The biggest study yet of how Scotland made its historic decision on September 18 has found that the votes of people born outside Scotland were crucial to the result.
While 52.7 per cent of native-born Scots voted Yes, a massive 72.1 per cent of voters from England, Wales or Northern Ireland backed the Union.
There were more than 420,000 Britons from elsewhere in the UK living in Scotland when the last census was taken.
And if they cast their ballots in line with the findings of the Edinburgh University study,
more than 300,000 of them will have voted No.
That’s a significant number in a contest that ended with 2,001,926 votes for No and 1,617,989 for Yes.
Voters born outside the UK also rejected independence, with 57.1 per cent voting No.
SNP MSP Christian Allard, who was himself born in France, said: “Scotland is the country of everyone who lives here, regardless of where they were born, and we take decisions on our future together.
“The diversity of Scotland’s population is a matter for celebration.
“While we were disappointed with the result of the referendum, this study shows that a
clear legacy has been greater political involvement, particularly among young people.
“And that is something to be proud of.”
Political scientist Professor Ailsa Henderson, who wrote the study, told the Record it showed the importance of “Britishness” among voters born elsewhere in the UK in deciding the result.
She said: “Scottish-born people were more likely to vote Yes and those born outside Scotland were more likely to vote No.
“But the least sympathetic to Yes were the people born in the UK, but outside Scotland.
“We think they are more likely to feel British. They are more likely to feel a continued tie to the UK as a whole – because that’s where they are from.”
Ailsa said it was different for voters who originally came from outside the UK.
She explained: “They have made a conscious decision to move to the UK, and the part of the UK they have chosen to move to is Scotland.”
Ailsa said the trend she found was similar to those seen in other independence votes in places such as Quebec in Canada.
The study, which recorded the attitudes of several thousand voters in a series of surveys, also confirmed that women and older people were more likely to vote No while men and the young were more in favour of Yes.
Researchers found that 56.6 per cent of women voted No while 53.2 per cent of men voted Yes.
he divide was even wider when it came to age. More than 62 per cent of voters aged 16 to 19 backed independence.
The Yes side also had a majority among voters aged 20 to 24, 25 to 29 and 30-39, while voters aged 40 to 49 were split almost exactly down the middle.
But 50 to 59-year-olds, 60 to 69-year-olds and voters aged 70 or older were all in the No camp, with the pro-Union majority getting bigger the older they were.
How the electorate voted (by age)
Nearly two thirds of 70-something Scots voted No.
Wealth and social status also played their part in deciding how the nation voted.
Yes had majorities among people who classed themselves as working class, people at the bottom of the earnings scale and people in rented social housing.
By contrast, the highest earners, home owners and people who described themselves as middle class were more likely to vote No.
Ailsa also found a “stark difference” between the voting patterns of protestants at Catholics, with Catholic voters far more likely to be Yes supporters.
The 2014 Referendum
In the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum the voter list included anyone over the age of 16, entered on the current electoral roll, whose place of residence was in Scotland, regardless of nationality. The usual caveats about Service personnel also applied.
Voter turnout was 84.59%. The result: Yes, 1,617,989, 44.70%. No, 2,001,926, 55.30%
There is an acceptance within Scotland that in the referendum a majority of the 240,000 EU and Non EU Immigrant voters and many voters of Scottish birth and residence had been persuaded to vote “No” frightened into submission by an incessant campaign of disinformation orchestrated by the UK Civil Service, Westminster politicians, the UK government and opposition Parties and their organs of abuse, the BBC and all other media outlets serving Scotland.
Indeed after the referendum the bodies before mentioned “crowed from the rooftops” fighting each other for media space each claiming their disinformation output had been the most influential in gaining the “No” vote.
The award should go to the Civil Service anti-independence team working out of Downing Street under the guidance of Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service …
790,000 postal voting forms were issued, completed and returned within the notified time period.
But the novel voting procedure, (heavily promoted by the governing authority) was sullied when, just after voting closed, Ruth Davidson and other influential supporters of the “No” campaign boasted they had known before 18 September 2014 that postal votes indicated a win for their campaign.
An incredible claim since the public had witnessed sealed postal votes being added to the other votes to be counted in at the counting stations.
There was a police investigation into the matter but the findings were never notified to the Scottish public who are still waiting for answers.
By result many Scot’s believed the outcome of the referendum had been fixed in favour of the “No” campaign.
Political Events 2015
Scottish voters would not be denied their say and public reaction towards the outcome of the referendum was clear and decisive six months after when, in the 2015 general election the Scottish National Party (SNP) won all but 3 of the 59 seats in Scotland in an unprecedented landslide.
