Scottish independence referendum: September 18 (UPDATED 18/9)

Polls aggregated and entrails examined ahead of next week’s knife-edge referendum on Scottish independence.

Friday, September 19

For literally anything you need to know about what to expect and when, Antony Green’s guide can’t be beat. Basically, we can’t expect any official results until about 3pm AEST, though presumably some manner of informal indication of how the count is going might emerge. There will not be any exit polls, but there is talk that a retrospective opinion poll might be conducted (how did you vote rather than how will you). The one final poll out was, as noted below, from Ipsos MORI, which was a phone poll of 980 respondents showing yes on 45% and no on 50%, rounding out to 53-47. I couldn’t be bothered running the poll tracker charts again because the result of the poll after bias adjustment was right on the trend, at 51.2% for no. My personal feeling is that no is likely to do it a little more easily than that, but only time will tell. The map to the right is derived from regional level polling data over the past few weeks from Survation and ICM, to give at least a broad-brush idea of where the independence cause is weakest and strongest. The actual results will emerge at the level of Scotland’s 32 local government authorities – at the link above, Antony Green maps their past voting behaviour, since support for the Scottish National Party is very likely a good proxy for how the referendum vote will go.

Thursday, September 18


A few hours after polls open, one final poll from Ipsos MORI – 53-47 to no. Ninety-five per cent report they will vote, which by early reports of turnout can almost be believed.


Okay, to tidy up the mess below: we’ve had 51-49 from the very authoritative Ipsos MORI, a phone poll with a sample of 1405; two online polls at 52-48, one from YouGov with a bumper sample of 3237, the other from Panelbase with 1004; and a phone poll from Survation, for which I assume the sample was about 1200 given such was the case in its only previous phone poll, at 53-47. The Survation survey in particular is very fresh, having been conducted entirely within the last 24 hours. Pumping all that into the poll aggregate is slightly better for yes than you might think, since Ipsos MORI and YouGov both get bias adjusted about 1.4% towards yes, and weighted heavily in the overall result. I’m a bit nervous about this – those bias adjustments seem excessive – but the current reading, which you may take or leave, is 51.2% no, 48.8% yes.


UPDATE 4: Survation has it at 53-47.

UPDATE 3: YouGov has it at 52-48. And the fun’s not over, because Survation have just revealed they’re about to lay on a surprise phone poll.

UPDATE 2: Mike Smithson of Political Betting tweets: “So 4 pollsters have NO on 52% and 2 on 51%. Maybe they are wrong but at least they are all wrong together”. The implication, I believe, being that we may be seeing a little bit of herding going on.

UPDATE: The Ipsos MORI poll turns out to be a nailbiter – 51% no, 49% yes. This is important because it’s a phone poll rather than online, and Ipsos MORI did a particularly good job of calling the last Scottish parliamentary election. YouGov to come in a few more hours, and then I’ll give the poll aggregate another run.

A new poll from Panelbase does nothing to relieve the monotony, once again producing a result of 52-48 in favour of no. However, this is the best 52-48 so far for the no camp, as Panelbase has been the most yes-leaning of the regularly reporting pollsters. The full numbers are 49.5% no, 45.4% yes, 5.1% don’t know. Full results here. The eagerly awaited Ipsos MORI poll will be along at 3am EST, followed by the final YouGov poll at 5am.

Wednesday, September 17

Three new polls have come in overnight – from Survation, Opinium and ICM – and every one of them finds no with a lead of 52-48. My poll tracker (methodology explained in the entry below from Saturday) now has no leading 51.7% to 48.3%, slightly higher than the 51.4% to 48.6% recorded following Sunday’s polls. More tellingly, the trendlines provide a fairly clear indication that the momentum to yes which was evident over a period of weeks has tapered off:

Of the three pollsters to have reported new results, Survation has the no lead narrowing from its result on Sunday, which had it at 54-46; Opinium also narrows slightly from a poll on Sunday, which had it at 53-47; while ICM is much better for no this time around, its previous poll being a small-sample outlier with yes leading 54-46. All three polls were conducted online; Mike Smithson at Political Betting says that, based on past form, the one we should be hanging out on is tomorrow’s final phone poll from Ipsos MORI. I had a paywalled piece in Crikey yesterday considering the possibility that the polls might just have it all wrong.

