Most Scots fear a second independence referendum would make society more divided, according to a new opinion poll.
The findings show that 57% of adults in Scotland believe it would add to the country’s divisions, compared to just 29% of those who hold the opposite view.
Even among the SNP’s own voters in the last General Election, more than a third (35%) said another referendum would make Scottish society more divided.
And asked to rank the divisiveness of certain aspects of Scottish society, the independence debate was considered as divisive as the Old Firm rivalry between Rangers and Celtic (68% ranked both issues 6-10 on a scale from 0-10 with 10 ‘extremely divisive’ and 0 ‘not divisive at all’).
The independence debate is also considered more divisive than the Brexit debate, the wealth divide in society, religion or the generational gap, according to the findings.
Nearly a quarter (24%) said the independence debate was ‘extremely divisive’ and a majority of people who voted SNP in the last General Election said it was divisive.
The poll comes as the SNP government prepares to publish a parliamentary Bill on a second independence referendum this week, and ahead of a petition opposed to another referendum which will be debated in Westminster today.
Pollsters Survation asked more than 1,000 adults in Scotland as part of the study for pro-UK campaign group Scotland in Union.
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:
“As we emerge from the pandemic, the focus of all politicians should be on uniting society so that we can recover together.
“It is irresponsible for the SNP to even contemplate another referendum at this time and risk re-opening old wounds and re-igniting old arguments.
“The nationalists should drop their reckless bid to spend parliamentary time and resources on their negative vision to divide Scotland.
“Politicians have a responsibility to focus on uniting people, which should be their only priority in the months and years ahead.”
Source: Survation, fieldwork conducted 9th - 12th March 2021, all residents aged 16+ living in Scotland, sample size: 1,011 respondents.
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