United Kingdom

Here’s why ’52 per cent for independence’ BSA survey is so significant

THERE has been an endless succession of polls asking how people would vote in an independence referendum.

But the Scottish Social Attitudes survey findings are particularly significant because they are part of a study which aims to identify what’s happening in the long term.

The National Centre for Social Research uses the “gold standard” of random probability sampling – which it says ensures everyone has an equal chance of being picked to take part and ensure the results are representative of the British population.

Many of the same questions are repeated over time – enabling researchers to “identify real changes in people’s social attitudes”.

When it comes to the issue of what people think of how Scotland should be governed, there are three options for the answer – independence, devolution and having no parliament at all. This is not a simple “Yes” vs “No” poll.

Up until the independence referendum of 2014, support for independence hovered around at around a third, reaching a peak of 35% in 2005.

But the numbers have been creeping steadily upwards since then – from 33% in 2014 to 52% now, with a slight dip only recorded in 2017.

This new report emphasises that Scotland is not alone, with the constitutional debate also becoming more polarised in Northern Ireland.

What it shows is that the UK has left the EU – but the story of Brexit and whether the Union can survive it is far from over.

Check our website at midnight tonight for our full report on the findings.

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