Some further findings from Opinium: 50% do not trust that new devolution powers in the event of a no vote will be delivered as promised; 47% think Scotland will keep the pound against 37% who don’t; 44% think Alex Salmond should resign as First Minister if no wins (which I find very odd); and 45% think independence will damage the Scottish economy.

Sunday, September 13

No less than four new polls have reported overnight, of which two have “no” with reasonable solid leads of six or eight points, one is lineball, and one is the best poll yet to emerge for yes. These are reviewed in detail below, but first we take an updated look at the poll tracker. This puts the current result at 51.4% for no and 48.6% for yes, all but unchanged on the 51.2% and 48.8% recorded yesterday (based on like-for-like methodological comparison). An outline of the methodology was provided yesterday, in the bottom half of this post.

The polls in turn:

• The good news for the independence camp first: ICM has produced the second poll to show the yes vote in front, following on from the first of last week’s surveys by YouGov, and by a not inconsiderable margin – 49% to 42%, rounding out 54-46 after exclusion of the undecided. Unlike yesterday’s ICM poll, this one uses its usual online methodology. The caveat here is the unusually small sample of 705. Also, as noted below, ICM has been one of the more yes-friendly pollsters, such that the poll tracker adjusts it downwards by 2.0%.

• An online panel poll by Survation, which has tended to come in at the middle of the range, has no at 47.0% and yes at 40.8%, for a rounded result of 54-46 to no. The poll was commissioned by the pro-union Better Together campaign. Whereas the bulk of the polling for the referendum has been online, this one was conducted by telephone, from Wednesday to Friday, with a sample of 1044. As was the case with TNS yesterday, this is a first phone poll from an outfit whose previous polling was conducted online.

Opinium is an established online pollster which has made its first entry on the referendum, this being a survey of 1055 respondents. Its result is a lot closer to Survation’s than ICM’s, with 45% for yes and 49%, rounding out to 53-47.

• Panelbase in the Sunday Times has no on 50.6% and yes on 49.4%, but given its relative “yes” lean in the past, it’s comes out similarly to Survation and Opinium so far as the poll tracker is concerned.

Saturday, September 12

It’s now less than a week until Scotland’s independence referendum, which will be held on Thursday with polling stations to close at 10pm local time, or 7am Friday on the east coast of Australia. An official result won’t be expected until mid-afternoon our time. Before that time, the 32 local authorities that will be taking care of the business end of proceedings will report their results, which I guess we can expect to be done more promptly in the cities than the country.

The latest poll out this evening is an ICM poll for The Guardian which confirms the recent trend of being too close to call – 42% no, 40% yes and 17% don’t know, panning out to a headline figure of 51-49 with the exclusion of the undecided. According to Anthony Wells at UK Polling Report, we can expect a result reasonably soon from Panelbase, which I have determined to be one of the more “yes”-friendly pollsters. We might then see a relative lull before heavy-hitters YouGov and Ipsos MORI hold off until their final results nearer the big day, although there will surely be other results around the place between now and then.

My own polling tracker, which is laid out below, currently has “no” in the lead with 51.6%, but there is no sign that the trend to “yes” is levelling off. As I shall discuss, it would have been more like 51.3% if I had treated the latest poll differently, as maybe I should have.

A few things that have caught my eye:

• For those of you who know your way around Scotland, The Guardian offers mapped results of a year’s worth of Ipsos MORI polling in eye-watering detail.

• John Curtice, a political scientist of some renown, considers the contention popular in the “yes” camp that pollsters are under-representing respondents who don’t normally vote, whom they expect will give their cause a boost. However, Curtice finds that past non-voters who have been polled are leaning quite strongly towards no.

Stephen Fisher at Elections Etc observes polling before 16 constitutional referenda in Austria, Ireland, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Quebec, Scotland, Sweden, Britain and Wales (not us, alas), and notes there “does not seem to be a precedent for a close referendum at which final polls underestimated the Yes vote” (he in fact said “overestimated” but if you read the sentence in context, this was clearly erroneous).

