The State of the Debate: Blog Round-up

Published: 12 September 2014

With Sunday’s YouGov and Tuesday’s TNS-BMRB polls indicating that the referendum is now likely too close to call, we can expect a week of heavy campaigning.  In our final pre-referendum state of the debate issue, we assess the polls, the campaigns to date, and likely scenarios in the event of a yes or no vote.

For the latest on polling, John Curtice analyses the conflicting polling with his piece on one week to go. He notes the convergence between the polls and looks forward to the week ahead, ‘perhaps in thefinal week of the campaign we will secure a clearer and more consistent picture of just where thereferendum race stands than we have enjoyed at any time in this long if now nerve-tingling campaign’.

In light of the recent polls, James Mitchell evaluates the successes and failures of the two campaigns. James identifies differences in the campaigns, with the yes campaign being largely positive, calm and consistent, with infrequent relatively infrequent missteps.
What happens on the 19th of September? Charlie Jeffery explores two scenarios this week, What next if yes and What next if no?

In the event of a yes vote, Charlie discusses the choices facing both sides of the campaign and thechallenges of the negotiation process, noting that the now-defunct Better Together campaign and its leadership would likely face dissent and recriminations which may complicate negotiations with Scotland. How would international financial firms and the markets respond to a yes vote? Brad MacKay answers this question in his latest blog. Dr Andrew Neal's latest publication is an assessment of a littledebated but important area: the ability of the Scottish Parliament to effectively oversee an independent Scotland’s intelligence and security operations.

In the event of a no vote, how might the commitments  made in the final weeks of the campaign play out? Charlie examines what role the Scottish Parliament and the SNP might play in these developments and how they might be received by the Scottish people.

Nicola McEwen also examines what might occur in a no vote scenario when no means more. In a piece assessing the feasibility of the timetable for enhanced devolution, Nicola raises questions about thecredibility of the fast-tracked legislation, given previous precedents, and the lack of agreement between unionist parties about what powers might be transferred. She also echoes Charlie’s concern about the lack of public engagement in the process.

This settlement might also face challenges from the other nations of the United Kingdom, writes Richard Wyn Jones in a blog ‘Better Together’ and the rest of the Union. Richard argues that a no vote may create unanticipated challenges, particularly in reconciling promises made to Scotland with public views in England and Wales.

In a related vein, Robyn Munro of the Institute for Government highlights their work on how Whitehall and the Scottish Government should manage the transition to a new constitutional settlement, whatever that may look like.

We will continue to provide analysis of the latest polls and political development over the weekend and throughout the week.

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