We are currently running a series of events titled ‘What Scotland Thinks: Unpacking public attitudes to independence’ with Professor John Curtice and Dr Jan Eichhorn.
This is an occasional series of ScotCen/Institute of Governance morning briefings on public attitudes towards Scotland’s constitutional future. Each briefing focuses on public attitudes towards one of the key aspects of the referendum debate, bringing together the evidence of the Scottish Social Attitudes surveys and of commercial opinion polls. The briefings are of interest to anyone who needs to be well briefed on public opinion – on how it is evolving and how it may change – during the course of the referendum campaign.
The programme for this autumn is as follows:
What Does England Want?
10th Oct 2013 09:00 – 11:00
England does not have a vote in the referendum, yet it is often introduced as an important actor in the devolution debate. Claims that England is more right wing than Scotland are called upon to argue that Scotland needs more autonomy if it is to enjoy the kind of government it wants. Doubts about England’s continued willingness to tolerate a system of asymmetric devolution that is financially advantageous to Scotland are expressed in support of the view that Scotland cannot hope to enjoy more devolution unless England’s needs and wishes are given greater recognition too. In this seminar we bring to bear the latest evidence on whether England really does different policy preferences from its northern neighbour, and is becoming increasingly discontented about the shape of the devolution settlement.
Will 16 and 17 year olds make a difference?
14th Nov 2013 09:00 – 11:00
One of the distinguishing and much debated features of the referendum is that 16 and 17 year olds will get the opportunity to vote, the first time that they have had the chance to do so in a major Scottish or UK ballot. But will their votes make much difference to the outcome? How different are their views from that of their elders? Are those views formed on the basis of similar considerations? In this seminar we will compare the attitudes of adults aged 18 plus as measured by the Scottish Social Attitudes with a survey conducted by Edinburgh University of young people who will be 16 by next September.
Has Devolution Failed?
10th Dec 2013 09:00 – 11:00
We might presume from the fact that a ballot on independence is being held so soon after the introduction of devolution that creating the Scottish Parliament is now widely regarded as a failure. But is that indeed the conclusion to which the Scottish public have been drawn? What do voters think devolution has and has not achieved? How far has it failed to meet their expectations? And how far is disappointment with the achievements of devolution the reason why some voters at least are contemplating saying Yes in the referendum?
Each briefing will be prefaced by a short presentation on the state of the latest referendum polls.
All the briefings will take place in the Raeburn Room, Old College, University of Edinburgh (see map) from 9am – 11am. Registration is at 9am and the seminars will run from 9.30am-11am.
To attend any of the briefings contact Mags Tingey at the Institute of Governance by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0131 650 8093. Cost: £25 per seminar. Attend all three for £65 (all three must be booked and paid for together). Please note you must book a place in order to attend briefing seminars.
Registration is at 9am and the seminars will run from 9.30am-11am.