Most Scots support keeping the pound after independence


   By a Newsnet reporter

The majority of people in Scotland are in favour of keeping the pound following a Yes vote to independence in next year’s referendum.

A YouGov poll commissioned by the SNP and published in Thursday’s Herald newspaper shows 66% of people want to retain the pound as the currency of an independent Scotland.

A majority of supporters of all the main political parties were in favour of keeping the pound as the currency of an independent Scotland.  The SNP claim that the poll shows that most Scots back the arguments of the Scottish Government for retaining Sterling as the currency of an independent Scotland and entering into a currency union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The poll of over 1,000 voters, carried out between 1 and 3 May, asked the question: “Do you think an independent Scotland should or should not keep the pound?” 66% responded that they were in favour, with only 19% against and 15% who either did not know or had no opinion.

Labour supporters are most likely to support retaining Sterling, with 71% in favour and 19% against.  These figures are within the margin of error for the figures reported for SNP supporters, 69% of whom were in favour and 18% against.  Support for retaining the pound was slightly lower amongst Conservative and Lib Dem voters, with 62% and 64% respectively in favour.

SNP Westminster Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP welcomed the findings and said:

“The pound is Scotland’s currency every bit as much as the rest of the UK’s, and Westminster’s threats have clearly backfired.

“An overwhelming majority of people in Scotland– including Labour, Tory and Lib Dem voters – believe that an independent Scotland should keep the pound.

“That means Scotland having control of all our revenues and taxation policy, so that economic policy is decided by the Scottish Parliament and Government, not by George Osborne.

“Even the chairman of the No campaign, Alistair Darling, said that a currency union after independence is ‘desirable’ and ‘logical’.”

Meanwhile an Ipsos MORI poll was published in Thursday’s Times newspaper.  The poll showed that 39% of Scots would vote SNP if Holyrood elections were held tomorrow, a 3% lead over Labour on 36%.  16% said they would vote Conservative, and 8% Lib Dem.  Others, which include the Greens, the Scottish Socialists, and UKIP, had a combined total of just 1%, showing that UKIP is failing to make the same electoral breakthrough in Scotland as it is currently enjoying in England.

The poll also found that support for independence is on 31%, a slight fall on the figure reported in the previous poll in the series.  Those who said they would vote No totalled 59% and undecideds were 10%.

An SNP spokesperson commented:

“It is excellent to see the SNP maintain a consistent lead over Labour a full six years into government. And at 39 per cent, the SNP have higher support now than when we entered the Holyrood election year in 2011 – in February 2011 SNP support was 37 per cent, and we went on to win our landslide victory in May on the basis of our strong record, team and vision.

“It is also extremely positive that six years into government Alex Salmond’s satisfaction ratings also continue to be positive – compared to David Cameron’s minus 38 after three years as Prime Minister. Indeed, Mr Salmond’s ratings are stronger now than in February 2010, when they were plus 1.

“In terms of independence, the 31 per cent support for Yes in this poll is 1 point up on the same poll last October – and we are confident that we can persuade a majority of our fellow citizens between now and September 2014 that good government with independence is better than bad government from Westminster.”