A new poll showing 53% support for independence has “more or less” confirmed a majority of people in the country are now in favour of leaving the UK, according to an expert.
The YouGov poll, for The Times Scotland, found 53% of the country – excluding “don’t knows” – would vote for independence.
It is the fourth survey in a row to put the Yes vote ahead of No and the highest level of support for Scottish independence recorded by YouGov.
The three previous polls were compiled by Panelbase, with this the first to show a majority from YouGov.
The newest poll also marks a two-point increase in support for Scotland leaving the union, compared to YouGov’s last poll in January.
Professor Sir John Curtice, of Strathclyde University, wrote in his blog: “Today, though, sees the publication of a new poll from a different pollster – YouGov for The Times.
“It more or less confirms everything that Panelbase have been telling us.
“Support for independence in today’s poll is (after leaving aside Don’t Knows) put at 53% – in line with the average for the last four Panelbase readings and an all-time record high for any YouGov poll.
“It compares with a figure of 51% the last time the company asked the regular referendum question (at the end of January) – and an average of 47% in three polls that it conducted during 2019.”
SNP depute leader Keith Brown said there is now “unstoppable momentum” behind holding another referendum.
“It is now the established majority view in Scotland that we should be an independent country,” he said.
“Prolonging any attempt to stop people from having their say over their future is undemocratic, unsustainable and runs the risk of public opinion in Scotland turning even more sharply against the Prime Minister.”
Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie welcomed the poll, saying: “It’s clear that the people of Scotland are ready to reject the incompetent and arrogant UK Government and take the opportunity of independence to build a fairer, healthier Scotland.”
Sir John told The Times although the UK Government and the Conservatives have been “stirred into action” by the warning signs about the future of the UK, they will be hampered by the struggles of their main opposition in the House of Commons.
He added: “UK ministers are making frequent forays north while the party’s Scottish leader, Jackson Carlaw, has made way for a successor who, it is hoped, will be better able to reverse the nationalist tide.
“Yet this frenetic activity hides a strategic dilemma for the Conservatives – they are unlikely to be able to save the union on their own.
“They will need the help from Labour – but Sir Keir Starmer’s party currently looks like the weak link in the unionist chain.”
YouGov surveyed 1,142 Scottish adults aged 16 or older and found 52% of voters believe Scotland is heading in the “right direction”, a 20-point increase on the last time the question was asked roughly a year ago.
By contrast, just 26% thought the country is going in the wrong way, compared to 41% last August.
Both Sir Keir and Boris Johnson have said they do not believe there should be another referendum in the near future, and Downing Street has briefed that the Prime Minister will not countenance another vote even if the SNP wins a majority in next May’s Holyrood elections.