The three seats which went to parties other than the SNP were held by very small majorities and local circumstances applied.
In winning by such a margin the SNP became the first political party in the UK, in sixty years to win 50% of the Scottish vote.
The mandate given to the SNP confirmed a majority of Scot’s wished to be independent and had the leaders of the Party the courage they would have advised Westminster that Scotland would be withdrawing from the 1707, Treaty of Union, quoting the political circumstances that had resulted in its signature, that a small majority of officers of parliament in Scotland had voted in 1707 in favour of the treaty.
This being a settled precedence the ruling would apply since the Scottish political system had returned a majority of MP’s in favour of abandoning the Treaty
But they decided to abide by the rules set out by Westminster and went off to England, bagpipes playing, photo opportunities galore and committed political “hari Kari” on national television.
The Westminster Debacle – 2015 – 2017
To say they were mocked would be an understatement. The corrupt Westminster system brutally ridiculed then destroyed the SNP.
At every turn the English dominated House of Commons imposed its will over the Scottish opposition.
The one single claim to fame by the SNP at Westminster was the acceptance of a one day motion removing VAT from ladies sanitary towels.
Scottish Parliament Election – 2016
The failure of the SNP at Westminster influenced the outcome of the 2016 Scottish Parliament election in which the party in which the SNP won a third term in government but failed to secure an overall majority.
In the election the Scottish Labour Party vote collapsed, to the benefit of the Scottish Conservative Party which increased their number of MSPs, overtaking Labour as the largest opposition party.
The Brexit Referendum – 2016
Just one month later, yet again, the Scottish public confirmed their wish to be independent of Westminster when at the 2016 EU referendum they voted 62.0% to remain with the EU.
But, as before Scotland’s wishes were consumed by English voters and their decision to leave the EU.
Intention to withdraw from the Treaty of European Union was notified to the EU in March 2017.
General Election – 2017
From the beginning of 2017, facing growing opposition to Brexit, the Tory Government decided to “cut and run” and called a snap General Election on 7 May 2017.
The expectation, if polls were to be believed, guaranteed the Tory Party a working majority at Westminster.
But, from an opening 20-point lead, the Tory’s lead diminished in the final weeks of the campaign.
In a result that stunned Westminster, the Tory party enjoyed a net loss of 13 seats, while Labour made a net gain of 30 seats.
Other parties performed badly as England returned to the much discredited “ping-pong” two party voting patterns of the past.
In Scotland, the election resulted in the SNP remaining the largest party, retaining 35 of the 56 seats It had won two years before.
The Scottish Tory Party won 13 seats while Labour and the Liberal Democrats took 7 and 4 seats respectively.
The result provided ammunition for the opposition Parties which they duly used in a sustained “fear” campaign against the SNP, orchestrated by the Red Tory Alliance claiming Scot’s had lost their appetite for independence.
The SNP hierarchy responded by abandoning a fundraiser for a possible referendum sometime after the conclusion of the 2 year Brexit negotiation period at the end of March 2019.
Scottish Independence Referendum – Post Brexit – 2019
Looking forward to the post Brexit period it is entirely possible that Scottish politicians will seek to hold another referendum on Scotland’s independence.
It is imperative that lessons are learned from the much discredited 2014 referendum and events since and changes applied.
Voting qualification should be restricted to people, of Scottish birth, aged 16 and over and resident in Scotland.
Usual caveats to be applied in the case of service personnel. Postal voting disallowed.
Voters should be required to cast their votes at polling stations.
Voting by proxy to be permitted, birth certificates or other form of acceptable proof of identity to be produced at the time of placing a vote.
Adoption of the foregoing as policy would provide an opportunity for Scot’s and only Scot’s to express their wish for the future of their country.
26 Mar 2015: The reason voting should be confined to home born Scots resident in Scotland at the next referendum
An extensive study of how Scotland made its historic decision on 18 September 2014 found that the votes of people born outside Scotland were crucial to the result.
While 52.7 per cent of native-born Scots voted “Yes”, a massive 72.1 per cent of voters from England, Wales or Northern Ireland backed the Union.
There were more than 420,000 Britons from elsewhere in the UK living in Scotland when the last census was taken and casting their ballots in line with the findings of the study, more than 300,000 will have voted “No”.
That’s a significant number in a contest that ended with 2,001,926 votes for “No” and 1,617,989 for “Yes.”
EU and other voters born outside the UK also rejected independence, with 57.1 per cent voting “No.”
The political analyst who write the report said the findings showed the importance of “Britishness” among voters born elsewhere in the UK in deciding the result.
She said: “Scottish-born people were more likely to vote Yes and those born outside Scotland were more likely to vote No.
