Polling attention today will unavoidably be concentrated on the Scottish YouGov poll, but for the record the regular YouGov/Sunday Times GB poll is also out – results here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%. That too had a large chunk of Scottish questions aimed at English and Welsh respondents.

English and Welsh people now oppose Scottish independence by 61% to 17%. In the event Scotland does vote YES, only 22% of people in England & Wales think David Cameron should resign, 54% think he should not. On one hand that makes Cameron’s position look safe, but my suspicion is that public opinion could be radically different if it actually happened – people are not always very good at predicting their response to hypothetical situations. YouGov also asked people what they think should happen to Scottish MPs during that interim period between voting YES and actually becoming independent – 56% of people in England & Wales think Scottish MPs should not be allowed to attend and vote in the Commons during that period, 62% think Scotland should not elect MPs in the 2015 election if they are becoming independent (the same questions were asked in the Scottish poll with, as you might imagine, somewhat different results – 55% think that Scottish MPs should continue to vote in the interim period, though the 2015 question is quite close – 47% think Scotland should return MPs, 41% think it shouldn’t).

Turning back to the headline Scottish poll showing YES ahead, the full tables are now up here. Peter Kellner also has a commentary here, which amongst other things highlights how the biggest shift in opinion over the last month has been amongst under 40s and Labour voters.

Looking at how some of the other tracker questions have changed, the Yes Scotland campaign continues to be seen as more positive than Better Together, but now it is also seen as more honest (back in June people thought YES was more positive than NO, but thought NO was being more honest. Now YES leads on both measures). There’s also been a narrowing in the economic questions – back in June 49% thought an independent Scotland would be worse off, 27% better off – now it’s finely balanced, 40% think Scotland would be better off independent, 42% worse off.

It remains quite strange that YouGov have shown this sharp narrowing in the race while Panelbase haven’t. The difference is not just an outlying poll – while one single poll could be a freak result, YouGov has shown a consistent narrowing in the face over three polls. It’s not down to any methodological change – this poll was conducted using exactly the same methodology as YouGov’s previous poll. The only recent change in methods was four polls ago, introducing weighting by place of birth, and both YouGov and Panelbase introduced that at about the same time. Things like a differential willingness to respond to polls (people who support a campaign on the up being more likely to click on the email) should affect both Panelbase and YouGov the same – they are both online companies using a panel based system. One possibility is simply that the different trends are down to the same reasons behind the previous differences between Panelbase and YouGov. Both use weighting by Holyrood recalled vote as a core weighting variable, but YouGov also break out a proportion of people who voted SNP in 2011 but Labour in 2010. Perhaps if those people – people’s whose loyalty at Holywood and Westminster is divided between the SNP and Labour – had previously been more NO, but have moved towards YES this month, and are more represented in YouGov’s sample? It’s a possible contributory factor, but such things are rarely so neatly explained. We shall have to wait and see what sort of trend TNS and Survation show in the week.


447 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times and more on that Scottish poll”

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  1. Personally I can understand why Scots might like to secede if they don’t like political outcomes. A relationship involves compromise to ensure needs are being mutually met, and if some start to feel they aren’t, they may want out the relationship.

    (The difficulty comes, however, when one party in the relationship spies a windfall, wins the lottery, and then feels able to demand a whole lot more than the partner may feel realistically able to deliver… especially if there are others to keep happy also…)

  2. Bluey,

    But a lot of people think that being Scottish means that you’re “fundamentally left-wing”, and I can’t see the SNP discouraging the idea after 18/09. It’s in social democrats’ interests to politicise our national identity in their favour.

  3. TARK

    @” Cameron could have done plenty. As Spearmint pointed out yesterday, he could have not taken a GE failure and a coalition in 2010 as a mandate for turbo-Thatcherism.”

    What nonsense. Pure prejudice.

    @”Seriously, I don’t know what he ‘could’ or ‘should’ have done. It isn’t my job.”

    Then you have no grounds on which to criticise him.

    Your seem to be saying Scotland would vote No if DC wasn’t a Conservative. Which is close to saying ; if Labour was in Government.

    It would be interesting to test this in an OP.

    I suspect you might not like the finding.

  4. I blame Thatcher.

  5. Tark: “I can’t envisage the rUK’s Trasury making monetary and fiscal policy to suit iScotland that is setting itself up as a direct competitor.”

