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Referendum campaign is letting down voters, says Scottish Social Attitudes survey

New results from ScotCen Social Research’s annual Scottish Social Attitudes survey, released toay, suggest that many of the prominent debates in the campaign, such as on Europe, the pound, and welfare, are having little or no impact on whether voters will vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. What matters are voters’ views about the likely economic consequences of independence as opposed to staying in the Union.

Conducted between June and October 2013, ScotCen’s survey finds that: 

John Curtice reviews the polls. He finds that most indicators continue to suggest that the verdict will be No and argues that although the debate will range far and wide in the coming months, the victory will ultimately go to the side that presents the most convincing economic argument. This blog was republished from LSE British Politics and Policy blog.

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James Mitchell argues that the extent to which the debate widens beyond the narrow terms it currently inhabits will affect levels of public engagement and ultimately turnout. This blog was republished from the LSE British Politics and Policy blog.

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by John Curtice, ESRC Fellow and  ScotCen Social Research

To have a prospect of being a ‘game changer’, at least so far as the balance of public opinion is concerned, the independence White Paper needed to have hit two buttons.

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The publication this week of the Scottish Government’s White Paper on Independence is arguably the most important development in the referendum campaign so far. It is intended to answer the public’s questions about what independence would entail – and to persuade them of the merits of a Yes vote.  But how big a task does Alex Salmond face in winning a Yes majority? Here is a quick guide to the state of public opinion so far – if the polls are to be believed.

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How will Scotland feel the day after the referendum next year? A Yes/No referendum inevitably has a polarising effect. And a Yes/No debate can become a bitter debate, and some think it already has.

Sir John Elvidge, the Scottish Government’s former chief civil servant wrote in the Herald a few weeks ago that

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