Scottish independence: Majority of Scots back using pound, says survey

coins and notes Currency has become one of the major battlegrounds in the independence campaign

A majority of Scots think an independent Scotland should continue to use the pound, according to the Scottish Social Attitudes survey.

The annual survey showed 68% favoured using the pound in an agreement with the rest of the UK, with just 14% favouring a new currency.

Support for independence had increased slightly compared to 2013.

However, 39% of people thought they would be financially worse off under independence, up from 29% last year.

The researchers also found more uncertainty amongst women about the consequences of independence, with 27% saying they were sure what independence would bring, compared with 37% of men.

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Currency debate explained
People holding money
  • In February this year, Tory Chancellor George Osborne teamed up with the other Unionist parties and said Scotland would not be able to use the pound after a yes vote
  • Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said that Mr Osborne was bluffing and that if a Yes vote happened a more practical decision would be reached.
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The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey was conducted by ScotCen Social Research between May and July.

That means it predates a clash over sterling between First Minister Alex Salmond and Better Together leader Alistair Darling in a live TV debate, but comes after UK Chancellor George Osborne ruled out sharing the pound with an independent Scotland.

Seventy-four percent of those questioned said they were "very likely" to vote in the referendum on 18 September, an increase from 61% in 2013.

Of people surveyed, 25% said they would vote "Yes" to independence - up from 20% in 2013 - compared to 43% who said they would vote "No". Twenty-nine percent were undecided.

Survey highlights

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When asked what currency an independent Scotland should use if voters back independence, 68% backed using the pound in an agreement with the rest of the UK.

A currency union is the favoured option of the Scottish government, but the UK government and the major Westminster parties have said they would rule out such a deal.

Only 8% of people supported using the pound without a currency union, 14% backed adopting a new currency, 6% favoured the euro and 4% were undecided.

The row over the currency in an independent Scotland rumbles on

When asked to set aside what currency an independent Scotland should use and say what they thought it would use if independent, 46% still thought that it would use the pound in agreement with the rest of the UK.

Despite an increase in support for independence since 2013, only 10% of the total people surveyed thought they would be either "a little" or "a lot" better off, compared to 39% who thought they would be worse off.

A total of 39% thought that independence would make no difference to their personal finances.

The proportion who thought that the overall economy would be worse under independence stood at 44%, up from 34% in 2013.

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What about the rest of the UK?
Andrew Neil
  • BBC broadcaster Andrew Neil explores what an independent Scotland could mean for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He also looks at what huge constitutional changes might lie ahead whether the vote is "Yes" or "No".
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The survey pointed to an increased reluctance amongst women to support independence.

Just 27% of women supported independence, compared with 39% of men. This 12 point gap is double that of 2013 (6%) and is the highest ever found in a Scottish Social Attitudes survey.

Rachel Ormston, research director at ScotCen, commented: "In the final weeks of the campaign, capturing women's votes remains a key challenge, particularly for the Yes campaign.

"Put off by uncertainty and less likely to be persuaded by patriotic arguments around 'pride', women still need to be convinced that independence will deliver on the economy and other areas.

"However, the No campaign should not assume it will automatically benefit from women's lower level of support for a Yes vote - nearly a third of women remain undecided how they will vote in September."

Survey highlights

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Nearly half of Scots surveyed - 47% - thought that independence would increase a sense of pride in their country, compared to 40% who thought it would make no difference and just 6% who would feel less proud.

However, 38% thought that independence would make Scotland's voice in the world either "a little" or "a lot" weaker, compared to 33% who thought it would be stronger and 22% who thought there would be no difference,

There had also been a slight increase in a sense of British identity.

When presented with a range of options ranging from "Scottish, not British" through to "British, not Scottish", the proportion who say they were "Scottish, not British" was 23%, the lowest it has been at any time since 1999.

The highest proportion since 1999 - 32% - said they were "equally Scottish and British".

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Scotland Decides: SCOTLAND VOTES NO

  1. No 2,001,926
  2. Yes 1,617,989
After 32 of 32 counts Results in detail

Referendum Live

  1.  
    Text 80295 09:10: Referendum - Your Views

    Robin, Glasgow: I voted No and I do have faith in the new powers being provided. What I never had faith in was Salmond's Vow that he and the Yes voters would accept the result of the referendum and move forward. He has clearly reneged on this, and now makes the sinister prediction the independence can be achieved "by other means". He clearly only wants to follow the sovereign will of the Scottish people if they agree with him.

    Ewan, Nairn: I am 99% sure that the powers (whatever they are, nobody seems to know) won't be delivered, either with substance or in any decent time. However, it's still only scraps and why ' Scotland' voted No to running its own affairs, getting ALL powers and becoming a democratic country is beyond me. Scotland is a pitiful laughing stock. Independence will come and make no mistake, the YES movement is bigger than ever and British Nationalism here will shrink into history.

