Fascinating as ever John Curtice looks at what polling says about Scottish attitudes towards Brexit, and much of it hinges on the SNP’s nationalist pro EU outlook…
…in Scotland, those wanting to remain substantially outnumber those who wish to leave.
Survation reported as many as 51 per cent said they would vote to remain, while just 29 per cent would opt to leave. More recently in a poll published last week, YouGov have reported almost identical figures; 51 per cent backed to remain while 31 per cent said leave.
There is one key reason why Scotland is more Europhile – its profoundly different pattern of party politics. Here, “standing up for Scotland” is an objective with which above all the SNP are associated. And nowadays at least the SNP both dominates the electoral scene and is strongly pro-European. South of the border, in contrast, nationalist sentiment is expressed most strongly by the anti-European Ukip.
These very different stances are reflected in the views of their supporters. According to Survation, 50 per cent of those who voted for the SNP in May want to remain in the EU, while 33 per cent say they will vote to leave. In contrast, Ukip supporters are almost unanimous in their wish to leave, with 83 per cent telling Survation that they wish to do so, and just 10 per cent wanting to remain.
But he concludes that if the bedrock of Scottish pro EU sentiment are Yes voters, they may find that the residual block of No voters would be even less susceptible to persuasion. It’s a long extrapolation, not least because since the Referendum many No voters appear to have switched to the SNP.
Perhaps more precisely having three major sovereignty shifting referendums in less than four years might prove a straw to break Scottish backs… Indeed, whilst the currency issue remains unresolved independence lacks a reliable bridge to take Scotland into what could be a very unstable future.
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