A majority of electors in Scotland want a new referendum on independence from the United Kingdom, a fact that reflects divisions widened by Brexit and puts pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to accept such a vote.
According to a poll published in the Sunday Times, 50% of Scottish electors are in favour of holding a referendum on independence. When the undecided are excluded, 52% of respondents favour independence.
The poll published on Sunday also shows that 51% of electors in Northern Ireland want a referendum on the reunification of Ireland, which lays bare another crack in the unity of the United Kingdom.
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who also heads the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), has been calling for months for a referendum on independence for Scotland, after the one lost by her camp in 2014, when 55% of Scottish voters said “No” to independence.
She points to the decision to leave the European Union, taken against the will of most people in Scotland, as a main argument for pulling out of the United Kingdom, and hopes that, once independent, Scotland will be able to rejoin the EU eventually.
While UK electors as a whole voted for Brexit at the 2016 referendum, 62% of Scottish voters had said “No” to pulling out of the EU.
Only UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson can decide on holding a new referendum, which he has categorically refused to do.
Independence is likely to be a key issue one at legislative elections in May in Scotland.
Reacting to the latest polls, which, she said “show a majority of people in Scotland want independence if the SNP wins the Scottish election in a few months’ time,” Ms. Sturgeon told the BBC on Sunday that Johnson “clearly fears the verdict and will of the Scottish people.”