Support for independence rises as referendum speculation grows

Our new poll for STV News shows voters split down the middle in their constitutional preference.

As the UK government prepares to begin formal negotiations to leave the European Union and the SNP prepares for its forthcoming spring conference, our new poll for STV News shows voters split down the middle in their constitutional preference.

Among those who expressed a voting preference and who would be very likely or certain to vote in an immediate referendum, 50% (+2pts) said they would support independence with the other 50% of voters (-2pts) saying they would back Scotland remaining in the UK.


We also asked voters to tell us the extent to which they supported independence or the UK by placing themselves on a scale of 1-10, where 1 was complete support for independence and 10 for the union. Interestingly, 15% of voters place themselves as between 4 and 7 on this scale, meaning that they are those most likely to be persuaded to change their minds in any forthcoming campaign.


Elsewhere almost half (48%) of voters said that, in the event of Scotland becoming independent, it should be a full member of the EU, while 27% favour an independent Scotland having full single market access outside formal membership and 17% thinking that an independent Scotland should be out of the EU altogether.


Mark Diffley, Director at Ipsos 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’.

Technical note

  • Results are based on a survey of 1,029 respondents (adults aged 16+) conducted by telephone
  • Fieldwork dates: 24th February to 6th March 2017
  • Data are weighted by: age, sex educational attainment and working status using census data; tenure using Scottish Household Survey data; and public-private sector employment using Scottish Government Quarterly Public Sector Employment series data
  • Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don’t know” categories
  • Results are based on all respondents (1,029) unless otherwise stated

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