As Professor Iain McLean, expert on Scottish politics and history, told the audience, constitutional preferences among Scottish voters have been ’remarkably stable’ over a long period. Data from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey showed that support for independence has never topped 37% since the survey began in 1997, and has if anything declined since the SNP came to power. Just 23% favoured withdrawal from the Union in the most recent survey. By contrast, support for devolution within the UK has remained at around the 60% mark throughout the six years of Alex Salmond’s rule. One irony for the nationalist cause has been that the effectiveness of SNP government has sent the message that devolution can work rather well, and that popular and distinct policies such as free university tuition and prescription charges can be delivered within the current framework. Another problem for the pro-independence side is that Scottish voters have what political commentator Iain Macwhirter last night called ‘a very opaque idea about what independence means’. What currency would the country use? What kind of armed forces would it have? Would it be inside the EU? What happens to North Sea oil and gas? How will the UK’s huge public […]

Original source – Blog

Comments closed