Perceptions of an independent Scottish economy driving shift

And an analysis of the detail of that deadly poll at the weekend by YouGov principlal Peter Kellner..

Only Conservative voters have resisted Alex Salmond’s advances: 93% of them still plan to vote No. All other sections of Scottish society are on the move, most notably among four key groups:

Labour voters, up from 18% saying Yes four weeks ago, to 35% today
Voters under 40, up from 39% to 60%
Working class voters, up from 41% to 56%
Women, up from 33% to 47%

Peter Kellner suggests Salmond has achieved three things:

First he has neutralised the fear factor. Many Scots thought independence too risky – for example, the uncertainty over Scotland’s currency, and the prospects for jobs and investment. In late June, only 27% of voters thought Scotland would be more prosperous if it left the UK. That figure has jumped to 40%, while those fearing it would be worse off are down from 49% to 42%.

Second, he has played the Sassenach card with great skill. Almost half of all Scots fear that a No vote would leave their country at the mercy of policies they don’t like, imposed by London. Indeed, when we listed the possible downsides in two separate questions, of the two referendum outcomes, subordination to Westminster easily comes top. It appals more Scots than any danger that might flow from independence.

Third, Salmond’s team is thought to have been far more impressive. The No campaign has turned off large numbers of voters. By two-to-one, Scots say Better Together has been negative – and by the same margin, they feel Yes Scotland has been generally positive. This sense that Salmond is offering an optimistic future has energised younger, Labour and working class voters who have switched to Yes in the hope of more progressive policies that London can’t stop.

For me, this is the killer detail: the reading on the economic consequences of independence almost exactly matches where the ratings are now…

Independent economy

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • Clanky

    By two-to-one, Scots say Better Together has been negative – and by the same margin, they feel Yes Scotland has been generally positive

    That is pretty much inherent in the arguments that they are putting forward (the clue is in the names). Trying to persuade people to not change is almost by definition a negative argument, the no campaign were always going to have to persuade people that change was a bad thing rather than simply persuading them that the status quo was good.

    Where I think they have lost votes is by being caught out in so many obvious scaremongering lies, most voters are happy to have the dangers of a policy pointed out to them, but when they feel that people are trying to deceive them into thinking that something is dangerous then they rightly take offence.

    This is one of the reasons why Unionists seem to be so often finding themselves on the back foot in Northern Ireland at the moment, they are fighting to preserve the status quo and doing so by trying to make people scared of change rather than accepting that change is inevitable and trying to shape that change to their advantage as much as possible.

  • Bryan Magee

    There is a very good article by Paul Krugman who brings up a very important point.

    The importance of fiscal union when you share a currency.

    Spain, Ireland, Greece etc: they have this problem: they are not in fiscal union with Germany, so Germany, the surplus part of the monetary union, is not going transfer to the deficit parts. In a fiscal union there are transfers from the “surplus” to the “deficit” parts–they happen automatically and a certain level of political union is generally associated with this. This is a point that Gordon Brown has also been making. To me it is a very important point.

    Krugman sums it thus: Scotland will be Spain without the sun.

    He writes very well, and I would recommend a read.

  • NMS

    He doesn’t write well, he writes beautifully. There is never a word, or even a comma, out of place

  • dodrade99

    In thirty years President for life Salmond will still be blaming London for all Scotland’s ills.

  • JPJ2

    It would not do any harm if people so desperate to support the anti-independence views of this Nobel winner for economics were reminded that TWO Nobel winners for economics were on the Scottish Government fiscal commission-Sir James Mirrlees & Joseph Stiglitz.

    It is not unreasonable to assume that they have studied the issue in very great detail with respect specifically to Scotland and the UK.

    As for Scotland being Spain without the sun, I am rather more interested in the EU reaction if Catalonians vote for independence but Madrid refuses and sends in the tanks. Should not Madrid, not Barcelona be thrown out of the EU in such circumstances?

  • carl marks

    Firstly that me put my comment in perspective, I have difficulty balancing my own bank book so I ask questions instead here instead of trying to answer them.

    Scotland (on top of its other earning industry’s) has the revenue from North Sea oil which is substantial adding it to the taxes which it will raise should it become independent and the savings it will make not having to contribute to England’s high military budget are surely enough to pay for running a country and is that not the most important thing in any fiscal discussion?

    Will be possible for England to stop Scotland using the pound (I have changed sterling all over the world, there is no law against using sterling outside the UK), surely any measures taken would damage England as much as Scotland?

    Is it not to be assumed that Scotland’s link to the pound would only be a temporary measure agreed by both governments until the time it had it own currency (euro or whatever) sorted?