Poll shows independence not gaining ground in Scotland

Sept. 19, 2013 at 1:33 AM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- The cause of Scottish independence has gained no ground in recent months, a poll released Wednesday indicated.

In another blow to the Scottish National Party, a straw vote among 11,000 teenagers who will be old enough to vote in next year's referendum found a large majority want Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom, The Scotsman reported.

Only 31 percent of likely voters said they would vote for an independent Scotland, the latest Ipsos Mori poll said. In results almost identical to a May poll, 59 percent said they would vote no.

The poll was released exactly a year before the scheduled date of the referendum, Sept. 18, 2014.

The straw vote was held in Aberdeenshire, where the SNP swept all seats in the Scottish Parliament in the most recent election, the Scotsman said. The voters were schoolchildren who will be at least 16 next year, old enough to vote in the referendum.

The results suggest independence is even less popular among young people than it is with the general public. Less than one in four voted yes.

First Minister Alex Salmond, ignoring the discouraging poll results, marked the beginning of the countdown to the referendum by saying Scotland's experience with devolution shows it needs total control of its finances. He called independence "the best route to becoming a more prosperous country and also a more just country."

Most other political parties oppose independence. Labor leaders fear losing left-leaning Scottish voters could lock in a Conservative majority in Britain for the foreseeable future.

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