Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
To the surprise of some, polls are indicating that Scotland could become an independent nation as there are predictions, especially on YouGov, that 51% will vote yes.
Pursuant to an agreement between the United Kingdom and the Scottish Parliament both governments after years long negotiations formed the referendum process giving Scots the ability choose between independence and continued allegiance to the UK. A simple question posed on the ballot will most definitely bring profound changes:
“Should Scotland be an independent country?”
On September 18th that question will be answered.
Several weeks ago polls were mostly of the showing that the No vote likely would prevail, but as days draw closer to the referendum date Yes votes are increasing steadily as speakers in Parliament migrated from Not Possible to Possibly, Probably or Definitely.
Irish Times reports that two years prior polls indicated a two to one majority in the No camp. But, the Yes camp contests these numbers as misleading, correctly predicting the increase in the popularity of their cause. In fact handbills and stickers favoring the Yes campaign are becoming increasingly visible in the streets. This can have the effect of showing an increase in momentum though it is not proven as the “No” supporters might be less vocal in expressing their beliefs.
The leadership of both camps are trying to change the inferences of the polls to their own cause. One aspect is the question of whether Scotland will be better off economically after independence shows a strong majority that Scotland would be worse however the numbers are closing rapidly but most likely will not change.
The No camp has played into this by touting the strength of the pound sterling against either a new Scottish currency or the Euro along with the consequences withdrawal of the economic investments. The yes camp portrayed the No camp’s suggestion as London’s attempt to whip up fear in the minds of voters for issues that are not entirely justified. The Yes camp mostly lead by Scottish Nationalist Party leader Alex Salmond has so far not definitively answered this question but this does not seem to have hurt him in the polling numbers.
Another example is the issue of nuclear weapons on Scottish soil. Polls have shown that Scots are against having such weaponry in Scotland and a nuclear ballistic missile submarine base, as part of the UK’s Three Pronged defense strategy consisting of land based missiles, submarines and aircraft. UK worries the loss of this base could have strategic consequences in its deterrence of the Russian nuclear threat.
In a nationally televised debate several weeks ago between Salmond and Alistair Darling, former Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2007 to 2010 who represented the Edinburg West constituency. Darling leads the pro-union Better Together campaign and proposed the loss of this base would cost Scotland 8,000 jobs while Salmond catered the unpopularity of nuclear weaponry by the Scots. While Darling probably was the better of the two in debating skill, the view of most in the population was the Salmond won the debate and the effect helped buoy confidence in the Yes camp, especially in nationalistic terms.
Regardless of the outcome of the referendum what surely is a sign of progress within the UK government toward self-determination in that it largely negotiated the means to hold such. As just a cursory knowledge of past attempts of independence and devolvement have faced with strong resistance and even military force especially noteworthy with regard to the Irish after World War I and to a much lesser degree in British colonial possessions, which have been a source of discomfort in English society.
For a primer on the politics and genesis of the referendum topics may be read HERE.
By Darren Smith
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.
34 thoughts on “Polls Show Yes Vote Could Prevail In Scottish Independence Referendum”
I haven’t a clue as to which way the electronic Diebold voting machines will vote in Scotland or anywhere else. It just depends on the programmer.
But one thing of interest to me is this:
Whenever major changes happen, this brings opportunities as well.
For example, a newly independent Scotland would create its own tax and corporate laws, potentially providing a number of major incentives to attract foreign talent and productive companies.
A Scottish passport would also be attainable for many people. Some basic guidance has already been issued:
British citizens living in Scotland on day one of independence, plus Scottish-born British citizens living outside Scotland, would be automatically considered Scottish citizens.
After independence, children born in Scotland, and children born outside Scotland to at least one Scottish parent, will be automatically considered to be Scottish citizens.
A person who has a parent or grandparent eligible for Scottish citizenship, will be able to register as a Scottish citizen by descent.
Scotland will also allow dual citizenship, so no one would have to renounce his/her existing citizenship.
Presuming the independence movement wins, Scottish citizens will be able to apply for a Scottish passport from day one of independence.
People will be able to continue using their existing UK passport until it expires. They can then choose to get a Scottish passport when their existing passport is due for renewal.
Scotland’s Future sets out that Scotland will remain part of the Common Travel Area between the nations of the British Isles, which means that the Scots won’t need a passport to travel to the rest of the UK or Ireland.
Oky1 – it is nice for Scotland to say this, but how are other countries going to receive it?
Paul – it’s like a game of thrones, isn’t it?
Karen – I am a season behind on Game of Thrones. 😉 Will let you know when I catch up.
@Pamela, no military Scotland could field would stop an English invasion. Who’s invading Scotland? Who defends Iceland? Why wouldn’t we expect Scotland to remain a member of NATO, the EU or the UN for that matter?
Now wait…. When Iran or Iraq or some other country wants to do the same thing why do we step in so quickly…
I haven’t a clue.
Thanks, Mike. Any thoughts on what hung it up? Was it the external link?
A little assistance please. My “reply” of 5 minutes ago was eaten by the blog filter. (Is it Word Press?)
It won’t happen. Most (or all) of the EU countries have a small separatist movement that they are trying to mollify. If Scotland’s “separatist” vote passes, the EU will do all it can to ensure that Scotland does not succeed at being independent, lest all these separatist movements become energized. See Wikipedias “list of active separatist movements in Europe”.
So, how can the EU stop Scotland? Start with the currency. Scotland will not be allowed to use the Euro or the British pound. Trade, travel, immigration: Scotland will not be admitted to the European Union. Defense: NATO membership is off the table. And for the few lawyers on this blog: every single treaty between countries, ranging from free trade to intelligence sharing to tariffs to research, on and on and on. Thousands of treaties. They’ll all have to be renegotiated, assuming the other countries want to; don’t count on the UK or the EU showing up.
Pretty much 100% of the Scottish legal, financial, social, economic infrastructure will have to be rebuilt without the cooperation of most of Europe.
Good luck with that.
The most recent “European” country to obtain independence is Kosovo, still not recognized as a state by 5 of the 28 EU countries. But then, Kosovo separated from Bosnia (et al) as a result of attempted genocide.
Crazy Abe overreached and usurped out of religious zeal. Jefferson built a wall between church and state and, if there had been no possibility of separation, the United States would have become, simply, America. Secession is inherent in the terminology as divorce is inherent in marriage; and was well known the Henry VIII as it were.
Coups and wars. Wars and coups. And corruption.
And how about that very Republican Gov. of Virginia going to prison? Is there a point to voting Republican?
Rationality, logic and Constitutionality have been lost to the United States of America. In case you haven’t noticed, the swing vote is, what, 5-10%?
The silence of the lambs.
Scots are free spirits who have always wanted to rule themselves. Let them Rule Themselves. It’s bound to be.
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