May 3, 2016 / 9:07 AM / a year ago

UK voters fear Scottish independence more than leaving EU: poll

Union Jack (L) and Saltire flags fly outside the Lloyds Banking Group Scottish Headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Britons are more worried about the prospect of Scotland gaining independence than of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, a poll published on Tuesday found.

A BMG poll in Scotland’s Herald newspaper found that 68 percent of voters cited Scottish secession from the United Kingdom as their least preferred option when compared to Britain leaving the EU, which got 32 percent backing.

The survey canvassed 1,512 people across the UK between April 21 and 26.

The Scottish National Party, expected to easily win elections for Scotland’s devolved parliament on Thursday, has pledged another independence vote if Scotland is forced out of the EU “against its will” through a referendum on Britain’s membership of the bloc on June 23.

Scots voted 55-45 percent against independence in a referendum in 2014, but the SNP then took all but three of Scotland’s 59 seats at the Westminster parliament in a British election in 2015.

The number of Britons who want to stay in the European Union has risen over the past four weeks, an online poll by market research company Opinium Research for the Observer newspaper showed on Saturday.

Reporting By Elisabeth O'Leary; editing by Michael Holden

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