September 13, 2018 / 2:24 PM / a year ago

Scotland's SNP to target 50,000 voters in 'day of action' on independence

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon waves to workers at The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) sits off Aberdeen, Scotland, Britain, September 7, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Nicola Sturgeon’s ruling Scottish National Party (SNP), which backs independence from the United Kingdom, is targeting 50,000 people in a “day of action” later this month aimed at building support for secession.

The SNP has been heartened by new polls showing a rise in support for secession as confidence in a Brexit deal which works for Scotland declines, deputy leader Keith Brown said.

Its members will canvas people across Scotland on Sept. 29 ahead of an SNP conference on Oct. 7.

Scots rejected independence 55 to 45 percent in a 2014 referendum, and since then support for secession has barely moved.

But a Deltapoll survey earlier this month found Brexit could tip public opinion in Scotland toward independence, with 47 percent of Scots said to be in favor of independence, 43 percent against and 10 percent who did not know.

In Britain’s 2016 referendum, Scots voted to stay in the EU but Britain as a whole voted to leave and Brexit is set to happen on March 29 2019.

“This day of action ... is moving the SNP onto a campaign footing,” Brown said in a statement. “We are building a fresh case for independence and we are also campaign-ready for any possible snap general election.”

“The (nationwide) parties are riddled with division and on the brink of implosion over Brexit - meanwhile our party and the independence movement have our sights on a far more positive future for Scotland as an independent country,” he added.

The SNP has 125,000 members, making it the second-biggest political party in Britain after the Labour Party, even though Scotland only has 3.95 million of Britain’s 46.1 million electorate and the Conservative Party runs Britain’s government.

Reporting by Elisabeth O'Leary; editing by Stephen Addison

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