SCOTTISH independence is an “unlikely” prospect – according to a an expert on Quebec’s two independence referendums.
Professor Andrew Lecours – of the University of Ottawa – said the failed movement for Quebec’s independence is a good model for the current situation in Scotland.
The expert said that independence is now unlikely, and has told nationalists that they should not rely on demographics to secure a Yes vote in the future.
Speaking in Edinburgh – one year on from the failed independence bid – Prof Lecours drew parallels between the Scottish vote and Quebec’s referendum 20 years ago.
In 1995 – 15 years after a previous No vote for independence – a second referendum for Quebec’s independence was organised.
Once again, Quebec voted to stay in Canada by 50.5% to 49.5%.
Pro Lecours said: “Quebec independence is very unlikely now. Support for it is stagnant though attachment to Canada is continually decreasing, a minimal number of Quebeckers feel Canadian.
“I see Scotland in the very same place as Quebec – independence is unlikely.
“People feel a fairly weak attachment to the UK, but support for independence becomes stagnant.”
He also spoke of the “dying federalist thesis” – as it is known in Canada – which claims that because older voters said No, if nationalists wait for them to die they could win the next vote.
Prof Lecour said: “The thesis doesn’t work because as people get older they tend to favour the status quo.”