    This significant point has been missed/ignored by the ‘Yessers’ throughout the campaign.

    They are handing one of the most powerful economic levers, one which impacts fiscal policy, the housing market, savings, pensions, inward investment and debt repayments…..to their nearest commercial competitor.

  6. (That is, I blame her for the difficulties of English syntax.)

  7. If Scotland votes No, I don’t see support ever going above 50% again.

    Salmond has all the cards in his hand right now.

    1. A Tory government in Westminister
    2. Lib dems, once popular in Scotland, in coalition
    3. A weak labour leader

    All combined together made the perfect storm. If he fails this time, I don’t see how he could succeed in different circumstances.

  8. BILL PATRICK

    @”But a lot of people think that being Scottish means that you’re “fundamentally left-wing”, and I can’t see the SNP discouraging the idea after 18/09. It’s in social democrats’ interests to politicise our national identity in their favour.”

    This is central.

    AS started making the YES campaign about escaping “Tory Rule” in the second Debate & he has ratcheted that theme up ever since. This morning , his response to DevoMax was ” why would anyone listen to a Tory CoE.

    EM was then forced down the same path-you can vote NO because Labour will win in 2015.

    Only the Conservatives are defending the Union . SNP & LAB are defending a Socialist Scotland.

    That’s why the BT campaign is now a joke -and DC’s role is irrelevant.

  9. Bill P
    See my post on previous page.

  10. @Shevii

    I ought to have been clearer: obviously a train which is late because of the situation south of the border is not going to become magically ‘on time’ as soon as it gets to Gretna. However, on the whole I think that there is less in the way of disruption up here……

  11. @ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “Oh I’m sure Mr Wells could put a travel ban on OLDNATS IP address lol ;-)”

    ————–

    Oldnat’s possibly resourceful enough to get around such things, but he generally posts when few are around. (He recommended Nytol to someone earlier but not sure his posting times are the best advert for its sleep-inducing properties)* Whereas some of you are around in the daytime!!

    Who knows, maybe we’ll get more!! To discuss polling questions like “How nice is it to be rid of the yoke of oppression?” Or alternatively… “How do you feel about all these businesses fleeing down south?”

    (*I am of course referring to the sleep-inducing properties of Nytol, not Oldnat’s posts…)

  12. @BILL PATRICK

    “(That is, I blame her for the difficulties of English syntax.)”

    ————–

    She did implement the National Curriculum to try and help with that tho’…

  13. Carfrew

    It’s too much of a pain to post during daylight hours. Ther’es always a chance I’ll dislodge the coffin lid, when I press Return.

  14. Colin,

    I’m not sure how the Church of England enters into this, though it does sometimes seem to be overwflowing with One Nation Tories.

    Anyway, SLAB having tried to associate Scottish national identity and left-wing politics for a very long time now. For decades, they pushed the idea that anything less than a Labour government at Westminster was undemocratic for Scotland, since “Scotland votes Labour”, and was a peculiar abhorrence quite different from the Cornish not getting a Liberal government or the Home Counties not getting a Tory government. That only made sense if one thought of Scotland as a distinct political unit with a different “national will” from the rest of the UK, and a national identity that was somehow “fundamentally left-wing”.

    However, once they did that, it was only a matter of time before the nationalists started saying, “Well, if you vote for independence then you can get TRUE democracy! Vote the Tories out forever!”.

    Miliband is caught in a trap of Labour’s own making. As you say, he can’t argue for the Union, and I think that this is because Labour’s pursuit of devolution became based on an idea of “Wouldn’t it be lovely if Labour was in power forever?” rather than e.g. decentralising power (as it was for the Liberals and the old Home Rule Tories like Heath and Rifkind) or moving a step closer to independence (as it was for the Nats).

    And now we’re moving towards a very unhealthy situation where Scottish national identity has been increasingly politicised, which is bad in the same way that Americans regarding socialists as not “fundamentally American” is bad.

  15. @Colin

    But if AS is successfully landing blows and changing VI by focusing on Tory policies etc., what choice is there but to try and counter? Especially once other strategies like focusing on currency etc. start to fail…

  16. @oldnat

    My god!! Keep outta the sunlight whatever you do!!…

  17. Precis of my post in moderation: Labour have themselves to blame for getting into the position of saying “Vote Naw ’cause we’ll win”, since they were instrumental in pushing the idea that 40% of Scots voting Labour but not getting a Labour government was a tremendous failure of democracy, and that anyone right-of-centre in Scotland wasn’t really Scottish since Scots are “fundamentally left-wing”.

