Nicola Sturgeon gloats over poll claiming Scots back independence

Nicola Sturgeon gloats over shock poll claiming Scots WOULD vote for independence: Survey finds 52 per cent back breaking up UK after Boris Johnson vowed hard line on Brexit

  • Shock poll finds Scots would back independence by a margin of 52-48 per cent
  • The result is the first lead for breaking up the UK in a survey since March 2017 
  • Nicola Sturgeon seized on the finding to claim case for independence ‘stronger’ 

By James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline

Published: 09:00 BST, 5 August 2019 | Updated: 00:54 BST, 6 August 2019

Nicola Sturgeon today gloated over a shock poll showing Scots would vote for independence amid Boris Johnson‘s hardline Brexit stance.

The SNP leader said the case for breaking up the UK was ‘stronger every day’ after the research found 52 per cent would support the move.

It is the first time in more than two years that a survey has shown a majority in favour of independence.

The result will fuel fears that Mr Johnson’s ‘do or die’ pledge to deliver Brexit by the end of October could put the union at risk. 

The PM was booed as he made his first visit to Scotland and held talks with Ms Sturgeon in Edinburgh last week – sneaking out by the back door after tense discussions.

The Tory leader north of the border, Ruth Davidson, has also been highly critical of his willingness to force No Deal if necessary. 

The poll by Conservative Lord Ashcroft found independence had a lead of 52 per cent to 48 per cent among Scots, excluding those who said they did not know or would not vote  

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon (pictured meeting Boris Johnson in Edinburgh last week) said the case for breaking up the UK was ‘stronger every day’ after the research found 52 per cent would support the move

In the poll conducted by Lord Ashcroft, Scots were asked whether they wanted a referendum and how they would vote.

The research found 47 per cent believed a new national vote should be held, against 45 per cent who said no. 

Some 46 per cent of the 1,019 people quizzed said they would vote to break up the UK in a referendum, while 43 per cent were against. 

Excluding those who said they did not know or would not vote gave a lead of 52 per cent to 48 per cent for independence.

It is the first time nationalists have been ahead in a major poll since March 2019. 

Lord Ashcroft said: ‘In the wake of Boris Johnson’s visit to Edinburgh last week I polled Scots to measure support for a second independence referendum and to gauge opinion on independence itself.

‘I found a small majority in favour of a new vote – and the first lead for an independent Scotland for more than two years,’ he said.

Scots voted to stay in the UK by 55-45 per cent in the 2014 referendum.

The SNP insisted at the time that the vote was a ‘once in a generation’ decision. 

But Ms Sturgeon has been demanding a re-run on the basis that Scotland voted to stay in the EU, but s being ‘dragged out’.

Hailling the poll, Ms Sturgeon said ‘the case for independence grows stronger by the day’.

Mr Johnson, who has made a ‘do or die’ vow to secure Brexit by the end of October, was booed by protesters as he arrived for talks with Ms Sturgeon last week (pictured)

‘A broken Westminster system means Scotland is being dragged towards a No Deal Brexit, regardless of the heavy price we’ll pay for lost jobs and lower living standards,’ she said. 

‘That project is being led by Boris Johnson — a Prime Minister Scotland didn’t elect and who has no mandate to tear Scotland out of Europe with all the damage that will entail.

‘The Scottish Government, by contrast, has a very clear mandate from the people of Scotland — to give them the choice of a better future with independence.’

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