It seems (to me, from a distance) that the SNP argument for a Scottish independence push is predicated on the idea that an independent Scotland will join the EU. Is there any good quality data available which breaks down what proportions of pro independence Scottish voters are also pro EU membership bid? We have clear numbers for the Brexit vote and the IndyRef vote but we can't just munge these numbers together and expect to get anything truly representative. I imagine there is a subset of Scottish pro independence voters who would actually be against EU membership, but is this presented as an option on any ballots? This cohort seems to be overlooked in the media discussion.

  • 2
    Your question is weird in terms of motivation because whether Scotland would [re]join the EU thereafter doesn't depend only on the fraction of pro-independence voters who also want EU membership, but simply on the fraction of the whole voting population who would favor such a move after independence is a given fact. How many Scottish voters want independence because they think Scotland will [re]join the EU in the aftermath is only relevant to their motivation for voting to leave the UK. Or am I missing something and indyref2 will have one "combo" question (leave UK + join EU)? Jan 30, 2021 at 17:34
  • 1
    Yep, your are quite right. I'm sorta thinking more about the way IndyRef2 is being positioned by the powers-that-be. Sturgeon is really pushing a rejoin of EU, but I wonder purely out of curiosity if there is a cohort which is alienated or at least conflicted by this EU centric campaign, and if anyone other than myself is taking these voters in to account. Jan 30, 2021 at 22:21
  • An overriding problem here is that public opinion changes depending on how you ask the question. For example "Would you prefer Britain to leave the EU?" gets more affirmation than "Would you prefer Britain's separation from the EU?"
    – WS2
    Jan 31, 2021 at 8:09
  • 1
    Just for context, it should be noted that one of the main arguments used by the Unionists during the first Independence Referendum was that Scotland would be left out of the EU if it seceded. This is seen by many as enough cause to trigger a second referendum, as they argue that the conditions on which people voted to stay in the UK have fundamentally changed. Jan 31, 2021 at 10:51
  • @DiegoSánchez Yes. Very good point.
    – WS2
    Feb 1, 2021 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


YouGov covered this territory at start of 2020.

Brexit and Independence

There isn't as much of an obvious Indy+Remain/UK+Leave split as you might imagine, but it is substantial.

Do note that this poll covered votes in the previous referenda, and despite the column heading the Scottish Independence referendum was first. There is no reason why an individual might not believe an Independent Scotland would be best off in the EU, but a United UK would benefit from a Leave vote. Or that they might vote in either referendum in a way they believe acts as a protest against the current Scottish or UK government all if which prevents clear groupings.

The article does include specific data that;

34% of Scots, and 46% of indie swing voters, picking “Scotland would be able to stay in the European Union” as one of the main advantages of independence.

  • 4
    given that Brexit and Scottish Independence can both be qualified as Yes/No, Remain/Leave, this graphic's labels could have hardly been less clear. No diss on you, but whoever labelled it didn't do the greatest job. Jan 31, 2021 at 3:56
  • 1
    @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica yeah, I have to check the axis label after looking at every row heading.
    – Jontia
    Jan 31, 2021 at 6:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .