Young Hearts

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By Mike Small
Support for independence has gained ground for the first time in over a year, according to a new IPSOS Mori Scottish Public Opinion Monitor. The poll of more than 1,000 Scots shows that backing for Scotland to leave the UK has increased by four points in the past four months among those certain to vote and now stands at 34% – up 4% since October.

The results show there is a huge challenge still for the Yes campaign but will give some comfort to the long-held belief that the reality of a mass campaign, the detail of the process and the dismal prospect of austerity Unionism will combine to generate a momentum for change. What will be really galling for the NO campaign will be the trend amongst young people:

“The poll reveals a considerable surge in support for independence among young people – 58% of 18-24 year olds now say they will vote ‘Yes’, more than double the 27% recorded in October 2012. High levels of support for independence are also found amongst those living in Scotland’s most deprived areas (43%) and men (41%).”

Blair Jenkins of Yes Scotland said: “The support for an independent Scotland among 18-24-year-olds has more than doubled in the last four months showing very clearly that our positive and optimistic campaign is resonating with younger people who have the greatest stake in securing a fairer and more prosperous future for our country.”

I’d like to see a poll of 15, 16 and 17 year olds. Does anyone know if this is possible?

Have people began to cast off the celtic cringe of their parents? That’s a huge leap with support among young voters (18-24) rocketing from 27% to 58%. Unencumbered by the memories of 1978 or perhaps having just engaged in a more positive campaign and the idea of possibility, this could be a significant motor in the independence campaign. As we saw in the Arab Spring and the movements of change in 2011 – young people play a hugely important role in social movements as society enters periods of austerity and rapid change.

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Categories: New Scotland, Referendum on Independence

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15 replies

  1. And the ever more bizarre and frantic stuff from the Better Together “campaign ” will insure this trend continues.

  2. Here there is hope,just got to show that there is hope for the older generation,as well.Show all that it is the very existence of our country that is at stake!

  3. This is very good news. A 3.5 per cent swing to the Yes campaign in the last three months. On this base – Yes 34 per cent, No 55 per cent – the Yes campaign needs a 1.5 per cent swing every three months from now until the referendum. That’s a huge task so, realistically, the Yes campaign will need a couple of more ‘surges’ in support in a few of those three month periods comparable to the one that has occurred in the last three months, that would then reduce the swing required in the remaining three month periods to only 0.75 per cent. Still a big task but If that happens, and we need to see some movement in those sections of the electorate where the Yes campaign seems to be behind – women voters, over-65s, middle class/professions – the Yes campaign could start to look like a winning coalition to the key constituency of undecided voters when the ‘short’ campaign begins. In those circumstances, this could be a very close vote.

    • It’s surely getting close to the time that the umpteen and repeating foot-in-mouth gaffs of the unionist UK gov and the lamentable performances of the looney opposition parties in Holyrood began to register with many who feel they are in the NO camp.

      The latest being that we are ‘extinguished’ as a nation and are recognisable only as a part of the UK, which in reality is England and for the UK Gov to even think that out loud, never mind make it a central premise in their legal position in support of the NO campaign, is simply staggering.

      The no-ists are now faced with the stark reality of a vote, which if it is not to be YES for Scotland, will be condemning us all to NO Scotland for evermore.

      Does this sound likely to be NO? I think not and I sincerely hope not!

  4. One should not discount the probable votingdiferential which will help carry us home. I am sure a much larger percentage of those supporting YES will turn out than the percentage of those supporting no. Anything from the mid forties upwards will carry us to success and we have a huge army to make sure they get to the poll on the day.

  5. There’s no by-line for this piece – a casual reader will get the impression it was written by Frankie Boyle.
    Was it?

  6. Have bella started publishing YES scotland press releases?

    • No, but we support the Yes campaign. Sorry not more time for editorial around this poll but wanted to still get something basic up there.

  7. My son has been telling me for ages that Facebook / Twitter has been full of support for YES amongst his age group who are, generally speaking, more objective about what they hear from politicians without the filters of bias and prejudice collected over the years by their elders, and they do recognise crap when they hear it .
    So the key target group for us to focus on is what the polls are saying: middle and older age groups, particularly female and middle class, but that’s where it gets difficult.
    I take your point about the huge army who are working for the YES vote, Dave, and this is a tremendous asset which will prove decisive, but I think we need to look very closely at how we target all the groups of people who are currently undecided or in the No camp. From a behavioural science point of view, flooding the market with “information” isn’t necessarily going to change many minds or get them ultimately to change their behaviour and vote YES. What has to be done is to provide an incentive for behaviour change based on how people can realise personal or societal gain ( not necessarily of a financial nature, but certainly this will be more attractive than a financial loss!) by voting YES. Incentive in turn opens eyes and ears and the rest will take care of itself.
    Easy to say in a few words but this is a very daunting task and I really hope the YES campaign is aware of the fact they MUST employ folk with behavioural science / social marketing expertise to maximise the effect of their efforts. And please don’t let us get deflected from our core task by arguing the toss about EU membership etc on the unionist’s terms; let’s stick to our agenda and treat these non-issues with the contempt they deserve.

  8. Largely agree, Alan. I think the NO folk believe that their EU misinformation is damaging us. I have no evidence at all to suggest it is having any effept except to send informed people towards us as they can see shite very clearly. I am quite happy to see the YES campaign engage in just enough argument on this to keep them spending their precious time firing blanks

  9. I believe it will come quite late in the campaign, but when the experience of the electorate, soft NO especially, comes to force the understanding that NO have zero ideas for a future (good or bad) the switch in voting intentions will be catastrophic. This in itself will encourage more folk to join the yes party. I think it’s this realisation amoung the more thoughtful unionist journos that is responsible for the spurt of articles urging a more positive campaign from Better No in today’s (Sunday) papers. That would be a good idea for the Unionists, unfortunately there isn’t one available. As the underlying strategies have not changed since the beginning and it’s the Unionists that appear to be blinking first, I am feeling quite confident. Keep working and building the ground pressure and and I think our campaign will flower and bear fruit right on queue. Sorry for being so up beat but that’s how I see it (today) winkysmily

    • Braco -
      Please don’t apologise for being upbeat!
      FWIW, I think you’re spot-on. Even if the apparent shift by MSM is a carefully-constructed ruse, it still has the effect ‘Yes’ needs. We’re not scared, and have nothing to hide – all the stats and info trump the fear-factor, so long as we have time on our side, and barring any unexpected catastrophic event which can conveniently be blamed on rabid ‘separatists’ e.g. Mac Qaeda.
      Very winky, very smiley, and quite right too – it’s the haters and fear-merchants who’ll be losing sleep right now.

  10. I think a lot of the support in the younger generation is driven by the positive and engaging online message from a whole host of campaigners. However i do worry that those using more traditional media like printed press and TV news means that the older vote will not be swayed until the biased reporting stops. Or any other great ideas how to engage with those not so internet savvy voters?

  11. The most effective way to contact people who take their information and have their views formed by newspaper is through newspaper. Newspaper is cheaper than leaflet by quite along way and an 8 page tabloid with 4 full colour pages can be produced for significantly less than 8p. It would have to read like an interesting newspaper or magazine and not like a political tract . We could not hope to match the blanket coverage of the Scottish press but two or three newspapers at timed intervals comprising a few of the big lies, a few of the more ambitious futures,a few interesting facts and figures and a few of the more popular YES personalities and jokes,cartoons and intersting little pieces could have profound effect.
    Over recent years we put eight tabloids into every home in this constituency to great effect.

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