By Russell Bruce
The Sunday Times has published a poll by Panelbase putting support for Independence at 50%. 50% is not enough because it might be 50% minus 1 rather than the wishful thinking in favour of 50% plus 1. Brexit makes the difference because when respondents were asked if they thought Scotland would be better off out of the UK and independent in the EU, the scales tripped to 56% in favour of Scotland independent in the EU.
The Don’t Knows have been excluded. At 20%, the don’t know figure is rather high, suggesting more might be reconsidering their previous No vote in 2014. The shift from the survey 50% baseline for independence to 56% is very significant. Believing Scotland will be better off economically if independent in the EU is a major change and shows the depth of concern for Brexit and the economic chaos that would affect Scotland.
The Sunday Times article has a quote from Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, “The SNP promised us the independence referendum in 2014 was a once in a generation contest, so there is no mandate for another divisive Brexit referendum.” This is to conflate two different referenda and assume “once in a generation” applied to both. With the dominance of the ‘Brexit generation’ in England, we are indeed in completely new territory and respondents in Scotland clearly understand only too well the Brexit implications for their well being and economic prosperity.
Panelbase for the Sunday Times also polled on Scottish Westminster and Holyrood voting intentions. James Kelly of Scot goes Pop has commented on the Westminster figures and you can read his take here with comparisons to his sub sample aggregation from recent UK wide polls.
John Curtice commenting on the Sunday Times poll calculates Westminster voting intentions, would translate to 48 SNP, 5 Tory, 1 Labour and 5 Lib Dem seats in Scotland. The Holyrood voting intention figures suggest another independence majority in 2016, according to Professor Curtice – SNP 63 seats and Greens 3. That will be disappointing to the Greens as they are targeting 16 seats from the regional list, rather than losing 3 of their seats in the current parliament.
Equally important – pay attention those who don’t think the SNP is doing enough – the SNP government has published detailed analysis this week on the impact on localities throughout Scotland of Brexit. It makes for dire reading especially in low income and rural areas. The individual units are broken down to units of population around 1000. The detail is available on the Brexit Vulnerability Index Map. To identify exact locations accurately it is also useful to download the Excel BVI dataset and scroll through to the local authority you are interested in.