Only a third of Scots trust Westminster parties to deliver more powers


  By a Newsnet reporter
Only around a third of people trust the Westminster parties to deliver more powers for Scotland, according to an analysis of independence referendum polls published by the Library of the House of Lords.
The study, which looked at surveys from several polling companies, also concluded that the referendum race will be too close to call.

The analysis found that only 30% of people in Scotland believe that more powers will be devolved in the event of a No vote, despite the promises of the three Unionist parties.

The result reflects the findings of a recent Panelbase poll commissioned by Yes Scotland which found only 35 per cent of respondents trust the Westminster parties to deliver any extra powers in the event of a No vote.  That same survey put the gap between Yes and No at just 3%.

The Lords Library looked at data from Ipsos MORI, ICM, Panelbase, Survation, TNS-BMRB and YouGov from as far back as 1979.  It also included data from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey.

It concluded: “In spite of what polling and survey data can tell us, there are many uncertainties surrounding the outcome of the independence referendum.

“Ultimately, pollsters and campaigners alike will have to wait until September 18 to see how the Scottish public will vote.”

A single poll which showed Yes in front was believed to have been skewed by having a leading question before the independence question.  However the analysis also highlighted inconsistencies in other polls which left experts, “unsure whether No still enjoy a relatively comfortable lead or whether the Yes side are at least within sight of the winning post”.

Some observers have already highlighted an overrepresentation in No leaning groups amongst certain pollsters.  It is also known that the samples used by pollsters may not in fact reflect the views of people who do not take part in general elections but who will take part in the referendum.

Commenting on the analysis, Blair Jenkins, Chief Executive of Yes Scotland, said:

“The empty promises by the anti-independence parties of more powers for the Scottish Parliament is evidence that the ground is shifting beneath them.

“They know they are losing the argument and that is the only reason they are now talking about more powers.

“But these figures show that only a third of people in Scotland trust them to deliver – and in any event what is being proposed falls far short of what Scotland needs.  What we need are powers over job creation, welfare and defence so that we can build a more prosperous, fairer country which is free of nuclear weapons.

Highlighting a recent spat between Labour and the Conservatives which saw Labour’s devolution proposals described as a “horrible compromise”, Mr Jenkins added:

“And the Westminster parties are now attacking each other’s proposals – if the No campaign parties don’t believe each other, why should the people if Scotland?
“I believe that as people focus more and more on this debate, they will conclude that all the decisions about Scotland need to be made by people living here, because we are best placed to make them.”