Opinion polls have consistently suggested strong support for the Scottish parliament to have powers over social security. Over the next 6 weeks, the Smith commission now has an opportunity to consider, as part of its broader process, whether agreement can be reached over welfare devolution.
Over 1.7m Scots were energised enough about the future of their country to campaign, research and turn out to vote for radical change on the 18th September. And according one of the first post-result polls, 25% of No voters voted that way because they believed that Scotland would receive significant additional devolved powers whilst remaining in the UK. So that’s over 2 million voters wanting policy decisions for Scotland to be taken in Scotland.
Michael Keating on the result, offers of further devolution, the Barnett Formula and a poisoned chalice.
So Scotland voted no. Yes won 45% of the vote, significantly short of a majority and indeed what most of the polls in the run-up to the referendum suggested. Yes won in just four local authority areas, losing in 28. All in all a comprehensive defeat.
After the all-night event at the ESRC Future of the UK and Scotland Hub, Richard Parry gives initial reflections on what the result means for devolution policy.
In the long run of the referendum campaign, a Yes vote matching the SNP’s vote on the 2011 elections (45% constituency, 44% list) was a totally respectable outcome, giving the SNP a constitutional credibility to go alongside their policy credibility in government. The home rule journey continues, based on impressive cohesion and passion of the Yes side.