THE MAJORITY of Scots who support holding another referendum want it to be held after the coronavirus pandemic is over, according to a new poll.

The exclusive data, obtained by BMG Research for The Herald, also shows that even among independence supporters, the majority would favour waiting for the pandemic to subside (53 per cent) than hold a vote immediately (39%). 

Of the 1023 Scots surveyed between April 27 and 30, researchers found that 38% of all voters would rather have a vote on the constitution once the country has recovered from the pandemic, compared to just 17% who say they want to hold one now. 

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Voters were asked what their views were on the timings of a referendum provided a majority of pro-independence MSPs are elected to Holyrood tomorrow.

While 55% wanted to have another vote, 32% said that there shouldn’t be another referendum at all even if the Scottish Parliament elections returns a majority of independence supporting MSPs.

Around one in 10 (13%) of voters were unsure.

Researchers also asked whether they believed the UK Government should grant permission for a referendum if the SNP won an overall majority in tomorrow’s elections.

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Almost half (47%) believed Boris Johnson should give the go-ahead within the next five years, while 39% said he should not allow it before 2026 and 13% again were undecided.

On the mechanism for achieving independence, more than half of people (53%) said that a referendum was needed, compared to just 17% who said the Scottish Government, with a majority of pro-independence MSPs, could “negotiate or declare” independence without one.

Around a third (30%) of people said they weren’t sure.

The SNP said it was concentrating on “getting Scotland safely through and out of the pandemic” while Labour said a referendum should be “the last thing on people’s minds”.

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Keith Brown, SNP depute leader, explained: “This poll shows a clear majority of those expressing a view believe Boris Johnson has no right whatsoever to try and block Scottish democracy if there is a majority of pro-independence MSPs. That means that, if people vote for it, they must have the right to decide the country’s future once the Covid crisis is over.

"Every vote counts in this election. The outcome is on a knife edge and Labour and the Tories are teaming up to try and defy democracy. 

"At this election, the SNP is offering strong, experienced leadership and a clear plan to support the NHS, protect and create jobs, and, when the crisis is over, put Scotland's future in Scotland's hands - not Boris Johnson's."

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Ian Murray, Labour MP, said: A referendum should be the last thing on people’s minds as we recover from the pandemic. 

"After the incredibly tough year we’ve had, referendums are not the priority for most Scots.

"Division only distracts from the real life concerns of you and your family. 

"Every time the SNP say referendum, Scottish Labour will say recovery. 

"Getting our NHS, education, jobs, climate, and communities back on their feet should be the Parliament’s priority.

"If you agree, use both your votes, especially the peach ballot paper, for Anas Sarwar’s Scottish Labour.

"Otherwise recovery will take a back seat.”

HeraldScotland: Glasgow - July 30: Patrick Harvie MSP poses for a picture July 30, 2014 in Glasgow. (Photo by Mark Mainz). (47502631)

The Scottish Greens' co-leader Patrick Harvie said that a referendum was “an important part of how we build a new Scotland after the pandemic, one which can include leadership on the climate emergency" adding: “Clearly that can only happen when we're no longer facing the immediate public health crisis of Covid.”

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Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael said that our poll showed that even those who supported a referendum “recognise that is rash to hold one when there is such an enormous task ahead of us rebuilding from the pandemic." 

He added: "Nicola Sturgeon is promising to get to work on another referendum before the summer is out.

"Liberal Democrats will make sure that the next government is focused on putting recovery first. We will have a stronger hand to do that if voters help us get over the line in every region of Scotland." 

It comes after two polls published yesterday both show the SNP is on course for a majority tomorrow, the Herald’s own exclusive data on Sunday showing the same.
One survey by Opinium for Sky News predicted the SNP would get 67 seats, a majority of three, but also revealed there is little appetite for any possible coalition. 

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The only situation which more people think would be good for Scotland than bad for Scotland is an SNP majority (46% good, vs 41% bad).

Any coalition involving the Alba Party is badly received by voters, with just 14% thinking such an arrangement would be good, while only 17% of people thought a coalition with the Greens would be a good thing for Scotland. 

A YouGov poll for The Times also published yesterday puts Nicola Sturgeon's party on course for a four-seat majority of 68 seats, with the Tories returning 26 MSPs, Labour securing 17, the Liberal Democrats getting four and Alex Salmond's Alba winning one seat.