Most UK voters support indyref2 being held before 2024

MOST voters in the UK who expressed a view in a new poll said they support a second referendum on Scottish independence being held before 2024.

The Savanta ComRes poll found that, with undecided voters taken out, 54% supported indyref 2 being held during the current term of the Scottish parliament, with 46% against. Taking undecided voters into account 37% of people in the UK support a second independence referendum, with 31% opposed.

A total of 48% of those aged between 18 and 34 back holding indyref 2, as do 40% of those aged between 35 and 54.

More than two thirds of Labour voters who expressed a view backed indyref 2 taking place

It also showed half of those who voted Labour in the 2019 UK general election would support a second independence referendum. Only 23% were against. More than two thirds of Labour voters who expressed a view backed indyref 2 taking place.

Labour leader in Scotland Anas Sarwar ... opposes indyref 2

That contradicts the stance taken by both Labour’s UK leader Keir Starmer and the party’s leader in Scotland, Anas Sarwar, both of whom support Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s view that indyref 2 should be ruled out in the foreseeable future.

The leaders’ opposition to indyref 2 is being challenged within the party itself. Former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish wants the party to back holding a second referendum.

In a newspaper article in May Mr McLeish said traditional Unionists were seeking to "deny democracy and say no to a second referendum". He said Westminster could not “continue to ignore” the half of the country which votes SNP.

He added that although independence may not necessarily happen, it is likely if Boris Johnson “continues his brutish, cynical, and muscular approach to devolution”. He added: “The Union seems incapable or unwilling to change and is holding back a reimagined nation.’

In September the former First Minister went further and said he would consider voting Yes in a future independence referendum.

Labour MSP Katy Clark also contradicted her party leader in June when she said there should be a referendum if Holyrood voted for one. She said she didn’t campaign for a referendum but added: “However if the Scottish parliament were to vote for one my view is that that should happen… if the Scottish parliament is saying that there needs to be a referendum then I would argue there should be one.'

Labour's Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has included the independence option in a new constitutional convention

The Labour Party in Wales has adopted a very much more relaxed view of Welsh independence. Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has included the independence option in a new constitutional convention, saying it would be ridiculous to rule it out.

Another new  poll has suggested that the SNP would gain 11 seats in Scotland if a UK election was held tomorrow.

The poll, conducted by Find Out Now UK and Electoral Calculus, covered Great Britain and had a sample of 922 respondents for Scotland. Its findings suggest that the SNP would gain 11 seats.

It also predicts that Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross would lose his Westminster seat to the SNP, along with Scottish MPs Andrew Bowie, David Duguid, John Lamont, Alister Jack, David Mundell, Alistair Carmichael and Ian Murray.

An Ipsos MORI poll conducted for STV last week showed a surge in support for independence to 55% with the undecideds excludes. It was the hight support for independence in a year.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she plans to hold indyref 2 before the end of 2023 with or without Westminster backing.

By Richard Walker