1. ITV Report

Poll suggests economy will decide Scottish referendum

A survey says voters care less about currency and more about how much of it they will have Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Voters will decide whether to vote yes or no in the Scottish independence referendum based on the economy, according to the latest Social Attitudes Survey.

Responses to the poll suggest that the 'big ticket' issues of the campaign so far, such as the EU, welfare, and the pound, are having less impact on how people will vote than the question of whether Scotland would be better or worse off after independence.

The pollsters, ScotCen Social Research, suggested that the campaigns were "letting down voters" by not focusing on the issues that most matter to them.

*If I would be better off... *

  • 52% of voters would support independence if they thought they would be £500 a year better off - and only 30% would oppose it
  • Conversely, only 15% would support independence if they thought they would be £500 a year worse off - and 72% would oppose it

If Scotland would better off...

  • 71% of people who think Scotland’s economy would be better after independence say they will or are most likely to vote Yes.
  • In contrast, 86% of those who think the economy would be worse are inclined to vote No

Such big differences suggest that these issues will be central to voters' decisions. However, the survey also suggests that neither side has convinced a majority of their economic case for Scotland.

  • 30% think that Scotland’s economy would be better under independence, while 34% believe it would be worse.

In contrast, many of the other arguments and questions that are featuring prominently in the referendum debate, such as Europe, currency and welfare, seem to make little difference to the way in which most voters are inclined to vote.

  • 67% of Yes voters say that an independent Scotland should be a member of the EU, but so also do 70% of No voters
  • 39% of No voters who would like to keep the pound are doubtful that an independent Scotland would be allowed to do so, but so too are 33% of Yes voters
  • 68% of Yes voters would like to see more spending on people with disabilities, but so also do 58% of No supporters.

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Asked the question voters will be asked in September's referendum, a majority still said they opposed independence.

  • 30% will or are most likely to vote Yes
  • 54% will or are most likely to vote No.

*Watch analysis of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey on Representing Border at 10:40pm on Wednesday, 22nd January, or catch up online by clicking this link. *