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?
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