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By Jason Michael
While many in Brexit England are trying to encourage the Poles to move, here in Scotland we are delighted that the polls are moving. Scotland is responding to Little Britain’s Brexit by turning to independence. At last the game is on.
Britain’s unionist establishment press has been rather enjoying reminding us in Scotland that the polls have been refusing to shift from the September 2014 45-55 split on the question of independence. So long as the support has remained below the fifty percent mark unionist politicians and the media have been able to talk about their fictive “decisive margin” in favour of the Union, but today that has all changed. As was predicted, Brexit was a slow burner. People who voted No the last time, desiring to do what they thought was best for Scotland, stuck to their guns until it became obvious that Britain’s exit from the European Union would not result in any deal that would benefit people north of the border. The polls are moving again.
The constitutional debate has well and truly polarised Scotland, but it would be wrong to think that it has radicalised everyone in their opinion. Most people are still open to changing their minds, and that is what we are seeing right now. Theresa May’s uncompromising Brexit suicide mission has fundamentally altered the status quo; Scotland has been content to be part of the United Kingdom only insofar as the Union guaranteed the comfort of Scotland’s merchant and business élite. Westminster has made it perfectly clear that from now on the Union is prepared to burn Scotland and Northern Ireland in order to save London and England’s ruling class.
Not that we should be encouraging a trip to the bookmaker, but the bookie has always been a reasonable indicator of what lies over the near horizon. As soon as I read of the most recent Ipsos MORI poll result I nipped over to the Ladbrokes website to check the odds on the outcome of another referendum. What was to be discovered was that the bookies disagree with the poll. The odds of a positive outcome to the next referendum are a smidgeon better than another No.
Yet none of this means that it is a done deal. Sure, a referendum hasn’t even been announced. It appears likely that Nicola Sturgeon will announce the tabling of one in the Edinburgh parliament at the SNP’s spring conference, and even then we have work to do. Older people are still more reluctant to vote for independence, Eurosceptic Yes voters are threatening abstention, and we can be pretty damn certain the Union will put up a bigger fight than it did the last time. Getting overconfident that we have reached the halfway point won’t do us many favours either. We still have to fight this campaign tooth and nail all the way to polling day.
Scottish Independence Referendum in 2018?