64% of Lib Dems say Scotland is ‘Better Together’ with the rest of the United Kingdom

imageLib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 830 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Two-thirds of Lib Dem members opposed to Scottish independence

Do you support or oppose Scotland becoming a country independent from the rest of the United Kingdom?

    11% – Support independence

    23% – Neither support nor oppose

    64% – Oppose independence

    1% – Don’t know

A convincing majority of Lib Dem members (64%) oppose Scotland becoming an independent country – little more than 1-in-10 support it. However almost one-quarter remain neutral, almost all of them no-Scots’ Lib Dems who reckon it’s not really any of our business. Here’s a sample of your comments…

• I would like to see English Independence!
• A devolution of power political to power from Westminster to Holyrood is certainly desirable whether it is through Independence, or I would hope, a federalization of the UK.
• We need Home Rule agreed by the three Better Together parties, and we need that agreement now.
• I am a federalist
• It’s up to the people of Scotland to decide.
• I nominally oppose independence but would support the right of Scots to self-govern if that’s how they decide to vote.
• Amazing how the “No” campaign has managed to turn all the positives of union into negatives – we share a currency yay into you can’t share boo, we all enjoy the bbc yay, into you can’t have dr who boo. and so on
• We are Better Together. In Britain, in Europe, in work.
• It is time for the distinctively different political culture of Scotland to split from the rest of the UK and find its destiny in Europe.
• English. Don’t have a horse in the race and being honest? Don’t really care…
• Culturally I feel British rather than English. The UK is greater than the sum of its parts.
• I don’t want an almost permanent Tory Government in the rest of the UK
• If the Scots wish to become Independent then thats their choice, we should be support their rights for self determination. I would prefer that they remain part of the UK with additional devolved powers (for all regions of the UK not just the individual countries)
• Better maintaining the statis quo with greater negotiated autonomy.
• It’s for them to decide. I’d like them to stay, but if they don’t want to, then that’s fine.
• As a Lib Dem I support subsidiarity.
• We are stronger as one country.
• I would vote for independence if Scottish. But very damaging for the rest of us.
• Personally think it is a wrong move but of course I accept that the Scottish people have the right to make the decision themselves.

3-in-5 Lib Dems back ruling out currency union if Scotland becomes independent

Do you support the decision by George Osborne, Danny Alexander and Ed Balls to jointly rule out a currency union if Scotland chooses independence?

    59% – Yes

    29% – No

    6% – Neither

    5% – Don’t know

Three-fifths of Lib Dems agree with the decision of the Lib Dems, Conservatives and Labour to join forces in ruling out a currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK. However, a significant minority (29%) reckon that was the wrong decision – with many pointing out that there may be nothing they can do to stop an independent Scotland using the pound if it chooses. Here’s a sample of your comments…

• It’s silly bullying, and counter-productive. Of course we could share a currency
• There is no reason to prevent this, however it should be clear that the UK would expect to predominate in decisions about the currency and that it would not be an equal partnership.
• It should not be for George, Danny and Ed to rule this in or out. Entering a currency union should be a decision for the electorate of all parts of the United Kingdom. It would be inconsistent to have a referendum of ceding powers to Europe and not apply the same standards to Scotland.
• If Scotland wants to be independent it should develop its own currency.
• The Pound is a reserve currency (just), and as such any one can use it if they so desire.
• It is as much Scotland’s currency as England’s. The fact that the controlling bank is located in London is just bad luck for the Scots. I do not want to exchange currencies at the border.
• It is important to have as much in common as possible. The same should go for defense cooperation. Every effort between now and the referendum should send the message we love you.
• I trust Danny Alexander.
• I think it’s silly grandstanding.
• Makes economic sense
• Alex Salmond cannot assume things which he doesn’t have the power to give. I don’t want him deciding on the pound, he can go and whistle.
• The whole status of the UK would change so that the currency would no longer just belong to the remaining parts of the UK
• English politicans must not again leave England in a position where Scottish politicians can use English taxpayers money to bail out corrupt and bankrupt Scottish businesses.
• If they want to be really independent then they need their own currency
• I do not know how it would work, and if the SNP really understand what they are asking for.
• It’s nonsense economically and is a bullying tactic politically