    The irony, of course, is that overall the British left will suffer much more than the rUK right as a result of this politicisation of Scottish identity.

  18. @Colin

    Nonsense. I have the same grounds as any other citizen to criticise Cameron’s performance over the referendum. I also have every right to suggest that it is a failure of statesmanship on his part to lose part of his own country.

    What character the referendum would have adopted with a Labour government is speculation. It might be the same. It might not. But my comment isn’t ‘close to’ anything you suggest.

  19. @BILL PATRICK

    “Precis of my post in moderation: Labour have themselves to blame for getting into the position of saying “Vote Naw ’cause we’ll win”, since they were instrumental in pushing the idea that 40% of Scots voting Labour but not getting a Labour government was a tremendous failure of democracy, and that anyone right-of-centre in Scotland wasn’t really Scottish since Scots are “fundamentally left-wing”.”

    ————

    Nice hypothesis. When you look at the polling though… anything to substantiate it? As opposed to polling on policies re: bedroom tax, NHS etc…

  20. Bill Patrick

    There’s a lot of sense in what you say.

    In many ways, Labour in Scotland are caught in a narrative of their own making.

  21. “Miliband is caught in a trap of Labour’s own making. As you say, he can’t argue for the Union…”

    ————–

    It’s possible he’s caught in a trap of the Tories’ making. It’s hard to argue for lots of tangible goodies when Tories/press have successfully shaped perspectives re: being cash-strapped. He’s left with trying to counter other more “procedural” concerns on NHS, Bedroom Tax etc. that are clearly an issue in polling. And it wasn’t Miliband who created these concerns in the first place…

  22. Carfrew,

    My point is a logical one about Labour’s Scottish policy, rather than a polling one.

    It would be interesting for polling to be done on questions like “Do you agree than you can’t be a Tory and Scottish?” or “Is Scotland fundamentally a left-wing country?” or “Do you feel that No True Scotsman wouldn’t vote Labour?” but as far as I know it hasn’t been done. Most people don’t care, but from Willie Ross onwards Labour have used that sort of rhetoric in putting the case first for Labour government, and then for devolution.

    In fact, the basics can be linked back to Clement Attlee, who said that devolution was pointless if Labour were in power at Westminster, though he didn’t quite go so far as to have a Scottish parliament that only sat if Labour didn’t win a general election. However, I can’t link him to what’s happened to SLAB, because it’s not good form to blame Attlee for anything.

  23. Carfrew
    C’mon you know that Young Bill loves his hypotheticals.
    The counter factual opportunities will be immense, regardless of which way the Indy Ref goes.

  24. Carfrew,

    In a natural political unit, most people accept that there are sometimes policies they dislike. If that’s no longer the case in the UK, then it’s no longer a natural political unit. But Labour fought very effectively against the former notion for a long-time, especially under Thatcher, and then may well have been unsuccessful in attempting to form a new Union in which left-wing Scots sometimes (but not always) get their way.

  25. Ewen Lightfoot,

    That’s why I love the campaign!

  26. @Bill P

    Yep, there’s no polling on it, and it’d be interesting to see some, though crucially the salience would need to be assessed as well.

    In the end, what seems to have caused the shift was Salmond neutralising the meta-issue of the currency, and having “reassured” on that (by not letting Darling counter) he could then bang on about Tory policies.

    There’s nothing wrong with using logic when other evidence is lacking, but in this case, while there isn’t much evidence for your hypothesis, there IS on people’s opinions of certain policies, some of which are also rather salient.

    I invite you to deploy Occam’s razor and consider the likelihood that the reason there is a problem is the one that polling supports: opposition to certain policies…

  27. @BILL PATRICK

    “In a natural political unit, most people accept that there are sometimes policies they dislike. If that’s no longer the case in the UK, then it’s no longer a natural political unit.”

    ——–

    That might be more applicable where a majority were in favour of the policies. But in situations where voting is fragmented, minority views can get imposed via split votes etc.

    Plus we are at times talking about policies that weren’t even in manifestos.

  28. Tark

    I’ve resisted posting until the dust settled (a bit) around that one YG poll. For a sense of perspective, it is ONE poll out of dozens. Other polls undertaken at the same time do not show the swing YG does.

