The Demographics of Independence

This presentation by Dr Craig Dalzell (@thecommongreen)- ‘Demographics of Independence’ from the Scottish independence Convention’s Build 2017 conference – raises significant issues (and clarity) about the challenges ahead for IndyRef2.

Who and how to appeal to key demographic groups to win a Yes vote next time.

We are not putting forward a view but keen to hear yours …



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Comments (6)

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  1. James Coleman says:

    I think YES should target older voters greater than age 55. My reasons are below.

    From the Indyref results YES = 1,617,989 and NO 2,001,930
    a difference of 383,941 votes and a total of 3,619,919 votes

    From Lord Ashcroft’s Poll post Indyref1.
    Voters aged > 55 amounted to 43% of total voters, ie 1,568,572, and they voted 65% NO 35% YES, ie 1,019,572 voted NO,
    To bring the votes even 383941/2 = 191970 NOs have to change to YES, ie a swing of 5.3%.
    Thus the Group aged > 55 are an obvious target for converting NOs to YESs.

    From a Panelbase Poll re sources of information used during Indyref1 we find that:-
    NOs generally did not read Pro Indy blogs. They relied mainly on the MSM including BBC and STV
    YESs main sources of info were Pro Indy blogs and newspapers though they also read and listened to MSM output too.

    If NO voters in the age group > 55 followed the general pattern vis a vis sources of information used by NO voters then few of them used Social Media to decide on their vote: they relied on MSM,BBC and ITV.

    Conclusions: The age group >55 should be targetted by strong door to door and telephone canvassing to tell them the facts about Scotland as an Independent country as opposed to being part of a UK which will be isolated and heading for bankruptcy. And the UK’s shortcomings and lies and broken promises should be hammered mercilessly in Blogs and the Indy supporting newspapers to give canvassers info they could use on the doorstep. YES must not be nice guys this time. It must be pro-active to gain the upper hand and control the Agenda.

    It should be noted that it is likely that many of the foreign nationals in Scotland who voted NO would switch to YES.

    In addition demographics are moving gradually in YES’s favour, eg between 2014 and 2018 some 220,000 people in the age group > 55 in 2014 will have died (See Scot Gov mortality statistics) and people more favourable to YES would move into that age group from below to replace them.

  2. Colin McAndrew says:

    This time round no middle ground!

    You can not be Scottish and british, they are mutually exclusive.

    You either support self determination or not!

    Independence must not be fudged with devo max or federalism, or even the fanciful thought that labour may gain power in the next ten years. The labour party (as distinct from those members of the public who vote labour) in Scotalnd are a dead, rotting and festering corpse that that fed off lies and support from the bbc and press for years.

    In 2019 Scotland will have experienced ten plus years of austerity and cuts from our over lords in the tory party with austerity set to continue for another ten years after that, compounded by unpleant and unknown impacts from brexit. labour are dead, gone and unelectable, the tories have a free run for the next twenty years and they know it, labour know it too, look at those like Burnham and Hunt off to pastures new.

    Under these circumstances independence will not be a shoe in, but we have the momentum, will and active motivated people (not media moguls or non Scottish celebrities [even if the write and reside in Scotland], etc), we just need to be as ruthless and focused as our foes to secure our freedom!

    1. Alf Baird says:

      The BBC in particular are again pushing their ‘Britishness’ propaganda agenda for all they are worth in programmes across the spectrum from primary education in schools ( to progs on baking, war glorification and many other tendentiously linked ‘British’ aspects of life, the most nauseous being perhaps Neil Oliver’s latest ‘theory’ that there is somehow a ‘Beta Togetha’ connection between Neolithic folk living in Orkney 4,000 years ago and his notion of (great!) Britishness.

      In regard to Dr. Dalzell’s presentation, like other academics he ignores the jiggery pokery surrounding the unprecedented (i.e. unbelievable) rise in voter registration for the 2014Ref, the latter mostly on the No side (given ‘their’ higher propensity to vote), including the scope for hundreds of thousands of people actually residing in rest-UK to register (e.g. via their property ownership in Scotland, holiday homes, BTR etc). This issue needs policing next time round. I would also question the outdated census data on the share of people from rest-UK now living in Scotland (i.e. to take professional jobs, access to better/free services and lower house prices, retirees etc), which is surely now closer to 15-20% of the population rather than 10% (i.e. the figure from a decade ago), and who are predominantly (80%+) No voters. Over the past century and more the largest immigrant group to Scotland has consisted of people from rest-UK, and in particular the professional/managerial ‘classes’.

      1. Have you got a source for that 15-20% figure Alf?

        1. Alf Baird says:

          There is no source as such Ed, until the census data gets more up to date. However it is relatively easy to see this change (within workplaces, media, institutions, communities, etc) reflecting what has been and still is a continuing mini exodus of people from Rest-UK into Scotland particularly over the past decade, and for a range of different reasons, some of which I mention. This ‘shift’ does not seem to have been picked up by commentators, yet it should be rather obvious given the way England in particular and governance, austerity and public services (and immigration) there has altered matters rather more significantly ‘doon sooth’, whereas in Scotland Holyrood has acted as an austerity-buffer of sorts, or beacon for ‘progressives’ even, and others. My wording (on this basis) was that the rest-UK population share in Scotland “is surely now closer to 15-20%”. At government/institutional levels the influx is in my view in part engineered thus, hence the essential organs of (a devolved Scottish) ‘state’ are clearly mostly led/controlled by a unionist elite (e.g. parliament corp body, ‘UK Home’ civil service, universities, police, quango’s etc, who today I would say are predominantly from rest-UK. Should we really expect the British state to do otherwise?

  3. Anton says:

    A fascinating presentation. Kudos to Bella for posting.

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