Scots will vote on independence, but many battles already won


This has been a big month for the Scottish National Party’s campaign to secede from the U.K., which is still being oddly overlooked in this most culturally Scottish fragment of the old empire. The SNP-led government of Scotland released its white paper outlining arguments and plans for independence, including a projected Independence Day (March 24, 2016) and a date for the first general election in a sovereign Scotland (May 5, 2016). The paper, entitled “Scotland’s future,” nails down the terms of debate for the Sept. 18, 2014, referendum vote on which the fate of the union hinges.

When I wrote about the campaign in August, I observed that the Yes side had not yet garnered 40 per cent support in any major poll. It has since done so, once touching 44 per cent, but the No side is, in general, still well ahead—by anywhere from about 10 to 30 percentage points—when the Scots are quizzed. A clear and consistent split has opened up between the findings of various pollsters, with numbers from the firm Panelbase standing out as particularly Yes-friendly.

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