    No it isn’t and no they don’t. That’s the problem – for such a momentous decision there have been amazingly few polls and not many planned. The YouGov poll was conducted 2-5 September and there has only been one[1] released for the same period Panelbase (2-4 Sep)[2].

    As far as polls planned up to 18 September goes we know there are two more YouGovs, a Survation for the Record et al (rel. 11 Sep) , the regular TNS and probably another ICM (SoS) and MORI (STV). Together with the four already published that will give ten polls in the three weeks before polling day. By contrast there were twenty polls in the same period running up to Euro polling day in May.

    So apparently those who commission the polls see the Euros as twice as important as the potential breakup of the United Kingdom. But of course the Euros can be fitted into the usual party games of the political class while Scotland is a faraway country of which the media knows little (and that mostly wrong).

    There’s one of Martin Rowson’s wonderfully over-detailed cartoons on The Website That Must Not Be Linked To showing the enormous boulder of Scottish Independence accelerating down a mountain towards a valley with the Establishment obliviously going about its normal business. The inattention that this lack of interest betrays is also one of the reasons that Yes might win.

    I could also point out the 20-25% of 2011 SNP voters are voting No …

    20% in Panelbase, but only 17% in YouGov. Although what analysis there has been has concentrated on Labour voters moving, the contribution of these ‘soft Nats’ has been almost as important to boosting Yes. Because of their separate weighting, it may be that YouGov is capturing movement better among this group (a separate cross-break would be nice).

    [1] If they work to their usual schedule TNS poll will presumably cover the period as well but spread over a longer stretch of time (their last one covered 16 days) which will make it difficult to assess last minute movements.

    [2] Tables for Panelbase are now available:

    http://www.panelbase.com/media/polls/F6134tables08091010.pdf

  29. Sometimes… the opposite was in the manifesto…

  30. IMHO those who think there will be a currency union of any sort are deluding themselves. There will be *no* benefit to the UK in ceding powers over its own currency to Scotland, so there is no earthly reason why that should happen.

    I think the UK position in post-Yes negotiations would be “You want to go you own way? Fine. You’re on your own”. that will be the overwhelming sentiment amongst the electorate, and all parties will have to follow suit.

    If Scotland wishes to use the pound, fine. But they won’t be able to run a deficit budget at any time (not without usurious interest rates from the markets) and will quickly find that current ConDem austerity is nothing compared to what the markets impose.

    Without its own separate currency, how is Scotland going to deal with its share of the debt? The UK will sell Scottish debt to the markets, establishing de facto Scottish bonds. Does Scotland really wish its financial status to be judged in terms of debt traded on the financial markets in a currency over which it has no say?

  31. Watermark

    Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I have a habit of looking daft when I try to look clever…

    Tark
    re: Govt we didn’t vote for.
    I actually find that argument rather inspiring. It’s made me realise that, as a left-leaning Labour voter who first voted in 87, I have never seen a Govt that I voted for. I’m now in advanced stages of planning UDI.

    More seriously, there is a BIG issue here which has clearly been too difficult for BT to put across in a pithy way. If Scotland goes Indy and keeps the pound (either unilaterally, or in a CU), they effectively give fiscal control to Westminster. That is the unambiguous lesson of the Euro crisis. But Indy Scotland would have precisely zero influence over Westminster fiscal policy. So, the ONLY way that Scotland can get the fiscal position it wants is by voting in Westminster MPs to make their case in Westminster votes.

    Scotland has less independence by being independent. It’s bizarrely counter-intuitive. Until you give it 30 seconds thought.

  32. Carfrew,

    Opposition to Westminster policies is only a reason to vote for independence, rather than for an opposition party, IF you no longer see yourself as part of British nation. That “Vote for independence to get rid of the Bedroom Tax!” works more with so many more people than “Vote for Labour to get rid of the Bedroom Tax!” shows how far the Nats have come, really.

    The sole downside for the Nats is that they’ve failed to make any progress in the referendum with Scottish Tories, but I think that long ago the decision was made that Scottish independence’s best shot was not as an apolitical movement over-and-above party politics, but as a left-wing movement. That judgement would seem to have been correct, and the fact that those of us who aren’t social democrats (or those who see social democracy as a step in the right direction) feel alienated is irrelevant as far as the referendum itself goes.

  33. @Tark

    Your post at 9:54 are my exact feelings as well on every issue you raise.

