Not So Hypothetical A Swing After All? First Post-Boris Poll from Lord Ashcroft
Writing for the What Scotland Thinks blog, John Curtice responds to the recent Lord Ashcroft poll, as reported in Holyrood Magazine, suggesting that a majority of Scots may now favour independence.
In recent weeks and months more than one poll has asked people in Scotland either how they would vote in anther independence referendum should Boris Johnson become Prime Minister or how they would vote in the event that the UK left the EU without a deal. The responses to these hypothetical questions suggested that either eventuality could produce a swing in favour of Yes which, although relatively small, could tip the balance of opinion in favour of Scottish independence.
Britain has not left the EU as yet, either with or without a deal. But Boris Johnson has become Prime Minister and his government has indicated a willingness to leave the EU without a deal on October 31st should it be unable to renegotiate the deal that Mrs May had agreed with the EU. So, if the hypothetical polling about the impact on attitudes towards independence of either Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister or the UK leaving the EU without a deal was at all correct, we might anticipate that a small but potentially decisive swing in favour of independence should already be manifesting itself in how people now say they would vote in a second independence referendum.
A new poll today from Lord Ashcroft and Holyrood magazine, the first measure of Scottish public opinion since Mr Johnson secured the keys to Downing St, suggests that such a swing may well have occurred. It reports that 46% now say that they would vote Yes in response to the question that appeared on the ballot paper in the 2014 referendum, rather more than the 43% who said they would back No. Once the Don’t Knows etc. are left to one side…
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