Ben Thomson, chairman of Reform Scotland, says Devo Plus is the
consensus among Scots
Scottish independence: Scottish independence in two steps, shows poll
New evidence from an opinion poll shows that many SNP supporters (28 percent) would support a Devo Plus option in Scotland's independence referendum showing that many Scots believe that a Devo Plus option is increasingly seen by Scots as a two-step process towards full independence.
The Ipsos MORI opinion poll, commissioned by think-tank Reform Scotland, is welcome news for the SNP as it also shows that 52 percent of Labour voters would also opt for the Devo Plus 'stepping stone' option showing that momentum is moving some way towards the 'Yes Scotland' campaign.
The survey, which polled 1003 people between 7 and 14 June 2012, was conducted before the Westminster-City Libor scandal was broken and so does not measure the impact that perceived and real corruption at a UK level of politics and finance will have on Scotland's desire for political and economic autonomy.
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One concerning aspect of the poll was that the question on independence will be viewed as misleading. The question offers the option "Scotland should become a fully independent country, separate from the rest of the UK" however the independence referendum will have not dissolve the UK and so the accuracy of the poll is unclear.
Encouraging for Reform Scotland which is behind the Devo Plus campaign is that almost three-quarters of Labour voters want Unionists to campaign for more powers for the Scottish Parliament. This will be unsettling for the pro-Union Better Together camp as the parties have no common answer to what new powers should be on offer to those Scots who will vote for independence if the alternative is no change at all to the present system.
Commenting, Reform Scotland’s Chairman Ben Thomson said: “This polling reveals starkly the emerging consensus amongst all sides of the political divide. Last week’s poll showed that Devo Plus was by some margin the most popular way forward for Scotland, and this break-down shows that its popularity transcends political boundaries.
“I am confident that this new information will be considered carefully by both Yes Scotland and Better Together. At present, neither of those campaigns is promoting the way forward which is most favoured by the people of Scotland.
“Devo Plus is a solution around which all of Scotland’s political parties can coalesce.”
Jeremy Purvis, Leader of the Devo Plus group, added: "The fact that only just over 60% of SNP voters support independence and also the vast majority of Labour party voters want the non-independence parties to work together for Devo Plus is highly significant.
“It shows that most ordinary people across Scotland are less interested in the contortions over the issue of the ballot paper but are wanting parties to work together on how to deliver a stronger Scottish Parliament within the UK.
“The Devo Plus proposal is a carefully considered and fully worked up plan on how to deliver this. It's fairly clear now it's the most popular way forward also."
The SNP were buoyed that almost three-quarters of Labour voters want the "anti-independence" parties to campaign for more powers for the Scottish Parliament. SNP Campaigns Director Angus Robertson said:
“This poll is disastrous for the anti-independence parties, who stubbornly refuse to listen not only to their own supporters but also to the substantial body of opinion across Scotland calling for a more powers option.
“And it is a personal disaster for Alistair Darling just days after the launch of the No campaign, as his own party’s backers shun the “better together” message."
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