By Martin Kelly

Most Scots agree that the No campaign must define exactly what a No vote will mean, according to results from a newly published survey.

According to a new Panelbase poll carried out on behalf of the SNP, five times more people in Scotland want the consequences of a No vote to be defined, than do not.

The survey which was carried out by Panelbase between December 13th and 20th on behalf of the SNP, asked 1012 adults if they believed those arguing for a No vote should publish their own version of the Scottish Government’s Independence White Paper.

A whopping 70% of those polled said Yes, against just 14% who said No with 16% yet to decide.

As with previous surveys carried out by Panelbase, there was a breakdown of responses along party lines which showed a majority amongst supporters of every major party in Scotland in favour of a No document.

Among people who voted Labour in the Scottish Parliament constituency vote in 2011, 68% believe that No campaigners should publish such a document with 14% against; 58% of Tory voters want this information with 29% against; 76% of Lib Dem voters want these details from No with 15% against; and 75% of SNP voters think No campaigners should publish a document with 12% against.

Welcoming the figures, the Deputy First Minister and SNP Depute Leader Nicola Sturgeon, who will on Monday address an audience at the University of St Andrews, said:

“Last November, the Scottish Government published a detailed, 670-page guide setting out a wealth of information and answering questions about how an independent Scotland will work.

“But the referendum is not a choice between change or no change – it is a choice between two futures, and therefore those arguing for a No vote have an obligation to set out what would happen to Scotland after a No. Former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish also backed this position at the weekend.

“People in Scotland want such a document by a factor of five-to-one – with majorities across supporters of all political parties – and this New Year is the time for the No campaign to start answering the hard questions and publishing detailed information about what would happen if Scotland votes No.

“For example, if Westminster retains control over Scotland, how much would Scotland’s budget be cut by, would we still be in Europe in 2020, and how many more children would be plunged into poverty as a result of UK welfare cuts?

“As this poll demonstrates, people want answers from No.”

The pro-Union Better Together campaign has consistently refused to address what the consequences of a No vote might be.  There have been concerns raised that Scotland’s block grant may be under threat if the Barnett Formula was to be scrapped after a No vote.

A spokesman for Better Together said: “The SNP’s White Paper manifesto for breaking up the UK was nothing more than a wish list without a price list.

“Rather than facing up to the consequences of breaking up the UK, the nationalists promise us the sun would shine brighter everyday if only we were independent.  The idea that the White Paper was compelling is, frankly, laughable.

“There is a strong positive case for Scotland remaining part of the UK.  Today we have the best of both worlds – a strong Scottish Parliament with responsibility for schools, hospitals and childcare, and we benefit from being part of the larger UK.

“Why would we want to trade the strength and security of being part of the UK for the risk and uncertainty of independence?”

The UK Government argued against a so-called third option of Devo-Max from being included on the referendum ballot paper when negotiations with the Scottish Government took place.

The referendum question will now only ask voters if Scotland should be an independent country, with an option for either Yes or No.


Marga B
2014-01-06 17:56

OT but interesting chart of The Economist this week on elections in the world in 2014 (comments allowed):…/…
2014-01-06 19:22

Same old, same old. All the usual rhetoric and no substance nor answers…the good old union!
2014-01-06 19:27

From what George Osborne has said today, a No vote would mean another 25 Billion pound cut, much of it from the Welfare system impacting mainly on the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

As for David Camerons statement, “We are all in this together”, it does feel like some of us are more in it than others.
2014-01-06 21:18

The difference between the 670 page document, “Scotland’s Future” and the couple of sentence response from the No campaign, i.e. “We are Better Together” needs to be ruthlessly highlighted. We are entitled to answers instead of the crap they have produced so far. It’s no longer a joke. All parties, Labour, Tories and LibDems must produce detailed plans for Scotland and then work together to come up with an agreed list of powers to be transferred to Holyrood to beef up devolution. And with built in guarantees that powers transferred cannot be so easily removed as was done last year by the HoL. And before September 18th! So they need to get cracking! We have a right to know what a No vote will mean for Scotland.
2014-01-06 23:16

