WHILE I was crowdfunding for the new Scot Goes Pop/Panelbase poll, I asked readers to suggest possible questions. The most popular request was some sort of question on a Plan B for securing an independence mandate if the UK Government continues to refuse a Section 30 order. 

However, I had already covered the two most likely Plan B options in the polls I commissioned earlier this year – the January poll showed a majority (after Don’t Knows were excluded) in favour of the Scottish Parliament legislating for a consultative referendum and allowing the courts to decide if it could go ahead, and the June poll showed a majority for using a scheduled election to obtain an outright indy mandate. 

Rather than repeating those two questions, I thought a better idea this time would be to ask about the general principle of whether the Scottish Government should ensure the public are allowed to make a decision on independence, or whether it should simply be accepted that Westminster has a veto on an indyref. 

Interestingly, the majority for Plan B is even more emphatic – almost 2-1 – when the question is framed in that way. 

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Labour voters split 60/40 in favour of the Scottish people being given their say, regardless of Westminster’s wishes, and a substantial minority (46%) of Liberal Democrat voters take the same view – although ironically that does mean a slim majority of LibDems are in favour of accepting a Westminster veto on Scottish democracy, a position that by definition is neither democratic nor liberal!

It’s hard to judge how the SNP leadership will feel about this result. They’ll certainly welcome the public’s decisive rejection of a Westminster veto, something which is very much in line with current SNP messaging. 

However, that messaging has also continually emphasised that Downing Street’s refusal of a Section 30 order is “unsustainable”, with theimplication being that repeating the word “unsustainable” often enough will by some metaphysical means bring about an unlikely U-turn at Westminster. 

That’s clearly not good enough for the overwhelming majority of voters, who want the Scottish Government to take decisive action to bring about a democratic choice on independence, irrespective of whether the UK Government back down.

Today’s other poll question is a little different from the others, because it was added at the request of the Scottish Currency Group, with funding from the Scottish Independence Foundation. 

It asked whether respondents agree or disagree with the SNP’s policy on a post-independence currency, which was passed by conference last year.

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The policy is somewhat more radical than the leadership wanted in that it calls for a new Scottish currency to be introduced “as soon as practicable” after Independence Day. 
A total of 59% of voters either “completely” or “somewhat” agree with the policy, and only 41% disagree. 

That result may seem slightly surprising, given that a recent Progress Scotland poll appeared to show that the public wished to retain sterling – even in the long term. 
But this is a classic example of how respondents can give contradictory answers to two questions on the same topic – even if neither question is particularly leading or biased. 

The main difference is that the question in the new poll explained that the purpose of a new currency is to enable Scotland to control its own monetary policy and interest rates.
It looks like people were convinced by that rationale. 

Another difference is that the question asked for a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to the currency policy without directly mentioning the option of retaining the pound.
This may have minimised the emotional pull of sticking with a currency that voters have been using all their lives.