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Scots back inclusion of ‘Devolution Max’ question in referendum

Published:2 March 2012
Fieldwork:27-29 January 2012
Theme:Scotland
Six in 10 Scots want the referendum on Scotland’s constitutional future to include a separate question on the proposal for substantial new powers to the Scottish Parliament, known as ‘Devolution Max’.


Our poll for The Times shows 59% think that support for ‘Devolution Max’ should be tested in the referendum while 37% think that the referendum should contain a single question on support for independence. The inclusion of a second question is particularly popular among women (64%), young people (70% of 18-24 year olds) and SNP supporters (66%).

Meanwhile, support for ‘Devolution Max’ has increased. Among those certain to vote in a referendum, around seven in 10 (71%) now back substantial new powers being devolved to Holyrood, up by 3 points from our December 2011 poll, while 25% oppose such a move. Support remains strongest among young people with 83% of those aged 18-34 backing the proposal. An overwhelming majority of SNP supporters (89%) support ‘Devolution Max’ though the majority of Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters are also in favour (59% and 62% respectively).

Mark Diffley, Research Director at Ipsos MORI Scotland said:
“While the Scottish and UK governments continue to disagree over the number of questions to be included on the referendum ballot, the public is in favour of including a second question. This may be because ‘Devolution Max’ is the position that currently represents the views of the majority of Scots. In our most recent poll, support for independence falls short of a majority but there is clearly an appetite to move away from the status quo and devolve more powers to the Scottish Parliament and voters feel they should be given the opportunity to express that view in the referendum.”
Download the charts here (PDF)
Download the data tables here (PDF)

Technical Note

  • Results are based on a survey of 1,005 respondents conducted by telephone between 27th January and 29th January 2012.
  • Data are weighted by age, sex and working status using census data, and tenure using SHS 2007-2008 data, and by public-private sector employment by Scottish Government Quarterly Public Sector Series data. 
  • An asterisk (*) indicates a percentage of less than 0.5% but greater than 0. 
  • Where results do not sum to 100, this may be due to multiple responses or computer rounding. 
  • Where the base size is less than 30 the number (N) rather than the percentage of respondents is given.
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