14:16 GMT +316 December 2017
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    Pro Independence supporters waves the Scottish flag during a rally in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 19, 2015.

    Support for Scottish Independence Rises to 50% - Poll

    © AFP 2017/ Andy Buchanan
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    A total of 50 percent of Scots would vote for independence if a new referendum took place in Scotland, a poll by Ipsos MORI found on Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Earlier in the day, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the second half of 2018 would be a "common sense" time for holding a second Scottish independence referendum, as a UK-EU deal would be more clear by then.

    Of the 1,029 respondents polled, 50 percent said they are "very likely" or "certain" to vote Yes to independence in an immediate referendum, while 50 percent would vote No.

    According to the poll conducted for STV News, 48 percent of respondents supported the idea that an independent Scotland remain a full member of the European Union, with 27 percent supporting full single market access but not full membership, similar to the Norway agreement, and 17 percent rejecting the idea of EU membership altogether.

    Since the last poll, conducted six months ago, support for independence has increased by two percentage points.

    The majority of Scots, 62 percent against 38 percent, voted to stay in the European Union at the 2016 nationwide referendum, however, the United Kingdom overall voted to leave. The Scottish National Party (SNP) has repeatedly called for a repeat independence referendum in the wake of the decision, citing fears of a "hard Brexit" strategy and lost access to the EU single market.

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