Scottish independence: 70% back No vote in England

The poll found that most voters in England backed Scotland staying part of the Union. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The poll found that most voters in England backed Scotland staying part of the Union. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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ENGLISH VOTERS are opposed to Scottish independence by more than three to one and most think they ought to have had a say in the referendum, a poll found.

Only 20% approve of a breakaway while 70% want to keep the United Kingdom together, according to the survey by Populus for the Daily Mail.

If Alex Salmond does succeed in leading his country to independence, a majority (53%) do not believe he should be allowed to keep the pound as Scotland’s currency with only 26% in favour.

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And while they back the granting of sweeping new powers in the event of a No vote by 48% to 26%, 61% think Scots MPs should be barred from voting in Westminster on policies which do not apply north of the border.

Such a move - consideration of which has been revived by the referendum debate - could spell seriously difficulties for a future Labour government which elects dozens of MPs in Scotland, especially if it applied to budget votes once Holyrood was granted greater authority over tax and welfare decisions.

Those polled clearly backed the view - by 51% to 29% - that the Queen should resist calls for her to intervene in the debate and they were happy that she should remain head of state of an independent Scotland, as envisaged by the SNP, by 40% to 26%.

Only people living in Scotland have the right to cast a vote next Thursday but 56% said the whole of the rest of the UK - England, Wales and Northern Ireland - should have been allowed to take part against 44% who backed the existing system.

Populus interviewed 1,043 English adults online on September 12.

Latest Scottish independence referendum poll

Another poll, commissioned from Ipsos Mori by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, also showed few people (33%) thought Scotland’s MPs should be allowed to take part in Westminster votes on devolved matters.

It suggested there was an appetite for more devolution within the rest of the UK, with 62% declaring political power was too concentrated in Westminster, and 85% wanting local communities to have more say.

Only just over a quarter (27%) thought it was the case that they exercised a “fair amount or a great deal of say” over government policies - compared with the 76% who believed that of large companies, 74% the media and 64% pressure groups.

More surprisingly, half of those asked said they were in favour of switching to some form of more proportional voting system for general elections.

A referendum in 2011 dismissed proposals to use the Alternative Vote system by 68% to 32%.The results were based on a face-to-face survey of 2008 Britons aged 15+ conducted between July 18-24.

Responding to the Populus poll, a spokesman for Yes Scotland said: ‘What we are voting for on Thursday is the opportunity to become a normal, independent country, in charge of our own affairs and in control of our own future.

“As everybody on both sides of the debate agrees, Scotland can be a successful, independent country and it’s clear to an ever-growing number of people who live and work here that we should be independent.

“After a Yes vote, we will continue to be best friends with people in the rest of the UK.”

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