There doesn’t seem to have been any “Boris bounce” for the new British prime minister in Scotland, with a shock poll suggesting more than half of Scots would vote for independence from the UK if another referendum was held.
The poll was taken just days after PM Boris Johnson’s visit to Edinburgh last week, where he was greeted by a chorus of boos at Bute House ahead of a meeting with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
In the Michael Ashcroft poll, 46 percent said they would vote for independence while 43 percent said they would vote against. When excluding the percentage who said they did not know how they would vote, support for independence rose to 52 percent.
The numbers will be bad news for Johnson, who rode into power promising to strengthen the union and using his first days as PM to make visits to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The sentiment expressed against the new PM during his Edinburgh visit was so strong that Johnson was later forced to leave the building through another exit, sparking the hashtag #BackdoorBoris on Twitter.
The poll also found that 47 percent of Scots believe that a second referendum should be held within the next two years, while 45 percent were against that time frame.
The results mark the first lead for the independence campaign in two years — and the biggest lead since the June 2016 Brexit referendum, which a majority in Scotland voted against.
Ashcroft said that a majority of voters up to age 49 would vote yes to independence, including 62 percent of those aged 18 to 24.
Sturgeon called the poll “phenomenal” for the independence movement, saying it showed the “more and more people think it’s time that Scotland took our own decisions and shaped our own future as a fair, prosperous, outward-looking nation.”
Scotland voted 55 percent to 45 percent against independence in a 2014 referendum.
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