Independence in Scotland grows in popularity…

It’s hard to enter any conversation about UK politics without someone singing the praises of Alex Salmond, whether they be unionist or no. As one old friend put it last night, he’s the man who made Scottish non independence Independence.

Changing the terms of the debate has been one of his cleverest achievements. David Maddox

SUPPORT for Scottish independence has risen to its highest level for six years, with almost a third of Scots now backing separation from the rest of the UK, according to a new survey.

The results of the annual Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSA), presented today, show 32 per cent are now in favour of independence, up from 23 per cent last year to a level of support not seen since 2005.

The poll also found support for all decisions being made in Scotland has leaped 15 points to 43 per cent, while 29 per cent backed control over everything apart from defence and foreign affairs being passed to Scotland – the option often referred to as “devolution max”.

For now at least, Salmond and the SNP ‘own’ both major options. And even the social union concept is designed as a comfort blanket for those ‘unionist’ voters still unsure of his longer terms aims for independence.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty