By a Newsnet reporter
The pound is as much ours as it is the rest of the United Kingdom’s most Scots believe, according to a newly published poll.
A new survey conducted by polling firm Panelbase, has found nearly three quarters of people living in Scotland believe the pound belongs to Scotland as much as it belongs to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The survey, which was commissioned by the SNP, asked respondents: “Thinking about the possibility of an independent Scotland in the future, do you agree or disagree that the pound sterling belongs to Scotland as much as it belongs to the rest of the UK?”

It found that 70% said it also belonged to Scotland, against only 18% who disagreed and 12% who did not know.

A breakdown on party lines found 65% of Labour voters agreed the pound also belonged to Scotland, compared to 22% who disagreed.  Among Lib Dem voters it was 52% to 32%, and 86% to 7% among SNP voters respectively.

Only among Tory voters in Scotland did fewer agree (41%) than disagreed (49%), although still less than half were against the idea that the pound also belongs to Scotland.

The poll also showed the Yes campaign continuing to close the gap on its rivals, with views on independence showing Yes still on 37% – the same as two weeks ago, but No down 2pts to 47% and undecided up two to 16%.

The survey quizzed respondents on their reaction to the recent visit to Scotland by UK Chancellor George Osborne and his threat to block a currency union between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The survey asked: “In recent days the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has said that the UK Government would not share the pound with an independent Scotland in a currency union.  The Scottish Government has said that sharing the pound would be in the interests of both an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK, and therefore a currency union will happen.  Have these statements on the pound changed how you will vote in the referendum?”

The survey found 26 per cent were more likely to vote Yes, 19 per cent more likely to vote No and over half, 55 per cent, said it made no difference to how they would vote.

On the impact of Westminster based interventions in general, the poll showed a significant move in favour of Yes.

Asked, “In general terms, do you think that high profile media interventions by Westminster-based politicians attacking the idea of an independent Scotland:”

43% said it had benefited the Yes campaign, 25% said it had benefited the No campaign and 20% said it made no difference.  12% said they did not know.

A breakdown showed that 37% of Labour voters in 2011 think these interventions benefit Yes most, compared to 30% who think they benefit No most.  43% of Lib Dem voters think they benefit Yes most, just 24% No.

Commenting, SNP Depute Leader and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“These are very encouraging figures, indicating a two-point tightening of the gap since the last Panelbase poll two weeks ago.  Yes is now at 44 per cent once ‘don’t knows’ are excluded.  The poll also demonstrates that Westminster politicians trying to lay down the law to Scotland is backfiring, with nearly two-to-one believing that these attacks on the idea of independence benefit the Yes campaign most, rather than No.  Far more people are more likely to vote Yes rather than No as a result of the currency debate.

“And when thinking about independence, people believe that the pound belongs to Scotland every bit as as much as it belongs to the rest of the UK by a factor of nearly four-to-one.

“There is strong support for that proposition among Labour and Lib Dem voters as well as SNP, and even among Tory voters only a minority disagree with it. This finding is a revealing insight into why George Osborne’s sermon on the pound – foolishly agreed to by Labour’s Ed Balls, as well as Danny Alexander – backfired. 

“And just the week after Mr Osborne’s speech, we now have the deputy leader of the Scottish Tories saying he would want an independent Scotland to keep the pound with a currency union – which is exactly what will happen.”

On Friday, Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative party Jackson Carlaw agreed that a currrency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK was “sensible” and confirmed he would back such a stance in the event of a Yes vote.

Speaking on Brian Taylor’s Big Debate programme on BBC Radio Scotland, Mr Carlaw said:  “Brian, if we vote for independence in September, I’ll be manning the barricades with Bill Kidd, because I will be a Scot in a country that has decided to vote for independence and I will be arguing for us to keep the pound – I will be arguing for us to be automatically in the European Union.”

The Panelbase survey also asked those taking part for their views on a TV debate between First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron.

It asked: “This coming Monday, both the UK Government Cabinet and the Scottish Government Cabinet will be meeting close to each other in the North East of Scotland. Do you think that this would be an appropriate opportunity for a televised referendum debate between Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond to argue the case for an independent Scotland, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron to argue the case for the UK?”

It found two thirds (66%) agreed, with just 21% against the idea, and 13% saying they didn’t know.

