Friday, May 13, 2011

This sounds mighty familiar....

Here's a bit from UK Polling Report on the results of a recent poll on Scottish Independence:

In Scotland 29% of people support Independence, 58% of people were opposed (this survey asked a generic support or oppose independence question, but the result was almost identical to when we asked questions on how people would vote in a referendum on independence for Scotsman prior to the election)

Asked if Scotland or England & Wales benefited more from the Union, Scottish respondents tended to think it was quite even – 40% thought both partners benefitted equally, 32% that England and Wales benefitted more, 21% that Scotland benefits more. Scots also tended to think that both sides of the Union would be worse off if Scotland was independent. 43% thought England & Wales would be financially worse off without Scotland (only 14% thought they’d be better off), and 47% thought Scotland would be financially worse off if it became independent (28% thought Scotland would be better off). In Scotland, while a large minority support independence and think Scotland would be better off independent, the general view seems to be that the Union is a partnership that benefits both sides, roughly evenly.
Compare this with England and Wales. English and Welsh respondents are pretty evenly split on Scottish independence – 41% would support Scotland becoming independent, 40% would oppose it (meaning, of course, that Scottish independence is actually somewhat more popular with the English and Welsh than with the Scots). Perceptions amongst the English & Welsh are that Scotland currently gets the better deal from the Union – 54% think Scotland benefits more, compared to 27% who think it is equal and 8% who think England and Wales get the better deal.

54% of respondents in England & Wales think that Scotland would be worse off financially if it became independent (15% think Scotland would be better off), and 40% think that England & Wales would be financially better off without Scotland (14% think England & Wales would be worse off). Overall, English and Welsh respondents think that the Union favours Scotland far more than it does England.

Finally YouGov asked if the future of Scotland should be up to Scottish voters alone, or if there should also be a referendum of English and Welsh voters. In practice this would raise some tricky questions anyway – exactly what would you do if Scotland voted for independence and England and Wales voted no – try and keep Scotland against its will? (Or indeed, vice-versa, if Scotland rejected Independence, but England and Wales wanted Scotland to go?) As it happens, there does not seem to be any great demand for England & Wales to have a say anyway – 34% of English and Welsh respondents said there should also be a vote in England and Wales, but 42% said the decision should be made by Scottish voters alone.
Replace "Scotland" with "Quebec" and "England & Wales" with "the Rest of Canada," and minus the 58-29 split in favour of staying with the Union, you've got the exact same situation here.

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