Politics - Scotland

2007 - 2021

The Answer is 43

This from British Social Attitudes 2o12

Evidently there is something of a puzzle to be unravelled here…

“As Table 7.6 shows, in fact the principle of ‘home rule’ or ‘devolution max’ appears to be the first preference of only around three in ten people in Scotland and is apparently only a little more popular than the status quo. Meanwhile, in our most recent survey at least, it appears to be less popular than independence which, when described as it is here, attracts rather more support than it did at the question reported in Figure 7.1 (albeit still only from a minority).9Evidently there is something of a puzzle to be unravelled here.

The solution is, in fact, relatively simple. Most people who believe that Scotland should be independent also believe taxation and welfare benefits should be decided by the Scottish Parliament.10 But so too do over half of those who oppose independence.11 Thus the responses reported in Table 7.5 give the impression that ‘devolution max’ has majority support not because it is necessarily the single most popular option, but rather because it is the one option around which both ‘nationalists’ and many ‘unionists’ can seemingly potentially coalesce. It is perhaps not so surprising after all that the SNP have been willing to keep open the possibility that a ‘second question’ on more devolution might appear on the ballot paper, while both the UK government and some Labour politicians have indicated a willingness to contemplate further devolution too.”

Given that, also:

The survey, released by NatCen Social Research, is based on 1,197 interviews conducted in 2011. The report shows the following levels of support for the different constitutional options [figures for the 2010 survey in brackets]:

  • Scottish Parliament make all decisions (independence): 43% [up from 28% in 2010]
  • UK government decide defence/foreign affairs; Scottish Parliament the rest (devolution max): 29% [down from 32%]
  • UK government decide taxes, benefits & defence/foreign affairs; Scottish Parliament the rest (status quo): 21% [down from 27%]
  • UK government make all decisions (no devolution): 5% [down from 10%]

…the spin that’s been out o this report beggars belief.

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  1. An Duine Gruamach says:

    Did | read that right? This data is about a year old?

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      A year old and laid out as if its Scottish specific across the media when it is pan-Uk and heavily English-oriented. So, for example we discuss the ‘shift to the right’ on these attitudes on immigration and welfare ignoring that the sampling is very much focused in England. Little of this is challenged or questioned on mainstream news channels

      1. Gary says:

        This is interesting context on the Scotland/England comparison:

  2. 43% in favour of independence: so, at a rough guess that’s 57% not in favour. Still some work to do then!

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      A huge amount of work to be done

  3. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    At 43% we win a YES Referendum comfortably. Do not make the common mistake of assuming 100% will vote or those relaxed, not sure or not interested will vote NO

  4. by John Curtice?? Is this the same Prof John Curtice – the fully paid up Labour Party & BBC Political troll? If so his final statement …”the spin that’s been out o this report beggars belief” is pure UHT! No not Tipp-Ex pretending to be milk but….

    1. Scott says:

      Erm, pretty sure the editorialising re. spin is from BC, not Curtice.

      1. bellacaledonia says:

        Certainly! We’re trying to post a corrective to the media which is uniform in its response to this survey. We just witnessed on Newsnight Scotland a report from the polls author, the self same John Curtice who then was interviewed about his report and provided analysis of his report on his report. Talk about a tiny media gene pool!

  5. David: and your point is? Do not make the common mistake of assuming that “those relaxed, not sure or not interested” will vote YES. Call me naive, but given the importance of this matter, I’d rather like to see more than half of the Scottish electorate — and I don’t just mean more than half of those who vote — actively supporting independence. By saying YES. After all, given all the years of criticising the Tories for not having the mandate of a majority in Scotland, it seems odd that supporters of Independence are content to “win” the debate with just a larger minority — I thought that was one of the ways the British political “system” was broken. Come on. The argument is there to be won.

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      Ideally, 100% would support independence. Hopefully, we’ll get well over 60% voting YES. But I’ll take 50% + 1 of those who vote. That’s democracy – you get a chance to make your voice heard, and if you choose not to exercise that right, then you are choosing to allow others to decide for you. That’s nothing to do with the ways in which the British political system is broken, because UK general elections do not consist of binary choices (well, arguably it consists of no choice at all in most of the UK…).

  6. George Gunn says:

    Every day in the Scottish media we see an anti-SNP story whether it be some poll like this or EU membership, nuclear weapons and power, on and on. I am no SNP supporter – although I desire Scotland to be independent – but all these stories are manufactured and part of the ongoing new manipulation which attempts to splice independence, in the public mind, to the SNP alone and the referendum as a declaration of independence. Its up to Bella Caledonia to counter this manipulation of perception.

  7. David McCann says:

    Slightly off topic , but why is Devo MANX never discussed by politicians and pollsters? It would seem to me that the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are good examples of Devo Max working for the populations of these islands and yet none of those political parties who claim to want more powers for the Scottish Parliament ever suggests that Scotland could possibly be capable enough to follow their example. I wonder why? Could it be that they don’t want to raise awareness in case the Scots might wake up?

    1. David Briggs says:

      The super rich dominate both Island groups to the detriment of the lower orders and it would be a disaster for Scotland to emulate them.
      What a strange thing to say.

      1. David McCann says:

        And why would Scots allow the super rich to dominate our politics? All I suggest is that it is strange that the media and those opposed to independence, seldom, if ever, point out that a form of independence already exists in the UK.
        What is strange about that?

  8. domhnall dods says:

    Exactly David. Lots of people say that anything but the status quo is a leap into the unknown but as you say there are functioning forms of independence on our doorstep. These guys aren’t even in the EU

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