New poll shows support for Scottish independence surging after Boris Johnson’s visit

PUBLISHED: 13:05 19 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:25 19 August 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives back at 10 Downing Street after the election. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives back at 10 Downing Street after the election. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

2019 Getty Images

Support for Scottish independence has surged after Boris Johnson and fellow ministers visited the country to shore up support for the union.

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Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Rishi Sunak have all headed north of the English border in recent weeks in a “panic” over support for the union.

The Tories have also been accused of a “stitch-up” after ousting former Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw and replacing him with a double act of Douglas Ross and Ruth Davidson.

But rather than stabilising support for the United Kingdom, fresh polling shows it has had the opposite effect, with a landmark poll showing a reversal of the 2014 referendum result.

Panelbase polling commissioned by Business for Scotland found Yes on 51%, No on 42% and “don’t know” on 7%.


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Removing the “don’t know” option puts the Yes option up three points at 55%, while supporters of the “No” campaign decreased by the same figure at 45%.

The news comes as Johnson spent time in Scotland as part of a holiday with his son Wilfred and partner Carrie Symonds.

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, CEO of Business for Scotland and the grassroots independence campaign Believe in Scotland, said the “writing is on the wall” for the union.

He said: “The reversal of the 2014 result is a huge landmark; 55% Yes will send shockwaves throughout the political world. There is no conclusion to draw from this new set of data other than the writing is very definitely on the wall for the Union.”

He added: “Our June poll found independence support at 54%. That poll changed the dynamic of the constitutional conversation and led to claims of panic in the Westminster cabinet, with a series of high profile Tory visits to Scotland. We also saw the effective firing of the Conservative leader in Scotland and the Westminster Government doubling down on its undemocratic threat to deny referendum after an SNP majority. However, none of that frenetic activity seems to have helped the union, if anything it has made things worse.

“This poll is important when you consider that Yes Campaign started at 27% and grew to 45% support over the period of the campaign.

“The referendum that will be demanded following May 2021 Holyrood elections, on these figures, would start with Yes to independence commanding a 10% lead. Independence is now significantly the majority decision of the people of Scotland and its momentum looks solid.”

Earlier this month ministers claimed that the prime minister’s “optimistic fizz” would hold the United Kingdom together.

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