Alex Salmond’s impassioned plea for Scottish independence may have won over unsure voters, say our Scottish reader panel. As a snap poll by Guardian/ICM found Mr Salmond to have won Monday night’s television debate by a margin of 71 per cent to 29 per cent, even our panellists in the No camp had to admit that Scotland’s first minister had been the better speaker.
With the No campaign still holding onto a poll lead, talk has turned to ‘devo max’, the devolution of further powers to Scotland and the competing visions from the main UK political parties.
Our panel of Scots is not impressed. In a surprise moment of agreement, both the No and Yes supporters find ‘devo max’ distasteful. The Yes supporters suspect the proposals would give Scotland no benefits, only the potential for budget cuts. The No supporters don’t wish to see more power given to an SNP-dominated Holyrood parliament. Read more
Will 16 and 17-year-olds, who have been given the right to vote on Scottish independence, have much influence on the final outcome?
For our panel these younger voters seem an unknown quantity. Those in favour of a Yes vote predict they will vote Yes, based on a concern for jobs and free university places. Those who favour a No vote say this group is likely to vote No, as they are too much of a global generation to be swayed by the nationalist argument. Read more
Is the referendum debate causing a rift in Scottish society? The Church of Scotland is worried enough about this to propose a service of reconciliation following the vote in September. We put the question to our panelists – were their personal relationships strained? Were they worried about life after September 18?
Most of them said no – Scots are grown up enough to have the debate without lasting damage. But interestingly, our pro-Union panelists were the ones most clearly voicing fears about a divide. Read more
The FT has already written more than 800 articles referencing the Scottish independence referendum – and there are still five months of campaigning and debate to go. But what are the Scots themselves saying?
From more than 280 applicants we have selected a group of seven Scottish readers to give us their views as the campaign develops. Two support independence, two would like Scotland to remain part of the UK, and three have yet to make up their minds. Read more