Scotland would vote for independence if a snap referendum was held today, a new poll carried out in the wake of the UK’s Brexit decision has suggested.
The Survation poll for the Daily Record has pointed to a shift in public opinion, with 53.7% saying they would vote for independence, against 46.3% in favour of staying in the UK.
Including “don’t knows”, the figures are 47.8% for Yes with 41.3% backing the No side.
Scottish voters rejected independence by 55% to 45% in the September 2014 referendum.
But the latest poll was carried out after the UK voted on Thursday to leave the European Union by a margin of 52% to 48%. In stark contrast, Scotland opted to be part of the EU, by 62% to 38%.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the situation means a second vote on Scottish independence is now “highly likely” and has warned she would consider asking Holyrood to block the UK’s departure from Europe if MSPs are required to give formal backing for Brexit.
The latest poll results were based on the responses of 1,002 adults questioned over the weekend.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell accused Ms Sturgeon of “opportunism” to further the “independence agenda”.
He insisted the arguments for Scotland being part of the UK are “as compelling today as they were in 2014”.
But he sidestepped the question of whether Westminster would grant the powers for a second independence referendum to be held.
Mr Mundell told BBC Radio Scotland: “What I’ve said is there are two questions. One question is could there be another referendum? Of course there could, that’s a process issue.
“Should there be another referendum? That’s a quite different issue, and my view is that there should not be another independence referendum.
“I believe that the arguments for Scotland being part of the UK are as compelling today as they were in 2014.
“I think it’s very, very unhelpful that at this moment, where we do look to bring stability, that virtually the first thing that is mentioned by the First Minister before the ink had even dried on the declaration of the result in the EU referendum is independence.
“I think a lot of people in Scotland will have taken a step back and think this is just opportunism in terms of trying to exploit a situation of uncertainty to push the independence agenda.”
Asked whether Westminster would stand in the way of the First Minister holding such a referendum, or whether it would grant the Section 30 order to pave the way for such a ballot, he told the Good Morning Scotland programme: “What I’m going to do is argue that there shouldn’t be another independence referendum.”