Surge In Support For Independence

Nicola Sturgeon

The SNP has welcomed a new survey showing support for independence would enjoy a massive majority if Scotland ended up with a stronger economy.

In the poll, two thirds of the 1200 respondents said they would opt for independence if it meant they would be better off.

The poll had asked participants how they would vote if independence meant they would be £500 better off than if remaining in the UK; 65% said they would support independence.

The SNP today said the result, showing two thirds in favour of a ‘positive based’ independence, represented a “surge in support” for the parties core aim.

Responding, the SNP’s Depute Leader and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claimed that Scots currently stand to benefit to the tune of £1000 per person and said:

“This is a fantastic survey, and a big boost for Scotland and independence.  It was conducted following the SNP’s historic majority victory in May, and demonstrates conclusively that the people of Scotland want to continue the positive, optimistic journey our nation is on.

“Now we know that two-thirds of Scots are prepared to back independence on a positive basis.  Since the reality is that Scotland puts far more into the London exchequer than we get back in return the Yes campaign can and will win the economic case for independence.

“With independence, Scotland will be ranked sixth in the world league table of OECD nations in terms of GDP per head – ten places ahead of the UK at sixteen.  As the latest GERS report shows Scotland pays 9.4 per cent of UK tax with 8.4 per cent of the UK’s population – that equals £1,000 extra for every man, woman and child in Scotland or double the figure in this survey.”

The survey also found that 43 per cent of people in Scotland backed the Scottish Parliament making all the decisions for Scotland – a massive increase of 15 per cent since 2010 – compared to 29 per cent who think the UK Government should control defence and foreign affairs; and 21 per cent who think Westminster should control taxes, benefits, defence and foreign affairs.

Support for independence with no benefits/penalties mentioned has also surged by 9 points on 2010 to the highest level since 2005, at 32 per cent.

Furthermore 60 per cent of respondents believe independence will make Scotland’s economy the same or better, with only 29 per cent thinking it will have a negative impact.

Ms Sturgeon added:

“And other questions show that support for the Scottish Parliament making all the decisions for Scotland has surged to 43 per cent – up a sensational 15 points since 2010. That is well ahead of devolution max or indeed any form of Westminster-rule; and another measure of support for independence has increased by 9 points since 2010.

“It should now be abundantly clear to even the most dyed-in-the-wool Unionist – even to Michael Moore and Danny Alexander – that the people of Scotland are light years ahead of the inadequate provisions of the Scotland Bill.  Scotland has moved on, and the Westminster parties need to catch up.

“Support for the Scottish Parliament making all the decisions on Scotland is now by far the most popular option, as voters have moved to back full powers – a position that matches the SNP’s vision of the parliament of Scotland making the decisions for the people of Scotland.

“With 60 per cent of people comfortable with the economic potential of an independent Scotland, and support for independence growing as people appreciate the economic benefits, this survey confirms a big appetite for real change.

“This survey adds up to show that there is a clear winning case for independence.”

Key findings in the survey are as follows:

If Scotland became an independent country, the standard of living would be higher and people would be £500 a year better off. In this circumstance would you favour Scotland becoming an independent country?

• Strongly in favour: 29%
• In favour: 36%
• TOTAL IN FAVOUR: 65%
• Neither: 9%
• Against: 17%
• Strongly against: 8%
• TOTAL AGAINST: 25%

Which of these statements comes closest to your view about who should make government decisions for Scotland (2010 survey figures in brackets)

• The Scottish Parliament should make all the decisions for Scotland: 43% (28%)
• The UK Gov should make decisions about defence and foreign affairs and the Scottish Government should decide everything else: 29% (32%)
• The UK Gov should make decisions about taxes, benefits, defence, foreign affairs and the Scottish Government should decide the rest: 21% (27%)
• UK Government should make all the decisions for Scotland: 5% (10%)

Which of these statements comes closest to your view (2010 survey figures in brackets)

• Scotland should become an independent state: 32% (23%)
• Scotland should remain part of the UK with some tax powers: 49% (52%)
• Scotland should remain part of the UK with no tax powers: 9% (9%)
• Scotland should remain part of the UK with no parliament: 6% (10%)
• Don’t Know: 5% (5%)

As a result of independence would Scotland’s economy be better, worse or no different:

• A lot / a little better: 34%
• No difference: 26%
• A little / a lot worse: 29%
• DK 10%

Combined support of 60% for better or no difference.

The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey by Scottish Centre for Social Research interviewed 1,197 adults between June and September 2011.

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