With just three months to go to the Scottish referendum, most Britons would back giving Scotland increased powers to choose their own levels of taxation and spending if it votes to stay in the UK, as proposed by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. A little over half (55%) back such powers, with 28% opposing them. Similar levels of support are given for England (56%) and Wales (54%) also being given such powers. However, there is less appetite to give such powers to major cities (30% support, 55% oppose) or regions (30% support, 56% oppose).
There is slightly less desire for a devolved English Parliament, however, with more saying they would prefer to see England governed as it is now, with laws made by the UK Parliament (44%
), rather than for England to have its own new Parliament with law making powers (26%) or for regions to have their own assemblies that run services like health (23%).
A large majority of Britons do believe that the UK will exist in its current form a year from now. Three-quarters (74%) think the UK will exist in its current form in one year
, with 17% thinking it will not. However, Britons are increasingly unsure looking further into the future, with 61% thinking the UK will exist in its current form in five years, 48% in ten years, and 39% in twenty years
. For twenty years’ time, this represents an even split between those thinking it will and will not exist in its current form, with 39% thinking it will and 38% thinking it will not. Compared with two years ago, there has been an increase in those thinking that the UK will still exist in twenty years’ time (up from 34% to 39%), but also an increase in those saying ‘don’t know’ (from 17% to 22%), perhaps reflecting increased uncertainty because of the referendum.
Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI said:
“One of the most interesting – and less talked about - aspects of the Scottish referendum is its implications for attitudes to devolution in the rest of the country, regardless of the result. Our research shows that there is support for England and Wales to be given the same powers as are being offered to Scotland, wherever people live in the country.”
Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,001 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 14th – 17th June 2014. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.