DEVO Plus is currently more popular than both Scottish independence and the status quo, according to a new poll.
The poll, carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Reform Scotland, showed that 41 per cent of those asked believed that Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom but with increased powers, while 29 per cent backed the present situation and 27 per cent in favour of independence.
The other key outcome of the poll, which surveyed 1003 people between 7 and 14 June, was that 61 per cent would like to see the Scottish Parliament have responsibility for raising the the money it spends, and two-thirds would like the Unionist parties to campaign for more powers for Holyrood.
Ben Thomson, chairman of Reform Scotland, said: “This poll is further proof of what we have suspected for some time – the current debate on Scotland’s constitutional future is not adequately serving the people of Scotland because it is largely ignoring their preferred way forward. In a poll on the preferred route forward, neither the status quo nor independence can muster even 30 per cent support, while Devo Plus polls over 40 per cent.
“Most Scots have identified the key problem with the current devolution settlement – that the Scottish Parliament is not properly accountable for raising the money which it spends. With twice the number of people believing that the Scottish Government should raise most of this money rather than the Westminster Government, we would urge all political parties to consider whether they are adequately representing popular demand.
“It’s time for the parties to lay their cards on the table. It’s time people know exactly what they’re voting for, and if nobody is offering Devo Plus – the most popular option – the question must be: why not?”
Former Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Jeremy Purvis, leader of the Devo Plus Group, added: “This is the first substantive test of opinion in Scotland on the Devo Plus proposals and shows very clearly the desire of the Scottish people to improve on the status quo, but rejecting independence. The very clear support for Devo Plus as the best way forward for Scotland should be listened to.
“The evidence is also clear that the vast majority of people would like the parties that do not support independence to work together to progress the case for Devo Plus. Devo Plus is not a tactic to defeat independence, rather it is a carefully considered way forward for a stronger Scotland within the UK - this Ipsos Mori poll now shows it is the way forward most preferred by the people of Scotland also.”
Thinking about Scotland’s constitutional future, which of the following statements most closely matches your views on this issue?
Scotland should remain part of the UK with the same devolved powers it has at present 29%
Scotland should remain part of the UK with the increased powers outlined in the Devo Plus proposal 41%
Scotland should become a fully independent country, separate from the rest of the UK 27%
Some other view 4 %
As you may know, most of the money spent by the Scottish Parliament currently comes from the Westminster Government. Who do you think should be responsible for raising most of the money the Scottish Parliament spends?
The Scottish Government 61%
The Westminster Government 29%
Don’t know 10%
To what extent do you agree or disagree that those who want to stay in the UK should campaign for more powers for the Scottish Parliament within the UK as an alternative to independence?
Strongly agree 29%
Tend to agree 37%
Neither agree nor disagree 13%
Tend to disagree 9%
Strongly disagree 8%
Don’t know 4%
Agree (Net) 66%
Disagree (Net) 17%