Coffee House

If a men-only referendum was held, Salmond would win comfortably

15 June 2014

2:10 PM

15 June 2014

2:10 PM

Another day another poll or, rather, another day and we have another two polls on independence.

Scotland on Sunday today published an ICM poll which found support for Yes on 45 per cent and support for No on 55 per cent, a gap of ten points (once don’t knows had been excluded).

But, most importantly what this means is that the gap between the two sides has narrowed by six points in the last month.

According to ICM, the Yes side has gone up by three points since mid May while the No camp has gone down by three points.

ICM has always maintained a good reputation for the accuracy and sagacity of its polling so this one cannot be underestimated.

It definitely suggests that Alex Salmond and Co. have rediscovered their mojo and regained the momentum they lost over the Spring.

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But the Scotland on Sunday poll should also be taken alongside another poll published today by the Sunday Herald.

This one was a Panelbase poll commissioned by Yes Scotland. Because it was commissioned by one of the sides in the campaign, it probably should be approached with a little more caution than the ICM poll.

But, nevertheless, it is a proper poll on the question of independence and it too shows a narrowing of the gap.

According to Panelbase, the gap between the two sides is now a mere four points, with Yes on 48 per cent and No on 52 per cent (once undecided had been excluded).

The Yes-supporting Sunday Herald championed the poll as a ‘breakthrough’ event and, if the poll is accurate, then that is almost the case (although it is hard to avoid the feeling that a real ‘breakthrough’ event would come when – or if – the Yes camp actually managed to record a lead in a  major poll).

However, the Panelbase poll also highlighted the increasingly significant gender gap in the referendum debate.

If a men-only referendum was held, Mr Salmond would win comfortably. A total of 56 per cent of men in Scotland now support independence, as opposed to just 41 per cent of women.

Nicola Sturgeon, the Deputy First Minister, is leading the charge to convert women to the cause of independence but, so far, with only limited success.

If the unionists do win in September, then David Cameron will have the women of Scotland to thank because, at the moment, they are the only ones standing behind Mr Salmond and his independence dream.

There was one other interesting, and sobering, finding from today’s polls.

The ICM poll for Scotland on Sunday found that most Scots are starting to fear the divisive effect the referendum debate is having on the country.

Almost two fifths of Scots (38 per cent) thought the country would emerge ‘badly divided’ by the referendum contest, whatever the outcome.

Pollsters also found that 42 per cent of families were split over the issue of independence while 21 per cent admitted that discussions over the referendum with family or friends had degenerated into rows.

And we still have almost 100 days to go.

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Show comments
  • James Morrison

    “The ICM poll for Scotland on Sunday found that most Scots are starting to fear the divisive effect the referendum debate is having on the country. Almost two fifths of Scots (38 per cent) thought the country would emerge ‘badly divided’ by the referendum contest, whatever the outcome. Pollsters also found that 42 per cent of families were split over the issue of independence while 21 per cent admitted that discussions over the referendum with family or friends had degenerated into rows.”
    1. Since when did 38%, 42% or 21% represent “most” of an electorate?
    2. What are the comparable figures for a general election? Without context these numbers are meaningless. I mean I (almost) never vote the same way as my mother, and we have frequently argued about it. Yet this has no consequence whatsoever beyond the argument itself.

  • allymax bruce

    “If the unionists do win in September, then David Cameron will have the
    women of Scotland to thank because, at the moment, they are the only
    ones standing behind Mr Salmond and his independence dream.” (Hamish McDonell).
    Holy Mother of God; please Ladies of Scotland, vote ‘Yes’ !

  • Craig Millar

    As a scot residing in glasgow but who regularly works in London, i am increasingly finding the tone of the referendum highly depressing and deeply divisive. I will be voting no in september, for my own reasons, that everyone should respect. The lack of respect however from both sides up here is increasingly nauseating, and i fear for a post referendum Scotland whatever the outcome.

