This from British Social Attitudes 2o12 by John Curtice and Rachel Ormston
Evidently there is something of a puzzle to be unravelled here…
“As Table 7.6 shows, in fact the principle of ‘home rule’ or ‘devolution max’ appears to be the first preference of only around three in ten people in Scotland and is apparently only a little more popular than the status quo. Meanwhile, in our most recent survey at least, it appears to be less popular than independence which, when described as it is here, attracts rather more support than it did at the question reported in Figure 7.1 (albeit still only from a minority).9Evidently there is something of a puzzle to be unravelled here.
The solution is, in fact, relatively simple. Most people who believe that Scotland should be independent also believe taxation and welfare benefits should be decided by the Scottish Parliament.10 But so too do over half of those who oppose independence.11 Thus the responses reported in Table 7.5 give the impression that ‘devolution max’ has majority support not because it is necessarily the single most popular option, but rather because it is the one option around which both ‘nationalists’ and many ‘unionists’ can seemingly potentially coalesce. It is perhaps not so surprising after all that the SNP have been willing to keep open the possibility that a ‘second question’ on more devolution might appear on the ballot paper, while both the UK government and some Labour politicians have indicated a willingness to contemplate further devolution too.”
Given that, also:
The survey, released by NatCen Social Research, is based on 1,197 interviews conducted in 2011. The report shows the following levels of support for the different constitutional options [figures for the 2010 survey in brackets]:
- Scottish Parliament make all decisions (independence): 43% [up from 28% in 2010]
- UK government decide defence/foreign affairs; Scottish Parliament the rest (devolution max): 29% [down from 32%]
- UK government decide taxes, benefits & defence/foreign affairs; Scottish Parliament the rest (status quo): 21% [down from 27%]
- UK government make all decisions (no devolution): 5% [down from 10%]
…the spin that’s been out o this report beggars belief.