Scottish Independence Support Rises to 55% After Boris Johnson Stumbles
Scottish support for seeking independence from the rest of the U.K. rose after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government became embroiled in controversy over second jobs for parliamentarians.
Backing for a breakaway was 55% versus 45% for remaining after excluding undecided voters, according to the latest poll by Ipsos MORI for broadcaster STV. That was up five percentage points from the company’s last survey ahead of local elections in May, when the nation was split down the middle.
The poll comes as Johnson’s governing Conservatives have been mired in a row over lobbying and ethics. The pro-independence Scottish National Party administration in Edinburgh, meanwhile, is trying to reinvigorate its push for a referendum following the U.K.’s departure from the European Union.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon promised again this week that she would lay the foundations for an independence vote by the end of 2023, though she didn’t say is how she plans to force the U.K. to acquiesce to one. Johnson has refused to grant the legal permission.
“Given the margins of error around polling estimates, neither the Yes or No camps should be confident of victory at this point,” Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos MORI Scotland, said of the poll result. “The Yes camp may be benefiting from what has been a very bad week for Boris Johnson and the Conservatives at Westminster.”
The polling company also found that Johnson’s ratings in Scotland had fallen to a record low, she said. Ipsos MORI interviewed 1,107 adults aged 16 and over across Scotland by phone on Nov. 22-29.
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