What is Scotland thinking? These three graphs provide a clue

Support for independence at record highs - but so is Euroscepticism


Now that Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has thrown down gauntlet of a second referendum on Scottish independence if the UK government does not secure a comprimise Brexit deal with Holyrood, speculation about what Scottish voters are thinking is back leading the news.

A Scottish National Attitudes survey released today finds the highest levels of support for independence on record, at 46 per cent as of 2016.

The figure was widely picked up in today’s papers, but these three graphs from the suvey tell us more about how Scotland is changing.

First we have the steady increase in support for independence from 2012 to last now, with a rise of 13 per cent since the referendum in 2014:

Meanwhile, the number of people who support independence are increasingly voting for the Scottish National Party in Scottish and general elections:

Interestingly, despite 62 per cent of Scottish voters backing Remain in the EU referendum, Euroscepticism is on the rise, growing from 60 per cent in 2015 to 67 per cent in 2016.

This trend could suggest that pro-EU sentiment in Scotland is exagerated, since the EU referendum saw only 67.2 per cent turnout in Scotland, compared with 85 per cent for the 2014 referendum on independence.

If this is true, what does it mean for the SNP’s claim that Scotland’s Remain vote in the EU referendum is a driver for a second vote on independence?

See: WATCH: First round of IndyRef2? May and Robertson clash on Scotland and Article 50 at PMQs

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4 Responses to “What is Scotland thinking? These three graphs provide a clue”

  1. Chester Draws

    If this is true, what does it mean for the SNP’s claim that Scotland’s Remain vote in the EU referendum is a driver for a second vote on independence?

    The SNP exist to drive for independence. Somehow LFF notice that UKIP’s existence resides solely on needing Brexit, but don’t see the obvious similarities when it is on the Left.

    Facts are not going to be allowed to get in the way with parties like that.

  2. Alasdair Macdonald

    Surely one has to ask this obvious question: The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSAS) has over several years shown a growing trend of what is described as ‘Euroscepticism’, being somewhere around 67% at the time of the European Referendum in 2016, yet the vote at that time in Scotland was 62% REMAIN, so what actually is the SSAS actually measuring?
    The SSAS has asked the same questions of respondents over a long period and this gives it a consistency. However, these questions are not the questions which were asked in the 2014 and 2016 referenda.
    All such data, whether it is unemployment statistics, growth of the money supply, attitudes to same sex-marriage, etc. have to be interpreted with a great deal of caution.

  3. Boffy

    An international socialist would answer that they are sceptical about the capitalist nature of the EU as currently constituted, but would still vote for Remain, because the basis of overcoming the capitalist nature of the EU, is to be in it alongside other EU workers and socialists fighting for a change in a socialist direction.

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