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P&J rolling poll results: How voters feel about indyref2 and Scots leaders

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Voters are now split on Scottish independence after the number of people backing separation plummeted in recent weeks, according to an exclusive Press and Journal poll.

The weekly rolling survey, which also asked readers to share whether they approved or disapproved of each of Scotland’s party leaders, found that Nicola Sturgeon’s personal ratings had dropped dramatically.

Launched in response to MSPs at Holyrood giving their backing to a new vote, the online poll found significant variations over a period where the Prime Minister called a snap General Election and the nation headed to the ballot box to select local councillors.

How would you vote for independence

In the week leading up to the first survey being sent out, experts said the results of a new referendum would be too close to call and a Survation poll found Scots overwhelmingly believed it should be up to Holyrood, not Westminster, to decide whether a vote should be held.

Just days later, Week One findings showed support for independence at its highest point, with 73.3% of respondents saying they would vote in favour and just 26.12% saying they would vote against.

Similarly, approval for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hit a peak of 73.48%, significantly above Conservative Ruth Davidson (26.29), Labour’s Kezia Dugdale (18.57) and Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie (18.86).

Scottish Greens leader Patrick Harvie had the second highest approval ratings at 72.66% but experienced the biggest fall over the eight-week period, eventually dropping to just 44.94%.

It comes after the Greens announced they would stand just three candidates to become MPs, effectively clearing the way for the SNP in a number of key constituencies by unifying the pro-independence vote.

Kezia Dugdale, meanwhile, maintained a low approval score across the full term of the survey, racking up disapproval ratings of above 80% on four occasions, with the score only falling below 70% once.

Ruth Davidson had the biggest surge in support over the period taking her approval rating from 26.29% to a high of 50.51% in week two – when a new independence vote was rejected by the UK government out of hand – before scoring above 40% on a further four occasions.

MORE: Week by week: Events that shaped our P&J rolling poll results

The results will be damaging for Nicola Sturgeon just one day after it was revealed her personal approval rating had plummeted 28 points in the polls, making her the least popular leader at Holyrood.

Scottish Labour General Election campaign manager James Kelly MSP said the findings showed an SNP campaign “increasingly descending into disarray”.

He added: “Support for independence is plummeting, while Sturgeon’s own approval ratings are in freefall. As we saw yesterday, she is now the least popular leader in Scotland.

“For the last decade, the SNP has persistently let communities in the north-east and Highlands and Islands down while it obsesses over independence.

“By voting Labour on June 8, people across Scotland can tell Nicola Sturgeon to drop her plans for a divisive second independence referendum and get back to fixing the mess she has made of our public services.”

Scottish Conservative candidate for Aberdeen South Ross Thomson added: “This poll proves just how deeply unpopular and divisive Nicola Sturgeon’s plans are for a second referendum.

“Scots are tired of the SNP trying to drag us back towards more constitutional uncertainty, and instead are looking for a party that will respect the decision we made in 2014.

“It’s clear that Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Conservatives are the only party capable of standing up to the SNP and putting a stop to their plans for independence.”

“This poll proves just how deeply unpopular and divisive Nicola Sturgeon’s plans are for a second referendum.

“Scots are tired of the SNP trying to drag us back towards more constitutional uncertainty, and instead are looking for a party that will respect the decision we made in 2014.

“It’s clear that Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Conservatives are the only party capable of standing up to the SNP and putting a stop to their plans for independence.”

Callum McCaig SNP candidate for Aberdeen South said: “This election is a clear choice between the SNP, who will stand up for Scotland and our communities, and the Tories, who want to silence Scotland.

“More than ever, it is vital to have strong SNP voices at Westminster, protecting Scotland from a right-wing Tory government – and every vote for Labour risks letting Tory MPs in by the back door.”

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