Opening skirmish in Independence campaign

On the day, the YouGov poll commissioned by Alistair Darling was quite an effective spoiler to the launch of Alex Salmond’s Independence campaign, at least for the largely pro-Union press.

The YouGov poll of 1,004 people found that only 33% of Scots would opt for independence, while 57% would reject it, findings which are close to several recent surveys but show lower support for independence than others

But it’s a long haul to 2014.The treatment of small countries like Greece and Ireland in eurozone may frighten many Scots out of taking the independence leap. Small wonder that Alex Salmond is clinging to the skirts of sterling in the meantime. On the other hand the British economy may be in such an almighty shambles that the delights of going it alone might seem ever more attractive. Whatever the situation, Alex will make a brave fist of exploiting it  with a formula of soft independence that an old school Sinn Feiner would  scorn.

Even on the day Scotland was lucky to get its modest due of the coverage, what with mounting anxiety over the fate of the eurozone and all our economies and the Leveson inquiry breathing down the neck of David Cameron.

The fervently Unionist Daily Telegraph was alone is raising the flag.

  Let battle for the Union commence

The Scottish broadsheets treat the occasion calmly

The Scotsman

The referendum will be won and lost by people balancing gain and risk, optimism and negativity

The Herald

With this poll, the No campaign, still in embryonic form although big political names including Gordon Brown, Charles Kennedy and possibly Tony Blair are increasingly mentioned, provides a timely reminder of the extent of polarised opinion and how much there is to play for. Regardless of which celebrities are unveiled today to add sparkle to the politics of the independence campaign, the measure of how much pace it gathers over the next 27 months will be the conversion rate of the undecided and those currently minded to vote no, and whether a majority believe independence will provide tangible economic benefits down to household level.

The Times’ main story  (£) is downright bizarre,  as if to belittle the whole theme.  A dangerous tactic?

Alex Salmond’s Yes to Independence campaign, which will be launched this morning, is to share an office complex with the controversial religious group the Moonies, The Times has learnt.

Or waiting for Alex to create some decent copy?



, , , ,

  • keano10

    No mention in this piece though of the potential (and likely) Devomax Option which would stop short of full independance in areas like defence and foreign policy, but which would see Scotland gain full economic independence.

    Although the SNP are prsently refusing to elaborate on the specifics of such an option, we can all likely guess how it might shape-up if it is allowed to appear on the ballot paper in any referendum.

  • “But it’s a long haul to 2014.”

    It certainly is and I think sentimentality will play a huge part in the changes of support that will happen between now and then.

    I imagine Alex Salmond will be cool enough about the opening fgures. This year, we have the Queen’s Diamond Juibilee celebrations and the Olympic games with lots of waving of union Jacks. Come 2014, the Commonwealth games come to Scotland and the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn will be celebrated. Nicely timed from the Nationalist point of view.

  • Alanbrooke

    Seymour Major

    or August 2014 the centenary of WW1 and shared sacrifice, September 75 years to WW2 and veterans last chance to parade beneath all those Spitfires with the boatyards of the Clyde on the frontline of the Battle of the Atlantic.

  • Dewi

    “On the day, the YouGov poll commissioned by Alistair Darling was quite an effective spoiler” – only with the miserable Scottish Media’s co-operation.
    The Herald’s “First Blow to Darling..” headline strikingly inappropriate.

  • dwatch

    If Scotland wins independence what currency will they use? Surely if they want to completely break with England they wont want to use the pound sterling, and the way the Euro is going I doubt if they will want that either.

  • grandimarkey


    The SNP advocate keeping the Pound until such time as they see fit to change.

  • Barnshee

    Salmons starategy if you can call it that is (stripped to its basics)

    Keep sending us the money,make sure we aren`t invaded otherwise mind you own business

  • Neil

    It’s funny watching people get all het up about Scottish people deciding the future of Scotland. Democracy will have it’s day, there is no insurmountable problem anyone here can throw up in any debate. It’s not like countries have never gone through exactly the same process in the past – it happens all the time.

    If I were looking at the situation here in Europe I’d say having the ability to devalue your country’s currency would be mighty damn handy. But at the end of the day it’s up to the Scots how much if any of a divorce they want, and then up to the English to accept it.

  • DougtheDug


    “Although the SNP are prsently refusing to elaborate on the specifics of such an option…”

    The Devo Max option is an option that the unionist parties have to come up with because it is an option which maintains the Union and the SNP have said they will only ever campaign for independence in the referendum.

    They Unionist parties are the ones who have to define what it actually means because they are the only parties who can get a Devo Max bill through Westminster.

    The confusion about who owns or should define Devo Max is because many outside the SNP misguidedly regard it as part of the SNP’s yes campaign when it is very much a part of the Unionist no campaign. If Devo Max is not part of the no campaign strategy when it launches then it will not be a part of the referendum campaign in Scotland except as a vague and non-committal “jam tomorrow” promise from the no side.

  • Barnshee

    “Scottish people deciding the future of Scotland. Democracy will have it’s day,”

    Sadly it will not– if England had its way the jocks would be out tomorrow (and Ireland towed 1000 miles further out into the Atlantic)

  • Mister Joe

    Nothing stays static forever.