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Scottish independence support plummets ahead of UK election

Pro-Scottish Independence supporters with Scottish Saltire flags and EU flags among others including the Estelada (L), the unofficial flag of Catalan separatism, rally in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland on July 30, 2016 to call for Scottish independence from the UK. Several thousand pro-independence supporters marched and rallied in central Glasgow calling for Sottish independence from the UK. Independence for Scotland was rejected in a 2014 referendum but the June 2016 EU referendum result in favour of Brexit has ignited a new call for independence. Andy Buchanan / AFP

Support for Scottish independence has plummeted ahead of a snap election designed to embolden the British government for forthcoming Brexit talks, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

Just 37 percent of Scots would back independence if another referendum were held “tomorrow”, according to the Kantar poll.

Support for remaining part of the United Kingdom remains at 55 percent — the same percentage that voted no to independence in 2014 and its highest position in any poll since the referendum.

Prime Minister Theresa May will hold a snap election on June 8 to try to obtain a mandate for her Brexit plans and dent Scottish National Party (SNP) dominance in Scotland.

The SNP have demanded a second independence referendum after Scotland voted by 62 percent to remain in the EU but was outnumbered by Brexit voters in England and Wales.

May insists “now is not the time” for such a vote and, on this issue, appears to have the backing of the Scottish people, the poll suggests.

Just 26 percent back the SNP’s proposed timetable of autumn 2018 to spring 2019, while 18 percent want a later vote and 46 percent say there should never be another independence referendum.

Tom Costley, head of Kantar in Scotland, said voter fatigue and a weaker economic outlook are among the factors which could have dented support for independence.

Kantar interviewed 1,060 people aged over 16 in Scotland between March 29 and April 11.

An SNP spokesman said other polls showed independence support “on a knife-edge” in Scotland.

A more recent poll by Panelbase/Sunday Post, conducted April 18-21 and released on Sunday, found support for independence at 43 percent against 48 percent in favour of remaining part of the UK.


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