Thursday, January 21, 2021

Scot Goes Pop / Survation poll: A majority of Scottish voters think it "should be a priority" for the Scottish Government to regain our European citizenship rights and access to Erasmus - and Labour/the Lib Dems should act on the basis that Scotland voted to remain in the EU

At 11pm on Hogmanay, the people of Scotland (with the exception of the minority lucky enough to hold citizenship of an EU state) lost our automatic right to live, work and study in other European countries.  With a single bong of Big Ben, our horizons shrunk dramatically - they used to stretch as far as Athens, or Warsaw, or the Algarve, but now the Scilly Isles is about as exotic as it gets.  This has happened in spite of the fact that we resoundingly voted to remain full members of the EU.  It has happened in spite of the fact that our elected parliament repeatedly withheld legislative consent for laws that paved the way for an utterly unwanted Hard Brexit.  It has happened in spite of the fact that the anti-indepedence campaign in the 2014 referendum promised us that voting No would guarantee our European citizenship.  It is, not to put too fine a point on it, completely outrageous.

And yet now all three unionist parties tell us that we must "move on" and not try to regain what we've lost through no choice or fault of our own.  The SNP are repeatedly lectured about how they should abandon constitutional "obsessions" that would ultimately, let's not forget, have the enormous tangible benefit for people of restoring their full EU citizenship rights.  And yet the Tories just somehow know that the voters don't care about any of that, and would rather the Scottish Government concentrated on more mundane matters.

But is that actually true? There's only one way to find out...

As a result of the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, British people have lost their rights as EU citizens.  Do you think it should be a priority for the Scottish Government to regain these rights for the people of Scotland, such as being able to live and work in any EU country?  (Scot Goes Pop / Survation poll, 11th-13th January 2021):

Yes 52%
No 30%

There's a fairly solid desire to get EU citizenship rights back across most demographic and political groups - the main exceptions are Leave voters (albeit they don't reject the idea by as much as might be expected), Tory voters, and, weirdly, Liberal Democrat voters - who you'd expect to be strongly pro-European, and yet don't seem to be too fussed about getting their EU citizenship back.  However, that may just be a freakish finding caused by the small number of Lib Dem voters in the sample.

At the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December, the UK Government chose to withdraw from the Erasmus programme, which has given university students the opportunity to study in other European countries.  Do you think it should be a priority for the Scottish Government to regain access to the Erasmus programme for Scottish students?

Yes 52%
No 29%

You'll be relieved to hear that Lib Dem voters do at least want to rejoin Erasmus! And among Leave voters it's a startlingly close result - not far off being a dead heat.  Unsurprisingly, it's the two youngest age groups, the ones who stand to suffer the most from Westminster's decision, that are keenest on making Erasmus a priority.  

Now that Brexit has been completed, what attitude do you think Labour and the Liberal Democrats should take to Scotland's relationship with the EU?

They should seek to regain EU citizenship rights for the people of Scotland, on the basis that Scotland voted to remain in the EU: 44%

They should accept Brexit, on the basis that the UK voted to leave the EU: 41%

This is a complex result, partly because it's so close, but also because Labour's and the Liberal Democrats' own voters take the opposite view from the sample as a whole, and think Brexit should be accepted.  But Labour are never going to win much on the basis of their current vote, and if they have any real ambition at all to get back into the game, they'll need to win back some of the voters they lost to the SNP in 2015.  And it looks like most of those people want Labour to change course and push back against Brexit.  No fewer than 70% of SNP voters take that view.  Sir Keir Starmer may have just put up another needless (and massive) obstacle to repairing his relationship with former Labour voters in Scotland.

* * *

There are more questions to come from the poll, including (belatedly) the Holyrood voting intention numbers.  If you'd like to be the first to know when the results are published, you can follow me on Twitter HERE.  


  1. At least the fish still have freedom of movement, nomatter what Mogg says. The rest of us are supposed to "suck it up".

  2. Living in Edinburgh, where there’s still Libs in the wild, I do take a look for them in the cross-tabs in Scottish polls. They can often be strange! The sample size is never going to be great, but you’ve averaged sub samples before to plot the underlying signal in the noise. There’s something in there.

    My theory is so many Lib Dem voters have migrated to the SNP and, later, to independence over the years that we’re seeing a rump in Scotland, with a different personality than the image the Liberals like to show.

    Also, Lib Dem Leavers are a thing! I know several myself, down in southwest England. They identify as Liberals on many if not most other issues, especially foreign policy believe it or not, but Europe’s the inconsistent seeming odd one out for them.

    Parties don’t choose their voters. And in Scotland, the SNP’s already nabbed most of them!

  3. Interestingly, The Erasmus project has a gey broad remit. Not just university students but also apprenticeships etc.
    The Great Brit replacement will turn out to be a little Englander embarrassment IMO. What a bloody country.

  4. I don't know how typical I an, but as a former labour voter, I smiled ruefully at the idea of Starmer ever "repairing his relationship with former Labour voters".

    Taking the plunge, and leaving the Labour Party movement to vote for the SNP was a huge decision for me, but, having made it, and looking back, my overwhelming feeling is "Why the hell did I support those gangsters for so long?".

    There isn't a chance in hell of me ever going near the Labour Party again, not whilevthe likes of Starmer is leading it, and not while folk like Jackie Baillie, Anas Sarwar and James Kelly are ensconced in Holyrood. After independence, I'll probably be leaving the SNP and looking around for a left-leaning party, but it definitely won't be the Scottish Labour Party.

