Scotland: Independence campaign ‘will never end’ says Carlaw
Panelbase’s survey indicated that, once “don’t knows” have been excluded, 48 percent would now back independence, down four points compared with April. Conversely, support from remaining in the United Kingdom is up to 52 percent, calling into question Mrs Sturgeon’s claim in the wake of last week’s Holyrood elections that she had a mandate to demand such a vote.
The poll, which involved 1,287 adults aged 16 and over interviewed between June 16 and 24, suggested 46 percent of respondents believed there should not be a referendum “in the next few years”, whereas 19 percent said one should be held “in the next 12 months”.
Additionally, 35 percent said a vote on independence should be held in the next two to five years.
Pollster Sir John Curtice said the results indicated a “cooling of the independence ardour” since the elections on May 6.
Nicola Sturgeon’s hopes of an independence referendum were dealt a blow today
He told the Sunday Times: “The party needs to embark on a campaign to persuade more Scots of the merits of independence.
“Otherwise, Ms Sturgeon might find herself stuck with a promise to hold a referendum that she has little hope of winning.”
Pamela Nash, chief executive of campaign group Scotland in Union, said: “The UK’s broad shoulders have helped every part of the country through this crisis, from protecting jobs to a successful vaccination programme, so it is not surprising that more people are recognising the benefits of remaining part of the UK.
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Nicola Sturgeon has suggested she has a mandate for a referendum
“The Scottish Government should listen to what voters are saying and focus on the Covid recovery, which will take many years, and not reopen old divisions.
“As part of the UK we can build a recovery that leaves no community behind.”
The poll also suggests 22 percent believed Scotland would be an independent country within five years, with another 24 percent saying it would happen with five to 10 years.
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Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Sir John Curtice, the highly respected pollster
Another 24 percent felt it would not happen “at any point in the next few decades”.
An SNP spokesman said: “The people of Scotland have delivered a cast-iron mandate for a fresh independence referendum when the Covid crisis has passed.
“It’s clear beyond any doubt that Westminster has shown it is incapable of delivering the change that is required for Scotland’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.
“Scotland must have the right to decide our own future, so we can choose a better path than Boris Johnson’s shambolic Tory government and continue to build a fairer country.”
Scottish election results
The SNP won 64 seats in last month’s elections – one short of the overall majority Mrs Sturgeon craved.
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr the following Sunday, she said: “It would be absurd and completely outrageous if it ever got to that point.
“If we get to that point then Scotland will be in a situation where it is being told that it has no democratic route to become an independent country.
“It would be such a grave and serious and undemocratic situation that I don’t believe on either side anybody wants it to get to that point.
Nicola Sturgeon factfile
Speaking to Sky News on the same day, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said talk of a referendum was a “massive distraction” from the pandemic recovery.
He added: “I cannot believe that people who are worried about their jobs, the extension of furlough, what’s happening to their children’s education.
“I cannot believe that the answer to all of these things is a protracted debate on the constitution.
“If you look at the votes cast in constituencies in Scotland, more people voted for parties that were opposed to an independence referendum than those that might entertain that prospect.”