England supports the Union

There has been a noticeable decline in support within England for Scotland going it alone.

As parties north of the border mark 100 days until Scotland’s independence referendum, new survey data has revealed a noticeable decline in support within England for Scotland going it alone.

According to new polling published as part of the British Social Attitudes Survey conducted last year, 21 per cent of those in England believe Scotland should be independent, compared to the high watermark of 26 per cent who support this in 2011, the year that the SNP secured an historic overall majority at Holyrood.

The debate meanwhile over Scotland’s position within the Union has done little to change the minds of those in England about how they wish to be governed, with 56 per cent believing it should continue as now with laws made by the UK Parliament – the same figure recorded as for 2012 and 2011.

15 per cent support the idea of directly elected regional assemblies, whilst 19 per cent have backed the idea of a purely English Parliament, mirroring those in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

Commenting on the findings, the report’s author, Professor John Curtice has said:

“Some have argued that a backlash has been developing south of the border against the advantages that Scotland seemingly enjoys and the demands it continues to make.

“But rather than being fuelled by the independence debate, whatever signs there were of such a reaction have apparently been snuffed out.

“England at least seems to have decided that the union is worth preserving, though whether people in Scotland will take the same view remains to be seen.”

The findings come as Andy Murray has expressed his frustration at Alex Salmond having waved the Scottish flag after his Wimbledon victory last year.

Murray, who last year called on Scots to us their heads rather than their hearts when deciding how to vote in September, told the Sunday Times style magazine over the weekend when asked about the first minister’s actions on centre court:

“He seemed perfectly nice to me but I didn’t like it when he [Salmond] got the Scottish flag up at Wimbledon.”

He added:

“I started competing for Great Britain when I was 11. I’m 27 now and I’ve been competing for Great Britain for 16 years.”

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18 Responses to “England supports the Union”

  1. swatnan

    The polls are not telling the true story that the majority of England would like to be free of the whinging Scots. And the majority of Scots would like to throw off the sghackles of being bound to England when they have in fact when you really do delve into the issue very little empathy with the English, and would like to stand on their own feet, so there is no one else to blame if it all goes pearshaped. The Scots have more in common with Scandinavia than the English and the Continent of Europe if the truth be told. Scottish history and culture has largely been written out of the textbooks these days and it would be good to see their rich heritage once again take the centre stage even in Edinburgh and Glasgow..

  2. Leon Wolfeson

    Polling shows…nope, not a majority.

  3. uglyfatbloke

    I don’t think polling is all that reliable for the referendum. I’m told that there are some (minor) methodological issues around sampling and weighting, though I’m not convinced that is enough to explain the marked differences between polls. The gap between BT and Yes has narrowed somewhat, but It’s still the case that there is a very healthy lead for BT, OTH there are some voters – maybe quite a lot – who would like independence but can’t bear Salmond at any price who might change their minds.
    Satnam….Scottish history…very few Scots have any grasp of their history at all. There’s not much of it in schools and what there is is almost all appalling. The scholarship of the past 40/50 years or so is very good indeed, but the academics can’t reach the wider audience so Scots are pretty much stuck in a mindset of Victorian antiquarianism which portrays pre-Union Scotland as a sort of poor relation/troublesome little sister to England.

  4. swatnan

    Good point about some Scots like Brown and Darling and Danny Alexander going ‘native, having spent too much time indulging in the Westminster Village. Let the Scots have their independence and be more assertive, and proud to be Scot, and not an anglcised version of a Scot.

  5. uglyfatbloke

    I think it’s not so much ‘going native’ as the fact that they have all spent their lives trying to become part of the political class and in doing so have lost all contact with planet earth-.or at least the people who live on it. Of course they meet some of their constituents from time to time, but generally only in rather peculiar circumstances. Most of the ‘locals’ that they meet are part of the Party family and won’t rock the boat. You may get to meet your MP, but it does n’t matter how sound a point you might, make, you’ll never change his or her mind because they think only in terms of the party line. They respond to ‘us’ in the same way as they respond to Paxman or Neill…just keep repeating he mantra/buzzwords of the moment. That’s why we are all ‘hard-working families punching above our weight in a cost of living crisis that was cased by the last government…or this government…or the next government….or Europe….or Rotarians. ….
    Looking (if we must) at Danny Alexander, it would be a great help to Better Together if he’d just stop saying anything at all. The electorate really are n’t as stupid as he clearly thinks we are.

  6. Robin Tilbrook

    supports the Union | Left Foot Forward

    Dear Sir

    Re: Your article

    In this article you have reported
    claims from a selectively and partially leaked opinion poll which was conducted
    last year by a group that has constantly downplayed nationalist sentiment and
    which purports to find that support for Scottish Independence has been dropping
    in England.

    I sincerely doubt the validity of
    this poll. Not only are its proponents predominantly of the partisan Labour
    supporting variety but also it was conducted last year when the limited coverage
    of the Independence Debate which our pro-British, pro-Unionist biased “national”
    media gave us here in England was a drum-roll of almost entirely pro-Union and
    anti-Alex Salmond, anti-SNP propaganda damning to anyone who is

    Also there is a persistent and
    dishonest insistence here in England that Scotland could “leave” the UK, but
    that the UK could continue. This is patent nonsense but it does make English
    people think that they might be stuck in a Union with those subsidy junkies,
    Wales and Northern Ireland! With this threat implicit no wonder any English
    Taxpayer would blench!

    In fact, of course, if Scotland
    decides to “go” it can only do so upon the repeal of the Act of Union of 1707
    which merged the Kingdoms of England and Scotland into the new “United Kingdom
    of Great Britain”. For the mathematically minded the formula therefore is E + S
    = GB ergo GB – S = E. Simples?

