By Dave Taylor
 
In Saturday's report on our poll we revealed that "voters in Scotland do not trust any of the three main UK parties to deliver their promises of more powers in the event of a No vote in September's independence referendum."
 
In Sunday's ICM poll, they confirmed our finding.  Only 39% of Scots think Holyrood would be given more powers in the event of a No vote.

Our figures are even lower than that, since we asked people to think, not about some theoretical way in which Scotland would get any more powers, but whether the political parties at Westminster would actually deliver them.

We asked "If the UK parties do make pledges regarding further devolution in the event of a No vote, do you trust them to deliver on those pledges?" separately for each of Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and UKIP.

Given that Labour gets more Scottish votes than other UK parties, it is not surprising that they are the least distrusted to deliver on their pledges, since trust in any UK party was only shown by those who voted for that party.

  • Labour was trusted by 28% of intending voters to deliver (by 26% of undecideds).
  • Tories were trusted by 16% of intending voters to deliver (by 7% of undecideds).
  • Lib Dems were trusted by 16% of intending voters to deliver (by 14% of undecideds).
  • UKIP was trusted by 9% of intending voters to deliver (by 3% of undecideds).

We asked whether people thought that the proposals of UK parties will broadly match the powers that they personally believed the Scottish Parliament should have, and whether the MPs in the rest of the UK will agree to pass them into law

  • 23% of intending voters (28% of undecideds) thought that Labour proposals would match their preferences, and 24% (25% of undecideds) that Westminster MPs would pass them.
  • 14% of intending voters (18% of undecideds) thought that Lib Dem proposals would match their preferences, and 17% (18% of undecideds) that Westminster MPs would pass them.
  • 12% of intending voters (10% of undecideds) thought that Tory proposals would match their preferences, and 16% (9% of undecideds) that Westminster MPs would pass them.

Even if there was to be an all-UK party agreed set of proposals, only 27% of intending voters (26% of undecideds) thought that they would actually be passed by UK MPs.  It's really worth focussing on what these numbers mean.

When the question focus shifts to what Westminster would do in the event of a No vote, almost three-quarters think that Westminster MPs wouldn't actually implement the kind of powers for Holyrood that the Unionist parties promise us before the referendum – even if Westminster has a Labour majority.

Of those that are still willing to trust Westminster to deliver on their constitutional promises, 57% intend to vote No, 17% are undecided, while 25% are Yes supporters.

That last figure seemed odd at first.  Would a quarter of Yes supporters really think Westminster would deliver on its promises – then it clicked.

If they promise to deliver hee-haw and actually deliver hee-haw, then that group of Yes supporters would be absolutely correct.  Westminster would have delivered everything that it had promised.

We also asked whether all three UK parties should jointly agree a plan for extended devolution, separately set out their own plans for extra powers prior to the referendum, only publish their plans after a NO vote, or whether no further powers should be devolved.

OK. We admit to being naïve. The question was designed before the recent Tory and Labour announcements on what they call their "plans".

Frankly, we were not surprised to hear from the Tories that a No vote can lead to further devolution, rather in the same way that a No vote can lead to Holyrood being abolished, the wearing of tartan proscribed or all Scots babies being required to be named David or Theresa.  All of these are possibilities – none of them very likely.

What we were unprepared for was the incoherent, self-contradictory, fatuous nonsense revealed as their "ideas" by Labour, which Johann Lamont clearly found as confusing and incomprehensible as everyone else, when she was interviewed by Gordon Brewer on Newsnight Scotland.

However, the poll revealed that 67% of Scots who intend to vote and who expressed an opinion, do want to see the options for Scotland, in the event of a No vote, laid out before the referendum.  43% think there should be an agreed plan by the UK parties, while 25% think the three parties in the Better Together alliance should each issue their own proposals.  15% think that alternative proposals should only be announced if there actually is a No vote, while 17% don't want any further devolution of powers.

In addition, we asked "If there was no agreed package from Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats (either jointly or individually) prior to the referendum, would that have any effect on the way you would vote?"

The overall results were that 71% of intending voters thought it would make no difference to their vote, 18% said they were more likely to vote Yes, while 11% would be more inclined to vote No.  However, such polling questions are always skewed by the views of those who already know how they are going to vote.  The only people whose views matter in such a question are those who are currently undecided.

Among the undecideds, 63% said their vote would be unaffected by any lack of proposals.  However, without detailed alternatives to independence, 22% were more likely to vote Yes and 15% more likely to vote No.

The headline figures for the referendum question in that ICM poll were Yes 39% : No 46% : undecided 15%.  Very noticeably, they also show the highest level of Yes support that we have yet seen among those who voted Labour in 2011 – ICM found over a third of Labour voters now plan to vote Yes.

Comments  

 
# Jo Bloggs 2014-03-24 09:41
"Of those that are still willing to trust Westminster to deliver on their constitutional promises, 57% intend to vote No, 17% are undecided, while 25% are Yes supporters.

That last figure seemed odd at first. Would a quarter of Yes supporters really think Westminster would deliver on its promises – then it clicked."

Actually that's not a quarter of YES supporters trusting Westminster. It's a quarter of those who say they trust Wesminster deciding to vote YES anyway. A different thing altogether. They could be say 5% of YES sipportes, or 10%, or whatever. That would be a more complicated calculation.
 
 
# reconvene 2014-03-24 12:16
I can understand Gordon Brewer’s difficulty understanding Johann Lamonts answers to his questions. It seems that we have discovered a female version of Stanley Unwin the entertainer.

Stanley could give his opinion on any thing, whether it was about science, engineering, or astronomy. He sounded believable and reasonable, but it was all gobbledy gook rubbish.

Google Stanley to get a flavour of him.
 
 
# Barbazenzero 2014-03-24 15:02
Updated tables for the Panelbase poll are now available from panelbase.com/.../...
 
 
# Barbazenzero 2014-03-26 10:16
New YouGov poll showing highest Yes % so far. Now 42% vs previous high of 40%.

No tables yet, but Prof C's YouGov Reports Its Highest Yes Vote Yet has more info and a link to the tables will follow. See blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/.../...

With every pollster showing the Yes vote rising as the negativity fails, I wonder if the BBC will eventually try another approach.

If SPT's advertisement gaffe does become widely known despite the MSM that may also mark the end of all trust in Labour's Scotlandshire branch.
 

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