    Rant over, but I wonder how many ex-labour voters feel like me?

    1. Alex Birnie - unlike you I have never supported British parties.

      "Why the hell did I support those gangsters for so long."

      Perhaps you listened to liars like Smearer Skier.

      Perhaps you think in terms of political parties and not primarily independence for your country.

      "It definitely won't be the Scottish Labour Party" Alex there has never been a "Scottish" Labour Party. British to its core. Surprised you still think that.

    2. Alex, you can always tell true supporters of independence; the don't berate other indy voters for supporting the UK/unionist in the past, but welcome them to the Yes side.

      I personally have never voted for a UK party, but I understand why some may have as I've friends and colleagues who did but are now Yes. All welcome to Yes.

    3. Independence for Scotland, aka Cubby, aka McGubbin, aka GWC, what are you for?

    4. Gaun yersel' IfS, insulting former Labour voters really will win hearts and minds won't it?

      Thanks for sharing Alex, glad you've seen the light.

    5. Drew - so it is fine for him to insult me and call me a Unionist when he is the one who has been helping the British state directly as a member of the British Labour Party.

    6. Smearer Skier of course just berates all and sundry who disagree with him and call them unionists - what a hypocrite Smearer is.

    7. Juteman - all you can say about Juteman is that he is a disgusting psycho who is just as disgusting as the GWC character.

  5. If this is the case, it seems fair that the EU states don't give full diplomatic status to UK ambassadors. As unionists (clue is in the name) like to remind us, the UK isn't a nation state, but a 'special, proud, most successful in history' union of nations. A 'single UK market' if you like.

    Britain resists giving EU diplomats full status, sparking row

    1. sounds like a bit of w***y waving on the Uks part. trump did the same it appears.

      On a side note, of course the Uk is a nation (soverign)state, it could not have been a member of the EU other wise!

    2. sounds like a bit of w***y waving on the Uks part. trump did the same it appears.

      On a side note, of course the Uk is a nation (soverign)state, it could not have been a member of the EU other wise!

    3. Agreed on the trumpism.

      However while a sovereign state, the UK is not a nation state, it's a unitary union state. If it was a nation state, it wouldn't have four 'home nations' and British would be a nationality rather than a citizenship. It's why my wife's passport says her 'Nationality' just as 'French', but my UK passport says I'm not a British national, but a 'British Citizen'.

      A multinational state is a sovereign state that comprises two or more nations or states. This contrasts a nation state, where a single nation accounts for the bulk of the population. Depending on the definition of "nation" (which touches on ethnicity, language, and political identity), a multinational state might also be multicultural or multilingual.

      Present-day examples of multinational states are....United Kingdom...

      You may be questioned on this in the 'life in the UK test'; my wife has the book. UK is never described as a nation, but a union of nations.

  6. Hold on, so the latest news from Southern English warm beer gardens is that Linda Fabiani and the cross party (unionists included) Holyrood committee - formerly saviors of the truth - are now all in on the high level government trans pedo cult plot to take down Salmond so he can't make a comeback to save Scotland from this, jail them all and make Scotland great again?


    1. As I understand it, the committee has read Aberdein's testimony so can take it into account in their decision, Yesser and Noer alike.

      It's just anti-Yes party UK papers and QUKanon bloggers in England that won't get to see it because it contains information that the Scottish Courts have not given permission to be released.

      Anyway, there was a guy ahead of me in the post office queue this morning who I'm sure is part of the Salmond conspiracy too. I have my suspicions about the till lady in the local coop as well. It's hard to find real scots that are not part of it too these days; SALMONS SECRET UNIONIST ENEMIES ARE EVERYWHERE!

    2. Smearer Skier says- " As I understand it , the Committee has read Aberdein's testimony so can take it in to account in their decision"

      So just how do you know this? Murdo Fraser tell you. Or was it the BBC or the Telegraph or the Times.

      Smearer Skier says - "..... it contains information that the Scottish courts have not given permission to be released. Again Smearer just how do you know this. Telling pork pies again. If it has such info then how are the Committee allowed to see it as per your comment above.

      Your childish mocking in your last paragraph is pathetic or you have paranoid problems. This is a serious matter of abuse of power and waste of public funds. No wonder with people like you about the British Labour Party ruled in Scotland for so long.

    3. I read the story in the National.

    4. Here is the original request where the committee asks Aberdein to tell them his side of the story:

      Which he did in due course, as per the National. If he didn't provide them with a submission, it would mean he had something to hide.

    5. "I read the story in the National" - woo hoo - do journalists get everything correct all the time?

      You do not answer how they can read it if it contains "information the Scottish courts have not given permission to be released". If it contained such info the Clerks to the Committee would not pass it on to the Committee members unless it was redacted.

  7. Another interesting and excellent article James. When it comes to Scotland the British political parties are democracy deniers. On the other hand N. Ireland gets no push back on the fact that it is for the people of N. Ireland to determine its constitutional future. The U K is no Union in practical terms - it is an English dictatorship.

  8. Cameron was a British PM, May an English one, but who understood Britishness. Boris is English.

    North ‘slowly becoming part of united Ireland’, says former British chancellor

    The former British chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne has said Northern Ireland is “heading for the exit door” from the United Kingdom.

    Writing in the London Evening Standard, where he is now editor-in-chief, Mr Osborne said the North was “slowly becoming part of a united Ireland” and most people in England “will not care”.

    The former Conservative MP wrote: “By unleashing English nationalism, Brexit has made the future of the UK the central political issue of the coming decade. Northern Ireland is already heading for the exit door.