Boris Johnson’s determination to ignore democracy and attempt to stop a second referendum on Scottish independence is out of step with public opinion in the UK.
A survey of more than 8,500 people by polling company Ipsos MORI has found more than half of people across the UK think Scotland should be able to hold indyef2 within five years if the SNP wins a majority in the May election.
It shows that the Prime Minister’s threat to do everything in his power to stop such a referendum is not supported by the British electorate.
Mr Johnson has argued the referendum can only take place if Westminster passes a section 30 order, as it did for the 2014 referendum.
The SNP has challenged the Prime Minister to take legal action to try to stop the referendum and is confident of winning the argument in a legal battle
There’s no legal basis for that assertion and the SNP has vowed to hold a referendum with or without a section 30 order if it is returned to government in May.
It has challenged the Prime Minister to take legal action to try to stop the referendum and is confident of winning the argument in a legal battle.
Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the SNP’s manifesto last week, which promised to hold a second independence referendum within the next parliamentary term, preferably before 2023, if the Covid crisis is over.
She said it was essential to hold the independence referendum in time to give the Scottish parliament the power necessary to steer Scotland through the Covid recovery.
Scotland is being led in the wrong direction by the Westminster government, she said, and a referendum was essential while there was still time to change course.
The Ipsos MORI survey found 51 per cent of people across the UK believed the SNP should be able to hold another independence referendum within the next parliament’s five-year term
Most recent opinion polls have suggested the SNP is on course to win an outright majority in the May elections. The minority which showed it failing to win a majority suggested there would still be a substantial majority of MSPs supporting independence.
The Ipsos MORI survey found 51 per cent of people across the UK believed the SNP should be able to hold another independence referendum within the next parliament’s five-year term if the party won a Holyrood majority. Just 40 per cent believed the UK government should try to block such a vote.
Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos MORI Scotland, said: “Should the Scottish National Party win a majority of seats, as currently looks likely if current levels of support hold, it will be much more difficult for the UK government to refuse a second referendum on independence.’’
The Conservatives in Scotland are expected to place opposition to the referendum at the heart of their manifesto when it is unveiled today.
Their election manifesto message that a vote for the Tories is the only way of stopping indyref 2 makes little sense when taken together with Boris Johnson’s insistence that he can stop such a referendum in any case.
A poll last week found that 60% of Labour Party members disagreed with leader Keir Starmer’s opposition to a second independence referendum.