Scottish Independence Gains Support On Views of Virus Handling

Support for Scottish independence has been buoyed by the perception that the semi-autonomous administration in Edinburgh handled the coronavirus outbreak more competently than the U.K. government in Westminster.

Backing has climbed to 54% from about 51%, according to a Panelbase survey published in the Sunday Times.

“This is the first time in polling history that ‘yes’ has been ahead over such a sustained period,” John Curtice, a University of Strathclyde politics professor, wrote in the newspaper. “Support for independence is up 3 points on that recorded on average last year -- and 6 points on 2018”

The June 30-July 3 poll of 1,026 people also showed an increased lead for the ruling Scottish National Party before next year’s elections to the devolved parliament in Holyrood. Support for the SNP, which has been in power in Scotland since 2007, is “at a record high,” Curtice said.

“For many nationalists, the last three months have exemplified how Scotland could govern itself better as an independent, small country,” he said. “But more importantly, it may have persuaded some former unionists of the merits of that claim too.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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