Scottish independence: Yes 43% - No 57%, says new Panelbase poll

Nicola Sturgeon

A new Sunday Times/PanelBase poll gives the pro-union side a strong lead on the question of independence.

The Panelbase poll, conducted between the 31st August and 7th September and released at the weekend, puts those in favour of Scottish independence on 43%, fourteen behinds those in favour of Scotland staying in the union, according to the Times. Respondents who answered with "don't know" have been removed.

The previous Panelbase poll to ask this question, conducted the week before June’s snap election, found that 56% of Scots wanted to stay in the union, twelve points ahead of the 44% with a different opinion.

YouGov poll in March also found the same results as the latest poll: No 57%, Yes 43%.

In 2014, Scots voted 55% - 45% to stay in the union, with this new poll suggesting that support for either side stands at about the same level it did then – if not more. Either way, it brings little good news for the pro-independence movement.

Alex Salmond recently suggested that a new independence vote could take place after the 2021 Holyrood election, as reported by the Scotsman.

The new poll also asked voters about abolishing the Holyrood parliament. The Times reports that 38% favoured independence, 43% favoured the status-quo, and 19% backed London-rule.

Ruth Davidson MSP

The poll also asked voters about their voting intentions in the Scottish parliament election. According to the Times, in constituency voting intentions, just 42% said they would back the SNP in a new Scottish parliament election. The poll points to pro-union parties having a majority, with 28% supporting the Conservatives, 22% backing Labour and 6% saying they would vote Liberal Democrat.

If such results were replicated in a new election, the SNP would likely lose seats while the Tories would make modest gains.

Analysis:

When Nicola Sturgeon called for a second referendum after the UK’s vote to leave the EU, she must have expected things to be going differently. Scotland’s Tory revival in June and recent polling have weakened the SNP. The new poll suggests that any new referendum held in the coming years would result in a second defeat for the Yes-side.

However, if politics has taught us anything in the last few years, it is that the rules can be rewritten and old assumptions replaced.

While this new poll will cause another sigh of relief in the pro-union camp, events can change everything.

The Sunday Times report of the Panelbase new poll can be accessed here.