    If your a no voter – your a traitor, your scared, you’ve no ambition, your happy living in an ‘opressed’ country (seriously ive heard that!)

    If your a yes voter – your a fantasist, a fascist, devoid of history.

    the realisation that the country is split right down the middle into ‘nationalist’ and ‘unionist’ camps is troublesome in the long term. my suspicion is that if a tight yes vote (52v48), everyone would accept the result and move forward – if its a tight no vote though (52v48), i doubt the nationalists are going to accept and quietly slip away.

    • allymax bruce

      I agree; the No Campaign ‘went toxic’ last week, and it’s time for Scotland to become Independent.
      The Westminster-obliged BBC, tv radio and MSM Press-coverage has ‘instituted-a-propaganda’ that conditions an ‘us-or-them’ fractiousness; not the politicians, not the Scots People, no-one else, but Westminster BBC/MSM. I don’t even blame the Scotch Labour Party; they’re not as hysterically aggressive as the Westminster BBC MSM Press; and I’m used-to their greetin’-faced girning anyway. All Scots have to live together in Scotland, after 18th Sept’, and I blame the Westminster propaganda outlets for stirring-up the situation. I will accept the result, and live with my other Scots; regardless; but Westminster has tried to divide the Nation by poisoning the well.

    • ChuckieStane

      Craig,
      As someone living and working in Scotland, I find the on the ground people debating the issues within families, communities and at work without rancour. The media are pushing a line about division very hard but, compared to other independence movements, the current campaign is exceptionally tame and surprisingly lacking in passion. Dull conversations about financial arrangements and pensions are commonplace.
      Regarding a narrow No vote, I agree that it would not end the process. With all three UK parties “promising” more devolution (even though a no vote is a vote for the status quo), the two parliaments will continue to diverge. Inevitably it is probably a matter of when not if Scotland returns to being and independent nation.

      • Craig Millar

        as much as it pains me chuckie, i suspect your last sentence is probably quite accurate. even in the event of a tight no there would be a continued push that would result in eventual separation.

        one of the only positives i can see that i am extremely interested in, is what type of government an independant scotland would have. I firmly believe the SNP holds power due to an absolute disenchantment and malaise that the Scottish population has with the ‘scottish’ versions of the three main partys, who operate with almost zero autonomy outwith the westminster powerbrokers. One of the SNPs bigest attractions has been their autonomy and ability to govern holyrood as an independant party (i voted for them in the last scottish election for example, despite not being an indy supporter). I also think theres a bit of a right wing vacuum in Scotland, we know the reasons why the tories dont get votes, but i dont think thats endemic of a lack of right wing views and we’re all neo liberals, more of a total didlike of all things tory. Theres room for anew party on the right, and the first elections would be extremely interesting

  • El_Sid

    This gender divide on independence is hardly news, it’s been a feature of pretty much all polling on the subject. It’s well known that men – in fact males of most species – are risk takers, women are more risk averse.

    JK Rowling’s intervention was a classic viewpoint for a woman, emphasising the risks of going into the unknown territory of independence – but that female take is not one that’s often heard in the media.

  • Whyshouldihavetoregister

    “If the unionists do win in September, then David Cameron will have the women of Scotland to thank because, at the moment, they are the only ones standing behind Mr Salmond and his independence dream.” I do not think that is what you meant to write.

  • Blindsideflanker

    There is the British establishment’s aversion to debating English peoples constitutional issues, as we saw the other day with Isabel Hardman who switched the subject to talking about Scottish issues.

    But the psychosis is also evident when they do ( in a superficial way) debate English constitutional issues, which they only do by asking Scots about it, as we saw when Pinnar asked the Scottish elected politician ,Danny Alexander , about it over the weekend.

    It seems English constitutional rights are either not to be discussed at all, or from the perspective of other nationalities.

    Some time, a long long way off, when all avenues have been exhausted to not discuss it , or have extracted opinions about it from the other nine billion people on this earth, the British media might just be forced to ask one or two of the 55 million English people what they want.