Good grief, John Curtice just agreed with me on Newsnicht Scotland that Labour and Tories must set out at their Spring conferences what they are prepared to offer Scotland then work together to draw up an agreement on this. And I don’t have a crystal ball, honest!
2014-01-07 00:31

Blair McDougall and Project Feart insist in telling us that devolution provides Scotland with “the best of both worlds”. But what his latest poll tells him is that it is Devo-Max that Scots regard as “the best of both worlds”. So, how about Westminster types? Are you prepared to offer Scotland Devo-Max, the option you refused to place on the ballot paper? Are you prepared to give Scotland full control over all its taxes (including oil), welfare, pensions and Trident? For that is what Devo-Max will entail. And, if so, what guarantees will you offer that these powers that come with Devo-Max will not be revoked after a No vote? You know–power devolved is power retained and all that. Given your previous form in such promises, we will want cast-iron guarantees–nothing less.

Devo-Max with cast-iron guarantees or we’ll walk. Which is it to be?

Oh, you can’t bind a future UK Govt? Well, that kinda settles the issue, doesn’t it.

Independence it is then.
2014-01-07 03:16

You know what? I really hope in the coming TV debates it is highlighted that Scotland`s struggle with Westminster has been a long one with many broken promises along the way.

There`s absolutely no way we should trust What comes from the palace of Westminster, they have been picking our pockets for as long as we`ve been siding with them and punching us in the face when we mention taking a bit more control of our interests.

This is the year when the UK`s dirty laundry is aired in public and if the YES Campaign doesn`t change strategy then we might lose this long struggle.

We all need to chip in though, if we succeed this will be seen as the blue print in how to gain independence around the world for the next century at least.

Lets inspire and lead in the world once again! You don`t need to be a world power to have influence.
call me dave
2014-01-07 04:22

Yes we have a right to the information but do we need it in order to make a decision?

Labour jam and Tory jam, as we will see, is not better together. The chances of Lamont and Ruthie standing on the same stall offering such a product is remote in the extreme. Only the foolish would try it, it’s sell by date is 1979.

Lets make our own jam!
2014-01-07 05:47

We are all aware of the Edinburgh Agreement and of course the ECs oversight and recommendations    . Both parties agreed to adhere to those recommendations    :…/…

“Both governments have agreed to bring forward a statement, publish a joint statement, that is what people want and it is something they could believe from both governments, not one side against the other.”

Now we know that the SG have delivered on their end of the bargain struck. Westminster haven’t delivered as yet, but I’m sure their case will be along any month now. 🙂

Once its out there, they’ll have to defend/justify their case. Right now its suits them simply to attack the only case being made for the future. I suspect theirs may not be quite so promising.
2014-01-07 07:15

MacArt – The Electoral Commission gave a deadline of 20 Dec 13 for submissions to inform the Scottish electorate:

Somehow I think Better Together have failed to meet it.
2014-01-07 11:24

I believe that’s because they’re stuck with trying to sell status quo to the public. If that’s true, they’ll hang onto that statement as long as they possibly can.
2014-01-07 18:59

The London based parties only wanted the EC involved to give them some leverage over the process.
Other than that,they are not interested.

2014-01-07 10:04

Unfortunately, Macart, the get out clause for no we cannae is “publish a joint statement”. They refuse to negotiate in advance of the referendum, then the media spin it that both sides are equally to blame for there being no joint statement.
2014-01-07 10:23

Oh they’ll drag their heels alright, but as per the agreement, they’ll have to issue it prior to the referendum campaign period. The longer they delay the dodgier they look.
2014-01-07 18:26

Quoting Macart:

The longer they delay the dodgier they look.

Could they look dodgier? Have they not already broken the dodginess record?

2014-01-07 20:49

Oh hell, we know that, but how does it look to the undecided? They’re the people who are waiting to see which way Westminster jumps. They’re in for a shock though. I’m betting on status quo with a side order of jam tomorrow being the default position. No promises, no guarantees just stick with us and wait and see. 🙂

call me dave
2014-01-07 13:57

Henry trying from behind the curtain to get Lamont etal on to the stage to make a positive case for ‘NO’.

“Better tomorrow”! Aye right.

Henry! Screw your courage to the sticking place!

Put the case forward for ‘NO’ yourself or better still join the YES side.

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