Kevin Schofield at the Sun has just tweeted out the latest YouGov Scottish polling from tomorrow morning’s Sun (£). Topline figures are YES 35%, NO 55%. Without don’t knows it works out at YES 39%, NO 61%. The fieldwork for the poll straddled the debate – just over half took place pre-debate.

39/61 is exactly the same as the last Scottish YouGov poll, but it isn’t directly comparable. There are two slight changes in YouGov’s Scottish methodology since the previous poll. The first is that the sample is extended to include 16 and 17 year olds – though this didn’t actually make any difference to the result.

The second is that YouGov have added an extra weighting variable, weighting according to people’s country of birth. For some reason raw samples seem to contain too many respondents who were born in England, and English born people are more likely to vote NO (Panelbase found the same, and also adopted place of birth as an extra weighting variable in their latest poll). This additional weight does makes a slight difference to final result, making the results slightly more “YES”. Under the old weighting scheme the results would have been YES 38%, NO 62%, a slight shift towards NO.


174 Responses to “YouGov/Sun Scottish poll”

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  1. Everyone is scared to be first!

  2. Good to see YouGov also adjusting their weighting methodology.

    Given the widely variant estimates of opinion by different pollsters, the suggestion that (whatever reason) different pollsters are sampling groups of people with different views on the indy issue, seems to make sense.

  3. What a frustratingly out of date poll. Sufficiently behind the curve of events as to be useless as an indicator of the debate impact. It does confirm the large gulf that yes seem incapable of closing.

    For me, the outcome is now close to certain. Of more interest is whether the margin will be big enough to bury the question for another 30 years.

  4. This doesn’t suggest much of a shift, although what movement there is does at least match the direction of the Survation poll. This tentatively adds to the sense that Yes has taken something of a hit following the debate.

    The currency issue still seems to be the dominant theme in the press, with widespread ridicule of Salmond’s position in the media (not necessarily a good way to judge things) but also signs of disquiet amongst his own ranks at his apparent failure to foresee a well telegraphed haymaker.

    I do wonder also whether some of the impact of the debate has been more on the shock of seeing AS roundly trashed by AD. I keep a weather eye on Wings Over Scotland, a ferociously one sided pro Yes site, and even there came the acknowledgement that AS performed badly. Pre tournament, the posters had been visceral in their contempt for the Badger, so they’ve had something of a shock. I take this this to mean the debate was an absolute shocker for AS, and I suspect this view extends well beyond WoS posters.

    Tonight, the currency issue is still playing out. It seems to have become a central issue in the campaign, which has to be bad news for Yes. Uncertainty is No’s best weapon, but AS has dug such a large hole for Yes it’s very hard to see them climb out.

    Unfortunately for them, Yes believed their own rhetoric when Osborne ‘ruled out’ currency union. Polls at the time gave some support to their view that Nat bashing by old Etonians would work in their favour, but I felt that doubt over such a central issue would be a real thorn in their side.

    At heart, I think this shows the fundamental flaw in the SNP prognosis for a Yes vote. They wish to leave the UK, except for the bits of the UK that people like. To counter this, they state boldly that these these bits of the UK belong to them, despite wishing to leave, and proceed to tell the rest of the UK what is good for them and what they will therefore do.

    ‘Bluff, bluster and bullying’ really couldn’t be a more apposite phrase, but polls now suggest, as many of us predicted, that the SNP has been found out.

  5. The polls do seem to be telling a consistent story – as they have been doing for some time. What it am finding increasingly fascinating are the parallels developing with the last US Presidential elections.

    In that case, we also had a consistent polling story – and a minority who simply refused to believe it. A belief that, for a vociferous minority, is undented by the actual result itself.

    Are we beginning to see the same phenomenon here? There certainly seems to be a consistent questioning of the legitimacy of the polls, as compared to personal anecdote (“but 90% of my friends are going to vote yes!”). And of course that may yet turn out to be the actual result. However I wonder if we could end up with the US scenario – a disappointed Tea Party-like minority drowning in resentment and paranoia. It’s certainly a concern to see the same disparaging usage of MSM (mainstream media) cropping up.

