Voters fed up with independence obsession

New survey data has revealed just how out of touch the chattering classes are with public opinion on the issue of Scottish independence.

New survey data has revealed just how out of touch the chattering classes, this writer included, are with public opinion on the issue of Scottish independence.

Data produced by the now polling guru, Lord Ashcroft, has revealed that just 3% of people north of the border believe that independence should be the Scottish Government’s main priority, with the economy and jobs at the top of voters list of priorities, followed by the NHS.

In keeping however with the vast majority of polling so far, the survey found that 65% of voters rejected the idea of Scotland becoming an independent country, compared to 26% who said they supported it and 10% who did not know.

Arguing that the polling showed that Alex Salmond is putting his “obsession” with independence ahead of the interests of Scotland, Better Together Director, Blair McDougall has responded to the findings:

“It is increasingly clear that Alex Salmond is putting his obsession with independence ahead of the interests of the Scottish people. Instead of focusing on the things that people care about, likes jobs and the economy, the nationalists spend all their time campaigning for independence. Alex Salmond is more interested in securing his own place in history than securing a better future for Scotland.

“This attitudes survey shows strong support for the UK but there is no complacency. There is still a very long way to go, so we need everybody who supports Scotland staying in the UK to do their bit to make sure that happens.”

Whilst voters however have rejected the priority the SNP have given to independence, this has not translated into falling support for Alex Salmond with voting intentions likely to worry Labour strategists, just over two years since the party took a drubbing in elections to Holyrood.

Asked how they would use their first vote for a constituency MSP, 40% said the SNP, 35% Labour, 15% Conservatives and just 5% Liberal Democrat.  The SNPs also led on voter preferences for the second, regional list vote, gain the support of 36% of those questioned compared to 24% for Labour, 10% for the Conservatives and 13% for the Liberal Democrats.

The figures show also that Alex Salmond has by far the highest favourable ratings of any leader at Holyrood, favoured by 45% of voters compared to the 31% who had a favourable view of Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont and 21% for Tory Leader Ruth Davidson and Lib Dem Leader, Willie Rennie.

Writing for the Scotsman, the former Conservative MSP and now columnist for the paper has concluded that whilst the SNP could, on these numbers potentially survive losing the referendum next year. He goes on to warn the nationalists however:

“After a referendum defeat for the SNP, an electorate awakening to the waste of money and three-year distraction of an independence referendum instead of dealing with the main issue may well choose to punish the SNP and keep it out of power for a generation.”

11 Responses to “Voters fed up with independence obsession”

  1. AdamRamsay

    this data is totally wrong – the 3% is a subset of people who have alread said independence isn’t the priority: http://brightgreenscotland.org/index.php/2013/09/no-campaign-straight-up-lie-about-lord-ashcroft-indyref-poll/

  2. Guest

    (in future, I recomend not just republishing Better Together press releases. They have a habit of telling porkies.gettinbg fact very wrong)

  3. Gary Dunion

    “Never believe anything you read on the No campaign’s twitter,” is rapidly becoming the first rule of Scottish politics. These figures deliberately exclude every respondent – 36% of the total – that said the Scottish Government have the right priorities.

    More at Bright Green: No campaign straight-up lie about Lord Ashcroft indyref poll.

  4. swatnan

    Salmond should be spending his precious little time left in sorting out major issues like the economy and jobs instead of his pet folly projects like ‘independence’ Norway style. Drop the idea now, and get back to governing.

  5. Bill McLean

    Oh dear “swatnan” where have you been? Lowest unemployment than rUIK, higher employment than rUK and greater inward investment, leading to more jobs, than any other part of this corrupt union! Get it now?

  6. Jake Church

    Governing???, how can they govern when westminster rules the roost and it’s not a folly but a reality and take a look at labour, libdems and tories to see obsession with the independance debate,,,bring it on SOAR ALBA GU BRATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. KelvinKid

    I note that others have identified the sleight of hand used by Ashcroft to misrepresent the results of his own survey. Perhaps you might be better off not relying on Tory sources. Your articles about Scotland are invariably poorly informed and biased. Stick to what you know, i.e. English affairs, or try harder to understand the distinctiveness of Scottish politics. It would also help if you stopped slavishly following the official Labour line.

  8. freedom4citizens

    The SNP needs to learn from history that single-issue political parties are not enduring. The SNP needs to reinvent itself as a party for *improving* Scotland within the UK.

  9. tadramgo

    Is Left Foot Forward a British Nationalist website? Why are they publishing Better Together press releases? Surely they should leave that to The Telegraph.

  10. franwhi

    What a nerve the Unionist press have when they and their banking cronies have wrecked the UK economy, recklessly cut welfare and presided over rising unemployment and job market exploitation . Salmond’s so-called obsession is actually motivated by the compelling need to move away from this right wing gangster economy asap to something more aligned to Scottish values. The classic example is Glasgow – my city. Ruled by a Labour hegemony for years and the worst long term unemployment rate of any city across the UK. Our GDP in Scotland is better than many other parts of this island but our employment, earnings and even life expectancy lag behind. Evidently our wealth is going elsewhere – I’ll let you guess where…

  11. Baxter Parp

    Left-foot forward: mouthpiece of the CBI and Tory Lords.

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