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Our Scottish Future’s “Morning After Poll” Reveals “Middle” Scotland

Our Scottish Future is today releasing the full findings of our exclusive “morning after poll” taken as Scotland voted in the election ten days ago.

The poll asked 1,000 Scots to set out why they voted as they did, what views they held on independence and another referendum, and what they want from the Scottish and UK Governments over the coming 5 years.

Key findings include:

  • A half of “Middle Scotland”, the voters who are open-minded about independence and the Union, backed the SNP – but they did so because they felt the party provided the best vision and leadership, not to get a referendum
  • In total, only 54% of SNP voters agreed we should start preparing for a referendum immediately, and one in five were either against independence or unsure.
  • Tactical voting for the Greens on the list by pro-independence supporters may have deprived the SNP of an overall majority. Had SNP constituency voters instead stuck with the SNP on the list, Nicola Sturgeon could have gained three more list seats.
  • Scotland is divided 50-50 on whether to have a referendum in this parliament, and support among many is conditional on whether the economy has recovered, and whether the options on both sides are clear.
  • Voters do not want the SNP to be “referee and captain” of the process, and they want the SNP to provide more facts about independence.
  • A majority of Scots think the best way for the pro-Union side to make its case is through cooperation, not confrontation with the Scottish Government.

The poll was carried out by Stack Data Strategy. 1,000 Scots were polled between the 7th and 8th of May 2021. Responses were weighted to census figures on age, gender, education level, and recorded 2021 vote in the Scottish Parliamentary elections’

Analysis of the poll is available here.

Writing in its introduction, authors Henry Stannard and Evie Robertson conclude:  

“There a third ‘Middle’ Scotland that neither conforms to a binary Pro-Union or Pro-Independence view of the world, but that is greater in size than either of the extremes in the constitutional debate. Citizens in this Middle Scotland are both primarily Scottish and meaningfully British.  They vote in their droves for the SNP not because they want a referendum, but because the SNP appear to offer good leadership and government within a devolved state.  They do not oppose a referendum in principle, but have deep concerns over its practicality that must be resolved.”

“We hope that politicians from both sides can start listening to them.”

Next week, Our Scottish Future will publish the results of a major consultation exercise carried out this winter and spring with Yes and No voters.

Entitled “Scotland in a Zoom”, it brought together Scots with different views on the constitution and sought to find out what they had in common and how they might agree on the next steps for Scotland and the constitution.

Our Scottish Future is a new campaign set up to advance the patriotic, progressive and positive case for Scotland as part of our wider family of UK nations. The campaign intends to speak up for “middle Scotland” – people who voted Yes, No, Leave and Remain – and who are now looking for something better than a binary choice between hardline nationalism and no-change Unionism.

Full data tables are available at:

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For the Scotland we deserve

At Our Scottish Future, we believe Scotland can do better.

We can have a better politics than one of constant division and suspicion.

We can to do better on protecting our NHS, fighting poverty and inequality, and on saving our shared environment.

And we can do better by better cooperation, because not only are we united with our fellow Scots in looking for something better, but with people across the UK.

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COP26 demonstrated once again that we cannot make change happen in the world without making it together. That’s why we’re calling for a COP UK to:

  • Agree common regulatory pathways
  • Distribute resources fairly, to support a fair transition across the UK
  • Bring together devolved authorities and nations, so that we can commit individually and collectively to carbon targets

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