04:22 GMT +321 August 2019
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    A Scottish piper plays for tourists in front of the Queen Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) and The Houses of Parliament in central London on June 26, 2016.

    Chances of Second Scottish Referendum Fading as Scots Reject Independence Push

    © AFP 2019 / Odd Andersen
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    During Britain’s Brexit debate many warned that leaving the EU would lead to the breakup of the UK through Scottish independence. Despite the warnings, the vote to cut ties with Brussels has seemingly had the opposite effect, with support for Scottish independence at its lowest level since 2014.

    A YouGov poll found that only 44 percent of respondents would vote for Scotland to become an independent country if a referendum was held tomorrow, less than the 45 percent who voted in favor of leaving the UK in the September 2014 independence referendum.

    The figures also show a dip in support for independence over the past few months, after an August poll found that 46 percent would have voted yes in a referendum.

    Even more worrying for pro-independence political figures in Scotland, 97 percent of people surveyed said they did not think the Scottish government should push for independence within the next two years, with 54 percent saying they would oppose the idea of holding another independence referendum before the UK leaves the EU.

    Figures Going Against Expectations

    The slump in support for Scottish independence has seemingly gone against pre-Brexit referendum predictions, with former Prime Minister David Cameron among those warning that the UK's decision to leave the EU would likely lead to a spike in support for independence in the overwhelmingly pro-EU Scotland.

    The results also come as a blow to the Scottish National Party (SNP) and its leader Nicola Sturgeon, who has been pushing for a second independence referendum in light of the June 23 vote to leave the EU.

    Pro-independence supporters console one another in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 19, 2014, following a defeat in the referendum on Scottish independence.
    © AFP 2019 / Andy Buchanan
    Pro-independence supporters console one another in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 19, 2014, following a defeat in the referendum on Scottish independence.

    A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said the poll figures justified the 2014 decision to remain in the UK.

    "The standout finding from this poll is the increasing opposition to another referendum on independence, and the drop in support for independence itself now lower than at anytime since the 2014 referendum," a Conservative Party spokesperson told the Scotsman newspaper.

    "On the day the SNP finish their so-called listening exercise on independence, it is now time they finally paid attention to what Scotland it saying — no to a second referendum and no to more division, more uncertainty and more rancor."

    Why the Slump in Support?

    The drop in support for Scottish independence following the Brexit vote has also led to much analysis in the UK, with political figures and the media trying to understand the shift in public opinion.

    Many have suggested that despite Scotland overwhelmingly voting to remain in the EU, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the UK's future has led many to put their hopes for independence on ice.

    Poll figures have also revealed a growing number of Scots who are undecided on the matter of independence in the post-Brexit climate, with analysts predicting that many of them staying on the side of caution and calling for Scotland to remain in the EU for the time being.

    While before Brexit, 90 percent of people said they would vote the same way on Scottish independence, that figure is now 80 percent, with suggestions the 'No' side is winning over unconvinced voters.

    Analysis of the figures has led commentators to suggest that during the current period of uncertainty, more people believe it's more important to be outside of the EU in a united Britain, rather than taking on the risks of an independent Scotland in the EU.


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