The best of Democratic Audit’s coverage of the Scottish independence referendum

Democratic Audit has been at the forefront of providing high quality analysis of the Scottish independence referendum, which takes place this Tuesday. Here, Democratic Audit’s Sean Kippin collates the best of DA’s work in the area. (Click on the headline to read the story). 


800px-Wfm_jura_landsatScotland might vote no, but the key question is ‘what happens next?’

Those in favour of Scottish independence look set to lose out in September 18th’s referendum, despite the recent tightening in the polls following the second debate between First Minister Alex Salmond and the BetterTogether Chair Alistair Darling. But, argues Adam Tomkins, the more important question is what happens next, with numerous unknowns further complicating an already confusing landscape.


6191237479_aace6f55b9_zIf Westminster politicians think that a No vote in the referendum represents a final victory, they are in for a rude surprise

The Scottish independence referendum is now coming into clear sight, with only a month or so to go before polling day. Here, Emran Mian argues that a ‘No’ vote, which looks increasingly likely, would not necessarily represent a final victory over Scottish nationalism. Instead, much would still be up for debate, and the prospect of Alex Salmond having the last laugh is not unthinkable.


DarlingSalmondThe Darling-Salmond TV debate offered a poor account of Scottish democracy

The much anticipated debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling occurred yesterday. Craig McAngus summarises the debate, writing that, though civic engagement is alive and well in Scotland thanks to the referendum debate which has stimulated discussion amongst Scots at the grassroots level about key existential questions, the ‘big debate’ was a very poor example of democracy in action.


1280px-Three_tartansThe Scottish currency issue has mercilessly exposed the contradictions between the SNP’s twin postures of liberation and compromise

The Scottish National Party had long advocated a policy of European integration combined with independence from the UK, however the financial and Eurozone crises have seen the SNP become stuck between the competing poles of liberation and compromise. James Stafford argues that the the financial crisis has transformed the debate over Scottish independence – to the disadvantage of the SNP.


2076445779_355564a637_zWhat the independence referendums in Québec suggest about Scotland

The current dynamics of the debate in Scotland recalls very much what Québec experienced in its referendums of 1980 and 1995, writes André Lecours. While there are striking similarities, such as the bulk of the argument against independence resting on the potential economic and financial implications of secession, there are also important differences, such as the absence of any debate about the majority required to trigger the process of secession. The Québec experience also suggests, among other things, that the SNP is unlikely to be tarnished in a post-‘no’ Scotland, and that the debate on independence is certainly not closed.


4992258987_f325b0de4b_zScottish independence referendum: voters should decide on the basis of what is best for everyone affected

On what basis should Scottish voters make their decision to leave the United Kingdom or the stay? Kieran Oberman urges them to consider what is best for everyone affected by the referendum, wherever they live, arguing that right-wing internationalists have good cause to vote yes, while their counterparts on the left have good cause to vote no.


angel-of-the-northScotland’s independence referendum is spurring the desire for political devolution in England

Arianna Giovannini and Joanie Willett explore the uneven path of English regionalism, focusing on two cases: the North East and Cornwall, during and after the New Labour government. Scotland’s referendum has reminded people that there are alternatives, and that regional devolution is a possible solution to a London-centric problem. England’s regional identities and inequalities are only going to become more visible and more politicised the closer we get to September 18th. 


4198880482_04a7d2812b_zScotland would benefit from adopting a more ambitious approach to its constitutional future

The Scottish Government this week released the first draft of an interim constitution for an independent Scotland, as well as details about the nature of the Constitutional Convention that would come together in order to write a final document. Alan Renwick argues that though some elements of this are encouraging, a bolder approach – particularly in terms of convention membership, and the clarity of the document as a whole – would be preferable.


2475770445_9468b36589_zAs Scotland decides its future, lie back and think of England

England is unique amongst the constituent nations of the United Kingdom in being directly governed from Whitehall and Westminster, with Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland all enjoying differing degrees of autonomy over their own affairs. Recent polling has showed that the English people are broadly in favour greater powers for England and Eunice Goes argues that the time is right for a British federalism and English regional assemblies.


3761845627_4c55abe64c_zFive minutes with John Curtice: “In over 60 opinion polls, only one has ever seen a majority in favour of Scottish independence”

Strathclyde University’s polling and public opinion expert Professor John Curtice recently spoke at an LSE event on the forthcoming Scottish independence referendum. Democratic Audit’s Sean Kippin took the chance to speak to him. They discussed the prospect of a ‘Yes’ vote, the demographics at play in the election, and an independent Scotland’s party make-up.

Note: this post represents the views of the authors and not those of Democratic Audit or the LSE. Please read our comments policy before posting.

Roundtable - Sean Kippin, Democratic AuditSean Kippin is Managing Editor of Democratic Audit, and is responsible for DA’s website, blog and wider output. He has a BA in Politics from the University of Northumbria and an MSc in Political Theory from the LSE. He has worked for MPs Nick Brown and Alex Cunningham, as well as the Smith Institute think tank. He has been at Democratic Audit since June 2013, and can be found on twitter at @se_kip.

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