I was shocked when I moved to Oxford from NYC. It wasn’t that I hadn’t seen homelessness in NYC, but it just hadn’t occurred to me that it would be such a big problem in Oxford. Despite being a small city, it has one of the largest homeless populations in the UK. The city center is dominated by the university and tourism and businesses that draw talent from the university. There is some really nice housing just north of the city center. I was really appalled to see such extreme poverty in this setting.
The significance of this new survey out today is that support for independence has risen by 7% in a single month according to that poll, to become a slender majority for the first time since 2015. The last Yougov poll was conducted prior to Johnson’s victory on December 11th 2019, so this is the first post-Johnson victory survey.
When you consider that in 2012 support for independence was only between 32% and 38% of the Scottish population:
And 44% by the end of the 2014 referendum campaign, that very clear trajectory should be deeply concerning to the UK government.
Still more, what is motivating that 7% jump in a single month according to Yougov:
The task for the SNP is to keep winning over Remain voting Scots. Time is obviously on their side with new youth joining the electorate each year (a demographic that is strongly pro-EU & Indy) but they also need to keep persuading more of the Unionists among the 62% of Remainers in the EU ref (75% now) of #indyref2, like myself.
And the evidence demonstrates that they are successfully doing this but there’s more:
Many Scots have been angered by the way Westminster has treated Scotland throughout the Brexit process: the decisive victory (again) in England of a party that Scots have not voted for since 1955 (when it was independent from its English counterpart) that won less than 25% of the vote here and is pursuing a Brexit 62-75% of Scots reject. The government of that same hated party has negotiated a differentiated status for Northern Ireland that keeps it in the Single Market and behind a customs barrier, effectively in the EU economic zone, but Scotland just has to suffer a hard Brexit it didn’t vote for.
Two days ago, Sturgeon suggested something as benign as Scotland being allowed by Westminster to have a Scottish visa post-Brexit to cater to Scotland’s underpopulated area, and an economy that needs migrant labour, and Johnson rubbishes it that very same day without even seriously considering the carefully thought our proposal:
And yet he wonders why 71% of Scots hate him.
Real Brexit hits on December 31st 2020 when we actually pull out of the Single Market & customs union. Tomorrow is merely the start of a “phone war” transition phase where nothing changes apart from us no longer being formally members or citizens of the EU (having a vote or representation in EU institutions any longer). We’re effectively Norway+ for 11 months.
The Holyrood (Scottish Parliament) elections take place a few months later in May 2021.
More interesting stats from that poll:
The geriatrics again, as with Brexit. Under 50s support Scottish Independence with a majority of 66%, under 65s a majority of 59% but the over 65s only register a paltry 25% for independence and support the UK by 75%.
Also, the following is from the Dutch founder of #FBPE (Follow Back Pro-EU) the largest pro-EU movement on Twitter:
He said he’s going to organise a pro-Indy march in the Netherlands:
So, if public opinion remains stable, or even continues on the same trajectory, an independent Scotland would seem all but inevitable by, say, 2050? And perhaps the same for an independent and united Ireland.
As a Scottish resident who is pushing 65, I am one of the 25%, and hope (maybe in vain) that it will come a bit sooner than 2050.
I’m convinced we’ll both see an independent Scotland within your lifetime and much closer than that. In 50 years, I’d be in my 70s (77 to be precise!) and I just can’t envisage us not having been an independent country for decades by then.
The new polling data suggests that the rubicon has already been crossed, over 50% now favour independence (compare that to the low base of just 32% before the first Indyref in 2014), but that slender lead needs to be shored up. The May 2021 Holyrood election is the key here. It will be fought on the issue of independence and as in 2012, if pro-indy parties gain a majority, it’s then that a section 30 order will be asked for again.
At the same time, there may be a court case to determine if an advisory referendum can be held at the Holyrood level without a s30. The question is justiciable but the position of the courts is yet to be determined as to whether this falls within the Scotland act 1998 (devolution settlement) or not.
Thanks Vouthon; that’s very heartening. I hope I live to see the day.
I have no connection with Scotland and only a tenuous connection with the UK as a whole. I remember when the Scottish independence referendum took place I was firmly of the opinion that I hoped that Scotland would remain within the Union, but the events of the past three and a half years have made me move toward the position that I perhaps wouldn’t be sorry to see Scotland become independent. However, I am only a distant observer.
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