Support for independence surges after Dominic Cummings scandal


It is the second such poll this year to indicate a Yes majority and was carried out in the wake of the Dominic Cummings scandal.

The Panelbase poll, carried out by ScotGoesPop, asked the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The poll also suggested that 18% of No voters from 2014 would now vote in favour of independence.

The 52% figure is when don’t knows are excluded, with support for Yes and 48% and No at 45% when they are included.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour criticised for ‘hardening’ opposition to indyref2

James Kelly of ScotGoesPop said he wanted to ask the question again after the Prime Minister’s top aide was caught making trips during lockdown.

Cummings faced calls to resign from all sides, including from within the Tory party and within Cabinet, after he appeared bullish in a bizarre press conference in the Downing Street rose garden.

The aide failed to show any remorse for his trips during the height of lockdown, including a 260-mile trip across the country.

Cummings caused outrage when he claimed that he’d made a separate trip to Barnard Castle, roughly a 30-minute drive, to test his eyesight.

READ MORE: SNP say case for independence ‘growing stronger’ after new poll

Kelly said he wanted “to check whether a landmark recent event had boosted support for Yes”.

He added: “The first time around in January, we got the result we wanted – Yes had jumped into the lead with 52% of the vote.

“I did worry that it was too much to hope that lightning would strike twice, but what do you know? It has.”

This is the fourth Panelbase poll on independence in 2020 so far, with the sequence of results for Yes have been 52, 49, 50, 52. Kelly said that each result is within the margin of error.

He added: “It could be that the Yes vote has been holding steady over the last few months after an initial post-election surge and that the differing results have been caused by random sampling variation.

“Or it could be that the surge subsided just slightly in late winter and early spring as attention turned away from Brexit and towards the coronavirus crisis, and that there has now been a bounce-back for Yes as a result of the Dominic Cummings episode and the UK Government’s mishandling of the pandemic.

“I must say … I’m inclined much more towards the latter theory.”

The results are showing a “now-familiar pattern” according to Kelly, with 35% of Labour voters in Scotland at the last General Election willing to switch to Yes.

Eighteen per cent of No voters from 2014 would now vote in favour of Scottish independence, while just 8% of Yes voters said they would now vote No.

“That’s different from polls a few years ago that showed post-2014 progress for Yes without any net movement at all from No voters,” added Kelly.

“Back then it was 2014 non-voters who were making the difference. That suggests to me that the current Yes lead is built on much more solid foundations.”

The poll also found that 56% of those who voted to Remain in the EU referendum and 34% of those of voted Leave would vote Yes in indyref2.

It was carried out in line with standard practice, weighted by both 2019 Westminster vote and 2014 independence referendum vote.

“It’s worth making the point that 2014 is now six years ago, and there may come a point in the coming years where pollsters will conclude that weighting by the indyref result is no longer sensible, simply due to the sheer passage of time and the increasing danger of false recall,” said Kelly.

“If and when that happens, it will probably result in at least a slight average boost for the reported Yes vote share.

Kelly said that results of the supplementary questions will be released in the coming days.

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