Half of Scots don’t think the UK will exist in its current form in five years’ time

New data from Ipsos MORI shows that people in Scotland are less confident that the UK will continue to exist in its present form in the medium term than people in Britain overall are.

The author(s)

  • Emily Gray Managing Director, Ipsos MORI Scotland
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Key findings:

  • 75% of Scottish adults think the UK will exist in its current form in one year’s time, compared with 72% of adults in Britain overall.
  • But more Scots think the UK won’t exist in its current form in five years’ time than think it will, with 39% saying it will and 48% that it won’t. This contrasts with the picture across Britain, where people are split on whether the UK will exist in its current form over that time period, with 42% saying it will and 44% that it won’t.
  • Just three in ten of the Scottish public think the UK will exist in its current form in ten years’ time, with 28% saying this, similar to the figure for the British public overall (29%). And a quarter (24%) think it will exist in its current form in twenty years’ time – compared with 27% of the British public overall.
  • SNP supporters are the most confident that the UK will not continue to exist, with 79% saying it won’t exist in five years’ time. In contrast, Conservative supporters are more confident the UK will continue to exist, with 73% saying it will exist in five years’ time.

The Future of the United Kingdom - Ipsos MORI Scotland Survey

The Future of the United Kingdom by Party Support - Ipsos MORI Scotland Survey

Emily Gray, Managing Director of Ipsos MORI Scotland, said:

While most Scots expect the UK still to exist in the short term – despite Nicola Sturgeon’s stated timeframe of 2020 for a second referendum – they are less confident about the Union’s prospects in the next five years. The Holyrood elections in 2021 look set to be a key turning point in the future of the Union; if pro-independence parties win a majority in the Scottish Parliament, it will make it much more difficult for the Conservative government to refuse a second referendum on independence. For Boris Johnson, who has pledged ‘unwavering commitment’ to the Union, the Scottish public’s sobering forecast for the UK’s medium-term future should be cause for concern.

Technical note

  • Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,046 adults aged 16+ across Scotland.
  • Interviews were conducted by telephone 19th – 25th November 2019.  
  • Data are weighted to the profile of the population.
  • Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don’t know” categories.

 

The author(s)

  • Emily Gray Managing Director, Ipsos MORI Scotland

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