Monday, May 4, 2015

YouGov poll : 76% of voters south of the border would NOT pay even £1 per year to keep Scotland in the UK

One thing we learned during the referendum campaign is that voters in England don't have particularly well-developed views on Scottish independence, and that their instinctive reactions when asked about the subject contain a mass of contradictions.  For example, they readily buy into the fiction that Scotland is "subsidised" by the rest of the UK, and yet they also believe that the rest of the UK would be worse off if Scotland became independent.  How so, if the "subsidy" would no longer be paid?

A new YouGov poll for the Economist finds once again that far more voters think independence would be a bad thing for the rest of the UK than think it would be a good thing.  So, surely, you'd imagine, it would be well worth paying just £1 a year to prevent that "bad thing" from happening?  Er, apparently not.

Suppose that you had to pay to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom. How much would you pay? (Respondents in England & Wales only) :

More than £500 a year : 1%
Between £250 and £500 a year : 2%
Between £1 and £250 a year : 7%
NOTHING AT ALL : 70%
I would pay money FOR an independent Scotland : 6%

So that's a grand total of 76% who would either refuse to pay even £1, or would be willing to fork out for us to "leave" (as the jargon goes). Hmmm. This "we want you to stay" rhetoric is all very well, but if people aren't even prepared to pay half the price of a lottery ticket once per year to make it happen, clearly the sentiment doesn't run as deep as we're led to believe.

By the way, the equivalent grand total in Scotland is only 64% - but that includes a much higher figure of 26% who would pay money to get Scotland out of the UK.

It's always interesting to look out for any divergence in opinion between Scotland and the rest of the UK, and possibly the most significant example in this poll is...

Which of these outcomes from the general election do you think would be more likely to lead to Scottish independence at some point in the future?

Respondents in Scotland :

A Conservative-led government with David Cameron as Prime Minister : 32%
A Labour-led government with Ed Miliband as Prime Minister : 13%

Respondents in England & Wales :

A Conservative-led government with David Cameron as Prime Minister : 18%
A Labour-led government with Ed Miliband as Prime Minister : 20%

In truth, both Cameron and Miliband are acting in a way that's likely to increase support for independence, but there's no getting away from it - Cameron is the one who is directly saying "Vote Conservative to ensure that the result of the election in Scotland has no impact whatever on British affairs". It would be interesting to sit down with some of the voters south of the border who think that is somehow a strategy for reducing support for independence, and ask them to explain their reasoning.

Intriguingly, though, there is broad agreement among Scottish and English voters on the overall likelihood of independence -

Do you think that Scotland will or will not be an independent country in 20 years’ time?

Respondents in Scotland :

Will : 52%
Will not : 39%

Respondents in England & Wales :

Will : 47%
Will not : 34%

13 comments:

  1. Ordinary English people are fed contradictions about Scotland, so it's no wonder they are a bit confused. The powers that be in England know only too well how much Scotland is worth to them, and how much of a profit they make out of us, but they dare not admit it in public.

    At the same time, they have to tell us (and the English) that we are subsidy junkies, and they are happy to stir up hatred against us, for short term electoral advantage in our much larger southern neighbour.

    Scotland doesn't figure much in the consciousness of the average English person in normal (i.e. pre Referendum) times. It was my definite impression that they were totally shocked that we might want to leave the Union, rather like a spouse being told "I want a divorce" out of the blue. As they don't know much about us, and don't know our history, it must have seemed like an undeserved and brutal rejection, after all that they have done for us, as they have been told. So now we are ungrateful, whining, sponging sweaty socks, and we can all %$^£ off!

    Their leaders begged us not to leave, but now they are kicking us in the teeth, and telling us they will disenfranchise us if we don't come to our senses and vote for unionist parties. With mixed messages like those coming through to them, it's understandable that the ordinary English person has conflicting and illogical views on Scotland and the Scots.

    The best response we can make is to let them hear Oor Nicola. She really got through to many of them in the debates, and she is the voice of calm and sweet reason, compared to the posturing prats they have for politicians in the English parties. We are lucky to have her, as the Welsh are to have Leanne.

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  3. Polls are MagicMay 4, 2015 at 5:40 PM

    There have been a lot of rumours flying around Twitter today about Scotland being denied an exit poll for the general election. Has anyone else heard much about this?

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    1. "Denied an exit poll" seems a very odd way of putting it. The UK-wide exit poll will be extensive enough to provide an exact seats projection for the SNP, so while a Scotland-specific poll would be nice, it wouldn't really add all that much.

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  4. Ha Ha Ha! I just have to love them!

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  5. 'Far more voters think independence would be a bad thing'? Can't we have the actual figures? Is that English voters, UK voters, Scottish voters, Welsh voters?

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    1. 49% to 19%, respondents in England and Wales only. If you have any other queries, the datasets are on the YouGov website.

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    2. Like all statistics, they do the same job as lies.

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    3. This poll from the Telegraph shows that a majority of English want independence

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/9015374/Britain-divided-over-Scottish-independence.html

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    4. Do you have a link to the poll please James

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    5. That poll is three years old, so the word you're looking for is 'wanted', not 'want'. Unfortunately, public opinion in England changed radically after people realised independence might actually happen.

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  6. The real answer is to hold a referendum in England on English independence. Then we can resolve the matter one way or the other. The fact that the majority of English people would not pay to keep Scotland in the UK (presumably same applies to Wales and N.Ireland) indicates to me that a YES to English independence is highly likely.

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    1. In your view of English independence, where do you see Wales and Northern Ireland?

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