DCSIMG

Will people vote with their heads or hearts?

Will you be voting with your head or your heart? Picture: TSPL

Will you be voting with your head or your heart? Picture: TSPL

  • by JOHN CURTICE
 

IT IS often asked whether voters will be voting with their head or with their heart in September.

Will they be backing the option they think will be better for their country’s prosperity and wellbeing? Or will they be affirming their sense of Scottish or British identity?

The Scottish Social Attitudes survey has shown many people are uncertain about the consequences of independence

Meanwhile, research at Stirling University suggests that those who dislike taking risks are disinclined to support independence. Our poll today adds to a new piece to this jigsaw.

It shows that independence is indeed much more likely to be regarded as a risk than is staying in the Union. Moreover, this seems to be crucial in putting many a No voter off leaving the UK. No less than 88 per cent of No voters think that independence represents a huge or big risk. At the same time no less than 80 per cent of these voters believe there is little or no risk involved in staying in the Union.

Yes voters, in contrast, do not view the two alternatives anything like as differently. Only 54 per cent of them believe that independence would pose little or no risk. At the same time, 43 per cent feel that staying in the Union would be a big risk.

If staying in the Union looked less like a risk-free option, then perhaps more voters would be willing to take the plunge after all?

• John Curtice is Professor of Politics, Strathclyde University

Get the latest referendum news, opinion and analysis from across Scotland and beyond on our new Scottish Independence website

 

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