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Poll: rUK say ‘Yes’ boosts more powers for regions

January 8, 2014

The Scottish National Party published results of an opinion poll commissioned by the SNP and conducted by Panelbase among people in the rest of the UK – which finds that most people who have a view believe that a Yes result in the Scottish independence referendum will boost support for the regions of England gaining new powers: with an overall positive rating of +15.

The poll was conducted from 13th to 20th December, among a representative sample of 1,011 people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Panelbase is a member of the British Polling Council.

The details are:

“Putting aside your own views on whether or not Scotland should become an independent country, if independence does happen do you think that it would boost support for a decentralisation of powers away from Westminster to the regions of England?”

Yes, definitely: 13% Yes, I think so: 23% TOTAL YES: 36% Not sure: 43% No, I don’t think so: 18% Definitely not: 3% TOTAL NO: 21% POSITIVE RATING: +15

A breakdown of the poll according to how people voted in the 2010 UK General Election shows that Labour voters are most attracted to the potential for a Yes vote in Scotland spurring the process of decentralisation south of the border – but supporters of each of the main political parties record a positive rating on the issue.

LABOUR VOTERS Yes, definitely: 19% Yes, I think so: 30% TOTAL YES: 49% Not sure: 37% No, I don’t think so: 13% Definitely not: 1% TOTAL NO: 14% POSITIVE RATING: +35%

LIB DEM VOTERS Yes, definitely: 17% Yes, I think so: 26% TOTAL YES: 43% Not sure: 41% No, I don’t think so: 16% Definitely not: 0% TOTAL NO: 16% POSITIVE RATING: +27

CONSERVATIVE VOTERS Yes, definitely: 14% Yes, I think so: 19% TOTAL YES: 33% Not sure: 36% No, I don’t think so: 26% Definitely not: 5% TOTAL NO: 31% POSITIVE RATING: +2

Welcoming the figures, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister and SNP Depute Leader Nicola Sturgeon said:

“These are interesting findings, which indicate that a Yes result in Scotland’s referendum can have a positive effect on the debate south of the border about the case for shifting powers away from Westminster to the regions of England. The dominance of London and south-east England in determining UK economic policy is a problem for Scotland – to which in our view independence is the answer – but it is also a significant issue in many parts of England, where difference solutions will be required.

“It was, memorably, the Westminster Business Secretary Vince Cable who said last month that London ‘is becoming a giant suction machine draining the life out of the rest of the country’.

“It is, of course, the case that the system of governance in England is a matter for the people of England, but these poll figures suggest that a Yes result in Scotland in September may well be a helpful and constructive influence in the developing constitutional debate south of the border.

“And in all eventualities, we look forward to an independent Scotland having a relationship of friendship and co-operation with all our neighbours in these islands, including our next-door neighbours in the North of England.”


1. Vince Cable’s remarks can be seen here

2. Page 579 of the Scottish Government’s “Scotland’s Future” independence blueprint states:

“An economically stronger Scotland would be a major boost for our close neighbours in the North of England and provide a counter balance to the economic draw of London. Recognising that the emergence of a successful independent Scotland could have a number of effects, North of England councils have instigated an initiative, known as ‘Borderlands’, and are committed to working together with Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway to explore synergies in tourism, transport and business links.

“Scotland already has strong ties with the North of England, and it is in both our interests that these be developed and strengthened further with greater practical co-operation, for example, on transport and business links. The ‘Borderlands’ initiative shows the co-operation possible in that context: independence and interdependence.”


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