TWO-thirds of SNP voters do not want another independence referendum prioritised over coronavirus recovery, a new poll has found.

The study by Survation for the Scottish Labour Party found that while the majority of Scots said they would prefer to have a referendum in the next four years, they would also want the Scottish Government to ensure that the economy and public health are placed before any constitutional vote. 

Scottish Labour say the Government should stop forcing a referendum above all else, and focus on getting the country back to a stable footing following the pandemic. 

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Their survey was carried out between December 4 and 9, asking 1,010 people across the country aged 16 and over for their views.

When asked about the timing of another referendum, about one-third (30 per cent) said they wanted to wait for more than four years for a vote, while 58% wanted one before then. 

Around one-fifth (21 per cent) said they would want a referendum next year, 23% said in two years, 10% said in three years, 4% said in four years’ time and 13% did not know when they would want a vote. 

Looking solely at the SNP-voting respondents, 87% said they wanted another referendum within the next four years.

Thirty-eight per cent called for it to take place next year.

Just 6% wanted to wait for more than four years, while 7% did not know. 

More than two-thirds (69%) of Conservative voters wanted to wait for more than four years, while 45% of Labour and 55% of Liberal Democrat voters felt the same.

Asked how much they agreed that the Scottish Government should prioritise dealing with the recovery from Covid-19 before an independence referendum, 78% of people said they either “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed, while only 7% said they “strongly” or “somewhat” disagreed.     

Of the SNP voters who were part of the study, 64% said they would prefer the Scottish Government to prioritise Covid recovery over a vote, while 8% said the opposite. 
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP have suggested holding an independence referendum next year.

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“But now is not the time for another referendum.”

 The Labour leader added: “The Scottish Government should instead be fully focused on the recovery from the public health and economic crises which 13 years of SNP rule left Scotland unprepared to face.”