Britain in numbers

Should Scotland be an independent country? The latest polls

Scotland voted No in 2014, but have Brexit and Covid flipped public opinion for good?

By Ben Walker

In 2014 Scotland voted against independence. Turnout was the highest in the country's post-war history. Not since 1910, when no women and few men were able to vote, had a higher proportion of eligible voters gone to the polls.

Scotland voted 55 per cent to 45 per cent against breaking up the UK. Only Glasgow, Dundee, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire had a majority for Yes.

Since the referendum, activists both within and without the Scottish National Party (SNP) have been calling for a second referendum. Some believe the UK's exit from the European Union warrants a new poll, but surveys show Scots are still divided on the question, and divided too on whether to have a second vote at all.

In 2020 Nicola Sturgeon's perceived effective handling of the coronavirus pandemic sent support for independence soaring, but since then the numbers have waned somewhat.

The polls at present are close. Brexit, Covid-19, dislike of Boris Johnson and the success of Nicola Sturgeon have all been cited as drivers for a Yes victory. However, continuing financial anxiety, uncertainty over pensions, a shaky global order and a continual feeling of "island home" solidarity have kept the polls tighter than some may have expected.

This page will track the latest polls on Scottish independence, and attitudes surrounding and shaping that vote.

Topics in this article: