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Top pollster says Queen’s death is unlikely to change support for Scottish independence

14 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh after a prayer service. Photo Carl Recine PA Images
Queen Elizabeth II died last week at Balmoral, triggering what was called Operation Unicorn – a series of commemorations and events put in place if the monarch died in Scotland.

The Queen’s coffin was brought to Edinburgh on Saturday, then lying in state at St Giles’ Cathedral.

Thousands of people turned out to see the hearse move between the Palace of Holyroodhouse – the royal family’s official residence in Scotland – and the cathedral.

Professor Sir John Curtice, of Strathclyde University, said the events of the past week are unlikely to have an impact on support for Scotland leaving the union.

Momentous

He said that while it was a “big momentous event, “whether any of this makes any difference to either the future of the monarchy in Scotland or the future of support for the monarchy in Scotland and certainly anything to do with independence, probably not”.

Of the reasons some have for wishing Scotland would part with the rest of the UK, the professor said, the monarchy does not appear to be one that drives support.

“There is undoubtedly a link between the attitude towards independence and the attitude towards the monarchy,” he told the PA news agency.

“The majority of people who would vote Yes would prefer to have a republic, that’s very clear from all the polling evidence.”

The current stance of the SNP – the biggest force in the independence movement and the party that would likely do most to shape a post-independence Scotland – is to maintain the monarch as the head of state.

Causation

But Sir John said it is important to understand the “direction of causation”.

He said: “Do you think that people decide whether or not they’re for or against independence on the basis of what they think about the monarchy, or is their attitude toward the monarchy basically a function, a consequence of their views on independence?

“I would suggest to you that it’s much more plausible to take it for most people that it’s the latter rather than the former.”

Sir John went on to say that views on the monarchy are unlikely to rank as high in priority as other issues, such as the economy as a whole or the financial impact of leaving the EU.

“If, at the end of the day, you take the view that Brexit is going to be an economic disaster, independence is going to be economically fine, you don’t feel British and you want to be inside the European Union, you ain’t going to say ‘I’m still going to vote for the union on the grounds that I think Scotland should have a monarchy,” he said.

Likewise, the professor said, those who support Brexit think independence would be economically detrimental and feel as though they are British would not vote to leave the UK because they want to get rid of the monarchy.


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Vivian O’Blivion
Vivian O’Blivion
16 days ago

SIR John Curtis disnae ken whits happening on the streets. Folk are pure raging at being subjected to this Pyongyang level of propaganda pish.
The 33k figure being pushed as the attendance at the St Gilles laying in sate, is propaganda. English folk making multiple circuits. One woman went round seven times!

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
16 days ago

Intersting, but not too surprising as the Royals have plenty of funds to push all sorts of biased propaganda. He might be right that folk who support independence, and electoral reform would be hard pressed to square those liberal views with a preference for an unelected feudal monarchic system.

David
David
16 days ago

If the monarchy is not a reason for independence of countries. Then why have countries left the commonwealth under Her reign or seek to be a republic?

Paul
Paul
16 days ago
Reply to  David

Only five countries left the Commonwealth in Elizabeth II’s reign. Four have re-joined and the fifth is applying to re-join. Meanwhile, three non-ex-colonies have also joined.

Becoming a republic seems logical for far-away countries. What’s surprising is that 14 of them haven’t done it yet, but they’re still independent countries. It could be a long time before the Old Commonwealth countries – especially Canada and New Zealand – become republics.

Brian Clement
Brian Clement
16 days ago

The Establishment will throw massive resources at “Saving the Union” in the coming months. They know that if they lose Scotland then the whole London circus – royal and political – will rapidly unravel.

Paul
Paul
16 days ago
Reply to  Brian Clement

But it doesn’t seem to occur to them that the way to save the union is to make it so good for everyone that nobody would want to leave!

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