10 October 2013 John Curtice - Is Scotland set to separate?
Thu 10th October 2013
Professor John Curtice gave a talk to members and partners on the latest state of play with just under a year until Scotland votes on independence.
Will we or won't we - a discussion on the Referendum on Scotland's Future
With just under a year until the referendum on Scotland's position within the UK, last Thursday's meeting was entertained and informed on the current state of play by Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University.
President Colin Strachan welcomed John and visitors Kevin and Sally Till from Woolwich Rotary Club, Cathy and Ian Gunn and Dick Baxter as well as members' partners and special guests Catriona Crawford and Maureen Rixon.
John kept the audience engaged with a very clear and comprehensive analysis of the current position; outlining information from various opinion polls over the short, medium and long term, who is for and against the proposal for independence, why people hold the views they do and finally he assessed whether the result would be decisive.
Despite a huge array of information, (see http://whatscotlandthinks.org/) John nevertheless delivered a very entertaining presentation. A few of the highlighted points were: in all the polls over the last 40 years, there has never been a clear majority in favour of independence; men were more likely than women to favour independence; economic factors were considered to be the most critical issue rather than Scotland's international standing, equality issues or standard of living; there were an increasing number of voters indicating they may change their position and while the level of trust voters had in politicians overall was not very high, the First Minister and his Deputy fared much better than their English counterparts.
In conclusion, John indicated that the turnout in the referendum next year was likely to be high, around 70% compared with 50% in UK or Scottish Parliament elections and he suggested to the audience that if they were fed up with the endless discussion, they should vote Yes since a No vote would mean yet more debate about further devolved powers to Scotland!