The latest Scottish Attitudes Survey had been released, and the main conclusion of the report is that Scottish opinion is trending to Independence. YES We Will is beginning to overhaul NO You Can’t. However listening to BBC Scotland reporting on it, that is not at all the impression their viewers are being given. BBC Scotland have obviously made an editorial decision to carry on as normal, given that the major study carried out by the University of the West of Scotland highlighting referendum broadcasting imbalance has been ignored by in large by all broadcasting and print sources.
BBC reported on the Scottish Atttitudes survey, announcing that the YES support was standing at 29% of the population, which was marginally up, but still below 2011 figures, they made no mention of what the figure for those favouring NO was, giving the impression that the YES vote was struggling and still lagging behind the NO vote. They carried a brief interview with Nicola Sturgeon who viewed the report positively and encouraging for YES, but as the BBC do, they concluded with a Labour MSP spouting the negative view that the YES vote was still making no inroads for separation after all this time. The result being of course that most viewers would think that voting NO You Can’t was still winning handsomely and was by far the majority view. Most viewers would not have access to the report itself, which comes to the opposite conclusion.
So what does the report tell us?
The bold heading of the report says:
The Score At Half Time:Trends in Support for Independence
That is quite some headline, but what does it say?
Support for Independence stands at 29% up 6% on last years survey, but still 3% short of the 2011 high
Support for Devolution has fallen to 55% from a high of 61% last year
31% of respondents said that the Scottish parliament should make all decisions for Scotland, while only 8% said that the UK government should make all the decisions.
While 32% said that the UK government should make the decisions on defence and foreign affairs and the Scottish parliament on everything else.
The survey asked what people felt the consequences of Independence would be, and the following were their perceptions.
51% felt that they would have more pride in Scotland, while only 4% felt they would have less.
38% felt Scotland would have more say in world affairs, while 25% thought we would have less.
30% thought Scotlands economy would be better, 34% thought it would be worse.
There was pretty much a dead heat between those who thought their standard of living would improve and those who thought it would not.
25% felt that the gap between rich and poor would be reduced, but 16% thought not.
A big difference is in the view of taxes, only 6% felt that tax would decrease, while 56% felt that taxation would increase.
But what really stands out in the survey is the perceptions of the economic consequences in relation to support for Independence. The results are extremely conclusive.
The more optimistic that people are of the economic consequences, the more likely they are to vote in favour of independence.
86% felt Scotlands economy would be much better as a consequence of Independence
Only 2% thought that it would be much worse
What Better Together will be holding onto is that their uncertainty campaign is indeed having an effect, people are now more uncertain than they were, and many feel that they do not have enough information. So here is the challenge to YES, difficult I know as it is, given that the broadcast and print media are firmly in the NO camp, how to inform folks and make them more aware?
Foot soldiers, speaking to people wherever you meet them, and of course social media where we CyberNats rule supreme.
There is still a long way to go, but take heart, the trend is heading in the direction of YES!