By a Newsnet reporter
Voters in Scotland do not trust any of the three main UK parties to deliver their promises of more powers in the event of a No vote in September’s independence referendum.
A survey carried out by Panelbase has found that where voters give a view, most do not believe promises of more powers given by Labour, the Conservatives or the Lib Dems.

When asked, “If the UK parties do make pledges regarding further devolution in the event of a No vote, do you trust them to deliver on those pledges?”

  • 42% said they did not trust Labour to honour their more powers promises, 28% trusted the party.  Nearly one third (30%) did not know.
  • 61% said they did not trust the Conservatives, against only 16% who trusted David Cameron’s party to honour its pledge. Less than a quarter (23%) said they did not know.
  • 57% said they did not trust the Lib Dems to deliver more powers against 16% who did.  Just over one quarter (27%) said they did not know.

When asked if they believed the extra powers being offered by the three main Unionist parties would match their own expectations, there was a similar pattern with more people saying they did not believe the new powers would match what they believed the Scottish Parliament should have.

  • Only 13% thought the Conservatives would offer enough new powers, 48% said they would not offer enough and 39% did not know.
  • 23% thought Labour would offer enough new powers, 34% said they would not and 43% did not know.
  • 13% said they believed the Lib Dems would offer enough new powers, 42% said they would not and 44% did not know.

The survey results will prove a sobering reminder to pro-Union strategists as they struggle with just how much to offer Scots in an attempt at luring them away from the increasingly appealing opportunities being offered by a Yes vote.  However there is sure to be concern at the level of distrust felt by many voters who appear simply not to trust London based parties to deliver on their promises.

On Thursday Newsnet Scotland published results of the latest poll on support for independence which showed Yes had closed the gap to just five points.  According to our survey, 40% now backed Yes, 45% backed No and 15% were yet to decide.

Publication of the survey results coincide with this weekend’s Scottish Labour conference and the announcement of new powers by Johann Lamont’s party should Scots vote No in the independence referendum.

However the plans, which Labour has claimed will give Holyrood control over forty per cent of tax powers, has been embroiled in controversy with experts accusing Labour of exaggerating the figure.  Think tank Reform Scotland has produced its own analysis which it says shows Labour’s package will increase the amount of tax controlled by Holyrood to 26% and not the 40% claimed.

In a TV interview on the BBC, when confronted over the dispute between Reform Scotland and her party, the Scottish Labour leader initially appeared to accept her party’s figure of 40% was inaccurate.

Challenged that the figure was “not forty per cent of taxation, it is forty per cent of revenue”, Johann Lamont replied “sure, sure”.  However the MSP later backtracked and insisted the reform Scotland analysis was wrong.

The spat is awkward for Labour MSP Duncan McNeil who is a member of Reform Scotland’s Devo-Plus group, which is calling for extra powers beyond that being offered by his own party.

The row over the extent of her party’s tax proposals follows two shambolic TV appearances by Ms Lamont in which the Scottish Labour leader appeared not to understand some of the key implications contained in her party’s plans for more devolution.

[Newsnet Scotland last night passed our full survey tables to BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland, and its two presenters Isabel Fraser and Bill Whiteford.]


2014-03-22 09:38

Excellent news. This really should be a key part of the message to undecideds.

Successive SSAs* have shown Devo Max to be pretty much on a par with independence as the 2 most popular “wishes” and along with Lab’s Devo Nano this will help demonstrate to waverers why it is just not going to happen.

*2013 SSA was 31% Indy, 32% DevoMax/FFA, 25% Status quo, 8% No Holyrood
2014-03-22 10:18

The reason for me is the unionist parties don’t want Devomax as they see this as the next step to independence
Devo max or Devo Nano the unionist parties would kick it into the long grass
Only a Yes can protect what we have and improve on what we’ve got
Flower of Scotland
2014-03-22 11:02

We were told, just before the 1979 Referendum on Devolution, that if we voted no we would get get more powers . What did we get? Nothing except the poll tax? Don’t believe them. They will never offer anymore substantial powers through devolution . Just vote yes!
2014-03-22 11:48

