SUPPORT for Scottish independence continues to lead in the polls, according to YouGov, but researchers don’t think it’s a direct result of the Supreme Court judgment.

Since the November ruling – which found Scotland needs the UK Government’s permission to hold indyref2 – several consecutive polls have put Yes far ahead of No.

One poll, carried out between November 28 and December 5 by Ipsos Mori for STV, put support at 56% with “don’t knows” removed.

The latest poll from YouGov, carried out for the Scottish Election Study’s Scottish Opinion Monitor (Scoop), puts Yes at 50.2% with “don’t knows” excluded – it’s the first time in around a year that Scoop has found a majority for independence.

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SNP depute leader Keith Brown MSP welcomed the fifth poll showing a majority for Yes.

“More and more people in Scotland are realising that the only way we can escape repeated utterly incompetent Tory governments is with independence," he said.

Labour offer no alternative either for Scots as they are fully signed up as a pro-Brexit party despite the disastrous consequences it has had on the Scottish economy.

“The people of Scotland have shown that now is the time for a referendum because they have voted for a majority of MSPs to deliver a referendum – more than in 2011 which the Westminster parties accepted as a mandate. The more Westminster parties deny Scotland its voice, the more support for independence will grow and the people of Scotland deserve a say over their future.” 

Fraser McMillan of Scoop wrote a blog post to accompany the research, explaining what the data shows the team about support for independence.

The researchers said: “While it might be tempting to attribute this to the court judgment itself, the results suggest that support for independence had already climbed and can likely be explained by comparative perceptions of UK and Scottish Government performance.”

The team backed that up with data showing the Scottish Government’s net rating that improved to +3, while the UK’s ranking has plunged from -57 in August to a whopping -71 now.

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McMillan argued that the increase in support can be compared to the surge in Yes backing seen during the early stages of the pandemic.

“Pro-independence sentiment reached all-time polling highs in the early stages of the Covid pandemic in mid-late 2020, when diverging perceptions of UK and Scottish Government handling of the crisis bolstered Yes support,” he wrote.

“It is not much of a stretch to think that something similar occurred in autumn 2022 as the Conservative UK government descended into political chaos of its own making and the disastrous 44-day Truss Premiership permanently exacerbated the painful cost of living crisis engulfing the country.”

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On General Election voting intention, the SNP had 41% of prospective voters’ support. That would be significantly less than required for the party to win a de facto referendum, which leaders have suggested would work on a 50% +1 basis.

Meanwhile Labour’s support is up at 30%, which would be 10 points higher than the party’s 2019 result.

The Tories were far behind on 14% – 10 points lower than their 2019 result, suggesting Unionist voters are switching between the two parties.

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Professor Ailsa Henderson, head of the Scottish Election Study, said: “These results suggest a Scottish Labour recovery is possible, but that it might be limited to Westminster rather than Holyrood

“And because higher support for independence is not necessarily translating into higher electoral support for the SNP, the results also suggest treating a Westminster election as a proxy referendum poses risks to the SNP.”