A “bombshell” poll which shows support for Scottish independence is at an all-time high has sparked debate in Dundee, the city with the largest Yes vote in 2014.
The Ipsos Mori poll, which came from a sample of 1,045 adults from across Scotland, revealed that 58% of likely voters would support a second referendum.
The new figure is an almost 15 point rise from 2014’s referendum, in which only 44.7% of the country voted to ditch Westminster.
In Dundee, 57.35% of the electorate cast their vote as a yes, and since then the idea only seems to have become more popular, with many blaming Brexit and the Johnson government for the rise.
Molly Webster, a 21-year-old sales assistant, said the figures “don’t surprise her”.
She added: “Boris and Nicola, with the virus, it seems like they’ve handled it very differently and people can see that, they see the results of it.
“I think I’d probably be in support of it now too, for the first one I was in sixth year so it didn’t really bother me but now I think I would.”
Eric Gudmunsen, 59, also claimed he would be in favour of Scotland leaving the union.
He said: “I would definitely in support of it, although I wouldn’t be able to vote in it because I’m originally from Ireland.”
Riley Timms, a 17-year-old fitness student at Dundee and Angus college, said: “The community here is so patriotic, so it doesn’t really surprise me.
“I think Covid has definitely pushed people towards it, as well as Brexit obviously.”
However, some in the city disagree with what seems to be the popular opinion.
Chris Patton, an 18-year-old university student, said: “I haven’t really thought about it, but I think I’d maybe say no.
“Still, I’m not really surprised by the rise in support. If the SNP are in power then they’re going to do everything they can to gear us towards it.”
John Alexander, the SNP leader of Dundee City Council, added: “The momentum and steady movement of people towards ‘yes’ is clear. We must also remember that before the 2014 referendum, levels of support were around 25%, so it is clear there’s been a significant and sustained shift.
“That said, polls are snapshots in time and we should never allow ourselves to become complacent. There is much work to do to ensure that support can secure independence for Scotland.”
However, North East MSP Bill Bowman, a Tory, said another “divisive referendum” would take focus away from rebuilding Scotland’s economy, protecting jobs and restoring schools.
“There is much to be optimistic about in Dundee’s future, but there are major problems which have not been solved by 13 years of the SNP,” he said.
“The quality of life for many Dundonians has actually worsened since they assumed power in 2007.”
He added: “Right now, we are being supported by £16 billion of Covid-19 support from the UK Treasury, keeping jobs and the local economy as steady as possible.
“We need to move on from the divisions of the past and work together.
“The Scottish Government’s focus must be on saving lives and saving jobs.”