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Press Conference: RIC canvassing evidence shows No campaign have lost working class Scotland

The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) revealed today(1) (Tuesday) the evidence of their canvassing in working class communities across Scotland, and argue that “the results show the No campaign isn’t just losing working class communities in Scotland, but has definitively lost them.”

The RIC National Mass Canvass Sample(2) covers 18,012 people, and is taken over 90 areas across Scotland.

The national results show Yes 43.6%, No 25.3%, and don’t know 31.1%. With the Undecided’s taken out, the result is Yes 63.4% and No 36.5%.



The document also includes details of specific areas to highlight the fact that many of these areas are amongst the poorest in Scotland and are often areas with traditionally strong Labour support. See all the stats and full breakdown here.

The results were revealed as part of the grassroots Yes press conferences, which take place daily in the CCA, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow at 11am.

Jonathon Shafi, the Radical Independence Campaign co-founder, said:

“The evidence of our canvassing across Scotland all point consistently to the same thing: A peaceful, democratic uprising of working class people in Scotland is taking place against the British elite.”

“In particular, Labour working class heartlands like Greenock and Easterhouse in Glasgow are coming towards yes in their droves. The reality of years of privatisation and Thatcherite economic policies are making people turn away from the Labour Party and towards independence. Labour’s No message is evidently failing in working class communities.”

Victoria Heaney, a RIC activist in the Gorbals who was a no voter up until February, said:

“Many of the people I know have never voted before and they feel slightly ashamed about that. But the positive is they are actually excited about voting yes for the first time on 18th of September,”

“People will say they know nothing about politics, but will then go on to say I’m paying all my wages on childcare, the cost of food keeps rising, I’m worried about my kids future. This is people’s politics and we are trying to help people realise the importance of their voice in the referendum debate.”

Robin McAlpine, Director of the Common Weal, chaired the Press Conference and added:

“This movement is carrying out the biggest voter registration campaign Scotland has ever seen to make sure those who say they are going to vote yes in Scotland’s poorest communities are mobilised to do so. If I was in the No campaign I would be very worried.”

Deborah Waters, Deputy Leader of Labour for Independence, said of the Labour Party:

“If there’s a no vote, the impact of these canvass results will be minimal on a Labour leadership that is complacent, and will feel they have carte blanche to return to business as normal. But if there’s a yes vote, it will radically shake up the Labour Party and force it to listen to their base and change.”


  1. Watch the video of the Press Conference here: http://radicalindependence.org/2014/08/19/radical-independence-campaign-18k-canvass-sample-released
  2. Full details of the sample including images available here: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/8823479/events/3306152


Comments (34)

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  1. Craig McLaren says:

    Absolutely wonderful work by RIC. Let’s drive it home now. We are winning where it matters most – in the communities of everyday folk.

  2. muttley79 says:

    The Yes campaign still has a lot of work to do, given the high number of undecided voters. The RIC’s canvasses and results are encouraging, but we still have to convince a relatively high number of people to vote Yes, and not just in working classes areas of Scotland.

    1. Flower of Scotland says:

      It’s an encouraging result but there are a huge number of DKS! That makes me anxious!

      1. gksw8 says:

        This is not ‘evidence’ of anything. Canvass returns are notoriously unreliable because canvassers hear what they want to hear and people respond less than truthfully to some pesky person banging on their door. Regardless of the question or the answer, most people buttonholed in this way are usually thinking ‘bugger off and leave me in peace’

        1. bellacaledonia says:

          I don’t know if you speak from experience? Doesn’t sound like it. My recent experience is of people wanting to talk. Sure some people will tell you to go away but many feel this is ‘my space’ and will talk (either way).

      2. Not only that Mike, but my experience has been that No voters are very keen to tell you they’re a No voter. As soon as they hear the words “I’m from the Yes campaign”, their face lights up and they proudly proclaim that they’ll be voting No. They assume they’re in the majority, so they have no fear of letting their opinion be known.

        And anyone who thinks the quickest way to get rid of a canvasser is to tell them that they either agree with them or that they’re undecided is very sadly mistaken. Tell me you’re a No and I’ll be on my way. Anything else, and I’ll be there chatting for a few minutes.

  3. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    Being a scientist, as well as a committed yes supporter, what evidence is there about the undecideds and their likelihood to vote. Are these the “shy NOs” we here about or are the definitely undecided/unsure. I do hope these people were given some information leaftes to help them decide positively.

    1. You could perhaps look at the results in 1997, where the undecided broke decisively for Yes in the last 2 weeks. At some level ‘undecided’ have already rejected the ‘status quo’ (not that there is any status quo this time: it’s either forward, or back)

    2. Muscleguy says:

      Having just been out canvassing for RIC I can answer that one. ALL undecideds get offered information literature and we ask them if there is anything they are unsure about we can help them with. We don’t just chapp their doors and turn away marking our sheets. We are out there fighting for every vote we can.

      I’m out tomorrow lunchtime, Thurs evening and this weekend. Canvass, canvass, canvass. Absolute Noes we don’t much bother with. Yesses get encouragement along with posters and stickers.

      Hope that helps.

      Home now and had my reward: a bottle of Bitter and Twisted, YUM!

    3. There’s no such thing as shy No voters, or not as some sort of phenomena at least – it’s just something made up by unionists as a way of explaining away bad canvassing/polling results. The “shy Tory” thing is because people feel ashamed of admitting they support the Tories, and with good reason. But with the media fully behind the union, why would any No voter feel ashamed of letting someone know they’re voting No? As far as they’re concerned, they’re simply voting to keep things as they are.

      It’s us who have the reason to be shy. We’ve been vilified for decades, cast as beardy-wierdy crackpots with an obsession over historical wrongs. Not to mention those in the Labour party who feel they cannot be seen to be going against the part line. There are even rumours of there being sitting unionist MSPs who intend to vote Yes, but refuse to admit so publicly because of the repercussions. Any journo in the know would vouch for that.

  4. DC says:

    It’s a great result but can’t quite see the sense in trumpeting this in such detail with 4 weeks to go. Seems a bit like sending your enemy a copy of your intelligence reports – and giving them time to respond. Hope I’m wrong and they’re too complacent to react.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Too complacent, dont have anyone on the ground and they dont know what to do anyway.

      1. DC says:

        Agree but they have the state broadcaster and other mainstream media doing it all for them unfortunately.

  5. Steve Bowers 74% win says:

    Fan-bloody-tastic work, one conversation at a time and it’s working

  6. Robert Roddick says:

    Looks like this confirms the canvassing carried out at our expense by Cameron and pals. You know, the one we’re not allowed to see!

  7. Lawrence Anderson Burley says:

    I’ve thought for a while that if that lottery winning couple had given half or even a quarter of their massive donation to RIC instead of to the (sorry to say, establishment) Yes Scotland, we’d be home and dry by now. They really deliver the most bang for the buck.

    God bless RIC for what they’ve done and what they are doing. And may they continue to be be a right thorn in the ass of all the parties in the future Holyrood that do not fully take into count the people, that surely includes the left-by-the-wayside poor, of Scotland. I rejoice to see a good shake up in our new Parliament!

  8. bringiton says:

    These are the people who will decide the outcome,not the Tories and their chums in British Labour.

  9. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Better Together will attempt to terrify the less well off, via their MSM. We will have to be ready for that.

    Do you have figures on how likely they are to vote?

    Great job guys! Also well done Mike. You were excellent as usual on Referendum tv. Pity we couldn’t get you on mainstream tv more often.

  10. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Labour in Scotland will be effectively finished if there’s a NO vote. They’re been used as sacrificial lambs for Westminster MP’s. They’re either too stupid to see it or don’t care.

  11. Chris McLeod says:

    Reblogged this on Chris McLeod and commented:
    RIC are one of the best things to come out of the Independence Referendum. I sincerely hope they find a way to remain involved beyond the vote on the 18th (no matter which way it goes!)

  12. brianmchugheng says:

    Any news on ‘Scotland Yet’ being made available?… Robyn announced it at the press conf for a yesterday release, but still nothing as far as i’m aware?

    ps. What is the issue with Vimeo instead of Youtube? (Should be on Youtube, because of handheld devices with the App)… both would be better… when I helped fund this, it was in the knowledge that its ultimate purpose was to reach and inform as many people as possible.

    1. brianmchugheng says:

      Update, I’m told later this evening for release.

  13. thisgreenworld says:

    none of these promises mean anything if the people do not vote. Do I presume that people are already planning to help these people to the polling stations?

  14. Reblogged this on charlesobrien08 and commented:
    I hope this is correct and not in error in any way,up the republic!

  15. Great to see this gives me heart and helps me keep breathing,UP THE REPUBLIC! Mind lads and lasses some may need help to the polling station,I’ve got my help arraigned,maybe some wont know where to go,the last day is the hardest its getting the vote out I still have hope,would even become a theist and pray,if it would help!!!lol

  16. big jock says:

    If this was the secret poll that was withheld by the UK government which looks likely.They have made no attempt to claw back the working class vote.Which leads me to suspect they have realised that’s lost and worth at least 20% to yes.So are they concentrating on the middle class vote which is higher no and presenting polls to deflect from the real story.Thus Joe public think No is ahead.Which you then have to conclude they think they can win by some other means.25% postal votes ahem!

  17. douglas clark says:

    big jock,

    I’m a definite ‘yes’ voter and I got a postal vote a few years ago!