    Thank you for articulating them so well.

  34. @EWEN LIGHTFOOT

    “Carfrew C’mon you know that Young Bill loves his hypotheticals. The counter factual opportunities will be immense, regardless of which way the Indy Ref goes.”

    —————

    I think hypotheticals can be interesting, but one is supposed to try and test them against reality where possible. I’m not sure, but Bill may be an academic in which case we may be conducting peer review or summat…

  35. This wrangling and bitterness about a hypothetical and extremely unlikely outcome is ludicrous.

  36. @BILL PATRICK

    “Opposition to Westminster policies is only a reason to vote for independence, rather than for an opposition party, IF you no longer see yourself as part of British nation. That “Vote for independence to get rid of the Bedroom Tax!” works more with so many more people than “Vote for Labour to get rid of the Bedroom Tax!” shows how far the Nats have come, really.”

    ————

    You’re putting the cart before the horse. Regarding policies, Independence is a REACTION to Westminster policies that are perceived as not including them sufficiently in the nation…

  37. Carfrew,

    Nope, the cart and the horse are in just the right order: in the past, people fed up with the Tories voted Labour. Now, increasingly, they’re planning on voting for independence.

    Of course, you could say that the idea of Scotland as a separate political unit goes back to opposition to policies, but I’m going to insist on some polling evidence for that claim. ;)

  38. @Paul

    Dunno who you are aiming that at, but I certainly don’t feel bitter about it and we are not simply wrangling over some preordained outcome. Regardless of the outcome, what influences people on the matter, and VI, and party strategies, is of some interest. (Maybe not as interesting as nuclear power and stuff, but this is a board about polling after all…)

  39. @Chris Riley and @Leftylampton

    Thank you!

    If you don’t believe in the integrity of the UK, as the SNP does not, then campaign for independence – and then you can own every mistake from there on out.

    If you do believe that the UK is a single country, then don’t sulk if you don’t like the government. Get out there, organise, vote. Or at the very least, just vote (I do understand that people can’t live in a state of constant mobilisation). And accept that the outcome, whether we like it or not, is legitimate.

    @Roger Mexico

    I was looking at What Scotland Thinks. They have dozens of polls covering the indy ref issues. Many of them don’t ask the indy question, but they do feed into the discussion. That’s what I was referrring to.

  40. @BP

    Surely the idea of Scotland as a ‘separate political unit’ goes back to the early Middle Ages. The Union was not about abolition of ‘separate units’ (thus the maintenance of Scots law etc.) but about getting them to work together in a common cause (Empire, defeating the French, then the Germans, establishing the NHS, for example).

    The problem the UK now faces is establishing a common cause – which is virtually impossible IMO when (again for example) UKIP is dragging the south of England towards goodness knows what future.

    I would advise you and all to read Tom Devine’s ‘Scotland’s Empire’ as a way of understanding what I mean.

  41. John B,

    There are different kinds of political units. The constituencies that didn’t vote SNP in the last Holyrood election are political units, in a sense, but it’s not considered a problem that they got a majority SNP government. If Scotland has reached a point where a majority of us regard it as a problem that 40% of Scots can vote Labour and not get a Labour government at Westminster, then the Union is no longer workable.

  42. Robin,

    “The UK will sell Scottish debt to the markets, ”

    Will it sell Greece and Spanish debt too?
    I wasn’t aware any country could sell someone elses debt.

    It’s a great idea though, next time I want money from the bank can I borrow it in your name?

    Peter.

  43. John B, there are political units and there are nations. Your constituency is a political unit, Scotland is a nation.

    There is a fundamental difference between a section of a country wanting to secede because of dissatisfaction with the way that their country is run, such as the Lega Lombarda in Italy, or the Slave States in America, and one of the countries in a union deciding that they want to be able to rule themselves again.

  44. I wonder if we have today’s equivalent of 1992’s ‘shy Tories – the shy Unionists.

  45. @ John B

    I was half joking about West Coast trains although there is history of train companies padding a timetable between the last two stops so they arrive on time even if they are late starting. Less so now I think as they like to advertise the headline fast travel time but it does help to limit claims for late running and it used to be widespread practice.

  46. @ Anthony
    I know I am effectively banned from the site, but I have nowhere else to turn. In the Telegraph Leader this AM I read a statistic which seems incredible.

