by a Newsnet reporter
An opinion poll carried out by Angus Reid for todays Sunday Express newspaper confirms other recent polls in showing that the SNP is increasing its lead over the other parties.
When don’t knows and won’t says are excluded, headline figures give the SNP 49% of Scottish voting intention, Labour are trailing on 23%, followed by the Conservatives on 13%. The Lib Dems come in a poor fourth at 5%, confirming that the party is suffering the electoral effects of its coalition with the Conservative government in Westminster.
The poll is the third in the past ten days which puts SNP at 49%. By confirming the trend apparent in the earlier polls, this new poll shows that the swing to the SNP is no statistical blip, but represents a very real change in Scottish voting intentions.
The poll also showed that 36% of Scots agreed with the statement that Scotland would become an independent state within their lifetime. This is greater than the 32% who disagreed with the statement.
However when asked how they would vote in a single question referendum on independence, 47% said they would vote for Scotland to remain part of the UK, 36% would vote for Scotland to be independent. 13% said they did not know how they would vote.
47% said they would choose “devo-max”, including full tax-raising powers, while remaining part of the UK if that option was put forward.
The poll also revealed just how unpopular the UK national anthem has become in Scotland. A massive majority of Scots want to get rid of “God Save the Queen” as national anthem. Just 11% of Scots were in favour of retaining the anthem, 60% wanted it to be replaced by Flower of Scotland.
Commenting on the poll, First Minister Alex Salmond said: “This is a fantastic poll. 45% of Scottish voters backed the SNP in May and, as we deliver our ambitious programme for government, that support is rising.
“The SNP now has the support of some half the electorate, and there is growing support for Scotland having the full range of job-creating powers we need to boost jobs and recovery, and becoming an equal and independent country with access to the record tax revenues being generated by Scotland’s North Sea oil and gas.
“The people of Scotland spoke in the election, and the Westminster parties all lag far behind the ambitions of the people.
“With the LibDems relegated to minor party status and leadership contests causing confusion and division, both Labour and the Tories are on the run in Scotland.”