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

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