    In a way, that would be the most damaging result – but one that is avoidable if politicians rise to the occasion.

  6. @Statto – “For me, the outcome is now close to certain. Of more interest is whether the margin will be big enough to bury the question for another 30 years.”

    I suspect that depends less on the margin of victory, but more on two factors.

    Firstly, the detail of increased devolution offers which now seem highly likely. While the Nats have made regular reference to things like threats to the NHS within the UK, while also sometimes reminding us that the Scottish NHS is entirely separate from NHS England, it gets progressively harder to blame London when you run more and more of your own affairs.

    They already have some limited tax raising powers which they have declined to use, so transferring more fiscal and other powers will neuter future calls for independence.

    The second point will be the internal ructions within the SNP. These polls suggest that for Salmond, the lights are slowly fading. He seems likely to become a loser. The bubble bursts, and there has been sufficient signs of disquiet within the ranks to suggest the SNP may not remain quite such a disciplined force as it has to date. Many of the campaign errors seem to be owned by AS.

    I also wonder what may emerge after a No vote in terms of the machinations within the Scottish government administration, which seems to have been remarkably non independent in this, and I think that assumptions that SNP support with remain solid through 2015 and beyond may well be tested if the vote is lost, even by a relatively slender margin.

  7. As I’ve said I watched the debate, as something of a neutral, and what I found surprising was that…well, it wasn’t surprising. Darling asked a question which it was totally predictable he would ask and Salmond gave an answer which, whether you think it was adequate or not, was no more than the policy which the ‘Yes’ camp have expressed consistently.
    The group of very interested, and politically aware, people who were watching it with me seemed to judge that AS was particularly poor first half but much better second yet it’s almost as though, since the debate, the narrative has become Salmond’s failure – mind you I suppose that’s what often happens in that it’s not what actually occurs but what becomes the accepted version which matters.

  8. It will be interesting to see if YG asked any questions about the currency union question, since that is such a major plank in the debate, it would seem.

    While some may choose (it’s not clear why) to propound their own interpretations of the issue (despite Anthony’s clear warning on the last Saltire thread), it would seem more sensible to look at polling evidence on the issue.

    John Curtice has this analysis of the responses in the Survation poll.

    http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2014/08/survation-show-drop-in-yes-support-following-leaders-debate/

    “It is widely accepted that the part of the debate in which Mr Darling scored most points was in his interrogation of Mr Salmond on the currency issue. Yet curiously this poll’s numbers still suggest that the issue is not as straightforward a winner for the No side as might be imagined. First, it remains the case that at least as many voters (40%) think that the Westminster parties are bluffing on the issue as think they are not (39%), much as was the case when Survation last addressed the issue in April. Second, Yes and No voters hold almost identical views on the desirability of an independent Scotland keeping the pound as part of a monetary union; 52% of No voters prefer that option as do 49% of Yes supporters (which figure is actually up from 41% in February!). Evidently there are still plenty of people willing to vote Yes even though they want to keep the pound as part of a currency union – presumably in part at least because they think Westminster really is bluffing.”

  9. @ Maura

    I think voters care about the currency issue; I think they don’t much care whether Alistair Darling agrees with David Cameron or not.

    So, although it appeared that Alex Salmond had ‘got one over’ on Alistair Darling by AS repeatedly asking AD whether he agreed with David Cameron, it didn’t have a lasting impact on the audience or media commentators.

    I think that’s why most of the people & the media ‘awarded’ a win to Darling the next day.

  10. STATTO

    We thought you were deddo.

  11. @Oldnat – I think the polling numbers on the currency issue really are very interesting. It’s not really surprising that voters on both sides want a currency union – it would be the best thing for Scotland. This is why the SNP absolutely has to hold the line on the issue, however illogical that is.

    The more pertinent question are the polling responses to currency union across the UK, and here, the SNP are in deep trouble. As the campaign has progressed, there has been a decisive swing against the idea, which again is logical, as the proposed union would not be in the UK’s interests.

