IN the immediate aftermath of the UK-wide vote to leave the European Union in 2016, the people of Scotland reacted in exactly the way that had been predicted. There was a surge in support for independence. However, the status quo ante was restored in subsequent months after the initial shock wore off.

How do we know the surge happened at all? Because media organisations commissioned opinion polls in the days after the referendum to measure Yes support. If they hadn’t done so, it would have looked as if public opinion hadn’t budged one iota.

It would have been said that Scots had shrugged their shoulders at the Leave vote, and hadn’t seen any connection at all between their attitudes to Brexit and their appetite for independence. That misleading impression could have distorted the debate ever since.

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Given that the referendum result produced an uptick for Yes, it’s at least plausible to imagine that the General Election outcome last month may have done the same.

The Tory victory at UK level may have made Remain supporters realise that continued EU membership is now only possible with independence.

But we can’t say for sure that Yes has enjoyed a boost, because so far no post-election polls have been published. That constitutes a frustrating gap in our knowledge, and perhaps makes the Downing Street spin operation somewhat easier.

My blog Scot Goes Pop is stepping into the breach by crowdfunding a poll. It will ask the referendum question, “Should Scotland be an independent country?”, and hopefully some supplementary questions as well. Perhaps it will show a Yes lead, and Boris Johnson will be confronted with the unsettling reality that he is keeping the people of this country trapped in Brexit Britain against their will.

But whatever the poll shows, simply posing the independence question will be a timely reminder that it’s not in the gift of the UK Government to close the issue down for a generation or for a lifetime, and that any decision will ultimately be made by the Scottish people and not by Westminster politicians.

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