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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
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Scotland and the Opinion Polls

Sturgeon-opinion-poll

Different opinion polls ask different questions. Survation's surveys of Scottish opinion ask, "should Scotland remain in the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom?" This question rightly offers both options. This follows the Electoral Commission's guidance that "A referendum question should present the options clearly, simply and neutrally." Referendum question research | Electoral Commission


Shakespeare got it right when he had Hamlet ask, "To be, or not to be, that is the question." Accordingly, the Commission rejected the question proposed in the 2015 European Union (Referendum) Bill - Instead, it recommended the question - "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?" The government accepted this.


The Commission ruled that yes/no questions like "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?" should not be used because such questions are not neutral, as they present only one of the two possible outcomes. The SNP rejects the Electoral Commission's guidance, preferring questions that only offer its preferred option. In 2014, Prime Minister David Cameron foolishly allowed Alex Salmond to choose the question, and Salmond unsurprisingly chose "Should Scotland be an independent country?" Even then, the separatists lost.


In the Survation survey of 1,008 Scottish people, conducted 10-12 September last year, people were asked how they would vote in a referendum with the question "should Scotland remain in the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom?" When those who were undecided were excluded, 56 per cent said they would vote to stay in the UK and 44 per cent would vote to leave. Survation conducted another poll, between March 9 and 12, with 1,011 respondents aged 16+ living in Scotland. It found:

  • If there were a referendum tomorrow asking "Should Scotland remain part of the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom?", 57 per cent of people would vote 'remain' and 43 per cent would vote 'leave' (excluding don't knows). Again, the poll rightly offered both options.
  • Asked to choose up to three of the most important issues currently facing Scotland, 53 per cent selected 'Covid-19 recovery', 48 per cent 'NHS and social care' and 46 per cent 'economy and jobs'. Just 8 per cent chose 'constitutional affairs and independence'.
  • Asked to rate on a scale of 1-5 the UK's performance with regard to the development, production and distribution of Covid-19 vaccinations, 60 per cent chose either 4 or 5.

A poll conducted in April for Lord Ashcroft shows that Scots believe leaving the UK would cause massive disruption to everyday life. The poll of over 2,000 adults highlights that nearly two-thirds believe Scotland would spend 'years negotiating with the UK Government over the detailed terms of independence'.


48 per cent said the Scottish administration would have to make 'painful cuts in public spending'. Only 18 per cent believed that was 'not true at all'. Fears were also raised about businesses leaving Scotland with the consequent loss of jobs. 63 per cent said tax rates would rise and concerns were also expressed about food prices and energy bills.


Pamela Nash, chief executive of the excellent Scotland in Union (https://www.scotlandinunion.co.uk), said, "The reality of leaving the UK is clear: it would lead to a hard border with England, create major uncertainty for businesses and consumers, and require spending cuts to vital public services. The SNP has not been honest with voters about the impact of separation or the complex and lengthy negotiations which would make Brexit look like a cakewalk.


"Rather than gamble with people's livelihoods, we are stronger as part of the UK and can build a recovery from Covid that leaves no community behind. That should be the focus of every politician in the years ahead."


Three recent polls show that the separatists have no more support now than when they lost in the 2014 referendum. The Savanta ComRes/The Scotsman poll of 11-14 May found 43 per cent for separation, 49 per cent for unity. The Panelbase/Sunday Times poll of 16-24 June found 45 per cent for separation, 48 per cent for unity. The Redfield & Wilton Strategies poll of 4-5 August found 44 per cent for separation, 47 per cent for unity. In each poll, the question was "Should Scotland be an independent country?"


The most recent poll, of 9 September by Survation, found that 57 per cent of people in Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom in a referendum – with only 43 per cent in favour of leaving the UK. The poll also found that only 38 per cent of voters in Scotland believe there should be another referendum within two years - after Ms Sturgeon said she wanted to hold a second contest before the end of 2023.


The separatists lost the 2014 referendum definitively by 55.3 per cent to 44.7 per cent. All Ms Sturgeon's efforts have not moved opinion her way by a single percentage point. The good people of Scotland had their say in 2014. It was a mandate for unity. Because of that indisputably democratic vote, Scotland stayed as part of Britain. Consequently its people have voted, one person, one vote, in our all-UK general elections.


In the 6 May election in Scotland, the majority voted for Unionist parties. The SNP has not got majority support. The absurd d'hondt voting system Labour brought in to assure its rule ensures that Holyrood does not represent the people. This undemocratic system means that the SNP gets 80 per cent of the MSPs on the votes of 47.7 per cent of the electorate.


By contrast, in the 2019 general election, the Conservative party got 56 per cent of the MPs on the votes of 43.6 per cent of the electorate. The UK system is more representative than the Scottish system.


The will of the country - the UK, that is - is for union and against a second referendum. The 2018 British Social Attitudes survey found that 85 per cent of people in England want Scotland to remain part of the UK. The Savanta ComRes survey of British public opinion for the Daily Telegraph, reported on 14 November 2019, found that 41 per cent opposed holding a second referendum in Scotland, 24 per cent were for it.


So, in the all-UK general election of 2019 the Conservative won an 80-strong majority. The pro-Union party won the only mandate that matters.


The Savanta ComRes survey of British public opinion for the Daily Telegraph, reported on 7 September, asked "Do you support or oppose Scottish Independence?" 25 per cent supported it, 32 per cent opposed it.


There is no majority either in Scotland or in the UK for a second referendum. There is no mandate either in Scotland or in the UK for a second referendum. There is no majority either in Scotland or in the UK for separation. There is no mandate either in Scotland or in the UK for separation. 

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