Nicola Sturgeon has suffered a huge blow as a new poll reveals an overwhelming two to one majority of Scots DO NOT want another independence referendum before 2019.
Only one in four thinks the SNP Government should attempt to call a referendum within that timetable, while 24 per cent are uncertain.
Once that group is removed, the findings are even more stark, with 67 per cent against another ballot.
The findings also support the growing belief that Prime Minister Theresa May will not allow another vote on Scotland’s future to take place until after the UK has left the EU.
The poll of 1,009 voters by BMG Research was conducted between February 23-27 and funded by Edinburgh-based Brexit campaigner Mev Brown.
“The unique aspect of the EU referendum campaign was that there was no official manifesto, no ‘white paper’. The terms of leaving the EU could only be negotiated after a Brexit victory.
“During the campaign I found many voters, while supportive, were equally cynical about the EU.
“I commissioned the private polling to better understand the views of Scottish voters following the Brexit result and in anticipation of a second independence referendum.
“The findings confirmed my campaign experience – 51 per cent of Scottish voters want to know the terms of the deal for the UK leaving the EU before having to decide about a second independence referendum. We know everything is negotiable.
“The problem for Nicola Sturgeon is if she waits until 2019 and the UK gets a good deal, her lifelong dream of leading Scotland to independence is dead.
“So, is indyref2 about what is best for Scotland or what is best for Nicola Sturgeon?”
The poll findings suggest that Scotland is now divided into four camps along the fault lines exposed by the independence and EU referendums.
No voters who voted to remain in the EU are firmly against another separation ballot with 69 per cent opposed, suggesting that Ms Sturgeon will not win over this group as she had hoped.
Even more significantly, Yes voters who voted to leave the EU are also opposed to another referendum before the Brexit terms are agreed at 59 per cent.
BMG’s research director Michael Turner said this group will be the key to victory or defeat for the SNP.
“The key to this are the Yes Leavers, those people who voted to leave the EU and also voted Yes in 2014. Typically, Nicola Sturgeon could have relied on that group to be supportive but actually they are against another referendum.
“If they decide to vote for independence despite the fact it could result in Scotland being back in the EU, it could result in a narrow win for a second independence campaign. But my gut instinct is they are unlikely to vote for independence if a referendum was called before the Brexit terms have been agreed. This is why the SNP know they are on weaker ground than the polls are showing.”
BMG Research interviewed a representative sample of 1,009 Scots aged 16+ online between February 23-27, 2017. Data is weighted. BMG are members of the British Polling Council and abide by their rules.