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The story of Project Fear

Posted on June 23, 2013 by

There’s an intriguing interview in today’s Sunday Herald with ‘Better Together’ campaign director Blair McDougall (described by the paper as a “Labour apparatchik”), to mark the anniversary of the campaign’s launch. We recommend buying the paper – our digital copy costs just 69p from PressReader – and reading the whole thing, but if you’re pressed for time the last few paragraphs sum up the content pretty accurately.

blairmcdougall8

And if you’re really in a rush, the last two sentences will do.

(As it’s a long extract, we’ve emphasised Mr McDougall’s quotes for readability.)

“Things are set to heat up this autumn. As the campaign enters its final year in September, and the SNP Government publishes its white paper on the mechanics of independence around November, Better Together plans ‘a pretty big offensive’, McDougall says.

Top priority will be trashing the white paper, or ‘testing its credibility’, as he puts it. ‘If you published an election manifesto and it wasn’t costed, you would rightly be torn to shreds. They need to pass at least as stringent a test.’

But independence isn’t for five years, so how could the Government produce costings?

‘Well, if it’s possible for John Swinney and Alex Salmond to make commitments on pensions and youth unemployment, then they need to cost those policies,’ he huffs. ‘If they can’t even give us, for example, how much the pensions policy will cost over an economic cycle, then people are just not going to believe they’re real commitments.’

And how long is the average economic cycle? ‘Well, that’s a, eh, eh, that’s a how long is a piece of string question.’ Quite.

In other words, Better Together will set the SNP impossible tests, then fail them. It’s a strategy that’s worked for the last 12 months. Don’t expect any change in year two.”

Just out of curiosity, incidentally, we had a look back at the Herald’s coverage of that launch a year ago. Entitled “No team unveil ‘better together’ positivity”, it offers a few choice quotes of its own. We’ve picked out some of our favourites below.

“The campaign for a No vote in the independence referendum is to call itself “Better Together” to help present a positive case for the union.

By keeping the word “No” out of its title, the unionist side hopes to head off SNP accusations that it is negative in outlook and fixated on the potential downside of Scotland leaving the UK.

Instead, Better Together aims to present a positive case for the UK.

Although outwardly cross-party, all sides of the No campaign admit it will be Labour-dominated, given voter antipathy towards the Tories and LibDems.

Some in Labour are so confident of winning, they are now discussing what kind of victory they want to achieve.

One Labour MP said: ‘The campaign is not really now about winning the referendum. I think that is won [for the union]. It’s about whether the SNP are seen to be not credible as a future government, and we are.'”

A year on, it doesn’t seem to have worked out that way:

“One of the charges against Better Together is that it is unremittingly negative, preferring to pose endless questions of the Yes side, rather than sell the benefits of the UK.

Privately, some inside Better Together even refer to the organisation as Project Fear. McDougall is unrepentant about the tactics.”

So there you have it. The referendum is already done and dusted, “Project Fear” has won out, and Labour will shortly resume their birthright to rule over the people of Scotland. We should probably shut up shop, come to terms with the inescapable defeat and start planning for Johann Lamont’s inevitable triumphant ascent to First Minister. There hardly seems any point in going on.

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    1. Cath says:

      Some in Labour are so confident of winning, they are now discussing what kind of victory they want to achieve.”
       
      Reading that makes me feel incredibly happy.

    2. Craig says:

      Now that McDougall has been caught lying about their HQ coming under “almost daily attempts of sabotage from SNP activists”…why should we believe any of his claims from here on out?

      http://tommyballgovan.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/exclusive-bettertogether-lied-about-hq.html

    3. Interestingly there was no Labour (or indeed SNP) representation at yesterday’s Edinburgh University event “The Union: an Historical Perspective – Is it Better Together or Should Scotland say Yes to Independence” with Prof Tom Devine, Ruth Davidson, Willie Rennie, Blair Jenkins and Margo McDonald. My report on it: Harmony in Chaos.
      Has Better Together been fully rent asunder?

    4. HandandShrimp says:

      One Labour MP said: ‘The campaign is not really now about winning the referendum. I think that is won [for the union]. It’s about whether the SNP are seen to be not credible as a future government, and we are.’”
       
      He took that too far. Milliband the Conservative and miserable Johann are as enticing as three day old cold porridge.

    5. Bill C says:

      In my experience (admittedly limited) “Project Fear” IS having an effect.  More and more friends, family and colleagues are turning to a YES vote.  The constant negativity and scare stories from NO Scotland seems to be galvanising Scots into a mode of self belief.  Hope Blair McDougall and his colleagues keep up the good work, it seems to be having a very positive effect on the YES vote.

