ONLY a quarter of Scots voters have said they feel safer having nuclear weapons based on the Clyde, according to a new opinion poll.

The latest survey from James Kelly asked people the question: “The UK Government argues that its nuclear weapons protect the public due to a ‘deterrent’ effect. However, others argue that the presence of nuclear weapons on the Clyde puts the public in greater danger by making the area a target for nuclear attacks, and by creating a risk of serious accidents.

“Do you personally feel more safe or less safe due to the presence of nuclear weapons on the Clyde?”

Just 24% of those surveyed said they felt safer, while 42% felt less safe.

According to the remaining 34% the presence of nuclear weapons “makes no difference”.

Women predominantly felt less safe in the presence of the Cold War weaponry (44%) with only 18% saying it made them feel safer.

The UK’s nuclear deterrent, Trident, is based at Faslane, and the UK Government has already signalled its intention to raise the limit on the number of weapons it can store there by up to 40%. That came despite Scotland signing the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty – the first legally binding international agreement of its type – which came into force in January with the goal of eliminating these weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

A relatively small percentage of women aged between 16-34 and 35-54 (15%/13%) said the weapons made them feel safer, along with 24% of those over 55.

For men, the corresponding figures were 23%, 29% and 39%.

More than half (55%) of Tory voters said they felt safer with the armaments.

The 1075 people quizzed in this survey were asked the question: “In 2016, 58 of Scotland’s 59 MPs voted against the decision to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system.

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“However, the nine countries that are currently believed to possess nuclear weapons, including the UK, have so far refused to sign the treaty. Do you think the UK should join the treaty and dismantle its nuclear weapons?”

Most of the sample (47%) answered Yes, and a third (33%) said no, with 20% of them recording “don’t know” responses.

Younger people, especially in the 16-34 age group, said they wanted the weapons dismantled (54%) compared to 46% and 43% in the 35-54 and over 55 groups respectively. More than half of men between 16-34 (57%) wanted the weapons scrapped, as did 50% of women of the same age.

Not surprisingly the vast majority of Tory voters (71%) did not want the weapons dismantled, while the same percentage of SNP voters did.

The survey sample was also asked a question that came straight out of left field, focusing on one aspect of European culture: “At the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest, there will be a United Kingdom entry.

“However, in 2019, Scotland and Wales both competed in the Eurovision Choir event as countries in their own right. In future years, how would you prefer Scotland to be represented in the Eurovision Song Contest?”

The majority (60%) opted for a Scottish Eurovision entry, while 40% said they wanted one from the UK.

Women and men chose the Scottish option by 64% and 55% respectively, while 45% of men and 36% of women wanted a UK entry.

Young women (16-34) were the most patriotic with 77% choosing a Scottish song, with 70% of men in the same age group.

Most women aged between 35-54 (62%) also picked the Scottish option with 55% of similarly aged men; the majority of women over 55 (56%) wanted a Scottish entry while 57% of men in that group went for the UK option.

An overwhelming majority of Tory voters (82%) said they wanted to stick with a UK entry for the competition, followed by 67% of Liberal Democrats, 56% of Labour voters and just 9% of SNP voters, 91% of whom – not surprisingly – wanted the Scottish option.

Kelly told The National: “The nuclear results suggest that the new treaty ban is a game-changing moment that will make it a lot easier for campaigners to persuade people of the case for total disarmament.

“A significant minority of No voters want rid of the UK’s nukes, which opens up an opportunity for a future Yes campaign to win new converts.

“The Eurovision results will put pressure on the BBC to deliver what licence fee payers in Scotland want, now that we know what that is. As a major funder of the contest, if they went to the European Broadcasting Union and requested a Scottish entry, it’s very likely that would be granted.”