The UK’s Brexit woes have taken a toll, not least on the stability of the Union. In Northern Ireland, calls for a border poll are growing louder, and in Scotland, the SNP is now demanding a second Scottish independence referendum in 2020. Nicola Sturgeon spoke at an independence rally on Saturday to bridge the gap between grassroots independence campaigners and the SNP. But what are the odds for an indyref2?
Brexit woes play into the SNP’s hands
Having voted remain by 62 to 38 percent, the people of Scotland may very well feel they would be better off leaving the UK and partnering with the EU. The 45 to 55 percent defeat by Scottish independence campaigners in 2014 now seems narrow, especially given the UK’s inability to ‘get Brexit done’ thus far. In all likelihood, the people of Scotland would, indeed, vote for independence given the chance. But what are the odds of a new government allowing a second Scottish independence referendum?
Boris Johnson rules out indyref2, Jeremy Corbyn wants to wait
Speaking on Sky News, the Prime Minister ruled out a Section 30 order that would pave the legal path to a second referendum. Back in 2014, the then Tory government called indyref1 a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ vote, and Johnson made his opposition clear. In contrast, although wishing to maintain the integrity of the Union, Labour is unlikely to force Scotland to remain within the UK. Jeremy Corbyn has said that he’d be inclined to wait but according to Politicshome, Labour wouldn’t rule it out either:
“But in the longer run, if there was a democratic and properly formulated request on the basis of a majority of the Scottish Parliament or the Scottish Government, it would be wrong to block it.”
The Labour leader has spoken out against Scottish independence, saying that Scotland would be in a stronger economic position within the UK. Some Tory members have suggested that an SNP-Labour alliance could lead to a second referendum and put Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street.
On Good Morning Britain, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon urged voters to back the SNP, outlining that a strong SNP election performance represents the best chance of securing a second Scottish independence referendum.
Second Scottish independence referendum – latest opinion poll
According to The Times, support for independence is growing. A recent Panelbase survey showed that 50 percent of Scots favour an independent Scotland remaining in the EU. This represents a one-percent increase since June and is the highest pro-independence poll result in seven years.
Most commentators do not believe that Nicola Sturgeon will get her poll in 2020. However, many also predict a hung parliament, in which case a strong SNP may end up in a powerful position.