Scottish voters remain split over independence after fresh referendum bid


FILE PHOTO: Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at a news conference on a proposed second referendum on Scottish independence, at Bute House in Edinburgh, Scotland, June 14, 2022. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/Pool/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Voters in Scotland remain evenly split over whether or not they support independence from the rest of Britain, a poll published by the Sunday Times showed, days after the Scottish government set out plans for a referendum on the subject next year.

Last week, Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for a second independence referendum to be held on October 2023, and vowed to take legal action if the British government blocks it.

The Panelbase survey showed 48% of respondents were in favour of independence, 47% were opposed and 5% did not know. A previous online Panelbase poll in April had 47% in favour and 49% against.

The latest results were based on a sample size of 1,010 people.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his ruling Conservative Party strongly oppose a referendum, saying the issue was settled in 2014 when Scots voted against independence by 55% to 45%.

Other polls in 2022 vary, with some showing a similar split to the 2014 result, and others showing the gap narrowing.

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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