Now to my own poll tracker. The methodology runs roughly as follows: 1) Calculate accuracy ratings for each pollster based on the performance of their polls in the last week of the campaigns for the 2014 European, 2011 Scottish and 2010 Westminster elections; 2) Run a local area regression on the results with each poll weighted as per the relevant pollsters’ accuracy rating multiplied by the sample size; 3) Use the trend result thus produced to derive bias measures for each pollster, by averaging the deviation of their poll results from the trend; 4) Correct the pollsters’ results accordingly and run the regression again.

The bias adjustments made to the various pollsters’ “yes” results are as follows: Ipsos Mori +1.6%; YouGov +1.6%; TNS +0.6%; Survation -0.7%; ICM -1.5%; Panelbase -2.5%; Angus Reid -4.4%. The complication I mentioned earlier is that the latest ICM poll was conducted by telephone, whereas the nine previous polls from which I have derived its bias adjustment were online polls. I have nonetheless decided to apply their existing adjustment to the latest result. Since this poll is, together with the most recent YouGov, the very latest result in the model, and the bias adjustment used is a not inconsiderable penalty to “yes”, the effect is non-trivial. If no bias adjustment is applied to this poll, the “no” result comes down to 51.2%. If the poll is removed altogether, it is 51.3%.

A couple of further points to be noted. YouGov’s stunning poll result on Monday showing yes in the lead was a real outlier from a normally no-leaning pollster, and it shows up in the charts as the only data point with yes above 50%. Another poll from YouGov a few days later had no back in front. This was inevitably reported in terms of the momentum for yes having stalled, but that’s not the picture that emerges when the polling is aggregated. Panelbase’s polling before the start of this year had an enormous lean in favour of yes which has since been corrected, so the earlier results have been excluded. Angus Reid is, or has been, a fairly major pollster in Britain, but there has been no Scottish independence polling from it since August last year. Should it re-emerge in the next few days, I will have to think twice about applying the 4.4% correction noted above.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

359 comments on “Scottish independence referendum: September 18 (UPDATED 18/9)”

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  1. So the ICM report suggests that self-reporting 10/10 likely to vote is the best single predictor of turnout, but also that it is not a good predictor and also that ot is generally an overestimate.

    Any idea how good/bad a predictor or what the expected ratio is?

  2. [and notes there “does not seem to be a precedent for a close referendum at which final polls overestimated the Yes vote”.]

    Surely he’s written this wrongly. The full sentence is
    [While there are examples of close referendums in which the Yes side did worse than expected from the polls (such as Quebec in 1995 where the final polls said Yes but the result was No) there does not seem to be a precedent for a close referendum at which final polls overestimated the Yes vote.]

    the counterpoint is final polls say No but vote is Yes; he means that at close referenda, there is no precedent for final polls underestimating Yes.

  3. After 307 years, Scots just 50-50 on staying in the UK. Not sure a narrow ‘No’ will resolve anything here, unless its maximal devolution.

  4. Polling wise this is an interesting case. Nice work on the poll tracker William! I am also aware that there are a lot of expatriate Scots in many countries, including quite a few here in Oz; I know several who live in the Adelaide Hills. How likely are they to vote? The ones I know are proudly Scottish, so their votes would be interesting.

    Politically, despite my own work in economics, i find the economic arguments against independence absurd. There are some risks, but they are easily resolved by the Scots emulating the Irish and having their own currency roughly pegged to the pound. With their own EU membership likely, they will then have some political and financial benefits. They could tax Mrs Windsor’s lands too 😉

    That being said, I do not think we should treat Scottish independence as a proxy for other left wing causes including republicanism here. The Scots should be left to make their own decision, as one of the less intelligent of our prime ministers should have realised.

  5. Given the clear evidence presented here in favour of a “No” result, why is popular media here assuming a “Yes” result. Is it just a case of wishful thinking that something *interesting* is going to the motherland?

  6. [It would resolve the need to tighten eligibility in future votes ;-)]

    Well,thats right. In the upcoming New Caledonian referendum for example, voters had to be resident in 1994 (or the NC-born children of same). This is to prevent metro-French blow-ins distorting the vote. The latter can vote in everyhting else though.

    Im wondering if YES got 16-17 year olds included, to balance the non-Scottish-but-resident factor.

  7. [ Is Scotland Big Enough To Go it Alone?

    So small is possible. But is it a good idea?

