Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'd Bet Against a Yes Vote For Independence

With a referendum on independence becomming an increasing inevitability it's interesting to muse on the way that any vote might operate and to take a look at the numbers. Would the referendum be as simply as a majority vote? So that if 50.1% of people voted for independence, and 49.9% didn't, does that mean we shall seek independence from the rest of the UK?

Just say we get a 65% turn out, the last general election was close to 52%, that could mean that 1,280 people in Scotland, out of a potential voter's roll of just under 4 million, might potentially decide the fate of the nation.

At the last election in the constituency count the votes amassed by the SNP were 664.227, that's 17% of the entire electorate - that's still less than a third of the total votes cast. If the SNP are to achieve that 50.1% share of a 65% turnout then they will have to persuade close to 620,000 more people to vote for them, or for independence, which I agree is not quite the same thing....but it's not far off!

I'd still bet against independence being voted for.


D Thomson said...

An interesting point about the way in which the vote will be run. One would assume that a simple majority wouldn't be allowed!

It allowed me to recall the referendum vote in 1979 (not that I was alive - us young 'uns).

"1.23 million Scots voted for and 1.15 million voted against a Scottish assembly. The turnout was 63.8% but the Yes vote represented only 32.9% of the electorate and thus devolution for Scotland fell before the Cunningham amendment."

Where the Cunningham amendment is the requirement that 40% of the electorate has to vote Yes for it to be passed.

Something similar in an independence referendum? Of course there'll be plenty of further complications if it's a multi-option vote!

r morris said...

Bush won in 2000 by 400 votes nationally out of 50 million!

When I was in Ireland last summer I remember the big push was to vote 'NO' on giving the EU more central planning power. After all the EU has done for Ireland, the Irish voted nay.

Richard, how would Scotland benefit from being independent?

Richard Havers said...

I'm the wrong person to ask that question to. Because I think we wouldn't.

D Thomson said...

Nationalists simply put it that Scotland differs in opinion to the rest of the UK on a lot of matters and thus, we'll be better off independent. What's even better, the Nationalists claim, is that we can do wonderfully in terms of the economics.

I disagree with the first bit, and, from what I've read on a variety of occasions in different guises, I disagree with the second bit.

An interesting one worth considering is this post from SU and the comment after it when thinking about the reasons for Ireland's growth boom and whether Scotland could emulate it.

r morris said...

thanks, d. thompson. i'll check it out.

Richard Thomson said...

I disagree with the first bit, and, from what I've read on a variety of occasions in different guises, I disagree with the second bit.

If you don't mind me asking, Drew, what exactly have you read on the subject?

Anonymous said...

Ireland's growth boom came when the EU were pouring money into the place. That simply wouldn't happen now. I'd tend to agree with you Richard on the vote being against if it was taken now. However two years hence with a possible Tory government in London? I'd reckon all bets would be off!

topher said...

I'll take your bet. I've been looking for a bookie to take a bet on independence but can't find one. I'll bet you £100 that the referendum comes out in favour of independence, and everyone who reads this blog will be witness.