The findings are a blow to the Scottish nationalists in the SNP who have already come under fire this week. Westminster leader Ian Blackford has faced calls to resign after criticizing his response to a sexual harassment complaint against SNP MP Patrick Grady.
Blackford was under pressure after a recording surfaced in which he urged his colleagues to give Mr Grady “as much support as possible”.
On Wednesday, the SNP Westminster leader apologized for the “completely unacceptable” behavior to which the victim was exposed.
There has been private speculation that Ms Sturgeon has decided to set a date for an independence referendum that the Scottish Parliament cannot declare in order to divert criticism of her party and keep her party’s ‘fundamentalist wing’ happy.
The poll also found that support for Scotland which is part of the UK is very strong across Britain.
Of the 1,632 people surveyed on June 29 and 30, nearly seven in ten (69 per cent) were against Scottish independence, while only 10 per cent supported it.
The Scottish sample was an oversized 501 with a margin of error of 4.4 per cent, but revealed that when “don’t know” was taken out, there is a clear majority of 54 to 46 per cent in favor of Scotland remaining part of the UK.
The findings mean there appears to be little change from when the Scots rejected the idea by 55 to 45 percent in 2014.
At the time, Sturgeon and then-SNP Prime Minister Alex Salmond agreed that a referendum was a “once in a generation” test, but they’ve since tried to backtrack on that promise.
Conservative MP and former Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “I am very encouraged by this poll. It shows that people here in Scotland and in the UK just want Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP to give us a break from this obsession.
“The majority has always been against independence and nothing has changed.
“I am convinced that there will be no referendum on October 19, 2023 and this is just a distraction to keep the fundamentalists in the SNP happy.”
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She said: “On the surface, these numbers will be encouraging to those who don’t want the breakup of the UK, but those advocating for Scotland to become an independent country will also be encouraged in this poll.
“Even under Nicola Sturgeon’s proposed timetable, we are 14 months away from a vote and the 15 percent who say ‘don’t know’ will be the ones deciding the outcome.
“At this stage before the 2014 referendum, ‘no’ was much further along in the polls, so the prime minister will believe the argument for independence can be won. Likewise, opponents will think that any lead after Brexit and with a particularly unpopular prime minister in Scotland is a strong foundation to build for a referendum that they don’t want and may not happen anytime soon.