Lamont and Brown keep coming up with the ‘pooling resources’ mantra. But to my frustration no interviewer ever suggests to her that an independent Scotland would be free to strike a ‘pooling of resources’ agreement with the Westminster government. A kind discounting of invoices deal. She could use this as a policy plan for Labour post Yes. A ‘Vote Labour to give all our Oil and Whisky revenues to Westminster for the next 1000 years party’. If she has a convincing case she might get elected.
2014-03-22 13:08

They will offer us anything they think will make us vote no. We’ll get nothing but loose so much if we do.
Marga B
2014-03-22 13:14

OT as usual, but you will all have seen the news about the on-line independence poll for Venice – “”.

89% said “yes” and I understand a large percentage of potential voters gave their opinion (no figures in this article – BBC and Daily Mail also have articles).

When I last looked, it seems that a surprise deal might also be done in Sardinia for a representative of new independentist (or what some are calling pro-sovereignty) parties to enter government after the recent elections, don’t know latest developments.
Marga B
2014-03-22 15:48

More OT, but just to add a couple of videos (in Italian but with interesting images) of the Venice referendum.

See this page (2 videos):…/…

By the way, it says that 73% of the population eligible to vote did so, and 89% voted Yes.

2014-03-22 13:48

Gotta say, hats off to you Newsnet, this is great robust reporting. I only wish we saw the same in our MSM.
2014-03-22 16:00

It’s worth pointing out that this is against a backdrop of a January poll which showed 29% in favour of Indy, 32% for more powers, but 28% who want the status quo – i.e. no more new powers at all.
2014-03-22 16:12

Why are we grovelling around hoping that the UK establishment will grant the servile Scots more authority to use the cutlery in their own kitchen?

Let us get one thing absolutely straight. The Lander of Germany and even the Provincia and Juntas of Spain have more fiscal authority than the “parish pump parliament” of Scotland.

If Lamont, Davidson and Rennie were really interested in an effective Scottish parliament they would demand that Scotland be given full fiscal authority and also have the power to decide how much we contribute to the annual upkeep Westminster/Whitehall cabal.
2014-03-23 00:09

An ICM poll in a Sunday Newspaper mirroring NNS’s poll in showing the gap closing. So despite BT of having the BBC’s and print media on their side, the on the ground campaign by Yes seems to have neutered the No side’s negative campaign. The packed public meetings are a sign that the public are listening to the Yes message.
2014-03-23 09:29

Spot on. Prof C comments on the ICM poll at…/…

See the SoS article at and Prof C’s SoS opinion piece at

2014-03-23 00:17

So, given that Scotland is the 3rd highest contributor (after London and southeast England) to UK finances, Ms Lamont wants to pool resources and continue Scotland’s subsidies to the fUK. Has she told her constituents who rely on food banks that, I wonder. Or is she still plugging the Labour line that the munificence of the UK is the only thing keeping the wolf from poor pathetic Scotland’s door? If she had the requisite intelligence, she would be ashamed of herself.
2014-03-23 09:25

Talking of fantasy, I happened upon this snippet about our mythical Scottish icon, the unicorn.…/…

Harmless fun? Not quite. The Unicorn is not drawn in chains because it is a ‘dangerous beast’ when running free. The chain signifies the death of any unicorn kept in captivity against its will – the broken chain signifies the Unicorn is a free spirit there by choice.

Good old Hootsman distorting our culture for the Union.

Further irony too? One story goes the thistle with which the Hootsman identifies itself was adopted as Scotland’s national icon when its jags alerted Scottish warriors to a sneak attack from an enemy, possibly Viking. That should be quite a good icon for a barbed national newspaper ever alert as an early warning of threat to Scottish interests, but it’s hardly fitting for our modern ‘newspaper’.
2014-03-23 09:53

Woops. I meant that comment for George Kerevan’s article. Not to worry, it was a little OT anyway. Not quite wide awake yet.

I was also fishing for the word ‘untameable’ to describe our Scottish Unicorn.

Bad form Scotsman. Very shabby.

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