    6. I agree wholeheartedly, Bill C.  As the scare stories descend to the level of Carry On Screaming, folk are starting to find them funny and turn to Yes.

    7. Ray says:

      Project Fear has already thrown some big bombs, as seen in Rev’s “Reasons to be Fearful” post last October. I can’t see how they can top most of that.

    8. Marcia says:

      Roddy Macdonald
       
      Thanks for posting that. I enjoyed reading it.
       
      I think we are starting to get near to the cry wolf stage. Some will believe it but if we talk to family, friends and neighbours then we dilute their misinformation.  What  needs to be set up is an organisation with the sole aim of  making  fun of all the BT literature, not just internet based such as BBC Scotlandshire. Sometime a bit of laughter helps.

    9. Bill C says:

      “As the scare stories descend to the level of Carry On Screaming, folk are starting to find them funny and turn to Yes.”
      That is exactly what I am finding Roddy.  I think it’s known as the ‘ye cannae dae that!’, ‘Who cannae?’ syndrome coming into effect.

    10. Patronsaintofcats says:

      OK then, at all future unionist events the pro-Indy folk should show up with Project Fear signs. That’ll choke Blair on his porridge right enough.  Thanks for the suggestion big guy 🙂
       

    11. bigbuachaille says:

      For the NO Campaign, and particularly for Scottish Labour, the referendum is a mere sideshow. The primary aim is to defeat the SNP, and if that means wrecking Scotland and prolonging undemocratic London rule, then that will be the price Scotland will have to pay in order for Scottish Labour to indulge its tribal hatred. 
      Senior figures in Scottish Labour know this full well. There are a number of decent individuals who must speak out against this corrosive negativity and stand up for fundamental social democratic change.  The alternative, represented by Miliband and Balls, is more of the same, the prestige of a seat at the top table, anti EU rhetoric, abandonment of the welfare state, stark inequality, the normal state of affairs for a country which can’t adjust to being a country just like other countries.
       

    12. MJB says:

      Project Fear won`t win. Previous attempts have failed,when seen to be failing they change the rules (40%),or they add another question to muddy the waters (Tax). They know the majority will be yes,they just want to make it as bitter as possible to tear Scots apart.  They are poison.

    13. Marcia says:

      Scotland builds new trade with Canada
      http://caledonianmercury.com/2013/06/22/scotland-builds-new-trading-links-with-canada/0040091
      BT version would be……………………..?

    14. HandandShrimp says:

      Actually, if McDougall and Darling are so confident why do they always look so torn faced?

    15. Robert Bryce says:

      Marcia says:
       

      Roddy Macdonald Thanks for posting that. I enjoyed reading it. I think we are starting to get near to the cry wolf stage. Some will believe it but if we talk to family, friends and neighbours then we dilute their misinformation.  What  needs to be set up is an organisation with the sole aim of  making  fun of all the BT literature, not just internet based such as BBC Scotlandshire. Sometime a bit of laughter helps.
       
      Marcia,
      Spot on. The most effective way to beat propaganda is to subvert their material. As shown here and here
       
      We simply use twist their own propaganda against them and watch the public mock them 🙂
       
      Yes HQ can pump out all the positive material they want. They will not beat the state machine.
      Simples

    16. Iain says:

      @ HandandShrimp
      ‘Milliband the Conservative and miserable Johann are as enticing as three day old cold porridge.’
       
      …that has been sicked up.

    17. CameronB says:

      “Project Fear” sounds like some ’60s B movie and the regular scare stories about as convincing as some Japanese bloke dressed in a rubber dinosaur suite. Can’t wait until Mechagodzilla shows up (the positive case).

    18. Cath says:

      “For the NO Campaign, and particularly for Scottish Labour, the referendum is a mere sideshow”
       
      That came across very clearly on the Donside results programme. Sarwar was talking about the swing and what it meant for the 2016 election as if there was nothing of note in between now and then. They really are idiots if they can’t see that the effect, either way, will have a huge impact on Labour in Scotland. For example, if it is a NO vote, especially a narrow one won on fear, lies and scaremongering and we then end up with a Tory/UKIP coalition in 2015, following months of Labour crowing about that, how’s that going to play for Labour here? If it’s a Yes, Labour in Scotland will be incapable of even being in contention for the first government of an independent Scotland as they’ll still be taking orders from Westminster.
       
      OK then, at all future unionist events the pro-Indy folk should show up with Project Fear signs.
       
      Could we get red jackets, like the Truth Team ones with Project Fear on them?

    19. Patronsaintofcats says:

      @Marcia – I’ve been posting on the Guardian that way for a long time.  Just the one word “Wolf!”. People know exactly what I mean, especially from the number of recommends it usually  gets.

