SUPPORT for Scotland leaving the Union has risen to a whopping 56 per cent, according to the latest polling from Ipsos Mori.

The survey, commissioned by STV News as part of the Scottish Political Monitor project, put Yes support up six points since its last poll was carried out in May.

Over the last 18 months, Yes and No have generally been neck and neck in the polls. The first poll carried out after the Supreme Court result, which said Scotland requires Westminster's consent to hold indyref2, found 52% support for independence with "don't knows" removed.

Now, with "don't knows" removed, Ipsos has recorded 56% for Yes and 44% for No. If such a result were replicated in a referendum, it would mark a near reversal of the 2014 vote.

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As well as increased support for leaving the Union, the pollster found that the SNP would win a record 58 seats in the next General Election – which the party hopes to use as a de facto referendum on independence.

When respondents were asked how they would vote in such a de facto referendum, 53% said they'd back the SNP. A further 2% would vote Green, taking the pro-independence vote share to 55%.

In such an election Scottish Labour would win a single seat, while the LibDems and Tories would be completely wiped out north of the Border.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said the poll shows momentum for Yes is "rocketing".

The National: Keith Brown is the depute leader of the SNP

“For too long, Tories and Labour have claimed now is not the time for the people of Scotland to choose their own future," he said. "This poll shows clearly the people think now is the time – the Westminster parties need to recognise and respect that.”  

He went on: “No Westminster politician can stand in the way of the Scottish people. To escape the damage of Brexit that both Labour and the Tories back, and to protect Scotland from Westminster governments Scotland doesn’t vote for, we need to choose an independent future.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer said the new polling shows the problem with the UK Government's anti-independence strategy. 

Greer said: “The people of Scotland elected the biggest ever majority of pro-independence MSPs just last year. That is a mandate for change. We know that our society and economy could thrive if we had the powers of a normal European country, rather than continuing to be held back by the broken and corrupt Westminster system.

“This surge we are seeing in support for independence sends a loud and clear message all the way to Downing Street. Scotland will have its day at the ballot box."

Nicola Sturgeon remains most popular party leader

Elsewhere in the poll, Nicola Sturgeon remains the most popular party leader with more than half of Scots having a favourable view of her.

The National: Nicola Sturgeon

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and Scottish Greens co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater also have positive net favourability ratings, at +3, +1 and +2 respectively.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has a net rating of -21, and Keir Starmer is at -13. Douglas Ross is by far the most disliked politician among Scots, with a net rating of -38.

Uncertainty over timing of independence

Despite increased support for leaving the UK, the results show the public remain divided on the timing of indyref2.

The First Minister had aimed to hold a vote in 2023, but this has been made very unlikely by the Supreme Court’s recent judgment.

Just over a third (35%) want to see indyref2 before the end of 2023, while 34% back holding it between 2024 and 2026. Around 17% say it should take place further in the future.

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There has also been a five-point decrease in the number of people saying there should never be another referendum.

Emily Gray, the managing director of Ipsos in Scotland, said: “These new results from Ipsos and STV News show an increase in both support for independence and support for the SNP.

"Whether this is a temporary ‘bounce’ in the wake of the recent Supreme Court judgement or a longer-lasting trend remains to be seen."

Gray said the de facto referendum is a "high-risk" strategy. However, she added: "The indication from this poll is that, at this stage at least, this is not harming their electoral chances."

The poll surveyed 1065 Scots aged 16 or above between November 28 and December 5.