NEWS17 October 2014

Scottish referendum’s lasting effect on political engagement

News UK

UK — More than a third of adults in Scotland are more likely to vote in future elections following the referendum despite low levels of trust in the party leaders, according to a survey by TNS.


In the poll of 993 over-16s, 37% said they were more likely to vote in the future. The young were the most energised by the vote; 55% of under-35s said they were more likely to vote, including 38% who said they were much more likely to do so.

And evidence of increased engagement goes beyond 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.

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.

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.”