Scotland unlikely to leave the UK

August 10th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Support for Scottish independence has fallen following a TV debate this week and the campaign to split the United Kingdom will need a dramatic turnaround if it is to win a forthcoming referendum, the latest poll shows. 

The Survation poll for the Scottish Daily Mail newspaper said 50 per cent of respondents planned to vote against independence in a ballot due on September 18 that will decide whether breaks its 307-year union with England.

It was the highest level of support for remaining part of the United Kingdom in all Survation polls since February.

By contrast, just 37 percent said they planned to vote for a split while 13 per cent said they were undecided. Excluding undecided voters, support for independence stood at 43 per cent against 57 per cent in favour of the union.

It’s a pity in a way. I think England might do better without Scotland dragging it down. Don’t get me wrong – Scotland is a great country, but they chew up more than their share of UK expenditure.

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44 Responses to “Scotland unlikely to leave the UK”

  1. DJP6-25 (1,364 comments) says:

    You’re right. It would likely guarantee a Conservative majority for a long time to come. There are only one or two Conservative seats in the whole country.

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  2. Dave Mann (1,207 comments) says:

    Oh OK DPF, so what do you think about Cornwall being independent then? Nothing much happens in Cornwall and I’m sure the Cornwallian economy doesn’t contribute much to the City of London. Should they be independent too? Bradford? Oh wait… the Isle of Wight… now THERE’S a nice little country ready-made waiting for independence. It could be a tax haven…. the possibilities are endless…. :)

    [DPF: Cornwall isn't a country. Scotland is]

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  3. redqueen (553 comments) says:

    They aren’t stupid: they know good a deal they are getting. The whole ‘petro-economy’ idea is a fading ideal (the North Sea is still productive, but it won’t last forever). They are already tax beneficiaries…and that will only grow. Also, the world appears to be getting a bit worse at the moment (war, pestilence, and natural disaster), so rocking the boat right now probably doesn’t seem as good an idea as it once did.

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  4. Scott1 (513 comments) says:

    Yes… but separating a country is a big cost in a developed economy.
    It would hurt Scotland more than England – but it would still hurt England.
    Short to medium term I guess that would be a bigger issue than conservative vs Labour voting.

    Long term I don’t know.

    It might help England and it might help the conservatives – but it is possible that English party affiliation would realign at the margins as people who were conservative voters started to vote labour because while previously voting labour meant subsidizing Scotland, in the new design it might mean subsidizing them personally. And in addition to that – I have read that the more homogeneous a country the more likely it is to have a socialist government structure.

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  5. James Stephenson (2,145 comments) says:

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens next, becuase a “no” vote will still result in increased devolution and likely increased resentment from the English regions. Really the best option for the whole group of islands is a federation including Ireland.

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  6. Ross Nixon (559 comments) says:

    I think the extensive North Sea oil and gas reserves will last a lot longer than people expect. Scotland could be in for a ‘boom’ period, especially when WW3 starts.

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  7. redqueen (553 comments) says:

    @ Dave Mann

    Cornwall isn’t actively seeking independence and it’s amazing how the Anglos are usually the one’s favouring it (same with Welsh ‘nationalism’). The economy is lacklustre, but reasonable stable, and the Cornish aren’t currently under any delusions of grandeur (compared with the Scots). So that’s a strawman, if ever there was one.

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  8. s.russell (1,603 comments) says:

    “I think England might do better without Scotland dragging it down. ”

    Aye! Tis’ probably the best reason for the Scots to remain in the union!

    Seriously though: In the longer run independence might force Scotland to confront the issues which it can at present cover up in the flood of English money coming north. Rather in the same way that tough welfare reform is painful for beneficiaries in the short term but ultimately leaves them better off out of the trap of benefit dependency.

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  9. PaulL (5,954 comments) says:

    The problem is that instead of England saying “right, turns out they want to stay with us, let’s stop pandering to them”, they’ll give them more stuff.

    I think the UK should take a hard look at itself, and go much more federal, including a parliament for England. They could then allow taxation raising powers for those “states”, including income tax powers. It would let Scotland try the things they want to try (and, in my opinion, fail at them) without all the cost of independence, and without there having to be income transfers from England to Scotland.

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  10. Anthony (789 comments) says:

    I’m of Scottish descent but never heard any of the constant griping about the English that a lot of Scottish people still seem to do. What a sad existence – and reminds me of a race much closer to home who get special benefits yet still gripe all the time!

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  11. JMS (315 comments) says:

    Really the best option for the whole group of islands is a federation including Ireland.

