On the 17 March, the Panelbase Agency released results from a survey commissioned by The Sunday Times revealing that only 44 per cent of those polled thought that Scotland should be an independent country.
This is a two per cent decrease from a similar question posed by The Sunday Times in 2014.
This poll data was collected in response to Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that she would seek a second independence referendum.
In her speech announcing the vote, the first minister said: “If Scotland can be ignored on an issue as important as the EU and the single market then it is clear that our voice can be ignored at any time and on any issue.
“The option of no change is no longer available, but we will give the Scottish people a choice about the kind of change we want.
“I believe that it would be wrong for Scotland to be taken down a path that it has no control over regardless of the consequences for our economy, for our society, for our place in the world, for our very sense of who we are as a country.
“That would be wrong, and therefore my judgement is that we should have that choice,” she said.
Panelbase conducted the research from the 13 to 17 March collecting responses from an online survey of 1,008 adult residents in Scotland.
The biggest change between 2014 and 2017 is the number of undecided respondents.
While in 2014 11 per cent of voters self-identified as undecided regarding the upcoming referendum, in the recent poll only five per cent of voters responded that they “don’t know” whether or not Scotland should become an independent country.
This unsure one 20th of the population is down two per cent since just two months ago, when, in a poll taken of 1,020 people from 20 to 26 of January, a full seven per cent responded “don’t know” to the exact same question.
Whether it is hindsight, Brexit or an unknown factor that has caused this decrease in uncertainty, the two per cent change since January shows that the country’s feelings towards independence are more volatile than anticipated.
With more information and speculation coming out regularly about the precise terms of Britain’s exit of the European Union, it would be unsurprising for opinions to shift in a short time span.
In both cases the evidence showed a majority of respondents do not support an independent Scotland.
The newer survey also included questions about when and if a referendum should be held, which showed that 51 per cent of respondents do not think that there should be another independence referendum in the next few years.
Of those who support the referendum, 32 per cent think that it should happen in the next few years during Brexit negotiations and 18 per cent think that the referendum should wait until Brexit is complete.
Five per cent of respondents have shifted from wanting to wait a few years to wanting a sooner referendum since the same question was posed in the January survey.
Despite the lack of majority support for Scottish independence, 62 per cent of respondents believe that Scotland is likely to become independent within the next few decades.
Image: Mark Ferbert