Edinburgh University 2014 Referendum Analysis
The biggest study of how Scotland made its historic decision on 18 September 2014 found that the votes of people born outside Scotland decided the result.
52.7 percent of native-born Scots voted “yes” but 72.1 percent 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 assuming they cast their ballots in line with the findings of the Edinburgh University study, more than 300,000 of them will have voted “no”.
EU citizens, numbering around 225,000 also rejected independence, with 57.1 percent, around 128,500 voted “no”.
With the foregoing 428,000 confirmed “no” voters, from outside Scotland, the referendum ended with “Better Together” gaining 384,000 more votes for “no”.
The “no” campaigners were “cock a hoop” with their victory and boasted that Scots had voted against independence. A statement totally at odds with the facts. Scots-born and resident citizens did vote for independence.
Political scientist Professor Ailsa Henderson, who wrote the study said it showed the influence 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.”
The Next Referendum
Lessons need to be learned:
The impact of voters born outwith, but resident in Scotland needs to be marginalized. Voting qualification should be restricted to Scottish income taxpayers. This would disqualify many who are resident outwith Scotland but qualify because they have a second home in Scotland.
225,000 EU residents were conned last time believing the lies of the “Better Together” campaigners that a “no” vote would ensure their place within the EC would be guaranteed. It is very likely many former “no” voters will change their vote to “yes”.
An unspecified number of “yes” Scots might vote “no” because of the Scottish government’s position on EC membership and the benefits of remaining in Europe will need to be sold vigorously in the course of the campaign.