47% feel SNP did not tell truth on indyref

Nearly half of voters feel the SNP were not straight with them on the economic case for independence. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Nearly half of voters feel the SNP were not straight with them on the economic case for independence. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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SCOTLAND is preparing to back the SNP in large numbers despite a widespread belief that the party did not tell the truth about the economics of independence, a poll suggests.

The SNP has the backing of 46 per cent of voters and Nicola Sturgeon remains the most trusted leader at 60 per cent, compared with 26 per cent for Labour and a 40 per cent trust rating for Jim Murphy, and 14 per cent for the Conservatives and 36 per cent for Ruth Davidson, a Survation poll for the Daily Record found.

Trust in UK leaders remains low in Scotland, at 35 per cent for Prime Minister David Cameron, 38 per cent for UK Labour leader Ed Miliband and 29 per cent for Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Despite the vote of confidence in the SNP and its leader, more people believe the party generally did not tell the truth on the economics of independence.

Some 47% said the SNP did not tell the truth on economics in the referendum campaign compared with 37% who said they did, the poll of 1,006 people between January 12 and 16 suggests.

But the current dip in the oil price has made no difference to Scotland’s views on independence, the poll also found.

Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) said it made no difference, but nearly a fifth (19 per cent) said they are less likely to support independence with the price of one of Scotland’s key economic resources so low.

The plummeting price to below 50 US dollars (£33) a barrel has actually made more than a tenth (11%) of Scots more likely to support independence.

A majority of Scots (55 per cent) think Britain is worse off since the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition took power in 2010, compared with just 8 per cent who think it is better off and 26 per cent who said it is no better or worse off.

Meanwhile, a separate Survation poll for the SNP found more Scots oppose a new generation of Trident nuclear weapons being based on the Clyde (47.2 per cent) than support it (31.6 per cent).

Opposition to Trident is stronger among Yes voters at 70.5 per cent, compared with just 14.6 per cent who support it, according to figures published in the National newspaper.

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But more No voters support Trident (45.7 per cent) than oppose it (30.5 per cent), following a referendum in which the future of Scotland’s defence sector was a key battleground.

Commenting on the Daily Record poll, SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie said: “The huge lead the SNP has over Labour - even bigger than our 2011 election landslide - and the fact that Nicola Sturgeon is by far the most trusted political leader, indicates the high level of trust the people of Scotland have in their SNP Government.

“The poll also shows that the people of Scotland want real home rule - with powers far beyond what the Westminster parties have been prepared to concede - which is why only voting SNP can make a difference in May and ensure that the vow is delivered.

“Oil is a bonus, not the basis of Scotland’s economy - and independent forecasts expect the price to rise again, with Opec predicting a price of around 100 US dollars (£66) a barrel in real terms in the long-run. The industry needs supported, and only SNP MPs elected in May will make this a top priority.

“At the time of the Scottish Government’s publication in March 2013, the 113 US dollar (£74.50) price projection was in line with many other independent forecasts - and the UK Government’s own Energy Department was forecasting oil prices to reach 134 US dollar (£88) a barrel in 2018.”

Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said: “The SNP deliberately deceived the Scottish people on oil ahead of the referendum, and it will do exactly the same thing before the general election.

“The party’s economic credibility is shot, and voters will see through any further false promises it decides to make in the next few months.”

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