    The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is resoundingly “Yes!” Statistically speaking, at least. Why? Because according to numbers from the World Bank Development Indicators, among the 45 sovereign countries in Europe, small countries are nearly twice as wealthy as large countries.

    Why would this be? There are two reasons.

    … First, smaller countries are often more responsive to their people. The smaller the country the stronger the policy feedback loop. Meaning truly awful ideas tend to get corrected earlier. Had Mao Tse Tung been working with an apartment complex instead of a country of nearly a billion-people, his wacky ideas wouldn’t have killed millions.

    Second, small countries just don’t have the money to engage in truly crazy ideas. Like Wars on Terror or world-wide daisy-chains of military bases. An independent Scotland, or Vermont, is unlikely to invade Iraq. It takes a big country to do truly insane things.

    …Still, as an economist, what we can say is that Scotland’s big enough to “survive” on its own, and indeed is very likely to become richer out of the secession. Nearer to the small-is-rich Ireland than the big-but-poor Britain left behind.]

  8. Is there any difference in the wording between the different polls?
    I would guess not, all they have to ask is how they will be voting next week.
    And of course the vote is on a Thursday.

  9. There was a brilliant article talking about how the polling companies, while not exactly stabbing the dark, are still working out their methodologies. Part of the reason why the Yes vote surged SO much in the past weeks, seems down to adjustments in the turnout models.

    I do think Yes is being over-estimated here. It should be noted that the Yes polling does seem to have stalled and is starting to slide backwards.

    My feel is that No wins 54-46.

  10. …apologies, not so much Yes is sliding, more that more of the undecideds are shifting to the No votes they probably were already, they’re just saying so now.


    2.51pm BST Survation poll shows no on 54%, yes on 46%

    2.55pm BST
    Poll – details

    The poll was commissioned by Better Together.

    Here are the details from the Better Together news release.

    The full voting figures are 40.8% YES versus 47.0% NO. Excluding undecided voters Survation round the voting intention to 54% NO 46% yes.

    Asked to rate their likelihood to vote on a scale of 0-10, 93.1% rates themselves a 10.

    The poll also finds that 40% of voters believe they and their families would be financially worse off compared to 27% who believe they would be better off.

    Some notes on the methodology employed by Survation.

    The telephone poll was a systematic random sample of mobiles and landlines, ordered by key strata to reflect the eligible Scottish population. These strata were, age, sex, local authority, income and employment status.

    Though the poll managed to reach 1,044 respondents, it has an effective sample size of 927. This is due to the sampling strategy employed, which aimed to mitigate some of the biases associated with contacting respondents via landlines. After interview, households (landline respondents) with multiple eligible occupants were asked for a second response within the household. A Kish Grid was used to assign the eligible participant at random. Respondents from those households that responded twice were accounted for appropriately in the weighting strategy by applying a factor of 0.5 to both respondent’s weights. Mobile respondents were not asked for a second response.

    For 1st household respondents and mobile respondents, only those originally drawn into the sample were invited to to take part in the survey. Other answerers were not interviewed. Call-backs were employed were possible.

    The survey was conducted over 48hrs, 10th-12th Sep.

    [ When will we know the result of the Scottish independence referendum?

    How early should we wake up on Friday 19 September to find out what’s happened? Or will we just be awoken by Westminster politicians howling in the streets?

    by Anoosh Chakelian Published 11 September, 2014 – 14:19]
    [Osborne and Carney to miss G20 summit for Scottish referendum result
    Chancellor and Bank of England governor bow out of finance ministers and central bank chiefs meeting to be in UK for result

    Jill Treanor and Angela Monaghan, Saturday 13 September 2014 00.06 AEST]
    [Thanks to Scotland, keeping Britain in Europe just got a whole lot harder
    Whatever the result, Thursday’s referendum has rewritten the political rulebook. What used to work no longer does

    Jonathan Freedland
    The Guardian, Saturday 13 September 2014 04.42 AEST]

  13. I grew up on the Scottish border area in the 40s and 50s (left in the early 60s) The vast majority of the population was of the view that Scotland and the north of England was forgotten, only good for worked out mines and heavy industry. Then only as the last resort. There was no ‘love for any of the political parties but labor always got the default vote. I see the same view today. I think the vote will be for a NO but only because the population knows they will be screwed in the following negotiations and will again for generations to come still paying for living outside the home counties.