  • Fergus Pickering

    What a curious thing to say? Are women lesser beings in your book? Are their votes less valid? I think women are less inclined to misty-eyed romanticism and also have less relish for abuse. Good on tem.

    I, of course long fr a YES vote. But I still don’t think I’ll see one.

  • swatnan

    Steady on Scotland hasn’t got sharia just yet, thank goodness.

  • Maidmarrion

    Hands up all those commenting who have a vote in the referendum>
    Few that I can see – perhaps the Spectator has lost the ” separatists”, perhaps they are sensible enough to abandon commenting on this and many other UK papers sites because the information peddled is so far removed from what they meet on the ground.

  • Liz

    That’s because men are the ones who invented tribes which later morphed into countries. They’re the ones who fight over their borders and have the egos that need social recognition for doing so.

    • allymax bruce

      Mmmm? I dunno about that, Liz.
      What about the Amazons?

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “If a men-only referendum was held, Salmond would win comfortably”
    If an England-only General Election were held, Labour wouldn`t stand a chance.

    Tempting isn`t it?

  • Henry Hooper

    Reading the most of the posts today is enough for anyone to realise the union is broken.
    condescension, insults, stirring animosity (a la Project Fear/ Bitter Together)….etc etc…its clear to see that even if there’s a No in September (god forbid)… independence is coming sooner or later

    • Jonathan Burns

      If there is a Yes I hope you enjoy your new capital in Brussels and remember Berlin will want to okay your budget.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Let me get this straight, if there is a No vote independence is a certainty? Wow, good luck with that.

  • Jonathan Burns

    In my experience women tend to read instruction manuals before they do anything while men tend to only read them if they get into difficulty.
    It seems the same thing is happening with the referendum thank goodness.
    Women are more likely to say “wait a minute what currency?” while men “lets worry about this after we vote Yes!”

    • Wessex Man

      That’s a good point, then men who who can’t multi task have to take all day putting everything in working order.

  • Jonathan Burns

    Panel base polls are well known as bias in favour of Yes. To put it mildly they are B@ll&cks!
    That is because Cybernats infiltrated them and this skewers the results.
    This is why Yes supporters keep using them.

    • Henry Hooper

      Out of all the pollsters in 2011…it was only Panelbase that nailed it.
      Explain?

      • Jonathan Burns

        What was Panelbase predicting for the European Elections the other month?

  • Blindsideflanker

    As the British political establishment are hypersensitive about ‘wimins’ issues, with rafts of policies to bribe them to vote their way, I wonder if they can confront the novel idea of having to bribe men to vote their way? If they can over come the terrible thought that this might be sexist, would they have a clue what policies to offer men?

    • Liz

      Independence?

  • HookesLaw

    Pardon me for being a cynic, but I believe that the commissioner of a poll does have an influence. A Yes group commissioning a poll for a Yes newspaper?
    Come on….

    • HJ777

      Correct.

      If a partisan group pays for a poll, then they don’t have to publish the results or even reveal the existence of that poll if it doesn’t say what they want it to say. On the other hand, if a pollster comes back with results they like, then they are more likely to commission another. Unsurprisingly, pollsters know this and some act accordingly

  • The Masked Marvel

    The country will emerge badly divided? Family rows breaking out? Hang on, wasn’t Massie telling us the other day how civilised the whole debate has been?

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Yes but he was talking drivel usual. The repercussions of this debate will sour relations between Scotland and the rest of the UK for decades whatever the outcome.

      • Andy

        The relations between England and Scotland are already soured by the ‘debate’. But that is what Salmond etc all wanted.

        • The Masked Marvel

          As far as I can tell, most of Scotland has been sour about England for centuries. It’s only now there’s an excuse to let it all hang out.

          • Fergus Pickering

            It is not difficult to tell the difference between a ray of sunshine and a Scotsman with a grievance. P G Wodehouse.