    So there you go. if the postal vote is 100% ‘no’, you’ll know they’ve got lyin’ eyes, ’cause my (postal) vote is most assuredly a ‘yes’.

    On a more serious note, I would have assumed that the transparency of the process is being monitored?

    Off topic a tad, but the dissappearance of the votes at Cowdendeath follows a too convenient thread of evidence that does not suit the ‘powers that be’ dissappearing off the face of the Earth.

    What some chap said in 1948!

  18. big jock says:

    Well its the British state that might go bankrupt without Scotland.You can guarantee that they will do anything to hold onto us fair or foul.

  19. macart763 says:

    These are the people Westminster and BT are most terrified of. The very people they disenfranchised, cut loose and demonised via their complicit and compliant media. Just how did they think their treatment of the poor and the working class would go down? Were they expecting us to tug our forelocks and thank them for not slaughtering us out of hand or deporting us to the colonies… Oh wait, the colonies chose independence. 🙂

    On September 18th ALL of the people from the most fortunate to the very poorest of us get to pass judgement on the state. Every person that goes into a polling booth goes in as a citizen of Scotland and an equal to any in the country. They can choose to come out of that booth as citizens with a vote or subjects whose votes don’t count.

  20. Lochside says:

    I have canvassed on behalf of the RIC and can confirm that over the last few months the mood has changed completely. I believe these figures as personally, its what I’ve experienced.

    As Doug Daniel, I’ve found ‘No’s’ are upfront and vocal in their voting intention. Many undecided want to talk and as a result I have sometimes spent a lot of time convincing them. The DK’s do bother me…but many are apathetic and won’t vote.

    My problem is how many middle class will vote ‘no’. They make up 40% of the voters now I believe, so it’s still all to play for.

  21. Optimistic Till I Die says:

    I’m rather pleased that voters are turning away from Labour in droves. I voted Labour for many years and my political inclinations are such that my partner labels me a communist. Personally, I simply state that I prefer to focus on the needs of people in general and not any well heeled, self centred elite who claim to act on their behalf.

    It is quite a few years since I have been able to work and live in Scotland but after recently watching a tv interview of a local Labour MSP when visiting Glasgow just after the Commonwealth Games (just another one of these demonstrations that there is more than enough individuals of ability in and associated with Scotland to ensure a successful country after a referendum win). Her argument was basically ‘the experts say’ ‘the experts say’. If this is the level of Labour polician at Holyrood it is time they were replaced with individuals somewhat more capable of putting forward a reasoned argument.

    If the MSP in question was representative of the people he/she represents (I won’t identify them because I know little about them and personal criticism might be unjust) it is clear they need to better articulate their needs and I trust the Yes campaign is going to lead to the urban underclass making their mark on future elections. I say this because surveys seem to indicate a clear distinction between ones economic status and voting preferences. For those in what are often called ‘the leafy suburbs’ I would ask them to wake up their consciences and realise that their comfortable bank balances are obtained at the expense of other people.

    Voting Yes would not destroy your role in society but it might lead to happier and more contented society. Even if you ‘lost’ some of your weath societies seem much more content when the spread of incomes was smaller, when there were fewer disparities in wealth. This could only be beneficial for everyone.

    There are no swing voters nor key constituencies nor historical records from similar referendums in a national referendum so one can take most polling results with a pinch of salt. What counts is do you feel there is a need for change. if you do, then there is only one choice open and that is YES. To win the vote you must get out there, not only on the day, but beforehand. There is more than enough information available on the net to counter the standard No Campaign arguments – based more on the past than alternatives for the future. If Waterloo and Dunkirk mean more to you than Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and all points in between then you will vote No but PEOPLE MAKE SCOTLAND and I trust those previously voiceless people, unheard of for decades, register to vote and step forward to make history.

    The changes that arise may be uncomfortable but I would like to think they will be beneficial for most of the residents of Scotland and, indirectly, the rest of the people living in the UK whose thinking has become ossified after decades of exposure to ideas that virtually eliminate any concern for ones fellow citizens. They certainly could not be more uncomfortable that what the current UK coalition government has imposed on the least able in society and the mass of middle class voters, and it is clear they intend to tighten the screw even further. Their slogan has been ‘We’re all in it together’. Clearly we are not. ‘Better Together’ (for what?) and say ‘No thanks’ (to the opportunity of a lifetime) are manifestations of the same elitist craptrap.

    If you are unduly sensitive you could replace the word claptrap with ‘those un-noticed but influential strands of human communication and social mores that bind people into a frame of mind that limits their choices and permits some individuals to acquire and maintain power over others.’

    Let’s break the ties that bind us and try real democracy for a change.

  22. wangi says:

    Pie charts must die. Seriously.

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