Indyref2 result ‘too close to track’, poll says

A second referendum on independence would be “too close to be called” if it took place tomorrow, the camp of not having advanced slightly in a poll.

Of the 1,048 Scots polled by Savanta on behalf of the Scotsman newspaper, 46% would vote against independence, while 44% would vote for and 9% were undecided.

Without the undecided, the poll suggests the No would take a narrow lead with 51%, against 49% for the Yes.

The results are unchanged from Savanta’s previous survey in October.

A series of recent polls have highlighted support for independence, with 53% backing leaving the union after undecided voters withdrew in a YouGov poll released earlier this month.

But Chris Hopkins, a political researcher at Savanta, said the Supreme Court’s ruling that Holyrood does not have the power to legislate for a second independence vote may have temporarily swayed the results.

Prime Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s favor rating has fallen to its lowest point at plus six – a drop of six points since the last poll in October.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s rating remained unchanged at minus 24.

The prime minister also dropped nine points with respondents in the “authentic” category, dropping to 46% from 55% in October.

Anas Sarwar (Jane Barlow/AP)

His closest Scottish challenger was Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar with 39%.

The poll also asked how respondents would vote in the Westminster and Holyrood elections, with the SNP losing support in both cases.

Some 43% would support the Scottish ruling party in Westminster – a drop of three from the previous poll, while 44% would choose them in Holyrood.

However, the SNP still has a considerable lead over Labor in both parliaments, with party support at 30% in Westminster and 28% in Holyrood, according to the poll.

In Savanta’s first poll since Mr Sunak became Prime Minister, Tory support in Westminster saw a four point rise to 19%.

Mr Hopkins said: “Many pollsters have shown Yes leads lately, but most of them – especially the big ones – came from the Supreme Court decision, a decision that probably made the polls a bit noisy and more volatile than usual.

“Now that the dust has settled, we show no change from our previous poll in early October, showing the most marginal of the No Tracks, but really, the race would be too close to announce if a referendum were held tomorrow. This remains a good position for the SNP and the Yes camp.

“Given that opinions across Scotland are so entrenched on the question of independence, I cannot really foresee that a real referendum campaign will move the needle and swing the pendulum in the direction of whoever presents the most compelling argument between Unionists and those advocating for Scottish independence.

“What remains then is the question of whether – or when – a second referendum could possibly take place.

“There is also a feeling, in this poll, of a certain fatigue from Nicola Sturgeon.

“We see the SNP down three points in the voting intentions of Westminster and Holyrood, and some negative changes in her personal favor and perception of her as genuine.

“Given that she is so synonymous with the independence campaign, any drop in her personal ratings could affect the campaign as a whole, although she remains, without a doubt, a huge electoral asset at the moment.”

The survey was conducted between December 16 and 21.

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