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20 August 2014
People in England want a hard line to be taken with Scotland, whatever the outcome of the independence referendum, according to research led by Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre.
The views of English voters are not only starkly at odds with those of the Scottish Government regarding what should follow from a Yes vote on 18 September. They also contradict the Unionist parties about what should be the consequences of a No victory.
These are among the key findings of the latest Future of England Survey 2014 (FoES), the authoritative survey of English opinion on constitutional issues undertaken by researchers at Cardiff and Edinburgh Universities. The Survey consulted a representative sample of 3695 adults in England; it was undertaken in late April 2014 by the polling agency YouGov.
Commenting on the research, Professor Richard Wyn Jones, Wales Governance Centre, said: "Given the consistent No lead in all recent opinion polls, there has been surprisingly little scrutiny of what the pro-union parties are promising after a No victory. Scotland has been promised that it can maintain its current advantageous position in terms of per capita public spending, and that there will be no change in the status of Scottish MPs at Westminster.
But English voters clearly do not support this.
"There is strong English support for reducing levels of public spending in Scotland to the UK average – a development that would lead to savage cuts in public services north of the border. There is also overwhelming English support for limiting the role of Scottish MPs at Westminster.
"The question for Scottish voters is whether they can rely on pledges about the consequences of a No vote, when such pledges do not seem to be supported in the largest and most politically important part of the union? The truth of the matter is that the English appear in no mood to be particularly accommodating however the Scots choose to vote in their independence referendum."
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