          • Wessex Man

            it’s down to the Flodden Field factor, they all have long memory.

          • rod robertson

            You English flatter yourselves ,this is absolutely nothing to do with race and all about Democracy , or the lack of it in UK.

            • The Masked Marvel

              QED.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Agreed. Interestingly I spoke with somebody who claims a friendship with Salmond ( poor fellow). He claims that Salmond is convinced they will lose the vote but is determined to wring as many concessions out of Westminster as possible. To the extent that these concessions are unmatched by concessions to English interests then I can see resentments deepening.

  • FrankS2

    If Scots living in other parts of the UK were allowed a vote on the future of their country, the result might be very different.

  • The_Missing_Think

    “Because it was commissioned by one of the sides in the campaign, it probably should be approached with a little more caution than the ICM poll.”
    _____

    That same concept can also transfer, to other ‘sides’, in other campaigns.

  • Q46

    Independent Scotland.

    Cuba in the rain with haggis and bagpipes.

    • The Masked Marvel

      Venezuela, not Cuba.

    • Blindsideflanker

      Oh well with offal as a national dish they will be set up to survive the deprivations of a centrally managed economy.

      • allymax bruce

        That would be a good move. Think of it; a policy of self-sustenance in agriculture, energy, and food produce for iScotland.
        (pea n’ ham; fae a chicken)
        Now that’s clever!

        • HJ777

          You’re advocating autarky?

          Even Franco eventually saw the light on that.

        • Roger Hudson

          … though on hamely fare we dine…
          .. the man ‘o independent mind he looks and laughs at all that…

    • manonthebus

      I love haggis. Ditch the bagpipes.

      • Roger Hudson

        Didn’t they bring back the bagpipes from the Crusades?

    • justejudexultionis

      And bloody amazing scenery, some of the best in the world.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Oh come now. If it’s mountains you want then Switzerland is the place. If it’s pine forests, try Norway. Why does Scotland always have to be best? Oh, and if it’s endless rain you want, then Ireland is good.

        • starfish

          Midges?

          • allymax bruce

            toughest midges in the world!

          • Fergus Pickering

            Yup. And klegs.

        • Kitty MLB

          How wrong dear man. Scotland with its mystical
          lochs, Glens and the sun that breaks though the
          early morning mist with the dew on the soft
          heather is the most beautiful on earth.
          And Mull in November, wild, windswept
          and misty and goes on forever.
          Also the beautiful Shetland Isles ,
          useful for ponies! and the warmest of
          jumpers.Maybe you should visit Scotland
          soon.

  • Alexsandr

    you say its been corrosive in scotland. but english/scottish relations must surely have been damaged by this. The comments here show how the english think the scots get a free ride, and the scots resent the english.
    While i was agin independance before, I feel this row means that working together will be impossible after the referendum.

    • Andy

      No matter which way it goes the effect on Scottish/English relations has been very damaging. But that is exactly what Salmond and the SNP wanted and sought. You may say that the ‘English think the Scots get a free ride’, but what I think has been most shocking is the bile and hate directed at the English by the Tartan Fascists. We wont be forgetting it. The result of all of this is that if there is a No vote the present arrangements are totally and utterly unacceptable to we English. We want our own Parliament free from those who so evidently hate us interfering in our affairs.

      • Alexsandr

        you are right. except for the english parliament. do we really need another lot of MP’s. I still think an arrangement where only english MP’s are able to vote on devolved matters is better -notably cos we dont need the expense of another parliament.

        • HookesLaw

          How nice to agree. And with Devo Max after a NO vote then reform in Westminster’s voting must follow.

        • Blindsideflanker

          As the British Parliament wouldn’t have much to do, an English Parliament need not mean more MP’s. After all Westminster MP’s are adept at having more than one job, fitting in time to manage whole telephone directories of Directorships, and as the totality of the sovereignty won’t have changed, I don’t see why they can’t do both jobs.