“But the least sympathetic to “Yes” were the people born in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales and any other areas within the UK but outside Scotland.
“They are more likely to feel British and prefer a continued tie to the UK as a whole – because that’s where they are from.”
“There is a difference in voters who originally came from outside the UK, who had made a conscious decision to move to the UK, and the part of the UK they choose to move to was Scotland.”
Wealth and social status also played their part in deciding how the nation voted.
“Yes” had majorities among people who classed themselves as working class, people at the bottom of the earnings scale and people in rented social housing.
By contrast, the highest earners, home owners and people who described themselves as middle class were more likely to vote “No.”
There was also a “stark difference” between the voting patterns of protestants and Catholics, with Catholic voters far more likely to be “Yes” supporters. (The Daily Record)
17 thoughts on “No Country in History has ever rejected Independence – Until Scotland in 2014 – What an Unfortunate precedence to Set – We need to Correct the Mistake in 2019”
My wife is Polish and although she voted YES her fellow Poles voted 70/30 for NO believing that Scotlands place in the EU was threatened by a YES vote. Now Poles who haven’t left are over 90% YES and I believe that the delay until after Brexit would disenfranchise them and cost YES a swing of 300000 votes in Scotland and that this is one reason the Tories want to wait until after Brexit. I think the rules on postal voting should be either scrapped or made no earlier than two days before polling day and that the votes should be sealed on arrival at an independent checking agency overseen by a legal returning officer for postal votes who should be criminally liable for any leaks ot opening of votes before counting occurs.
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The part:- “The failure of the SNP at Westminster influenced the outcome of the 2016 Scottish Parliament election in which the party in which the SNP won a third term in government but failed to secure an overall majority.” is surely in error. The SNP vote at the 2016 Scottish Parliament election was the highest ever achieved by SNP at Holyrood elections in both constituency ald list voting. The number of Constituency SNP MSPs was higher than ever previously achieved by any party including SNP and the fact that no overall majority was obtained was down to the quirkieness of the Holyrood system designed originally by the Unionist parties.
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Reject Independence for the first time in history, after 300 years of oppression and exploitation. No one has yet to come up with a credible explanation for the No vote. On the morning after, David Cameron knew it had been fixed – he’s just not that good an actor to have been able to hide the fact that he knew how it had been fixed.
The air of confidence in the “No” camp on the 18 of September was a worry. and as events unfolded just after the first vote was announced I knew we had lost. because of a postal vote fix and the attacks on the mindset of the immigrant population.
Although I have drawn attention to an inaccuracy above, a much greater problem with this article is:- “Voting qualification should be restricted to people, of Scottish birth, aged 16 and over and resident in Scotland.” This suggestion would bring piles of well deserved criticism and distancing from decent people if adopted by the YES movement. It would not be adopted by the SNP, of that we can be sure. SNP advocates civic nationalism. People who have decided to live and work here are Scots and are entitled to vote. Ethnic nationalism, the sort of nationalism preached in thirties Germany and Mussolini’s Italy, should surely be anathema to all Scots. Promotion of this horrible ethnic nationalism is enough to ensure being banned from SNP.
I do not agree. The time for civic nationalism is after independence has been achieved. Had your suggestion been applied to the EU referendum all immigrants would have been extended a vote but the reverse was the case. Westminster exacted Ethnic nationalism and banned the lot of them from voting . et tu!
I settled in Scotland in the mid-sixties from England. Any attempt to deny me a vote would be an attempt to deny me one of my Human Rights. It would also deny the YES movement a vote if that move to deny my right to vote was successful. It will not be successful. The suggestion just brings Calton Jock into disrepute amongst mainstream YESers. This would be a great pity. The series has contained some very powerful articles.
Tom: You miss the point entirely. Whilst you might have voted “Yes” many more people in your position voted “No” and denied myself and 5million Scot’s our Human Rights to live in a country outwith the rule of Westminster. Applying the rules I propose would ensure only Scot’s voted for their future. After independence you would be able to apply for Scottish citizenship which would resolve your concerns. Getting back to the EU referendum Westminster denied a vote to all EU immigrants regardless of how long they had been resident in the UK. If it is good enough for Westminster then it should be good enough for Scotland.. In any event, as a supporter of independence I would have thought your support of my proposals would have been a get go since you would be more likely to emerge on the winning side.
I was born in England in 1953, of an English father and Scottish Mother. We moved to Edinburgh in 1960. I hold myself to be a Scot, partly through my mothers line, all of her family were born in Scotland for generations back. Also by choice, as I have never lived outside of Scotland in 57 years. Can you really draw that line? I voted YES in 2014 and will always support independence.
