Exclusive Poll on Scottish Independence

Exclusive Poll on Scottish Independence

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An exclusive poll conducted by TNS for scotlandseptember18.com has revealed fundamental issues over the forthcoming referendum in Scotland. Commenting Sir Tom Hunter stated;

“As we step one day closer to taking an irreversible decision over Scotland’s future 73% of voters find it hard to know who to believe – that is a terrible travesty . The deluge of contradictory “evidence”, lack of knowledge combined with distrust in both Governments forecasts leaves many at best confused and at worst sick and tired of the debate.

“This is an appalling state of affairs brought about by both sides of the debate and is an affront to our democracy. The future of our nation is rightly in the hands of our population but that population is being enveloped by a thick fog of obfuscation.

“I would call on both sides of the debate to step up their games, be honest with their predictions and engage the population over the priorities that matter to them most in voting yes or no – healthcare, employment and the economy  according to this poll.

“Furthermore given the incredible lack of knowledge in regards to new powers due Scotland and offers of increased devolution, surely a far more effective communications campaign is called for so at least as we make this historic vote we know our options well.

“Finally it now seems, in the voters mind at least, this is no longer a vote about independence or not, it’s a vote about devo-max or independence with only 22% of voters now supporting the status quo. Why on earth the ballot paper never reflected that second option appears bewildering at best to me.”  Concluded Hunter who established scotlandseptember18.com to provide impartial and objective advice for voters and to inform his own decision as an undecided.

Key findings of the poll conducted over face to face interviews include:

  • 32% of all adults aged 16+ intend to vote yes and 46% no (compared to 29% and 42% respectively in Scotlandseptember18.com’s last poll in January 2014); undecided voters have fallen from 29% in January to 22%
  • Among undecided voters in this latest poll, 56% do not feel they have enough information to make a decision
  • Respondents were presented with three possible options for the future of Scotland – status quo, Devo-max and full independence – and were asked which they would prefer most.  The proportion of voters supporting the status quo has dropped from 31% to 22%, whereas the proportion supporting the transfer of more powers from Westminster (‘Devo-max’) has increased from 35% to 39%.  In this three option scenario, support for full independence has also risen from24% to 30%
  • Asked if Scotland returned a no vote who would they prefer to lead the Scottish Government after the next election in 2016, 29% said the SNP, 28% Labour, Conservatives 9% with the Lib Dems and UKIP tied at 4%
  • When considering whose predictions about the Scottish economy they trusted most, 45% don’t  trust either the Scottish or Westminster Government, with 25% trusting the Scottish Government and 18% the UK Government, 56% of undecided voters trust neither Government
  • 63% agreed with the statement “I’ve given up listening to the debate as both sides just contradict each other” vs. 22% disagreeing
  • 73% agreed, the majority (52%) strongly, with the statement “because both sides make different claims its hard to know who to believe”
  • A majority of voters do not know which powers are already devolved to the Scottish parliament and only 23% claim to be aware of the additional devolution on offer from any of the three main parties supporting a no vote
  • 68% are unaware of the additional devolved powers coming to Scotland as a result of the Scotland Act 2012
  • Agreement that the Better Together campaign has been negative rather than positive has increased, since the last poll commissioned by scotlandseptember18.com, from 38% to 51%. In contrast, the Yes Scotland campaign is considered more positively – 41% disagree their campaign has been negative rather than positive, compared to 30% in January’s poll.  Views towards independence and knowledge of the issues vary considerably by social grade.  Those in the higher social grades (ABC1s) are more likely to vote no (50% vs. 28% yes), whereas support for Independence is higher among those in the lower social grades (C2DEs 36% vs. 41% no).  ABC1s are also more likely to say they have all the information they need to make a decision – 41% vs. 30% of C2DEs.
  • 59% would prefer an independent Scotland to be a member of the EU; of those intending to vote yes 65% are in favour of EU membership; of those intending to vote no 61%


“There is clear evidence that the environment of claim and counter claim by the two campaigns is not impressing the voters or indeed helping them to make an informed decision” commented Tom Costley, Head of TNS in Scotland. “It has also highlighted the fact that despite more voters claiming to have decided which way to vote in September, neither of the campaigns appear to have benefitted particularly”.

To download the full poll voters can go to scotlandseptember18.com For further media information contact Ewan Hunter on 07803 904769

Notes to editors:

1. A sample of 1,004 adults aged 16+ was interviewed in 69 constituencies across Scotland over the period 10th – 23rd June 2014.

2. To ensure the sample was representative of the adult population of Scotland, it was weighted to match population profile estimates in the analysis. Data was also weighted to match turnout and share of constituency vote from the 2011 Holyrood election, as recorded in SPICe Briefing 11-29 2011 Scottish Parliament Election Results

3. All interviews were conducted face-to-face, in-home using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) and quota sampling.


Download the Survey Data


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