    Why so many Scots see Westminster as bluffing on this is beyond me. Post the Euro troubles, we really do have a very good example of what happens in currency unions without political and monetary union, and I can’t see any circumstance where Westminster will accede to SNP demands on this.

    The SNP have successfully implanted the idea of doubt regarding Westminster motives into voters minds on this issue, but still it appears that the issue won’t die. If the rest of the campaign revolves around Salmond having to answer the question ‘but OK, just supposing they don’t, what do we do then?’, then I think he’s in deep trouble.

  12. It’s always interesting that posters on here, have thoughts about things, and that they share these personal thoughts.

    If there was polling evidence about how widely such thoughts were shared in the voting population, then these thoughts themselves might be interesting.

  13. Alec

    I prefer to see politics discussed in terms of the ideas and the arguments deployed. I do understand that some people like to present them as if they are solely the property of an individual politician, though it seems a strange way of approaching complex issues.

    I presume that you have some evidential basis for your assertion that “the SNP have successfully implanted the idea of doubt regarding Westminster motives into voters minds on this issue”?

    I’d be interested to see it, since the only polling evidence on “trust” issues, that I know of, are the regular ScotCen surveys that Scots trust Holyrood politicians more than their Westminster equivalents.

    I’m confident that you are not one of those that simply delivers your own beliefs as statements of fact, so i look forward to seeing your evidence.

  14. @R&D, like Dracco, I rise from the deddo, approximately every 4 years (or for special occassions).

  15. @ Amber,

    It is mystifying that Darling didn’t just say “Yes, just like you I agree with David Cameron: an independent Scotland would be viable. We’d be worse off than we would remaining in the UK, but better off than Greece, unless of course you carry through on your threat to default on the debt.”

    It’s not much of an elephant trap when Salmond is already sitting inside it decorating it with saltire flags.

  16. I am glad this scottish referendum will soon be over….and of course, the no vote will win. did anyone seriously think otherwise!?

    anyway we won’t have to clutter this site with incredibly tedious tripe about the gaping vacuity, otherwise known as Scottish politics.

  17. @ Anthony,

    Regarding your modding dilemma, a thought occurs. Is it possible to put threads in auto-mod?

    That would allow posters to reply to the Scotland threads but stop the all-night slanging matches because there would be a lag before anyone could reply to each other.

  18. @ Spearmint

    I agree with you; I was ‘shouting’ similar suggestions at the TV during that part of the debate.

  19. A 20% difference says it all. Salmon lacked the detail. End of story really.

  20. @ James Peel

    Anthony does put up warning signs! You could just avoid the threads with a saltire at the top.

  21. Amber

    While we are duly warned against talking to each other, I agree with you as to those who whine about any discussion of Scotland on here!

    Presumably, you will be more concerned about the potential effects of such comments appearing in the public domain than I am, but I’m sure that we would both be in total agreement in condemning a similar post from anyone outwith London, on a Boris thread.

  22. @ Old Nat

    Indeed yes; & I get equally irritated by comments on feminist websites asking: What about the men who suffer e.g. domestic abuse? You’d think that the word “feminist” in the site’s name &/or description would provide a hint that the site isn’t for them… but apparently not.

  23. landocakes

    Are we beginning to see the same phenomenon here? There certainly seems to be a consistent questioning of the legitimacy of the polls, as compared to personal anecdote (“but 90% of my friends are going to vote yes!”). And of course that may yet turn out to be the actual result. However I wonder if we could end up with the US scenario – a disappointed Tea Party-like minority drowning in resentment and paranoia. It’s certainly a concern to see the same disparaging usage of MSM (mainstream media) cropping up.

    I hate to disillusion you but all politicians and their supporters are like that in the run up elections. Even when they’re doing miserably badly they only remember the good bits and mistake politeness for agreement.

    And some of the criticisms of polls may be justified, even useful. The weighting by place of birth that Panelbase and now YouGov have adopted[1] was first picked up by pro-Yes bloggers and commenters and it does make a small difference.

