Brexit is pushing the Scottish people towards independence, says the UK's leading polling expert

GettyScottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
  • Scotland is moving towards wanting independence from the United Kingdom, due to the ongoing Brexit crisis.
  • The UK’s leading polling expert said that anti-Brexit voters in Scotland are increasingly moving towards wanting to become independent instead.
  • Recent polls suggest there would be a clear majority in Scotland to break-up the Union with England, if Boris Johnson becomes prime minister.
  • Johnson has said that he will “cement the union” after Brexit takes place.
  • Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories.

LONDON – The ongoing Brexit crisis is pushing the Scottish people towards backing independence from the United Kingdom, according to the country’s leading polling expert.

Sir John Curtice said that recent polls have shown a significant swing towards independence in Scotland, due to voters who previously backed Remain in the 2016 EU referendum, increasingly wanting to leave the UK instead.

“In recent polls support for Yes has on average been running at some four points above where it stood in the second half of last year among Remain voters (and, indeed, those who did not vote in 2016),” Curtice wrote on his website What Scotland Thinks.

“In contrast, there is no sign of any increase in support for Yes among those who voted No – indeed, if anything, the opposite is the case.”

The Scottish government has committed to holding another referendum on leaving the UK and has published legislation paving the way for a second vote at an as yet unspecified future date.

Recent polls have shown only a narrow lead for remaining in the UK among Scottish voters as a whole.

However, when asked how they would vote in a no-deal Brexit scenario a clear majority say they would vote to leave the UK.

The current majority against independence in Scotland would also be reversed if former foreign secretary Boris Johnson were to succeed Theresa May as widely expected, a Panelbase poll of Scottish voters suggested last month.

Asked whether they supported leaving the UK, a narrow majority of 51% of the respondents said they opposed independence.

However, when asked how they would vote if Johnson became prime minister, independence gained a six-point lead of 53% over 47%.

Panelbase/Sunday Times poll of Scottish voters

The poll found that Johnson is a divisive figure in Scotland, with a net approval rating of minus 37%, significantly below any of the other previous candidates for Conservative party leader.

Business Insider revealed earlier this month that when Johnson was the editor of The Spectator magazine, he published a poem joking about the “extermination” of the “verminous” Scottish people.

Johnson also wrote a column suggesting that Scottish people should be prevented from becoming prime minister.

For his own party, Johnson claimed last week Brexit will “cement the union” if it “is done right.”

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