    Anon: I am a No voter and I am perfectly happy with the way things are progressing with the Westminster parties. I wish Alex Salmond would just accept that; he lost his referendum that nobody asked for and that divided Scotland.

    John in Linlithgow: Do I believe Westminster will deliver more powers to Scotland? NO. And in the declared timescale? NO.

     
  2.  
    08:59: 'Sovereign will of the people'

    Shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran said the guarantees made by the main parties during the referendum campaign on more powers for Scotland would not fall by the wayside.

    "The Scottish people made an emphatic decision on Thursday," she said. "All parties said before the referendum we'd respect that.

    "The sovereign will of the Scottish people has been expressed and we need to respect that and move forward with the guarantees and commitments made during the referendum campaign.

    "I absolutely guarantee that we have the work done and have substantial progress under way. We'll be moving forward on that immediately."

     
  3.  
    Text 80295 08:54: Referendum - Get Involved

    Stuart from Fife: I just wish people would be more patient and realistic. It's only been a couple of days since the vote, the country has voted No and all the moaning and groaning will never change the will of the people. Everybody was sick and tired of all the stress caused by this vote, let's move on and give the politicians breathing space to carry out the job in hand!

    Stevie, Motherwell: I knew the 3 main leaders would go back on their word to Scotland. Gordon Brown had no right promising what he couldn't keep too. It was a devo-trap and I voted Yes.

    Danny: I voted No, I don't care about devo.

    Ryan McArthur, Rothesay, Bute: The promise will not be kept, independence is unstoppable and Scotland will be independent within 15 years.

     
  4.  
    08:45: Referendum reaction Louise White Presenter, Morning Call

    An argument has erupted between Labour and the Conservatives surrounding the timetable for further devolved powers to be granted to Scotland following a 'No' vote in the referendum.

    David Cameron says that he also wants constitutional change for England with English MPs only to vote on English Laws and Ed Miliband feels that this shouldn't be attached to The Vow made to Scotland.

    Alex Salmond, meanwhile, has claimed that this shows Westminster is trying to renege on the deal.

    Do you have faith that Westminster will deliver on 'The Vow'?

    Get in touch using 0500 92 95 00 or text 80295.

    You can listen live to the programme here.

     
  5.  
    08:33: Devolution commitments 'will be honoured'

    Shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran insists the political parties will honour their pledge to deliver more power to Scotland.

    The pledge, made by David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg ahead of the referendum, has three parts and also commits to preserving the Barnett funding formula.

    Alex Salmond has accused the three UK party leaders of "reneging" on the pledge.

    The first part of the agreement promises "extensive new powers" for the Scottish Parliament "delivered by the process and to the timetable agreed" by the three parties.

    The second says the leaders agree that "the UK exists to ensure opportunity and security for all by sharing our resources equitably".

    Margaret Curran

    The third "categorically states" that the final say on funding for the NHS will lie with the Scottish government "because of the continuation of the Barnett allocation for resources, and the powers of the Scottish Parliament to raise revenue".

    "I can absolutely guarantee that the commitments we made during the campaign will be honoured," the shadow Scottish secretary told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland.

    "They [the Conservatives] can give that guarantee and I think they have given that guarantee. That's my understanding of what they've been saying all weekend.

    "What is clear and people should be assured about are those categoric assurances we have from all the parties that were part of this."

     
  6.  
    Text 80295 08:25: Referendum - Your Views

    Anon: We were not tricked Mr Salmond, we voted NO because you did not have answers to the big important questions.

    Robert, Glasgow: Westminster will do what keeps the rest of the UK, their main electorate happy. They don't want to see more power go to Scotland so it won't happen. 1.6 million voices in Scotland will increase to 2.6 surely!

    Janine, East Lothian: Those who voted No did so for a range of reasons. What is clear in speaking to my family and friends is that many were unsure about full independence and were attracted by the devo-max we were promised at the last minute. If they don't deliver devo-max, surely the legitimacy of the whole referendum falls apart?

     
  7.  
    08:10: What the papers say

    The Herald leads with a claim that Alex Salmond has argued that Scotland could achieve independence without another referendum.

    Newspapers

    The Daily Record says a "rattled" David Cameron has been forced to make a "no ifs, no buts" commitment to more powers for Scotland.

    The Scotsman says the leaders of the three main UK parties are at odds over the delivery of further devolution.

    Read our newspaper round-up here.

     
  8.  
    Text 80295 07:58: Referendum - Your Views

    Martin, Glasgow: I don't think a single person in Scotland wants the West Lothian Question to remain. We understand fairness. Why, then, is fixing it supposedly the reason for the collapse of the great Scottish bribe off?

