Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Independence, Devolution Max, or No Thanks?

Monday, 5 December 2011, 0945-1315
Raeburn Room. Old College, University of Edinburgh

Latest findings from the Scottish Social Attitudes survey on attitudes towards Scotland’s constitutional future with Professor John Curtice and Rachel Ormston from the Scottish Centre for Social Research.

"The SNP’s success in winning an overall majority in the Scottish election in May means it now seems inevitable that a referendum on independence will be held at some point between 2014 and 2016. Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has indicated that it remains open to the idea of also including a second alternative on the ballot paper, so-called ‘devolution max’.

The Scottish Social Attitudes (SSA) survey has been tracking how Scots feel about the way that their country is and should be governed ever since the advent of devolution in 1999. It has secured the reputation for itself as the most authoritative independent source on what Scots want their constitutional future to look like.

At this seminar the first results from the most recent SSA survey, conducted in the weeks immediately after the May election will be presented. Thanks to funding from the Nuffield Foundation, the 2011 survey not only charts whether the SNP’s victory was accompanied by a swing towards independence, but also makes it possible to undertake the most detailed investigation yet into what Scots think independence might bring. It also brings new evidence to bear on what the public might make about devolution max.

Amongst the questions that will be addressed:

• Has the nationalist success in May heralded increased support for independence?
• What do people think would happen if Scotland were to become independent?
• How far do people’s views about independence depend on their expectations of its likely economic consequences?
• Which constitutional option would satisfy most Scots?
• Are Scots happy that their taxes and benefits might be different from those in England?


09.45 Registration and Coffee

10.00-10.45 Independence: Trends, hopes and fears. John Curtice
Has support for independence increased? What do people hope and fear would happen if Scotland did become independent?

10.45-11.30 Independence: A pocket book issue? Rachel Ormston
Who is winning the economic argument about independence? How much does support for the idea depend on whether or not people think they would be better off?

11.30-12.00 Devolution Max: United but apart? John Curtice
How popular is devolution maxt? And how different from England do they really want policies in Scotland to be?

12.00-12.30 Final Discussion

12.30 Lunch and informal discussion


The cost to attend this event is £50.00 (no VAT applicable). This includes all refreshments. To book a place contact Lindsay Adams.

By email –

By post – Institute of Governance
University of Edinburgh
Chisholm House
High School Yards
EH1 1LZ"


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