Polling guru John Curtice issues independence warning to Nicola Sturgeon ‘Lot has changed’

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The debate over Scottish independence has been ignited once again following reported comments from Prime Minister Boris Johnson that devolution has been “a disaster north of the border”. Downing Street has said in response to the story that devolution has been “used by separatists and nationalists to break up the UK”. Polling expert Sir John Curtice confirmed that Scotland has certainly seen a rise in poll support for leaving the UK, but had a stark warning for SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.

Sir John told the BBC: “At the moment, the polls say the independence supports are ahead, though there’s no guarantee they would win though.

“I think one of the things to realise is that lots of things have changed since 2014.

“Some of the arguments that we used on both sides would no longer work.

“They’d no longer be valid and indeed would no longer work.”

He continued: “Additionally Scotland has not been worrying about independence in the course of the last six months.

“Like everywhere else, it’s been worrying about the coronavirus.

“So how would public opinion pan out in the end? Who knows?

“There would need to be a debate, and maybe the polls would turn back again.”

The expert added: “But I think at the moment, one has to say there is certainly at least a 50 percent chance that if there were to be a referendum in the next two to three years, Scotland would indeed vote to leave the Union.

“That much depends now on exactly how Brexit pans out, which is one of the indicators.

“It’s one of the considerations that is driving the support for independence.”

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Support for Scottish independence is now consistently over support for the Union according to many polls.

A recent Ipsos Mori survey found that 58 percent of the Scottish are in favour of leaving the UK compared to 42 percent for staying.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed the SNP will make the case for a second independence referendum at the 2021 Holyrood elections.

She called the May election “the most important in Scotland’s history”.

The SNP is expected to win over 53 percent of the constituency vote in the Holyrood election, according to a commissioned Panelbase poll.

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