    If the British govt had played its cards right and created a nation with a similar structure to the USA, that would likely now be the case, but about two centuries ago they chose the divide-and-conquer path. The rest is history.

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  12. stephieboy (2,707 comments) says:

    Hoots DPF, do yer Ken.? Obviously a closeted .sassanach ( Anglo saxon ). !

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  13. MH (703 comments) says:

    kilting at windmills…I’m of Scots ascent.

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  14. Bill Bennett (31 comments) says:

    “It’s a pity in a way. I think England might do better without Scotland dragging it down.”

    While that’s true up to a point, it applies far more to Wales or Northern Ireland. And for that matter there are English regions which drag the UK economy down more than Scotland does.

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  15. Unity (493 comments) says:

    Good news if they vote to stay in because Scotland would certainly lose out in the long term if they chose independence. I doubt they could do it on their own anyway.

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  16. alwyn (411 comments) says:

    Assuming the vote is to remain in the Union, how long do you think it will be before Salmond will be demanding another vote?
    He seems to me to be the sort of man who regards a vote that goes his way as being final, and never to be repeated. If it goes against him it must be re-held in a couple of years.

    I was truly amazed when I first visited Scotland at the hatred that was shown by the Scots to anything English. On one trip the Football World Cup was on and we were in a pub in Edinburgh. England were playing that evening. The Barmaid announced that there would be free drinks for everyone if the opposing team scored against England, and they did pay out. Unfortunately England still won, to the great unhappiness of most present.

    If you do visit make sure they realise that you are from New Zealand, NOT from England.

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  17. Bill Bennett (31 comments) says:

    It would be interesting to turn the discussion around. How would the rest of the UK vote in the referendum if it had a chance? Would the English decide to dump Scotland?

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  18. RRM (9,786 comments) says:

    I bet they would leave if Colin Craig took legal action…

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  19. calendar girl (1,214 comments) says:

    The Scots have been scared off their independence dream by the realisation that they would be hard-pressed to support their own currency indefinitely. After the Bank of England, the Treasurer and the Opposition parties all made it clear that the pound cannot remain an option for an independent Scotland, the alternatives do not appear entirely attractive to the breakaway fledgling:
    a) create a separate Scots currency, with no big brother to bail them out when banks or the economy hit trouble; or
    b) join the Euro zone (on Brussels’ new conditions, of course) and effectively lose much of their sovereignty and economic flexibility.

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  20. wreck1080 (3,863 comments) says:

    ha ha, nice one.

    never thought about it that way, england are desperately trying to dissuade scotland from doing this.

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  21. big bruv (13,689 comments) says:

    “Would the English decide to dump Scotland?”

    In a heartbeat!

    While there are those who say that the Scots have no great love for the English (and that is true) it can also be said that in true arrogant English style they have little time for those north of the border.

    I suspect the UK Labour party are the one who are most worried about this referendum, should the Jocks decide to go on their own it would make it very hard for the UK Labour party to ever win a general election.

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  22. Michael (903 comments) says:

    Alex Salmond is promising a right to citizenship of Scotland by having a grandparent born there. Which would mean I would qualify for citizenship as my Grandmother was born there just over 100 years ago, and left 6 months later.

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  23. Bill Bennett (31 comments) says:

    “I suspect the UK Labour party are the one who are most worried about this referendum, should the Jocks decide to go on their own it would make it very hard for the UK Labour party to ever win a general election.”

    I’m pretty sure politics in whatever remains of the UK would realign if that were the case – possibly into something more resembling America’s Democrats and Republicans. And let’s not forget the UKIP would be part of that.

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  24. Bill Bennett (31 comments) says:

    One other thing. If Scotland did leave the United Kingdom, what would it be called. I’ve heard some describe it as the Former United Kingdom or FUK. It’s almost worth voting just to have that acronym turn up at things like the United Nations, European Union and the Olympics.

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  25. PaulL (5,954 comments) says:

    The English don’t want to become a (n even more) second rate country. So they’ll hold on.

    When we were in Edinburgh recently all the talk was about the referendum. When we were in Glasgow, we asked our cabbie about it. He said “that, it’s for people in Edinburgh. Nobody else cares about it.” There’s a small group in the political class whipping up excitement, mostly because they think it would mean they’d have an ability to rule forever – as always this is about money and power.

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  26. adze (2,093 comments) says:

    I guess Sean Connery will have to remain in self-imposed exile in the Bahamas until he leaves this mortal coil after all.

