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Blow for Sturgeon as poll finds 53% of Scots want to stay in the UK

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Blow for Sturgeon as poll finds 53% of Scots want to stay in the UK… after she DENIED support for independence is fading and renewed vow to call a referendum

  • Blow for Nicola Sturgeon as YouGov poll found 53% of Scots want to stay in UK 
  • Ms Sturgeon insists she still wants to hold another referendum in coming years 
  • SNP leader has vowed to lead the country until 2026 – at least – in BBC interview  










Nicola Sturgeon suffered a blow today as a poll found that 53 per cent of Scots want to stay in the UK – after she denied that support for independence is fading.

Research by YouGov suggested another SNP bid to split the union would be rejected by voters, despite Ms Sturgeon renewing her vow to hold a referendum.

Excluding ‘don’t knows’, just 47 per cent were in favour of breaking away – unchanged since May but the exact reverse of the summer last year when the Covid crisis was raging. 

Since then polls have shown backing for the separatist cause steadily drifting down, with Ms Sturgeon’s response to the pandemic coming under fire. 

Challenged in an interview with the BBC last night that the evidence showed support was waning, Ms Sturgeon shot back: ‘No it doesn’t.’

She pointed to the last Holyrood elections, claiming that ’45 per cent of people voted for independence’. 

‘Occasionally, the polls are slightly above 50 per cent, occasionally they’re slightly below 50 per cent, but support for independence has grown.’

Pushed on whether she would still push for a referendum in the next couple of years even though surveys suggested it would be lost, Ms Sturgeon insisted: ‘Yes I am going to push for another independence referendum.’    

Nicola Sturgeon (pictured at Holyrood today) suffered a blow as a poll found that 53 per cent of Scots want to stay in the UK - after she denied that support for independence is fading

Nicola Sturgeon (pictured at Holyrood today) suffered a blow as a poll found that 53 per cent of Scots want to stay in the UK – after she denied that support for independence is fading

Research by YouGov suggested another SNP bid to split the union would be rejected by voters, despite Ms Sturgeon renewing her vow to hold a referendum

Research by YouGov suggested another SNP bid to split the union would be rejected by voters, despite Ms Sturgeon renewing her vow to hold a referendum

Ms Sturgeon used her interview last night to pledge to serve a full term as First Minister.

She said she would lead the country until at least 2026 with a blast at her critics after recent speculation that she could quit early. 

If she remains in post for the next five years she will have spent 12 years in power, longer than Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair spent as UK Prime Minister.  

She has proved to be a constant irritant to current PM Boris Johnson, who is trying to fend off her drive for a new independence referendum in Scotland.

‘It is almost as if my opponents have concluded they can’t beat me or remove me from office themselves, so they’re kind of crossing their fingers and hoping that I’ll remove myself from office,’ she said.

‘But they are going to be really disappointed because I’m going to be around a lot longer.

She has proved to be a constant irritant to current PM Boris Johnson, who is trying to fend off her drive for a new independence referendum in Scotland.

She has proved to be a constant irritant to current PM Boris Johnson, who is trying to fend off her drive for a new independence referendum in Scotland.

‘I was elected seven months ago, having asked people in Scotland to put their trust in me for a five year term as first minister.

‘They gave me that trust and they re-elected me. We face serious times as a country and I intend to fulfil that mandate.’

In May’s election, Ms Sturgeon’s SNP remained far and away the largest in Holyrood, but fell agonisingly short of an overall majority by a single seat, in a blow to her separatist ambitions. 

Ms Sturgeon was hoping to hit or pass the required 65-seat mark to give her a stronger mandate to hold a repeat of the 2014 vote against the wishes of Boris Johnson’s Westminster Government.

She was more circumspect in her sit down with the broadcaster about what she might do after 2026. The 51-year-old said she wanted to be ‘relatively young when I get to the point of contemplating other things’. 

In an October interview with Vogue she  revealed that she and her husband might foster children in the future when she leaves politics.

She and Peter Murrell, the SNP’s chief executive, 56, do not have any children. They spend time at her official Bute House residence but mostly live at their private home in Glasgow, where they tied the knot in 2010 after dating for seven years.

In September 2016, Ms Sturgeon revealed she once suffered a miscarriage in 2011 and spoke publicly about the anguish of losing a baby aged 40. 

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