It’s a phrase I believe Nicola coined last year, and I admit I was sceptical about it. There’s rarely a natural majority for anything, even a binary choice like independence. But I’ve come to agree with her, and now I have polling that demonstrates what she means. Using my regular pollsters Survation, I asked a series of nine trust questions. These are the results with the Don’t Knows excluded (full tables here).
|Who do you trust more on each of these issues?||Holyrood||Westminster||Net Holyrood|
|Doing what is right for Scotland *||79.9%||20.1%||+59.8%|
|Representing our views *||76.7%||23.3%||+53.4%|
|Having our best interests at heart *||72.5%||27.5%||+45%|
|Improving the lives of the most vulnerable *||70.2%||29.8%||+40.4%|
|Keeping public services in public hands *||69.6%||30.4%||+39.2%|
|Making the best choices for me and my family||64%||36%||+28%|
|Protecting our environment||60.3%||39.7%||+20.6%|
|Delivering a fairer economy||59.5%||40.5%||+19%|
|Playing a responsible role internationally||42.7%||57.3%||-14.6%|
So, on eight out of nine “values” issues, voters in Scotland trust Holyrood more. Only on one (which I admit baffled me – *cough* *Iraq*) was Westminster narrowly preferred. On the first five, indicated with an asterisk, there’s an absolute majority for Holyrood even when you include the Don’t Knows. And that’s on what this question is really about: where should decisions be made? As now, split between Holyrood and Westminster, or entirely at Holyrood?
It’s no wonder, either. The last decade plus of Westminster’s decision-making could have been designed as a campaign to make the entire institution as unpopular as possible. A system of bank deregulation in favour of the City led to an extraordinary crash. The aftermath of that crash was used not to fix banking and tackle inequality, but to build a three-party consensus for a war on the poor and disabled, the demonisation of immigrants, yet more tax cuts for the highest earners, and a continuation of the ideological privatisation agenda. How could an ever harsher Union not have been designed to alienate Scottish voters?
Maybe the extraordinary scare campaign against radical change, coordinated from within 10 Downing Street with their FTSE 100 allies, will win. Maybe our superior ground campaign will win. But sooner or later we will be independent. There’s a natural majority for it.