    [Thousands Have Already Cast Their Votes In Scotland’s Independence Referendum
    12:23 PMSep 11 By Mona Chalabi

    British Prime Minister David Cameron was in Scotland on Wednesday to deliver a message to voters: “We want you to stay.” With just days left ahead of a Sept. 18 referendum on whether Scotland should become independent, leaders of all three of the U.K.’s main political parties were headed north in an attempt to keep Scotland part of the union.

    Recent polls have showed a tightening between “no” and “yes.” On average, between January and Aug. 25 (when a debate on independence was televised), the “no” vote has led by 11 percentage points. In the six major polls since then, “no” has been ahead by just 4 points.

    But speeches won’t make any difference to the thousands of people who have voted by mail in the past two weeks. Those “postal ballot” voters have often been neglected in the news media coverage describing the “surge,” the “dramatic swing” or the “rapid shift” toward a “yes” vote for independence.

    Mail-in ballots were sent to voters starting Aug. 26. Alex Salmond, first minister of Scotland and leader of the independence campaign, has claimed that “hundreds of thousands” of ballots have been returned.]

    [Chris Deerin on Sep 13
    Salmond and Farage, better together

    ‘Leaving the EU is about making Britain more successful. At its most basic, it is the ability to take our own decisions. No one cares more about our success than the people who live here and that, ultimately, is why leaving the EU is the best choice for our future.

    ‘By leaving we can work together to make Britain a more ambitious and dynamic country. The big difference will be that Britain’s future will be in our own hands. Instead of only deciding some issues here in Britain, it will allow us to take decisions on all the major issues.’

    These rousing passages are a straightforward encapsulation of the Ukip credo: the kind of thing that spouts easily from Nigel Farage’s lips. They represent the argument the party put before voters in the last European election, where it ended up with more MEPs than any other party.

    However, the words aren’t Ukip’s. They are taken from the official website of the SNP. I have simply replaced ‘independence’ with ‘leaving the EU’, and ‘Scotland’ with ‘Britain’. Restore the originals and you have the exact beliefs of Alex Salmond.

    As both the Scottish and EU referendum debates develop, the similarities in the cases being advanced by the SNP and Ukip become ever more striking. Both, for example, are at pains to insist their desire for a breach is not based on any suspicion towards or distaste for ‘the other’, whether that ‘other’ be French or English. The dark history of nationalism makes this a necessity.]

  16. Current betting odds

    From yesterday
    [Scottish independence: The real referendum poser is what to bet?
    There’s a lot riding on Thursday’s poll, not least among bookmakers and punters such as Russell Lynch, who would like a referendum that makes them a little richer
    Russell Lynch
    Saturday 13 September 2014

    Panicking politicians have been beating a path north from Westminster this week to hammer home the message that we’ve all got a stake in Scotland’s looming decision on independence.

    But setting aside for a second the weighty arguments over economics and currencies, some of us will have more riding on the vote than others. As the referendum rears into view, experts at the bookmaker Ladbrokes estimate that as much as £50m could be wagered on the race if the polls remain tight.]

    And this is a nice British Isles venn diagram

  17. Well, it looks like the Yes campaigners won a great deal of respect from the Scottish people, but the scare campaign from the No campaigners had too much force. Independence won’t happen this time but if Salmond plays his cards right he will secure a great devolution deal, pocket that success, and use it as a base for another independence push at a more opportune time. Maybe in five to ten years from now, depending on how pear-shaped the economy gets in the UK.

  18. I should add that this result is a lot easier to pick than the SA election as you don’t have the vagaries of marginal seat campaigns to deal with.

    If you lose this popular, you lose.

  19. I have Scottish friends and they are yes to independence. Scotland should have been getting rich on North Sea oil but it hasn’t. The sense is they need to do something soon before it runs out. Good point about small countries being wealthier. Think Norway, Sweden. Note to mr Abbott. Countries that keep their troops at home do better than those that don’t. Wonder what will happen to all those military bases in Scotland if yes gets up.

  20. Anyway, ‘Yes’ has already won.

    [This is like nothing I’ve ever seen. We have barely a single institution on our side, barely a newspaper, and damn few millionaires. And they are truly petrified of us.

