A SENSATIONAL new poll has revealed strong public backing for a “Plan B” route to avoid a Westminster veto and achieve independence for Scotland.
A clear majority of Scots (63%) think the SNP and Greens should consider putting independence – not just a referendum – on the ballot paper in an election if a UK prime minister continues to reject requests for a Section 30 Order.
The Panelbase poll, commissioned by ScotGoesPop, asked the question: “If Boris Johnson and the UK Government manage to block an independence referendum, do you think that pro-independence parties such as the SNP and the Greens should consider including an outright promise of independence in their manifestos for a future election, to give people an opportunity to vote for or against the idea?”
When “don’t knows” are excluded, 63% of respondents say this would be a good idea, while 37% did not agree.
A shocking 45% of Labour voters who responded to the poll said that they also feel that pro-independence parties should make such a promise.
That’s despite the party itself last week declaring that it would continue to oppose a second independence referendum, with Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard stating: “If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything it’s that people do not want to be divided.” Just 35% of Labour’s voters would be opposed to the move.
READ MORE: Strong public backing for alternative routes to independence
Boris Johnson rejected Nicola Sturgeon’s request for a Section 30 order back in January following the SNP’s General Election performance at the end of last year.
Having won 47 of Scotland’s 59 constituencies in December’s vote, the First Minister stated at the time that: “The Tories are terrified of Scotland having the right to choose our own future.”
The Prime Minister ruled it out on the basis that he was upholding “the democratic decision of the Scottish people” from 2014.
James Kelly, of the ScotGoesPop blog, suggests that promising independence in a manifesto in future elections could help to avoid further rejection. He argues that should a pro-indy party then win an overall majority of seats, they could declare it as a mandate in order to negotiate further, with “no realistic way that the Tories could prevent the vote from taking place”.
It comes after Sunday night’s revelation that, based on current voting intentions, the SNP could be looking at a massive win in next year’s Holyrood elections – which again would grant a mandate to push for a second referendum.
READ MORE: SNP set for huge Holyrood election win and mandate for indyref2
It would also pile on the pressure for the Prime Minister to grant a Section 30 order, thereby transferring powers over to Holyrood in order to hold a vote.
And last week we reported that, with a surge of support for independence in the aftermath of the Dominic Cummings scandal, 52% of people now back Yes when it comes to independence.
It was the fourth Panelbase poll on independence in 2020 so far, with the sequence of results for Yes being 52%, 49%, 50% and 52%. Kelly said each of those results are within the margin of error.
READ MORE: James Kelly: How the polls show a perfect storm for Unionism
Keith Brown, the SNP’s depute leader, said: “The process by which we choose Scotland’s future must be capable of actually achieving independence.
“It must allow majority support to be expressed clearly and unambiguously.
“It must be legal. And it must have the recognition of the international community.
“The SNP will remain focused not just on delivering a referendum but on delivering an independent Scotland.”