Wednesday, October 31, 2007

SNP Vote not a Vote for Independence

The Scottish Centre for Social Research has announced findings that must be putting a dampener on things at SNP HQ.

While they took 32.9% of the constiuency vote in May from a survey carried out by the SCSR only 23% of the respondents to their survey were in favour of an independent Scotland. So it would appear that somewhere about one third of the SNP vote must have come from unioinists. It also appears that the SNP was better at winning the nationalist vote than in previous election. 75% of those who favoured independence had voted for them compared to 50% in 2003. This was reflected in the loss of support and seats for the Scottish Socialist Party and the Greens who both also advocate independence.

The main reason those unionist voters turned to the SNP appears to be that they saw Alex Salmond as a better option for First Minsiter than Jack McConnell who was then leader of Labour in Scotland. 44% rated Alex 7 out of 10 or better compared to 23% for Jack. The party scored more highly on showing it reflected the interests of Scotland with 24% saying they did very closely compared to 7% for Labour.

One of the policies that was pinpointed as a main reason for support to the SNP was a devolved parliament with greater fiscal autonomy especially over its tax raising powers.

So if Alex does suceed in getting his referendum White Paper through the Parliament he looks like he is heading for about a 75-25 defeat on his hands. As I've said for some time, let him have his referendum and then we can blow this independence argument out of the water for some considerable time and get on with the business of running Scotland as well as we can.

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