Scottish voters are evenly split on independence, but IndyRef2 will be a very different campaign

Will Theresa May learn David Cameron's lessons?

Scottish voters are now evenly split in their views on independence according to a new poll.

The Ipsos MORI/STV poll finds that of all those who expressed a view and would be certain or likely to vote, 50 per cent said that they would support independence if a further referendum was held tomorrow, and 50 per cent were opposed.

Voters were also asked, in the event of independence, what Scotland’s relationship with the EU should be. 48 per cent said they supported full membership of the EU, with 27 per cent believing Scotland should have full access to the single market but without being a full member of the EU. 17 per cent did not believe an independent Scotland should be a member of either the EU or the single market.

The polling found also that 52 per cent of those questioned believe a second referendum should be held to either accept or reject whatever Brexit deal the UK Government is able to agree with the EU, the same proportion who feel Nicola Sturgeon is doing a good job as first minister in standing up for Scotland’s interest as part of the process of Brexit.

Just 34 per cent feel that Theresa May is doing a good job in representing the UK’s interests in the process of leaving the EU. This fell to 24 per cent when respondents were asked to rate how well she was doing in representing Scotland’s interests in the process of the UK leaving the EU.

With important local elections taking place in May, of all those who said how they would vote and who also said they were likely to do so, 46 per cent said they would cast their vote for the SNP, with 19 per cent saying they will back the Conservatives. Scottish Labour came third with just 17 per cent of those questioned saying they would back them in the council elections.

Commenting on the findings, Mark Diffley, Director at Ipsos MORI Scotland said:

“There has been much recent speculation about if and when there will be a second referendum on Scottish independence. In the immediate aftermath of the EU Referendum vote last June there was an increase in support for independence, which ebbed away later in the year. This poll suggests some modest movement back towards independence since we last measured opinion 6 months ago. It will certainly provide the SNP with a lift ahead of their spring conference in Aberdeen next week.”

The findings come as the man who was Scottish secretary during the last independence referendum has warned that Theresa May risks fighting the wrong campaign in the event of a second independence referendum.

Speaking ahead of the Scottish Lib Dem conference today in Perth, Alistair Carmichael argued that although his former Cabinet colleague, Theresa May, has a ‘better sense of self-awareness’ than David Cameron, she never the less risks making the same mistake has her predecessor in ‘promoting her party’s interest rather than the national self-interest’.

Arguing that the ‘biggest danger’ for Scotland is that Number 10 seeks to ‘fight the last war’, he said:

“I don’t want to see another independence referendum. But if by whatever means it happens you have to understand that it will be a very different campaign from the last one.

“For most of the last campaign the fairly complacent expectation was that there would be a No vote — right up until the last couple of weeks. That is not going to the case this time.

“Too much of the way in which the campaign was fought allowed to be characterised as a contest between governments in Holyrood and Westminster.

“That cannot be allowed to happen again. It will have to be a much more Scottish-centric campaign.”

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward

See: Is Nicola Sturgeon turning into Gordon Brown?

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6 Responses to “Scottish voters are evenly split on independence, but IndyRef2 will be a very different campaign”

  1. Jimmy Glesga

    Scotland is an independent country. The Scottish fascists just do not like the English but are prepared to sell Scotland out to the EU.

  2. Chester Draws

    Theresa May, has a ‘better sense of self-awareness’ than David Cameron, she never the less risks making the same mistake has her predecessor in ‘promoting her party’s interest rather than the national self-interest’.

    Because the SNP would never do that! A party existing solely to promote Scottish independence, every paid member of the SNP depends really on an eventually independent Scotland. But I’m sure that won’t come into their campaigning at all. No, not at all.

    And I do hope that when the vote comes in 51% for Independence and 49% for staying in the UK, with the Isles strongly NO, that the people who argued that Brexit should not occur on such a slim majority and with isolated regions being stiffed, strongly repeat their cries and demand that Independence not occur. They will also, no doubt, argue that the Yes vote was only due to lies from the Yes side and that the people were tricked.

    Because I’d put money that the Left in general, and LFF in particular, will have a different view on a referendum when it gives the result it likes — no matter how slim the margin.

  3. Julia Gibb

    Jimmy Glesga is probably as Scottish as Yorkshire pudding but could well be an Orange Order bigot.
    Every nation is entitled to exercise self determination. I do not consider my fellow Scots to be better OR worse than the citizens of any other nation.
    I do feel that the CIVIC Nationalism promoted in Scottish society is far superior to the right wing drift in England.
    Most of you know Scots – do you really consider the SNP to be fascists?
    I hope the nation’s of Britain have the same relationship as Scandanavia. However Norway will not return to Swedish rule.
    If the only way to “hold” Scotland is to attack our values (values we shared when Labour was Labour) then It is just a matter of WHEN we become Independent not IF.

  4. David Lindsay

    Bring on the second Scottish independence referendum. The second No vote would be a body blow to the SNP, whose horrific austerity policies and whose general incompetence are impossible to oppose on the part of the Blair Era time warp that is the Scottish Labour Party. This campaign would be Jeremy Corbyn’s opportunity to start again, more or less from scratch, and most obviously around the Leader that Scottish Labour ought to have, Neil Findlay.

    In all fairness, the SNP does send a few people to Westminster, such as Mhairi Black, who might be seen as to the left of most Labour MPs, even if not of Corbyn. Plaid Cymru also does that in Wales. And Caroline Lucas would at least describe herself in such terms. So that’s Scotland, Wales, and the South of England with MPs outside the Labour Party and in some sense to its left. Since 2015, however, none such has been returned from the North of England.

    Step forward a star of the last Scottish referendum campaign, and a star of the next one, the next MP for Manchester Gorton, George Galloway. Come on, George, since you already seem to be living there, get on and declare your candidacy. Then we can all get on with the twin campaigns up to 4th May. One would be for the tormentors of the Teaching Assistants, and of so many others, to be removed from Durham County Council. And the other would be for the champion of the Teaching Assistants, and of so many others in every corner of the world, to be restored to the most famous Parliament in the world.

    George, that is the only excuse that I, for one, would accept for your absence from the count here in Durham that night.

  5. Jimmy Glesga

    Julia Gibb, just wondering if you can be a Scottish member of the Orange Order and not be a bigot. Clearly you are a sensible person and not a bigot! There are no other bigots in Scotland except men, women and child members of the OO. Is that right Ms Gibb?

  6. Jimmy Glesga

    George Galloway did an excellent job during the 2014 referendum I attended a NAW meeting in Glasgow which was also attended by some Scottish Nat Fascists. They mumbled and grumpled in the background some wearing Palestinian T Shirts but none of them attempted to challenge Galloway .

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