Was indyref vote won on a false ‘vow’?

I have some sympathy with Howard Lewis (Letters, 15 October). People who did not want any change to the status quo found, towards the end of the referendum campaign, that their preferred choice was in effect no longer on the ballot paper.

But I do not agree with his view that “it is fair to assume the majority of Scots would have voted No without any more powers being devolved”.

Three points arise. First, clearly the Better Together campaign did not take that view before the referendum. Otherwise why make the “vow” at all?

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Second, opinion polls notwithstanding, it is simply not possible to know what the result would have been without the vow.

Third, whether or not the vow was necessary to secure a No vote, which is unprovable, the fact is that it was made.

It should not now be 

On the basis of Mr Lewis’s 
assumption, the unionist party leaders are in the position of a man who has bought a house under the sealed bid system but now believes he paid more than was necessary to secure it.

To the leaders’ credit, they do not appear – yet, anyway – to be asking for some of their money back. But others may think they should.

Adam Rennie

Grange Terrace


Ellis Thorpe and Howard Lewis (Letters, 15 October) captured eloquently the essence of what we voted for in 

As Mr Thorpe asserted, doing what is morally right is fundamental to politics as what is at stake is democracy.

Mr Lewis asks if there has ever been another instance in a democratic society when the wishes of the majority are not even being considered.

The referendum results 
suggested that 61 per cent 
of all voters had always known – or had known for longer than a year – how 
they were going to vote; 
11 per cent of all voters 
knew their position in early 2014.

The 72 per cent – the majority – of voters knew what they were being offered long before the so-called panic set in; the “vow”, the promises, the scurrying around by all politicians.

Our First Minister asserted on Radio 4 that we Scots are absolutely fizzing over the early steps to deliver more powers to Holyrood and went on to suggest that we had been tricked into our voting intentions on 18 September.

It is possible that the 28 per cent of all voters who made their minds up at some point within the last month of the campaign were tricked by the persuasive deliveries of some politicians.

The 72 per cent knew, and I trust that Lord Smith of Kelvin will ponder the same in his deliberations.

Allan O’Connor

Leadervale Road