    A butterfly rebellion is coming close to winning Scotland away from the forces of the British state. I think we’ll do it, but either way, they can’t beat us. We are already half of Scotland and we keep growing. They are weak and we are strong. When the people of Britain see their titans defeated by a rebel army who used infographics and humour, what is there to stop them following? England needs its butterfly rebellion as well.

    The lairds came to tell us what was good for us. The lords came to tell us what was good for us. In the fields, we already knew what was good for us. Not this. Not Britain. Our rebels grabbed whatever they had and did whatever they could.

    You can’t beat a thousand butterflies with a gun. But you can beat a gun with a thousand butterflies.]

  21. With only two days to go it looks like Yes is struggling to get over the line. Still, as an outsider I have to say the No campaign has been underwhelming. I can hardly recall a positive reason offered to stay in the union – only a scare campaign. It highlights that neither side of British politics rates Scotland any genuine attention. A close No vote will not put the issue to bed.

  22. Interesting post covers some of the contradictions within the Yes alliance, worth reading in full.
    [Ewan Morrison – YES: Why I Joined Yes and Why I Changed to No

    Ewan Morrison is an award-winning Scottish author and screenwriter.


    Now some may say – ah yes but Yes is a rainbow coalition – the very essence of democratic pluralism. But you have to ask yourself with so many groups all tugging in so many directions what makes a separate Scotland any different from the rest of the UK with its democratic conflicts, its mess? Democracy is a daily struggle, an ongoing fight to reconcile differing opinions and ideologies, of contesting facts and plans and shouldering the burdens we inherit from history. It’s hard, it’s exhausting, it’s frustrating and it’s all about compromise. So why do we need to leave the union to engage in this painful process we call democracy?

    The answer is that the factions within the Yes camp are all dreaming that they will have more power in the new Scotland ‘after the referendum.’ Bigger fish in the smaller pond. The Greens will have more power than they ever could in the UK. Business leaders will have more influence over Scottish government. The hard left will finally realise its dream of seizing power and creating a perfect socialist nation. Each group is dreaming of this fresh new country (as clean as a white sheet, as unsullied as a newborn) in which they themselves dominate and hold control. Clearly these groups can’t all have more power and the banner they share is a fantasy of a unity that is not actually there. It’s a Freudian slip when converts claim that the first thing that will happen ‘after independence’ is that the SNP will be voted out – it betrays the fantasy that each interest group has of its own coming dominance.]
    [Both of the Scottish independence campaigns are flawed – here’s how
    As the yes and no campaigns approach the home straight, John Harris and John Wight discuss where they have fallen down
    John Harris and John Wight, Tuesday 16 September 2014 01.30 AEST]

  23. That is a very interesting piece by Morrison. I’ve also found that the Yes camp resorts to a level of optimism about future politics and economic governance that is mostly difficult to credit in reality. Not that this is necessarily a compelling reason to vote No, but it is something I would want to be open and realistic about if I was involved in a debate – and a feeling that being open and realistic about challenges wasn’t welcome is something that would make me jump ship pretty quickly.

    I do find independence very intuitively appealling but I think that independence movements work best when they have clear majority support – they should be consensus based or need-based. When support is only about 50:50, and only recently that due to the No team being outcampaigned, it’s unclear to me the case is really there. I don’t think forming a country based on a 50.1% Yes vote will be a good thing if it occurs. Ideally there should have been a higher threshhold than simple majority.

    In an Australian context, is there any real difference between this and if WA or North Queensland were to wish to secede? (WA did actually pass a vote to secede but it wasn’t valid so everybody else ignored it.)

    [September 13, 2014 · 9:54 pm
    The British far left and Scottish devolution in 1979

    As the referendum on Scottish independence draws ever closer, Phil BC over at ‘All That is Solid’ (formerly A Very Public Sociologist) has done an excellent job of summarising the positions of the main Trotskyist groups in Britain on Scottish independence. Furthermore, someone on the Leftist Trainspotters mailing list summarised the three possible positions taken by nearly all the far left groups in the UK on the topic:

    YES: Counterfire, ISG (Scotland), SWP, SPEW, rs21 (inc. IS Scotland), SSP, RCPB-ML, Socialist Resistance, Scottish Republican Socialist Movement, Class War, Solidarity, RCG, A World to Win