          • Andy

            This is so. BUT we have a problem. In 2010 the Tories gained a majority of 62 seats in England. So why don’t the Tories control Health, Education etc in England and have a free rein in those policy areas ? And suppose we have a situation where the Fascist Labour Party has a majority UK wide, but are in a minority in England ? What then ? That means we need to form an ‘England Government’ which can run England’s affairs, separate from the UK.

        • HJ777

          Better still to devolve much more within England.

          Scottish government has become more centralised because Holyrood feels the need to exercise more control in order to justify its existence.

          Why does central government need to run an education system or a medical system? These could both be run locally or (my preference) not run by government (central or local) at all.

        • Wessex Man

          Yes we do, in England matters that are devolved in Scotland, NI and Wales are decided by the 119 votes of MPs from those three countries who can’t influence the same things where they were elected.

          So much has been devolved and so much power has been passed to the EU, the savings to pay for an English Parliament could come from the useless UK Government being cut by 50% or more.

      • Jambo25

        Examples of bile and hatred directed at the English please. I see far more going in the opposite direction.

        • HJ777

          How about this:

          Scotcanadien:

          “”Well the English are the most parasitical shower on earth. Preening, precious, pretentious, puffed up little blowhards, with an overblown idea of their self importance. Been living off Scotland for the last 40 years and have neither the grace nor wit to be thankful. And a very apt phrase to describe them is … “if you meet an arsehole in the morning you met an arsehole, if you meet arseholes all day you’re in England.”

          And what about our friend Terregles2 who, while declaring that she has nothing against the English consistently describes any institution based in England as “discredited” and blames every supposed ill of Scotland on a Westminster government that supposedly cares nothing for Scots. You know, the women who keeps telling England what will be good for it but who reacts furiously against anyone outside Scotland having their say on the referendum.

          You are very one-eyed.

          I have just provided an example. Just like I pointed out that Swinney estimated the cost of setting up a Scottish tax agency at £575m-£625m and asked how this is with consistent with Salmond’s total cost of £250m – yet you choose to completely ignore any facts and evidence you don’t like.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Try getting him to tell you why a currency union would be a good idea for UK taxpayers. Good luck with that.

            • HJ777

              He always avoids the issue and just refers to someone else who says so, rather than being able to construct a coherent argument himself.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Agreed. On one occasion he claimed that he had a friend who is Forex trader and a son who is in middle-management and thus my arguments condemning a CU were invalid. Priceless.

          • Kitty MLB

            Excuse me I have always found Terregles2 very polite
            and friendly. And Allymax, warm, and humorous as well
            as Jambo. And there have been some very friendly English
            people here too. Everyone just becomes very heated during
            the debates. And being anonymous also has something
            to with that.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Terregles is the picture of reasonableness as long as you agree with her but she immediately descends into vapidity, nonsense and “everybody at Westminster is corrupt and incompetent mode” when you offer a contrary opinion.

              • HJ777

                You sum her up perfectly.

              • Makroon

                Is she a Kipper then ?

                • Wessex Man

                  oh how bitter and sad.

            • HJ777

              So you’ve not been the subject of one of Terregles2’s temper tantrum yet then? When you are, prepare for an inbox full of bile.

              As for Allymax, I offer a typical exhibit:

              “Typical Labour Party (No campaign) Unionist ‘deflect, deceive, and deny’; you’re an insult to this forum.

              JK Rowling has unfortunately ‘attached herself’ to The Nasty Union Party’s; just look at all the evil msm propaganda, and malicious (but groundless) accusations being pumped into our livingrooms every day; now, JK Rowling is part of that nasty No Campaign herself for going ‘Public’, and allowing herself to be ‘used’ as No campaign Public abuse on the Nation’s psyche.

              The No Campaign is only about pumping malicious evil hysterical smear fear & sneer accusations into Scottish Society; that’s what the Nazi’s did, and the ‘German Public’ went along with it, but now they hate the Nazi’s.