Toni: I updated my post in the last hour addressing the issues raised by yourself. It is in your best interests that you be denied a vote in the next referendum. Whilst you voted “Yes” 72% of voters (302,400) born within the UK but outwith Scotland voted “No”. Added to the total, 57% of EU voters and those from other countries (136,800) providing a total of: 439,200 “No” votes. Scotland lost the independence referendum by 383,937 votes. Had the rules I advocate for a future referendum been in place at 2014 Scotland would have voted 53% “Yes” rendering the discussion we are having now null and void.
“If it is good enough for Westminster then it should be good enough for Scotland” Wow! Westminster is the most corrupt, amoral and manipulative parcel of rogues whose deceit and dishonesty have dragged Scotland down for 300 years. And on the matter of franchise, I was born in Dublin because my parents happened to be there at the time. I stayed there for a few weeks, and for the remaining 70 years have lived and worked in Scotland. My father was an SNP member and was actively involved in the independence cause since the 1960s. I am a member of the SNP and am equally involved. Yet you propose I should be ineligible to vote.. You seem to miss the whole point of Scotland’s internationalist agenda.
John: my reply to Toni is applicable to yourself .I updated my post in the last hour addressing the issues raised by yourself. It is in your best interests that you be denied a vote in the next referendum. Whilst you voted “Yes” 72% of voters (302,400) born within the UK but outwith Scotland voted “No”. Added to the total, 57% of EU voters and those from other countries (136,800) providing a total of: 439,200 “No” votes. Scotland lost the independence referendum by 383,937 votes. Had the rules I advocate for a future referendum been in place at 2014 Scotland would have voted 53% “Yes” rendering the discussion we are having now null and void.
I assume your parents were Scot’s and you were born Irish. In this case being a foreign national it would have been possible, still is for you to apply for Scottish citizenship.
There are many points for us to miss or not miss George:-
1. In me deciding to comment on the article it is a question of which points that I want to make and which are pertinent.
2. There is no Human Right such as the one that you claim in your second sentence. 3. In UK and rest of Europe, place of birth has not been the a factor in deciding eligibility to vote for decades, prior to Westminster’s decision to turn the clock back by denying EU citizen’s resident and working here the right to vote in the EU Referendum. I hope that the legal challenge to this Westminster restriction is successfully challenged rather than used as a precedent .
4. Fortunately your notion of what a Scot is is at variance with the definition of a Scot used by Scottish Government during the IndyRef.
5. If the act of winning is the vital factor then why not ban all over the age of 70? Or all women? Both of those demographics were negative for YES also..the former in huge numbers. It is not just about winning though is it? The country created by the victory that you have manufactured sets the tone for the country that is created. Is a Scotland where foreign born people, or the elderly or the women are regarded as second class really the sort of Scotland you would want to live in? Have you not noticed yet that UK is badly regarded because of its banning of EU workers and residents here from voting? I do hope that the legal challenge is successful.
I’m afraid this approach to who can vote will guarantee a defeat. Angus Robertson, Mike Russell, Christine Graham are SNP politicians who won’t get a vote. The SNP would be a laughing stock and rightly so. There’s no point in even discussing this and it will further create a sense that Scottish nationalism was never really civic at its core. However I do believe some restrictions are justified. If your main address is in England and your second home happens to be in Scotland then unless you can point to a long period of Scottish residency or were born in Scotland then you will not automatically get a vote. I know this is making it sound complicated but according to CJ’s prescription I won’t get a vote though my background is Scottish and I’ve lived all my life in Scotland except for one year. No memories of London at all.
There will even have been accidents of birth where a husband and pregnant wife on a day trip to Berwick or Carlisle have had to rush to a local hospital etc. etc.
Honestly Calton, we all feel cheated by people returning to their second homes on Sept. 13th 2014 and casting a no vote the next day. We want people who have aye lived here to have the greatest say but it’s not going to happen the way you want it. The SNP would lose all their legitimacy overnight.
Back to the drawing board…
I was born in Scotland to a 100% scottish mother and an english father, I now live just over the border in England, I was denied a vote in the independence referendum!!! as I didn’t live in Scotland. I would have voted YES. My human rights were taken from me by the Nato loving SNP!.
“Applying the rules I propose would ensure only Scot’s voted for their future.”
The legal position is I am scottish, yet, I am not allowed to vote on my countries future, please remember I may well return to Scotland someday. Trying to rig votes to get the result you want has a name, fascism!.
Westminster is guilty of rigging the vote against Scottish independence for 300+ years. Scots need only do it once to gain a positive result. An independent Scotland would then be able to design and implement political systems far removed from the Westminster Fascist model that has served our nation so badly for so long.