    NO: Workers Power, Socialist Action, CPGB-ML, AWL, Socialist Appeal, CPB-ML, Socialist Fight, CPB, Spartacist League, International Communist Current, SEP, WRP (Newsline), Communist Workers Organisation (Aurora), International Socialist League, Respect

    ABSTAIN / NO LINE / OTHERS: IS Network (no line but majority for Yes), CPGB(PCC) (abstain), SLP (no position but will respect outcome of vote), SPGB (abstain), Plan C, Left Unity (no position nationally but Republican Socialist Tendency pushing for Yes), Anarchist Federation (vote yes or abstain), Spartacist League (“The referendum does not pose an issue of principle and we are not taking a stand for or against independence”)]

    An example of tensions within the far left over the vote.
    [Counterfire attacks socialist opposition to Scottish nationalism
    By Jordan Shilton
    15 September 2014

    The referendum on Scottish independence has exposed various “left” groups as proponents of a new capitalist state, aimed at deepening the exploitation of workers and building closer ties with global corporations and banks.

    The Counterfire group, a split from Britain’s Socialist Workers Party (SWP), has published, “No excuse for no,” authored by James Meadway. It is a naked piece of political propaganda, which unapologetically boosts the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the official Yes campaign.]

  25. swamprat
    Posted Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    [It’s women over 60 who are the strong No’ers.]

    It’s a;ways women over 60 who are the strong No’ers.

  26. [In an Australian context, is there any real difference between this and if WA or North Queensland were to wish to secede? (WA did actually pass a vote to secede but it wasn’t valid so everybody else ignored it.)]

    I think there is.

    In terms of parallels with UK/Scotland, the AU states have their own legal/justice systems, with a substantial federal/UK jurisdiction; their parliaments are probably stronger than Scotland’s for constitutional reasons; same head of State.

    On the other hand, Scotland was an independent realm for a 1000 years, as opposed to somewhere around 40-50 years of colonial responsible governments; it has own languages, accents, culture, intellectual traditions, history, flag (ie in all key respects a nation) has always run a more distinctive legal system to the rest of the UK; it actually has its own pounds (not always accepted in England, ironically, given the debate) and above all a political culture that is wholly distinct in key respects from England, not least in terms of electoral outcomes. Leading to a classic democratic deficit (elect 1 Tory from 59 seats, get Tory government).

    I accept there perhaps *some* parallels to the latter point in WA/ QLD, but we must also forget that the states have original jurisdictions where the Scottish/ Welsh parliaments are devolved powers from an essentially unitary state: which is in the end a more precarious position to be in, and one which would make independence more appealing than it would to say WA.

    The alternative to Morrison is all those same actors dealing with London. Hardly boosts to No case to my mind.

  27. I love the contortions of the UKIP people –

    “We in the UK cannot be part of the EU because we want to control our own destiny”

    “You in Scotland must remain in the UK however and cannot control your own destiny”

    I feel that the “no” vote will get up in the 52-53% range, but this whole thing may lead not just to “devo-max” but maybe even regional governmnets in a Federal System – like pom (24) above the people I know from the North-East of England have felt abandoned for many years and I think they would welcome some more autonomy from London.

  28. I found that article by Morrison very unconvincing and even a bit suspect.

    He admits he “joined” yes to take part in a debate thought he was a doubter not a supporter and there not being a debate he has joined the No camp.

    The referendum is a one question yes/no: should Scotland be an independent country.

    The yes camp tirelessly debates arguments for yes. The no camp is characterised by a reluctance to debate this but largely relies on advertisements and numerous scare campaigns.

    It would be counter-productive for all the differing yes supporters to waste their energies on debating future policies of an independent nation before it exists.

    It would give a wonderful weapon to the Westminster politicos on disunity and is not relevant to the yes/no question on 18th.

    The numerous parties supporting yes have their own sites spelling out their different positions on Scotland’s future.

    What he seems sad about is the lack of unity amongst the yes groups on the future of an independent nation. Well that is healthy. It’s called democracy.

    He admits to being a Trot once so the fact that after a vote for self-determination a Scottish electorate can debate it’s future is probably unappealing to the one party unity he seems to crave.

    Anyway the Trots support No to self-determination as well, the staunch unionists that they are.:-)

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