              “explains a lot.”
              Yes, that I think my writing is brilliant. I don’t care what ignoramus like you think; I’ve already told you that having ‘no credibility’ from scumbags like you, is a compliment!
              Now, go away cretin.”

    • Blindsideflanker

      I raised issue this the other day, people are only thinking as far forward as referendum day +1. Even if the Sots vote to stay, Cameron allowing Salmond to drag out the whole process for years is going to cause lasting damage to relations north and south of the border. If the Scots think voting to stay means that they get devo max and no downsides, I think they are sorely mistaken.

    • Blindsideflanker

      I raised issue this the other day, people are only thinking as far forward as referendum day +1. Even if the Sots vote to stay, Cameron allowing Salmond to drag out the whole process for years is going to cause lasting damage to relations north and south of the border. If the Scots think voting to stay means that they get devo max and no downsides, I think they are sorely mistaken.

  • oneofoursubsismissing

    He’d also win by a country mile if English voters were asked whether they wanted Scotland to remain part of the union. A pity they aren’t being asked.

    • Kitty MLB

      I have not the slightest idea of what you are insinuating?
      Are you saying we would want to be separated from
      beloved Scotland, the land of mountains, lochs, porridge,
      and brave kilt wearing warriors.Very deep sensitive
      souls are the Scots if they thought that then that would
      be beneath the pall. That would be their undoing,
      utterly devastated as we would also be.

      • MirthaTidville

        And the real plus point would be the end of Labour ever being able to form any sort of Government without their kilted warriors from the mountains, glens and lochs

        • rod robertson

          another disillusioned ill informed one on here.
          Go check the results for all 3 Lab election victories from 1997.
          All were won without need of Scottish MPs

      • Joseph Alan Jones

        Have you ever tried the Scotish version of porridge? Try it made with some coconut and evaporated milk. de-lish!

        • Kitty MLB

          No I haven’t tried it but I shall when winter
          returns. Eat a lot of porridge during at that
          time of year with bananas, whilst wearing
          a big shetland wool jumper, the warmest
          in the world.I do live evaporated milk
          so I shall do that.

        • allymax bruce

          Salt, or jam.

          • Kitty MLB

            Bananas and Brown sugar, not salt, Ally
            Yuk.

            • allymax bruce

              Ahh, I knew it; you’ve got a mediterranean delicacy, and a sweet tooth, Kitty.

              • Kitty MLB

                Ah yes, porridge in beautiful Scotland in
                November.Very early morning, before venturing
                out into the misty wilderness, with crunchy
                grass beneath my feet, very magical.
                And the Scots wearing kilts just like the
                toga wearing Romans…the only men
                brave enough to show their knees.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Good Lord, Kitty. Even te postman shows his knees in Canterbury. Shorts wall to bloody wall.

                • Kitty MLB

                  A postman, Fergus, a postman ?
                  I were thinking of Alexander the Great and
                  William Wallace and Fergus mentions the
                  postman, with his pink knees being chased
                  by a dog..

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Where would we be without the noble postie?

                • Kitty MLB

                  Indeed. Up hill and dale, in mist and fog, the Queens knight
                  on a bike. I have been inspired when I return from my academic boring stuff. I shall persuade Isabella to write a poem about the noble postie and she’ll get it published.
                  And unfortunately will get a sarcastic response like :
                  Isabella should have send blank verse on a envelope and
                  it would have travelled to no destination.
                  Oh can I say, they at least they have a rest now, with
                  only posting once a day Fergus, just once a day.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Wow, nice idea. And a bit of Raspberry jam?

      • First L

        Salmond in a kilt would be hilarious.

        • Wessex Man

          Now you’ve turned me off my tea!

    • HJ777

      A recent survey indicated that 80% of people in the rest of the UK want Scotland to stay.

      • Wessex Man

        The only poll that ever has in all these years.

