SCOTTISH independence leads support for the Union by eight points in the third poll to gauge Scots’ opinions since the Supreme Court’s indyref2 ruling, The National can reveal.

The third in the series of Yes leads underlines a “clear shift” in attitudes among Scots voters, pollster Mark McGeoghegan said.

It comes after the UK’s highest court ruled on November 23 that Scotland could not hold a second independence referendum without Westminster’s permission.

Since then, a poll from Redfield & Wilton Strategies found Yes had a lead of 52/48 over No. A second poll from Ipsos Mori then found a massive lead of 56/44 for the Yes side, once people who said they didn’t know how they would vote had been removed.

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Now, a third poll has shown that majority support for independence has “crystallised”, campaigners say.

The results of the newest survey – run by Find Out Now from December 1-8 – show support for Scottish independence on 54% against 46% support for the Union, once don’t knows are removed.

Including don’t knows, Yes voters still command a majority, with 51% of Scots saying they would vote for independence in a second referendum. In contrast, 43% of people said they would vote No, while 6% said they were unsure.

The poll of 1094 Scots adults also suggested that independence is more popular among younger voters.

Just one in five (21%) Scots between age 18 and 24 said they would vote No in indyref2, while 69% said they’d back Yes. 

In contrast, 60% of Scots over age 65 said they would back No, compared to 37% who would back Yes.

While 16 and 17-year-olds can vote in a Holyrood election and could theoretically vote in indyref2, they were not included in the most recent polling.

A subsample of Labour voters also suggested that around one-third of the party’s supporters (30%) would vote Yes in a second referendum.

Pollster McGeoghegan told The National: "It's becoming increasingly clear that support for independence has received a boost since the UK Supreme Court ruled that the Scottish Government cannot hold an independence referendum unilaterally.

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“Before the decision, the Yes average across polls in October was 45%, with No averaging 47%. In the three polls conducted since the decision, the Yes vote averages 51%, and No averages 43%.

“Flipping from a No lead of two points to a Yes lead of eight is a clear shift in public sentiment. Whether it lasts is another question, as is whether it can be capitalised on by the SNP.

“But for now, it seems the Supreme Court's decision has blown some wind into the sails of the Scottish independence movement."

Iain Nicol, the director of Fetter Together, the campaign group which commissioned the poll after a successful crowdfunder, said: “It's fantastic to see it confirmed that the Supreme Court ruling has crystallised majority support for independence. Mainstream Unionism was based on the fiction of a voluntary Union of equals. This has been exposed as another Better Together lie.

“We're not happy that the only thing preventing Scottish independence is the UK's fear of democracy.”

Nicol added that to “maintain our lead and deliver independence, it's vital that the mainstream Yes movement is inclusive”.

The National:

SNP MP Richard Thomson (above) said the string of polls would be "something of a rude awakening for any Unionist politicians who may have thought that the recent Supreme Court ruling would put independence supporters ‘back in their box’".

He went on: “This is a tremendously encouraging poll, and one that backs up other recent polls showing a substantial rise in support for independence.

“Not only is it the ‘settled will’ of the Scottish people that they should have the right to choose their own democratic future, there increasingly appears to be a ‘settling will’ in favour of choosing independence.

"It is therefore a democratic imperative that the question of how Scotland should be governed should be put to the people so that they can make their choice on that key, defining issue.”