A breakdown showed 47% of Tory voters in 2011 agreed, compared to 46% who disagreed.  58% of Labour voters agreed, compared to 26% who disagreed.  Among Lib Dem voters it was 49% to 37% and 82% to 11% among SNP voters respectively.

Ms Sturgeon added: “As David Cameron prepares to bring his Cabinet to Scotland, people overwhelmingly think he should find some courage and debate face-to-face with Alex Salmond – even more Tory voters agree than disagree.  The people of Scotland want to see a referendum debate between the leaders of the Scottish and UK governments, yet David Cameron still refuses.  He can’t keep this up for ever – he can run but he can’t hide.”


2014-02-23 13:04

I have a theory about the accuracy of polls. I reckon pollsters don’t put enough emphasis on how likely each individaul is to vote. They may hold views, they may be willing to express them, but how many times did they actually vote in the last 10 elections/referenda? Even that may not completely predict how likely they are to vote next time. I believe strength of belief and therefore motivation to turn out, is a big variable polls can miss.

That maybe why polls got UK 1992 and Scottish 2011 so wrong.

So what does that mean for Sept 2014 and the accuracy of the several polls a week we see?

My own believe is that those who wish change must be more motivated that those who simply want to stay with the status quo. I see it as ‘get up and go’ versus ‘stay in a rut’. I predict right up until September, the polls will understimate the percentage Yes among those who actually vote on the day by between 5-10%.

That poll is the one which counts!
2014-02-26 08:22

The TNS poll that reported just before Osborne’s intervention measured determination to vote. 84% of Yes supporters reported being determined to vote vs 73% of No supporters. For Don’t Knows only 67% are determined to vote.

If you ignore DK’s and apply those figures to the polls then they worth a good 5% to Yes. So a gap of 10% in the polls is a dead heat on referendum day.

Now do you see why Alex Salmond is still smiling?

2014-02-23 14:15

Its very encouraging to see that we Scots haven’t succumbed to the Project Fear campaign to scare, intimidate, bully, demoralise, depress and defeat us into not voting Yes.

When you think about everything that is being thrown at the independence movement by Project Fear, that is a massive achievement when the YES campaign hasn’t even begun to fight.

I’m quite looking forward to it when the YES campaign takes its gloves off and really begins to fight.
2014-02-23 14:57

Yes Marian.
What we have learned is that an unremitting negative media campaign doesn’t work.
Nor does sending Westminster politicians North of the border to utter their latest scare story.
Gentle persuasion and reasoned argument will win the day for independence.

2014-02-23 14:51

Yes Marian, it reminds me of the historical account of the Scot, John Paul Jones, who commanded the then small navy of the American colonies in their Independence War against Britain. When his frigate had been severely damaged in a battle with superior Royal Navy ships, they signalled him to surrender. He sent back the defiant signal, “I have not yet begun to fight!” Then went on to win!
Flower of Scotland
2014-02-23 15:21

Yes , things are going along nicely !
I’ll still never forgive the BBC denying The Scottish People fair and unbiased reporting on the Referendum ( when we even pay into it !). It’s so disappointing in so many ways when you see them roaming the world giving all peoples a voice , EXCEPT SCOTLAND ! We need a new SBC ASAP . Bring it on !
2014-02-23 17:45

Regarding the polls, I don’t know anyone who has been asked to take part in any poll. In fact, after asking, I don’t know anyone who knows anyone who has been asked to take part in any poll. It would be interesting to find out other posters experience regarding this.
2014-02-24 11:20

I’ve been in the YouGov system for many years and with Panelbase for about 6 months. I reckon between them I take part in about 10 surveys per week. I have only ever been asked about our independence once – and that was at least 18 months ago. Given my responses I suspect that I may now be screened out in advance and this will no doubt be the case for others.
2014-02-24 11:59

I’m in a similar situation re YouGov but was finally asked to take part in their recent poll re Independence.

As a matter of interest IpsosMori phoned me last friday asking if I would be interested in taking part in a poll re Scottish Affairs. I said Yes but was then asked if I was between 18 and 64 – Answering No to that I was told that I didn’t qualify to take part.

2014-02-23 20:33

@RealBobMortime  r tweeted this!

SCOTLAND: You have the chance to rid
yourselves of this filth. FOREVER! #jealous

now that’s a lovebomb Mr. Cameron!

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