Scottish independence: Scots ‘don’t want new poll’ despite Sturgeon’s focus on referendums

IndyRef2: ‘People don’t want’ referendum claims expert

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Scottish journalist Alex Massie spoke to TalkRadio’s Julia Hartley-Brewer to discuss the possibility of Scotland having another independence referendum. Mr Massie insisted that even if Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP win a majority in the Holyrood election it does not immediately mean a referendum will follow. He highlighted that after the election, the Parliament will still have a majority of pro-independence MSPs but their views differ from that of the public.

He added the Scottish people “do not want” a referendum right now and would prefer the Government to focus on other goals first like recovering coronavirus.

Mr Massie said: “It is almost certain that most members of the next Scottish Parliament will support independence.

“But that has been the case in every Parliament since 2011.

“Clearly there was a referendum in 2014 but the meer election of a pro-independence majority, whether that is an SNP majority which looks 50/50 at the moment.

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“Or a Parliament of the SNP and the Greens, which is almost certain, it doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a further independence referendum in the next couple years.

“There is a lot of hype about this but I would suspect that there won’t be a referendum in the next year.

“Why is that? Because the people don’t want it.”

Mr Massie then highlighted the significance of recent opinion polling regarding independence.

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He insisted support for an independence referendum post-Covid was considerably smaller than the SNP were suggesting.

He said: “If you look at the opinion polling on this you find only 28 percent of people want a referendum in the next 2 years.

“If you extend that to the next 5 years you get to around 40-45 percent of people wanting it.

“That doesn’t strike me as the kind of circumstances that require a referendum.”

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Ms Hartley Brewer noted that regarding being independent Scotland had routinely shown a 50-50 split.

Mr Massie added that at the very least if people wanted Scottish independence, they don’t want it yet.

He closed by saying: “It is a much more attractive idea in theory than in immediate practice.

“Grant me independence but just yet.”

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