    Lorna, Glasgow: These tax proposals are exactly what Better Together objected to for independence: cross border, tax etc. We should have had more info on this before the referendum.

    Anon: Nicola Sturgeon for first minister... mon the Irn Bru Lady.

     
  9.  
    07:53: PM has 'muddied the waters'

    David Cameron has "muddied the waters" on devolved powers in the wake of Scotland's referendum vote, according to a Labour MP.

    Graham Allen, the MP for Nottingham North and chairman of the House of Commons political and constitutional reform committee, said the prime minister should deal with devolution for England separately.

    Labour MP Graham Allen

    "Promises were made by all the union parties; they have to be honoured and they will be honoured," Mr Allen told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme.

    "What's confusing people is the prime minister, threw in on Friday morning, that he wanted to look at English MPs and English votes.

    "I think that's muddied the waters and everyone would be happier if those issues were dealt with separately.

    "That won't compromise any promises that were made by those parties last week before the [referendum] vote took place.

    "There is a separate issue, which is very important, which is Scotland, through their fantastic democratic adventure of the referendum, has raised devolution for everyone else in the union.

    "Really, we just need to be honest about this. We're going to have, at some point, a federal parliament and system in the UK."

     
  10.  
    Text 80295 07:40: Referendum - Get Involved

    Anon: UK parties letting Scotland down already; we've had broken promises before. Will we ever learn?

     
  11.  
    07:34: Salmond claims voters were 'tricked'

    "No" voters in last week's independence referendum were "tricked" by a late vow of more devolved powers, according to Alex Salmond.

    Salmond, who is stepping down as Scotland's first minister, accused the three UK party leaders of "reneging" on the pledge they made days before Thursday's referendum which he claimed won the "No" vote.

    Alex Salmond

    No 10 dismissed his claims, as the three parties continue to disagree over handling the process of devolution.

    Voters in Scotland rejected independence by 55% to 45%.

     
  12.  
    haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 07:25: Referendum - Your Views

    John Mason, Falkirk: Surely the big problem for the Tories is convincing their back-benchers that nothing is being given away to Scotland under increased powers, without letting the cat out the bag to those poor Scottish voters who misguidedly switched? While it's proposed the Barnett Formula remains, alas all new tax-raising powers are deducted from it. Hence, 'devo max' only works for Scotland if the new tax-raising powers exceed the Barnett block grant, and that's not likely to happen! Yes, Mr Brown, you can fool most of the people most of the time, you just did it!

    Ian: How dare you Alex! The people have spoken - let us do what we as a people and nation have done so well! Keep the heid, respect the democratic process and, aye, be humble. We helped create the modern world that way.

     
  13.  
    07:18: West Lothian Question David Porter Westminster correspondent

    Here in Manchester [Labour Party conference] there's a palpable sense of relief at the result of the referendum vote. Most delegates enthusiastically back the idea of more powers for Scotland but many, particularly from Labour's English heartlands, want further devolution for their areas too.

    A growing number also believe that the West Lothian Question, concerning the voting rights and responsibilities of Scottish MPs, also needs to be looked at.

    The conference will get the chance to make its feelings about Scotland known this afternoon when the Scottish leaders address delegates in their formal report on Scotland.

    The shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran will say that the Labour Party must reach out to people who voted Yes across Scotland last week and assure them that real change is coming.

     
  14.  
    Text 80295 07:10: Referendum - Get Involved

    Anon: Surely English people have some entitlement too? I feel Scots MPs should be banned from voting on English-only issues. In return, then Scotland will get some more powers. Let's hope the Scots don't feel that somehow they're more worthy then all others, they're not.

     
  15.  
    07:04: Commons voting rights limited?

    David Cameron is hosting a summit of senior Conservative MPs at Chequers to discuss plans to limit the Commons voting rights of Scottish MPs.

    The prime minister has said a pledge to give Scotland more powers should go hand in hand with changing the role of Scottish politicians at Westminster.

    Alex Salmond (left) and David Cameron

    However, Labour leader Ed Miliband is opposed to linking the two issues.

    The three main parties pledged more devolution during the campaign to encourage Scots to reject independence.

     
  16.  
    07:01: Labour 'reaches out' to 'Yes' voters

    Labour aims to reach out to supporters who voted for independence in last week's referendum.

    Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran said senior party figures would meet Labour voters who backed independence in last week's referendum.

    Three of the four local authorities where a majority of people voted "Yes" were Labour-controlled.

    And the SNP, Scottish Greens and Scottish Socialist Party say they have recruited many former Labour members.

     
  17.  
    07:00: Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    Good morning and welcome to today's live page coverage of the latest post-referendum news and analysis.

     

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