Nicola Sturgeon quizzed on Scottish border by Guru-Murthy
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And pollster Chris Hopkins has said Scotland’s First Minister is also at risk of missing out on the overall majority so crucial to her hopes of forcing a second referendum, with the Holyrood elections now just a week away. Savanta Comres’s survey, for the Scotsman, suggests that if a referendum were to be held tomorrow the results would essentially be a repeat of the 2014 vote when No won 55.3 percent.
The poll of 1,001 adults found 42 percent backed independence, 49 percent were opposed, and eight percent were undecided.
Once the undecideds were removed from the equation, the 54-46 split was strikingly similar to the result seven years ago.
Back in December 2019, 38 percent of those polled by YouGov for the Times backed independence with the lead for Yes as high as 13 percent in an Ipsos MORI/STV poll in October 2020.
Other findings in the survey suggest the Scottish National Party will lose two seats when compared with 2016 and fall four seats short of a majority.
Mr Hopkins, Savanta ComRes’s associate director, said: “The direction of travel has been clear in the last few polls, with support for both independence and the SNP dropping ahead of the May elections. What this is down to remains unclear.
“It seems that the two major unionist parties, the Conservatives and Labour, have somewhat – but by no means completely – got their act together.
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The SNP may fall short of their majority and not give Nicola Sturgeon the unequivocal mandate for a second independence vote that she so clearly craves
“This, coupled with a potentially more fragmented pro-independence List vote, means the SNP may fall short of their majority and not give Nicola Sturgeon the unequivocal mandate for a second independence vote that she so clearly craves.”
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross will today warn the “very future of our country is at stake” in a speech on Thursday.
A pro-independence majority will mean the country would “move straight from a Scottish Parliament election campaign into a second referendum campaign”, Mr Ross will claim
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Reacting to the poll, Scottish National Party Depute Leader Keith Brown: “This poll confirms the election result is on a knife-edge in terms of whether the SNP secures a majority.
“The only guaranteed way to ensure Nicola Sturgeon is re-elected as First Minister, to put recovery in our own hands and to prevent Boris Johnson from deciding Scotland’s future is to give both votes to the SNP on May 6.”
Mrs Sturgeon was grilled by the BBC’s Andrew Marr on a cost to the Scottish economy of independence, admitting this had not yet been calculated by her party.
She explained: “We will do all of that, as we did in 2014, as we get to an independence referendum. We will do that then.”
“Because that will take account of all the up-to-date financial and economic information.
“If we had done that, for example, just over a year ago before the Covid pandemic struck then that modelling would be out of date now because the world has been turned upside down.
“You are asking me to put the cart rather before the horse.”
An analysis published on the Briefings for Britain website earlier this month by Professor David Blake claimed Mrs Sturgeon’s independence dream would cost Scotland £26billion a year – equivalent to more than £4,750 per head.
Prof Blake, who is Professor of Economics at City, University of London told Express.co.uk: “The UK has just experienced a 10 percent reduction in GDP due to Covid. The largest fall in 300 years.
“The UK economy will bounce back from this.
“Scottish independence means a permanent reduction in GDP of 15 percent, which is 50 percent more than Covid.
“The Scottish economy will never recover from this.”
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