    I think it’s very unfair to compare the Yes side with the Tea Party though. The Tea Party after all denounce the media in terms that Fox and their own media have dictated to them. There’s a similar mutual delusion in the UK between the Press and UKIP-types. In both case a predominantly right-wing media and their consumers have convinced themselves that they are really a persecuted class and the few dissenters from their party line are somehow oppressing them.

    Now whatever else you say about Scotland, it’s a matter of fact that the overwhelming mass of the media, both local and UK, are on the No side as are much of the establishment. Admittedly many on the Yes side do tend to see all sorts of cunning conspiracies to disparage them when the more likely explanation is their chronic incompetence of the media involved, but no one can say that the media are balanced between the two sides or neutral.

    [1] These have been the two pollsters who have come under the most criticism for being the most pro-Yes and pro-No respectively and which ironically have also been two most concerned with tweaking methodology to try to be accurate.

  24. Amber

    This is dangerous! Are we allowed to have any disagreement?

    I’m not sure that I agree that feminist sites “aren’t for them [men]”. Of course, their purpose is to allow women to talk to women, but all humans can learn from them.

    Making the kind of comments you describe seems pointless and is probably trolling, but understanding everybody seems a positive that the internet makes possible.

  25. @ Old Nat

    I am fine with men contributing to feminist sites – but the ones who are simply posting to say that they’re not interested in feminism just beg the question: Well why are you visiting a feminist website then?

  26. Amber

    We’re safe from mass moddding! I agree wholly with that.

  27. alec

    While the Nats have made regular reference to things like threats to the NHS within the UK, while also sometimes reminding us that the Scottish NHS is entirely separate from NHS England, it gets progressively harder to blame London when you run more and more of your own affairs.

    It’s worth pointing out that the propaganda on the No side that represents the (Scottish) NHS as under threat if people vote Yes is trying to have it both ways as well – and is the sort of thing that will be pointed to as justifying another referendum soon because the voters were mislead.

    In this particular case however the Yes side can indeed raise a valid topic because at the moment the decision on TTIP will be made at Westminster, but the Scottish NHS will be forced to open itself up to privatisation in the same way.

  28. Amber – they’re just scared you’re talking about them behind their backs.

    It does get tedious on the G’s website, especially as they usual post first. With their all-knowing attitude to subject they never need to actually read the article as they know what it’s going to say.

  29. @ Roger Mexico

    Yes, that’s what’s particularly annoying – when they jump in & comment when they clearly haven’t read a word of the article.

  30. Roger Mexico

    I don’t know that it is necessarily the case that TTIP will require the Scottish Parliament to open NHS Scotland to English style privatisation. That may be something that courts would have to decide.

    However, it is clearly a risk of staying in the UK Union. There are risks both ways.

    If the consequences of TTIP were held to apply in the Scottish public sector, however, it wouldn’t just be applicable to the NHS, but throughout the sector. For example, the status of Scottish Water might also be affected.

  31. @ Roger Mexico

    TTIP shouldn’t affect the NHS in Scotland. There are no mechanisms to force privatization of state services or industries; & the ISDR only applies to investments which were made by corporations which both precede changes in regulations & which apply to foreign companies but not indigenous ones.

    Nevertheless, TTIP is not something which the UK should sign up to, IMO. The majority of independent research has concluded that the benefits are negligible & the initial impact would be to destabilize industries where the regulatory framework is not already strongly established.

    And, to return to polling, Unite has had polling done on TTIP & the NHS. The conclusion being: UK voters want a clear exclusion of the NHS from the TTIP agreement.

  32. ole nat

    “I presume that you have some evidential basis for your assertion that “the SNP have successfully implanted the idea of doubt regarding Westminster motives into voters minds on this issue”?”

    Are you not convinced by the polling on that very topic then?

  33. “…the only polling evidence on “trust” issues, that I know of, are the regular ScotCen surveys that Scots trust Holyrood politicians more than their Westminster equivalents.”

    I’d be concerned for the very existence of the SNP or Scottish Labour if either managed to score lower than a Conservative government whilst in power at Holyrood.

