The Ipsos Mori survey showed support for IndyRef2 was highest in Northern Ireland (66 percent) and Scotland (56 percent), while a majority of those in England and Wales (51 percent) also believe the SNP should be allowed to call a fresh ballot. And in a further blow to Boris Johnson, the poll found more than half think the UK will not exist in its current form in a decade.
The findings show 51 percent across the UK would support a second referendum if the SNP wins a majority, with 40 percent saying they would not and 8 percent saying don’t know.
Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos Mori Scotland, said: “The Scottish Parliament elections on May 6 look set to be a critical point in the future of the Union.
“Should the SNP win a majority of seats, as looks likely if current levels of support hold, it will be much more difficult for the UK Government to refuse a second referendum on independence.
“And these figures suggest that on balance, the UK public are on board with that course of action – more believe that the UK Government should allow a second referendum in the event of a SNP majority than say it should not.”
Half the British public said they would prefer Scotland to vote against becoming an independent country if another referendum was held while 17 percent would prefer them to vote in favour.
Results show opinion is split in Scotland – 46 percent said they would prefer their country to vote against independence while 45 percent would prefer Scots to vote for it.
Those in England and Wales are most likely to want Scotland to vote against leaving the UK – 51 percent and 57 percent respectively.
SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “Each of the four nations of the UK are united in recognising the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland, but Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer continue to be at odds with the rest of the country.”
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A UK Government spokeswoman said: “Now more than ever, people in Scotland want to see the UK Government and the devolved administrations working together to protect lives and livelihoods.
“The push for a divisive referendum is simply irresponsible.
“It is a distraction, when we need to focus on continuing to tackle the pandemic and rebuilding our economy.”
Mr Swinney continued: “Once we are in that position of stability, then of course we can consider the issue of an independence referendum.
“And how that enables Scotland to have the powers to make sure that the recovery from Covid is on the lines of which we would all be comfortable in Scotland.”
The Ipsos Mori survey included a representative sample of 8,558 people over 16 in the UK.
Interviews were conducted online between April 1 and 7, with data weighted to match the profile of the population.