Sturgeon plot dismissed: Nightmare for SNP as majority of Scots DON’T want to rejoin EU
Scotland: Polls show independence support is down says expert
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Polling conducted by Opinium revealed 53 percent of Scots would not want to rejoin the EU fully, in a blow to Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for an independent Scotland. The Scottish First Minister has begged the EU to “leave a light on” for Scotland if they were to become independent after a second vote.
But a new poll has delivered a major blow, with only 47 percent of respondents to the poll saying they wanted to rejoin the bloc.
Fourteeen percent said they wanted a closer relationship while remaining out of the EU, 16 percent said they wanted a more distant relationship, while 12 percent said they were happy with the current set up.
The SNP led an opposition debate in the House of Commons last night to express their disappointment about Brexit, claiming it had damaged Scotland’s economy.
Summing up the debate, SNP MP for Central Ayrshire Dr Philippa Whitford said it wasonly through independence that Scotland would be equal.
Dr Whitford said: “I believe it is only as sovereign nations in their own right that the countries of the UK could avoid having decisions like Brexit forced on them against their will and could instead choose to work together on common goals.
“It is only with independence that Scotland and the other UK nations will ever be equal partners on these islands.”
The Nationalists argued food and drink exports from Scotland had decreased by 63.6 percent in January while Seafood Scotland said fish and shellfish exports were down 83 percent since the end of the transition period.
Meanwhile, support for a No vote in a second Scottish independence referendum sits at 49 percent, compared to 51 percent for Yes when “don’t know” votes were included.
The poll also put the SNP on 46 percent for the constituency vote and 42 percent for the regional list vote ahead of May’s election.
The figure is the lowest the SNP have polled since 2019, with current estimates meaning they could gain one more seat but still fall short of a 65 seats needed for a majority.
The poll also found the Conservatives were on 24 percent of the constituency vote, with Labour on 20 percent, the Lib Dems on 6 percent and the Greens on 4 percent.
On the regional list vote, the Tories were on 22 percent, Labour on 19 percent, the Lib Dems on 5 percent, and the Greens on 7 percent.
It comes as Sir Keir Starmer is visiting Scotland today in a bid to increase support for the left which has suffered severely since Jack MacConnell was ousted by Alex Salmond in 2007.
There was also division over whether Scots think there should be a referendum in the next five years if the SNP win a majority in May.
In that situation, the poll found 46 percent would support a referendum, and 48 percent would not.
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The poll also covered attitudes towards party leaders and other political figures following the Alex Salmond inquiry.
Asked about “who is telling the truth” following the recent Holyrood committee sessions involving Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond, 37 percent said Ms Sturgeon is telling the truth, with 12 percent saying Mr Salmond was doing so and 31 percent saying neither.
If Ms Sturgeon is found to have broken the ministerial code, more than half (51 percent) think she should resign, compared to over a third (35 percent) who think she should stay in the job.
In terms of who would make the best First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon leads with 50 percent of the vote, followed by Douglas Ross (12 percent) and Anas Sarwar (10 percent).
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Chris Curtis, senior research manager at Opinium, said: “The polling shows the future of Scotland rests on a knife-edge.
“Firstly, in terms of whether the SNP can gain a majority alone in May, which would strengthen their mandate to hold a second independence referendum.
“Secondly, in terms of what might happen in such a referendum, with Yes and No eye-wateringly close in our latest poll.
“But it is also important to note Sturgeon’s incredible popularity in Scotland.
“Despite her recent difficulties over the Salmond affair, she still has the overwhelming support of Scottish voters.”
A Scottish Conservative spokesperson, said: “This is another poll which confirms only the Scottish Conservatives have the strength to stand up to the SNP and stop their plans for another reckless and divisive independence referendum.
“That is the last thing Scotland needs as we rebuild our economy from the pandemic.”
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, told the Express: “The last thing we need is a focus on division when people are losing their lives and livelihoods.
“What is crystal clear is that people don’t think a second independence referendum is a priority any time soon.
“The entire focus should be on bringing people and communities together across the entire UK and building a stronger future together.”
Opinium surveyed 1,096 Scottish adults between March 11 and 16 with the company not conducting a Scottish opinion poll since the 2019 general election.
In response, Keith Brown MSP, SNP depute leader, said: “Using both votes for the SNP will re-elect Nicola Sturgeon to continue to lead Scotland as we move from pandemic to recovery.
“This is the most important election in Scotland’s history, and every single vote will count in May. Scotland’s future must be in Scotland’s hands – and giving both votes to the SNP is the only way to protect that right.”
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