    Yours faithfully



    The English

    Blog: http://robintilbrook.blogspot.co.uk/

    Profile: http://www.facebook.com/robin.tilbrook

    Party Tel: 0207 242

    Twitter: @RobinTilbrook

    Website: http://www.englishdemocrats.org

    English Democrats’ FB
    Page: http://www.facebook.com/robin.tilbrook#!/www.EngDem.org


    Page: http://www.facebook.com/robin.tilbrook#!/Robin.Tilbrook.English.Democrats

    Key facts about the
    English Democrats

    The English Democrats
    launched in 2002.

    The English Democrats
    are the English nationalist Party. We campaign for a referendum for Independence
    for England; for St George’s Day to be England’s National holiday; for Jerusalem
    to be England’s National Anthem; to leave the EU; for an end to mass
    immigration; for the Cross of St George to be flown on all public buildings in
    England; and we support a YES vote for Scottish Independence.

    The English
    Democrats are England’s answer to the Scottish National Party and Plaid
    Cymru. The English Democrats’ greatest electoral successes to date include:- in
    the 2004 EU election we had 130,056 votes; winning the Directly Elected
    Executive Mayoralty of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council in 2009 and also
    the 2012 referendum; in the 2009 EU election we gained 279,801 votes after a
    total EU campaign spend of less than £25,000; we won the 2012 referendum which
    gave Salford City an Elected Mayor; in 2012 we also saved all our deposits in
    the Police Commissioner elections and came second in South Yorkshire; and in the
    2014 EU election we had 126,024 votes for a total campaign spend of about
    £30,000 (giving the English Democrats by far the most cost efficient electoral
    result of any serious Party in the UK).

  7. uglyfatbloke

    Robin – repealing the Acts of Union (there are two) is not an issue at all; do you by any chance refer to dissolving the Treaty of Union?
    The Acts of Union in the English and Scottish parliaments were essentially a means of allowing the Treaty to go ahead. The English act has no relevance in Scotland and the Scottish act has no relevance in England.

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    Of course separatists support separatism, got any more obvious news?

    Keep denying international law about the status of the UK as well, denying the sovereignty of Parliament, etc.

  9. Leon Wolfeson

    “I don’t think polling is all that reliable for the referendum.”

    Oh please.

  10. uglyfatbloke

    ‘Oh please’ what? The range is pretty wide and ‘Scotland only’ polling has been known to be quite wide of the mark in the past. At the last Holyrood election re we to accept that the gnats turned around their polling from 15% behind to 12% ahead during the campaign or do we think it’s possible that there were issues with the polling…which apparently is what John Curtice thinks and he’s pretty well-informed about Scottish polls. .

  11. Leon Wolfeson

    The polls changed, yes. But we’re not seeing that now.

  12. uglyfatbloke

    You may well be right and I think the lead is fairly solid and I don’t think we’ll see much change now.
    I’d missed your observation about the sovereignty of parliament. I’m not sure what point you were making (and I don’t want to wade through an English democrats warbling to find out) but it is maybe worth knowing that the concept of ‘the unlimited sovereignty of parliament’ does not apply in Scotland. I imagine it does in Wales because Wales was incorporated into England in the early 16th Century.

  13. Leon Wolfeson

    Yes, yes, it does. Devolution in the UK is on a statutory, not federal, basis.

  14. uglyfatbloke

    No, it’s nothing to do with devolution, it’s just because of the different legal system. It was always the case – the Scottish parliament legislation has no relevance to sovereignty at all… I bet the gnats would tell you different, but they are wrong.

  15. Leon Wolfeson

    Ah yes, so you use PC bigotry against the British and then – just like the far right – deny British sovereignty.

    Your true colours are showing.

  16. uglyfatbloke

    I think we may be talking about two different things here. The English and Welsh legal system and the Scottish one are rather different in principle and structure, though the ends are the same. This is why legislation is framed the way it is with ‘The Turnip-Scruncher Act (England and Wales)’ and ‘The Turnip-Scruncher Act (Scotland) reflecting those differences. The differences are a good deal more far-reaching that just a question of a third choice of verdict; sufficiently so that it would often be extremely difficult to frame legislation that made practical sense in both systems. One of the intended benefits of Holyrood was that it would ease the parliamentary timetable since most Scottish legislation would no longer need to go through the Commons and the Lords. There was nothing very challenging about that since Scottish law was already ‘sovereign’ (for want of a better word) in Scotland anyway; it was just a matter of transferring the processes from one chamber to another.
    When we consider British ‘sovereignty’, we are talking about the where the exercise of power lies, but not necessarily where it stems from. In England and Wales (and in N.Ireland I believe) Sovereignty is vested in ‘Crown in Parliament’, but in Scotland it is (in constitutional terms) lent to parliament by the people. That makes no difference at all to the practicality of usage in the same way as if you have money in your pocket you can spend it where you like; where the money came from is neither here not there.
    True colours…I favour Full Fiscal Autonomy as a logical development and consequence of devolution. FFA is what most Scottish people want or would be content with. I see it as democratically desirable, as a matter of common-sense practicality and a means of achieving security for the Union. I don’t think that’s a secret and should be pretty clear from posts I’ve made on this site.
    I’m not really very clear what you mean by PC bigotry. My point was that there are gnats who think that the Scottish parliament legislation somehow transferred the root of sovereignty from Westminster to Holyrood; essentially giving Holyrood a ‘crown in Parliament’ status in relation to the exercise of sovereign power. That is absolutely not the case. The decisions of the Holyrood parliament can be overturned by Westminster just as much as any devolved legislature.

  17. Leon Wolfeson

    I only favour FFA under a federal structure.

    And that’d be your use of “gnats”.

  18. uglyfatbloke

    I have no problem at all with a federal structure.
    They ‘re gnats by nature….noisy and irritating.

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