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Better Together urges ‘no complacency’ as support for separation slumps

Support for separation slumped during 2012 to its lowest level since devolution, according to a new survey published this evening. The report confirms that the Scottish people are firmly pro-devolution and against breaking away from the United Kingdom.

ScotCen Social Research’s annual Scottish Social Attitudes survey found that just 23% of people in Scotland now think that “Scotland should become independent, separate from the rest of the UK”. This figure equals the previous low recorded in 2010, and represents a drop of nine points on the 2011 figure (32%).

The findings are in line with recent opinion polls. A TNS-BMRB poll published just last week put support for separation at 28% – the same level the pollster recorded in October 2012.

The survey is a significant boost for the pro-UK campaign, but Better Together has warned the findings should not give supporters of Scotland in the UK cause for “one moment of complacency”. 

Despite the low level of support for separation, the survey found there is still considerable support for devolution.

Contrary to recent assertions made by the anti-UK campaign, the survey also found that “most people do not believe independence will make Scotland a fairer, more socially just society.” Less than one in five people thought the gap between rich and poor would be smaller under independence. A quarter of Scots thought the gap would increase, while 47% felt it would not make any difference.

The survey also indicates that being in power does not seem to have enabled the SNP to have boosted support for its separation.

Fewer Scots are optimistic about the potential consequences of impendence than twelve months ago, the survey found.

59% say they would be “quite” or “very” worried if Scotland became independent, up from 46% in 2011.

In 2011, 51% thought that independence would give Scotland a stronger voice in the world. That figure has now fallen to 42%.

The proportion that thought separation would mean that people in Scotland would have more pride in their country has also dropped.
 
Responding to the findings, Better Together Campaign Director Blair McDougall, said:

“Polls like these should not give supporters of Scotland within the UK cause for even one moment of complacency.

“While these newest figures are obviously causing concern for the anti-UK campaign, who are planning a big money re-launch, we will continue to work hard and get our positive message out to the Scottish people.

“This is the biggest battle in Scottish political history and all those who believe Scotland is better together in partnership with the UK need to stand up and be heard.”