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  1. Politics
  2. Scotland
14 January 2021

Scottish independence poll tracker: will Scotland vote to leave the UK?

Tracking support for Scottish independence since 2015

By Ben Walker

On 6 May 2021, voters in Scotland went to the polls to elect their new parliament at Holyrood. As our Scottish independence poll tracker shows, this election was a pivotal one.

The SNP, which has governed Scotland since 2007, is standing on the promise of a second referendum on independence following the UK’s exit from the European Union and a surge in Yes support. 

[Hear more on the New Statesman podcast]

The New Statesman had built a model to forecast this result. In the end, such model was correct in forecasting the SNP would fall short of an overall majority at Holyrood, and that the Conservatives would retain their position as the second most popular party across Scotland.

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How did our election forecast compare to the final result?
2021 Scottish parliament election result compared to the final forecast from our tracker

The question now is how public opinion will react to the now seemingly inevitable journey to a second referendum on Scottish independence.

In 2014, the nation voted by a 55-45 margin to remain part of the United Kingdom. Our tracker on Scottish public opinion shows that since the middle of 2020, a consistent majority of Scots with an opinion have backed independence.

Tracking support for Scottish independence
The latest voting intentions on the question of Scottish independence – share of those declaring for undecided are included.


In 2021, support for independence declined, and today we now have data which shows support for the union is now a majority position, albeit a tentative one.

Keep an eye out for further additions to our Scottish independence poll tracker.

[See also: Why civil war is breaking out in the SNP]

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
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