    During the 2010 GE the Tories gained 417,000 votes in SCOTLAND.
    The SNP gained 490,000 votes (obviously) in SCOTLAND.
    Can this possibly be true, or has some Telegraph journo made a big mistake?

  47. I agree with R&D that we might be wasting a lot of breath and angst on an unlikely hypothetical scenario, but there are extraordinary, and largely unpredictable, possibilities that arise from a Yes vote in 10 days time. We’ve talked endlessly about the EU membership, currency, debt and the fate of our UK based political parties, even the possible postponement of the 2015 election, but what about some of what old Donny Rumsfeld used to call the “known unknowns”.

    Here’s a few of these for me. How will the majority of English and Welsh citizens react to the break up of the UK? How will those in office at the time, and who presided over the calamity be viewed? Maintenance of the Union has deeply conservative, with a small c, connotations and beyond right wing ideologues delighted to be getting rid of 40 Labour MPs, how will the ordinary centrist Conservative voter view a Tory led Government overseeing something they fear and abhor? How will the 49%, let’s say, who voted for the Union react? If it goes narrowly t’other way, I see the nationalists biding their time and waiting for another opportunity, but what about the 49% cut adrift in an independent Scotland if Yes win? How they react, for me, is entirely unpredictable. I’m not forecasting riots in the streets of Aberdeen, but this could play out in ways hitherto unanticipated.

    Really, really momentous and life changing possibilities for all of us, I think. If Scotland becomes an independent nation on September 19th, then the whole tapestry, kaleidoscope if you like, of our nation changes utterly and forever.

    I’m only just waking up to this, belatedly from my lazy complacency and assumptions. All those who thought it would be a “bit of a larf” if Scotland “b*****ed off” and, yes, unbelievably, I’ve read such drivel on these very pages, really need to have a bit of a serious look at themselves.

  48. According to the excellent Mike Smithson there will a non internet poll at overnight (TRMB?).

  49. @BILL PATRICK

    “Nope, the cart and the horse are in just the right order: in the past, people fed up with the Tories voted Labour. Now, increasingly, they’re planning on voting for independence.

    Of course, you could say that the idea of Scotland as a separate political unit goes back to opposition to policies, but I’m going to insist on some polling evidence for that claim. ;)”

    ————

    Lol, winking at me won’t save ya Bill!! True, the “idea” of Independence stretches beyond opposition to policies and I’m sure John B and Oldnat – maybe even Allan – can give lots of reasons for Independence that stretch beyond What Westminster happens to be doing.

    But we are discussing this in the context of potentially a significant swing to Yes and the question of what is responsible for this shift. And I put it to you, Bill, that what is responsible is Salmond’s shift to attacking Tory policies having neutralised currency as an issue. Of course, Labour gets attacked in the process for having worked with Tories on Better Together, but this would not be an issue without the policies in the first place.

    Now, you may then go on to say that well, it’s a Democracy and if Scots don’t like that, well they are no longer considering themselves part of the unt, not prepared to wait for Labour’s turn. Well, there are several issues with this. A full peer review would take a while, but my partner’s been on the phone ‘cos her computer’s playing up so just quickly…

    Firstly, there is a habit of enacting policies that cannot easily be undone. Fat use waiting for Labour if their hands are tied when they attain power (not that Labour are beyond doing such things). Secondly, as I have said, the policies may not have been democratically popular in the first place. Thirdly, even when they are, there is a duty in a democracy to protect minirity concerns nonetheless. Fourthly, it is possible that it may be in the interests of a party for electoral reasons to make being “part of the unit” increasingly untenable.

    In short, rather than blaming people for not being prepared to accept democracy, there is potentially a democratic deficit that allows an elite to go beyond what would normally be acceptable as a compromise. Hence it is no accident John B’s list of measures focuses on enhancing democracy quite a bit. Extend your argument Bill, and many in the North might similarly feel not “part of the unit”, never mind Scotland, only unlike Scotland, they don’t have the oil to buttress an exit…

  50. The biggest political problem with the UK as a whole (as it is now) is that it is so polarised: there’s one end or other that feels itself disenfranchised if the locally popular party does not win overall. There’s a big fight over the middle, most of the effort and spare resources goes into winning that, the end that wants their favoured party gets taken for granted, the other end gets ignored (or trashed). That can’t be sustainable.

    Thus, we get SNP at one end and UKIP at the other, perhaps because voters at each end are fed up with being alternately either taken for granted or ignored.

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