The latest BMG poll for the Herald reveals that Brexit may not be the game changer that the SNP have been looking for in order to hold and potentially win a second independence referendum.

The results show that even under a ‘hard Brexit’ scenario – a Scotland faced with leaving the EU and the single market with the rest of the UK – only 12% of Scots who are currently against another independence referendum would change their mind.

The poll also showed that those who do want a second referendum are divided over when it should take place.

Overall, 47% of those surveyed say that they are against a second independence referendum, compared with 38% who are in favour (15% are undecided). A closer look at the data reveals almost one quarter (23%) of those who voted SNP at the last General Election are against a second referendum (70% in favour and 7% undecided) and one fifth (18%) of those who voted ‘Yes’ for Scottish Independence in 2014 are also against a second referendum (72% in favour and 9% undecided).

Of those against a second independence referendum, just 12% said a ‘hard Brexit’ might change their mind, but three quarters (75%) said a ‘Hard Brexit’ should not result in another independence referendum (13% did not know).


Readers can interrogate the data for themselves by toggling with the chart below

Among those Scots who are in favour, opinion was split as to when a second independence referendum should take place. 37% said it should be before the UK triggers Article 50, expected to be before April 2017, 31% said it should be after the Brexit negotiations, while over one quarter (25%) said that it doesn’t make a difference to them when an independence referendum takes place (5% said they don’t know).

However, once the results to the follow-up Brexit question were factored back into the original question, the results suggest that up to 43% may back a second referendum, and 42% would be against. Some 15% remain undecided^.

Even with these results added back in, the SNP appear to be far off the clear majority needed in order to hold, let alone win a second independence referendum.


Dr Michael Turner, Research Director at BMG Research, said “It is not a game changer. The vast majority of people who think there shouldn’t be an independence referendum are not going to be swayed by whether or not we leave the EU.

This group are more bothered about their UK identity and break-up of the UK than any perceived European identity.

On the other side of the coin, those people who do want independence are much more divided about when a referendum should be called.”


^Readers should note that the question is not asked in a truly balanced way, as second independence referendum supporters were not asked whether they would change their mind under a ‘soft’ Brexit scenario.

An article based on these polling results, released by the Herald, can be found here.

Fieldwork dates and methodology can be found here.

A full breakdown of these results can be found here.

For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.


0121 333 6006




Dr Michael Turner  – Research Director & Head of Polling





Lauren Harris – Senior Research Executive

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