Scotland would back independence if Brexit happens, poll indicates

By Laura Paterson, PA Scotland

Scotland would vote in favour of independence if Brexit goes ahead, a new poll suggests, but a majority would vote no to leaving the UK if it remains within the EU.

The Panelbase poll for The Sunday Times surveyed 1,020 voters in Scotland between December 3 and 6.

It found a majority, 51%, would back independence if the UK leaves the EU, while 49% would vote against it.

However, if the UK remains in the EU, a majority said they are against Scottish independence at 58%, with 42% in favour.

In general, support for independence has fallen, down 2% since November to 47% while support for Scotland saying in the UK has risen by the same amount to 53%.

The poll results were published as Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw urged Scots to vote Tory to put plans for a second independence referendum “in cold storage for good”.

He urged unionist Scots to band together to stop a second independence referendum.

But SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said Scottish voters should “aim higher” than Boris Johnson and Brexit when voting in the General Election on Thursday.

She said a vote for her party would “put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands”.

Ahead of campaigning on Sunday, Mr Carlaw said: “Two years ago, three-quarters-of-a-million Scots gave their vote to the Scottish Conservatives to stop the SNP’s divisive second independence referendum.

“By acting together, they won. They toppled nationalist MPs off their perch, and forced Nicola Sturgeon to put her indyref2 plans on ice.

“This week, we need those 750,000 people to come together once more and tell her again.

“As more pro-union voters join them in backing the Scottish Conservatives during this campaign, this time we can put that referendum in the cold storage for good.

“Pro-UK voters need to act as one. Jeremy Corbyn won’t stop her, only the Scottish Conservatives will do so.”

Ms Sturgeon said the “very future” of Scotland is at stake in the election.

Nicola Sturgeon vowed the SNP would put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands (Jane Barlow/PA)

She said: “Scotland cannot afford to live under more Westminster chaos for years and potentially decades – and we certainly cannot afford five years of Boris Johnson.

“The people of Scotland can do better than Boris and Brexit – and on Thursday we should aim higher.

“This Thursday people in Scotland have an opportunity to unite and demand the right to choose a better future as an independent country – where we always get the governments we vote for and where we have the powers we need to make Scotland the best it can be.

“So I am asking Scotland to unite behind the SNP this Thursday – to escape Brexit, protect the NHS and to put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s.”