60 percent of Scots want independence referendum before 2025 – survey

(Reuters/Russell Cheyne)
Some 60 percent of Scots want to see a second independence referendum within ten years, with an additional 19 percent keen to see a rerun of the vote sometime after that, a Survation poll suggests.

Last year saw 45 percent of Scottish people reject independence from the UK in a ballot which yielded an 85 percent turnout – the highest in any UK vote since 1918.

The poll also found that the Scottish National Party (SNP) had grown in popularity since their massive general election win earlier this year.

Projections show the anti-austerity party would take 56 percent of the vote, amounting to 71 seats, if the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary elections if were to be held today.

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SNP Business Convener Derek Mackay told the National newspaper: “This is an encouraging poll, highlighting the SNP’s extraordinary positive ratings after eight years in government.

He said the findings were also “a vote of confidence in the strong start that the new team of SNP MPs has made in standing up for Scotland’s interests at Westminster.

But we take absolutely nothing for granted, and will work hard every day between now and next year’s Holyrood election to retain the trust of people right across Scotland,” he added.

The poll comes as Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, claimed that the BBC was selling Scotland short.

Her intervention follows the BBC’s annual review, which found that Scotland was the only one of the four British nations where the majority of people doubted the media outlet “was good at representing their life in news and current-affairs content.

The review found that only 48 percent of Scottish viewers and listeners trusted the BBC, compared to 61 percent of English people.

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Hyslop said the report’s conclusions indicated that reform was needed, telling the National newspaper, “the UK Government and BBC are continuing to sell Scotland short on broadcasting.

When the BBC has failed to meet the expectations of its audience, the answer is to seek positive reform which protects the corporation’s independence, not seek to slash and diminish it,” he added.

Bill Matthews, a BBC trustee for Scotland, warned that the BBC was not seen as impartial enough in the wake of the Independence referendum and that coverage of the campaign was felt by some to adopt an “anglicized perspective” at the expense of “wider civic and community engagement.