The debate over Scotland’s constitutional future has been thrown into the spotlight as the year draws to a close with a dramatic new poll showing almost two thirds of Scots now in favour of independence.
The poll, carried out by independent think tank Reform Scotland, showed almost 62% of Scots now favour independence over all other options.
The new poll was welcomed by Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who said it showed “opinion is clearly flowing in favour of independence”.
The depute leader of the SNP also claimed that the poll showed that Scottish people clearly wanted a Scottish Parliament with full control over the nation’s finances.
Describing the rejection of ‘devo-max’ by Labour and the other Unionist parties as a “disastrous” stance Ms Sturgeon added:
“Reform Scotland’s Advisory Board contains senior figures and former MSPs from all of the main parties, and the SNP Government have said that we are willing to include a ‘devo-max’ option in the referendum – yet Labour and the Lib Dems have indicated that they want to be on the same side as the Tories in rejecting more powers for Scotland, a disastrous position in Scottish politics.”
New Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has already stated that her party will not discuss any new powers for Scotland beyond the Scotland Bill until after an independence referendum.
Ms Lamont’s comments came in spite of a recent report by a Holyrood Committee which described the Tory led proposals as being potentially damaging.
It also follows suggestions from former Tory Minister and ex-Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Forsyth that the timing of the independence referendum be removed from Holyrood.
Ms Sturgeon added: “Rather than lead Scotland – in line with the wishes of their own voters – Labour and the Lib Dems, inexplicably, would rather be led in the referendum by Michael Forsyth.
“The SNP, and increasingly the people of Scotland, want to see the Scottish Parliament gain full economic and financial powers so that we can build sustainable growth and boost jobs – the only alternative to Tory/Lib Dem Westminster cuts which are choking off recovery.
“We are confident of winning the case for independence and equality for Scotland in the referendum, and are encouraged by this positive report.”
The new poll follows a recent survey that showed two thirds would be in favour of independence if it meant they would be better off.
The Scottish Social Attitudes survey found that 65 per cent of Scots would back independence if it meant that they would be slightly wealthier.
In the Reform Scotland online survey, participants were asked – What is your preferred option for Scotland’s political future?
The survey results were:
- Independence – 61.8%
- A transfer of more financial and spending powers – 24.4%
- Status quo – 7.7%
- Scrap the Scottish Parliament – 6.2%