    That said, I think Salmond’s main mistake in the debate was in trying to bring party politics into it. A lot of those who have a No VI but could be swayed are as anti-Tory as they come, but are relatively indifferent about an England producing an overall Conservative majority, if Westminster’s influence over Scottish domestic policy steadily diminishes. Salmond’s strongest card would have been to try and convince those types of No’s that the union will give up as little power to Scotland as it can get away with, and that even in a Labour government those putting Scotland’s interests first would be in the minority.

  34. One further thought, eminating from the comment on raw samples consistently over-representing those born in England. Is there enough analysis on this cross-section to estimate this group’s likely turnout % relative to those born in Scotland?

  35. OLD NAT
    “I presume that you have some evidential basis for your assertion that “the SNP have successfully implanted the idea of doubt regarding Westminster motives into voters minds on this issue”?”

    Isn’t Alec’s problem rather that his nature abhors a vacuum? Sterling is not a concept around which ideas have to be planted or manipulated, but a fact, which has a function of its own in making the daily assertion, the pound in your pocket, that the Scottish economy is inextricably part of a UK market place. There’s, thank God, a limit to the realm in which Westminster motives have any relevance.

  36. I posted on the John Curtice blog that if AS had not been so hyped before the debate it would not have rebounded so badly. I was only able to see the debate ex post facto, like most outside Scotland, but I thought he “won” the second half. But that he came across as losing was inevitable given the catastrophic expectation management of the Yes side before the debate. Salmond has been built up as some sort of political demigod since 2011. He is very very good but the narrative that absolutely everything he touches turns to gold was bound to unravel at some point. If the All Blacks only beat Rugby Belgium by a single point the next day’s headlines are not going to be about the NZ win.

  37. Spearmint @ 12.05am

    Same here-AD was clearly nervous about the question-but didn’t need to be.

    I also thought that he should have stopped AS conflating “Currency Union with UK”-and “Sterling”.

    It is the former which AS can’t have . He can have the latter & merely has to read the following in order to explain the pros & cons to Scots :-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Currency_substitution

  38. @Colin

    The position in Scotland is slightly more complex (and interesting) than that Wikipedia article suggests.

    Due to a quirk there actually is no legal tender in Scotland at the moment (although, to be fair, there is law that makes the concept of legal tender almost irrelevant). Scottish pound notes are only effective to the extent that people are willing to accept them. It is also the case, at the moment, that UK banks are willing to accept them (as are most companies and businesses).

    Scottish banks that print money have to keep sterling pound notes to an equivalent value in order to do so. This results in some very large denomination uncirculated pound notes that exist only for such purposes!

    If there was independence, and plan B was put into action (keep using sterling), then the Scottish Parliament could allow these banks to continue printing pound notes under similar legislation. However there would be two issues: would the Bank of England be willing to issue them the large denomination notes that make it practical (it has to be said that other assets could be substituted, but as their value isn’t fixed it might be challenging), and the extent to which UK banks and businesses would be willing to accept them.

    The danger is that you end up with a Scottish Pound that is like the Gibraltar Pound – theoretically one-to-one, but practically exchanged at a discount.

    The other option is to use Sterling, importing notes as needed. This is challenging, but not impossible.

  39. @Oldnat – “I presume that you have some evidential basis for your assertion that “the SNP have successfully implanted the idea of doubt regarding Westminster motives into voters minds on this issue”?”

    Er – yes. Yes/SNP/AS tell us that refusal to join a currency union is ‘bluff, bluster and bullying’, and polls suggest that c 40% of Scottish voters believe it.

    Is there any other kind of evidence possible for this, or are you just being obtuse?

    There have been comments above about the Tea Party/bunker mentality about an increasing number of nats on this and other matters, and I think this kind of exchange represents this kind of tendency. I think I made a perfectly reasonable point, based on hard evidence, but everything is questioned through the prism of disbelief.