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  27. edward_l (14 comments) says:

    Alistair Darling was quite effective in the debate with Jamie Salmond.
    ‘If you don’t get a currency union what is plan B?’
    ‘A currency union only works if you have a political union’.
    ‘You can’t tell us what currency we’re going to have.’
    ‘Best of both worlds.’
    ‘Enjoy the advantage of no new boundaries, no new borders.’

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  28. Newbie (48 comments) says:

    If there is a split, what will happen to the defence forces? Will they be separate, or continue as one?

    Edit to add: If they are separate, will the Scots be able to afford to pay for their own defence forces?

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  29. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    I hope Scotland goes for independence. It’s been a long time coming. Some things are more important than money – it might not make sense, but it feels right for many. Nil Se’n La Scotland!

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  30. Bill Bennett (31 comments) says:

    “Some things are more important than money”.

    That’s a good point. After all, if it was JUST about money, we’d be a state of Australia by now.

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  31. Maggy Wassilieff (329 comments) says:

    Níl sé’n lá,….. Why use Irish?

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  32. Wally.Anchor (21 comments) says:

    Surely if England was to be so much better off without Scotland, they’d expel them?

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  33. big bruv (13,689 comments) says:

    ” we’d be a state of Australia by now.”

    Still a bloody great idea.

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  34. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Maggy Wassilieff (281 comments) says:
    August 10th, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Why not? The direct translation is ‘its not day’ – however, I was meaning the popular translation of ‘seize the day’ – encouraging the Scots to do just that. It’s a very popular saying now, but I first heard it in a pub in Glasgow, of all places!

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  35. Maggy Wassilieff (329 comments) says:

    Lots of Irish in Glasgow. Their Gaelic is not my Gaelic

    The Scots Gaelic of seize the day is gabh an latha

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  36. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Maggy Wassilieff (282 comments) says:
    August 10th, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Yeah, but I wasn’t posting it for you – more from a memory of being in Glasgow! Sorry if you were offended !

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  37. spanish_tudor (63 comments) says:

    alwyn (2:59 pm)

    “Assuming the vote is to remain in the Union, how long do you think it will be before Salmond will be demanding another vote?
    He seems to me to be the sort of man who regards a vote that goes his way as being final, and never to be repeated. If it goes against him it must be re-held in a couple of years.”

    No different to those republicans then….

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  38. Maggy Wassilieff (329 comments) says:

    No offence taken. Just thought you might have your finger on the pulse as to the implications of the Scottish vote on Irish Unification.

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  39. Unity (493 comments) says:

    Scotland would never get by without assistance from England and the sensible ones know it. They would be utter fools to vote for independence.

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  40. Fentex (923 comments) says:

    It’s a pity in a way. I think England might do better without Scotland dragging it down. Don’t get me wrong – Scotland is a great country, but they chew up more than their share of UK expenditure.

    Well sure, now that the North Sea Oil has been mostly exploited and Scotland’s contributions to the Industrial Revolution been absorbed. So what if so many billions and advances came from Scotland? What have they done for England lately? Apparently it being about what is done for England and not the United Kingdom.

    The very reason I suppose some Scots want rid of the sassanachs (which, as a matter of coincidental interest I researched recently after watching a drama set in Scotland – Sassanach is Celtic for Saxon, the origin of the term for the English, and now also other foreigners to Scotland).

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  41. Paulus (2,603 comments) says:

    Listening to Alex Salmond reminds me of our Green Anarchist Aussie Know all

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  42. Harriet (4,798 comments) says:

    “….I’m of Scottish descent but never heard any of the constant griping about the English that a lot of Scottish people still seem to do. What a sad existence – and reminds me of a race much closer to home who get special benefits yet still gripe all the time!…”

    Scotsmen: White Maoris.

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  43. Cratagis (2 comments) says:

    This thread is so full of ill-informed nonsense and half-truths, I’m really not sure where to begin…

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  44. Craigrostan (1 comment) says:

    I created this account purely because I’ve never read so much crap about the referendum. Do you guys really live in the same world as the Scots who live in Scotland? Luckily you matter not one jot when it comes to the vote outcome. The levels of stupidity and lack of understanding of the political situation astound me.

    I am a home born Scot, have lived here all my life being involved with the independence movement for close to 40 years, and at lease can say I have a modicum of understanding of our situation.

    So guys/gals, come one keep your opinions to yourselves until you actually go do the necessary research on the subject. I don’t care if your opinion is for yes or no, do your research then comment, don’t just open your mouthes and spew forth garbage

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