that Scotland is not in a “union of equals”, and amid continued denials of Scotland’s democracy by the Westminster parties, a new poll shows majority support for Scottish independence.
The poll, conducted after the Supreme Court ruling (26-27 November) by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, puts Yes 5 points up from their latest poll.
Read on for some key takeaways and everything you need to know.
Support for Scottish independence is at 52%, up 5 points
The Tory and Labour attempts to deny Scotland’s democratic right to choose are backfiring, and resulting in a jump in support for Yes.
In response to the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”, with ‘don’t knows’ removed, Yes is up 5 points at 52% – with No at 48%.
This is the first time Yes is leading in a Redfield & Wilton poll.
Every age group under 65 backs Scottish independence
Support for Scottish independence is strongest among younger Scots, with 64% of 16-24 year olds and 61% of 25-34 year olds backing Yes.
This is a significant shift in support, as in 2014 the majority of 16-24 year olds opted for No, as well those in the 55-64 age group.
What’s more, every single age group apart from the over-65s (39% of whom back Yes) shows majority support for independence.
More people support holding a referendum in 2023 than don’t
There has also been a big jump in support for an independence referendum in 2023, as planned by the Scottish Government but consistently blocked by democracy-denying Westminster politicians.
On the question of when a referendum should take place, 46% would support the referendum being held next year, while 43% oppose.
That’s an increase of 12 points – a clear indication of public support on top of the clear democratic mandate won by the SNP and the Greens in the 2021 Holyrood election.
The biggest factor driving people to independence is Brexit
When asked about the factors making people more likely to vote Yes in the next independence referendum, the biggest issue was Brexit – with 39% saying it’s pushing them towards Scottish independence.
In 2016, all 32 out of Scotland’s 32 local authorities voted against Brexit, but Scotland got dragged out of the EU against its will by Westminster.
There is mounting evidence about the major damage Brexit causes to our economy, small businesses and communities – exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis and causing the UK to have the lowest growth in the G20 apart from Russia.
Meanwhile, Labour continues to back the Tories’ hard Brexit, and is attempting to out-Tory the Tories on issues such as immigration and free movement of people.
Over a third of Labour voters support independence
The new poll also shows that of those who voted Labour in the 2019 general election, 37% say they back Scottish independence.
While a significant proportion of Labour members and Labour voters supports Yes, both Anas Sarwar and Keir Starmer are desperate to block the people’s right to even have a say.
In the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, Scottish Labour has removed a young female working-class candidate for simply stating that she support Scotland’s right to choose.
And in a sign that Labour has become completely out of touch with Scotland and with trade unions, the STUC – Scotland’s trade union congress – has reaffirmed its support for Scotland’s future being in Scotland’s hands.
It’s time for Scotland to have the choice over its future
Despite a clear democratic mandate for an independence referendum, and a whole range of broken promises by the ‘No’ campaign in 2014 – especially over Scotland’s membership of the EU – Scotland’s democracy is being blocked by Westminster.
The Supreme Court ruling dispelled the myth that Scotland is in a voluntary union, and it’s now clear that Westminster claims of Scotland being “an equal partner” in the union were nothing more than an empty slogan.
As support for independence increases, as well as support for a referendum next year, Westminster must stop denying democracy and stop standing in the way of Scotland’s right to choose.