Second independence vote backed by 60% of UK Labour supporters, survey suggests

Scots with Saltires looking at a couple of Union Flags in the distance

A new survey suggests that 60% of Labour supporters across the UK back another independence referendum “in principle” in the next few years, and 56% think the party should too.

Labour out of step with its supporters?

The YouGov study, which spoke to 1,073 Labour members between 17 March and 24 March, found that while supporters in the rest of the UK believe there should be another vote, just 31% in Scotland feel the same – with 61% against the idea and 8% undecided.

However, the weighted sample in Scotland for the poll was just 43 people.

30% of UK-wide respondents do not back another referendum, while 10% said they do not know. Most support for another referendum within Labour is in older age groups, with 63% of 50-64-year-olds and 64% of those older than 65 supporting a second vote, compared to 52% in both the 18-24 and 25-49 age groups.

Supporters also appear to break with the messaging from the leadership of the party, which has been steadfastly against another referendum.

Sir Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar
Labour, led by Keir Starmer, left, nationally and in Scotland by Anas Sarwar, right, has been against another independence vote (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

Scottish leader Anas Sarwar has said the next parliamentary session at Holyrood should focus on the recovery from coronavirus (Covid-19). The poll found 56% believe the party should publicly back another vote, while 28% said it should not and 16% are undecided.

The disparity in the party north of the border continued with that question, as just 28% of Scottish Labour members believe the party should support another referendum, compared to 53% who do not and 19% who are undecided.

SNP deputy leader Keith Brown said:

Keir Starmer is completely out of touch with Scotland and his own party members, who overwhelmingly support Scotland’s right to choose our own future in a post-pandemic independence referendum.

The Labour Party ruined its reputation in Scotland by backing Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit, supporting austerity cuts, imposing Trident nuclear weapons, and working hand-in-hand with the Tories in Better Together.

It risks falling into terminal decline if it continues to side with Boris Johnson to deny democracy.

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  • Show Comments
    1. The comparatively low figure supporting Scottish Indy in Labour may seem strange, but Labour has already lost a lot of disgruntled voters to the SNP, who support independence, and some of the most hardcore pro-Unionists vote Tory. What is left is the more hard-core Labour, pro-Union support, so seeing as many as a third of those supporting Indy is actually quite something.

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