Most Scots Expect Independence in the Next Decade

May 19, 2015

A slight majority of Scots expect to see Scotland become independent of the United Kingdom over the course of the next decade.

That’s according to a recent round of polling carried out by the think tank British Future, which also found that some 59 per cent of Britons who live outside Scotland expect to see the UK broken up before 2025.

The think tank’s figures also suggest that sizeable minorities on both sides of the border expect Scotland to become independent within the next five years, with 33 per cent of Scots and 43 per cent of other Britons anticipating a relatively rapid parting of the ways.

It is thought that the results of the recent general election, in which the Scottish National Party (SNP) won almost every available UK parliamentary seat in Scotland, have tilted the balance of expectations firmly towards the end of the union in the longer term.

British Future’s figures found that 71 per cent of Scots and 72 per cent of other Britons expect Scotland to become independent at some point within the next 25 years.
Answers to a variety of union-related questions were asked of almost 4,000 people as part of the organisation’s research in the days after the general election on May 7th.

“It’s interesting that Scotland is split pretty much down the middle on whether independence will happen, even within a decade, while more people in England think it’s already lost,” said Sunder Katwala, director of British Future.

“In the longer term, nearly three quarters of Scots think the nation is likely to become independent by 2040. That’s a long-term challenge for unionism and an opportunity for Nicola Sturgeon to play the long game,” Katwala added in reference to the SNP’s leader and her potential strategy for pursuing Scottish independence.

Further findings from the same study suggest that even Scots keen for their country to remain part of the UK would like to see different nations and regions of Britain given greater power to govern their own affairs.

In fact, 73 per cent of people in Scotland agreed with the statement that the UK’s new government should “come up with a new constitutional settlement for the UK that offers significant powers to the nations and regions of the UK”.

John Baird

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