Sturgeon to launch new independence drive

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is initiating the ‘biggest ever political listening exercise’ to convince Scottish voters an independence referendum is needed.

Speaking in Sterling, she stated that the campaign will mark a ‘new conversation and a new debate for these new times’, and conceded that there would be ‘many issues’ for people to weigh up, and she did not presume the case ‘has yet been won’.

In the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, Sturgeon said it is right to keep the possibility of independence on the table, given the rise in support for independence collected in polls since Brexit.

In the 2014 referendum, Scottish voters rejected independence by 55 per cent to 45 per cent. But Sturgeon argued that the UK which Scotland voted to stay a part of two years ago had changed, and so too had the arguments for and against independence.

The ‘listening exercise’ will see members of the public taking part through a dedicated website to share their views, concerns and questions.

She said: “All in all, we plan to talk to at least two million people across Scotland between now and 30 November. The wealth of information and insight we gather will then inform the next stage of our campaign.”

According to two recent YouGov polls, a narrow majority of people remain in favour of staying in the UK, with support for independence put at 47 per cent and 46 per cent respectively.