New poll shows Scots still split on independence

Worrying for Labour, 53 per cent of respondents in its former Glasgow stronghold say they'd vote yes


The SNP’s polling lead in Scotland has narrowed,but only slightly. That’s the headline from new data released today by TNS.

In the poll of 1,023 adults over the age of 16 in Scotland, of those who expressed an opinion about how they would vote in the constituency section of next May’s elections to the Scottish Parliament, 58 per cent said the SNP, down from 62 per cent last month.

Labour’s ratings increased by 3 percentage points to 23 per cent, with the Conservatives unchanged on 12 per cent. The Lib Dems rose two points to 5 per cent.

While this shows a 7 percentage point cut in the SNP lead since August, it nevertheless amounts to a 35 point lead over the Scottish Labour Party.

Asked how they would vote in the regional list vote, of those expressing an opinion, 51 per cent said the SNP (down 3 points) and 24 per cent said Labour (up 4 points). The Conservatives fell 1 point to 11 per cent and the Lib Dems were up 2 points to 6 per cent. The Scottish Green Party fell 2 points to 6 per cent.

Commenting on the findings, Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland, said:

“SNP support remains at a very high level; Labour, which will be encouraged by making a modest dent in the SNP lead, is likely to have been helped in the past month by the election of Kezia Dugdale as leader in Scotland, and perhaps by the news focus on its UK leadership election.

“But it should be noted that the 23 per cent poll support is still below the 24.3 per cent it received in its General Election defeat by the SNP.”

TNS also asked those questioned how they would vote if there was a referendum on independence held tomorrow. With the don’t knows taken away, 53 per cent said they would vote yes, and 47 per cent said they’d vote no. Perhaps most worryingly of all for Labour, its once great stronghold of Glasgow continues to support independence by 50 per cent to 38.

Tom Costley said of these findings:

“The apparent change of mood towards independence gives the SNP a difficult decision on whether to include a commitment to a referendum in its manifesto for next year’s elections.

“On the one hand, some will argue that ‘just one more heave’ will get the Yes vote over the line, and will be disappointed if there is no commitment to try again. Others will argue that a six-point lead can be overturned in a long campaign, and that a second lost referendum would make it hard to make another attempt for the foreseeable future.”

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

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4 Responses to “New poll shows Scots still split on independence”

  1. Selohesra

    Scotland will never vote for independence – sure they will make lots of noise in order to extract maximum concessions but when it comes down to a vote they won’t have the courage to be weaned from the English tax payer teat

  2. Scott Dearden

    I’m sure such a devastating swing to Labour will have the SNP utterly quaking in their boots! Also, that’s quite the spin on that headline haha.

  3. Radical Accountability

    “TNS also asked those questioned how they would vote if there was a referendum on independence held tomorrow. With the don’t knows taken away, 53 per cent said they would vote yes, and 47 per cent said they’d vote no.”

    We must consider the percentage of don’t knows as well, in which case …

    47% said they would vote Yes, 42% No and 11% did not know.

    Still all to play for.

    If Better-Together-2 have a good campaign and convince all the don’t-knows to vote No then the final result would be
    Yes – 47%
    No – 53%
    and another victory for No.

    So I would not call indy-ref-2 today on results that were typically like those.

    Only when poll results are typically when the don’t know-s plus the No-s are less than the Yes-s would it be relatively good tactics to call another indy-ref.

  4. Radical Accountability

    The BBC rigged the Scottish Independence Referendum

    A BBC spokesperson said: “As we said at the time, we believe our coverage of the referendum was rigorously impartial and in line with our guidelines on fairness and impartiality.”

    The BBC is in denial.

    BBC censorship rigged the Scottish independence referendum.

    * Censorship of British Scots who support Scottish independence

    * Censorship of republicans who support Scottish independence

    * Censorship of independence supporters who opposed the approach of the official “YES Scotland” campaign

    * Censorship of independence supporters who opposed the Edinburgh Agreement which ruled out a 2-state solution, establishing an independent Scottish state whatever the result of the indyref

    The BBC censored the British case for Scottish independence and against the United Kingdom which is a republican case for a Scottish republic and against the kingdom elsewhere in Britain because the BBC institutionally censors republicans and promotes the monarchy and kingdom.

    The BBC also claims to be “fair and impartial” so the first words out of a republican on the BBC should be to point out that the BBC is in denial about its pro-monarchy, anti-republican bias.

    The BBC is unwilling to allow the pointing out of its own lies (that it is “impartial” etc) in its own broadcasts.

    So there hasn’t even been a first fully free and fair referendum.

    So all this talk of a “second” referendum is misleading unless someone is allowed on TV to expose how the first indyref was rigged.

    We need a first, free and fair indyref – that we were robbed of.

    “Nicola Sturgeon calls on BBC to put forward bold proposal for Scotland

    Scotland’s first minister warns the BBC it will lose the trust of Scottish viewers unless it takes ‘bold action’ as part of charter renewal”

    We need a new BBC Scotland, perhaps renamed as “the Scottish Broadcasting Corporation (SBC)” to run Scottish state TV & Radio channels funded from the TV licence of Scottish viewers.

    I don’t think the Scots need a QUANGO like the BBC Trust. We don’t need a SBC Trust to run the SBC channels.

    The First Minister of Scotland should simply appoint the Director General and Editor in Chief of the SBC. This would ensure democratic accountability.

    I propose in addition that FM Sturgeon should appoint herself as SBC Director General and Editor-in-Chief because Scots trust her more than any other politician and I think Scots would also trust her more than anyone else to direct and edit our Scottish state TV channels.

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