Scottish Independence Betting Odds Catching Up To Polls

Scottish Independence Betting Odds Catching Up To Polls
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The odds on Scottish Independence suggest there is a 50/50 chance of Scotland voting to leave the UK if a second referendum on the subject is put to the people.

Yet the latest UK politics betting markets are still playing catch-up to recent polls, which state Scots are prepared to heavily vote Yes should IndyRef2 take place.

Polling from Ipsos MORI has revealed the highest-ever recorded support for independence north of the border, with 58% of Scots ready to break away from the UK.

That is a significant shift from the 45% of voters who backed Yes in the original independence referendum back in 2014.

Six years ago Scotland voted to remain part of the UK after a long-drawn out campaign from both Yes and No sides. The 55%-45% margin of victory was supposed to end calls for an independent Scotland for a generation.

Odds Swing Towards Independence

But growing unrest at Holyrood – sparked by Scotland voting against Brexit in 2016 and a differing view on how to handle the coronavirus outbreak this year – suggests a second independence referendum is looming.

The Scottish National Party have already pledged to push for IndyRef2 as early as 2021, should they remain in control of the Scottish Parliament come the next election in May.

And while the polls push further towards a proposed Yes win, the latest betting odds are also catching up.

Bookmakers Paddy Power have priced both Leave and Remain at 5/6 in their most recent Scottish independence betting market. The levelling off of the market suggests bookmakers aren’t sure which way a future vote would go.

Case For And Against The Union

According to the Ipsos MORI poll, 35% of Scots who responded considered it ‘very convincing’ that independence would be a ‘major risk for Scotland’s economy and jobs’. The economic argument has for years been Westminster’s primary point in dismissing the idea of Scottish nationalism.

But events in 2020 have not helped the case for the Union. The SNP have been vocal in their determination to use devolved powers to set a different coronavirus response course to that of Westminster.

Issues relating to lockdown, school closures and social distancing have been handled at Holyrood.

However, the brunt of the economic package for Scottish workers has come from chancellor Rishi Sunak’s furlough scheme, which to date has cost the UK economy around £47bn. Furlough supported 779,500 Scottish jobs during the first wave of coronavirus, around a third of the workforce.

The SNP have requested that the scheme is extended, knowing that while it keeps Scots in jobs, it also provides political capital to unionists who point to a Conservative government propping up the Scottish economy.

Whether Sunak will extend the furlough into 2021 and in time for the Scottish Parliamentary election remains to be seen. But Nicola Sturgeon is already applying pressure on the EU to support independence if no help comes from London.

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