  • 1,500 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 745 responded in full – and a further 87 in part – to the latest survey, which was conducted between 16th and 22nd April.
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. However, LibDemVoice.org’s surveys are the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country, and have in the past offered accurate guides to what party members think.
  • For further information on the reliability/credibility of our surveys, please refer to FAQs: Are the Liberal Democrat Voice surveys of party members accurate? and polling expert Anthony Wells’ verdict, On that poll of Lib Dem members.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll
  • Photo of Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland by [email protected]

    * Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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    This entry was posted in LDV Members poll and Scotland.


    • 64% is staggeringly low for a Unionist party.

      I assume you polled national members, rather than just those in Scotland, so this suggests a substantial number of your members actively oppose Scottish membership of the Union, or just don’t care.

      It’s exactly this English contempt for other components of the Union that drives the nationalist argument, and I have no doubt it isn’t restricted to Liberal Democrats.

      Unionist parties need to have a good look at their policies and, if they are committed to the country, need strategies to unite disparate parts of the UK.

      Sadly, with the modern political strategy being to target perceived key demographics than present unified visions this isn’t happening.

    • I don’t think it’s to do with ‘actively opposing Scottish membership of the Union’ – more like ‘recognising the right of the people of Scotland to make their own choice’.

    • Sid Cumberland,

      I don’t think it’s to do with ‘actively opposing Scottish membership of the Union’ – more like ‘recognising the right of the people of Scotland to make their own choice’.

      But Scotland isn’t a separate entity, it’s part of the United Kingdom and any choice Scotland makes will affect you. It’s expected that people elsewhere in the UK will have a view, unless they don’t care.

      At the very least, do you not care about the Liberal Democrat vote in Scotland, that’s thoroughly pro-unionist?

    • Denis Mollison 27th Apr '14 - 4:54pm

      Could we have a breakdown of these figures by local party? In particular, what were the percentages among Scottish Liberal Democrats on these two questions? It’ll be a small sample of course, but a crucial one: they’re the members who will have a vote on 18th September.

    • Alex Dingwall 28th Apr '14 - 12:24pm

      Given this was a poll of Voice members across the UK the figures are hardly surprising.

      The last ICM poll (14/16 April) showed that of Lib Dem voters (2011 Scottish Parliamentary election)
      18% would vote Yes,
      75% would vote No
      7% don’t know.

      88% were definite about how they would vote while 12% said they might change their vote.

      When asked: If Scotland were to vote “No” in the referendum, which of the following comes closest to your view about what should then happen next?

      39% said: There should be no further changes to the powers and responsibilities of the Scottish Parliament –

      52% said: The Scottish Parliament should become primarily responsible for making decisions about taxation and welfare benefits in Scotland.

      9% Didn’t know.

      When asked if they thought the Scottish Parliament would be given more powers after a No vote only 41% of Lib Dem voters said they did. 42% expected no change and 9% expected the Scottish Parliament to lose some of its existing powers and responsibilities.

      For further info: http://www.icmresearch.com/media-centre/polls/scottish-independence-poll-april-2014

    • Pete Paterson 5th Aug '14 - 3:15pm

      Someone needs to explain to me why this campaign by the Liberal Democrats is, in fact, liberal and democratic. I just don’t see it that way.
      Whatever happened to real Liberal values? Why were we unable to say to the people of Scotland, not all Scots by any stretch of the imagination:
      “Of course you must decide how you want to be governed. That is the right of all free people. For our part, we believe that we would be a stronger entity if we stay together and it is our sincere wish that you vote to remain in the Union. However, no matter what you decide, we assure you that we will always be with you and we will do whatever we can to make sure that the outcome of your decision is a success and that we will continue to be the closest of friends onwards into the future.”
      In my way of thinking, this is both liberal and democratic.
      Saying that you will not allow them to use the pound is bullying; and telling them that they can have more powers is bribery (and will probably be reversed at some future date).
      Whatever happened to my party?

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