Today is St. Andrew’s Day, and on the day that the coalition Government in Westminster have announced details of the new powers for Holyrood, IPSOS Mori have released the results of a poll on attitudes to Scottish Independence.
Now, I’m sure we’ll come back to Independence several times over the next few months in the run up to the election, but the fact which surprised me most was that of the SNP’s own voters, only half supported the statement “Scotland should become a fully independent country, separate from the rest of the UK”. Overall, only 22% of Scots supported the view. I had always thought that the vast majority of those who wanted independence were SNP voters, but I’m surprised that it is not an issue for many SNP supporters. Clearly, if Labour can highlight the fact that the SNP are a one-issue party – that they see everything through the desire for Independence, then there are gains that can be made.
More people want additional powers for Holyrood than for any other option – 44%, compared to 32% who want the status quo. Unsurprisingly, conservatives are unconvinced of the need for additional powers, with a majority wanting things to remain as they are. However half of Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters want increased taxation and borrowing ability, and even 40% of SNP voters.
The other information contained in the poll, if obliquely, is the support for the constituency vote. Labour is on 36%, the Conservatives on 11%, the Liberal Democrats on 9% and the SNP on 27%. These figures are all down on the other recent polls, but then “Others” have 4%, and parties such as the Greens and the Scottish Socialists are unlikely to stand in the constiuency poll. It does confirm the substantial lead Labour has over the SNP.
I will be covering the details in the Scotland Bill in the near future, but for now I am with the largest part of the Scottish people – I want more powers at Holyrood, but I dont want Independence.