November 1, 2014 / 1:33 PM / 3 years ago

A majority of Scots would vote for independence now: poll

Pro-union protestors chant and wave Union Flags during a demonstration at George Square in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

LONDON (Reuters) - A majority of Scots would back independence if another referendum were held today, according to a poll published on Saturday, just six weeks after Scotland voted against leaving the United Kingdom.

The YouGov poll for the Times newspaper put support for independence at 52 percent against 48 percent who wanted to stay in the union. By including those who would not vote or do not know, the split was 49 percent in favor of a split and 45 percent against.

In September’s referendum, 55 percent of Scots voted against independence.

The opinion poll also brought more bad news for the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour party, Ed Miliband, who hopes to oust Conservative leader David Cameron as prime minister in next May’s national election.

Among Scots overall, only 22 percent surveyed by YouGov thought Labour represented Scotland’s views and interests well while 65 percent thought it represented them badly.

In the past week, Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has resigned and another survey has suggested Labour faces virtual annihilation in Scotland at the hands of the pro-independence Scottish National Party - which controls the devolved parliament in Edinburgh - if an election were held now.

Lamont quit after accusing the Labour party of treating Scotland as a “branch office”, a charge Miliband denied.

Labour has traditionally dominated Scottish politics and won 41 of 59 Scottish seats in the British parliament in the last national election in 2010.

In the run-up to the independence referendum, politicians from all Britain’s major parties promised Scots a much greater say in their own affairs if they rejected secession, but have since squabbled over how to follow through on their promises.

The United Kingdom comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. England is home to about 85 percent of the total UK population.

Reporting by Stephen Addison; Editing by Gareth Jones

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