More than half of people in Scotland do not want another independence referendum next year, according to a new poll.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans for a second vote on the issue on October 19, 2023.
With the UK Government refusing to grant consent for such a ballot to be held, Ms Sturgeon is asking UK Supreme Court judges to rule if Holyrood can hold a referendum without the backing of Westminster.
However, when asked whether a referendum should take place next October, 53% of people said it should not, 40% said it should, and the remainder were undecided, a poll for The Scotsman found.
If Supreme Court judges rule the ballot cannot take place, Ms Sturgeon has already declared that the next Westminster election will be a “de facto referendum” on Scotland’s place in the UK.
The Scotsman poll, carried out by Savanta ComRes, found 44% of those questioned support independence, while 46% are opposed, both down 1% from a survey last month, while 10% were undecided, which was up three percentage points.
When don’t knows were removed, 49% said they would vote Yes, while 51% said they would vote No, which was unchanged.
Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,029 Scottish adults aged 16 or over online between June 23 and 28.
Associate director Chris Hopkins told the newspaper that the results on the question of whether Scotland should be an independent country are “practically neck and neck”.
He said: “Support for a second independence referendum without a Section 30 is driven by those in the Yes camp; opposition comes almost wholly from the No camp.
“Four in five Yes voters say the case for independence is stronger now than in 2014, a majority of No voters say it’s weaker now.
“The battle lines that were drawn in 2014 are all too familiar, and Nicola Sturgeon’s defiance to hold a referendum at almost any cost just deepens this divide.”
SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “This poll clearly shows why the Westminster parties are running scared of a referendum – the independence campaign is getting into gear and building momentum and they clearly have no positive case to make for continued Westminster rule.
“With the highest favourability rating of any political leader in Scotland, the public continue to put their trust in Nicola Sturgeon to deliver on their priorities and build a better nation for all.
“As demonstrated by the first in the series of the Scottish Government’s papers on independence, the UK is lagging behind countries that are a similar size to Scotland in a number of key measures and holding back Scotland from reaching its full potential.
“Only with independence can Scotland use the full powers that would come with it to build a fairer, happier and wealthier nation.”
A UK Government spokesman said: “We are clear that now is not the time to be talking about another independence referendum.
“People across Scotland want to see both of their governments working together on the issues that matter to them.
“That includes tackling the cost of living, ensuring energy security, leading the international response against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and growing our economy. That remains our priority.
“A decision has been taken by the First Minister to publish a Bill, and the Lord Advocate has made a referral to the Supreme Court. UK Government law officers will now consider their response.”