    On a wider scale, this kind of thing is what makes me really worry for my country. I’m not talking about @Oldnat here, but I have long felt the very worst kind of Scottishness is the one that moves beyond a pride in ones identity and appreciation of past history, and turns itself into a state of perpetually victimhood, defined by England and a fear of what the English want to do to poor wee Scotland.

    Sadly, this ugly beast is rampant in many parts of the Yes campaign, and is seriously clouding some people’s judgement. There is the Yes campaigns very own version of Project Fear, which involves telling people all manner of things about how disastrous a no vote would be as Westminster is just itching to do down the Scots.

    The currency issue is blighted by this thinking as is everything else. This is why so many Yes supporters can’t compute the simplest factor – that the UK doesn’t think a currency union is in it’s best interests and don’t want it, so it won’t happen.

    This remains nothing at all to do with doing down Scotland or taking what is rightfully ours, but the response of not shouldering fair share of the debt demonstrates the paucity of thinking on the issue. Westminster is taking a perfectly reasonable stance on this, yet somehow is being painted as acting like a pantomime villain.

    It’s clear that large parts of Scottish society have failed yet to mature and grow away from the historic sense of the downtrodden victim status, which I find a shame. The way this is being played out in public I often find downright disturbing.

  40. I do find it curious that there is still considerable confusion in Scotland (and also south of the border if media commentary is considered an acceptable source) over the difference between ‘keeping the pound’ and ‘a currency union’. Even Salmond seems to have fallen into this hole.

  41. Salmond supports a currency union because he knows there will be one when Scotland votes No, but he cannot afford for it then to be presented by his opponents as a benefit of the Union. He will continue to claim that there would have been a currency union whether or not the vote was Yes or No, as it is in both sides interest, so keeping the starting line for negotiations on future Scottish finances where it is now. Any support for a Plan B others will present as a defeat – “Salmond couldn’t even give Scotland second best”.
    He is no longer trying to win the referendum (if he ever was), but positioning for changes afterwards.

  42. @Alec and All

    Based on the polls -I accept the debate finished the hope of a Yes vote. With some polls showing Yes in the high 40s I had believed Yes had a good chance then Yes stalled a bit but the Commonwealth Games and the debate would kick start the campaign but the opposite had happened.

    The momentum gone to No. The fear argument has won and I am sad about that. Opposite from what Alec said the Yes position and the reason people are voting Yes is hope. Hope that things can be better if we run our own affairs.

    Jim Sillars talked about ‘ the myth of our own inadequacy’ and the debate reinforced that. We put up Alex Salmond the best we could and he lost what chance do we have? ‘We won’t have a currency we can’t be independent’. Confidence in ourselves has been undermined and eroded by the No campaign. Darling wouldn’t even say that Scotland could be a successful country in the debate.

    There is a lot of intimation of Yes voters. My husband was warned about his Yes poster by a friend saying ‘ Careful you might get your window smashed in’. And my Dad won’t put a Yes sticker on his car. The Yes shops and signs are regularity vandalised.

    So I don’t know what the fall out post result will be but we will have to come up with a new anthem at least.

    I have been a Labour member since the 90s but I am not sure if I will ever vote Labour again.

    I know this reads a bit like an obituary with more than five weeks to go. But I believe the polls and the direction of travel is wrong and there is too little time to make it up.

    One thing really puzzles me BBC offered Salmond the chance of a debate on the 12 Aug but he opted for 25th I would have thought he would have wanted as soon as possible in order to undo the damage the first debate did.

  43. Chris L
    Thanks
    Sheep
    The scenario of a Scottish pound depreciating in reality is the situation which pertained in the cases of Australia and New Zealand. Perhaps the impact on pensioners to be paid in Scottish pounds will be raised in forthcoming debates? Current Scottish pounds are printed by 3 banks but two are now largely owned by the UK government. Could they continue?
    Neisr have an interesting animation on the currency alternatives.
    Jebediah
    Quite.

  44. On the NHS & TTIP:

    As the European Union and US prepare to reopen negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the EU’s Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht has confirmed that the NHS and other public services will be exempt from the free trade agreement.

