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Catastrophe for Sturgeon as 70% of Scots say independence referendum ‘not priority’ – poll

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Nicola Sturgeon is demanding a second referendum despite Scots voting to remain part of Britain in 2014. The SNP says it will push ahead with another public vote if it wins the Scottish Parliament elections in May.

However a Survation poll, which surveyed 1,011 residents aged 16 and over living in Scotland between March 9 – 12, 2021, conducted for pro-UK group Scotland in Union, found 70 percent of Scots believe “a second independence referendum is not a priority at this time”.

This includes 49 percent of those who voted for the SNP during the 2019 General Election.

Senior SNP figures have publicly suggested they will try and hold a second referendum this year if they secure a Scottish Parliament majority.

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, said the poll could take place in “late 2021”.

However Boris Johnson has already ruled out any second independence referendum which would need UK Government consent.

The Prime Minister claims the question was “settled” by the 2014 poll.

Mr Johnson suggested the earliest another referendum should be held is 2054 based on SNP leaders calling the 2014 referendum a “once in a generation opportunity” ahead of the vote.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has urged unionists to boycott any “wildcat” referendum called without British Government support.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, branded the SNP “reckless” for seeking another vote.

She said: “An overwhelming majority of Scots believe a divisive second independence referendum is not a priority at this time.

“The SNP has got its priorities all wrong and isn’t listening to the people of Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon isn’t even listening to her own voters.

“It is astonishingly reckless for the SNP to prioritise a referendum Bill in parliament when people are losing their lives and livelihoods.

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“This coming election campaign must be about what matters to people – Covid recovery, jobs and the NHS.

“Politicians should focus on uniting our country and together we can build our shared future as part of the UK.”

A recent Opinium Survey for Sky News suggested the SNP will fall just short of a majority in May’s elections.

However they may still be able to govern in alliance with the pro-independence Greens.

Support for the SNP has dropped dramatically during the ongoing scandal over sexual assault allegations against Alex Salmond.

A Holyrood committee concluded Ms Sturgeon mislead parliament sparking calls for her to resign.

The Scottish Conservatives have indicated they could call a vote of no confidence in her leadership next week.

However the SNP leader has denied any wrongdoing.

Speaking to Sky News she said: “I stand by all of the evidence I gave to the committee, all eight hours’ worth of evidence.”

In March 2020 Mr Salmond was found not guilty of 12 sexual assault charges with a thirteenth found not proven.

Survation surveyed 1,011 people aged over 16 in Scotland between March 9 and 12.

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