Saturday, 20 September 2014

Scottish referedum results

There have now been three referendums in Scotland over devolution and independence. In 1979 a proposal to institute a Scottish Assembly was not passed; in 1997 a proposal to create a Scottish Parliament was passed; now a proposal for full independence was rejected. Here are the figures for the Yes campaign in the three cases:

1979: 1,230,937 votes
1997: 1,775,045 votes
2014: 1,617,989 votes

Despite a hugely increased turnout, the number supporting independence was lower than the number who supported devolution in 1997.

Or one could look at the results in terms of the share of the electorate; again these are the results for the Yes campaigns:

1979: 32.9 per cent
1997: 44.7 per cent
2014: 37.8 per cent

I'm not sure quite what that tells me, except that it helps me to keep a sense of perspective when I read, for example, Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian, saying: 'yesterday 45% voted to repudiate British sovereignty, to end this arrangement once and for all. When close to half the population of a nation inside a union wants to break away, the state of that union is not strong. It is fragile.'

Well, maybe. But in thirty-five years the growth in support from devolution to independence has amounted to just under five percentage points.

No comments: