A REMARKABLE piece of research on the current drive for independence has concluded that Scottish voters who resist the idea can be persuaded to change their minds, but detailed research needs to be done first.

Voter Resistance To Scottish Independence: An Analysis And Possible Solutions is being circulated with the Yes movement and now its author, marketing expert Bill McLaughlin, says he is prepared to make it available to Yes groups.

The extensive research has taken retired lecturer McLaughlin more than a year to compile and write, and while it is not short, the paper is very comprehensive in its marketing-led approach to the problem of changing the votes of those who previously rejected independence.

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McLaughlin told The National: “The paper addresses a key issue facing us in the run up to the new independence campaign. Namely, how we can convert resistant voters to supporting Scottish independence. I hope the paper could make a critical contribution to the new independence campaign, and will repay careful reading.”

Addressed by an acknowledged leader in marketing philosophy, the paper makes several challenging statements, claiming there are powerful mechanisms of the British state against Scottish independence, yet the UK taboo against Scottish independence has at least three weaknesses that make it, and the British state structure of rule that it maintains, potentially unstable.

The National:

McLaughlin adds: “First, despite authoritative efforts to deny the ‘reality’ of Scottish independence, the idea of Scottish independence persists. Maintaining official UK non-recognition of Scottish independence requires work and resources, and UK interests and priorities reside elsewhere at this point in time.

“Second, the British state is interested in maintaining its sceptical narrative on Scottish independence, but truth, knowledge and facts should be used to counter the British State’s dogma.

“Third, there is liberalism (not the LibDem kind). This justifies itself as a discourse that produces ‘free thinking’ people who might doubt the dogma of the British state against Scottish independence.”

Research is a must, says McLaughlin: “In arriving at a conclusion as to why some voters are resistant to voting for Scottish independence, we have to undertake empirical research. This divides into three parts. The first is self-assessment. The second is voter assessment. The third is party-political assessment.

“Once we have undertaken these assessments and cross analysed the results, we can move toward a solution to the problem of voter resistance to Scottish independence.”

Read the Yes Hub in this Saturday’s National to find out more and also how to obtain a copy.