      • telemachus

        So let us have such a referendum
        Scotland cannot be released without our say so
        Salmond is no Ian Smith

        • Wessex Man

          and you are no……………….well no one really.

        • girondas

          Hey charlatan, I am still waiting for that answer to a simple question – a question that won’t go away:
          :Explain how mass immigration benefits the working class of The United Kingdom..
          The Labour Party was founded to represent the interests of the working class, so there must be an answer, just tell us all what it is .
          Stop hiding and answer, or are you just a bag of wind?

          • telemachus

            Without the boost in GDP the country will not be able to afford the pensions of working class folk as they age
            Further they act as role models of industry

            • girondas

              That isn’t an answer to the question is it?
              There is no boost to net GDP – cheap imported labour can’t pay for its own pensions let alone subsidise anybody elses.The real Labour Party didn’t need telling this.

              “Further they act as role models of industry”

              They set a fine example do they? Cheap and docile – tugging their little forelocks like serfs.
              The disaster that befell the working class of this country was not the premiership of Margaret Thatcher, but the hijacking of the Labour Party by middle class fleas:Thatcher was an opponent, you’re the enemy.

              Go join the lib/dems.

              • Kitty MLB

                ‘Middle Class fleas’ ? I’d much rather be a quiet
                Middle Class flea those who pay a high rate of
                tax to keep the country running and who are
                constantly abused by ‘Working Class Warriors’
                and politicians who take constantly take advantage.Would not wish to be like those
                Old Labour voters who burned images of a
                elderly lady who died and who had not been
                around for 30 years.
                Some of us fleas never abuse, never judge
                others by class or think of ourselves as superior.
                And regardless of what others say, fleas never
                sent little shoeless children up ter chimney whilst in a miasmic gloom of Conservatism.

                • girondas

                  I didn’t call all middle class people fleas Kitty, only those who joined the Labour Party and subverted it.
                  Tony Blair is a flea, you are not.
                  I shouldn’t have used such emotive terms – post in haste and repent at leisure.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Oh, accept my apologies, misread you. Tony Blair was that
                  flea that caused the Bubonic Plague. Our Labrador had fleas
                  but considering he thinks he’s a cat, that’s the least of his issues.
                  Must dash, away giving lectures. But soon will be planning
                  our ‘ middle class’ holiday on the Almafi Coast, with the car.
                  Questo posto avra un riposo da me.
                  Grazie al cielo girondas dice ! Saro molto auto- indulgente.

                • girondas

                  Have a good time

                • Kitty MLB

                  Oh thanks but its not until summer. And may I say sorry for
                  rattling away, I’m a bit too open and forget that I’m speaking
                  to strangers. The Italian was me saying: everyone here will
                  have a rest with me away and you will say thank goodness and I shall be self indulgent and the hubby will allow me to drive.
                  I’ve done it again. but thank you for being polite.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Answer: he is just a bag of socialist wind.

        • First L

          Why? Did we have a referendum on Indian independence?

        • rod robertson

          ignoramus you have no say whatsoever

  • Grey Wolf

    It’s the women, eh?
    That’s why women’s suffrage is a bad idea!

  • lewis4671

    Unless I am mistaken, it was a late swing among women towards the SNP in 2011 that won the SNP an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament. The No campaign must be really worried that history is repeating itself – a late swing among women and the Yes side will win decisively,

    • CraigStrachan

      That’s why it’s such a bad idea for Yes supporters to abuse Claire Lally and Joanne Rowling.

      • rod robertson

        till pushing those lies , nobody abused Ms Lally , it was exposing more lies from Labour trying to fob off a member of the Scottish Shadow Cabinet as an “ordinary voter”

        • CraigStrachan

          She was invited to join the shadow cabinet because of her activism around disability issues. How nefarious is that?

    • Holly

      Oh dear.
      Never mind.

    • rod robertson

      correct ,and the same is expected in September.

