LONDON — Scottish Parliament passed a motion in favour of a second independence referendum on Tuesday — but the chances of Scotland opting for independence in a second vote are only 40%, according to investment bank Berenberg.
The firm forecasts a 70% chance that Scotland will hold a fresh vote before 2020, and a 40% chance that Scotland would leave if it did.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last week called for a referendum to be held between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019, which Prime Minister Theresa May said she would block until Britain has formally left the EU, which is likely to be in 2019.
The prime minister has the ultimate power to grant or veto any UK referendum.
The note from Berenberg said: “Since the first independence referendum, Scottish support to remain in the UK
has held steady at just above 47% — the same level of poll support before the 2014 referendum that ended with 55.3% of Scottish people voting to remain.
It added: “At the current level of around 42% in opinion polls, support for independence is around 2% below the 44% shown in the pre-2014 referendum polls (support for “yes” in the 2014 referendum was 44.7%).”
“Only one in the last 17 opinion polls projects a majority of Scottish people supporting independence. A second ‘no’ vote would put the question to rest for at least a generation.”
Take a look at the chart below, which charts poll averages for Scottish independence since December 2014:
While there has been an uptick in support for independence this year, support for “No” currently remains several points above support for “Yes.”
May has vowed to block a second referendum until after Brexit negotiations are complete, but polling expert John Curtice told Business Insider in February that it would be “politically catastrophic” for May to permanently block a referendum, as it would risk “suggesting that Scotland cannot decide for itself whether it wishes to remain inside the Union or not.”
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