Scotland to Vote on Independence

A new poll Wednesday suggested Scots are getting closer to parting ways with the U.K. than previously thought, finding that of 970 people who said they would vote, 47.6% would oppose independence and 42.4% support it, with the rest undecided. A vote on independence will take place on September 18.

Alex Salmond, the leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party and chief minister in the semiautonomous Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, called a referendum on independence soon after winning a landslide victory in Scottish parliamentary elections in 2011.Nationalists need a simple majority to launch the process of ending the union. Mr. Salmond says Scotland could be officially independent by March 2016 if Scots vote “yes.”

A vote for independence would likely make it harder for the opposition Labour Party, which relies on Scottish votes as a significant part of its base, to win general elections in what would be left of the U.K. It could also change the outcome of a future vote David Cameron has promised on whether Britain should remain in the EU, as Scotland tends to be relatively pro-European.

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