  • Wessex Man

    I’m not in the least surprised that the gap is narrowing, those that govern us arn’t very clever are they? to suggest such feeble things they could get by staying in the Union such as Fish & Chips, shows their stupidity and contempt for the average voter!

    • fundamentallyflawed

      I find it all very curious. The YES vote are trying to invoke emotional nationalism and gloss over negative economic realities. The NO vote are invoking pragmatist arguments and but are making a very poor emotional case. The YES vote IMO (as an English outsider with no vote) are winning the battle as people generally don’t like change so they have to work harder to convince people to their side. The NO vote are hamstrung because the benefits Scotland already has under devolution would (and should) cause a massive backlash in non devolution England.

      • Wessex Man

        That’s what I hoping for, the Union is out of date and I’m more than happy to see an independent Scotland, the establishment would no longer be able to ignore our calls foe an English Parliament.

        • telemachus

          You folks who support Salmond would do well to reflect on the fact that a Yes vote would deliver a Cameron style administration at Westminster in perpetuity

          • Wessex Man

            Cameron will walk across the floor of the commons to his spirital home once he has completed his mission of destroying the Tory Party.

          • First L

            Hooray!

          • JohnMcDonaldish

            Nonsense. All the last three Labour governments were elected by voters in the rUK with no need for help from Scotland.

          • rod robertson

            You know absolutely nothing , in all the elections since ww2 Scottish votes have only twice affected outcome of uk government ,and those only lasted 28 months in total.
            In contrast in 33 of the last 52 years we have had governments we never elected.
            If English do not want Tory Governments ,then do not vote for them.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Whooooopeeeeeeeeee. Cameron may be useless but keeping the rancid filth of Socialism out of power works for me. Vote yes!

      • JohnMcDonaldish

        Sorry but if you were paying the least bit of attention you would, like the rest of us, see that it’s the No campaign who rest their case on “British emotionalism” ‘cos they have very little else.

      • Roger Hudson

        But nationhood and sovereignty are emotional issues, economics wax and wane but freedom is enduring.

    • telemachus

      Wessex
      You know well that the most effective recruiter for yes is Farage

      • Wessex Man

        Yes you slimy lair, I know and i’m grateful to our Nige!

      • First L

        Gawd bless ‘im.

      • rod robertson

        trust me there are plenty of others equally as nauseating as Farage that do equally well in recruting YES Votes

  • CraigStrachan

    Don’t give him ideas.

    • lewis4671

      Nice sense of humour – a trait that has been sadly lacking in the campaign so far.

      Seriously though, the momentum is clearly with Yes and I am confident that a majority of women will also vote Yes by September 18th.

      • CraigStrachan

        I’m sticking with a big braw Naw, of the order of 61-39.

        • nae a belger

          I think no will win (despite what I want to happen)
          I think the win will be small (my thoughts are in the realm of 53:47-ish) and I suspect that it will satisfy nobody.
          Questions for both sides to ponder: (in my suspected result)

          Unionists –

          After 307 years only slightly more than half of a country wish to be part of your Union (Even with your big braw Naw its still nearly 4 in 10) How can you get Scots to identify with “the project”? Not out of fear but of genuine loyalty?

          Given that Better Together, supposedly the cream of Unionist thinking, could only really mount a “Yes but what about…?” argument, How can the Union strengthen? How do you do that without hammering Scots into the nationalist fold?

          Nationalists-
          Where do you go from here? More left wing? How do you keep the pressure on to allow another crack in the future?
          How can you win the remaining (primarily female) voters who seem to be more “devil you know”?
          Interesting times whatever the result

      • Kitty MLB

        Yes indeed humour warms the soul.
        So all your Scottish ladies will vote Yes.
        They make em tough up there.
        Whilst Robert the Bruce was crying on some
        rock as men do, the ladies were doing all the battling
        wearing the intestines of those they defeated like
        a belt. I am sure they can tackle an independant
        Scotland…even if this English lady would rather
        you say No.

        • Wessex Man

          You sure have a strange way of trying to get them to say no.

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