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Independence support deadlocked as 50% back vote by 2026, poll suggests

The poll on independence was conducted by Ipsos Mori (Lesley Martin/PA)
The poll on independence was conducted by Ipsos Mori (Lesley Martin/PA)

Support and opposition for Scottish independence is deadlocked while 50% of people want another vote by 2026, a new poll suggests.

An Ipsos Mori survey of 1,000 Scots for STV, released on Wednesday, showed support for independence, when undecided voters are removed, at 50% with the same figure for those who are opposed.

The last Ipsos poll for STV, conducted in November, suggested backing for the Yes campaign was as high as 55% when undecided voters were removed.

Some 31% of those asked said they did not want another referendum on the issue to ever be held, while 32% wanted another referendum by the end of next year and 18% opted for some point before the end of the parliamentary term in 2026.

The poll also logged satisfaction with political leaders, showing a net of -71% satisfaction with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a 3.5% swing between from the last poll.

This was compared to a 12% net satisfaction rate for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – a -4% swing – and an 8% upswing to a -2% rate for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

In Scotland, Tory leader Douglas Ross’ net satisfaction rating remained at -27%, although 25% responded that they “don’t know” about Mr Ross’s performance.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar enjoyed the highest net popularity rating in the survey with 19%, a 1% swing since the previous poll.

Some 30% of respondents said rising inflation and the cost of living was the most important issue in Scotland currently, rising from 3% in November.

Healthcare fell from 38% believing it was the most important issue to 27% with education dropping from 26% to 24%.

The importance of Scottish independence in the minds of respondents fell from 27% to 17%.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said the survey confirms that “the people of Scotland continue to put their trust in First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP Scottish Government to deliver for Scotland”.

“A year ago, the SNP was re-elected by the people of Scotland with a renewed, cast-iron mandate to hold an independence referendum in this parliamentary term,” he added.

“A majority of Scots support a referendum – and the majority of people expressing an opinion wanted to see that referendum take place during this parliamentary term.”

Scotland in Union chief executive Pamela Nash said: “This is a stark reminder to the SNP that it has got the wrong priorities and is out of touch with the people of Scotland.

“Amid a cost-of-living crisis and massive public spending cuts, it is obscene to focus on constitutional division rather than improving our NHS, schools and communities.”