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

The New Statesman's Scottish election forecast model.


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On 6 May, voters in Scotland will head to the polls and elect their new parliament at Holyrood. As our Scottish independence poll tracker shows, this election is expected to prove pivotal.

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]

Members of the Scottish Parliament can be elected as either constituency or regional (“list”) representatives. Each elector may cast two votes: one for their constituency, a second for their region. Recent polls give the SNP leads in both the constituency and list sections, but the New Statesman's forecast model does not suggest the party is guaranteed an overall majority (65 seats or more).

Our election model is updated as soon as new data becomes available. The model employs the latest voting intention surveys and adjusts for historical pollster error. It then calculates the most probable outcome in each constituency through a mode of regional swing.

What do the polls say?
Voting intention for the Scottish parliamentary election – both constituency (first-past-the-post) and list/regional (additional member system).

Our model can determine the most likely outcome in each constituency. Though that doesn’t mean it’s infallible, it should prove an effective barometer of what Scottish public opinion will look like in May.


Will Scotland vote for independence?

In 2014, Scotland voted by a 55-45 margin to remain part of the United Kingdom. But the UK's departure from the European Union, and a likely SNP majority in the Holyrood elections, a second referendum is ever more likely to be held in the coming years. 

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.

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

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

 Ben Walker is a data journalist at the New Statesman

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