In 2014, the Scottish independence referendum returned at vote of 55% to 45% in favour of Scotland remaining in the UK. Although that result was a fairly decisive one, the significant minority in favour of independence have since gone on to quite consistently back the Scottish National Party (SNP) at General and Scottish elections that have subsequently been held since the referendum. This has meant that the question of Scottish independence has not gone away. Furthermore, the fact that 62% of voters backed Remain in the EU referendum has added further fuel to the debate on whether Scotland ought to remain part of the UK.
Despite the continuing electoral and political strength of the SNP, as well as the strong majority in favour of EU membership, support for independence has not shifted to any great degree since 2014. Indeed, what seems to be happening in Scotland is a strengthening of the divide between unionists and nationalists over the constitution. Scotland’s First Minster, Nicola Sturgeon, has stated that she will seek to hold a second independence referendum.
The pro-independence movement will start from a much higher base of support this time around should a referendum be forthcoming.
However, there does not seem to be a consistent majority in Scotland that even wants a referendum to be held in the first place, let alone a significant majority in favour of independence. Despite this, Brexit has not yet happened, and the result of the deal that the UK is able to negotiate with the EU will have a profound impact on constitutional politics in Scotland. Furthermore, the pro-independence movement will start from a much higher base of support this time around should a referendum be forthcoming. So, there is a still a very strong possibility, however qualified, that Scotland may vote for independence the next time around.