Edinburgh, 17 October – More than a third of adults in Scotland are more likely to vote in future elections in the wake of the 84% turnout in last month’s independence referendum, according a new survey by TNS. But there is a very low level of trust in the UK party leaders to deliver the promised new powers to Scotland.
In the poll of 993 over-16s, 37% said they were more likely to vote in the future. Those aged under 35 were more energised, with 55% saying they were more likely to vote, including 38% who said they were much more likely to do so.
Encouragingly, evidence of increased engagement with the political process is evident beyond solely voting in elections. Just under a third (32%) said they were more likely to get involved in public debates about local or national issues in the future as a result of the debate and public discussion about the referendum, rising to 40% among those aged 16 to 34.
Asked how they had been engaged during the campaign, 62% said they had taken part in discussions with friends and family, 60% watched any of the TV debates, 11% had contributed to online discussions, 9% had attended a public meeting and 5% had worked for one of the campaigns.
In spite of promises from the major UK parties, the Scottish National Party was the most widely trusted to deliver new powers for Scotland: 37% said they trusted the SNP against 15% for Labour, 8% for the Conservatives and 1% for the Liberal Democrats.
A quarter of those surveyed said they did not trust any party to deliver on more powers.
Those in the younger age group (16-34) were more likely to trust the SNP (43%) and less likely to trust no party (20%). Half (51%) of those who said they were more likely to vote in future elections said they trusted the SNP.
When given a list of prominent politicians, 24% said they trust the likely new Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon most to deliver more powers, double the figure for outgoing leader Alex Salmond. There is a very low level of trust in the three UK party leaders who published the eve-of-referendum vow on more powers for Holyrood – 6% trust David Cameron most, 1% trust Ed Miliband most and only a handful named Nick Clegg.
In spite of not being a party leader, Gordon Brown (15%) is the UK politician most trusted to deliver more powers. Once again, a quarter of those surveyed (26%) said they did not trust any of those named.
Tom Costley, head of TNS Scotland, said: “This is our first indication of the referendum effect – whether the remarkable turnout in that vote, and the high level of public engagement in the campaign, will carry on into future political campaigns and elections.
“The indication from the poll is that many people, and young people in particular, are energised to continue to take a more active part in political life.
“But the poll also shows that all of the main political parties, especially the unionist ones, have a lot of work to do to convince voters in Scotland that the promise of further devolution will be fulfilled.”
Notes to editors:
- A sample of 993 adults aged 16+ was interviewed in 69 constituencies across Scotland between 24th September and 5th October 2014.
- To ensure the sample was representative of the adult population of Scotland, it was weighted to match population profile estimates in the analysis. Data was also weighted to match turnout and share of constituency vote from the 2011 Holyrood election, as recorded in SPICe Briefing 11-29 2011 Scottish Parliament Election Results.
- All interviews were conducted face-to-face, in-home using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) and quota sampling.
Detailed tables for this survey can be found here.
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TNS UK was awarded the Market Research Society’s (MRS) Agency of the Year 2013.
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