The question of independence in Scotland is never far from the headlines. However, a poll suggests over half of Scots think there should be another referendum in the next five years
In a survey by Ipsos Mori for BBC Scotland, 53% of Scots think a second Independence referendum should happen in the next five years with just over a third wanting one in the next two.
The news comes as the public considers how the government has handled the coronavirus pandemic. In England, research suggests that public confidence in the government is waning. However, in a different poll by Ipsos Mori, it highlighted that four in five Scots think Nicola Sturgeon has handled the virus outbreak well. Although, seven in ten people also think Scotland’s economy will get worse of the 12 months.
This comes after Nicola Sturgeon extended lockdown measures for Scotland for a further 3 weeks, days before Boris Johnson put forward the initial easing of lockdown measures in the UK earlier this month.
The research suggested that 78% of people polled thought the Scottish government had handled the crisis well compared to 34% who think the same of the UK government’s response.
Managing Director of Ipsos Mori Scotland, Emily Gray said:
“These findings will come as very positive news for the First Minister and the Scottish Government.”
She added there is a majority of Scots who also believe the messages on coronavirus were clear, which is a sharp contrast to the UK government’s communications.
According to the Daily Record, Nicola Sturgeon has currently put the Independence campaign on hold to focus attention on the virus response. However, in the past, she has made clear that in the approach to Brexit that Scots should have a choice on whether they want to leave the EU or not.
A spokesperson for the SNP said, “This poll shows clear and growing majority support for an independence referendum.” They also added that Scotland’s future should be decided by the people that live in the country and not by Boris Johnson.
In the poll, young people were highlighted as more likely to say there should be a second referendum within the next two years. Plus, two-thirds of Scots think there should be an extension for the Brexit negotiations to allow more time after the pandemic. However, a third think the transition period should end as planned in December.
Chief Executive of Scotland in Union, Pamela Nash, highlighted that only a third of people in Scotland support the timetable for another referendum on leaving the UK. She also commented that although the campaign has been put on hold, it is not out of the spotlight yet. She added that the government should focus on recovering from the virus and working together for everyone in Scotland.
This comes after a new survey has suggested that the trust and confidence of the UK Government’s response to the pandemic have declined in the past six weeks.
Scots concerned about moving too quickly when lifting restrictions
Although the poll suggests that people think the Scottish government has done a good job overall, 70% still feel that lockdown was introduced too late. There was also a large number of people (77%) polled that feel coming out of restrictions too soon will cause more harm than moving slower.
There is also concern about the economic crisis faced by the UK and Scotland, with 59% saying they are apprehensive about the financial impact on themselves and their family.