The State of the Union – the most comprehensive survey of attitudes towards the Union since 2014 – reveals how rising support for independence is volatile and far from inevitable.
Between the end of February and the first weekend in March 2021, the Yes lead fell by 6 percentage points (from 56%/44% to 53%/47%), driven in large part by a 9 point drop in the Yes lead among women and a 25 point drop among 18-24 year-olds towards No. This was the week that Nicola Sturgeon gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament inquiry into the Salmond trial.
But even with this volatility, support for independence remains higher than before the 2014 referendum. Yes retains a 30+ point lead among 18-45 year-olds, a 21 point lead among working class voters, and net support in five of Scotland’s eight regions. At 53%, support for independence is at least 15 points higher than it was before the 2014 referendum campaign began.
The poll compares this to support for separation elsewhere in the United Kingdom: 34% of Welsh voters agree that Wales should be independent and 31% of Northern Irish voters agree that Northern Ireland should be part of a United Ireland.
We explore the factors most likely to affect support for independence and the benefits people would miss if Scotland did vote to leave.
A large share of Scottish voters believe that the focus on constitutional issues is distracting from the other priorities of the Scottish people:
Read more of our work on politics and the Union here.
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