How likely is Scottish Independence referendum next year?

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The year 2020 has been disastrous for everyone. Plagued by the coronavirus, people are now looking forward to what could be the key events of the year to come. One of the key political issues will be the case for Scottish Independence following the Holyrood elections in 2021.

Nicola Sturgeon, whose popularity has risen since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to win a landslide at the election in May.

Support for Scottish Independence has risen since the 2014 IndyRef, and has reached new heights during the coronavirus pandemic, prompting many to ask whether another referendum could be taking place sooner rather than later.

There is little doubt tensions between the Scottish and English powers have grown considerably in recent years, exacerbated by Brexit and further fuelled recently by coronavirus.

Recent polls have also shown a rise in support for Ms Sturgeon’s cause, with support for Yes currently charting at 51 percent according to the most recent YouGov poll conducted in November.

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Polls by the Scotsman/Savanta ComRes found the case for Yes as high as 58 percent.

This drops to 52 percent and 38 percent when Don’t Knows are included.

The survey also found that 40 percent of participants believed a second independence referendum should happen within the next two years.

A survey published in early December by Survation had support for Yes charting at 52 percent.

The tide turned in the early summer when the first polls emerged putting Yes ahead of the formerly victorious side for remaining within the UK.

Since then, support has fluctuated but has remained above 50 percent consistently.

SNP deputy leader Keith Brown said recently: “Faced with an arrogant, out-of-touch Tory government at Westminster, which side-lines Scotland at every opportunity, and is dragging Scotland out of the EU against our will, it’s no surprise that people want a better future.

“The people of Scotland simply will not stand for the Tories threatening our NHS and taking a wrecking ball to our Scottish Parliament with their Power Grab Bill.

“Boris Johnson’s Trump-like bid to deny democracy will not stand.

“It is the people who live here who have the right to decide Scotland’s future – not Brexit-obsessed governments we don’t vote for led by the likes of Boris Johnson.”

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Will there be an Independence referendum in 2021?

There are key reasons why support for independence has surged.

Ms Sturgeon has been vocal about her desire to rejoin the EU – which Scotland decisively rejected with 62 percent to 38 percent in favour of remain.

Another referendum will be the key policy in the SNP manifesto at the Holyrood elections, and if a majority is won by them, plus support for the independence supporting Greens, Ms Sturgeon will call the Prime Minister to inform him she has a suitable mandate.

Another issue is the coronavirus pandemic – a recent BBC Scotland poll found a huge 74 percent of Scots believed the First Minister had done a good job of handling the pandemic, while just 19 percent in Scotland thought the same of the Prime Minister.

But the issue is not so much about support in Scotland as it is about the approval of Westminster.

Boris Johnson has signalled countless times that his Government will not allow another referendum for the Scots.

The UK Government has insisted the first referendum was a “once in a generation” opportunity, but this position is becoming more untenable as time goes on.

Some of the SNP are keen for Ms Strugeon to hold a referendum even if Westminster says no.

Suggestions include a legal challenge to explore whether another shot at independence can happen without the PM’s approval and just passing legislation to hold one and seeing if Number 10 launches a legal challenge itself.

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