Economy report 'doesn't change indy support'

10 June 2018, 08:02 | Updated: 10 June 2018, 08:16

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Almost two-thirds of Scots say an major economic report commissioned by the SNP will make "no difference" to whether they support independence.

Nationalists set up the Sustainable Growth Commission in 2016 to help bolster the economic arguments for Scotland leaving the UK.

But research by YouGov for Scotland In Union - which campaigns to keep the country in the UK - found that 62% said the report would have no impact on whether or not they backed independence.

While 13% said they were more likely to vote yes in a second referendum as a result of the paper, 6% said they were less likely to do so.

The largest group - 41% of those questioned - said it would make no difference as they were already opposed to independence and would continue to hold this view.

There were also 21% who said the report would have no effect on their views as they already supported independence and would continue to do so.

A fifth of those polled (20%) said they did not know if it would alter their views.

A total of 1,018 Scots were questioned for they study, with the research carried out between June 5 and June 8.

Just over half (51%) said they would be opposed to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calling for a second independence referendum this autumn - with 42% of people strongly opposed to this.

Meanwhile, 38% said they would support the SNP leader if she pressed for a fresh vote - something Ms Sturgeon has said the party's victory in the 2016 Holyrood elections gives it a mandate for.

Scotland In Union released the poll in the aftermath of the SNP conference in Aberdeen, with chief executive Pamela Nash stating: "It's clear most Scots would rather they dropped their referendum obsession and got on with the day job of running the country."

She added: "The Growth Commission was supposed to kick-start the latest independence drive but it appears it has made very little impact. The prospect of a decade of austerity is unlikely to change people's minds anytime soon.

"Nicola Sturgeon may be preaching to the converted at her conference but she looks out of touch with the majority of Scots, who are fed up with her referendum threats.

"It is time the First Minister accepted the will of the Scottish people and put country before party. She should take independence off the table and get on with growing Scotland's economy with the extensive powers she has."

Scottish Conservative chief whip Maurice Golden said: "Nicola Sturgeon is losing support from all corners.

"SNP diehards are furious at her independence blueprint, and now Scots in general are more sceptical about separation than they have been in years.

"The First Minister should take the hint and take her demands for another referendum off the table."

But SNP MSP Ivan McKee said: "This is a boomerang from the self-appointed Tory-dominated anti-independence campaign, who are clearly rattled. Their own poll actually shows the growth commission report has made more people likely to support independence by a factor of over two to one.

"Already polling has shown a significant increase in independence since the growth commission report was published and for which we are yet to hear a case from the anti-independence parties on what their plans are to emulate the economic growth of successful independent countries.

"And crucially, for the first time, more people are now believing independence will benefit the country economically - something which is only likely to grow amid the Tory Brexit chaos Scotland in Union ignore."