By Dave Taylor
The December poll for Ipsos-MORI that showed 51% intending to vote SNP for the Holyrood Parliament, has now published the tables for its questions on the constitution.
Of those certain to vote in a referendum, 35% support “a proposal to extend the powers of the Scottish Parliament to enable Scotland to become an independent country, which is no longer part of the UK”, while 58% disagree. 8% are undecided.
However, 68% agree with “a proposal to extend the powers of the Scottish Parliament to include more laws and duties and all tax-raising powers, while Scotland remains part of the UK”, with only 28% disagreeing, and only 4% undecided.
Importantly, this poll allows us to see the attitude of those supporting independence to the possibility of significantly more powers, but which fall short of independence.
A quarter of those disagreeing with the “Devo-Max/Indy-Lite” support full independence, and will settle for nothing less.
- 6% want full independence only, and would vote against increasing Holyrood’s powers if there is to be a continuing UK link
- 31% also want full independence but would prefer significantly greater powers rather than the status quo
- 38% want “Devo-Max/Indy-Lite”, but not independence
- 22% want the status quo, and no further powers for Scotland
- 4% are undecided.
74%, therefore, want a massive increase of powers to the Scottish Parliament, including the whole tax regime. We know from other polling that the powers that most Scots want to share with the remainder of the UK are largely restricted to Defence and Foreign Affairs. To that, we can probably add the maintenance of a Fiscal Union with rUK.
In essence, the economic and social arguments for Scotland to be virtually a self-governing nation have been won.
If the Westminster parties continue to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the overwhelming opinion of the Scottish people, then both their electoral prospects, and the survival of any remaining aspects of the UK Union will hang on a very shoogly peg.
There are precedents elsewhere for what most Scots say they want. For example, in the Spanish Union – the Basque country or in the Italian Union – South Tyrol. It’s not exactly revolutionary!
Westminster and Whitehall have a long history of conceding too little, too late. Sadly, there is no indication that anything has changed.