    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/eu-trade-commissioner-karel-gucht-confirms-nhs-exemption-090603284.html

  45. @Barney

    Personally I think that the most viable short term option for Scotland would be a free floating currency, not least because I think that the currency markets would actively try to destroy any artificially linked currency (because they can make money by doing this, not because they should). However this seems not to be favoured in the polls.

    A borrowed currency that required the purchase and physical transfer of currency from the UK to Scotland would be expensive, and using a variant on the current system might lead to a practical depreciation as you said.

    Issues like pensions are already challenging when pensioners move abroad, never mind when abroad moves to the pensioners…

  46. THE SHEEP

    Thanks-very interesting.

  47. @alec

    “Er – yes. Yes/SNP/AS tell us that refusal to join a currency union is ‘bluff, bluster and bullying’, and polls suggest that c 40% of Scottish voters believe it.
    Is there any other kind of evidence possible for this, or are you just being obtuse?”

    Well no. It shows that 40% of Scots believe that if it came to it the UK Government would negotiate a currency union with an independent Scotland.

    Unless there is polling evidence that they have come to that view solely because or mainly because of the SNP line it is only possible to speculate on the reasons for that. It could be that some people have a healthy scepticism about any Government stance prior to a negotiation ( ie “they would say that wouldn’t they”) , it could be the wish being father to the thought, it could be the u turns which some politicians have made on the subject, interventions like the most recent one from the former Labour First Minister and so on. Of course you could be right and the 40% believe it are just sheep following the SNP bellwether but I am not aware of any polling evidence to prove that.

    So as ever, in the absence of polling evidence, coincidence does not prove causality.

  48. @sheep

    Coins are legal tender in Scotland but as you say legal tender has such a precise legal meaning it is largely meaningless in everyday life.

  49. @Coupar2902 – “Opposite from what Alec said the Yes position and the reason people are voting Yes is hope. Hope that things can be better if we run our own affairs.”

    I think that’s all part of the myth making. For sure, some/many will have this as their key motivation, but I’ve heard many references to ‘Eton toffs’, ‘Thatcher’ ‘Tory win in 2015’, ‘they’re going to take away the Barnet formula’ etc – all fear inspired stuff. There are lots of different motivations for supporters on all sides, and it’s false to characterize one side or other as fear/hope.

    On the Jim Sillars notion on the myth of inadequacy, I give him great credit for speaking out strongly against Salmond’s incoherent currency plan. It is Salmond who falls into the inadequacy trap on this issue. There is nothing remotely wrong with Scotland having it’s own currency, as Sillars rightly says. Salmond is the one who presumably feels sufficiently inadequate to insist on clinging to the UK coat tails through a shared currency.

    You’re actually the only person I’ve ‘met’ who has used the entirely false argument that Scotland can’t be independent as it can’t have it’s own currency. I’ve never heard anyone else say that, so perhaps you’re making your own myths?

  50. @ Alec “Firstly, the detail of increased devolution offers which now seem highly likely.”

    Here’s something that puzzles me.

    Scotland already has a number of powers – that it refuses to use.

    eg the power to vary income tax by 3p (up or down).

    According to this article in Nov 2010:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/8144071/Alex-Salmond-strips-Scottish-Parliament-of-tax-powers.html

    “The First Minister has refused to fund the upkeep of the Scottish Variable Rate (SVR), which allows MSPs to increase or lower income tax by 3p in the pound.
    This means the power, which was specifically supported by voters in the referendum that approved the creation of the Scottish Parliament, has lapsed and will not be available for at least another two years.”

    Why would you do that a few months into a coalition govt that features the “hated” Tories if you supposedly hate them that much?

    63% voted in favour of that tax-raising power in 1999 and as far as I can tell they haven’t reversed the lapse, four years on from Salmond’s decision to let that power go.

    So they voted for a tax power, were given that power, refused to use it and let it lapse.

    Presumably because they don’t want to be the slightest bit different to the rest of the UK.

    Which implies to me that they arn’t really into devolution despite the rhetoric.

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