Scottish independence: 1/3 unaware of white paper

A poll has revealed that only 14 per cent of Scots have read any of the white paper. Picture: Robert Perry
A poll has revealed that only 14 per cent of Scots have read any of the white paper. Picture: Robert Perry
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ALMOST a third of Scots are unaware of the existence of Alex Salmond’s White Paper and almost nine out of ten people have not bothered to read it, a poll commissioned by the Scottish philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter has claimed.

Despite the hype surrounding the document outlining the Scottish Government’s independence blueprint, the survey of 1,054 adults found only 14 per cent claimed to have read any of it.

The TNS poll found 29 per cent were oblivious of the White Paper, while 57 per cent were aware of the document but had not looked at it.

The poll, conducted between 14 and 20 January, found that more than two-thirds (67 per cent) think Prime Minister David Cameron should debate with First Minister Alex Salmond and only 17 per cent believe he should not.

On the big question of independence, support grew slightly, up to 29 per cent from 27 per cent in December and 26 per cent in November.

Support for the Union has remained fairly steady at 42 per cent, the same as in November and one point higher than in December. Meanwhile, undecided voters have dropped to 29 per cent from 33 per cent.

The poll was commissioned for Hunter’s own newly established constitutional forum, complete with the website which aims to help undecided voters make an informed choice ahead of their vote.

Around four-fifths of undecided voters say they do not have enough knowledge to help them decide how to vote.

Hunter said: “It is my belief that the referendum is way closer to call than anyone thinks, and for that reason I believe many Scots need far more data and evidence to make an informed choice.”

Reacting to the proportion of people who had not read the White Paper, a spokesman for the No campaign Better Together said: “The White Paper was a publicly funded SNP manifesto. It was Alex Salmond’s wish list without a price list – it couldn’t have been further from what Scotland was promised by the SNP. It is little wonder people here have paid no attention to it.”

A spokesman for Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland’s Future is the most detailed blueprint for independence ever produced, and demand has been such that it is now on its third reprint.”


Scottish independence white paper: key facts