Independence support rising as pressure builds for devo-max question

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By a Newsnet reporter
 
A second poll in less than seven days has confirmed that support for independence is on the increase and now sits at almost 40 per cent.
 
Conducted by Yougov on behalf of Channel 4 the survey of 1026 people in Scotland is the clearest indication yet of the move towards full independence, the poll also shows a majority in favour of a third option on the ballot.

By a Newsnet reporter
 
A second poll in less than seven days has confirmed that support for independence is on the increase and now sits at almost 40 per cent.
 
Conducted by Yougov on behalf of Channel 4 the survey of 1026 people in Scotland is the clearest indication yet of the move towards full independence, the poll also shows a majority in favour of a third option on the ballot.

As well as putting support for an independent Scotland at 39%, compared to those against at 61%, the poll also suggests the SNP have overtaken Labour in Westminster voting intentions with 37% backing, up 17 points since the 2010 general election.

Labour were backed by 35%, a drop of 7% over the same period.  The Conservatives polled 16%, down 3 points and the Lib Dems were on 7% – down a staggering 12% since Nick Clegg formed a coalition with the Tories.

This is the first time since 2009 that the SNP has outpolled Labour in a UK general election poll and the highest ever Yougov rating for Alex Salmond’s party.

The survey, conducted on January 15th, also suggested that most Scots now side with the Scottish Government in the debate over control of the independence referendum with 44% saying the Scottish Government should make the decisions against just 12% who believe Westminster should control the ballot – 39% believed that control should be negotiated.

In terms of timing, 33 per cent back a referendum in 2014, 15 per cent in 2013, and 23 per cent in 2012 – showing that the Scottish Government’s timetable is the most popular choice.

The poll showed 58% were in favour of devo-max with 42% opposed – 46% of those surveyed were in favour of a third option on the ballot against 43% who opted for a single question.

The survey results were welcomed by SNP Campaign Director Angus Robertson MP who said:

“This is an extremely welcome poll, putting the SNP on our highest-ever YouGov rating for a UK General Election – with the anti-independence parties all down.  While an SNP Holyrood poll lead is common, this is the first time the SNP have been ahead in a YouGov poll for Westminster for
over two-and-a-half years.

“The poll confirms the big thumbs down from the people of Scotland for Westminster trying to dictate the terms of the referendum – and a boost in SNP support as a result, as well as members.

“Even for a Westminster election, the coalition parties have less than a quarter of the vote in Scotland – confirming that they have no conceivable authority for trying to decide the arrangements for Scotland’s referendum.

“It is the second poll in as many days to put backing for independence at about 40 per cent, and we are extremely confident that support will continue to grow, and that we will deliver a successful Yes for independence vote in the referendum. 

Mr Robertson dismissed the latest threats from Westminster based politicians as “fears and smears” and added:

“The poll shows that 2014 is the most popular choice for when the referendum should be held, and confirms that people in Scotland support a ‘devo-max’ option being part of the debate – and not shut out by Westminster.”

Note: The poll can be accessed here:
http://www.channel4.com/media/c4-news/images/channel4newsscotlandpoll.xls