Ian Blackford humiliated: Blow as only a quarter of Scots back independence vote this year

Scotland: 'Independence party attracting SNP voters' says

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The latest Panelbase polling reveals only 25 percent of Scots would support holding a second independence referendum in the next year. Meanwhile, the poll showed only 45 percent say it should not take place for the next few years.

The findings are a scathing rebuff for SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford who suggested an independence vote could take place “as early as late 2021”.

Mr Blackford said: “(Scottish Constitution Secretary Mike Russell) has talked about a six-month period once the legislation is triggered which could be in June, so it could be the case we could face a referendum as early as late 2021.

“But the key thing is that we put in place the circumstances that allow that to happen, whenever it happens, and that we have an inclusive debate with everybody in Scotland about the kind of country that they want to live in.

“I want to see that referendum happen as quickly as is practically possible, I think it’s in everybody’s interest that that is the case.”

The poll also found support for a Yes vote stood at 46 percent, with No on 47 percent.

When “don’t knows” are excluded, this put the weighted support for both Yes and No at 50 percent each.

The Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times also found 30 percent said they would support a referendum in the next two to five years while 45 percent agreed with the statement “there should not be another Scottish independence referendum in the next few years”.

However, the poll also indicated a comfortable lead for the SNP in the upcoming Scottish Parliament election on May 6th.

The SNP stood at 47 percent for the constituency vote, with the Conservatives on 23 percent, Labour on 20 percent, the Liberal Democrats on 7 percent and the Greens on 2 percent.

For the regional list vote, the SNP were on 38 percent, the Conservatives on 20 percent, Labour on 17 percent and both the Lib Dems and Greens on 6 percent.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said a pledge to bring forward a second independence vote was a “reckless” move by the SNP.

Mr Ross said today: “We’ve got an SNP Government who is refusing to focus on a recovery from this pandemic but would rather speak about referendums, even suggesting that they will bring forward another bill for another referendum in Scotland as soon as possible.

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“That is a reckless move by the SNP when we should be focused on our recovery and rebuilding Scotland.”

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “Senior SNP politicians are still agitating for a divisive second referendum this year, which shows they aren’t listening to the people of Scotland.

“It would be grossly insulting to hold another contest while people continue to lose their lives and livelihoods remain at risk because of the economic crisis.

“The government should put its negative and divisive drive for separation aside and focus on uniting people.”

Earlier this week, two other opinion polls suggested support for a No vote had pulled ahead of Yes.

One survey, conducted for The Scotsman by Savanta ComRes, found that 45 percent of respondents said they would vote Yes if the vote was held tomorrow, while 47 percent said they would vote No and 8 percent said they did not know.

When unsure voters were excluded, 51 percent said they would vote in favour of the union while 49 percent would vote for independence.

A poll carried out for The Times by YouGov found that 51 percent were in favour of the union while 49 percent supported independence.

It comes after Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Michael Russell said a draft bill paving the way for a second vote would be published within the next six weeks.

Last month, the SNP also released an 11-point “roadmap” to an independence referendum – setting out that a ballot could take place if May’s Holyrood elections result in a pro-independence majority, even if Westminster refuses to grant a Section 30 order.

Mr Russell said today that if Scottish voters in May back the SNP’s plan to hold a post-pandemic referendum, then the UK Government have “no right” to block it.

In response, Keith Brown MSP, SNP depute leader, said: “The Tories are in panic mode and running scared of democracy.

“In seven weeks, voters have the chance to decide who should be in charge of Scotland’s COVID recovery – a Scottish Government democratically elected by the people of Scotland, or a Tory government at Westminster that we didn’t vote for led by the likes of Boris Johnson.”

A total of 1,013 Scottish adults were polled online between March 3rd and 5th.

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