Brexit Fails to Boost Support for Scots Independence, Poll Shows

  • Kantar TNS survey finds 53% in favor of remaining in U.K.
  • Scottish nationalists started fresh campaign this month

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has failed to boost support for Scottish independence, with more voters still opposed to a split with the rest of the U.K., according to the latest poll.

The survey by Kantar TNS found 47 percent of people in favor of sticking with Britain and 41 percent backing independence. After excluding the 12 percent of respondents who were undecided, the gap was 53 percent to 47 percent, similar to polling before the June 23 Brexit vote. Scots backed staying with the U.K. by 55 percent to 45 percent in the September 2014 independence referendum.

Scotland's First Minister and Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon attends the Scottish Parliament for a debate on the EU Referendum result and the implications for Scotland, in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 28, 2016.Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would travel to Brussels on Wednesday for talks to defend Scotland's place in the European Union after a vote by Britain as a whole to leave the bloc. Sturgeon said she was
Nicola Sturgeon.
Photographer: Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images

After every region of Scotland voted against Brexit, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon vowed to contest the plan to withdraw her country against its will, saying another independence vote was “highly likely.” Since then, she’s stressed her semi-autonomous government in Edinburgh is looking at all options to retain Scotland’s EU status. While Sturgeon’s Scottish Nationalist Party this month kicked off a new campaign to build support for going it alone, no legislation is imminent to pave the way for a fresh ballot.

“In the aftermath of the Brexit vote and Scotland’s contrasting position with much of the rest of Britain, the SNP would have hoped for more of an uplift in support for Scottish independence,” Tom Costley, head of Kantar TNS in Scotland, said in a statement. “The recent launch of the SNP’s ‘listening exercise’ appears to be timely.”

For analysis of Scotland’s independence drive, click here

Sturgeon, 46, has said she would only seek another referendum on independence should a clear majority of Scottish voters be in favor of it. Kantar TNS canvassed 1,047 people of voting age between Aug. 10 and Sept. 4.

Sign up to receive the Brexit Bulletin, a daily briefing on the biggest news related to Britain's departure from the EU.