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.”

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by becoming a Left Foot Forward Supporter today.