Bloomberg News

Scots Independence Support Wanes When U.K. Is Named, Poll Shows

February 02, 2012

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Scottish support for independence falls when voters are offered a choice between staying in the U.K. and becoming an independent country, according to a poll published today.

Support for staying in the U.K. is 67 percent compared with 33 percent who back Scotland becoming independent when voters are asked to choose between the two, a poll commissioned by billionaire Michael Ashcroft, a former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, showed. Backing for independence increased when the U.K. wasn’t mentioned in the question, the poll found.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond plans to hold a referendum on independence in the fall of 2014. The ruling Scottish National Party is consulting on its proposed question ‘Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?’

That phrasing garnered 41 percent support with 59 percent opposed. When voters were asked whether they agreed or disagreed that Scotland should be an independent country, the percentage of those in favor of independence fell to 39, with 61 percent against.

The survey polled 3,090 Scots between Jan. 26 to Jan. 31. Each question was posed to about 1,000 people.

“What is clear is that the SNP have chosen the version of the question most likely to deliver the answer that would most please them,” Ashcroft said on his website. “The question is too important to be asked in such a partisan way.”

--Editors: Tim Farrand, Rodney Jefferson

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Woodifield in Edinburgh at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at

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