Yes supporters have to convince ‘elderly and non-Scots’

Angus Robertson says the Yes campaign failed to convince the elderly and non-Scots.  Picture: Ian Rutherford
Angus Robertson says the Yes campaign failed to convince the elderly and non-Scots. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Angus Robertson today claimed a failure to persuade English voters and the elderly of the merits of independence were to blame for last year’s No vote.

The SNP Westminster leader identified the two groups when asked to reflect on the referendum at the party conference.

If you had a inter-generational effect you could have the persuasive powers of young people being able to persuade grandparents

Angus Robertson

Looking back at Yes Scotland’s defeat, Mr Robertson admitted he misjudged how resistant the elderly would be to voting Yes.

Mr Robertson said a key tactic had been to get Yes voting teenagers to persuade their grandparents to support independence.

“We knew that it was going to be more difficult with older voters,” Mr Robertson told a fringe meeting hosted by The Times newspaper.

“But if you had a inter-generational effect you could have the persuasive powers of young people being able to persuade grandparents. It was not just about the older generations it was about future generations and voting for one’s grandchildren. I definitely underestimated that it would take as long as it did for younger voters to get to where they got to and it was too short a period then for the inter-generational effect.”

According to Mr Robertson, the other group that proved difficult to convince were non-Scots based in Scotland.

“There was a second area, which is that part of the electorate which comes from elsewhere,” said Mr Robertson, who was born in the London suburb of Wimbledon.

“In Scotland’s case that is largely from the rest of the UK and largely from England. The reason I have got a bit of insight into this is that I’m one of them.”