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Scotlands Politics

robob 14 1.0k England
12 May 2011 9:12PM
Just out of interest,

Has any polling ever been done as to how religion would affect voting on independence?

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fraser 14 631 14 Scotland
12 May 2011 9:56PM

Quote:Just out of interest,

Has any polling ever been done as to how religion would affect voting on independence?

Not that I'm aware of but there is evidence that Rangers fans have a unionist bent and Celtic fans a republican one (for blindingly obvious reasons). Having said that the Catholics used to be renowned for voting Labour. However, I think any religious slant towards or against independence is minimal these days; there's just a growing feeling that we are more than capable of running our own affairs and our cultural, philosophical and political differences with our larger brother to the south are different enough for independence, or at least, further devolution of power, to make some sense.
Ewanneil 8 1.1k 2 Scotland
12 May 2011 10:06PM

Quote:Just out of interest,

Has any polling ever been done as to how religion would affect voting on independence?

Fraser is absolutely right in my view.

Traditionally the catholic community in Scotland tended to vote Labour and the protestant community Conservative but since WWII voting behaviour in Scotland has changed dramatically. The Conservatives went from having a majority of Scottish MP's to having none at all in the space of 2 generations. There has been a wholesale change in voting behaviour. Initially, at least, the protestant community also began to vote Labour to the point where it became the majority party in Scotland.

However, in recent years the SNP, aware that it was struggling to break into Labour's heartland, made efforts to appeal to the catholic community with a range of policies including maintaining separate catholic schools. There is some evidence to suggest that part of the SNP's recent success has been down to its broadening appeal to catholic voters. The recent Scottish election results for west-central Scotland would tend to bear this out. Similarly, increasing disaffection with Labour has allowed the SNP to pick up large numbers of votes from the protestant community.

So to cut a long story short the SNP has managed to endear itself to both communities and both the Labour and Conservative parties have suffered. Both were probably guilty of taking their supporters' votes for granted. The Liberals / Lib-dems have traditionally got their support in more rural areas out-with the central belt with religion playing less of a role.

I suspect that support for independence is pretty evenly spread across both communities.
adrian_w Plus
10 3.7k 4 England
12 May 2011 10:12PM

Quote:Just out of interest,

Has any polling ever been done as to how religion would affect voting on independence?

This was explained to me when I first came up here 30 years ago, by a Protestant SNP supporter.
Traditionally in the West of Scotland most local politicians & councillors were Labour & Catholic. Because the Labour party were then associated with Catholics, a lot of the Protestants felt they couldn't support them & so tended to be "working class" Tories. With the demise of the Tory party in Scotland many shifted their alliegance to the SNP, hence the epithet of "Tartan Tories" which was once applied to them. Despite many of them actually being socialists.
While this may have been true 30 years ago it's much more complex now, especially as the SNP has gained support throughout the country & obviously picked up votes from traditional Labour supporters. While Labour is still predominently Catholic, (or vice-versa) the SNP is a more "broad church", and is probably the party of choice for the increasing Asian population. Whether or not much of their new found support will actually vote for independance is the great unknown. I suspect a lot have voted for change because they are fed up with the traditional Lab/Lib/Con politics.

OK since I started to write this Fraser & Ewan have answered more succinctly than me, but in similar meaning.

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