Support for Scottish independence declines again

Polling published today by Ipsos Mori for The Times suggests that the SNP’s independence headache continues as support for Scotland staying in the UK has increased to its highest level since August 2011.

Alex Salmond 3

Polling published today by Ipsos Mori for The Times suggests that the SNP’s independence headache continues as support for Scotland staying in the UK has increased to its highest level since August 2011.

Asked the same question as that which they will be presented with in 2014, ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’ among those who have definitely decided how they will vote, 67 per cent said no compared with 33 per cent who support the idea of independence. This represents a 5 per cent swing towards the ‘No’ vote since similar polling conducted in February.

The regular Scottish Public Opinion Monitor also polls voting intentions which show a narrowing of the SNP’s lead over Scottish Labour to just 3 per cent. Of those certain to vote in the next Scottish Parliament Elections, 39 per cent expressed support for the SNP, down by 4 per cent since February; Scottish Labour are on 36 per cent (up 1 per cent); the Scottish Conservatives have increased their support by 3 per cent to 16 per cent and the Scottish Lib Dems are up 1 per cent to 8 per cent.

Meanwhile, Mr Bombastic (aka the Scottish first minister) may at last be losing his air of invincibility as deputy first minister. Nicola Sturgeon has overtaken Alex Salmond as the most popular political leader in Scotland. 49 per cent of those polled expressed satisfaction with her performance compared with the 47 per cent who said the same of the first minister.

Sturgeon also has a net satisfaction rating of +14, although this is down three points since February. She is followed by Scottish Green Party leader Patrick Harvie, who has a net satisfaction rating of +11, and Scottish Labour Party leader Johann Lamont, who has a net satisfaction rating of +5. The long-term decline in the first minister’s approval rating continues and is now +2, down five points since February, and down from a high of +35 in December 2011.

Outlining the scale of the challenge now faced by the Yes to independence campaign, Christopher McLean, senior research at Ipsos MORI Scotland, said:

“Following recent debates over the currency and pensions in an independent Scotland, our latest poll shows that support for Scotland remaining in the Union is growing. Although there are just under 500 days to go until the referendum, most Scots who plan to vote say that they have made up their minds, with a clear majority opting to remain part of the UK. This suggests that the Yes Scotland Campaign will have to convince the vast majority of the remaining, floating voters to support independence if it is to stand any chance of achieving independence in September 2014.”

The poll findings are likely to be a welcome retirement present for one Sir Alex Ferguson, who has previously gone on record as declaring:

“If ever there was a time to be wary of Scotland pulling out of the UK, it is now. It would be a total distraction from what really matters — the economy, jobs, schools and hospitals.”

In December last year, meanwhile, Ferguson accused Alex Salmond of “silencing” Scots. Following the decision by the Yes Scotland campaign to cap donations from those living outside Scotland at £500, the Labour supporting Ferguson made a symbolic donation of £501 to the Better Together campaign to highlight what he claims is the injustice of the cap. At the time he explained:

“Eight-hundred-thousand Scots, like me, live and work in other parts of the United Kingdom. We don’t live in a foreign country; we are just in another part of the family of the UK.

“Scots living outside Scotland but inside the UK might not get a vote in the referendum, but we have a voice and we care deeply about our country.

“It is quite wrong of the man who is supposed to be leader of Scotland to try and silence people like this. I played for Scotland and managed the Scotland team. No-one should question my Scottishness just because I live south of the Border.”

14 Responses to “Support for Scottish independence declines again”

  1. James Kelly

    ‘Support for Scottish independence declines again’

    “Again”? What a thoroughly peculiar headline, given that the majority of polls this year have shown a swing towards Yes.

    “as support for Scotland staying in the UK has increased to its highest level since August 2011”

    And that’s wrong as well. The No vote is 1% lower than in the comparable Ipsos-Mori poll of October 2012.

    It must also be somewhat concerning for the No campaign that their leader Alistair Darling now has an outright negative personal rating – and that’s in spite of the fact that he doesn’t even have ministerial responsibilities that might be making him unpopular. What can he be doing so wrong? Are people getting sick of his relentless negativity?

  2. cynicalhighlander

    Since the odds on the bookies have recently shortened to 11/4 someone is reading from the wrong page.

  3. cynicalhighlander

    Since the odds on the bookies have recently shortened to 11/4 someone is reading from the wrong page.

  4. cynicalhighlander

    Since the odds on the bookies have recently shortened to 11/4 someone is reading from the wrong page.

  5. cynicalhighlander

    Since the odds on the bookies have recently shortened to 11/4 someone is reading from the wrong page.

  6. Patrick Roden

    Yes I was amazed when i saw that the odds on Scotland gaining independence had shortened from 10/3 to 11/4 thats a jump from over three to one to under three to one.
    The bookies calculate odds using pure mathematics, they rely on data that has proven reliable over a number of years for whatever line of betting they are offering odds for.
    So what data do the bookies have that would cause them to shorten the odds, in spite of this poll showing such a big lead for the No campaign.
    Just to clarify, a bookmaker would soon be out of a job, if he couldn’t show hard FACTS to support his offering these shortened odds.

  7. tadramgo

    Ed Jacobs, still banging the drum for Britain.

  8. David Milligan

    I’ll give you a wee piece of advice from a tory (what an admission he made) that puts the myth of these “polls” to bed, the person saying it is Lord Ashcroft. He said, “It is always worth looking twice at any survey that seems to show that the public support the agenda of whoever commissioned it.”

    I rest my case.

    All Socialists in Scotland should be supporting Scottish independence because only through that will we see our principle aims working. Anything else will just end up in either tinkering round the edges of our problems or will be worse than that.

    I’m not a nationalist, instead I’m an internationalist. An independent Scotland will conquer the world, not with bullets, missiles or bombs, but with Scots know-how, genius and compassion for our fellow man. Scotland as an independent nation will also give the English folk a good example of how a country on these British Isles should look and behave on the world stage. Perhaps then they’ll take heart and change their country for the better. The empire is dead but we still live with empire mentality. It’s time to bring our government home.

    Kindest regards,

    David Milligan – a very Sovereign Scot

  9. murrisk

    Please god let the whining Scots vote for independence. Totally fed up of the moronic arguments from deluded flag waving ” patriots” Sean Connery the worst example, when did this idiot last pay tax to aid his beloved country . Massive party in England if the Scots vote yes !

  10. Chris Brown

    It’ll be interesting to see what impact Denis Healey’s recent intervention will have.

  11. Alan

    “Meanwhile, Mr Bombastic (aka the Scottish first minister) may at last be losing his air of invincibility as deputy first minister. Nicola Sturgeon has overtaken Alex Salmond as the most popular political leader in Scotland.”
    I think you need to fix the punctuation. That was gibberish.

  12. terregles2

    Mr Bombastic (aka Scottish First Minister) The writer blew all credibility with that comment. Still all we can expect now is hysterical rants from the better together campaigners as they have never yet presented a logical argument.

  13. Steve

    I graduated from Strathclyde University and I hope to live in Glasgow. But I am a bit unease of an independent Scotland for the uncertainties in the economy then. How to fabricate an active economy with income from other countries to feed five million mouths but not relying on the depleting North Sea oil field is the most important issue for the pro-independence to consider in length. I am now in Hong Kong where the people in the ex-colony were betrayed by British Government 30 years ago.

  14. luke

    its a yes from me, nevermind what the rigged polls say.

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