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Majority of people in Northern Ireland in favour of Scots independence vote


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John Finucane MP

John Finucane MP

John Finucane MP

Two thirds of people in Northern Ireland believe a second Scottish independence referendum should take place if the SNP gains a Holyrood majority, according to a poll.

The Ipsos Mori survey also suggests more than half think the UK will not exist in its current form in a decade.

Support for a second Scottish independence referendum was highest among those in Northern Ireland (66%) and Scotland (56%), while a majority of those in England and Wales also believe the SNP should be able to hold another ballot (51%) if the party achieves a majority.

Sinn Fein MP John Finucane said the debate on "the future of this island and these islands is growing every day".

"This is yet another indication of the willingness of more and more people to consider a new future," he said.

"There is a place for everyone in the conversation on a new agreed and united Ireland and no one has anything to fear from it.

"Nor has anyone anything to fear from the people having the opportunity to have their say on their future."

The findings indicate 51% across the UK would support a second referendum if the SNP wins a majority, with 40% saying they would not and 8% saying they do not know.

Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos Mori Scotland, said: "The Scottish Parliament elections on May 6 look set to be a critical point in the future of the Union.

"Should the SNP win a majority of seats, as looks likely if current levels of support hold, it will be much more difficult for the UK Government to refuse a second referendum on independence. And these figures suggest that on balance, the UK public are on board with that course of action - more believe that the UK Government should allow a second referendum in the event of a SNP majority than say it should not."

The survey of 8,558 people over 16 in the UK was conducted online between April 1 and 7.

Half of the UK public said they would prefer Scotland to vote against becoming an independent country if another referendum was held while 17% would prefer them to vote for this.

Results show opinion is split in Scotland - 46% would prefer their country to vote against independence while 45% would prefer Scots to vote for it.

A UK Government spokeswoman said: The push for a divisive referendum is simply irresponsible. It is a distraction, when we need to focus on continuing to tackle the pandemic and rebuilding our economy."

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