    20. HandandShrimp says:

      I think we could use Project Fear very successfully against BT. To associate them with such a negative approach would actually take the sting out of each new shock, horror story. To allow yourself to be brow beaten by Project Fear would be a bit pathetic. Man (or Woman) or Mouse? 
       
      I see some expert panel has said that the name Great Britain would have to go. They joked about this on Headlines this morning. Lesser Britain for the rUK….Lesser Spotted Britain  suggested the Big Issue chap. At the end of the day we are going for Scotland so rUK can call itself whatever it wants (apart from Scotland obviously)

    21. CameronB says:

      From IMDB;

       

      Project Fear (2013)
      Horror  –  2013 (USA)

      Not yet released

      (voting begins after release)

      A camping expedition goes horribly wrong, forcing four friends to try and discover what is real and what is fiction as someone, or something, stalks them in the remote wilderness.
       
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2203002/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    22. seoc says:

      So far, ‘NO’ has scrabbled about to find credible tales – ANY tales at all – that can be distorted for political purposes.
      ‘NO’ studiously avoids trying to explain why England must have political freedom for Self-determination, but Scotland mustn’t.
      ‘NO’ invents Scary Tales.
      Now, isn’t about time we had some honesty from ‘NO’?
      There are no downsides for Scotland in the Union?
      There is nothing in it for England in the Union? (just more of her thieving and lying same)
      England wants nothing from us?
      Scotland has nothing of any great value to England?
      Why, I wonder, are the southern politicians neglecting their impoverished constituents by rummaging in Scottish affairs?
      Our oil wealth has nothing to do with anything, has it?
       
      So far the Westminster con of focussing on what Scotland would lose is a silly wee joke, so now, let’s be serious for a change. Tell us your greatest fear of having to go it alone. You’re – scared? skint? desperate? lonely? penitent? remorseful? sorry? incapable? uncertain?
      Whatever it is – get used to it.
       

    23. Patronsaintofcats says:

      Actually, I lie.  Sometimes it’s “oh ffs!” or “seriously Guardian?” You get the idea 😉
       

    24. Patronsaintofcats says:

      @ HandandShrimp – personally I like ‘The FUK’.  Has a nice ring to it.

    25. CameronB says:

      Meant to link to the positive case earlier on.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechagodzilla

    26. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      There are times that Bitter Together and the Slabour NeoCrims make me want to slit my paws, so depressing is their whole existence.
       
      Then I think and hope for the day when they are swept into the cesspit that is their inheritance.

    27. Murray McCallum says:

      I am a bit surprised that Ed Miliband has entered so early into the usual pre-Westminster election cycle of setting out how mean he will be (sticking to Tory spending plans, etc). Surely he is confirming the UK economy is screwed and that he has no “vision” let alone a serious remedy.
      I wonder where his infrastructure projects would be located?  New / expanded London hub airport, would HS2 be part of it …?

    28. Yesitis says:

      OT
      Mark McDonald, new SNP MSP on Sunday Politics Scotland interviewed by a rampantly biased Andy Kerr, showing he is not going to pussyfoot when faced with Labour unionist  interviewers.
       

    29. HandandShrimp says:

      I did like the SG response to the “there are 200 bodies an independent Scotland would have to replicate” scare.
       
      “Wow the UK regulatory system is cluttered and inefficient”
       
      Project Fear don’t seem to get that this is an opportunity to do things better with a clean slate not create a mini-me warts and all.

    30. Marcia says:

      Kate Higgins for once has a good article that I can agree with:
      http://burdzeyeview.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/show-us-the-money/
      It fits in with No Project Fear and Loathing campaign- there is a counter campaign of hope.

    31. Yesitis says:

      Marcia
       
      I don`t always agree with her, but thought Kate Higgins was excellent on Sunday Politics show. The consequences of a No vote…

    32. Albert Herring says:

      Does this mean “United with Labour” is “Project Loathing”?

    33. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Again: can people please NOT use the <cite> tag in comments? Thanks.

    34. CameronB says:

      Sorry, if that was the IMDB page I posted.

    35. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      No, it wasn’t. I’m looking at you, Mr Robert Bryce.

    36. Max says:

      http://www.projectfear.co.uk/
       
      We know where you live.

    37. muttley79 says:

      Anybody read Iain McWhirter’s article?  He thinks the No campaign are well ahead and have been effective.  I am still concerned that the Yes campaign are not talking about the consequences of a No vote enough.  

    38. beachthistle says:

      Sunday Herald: “McDougall’s confidence is boundless. He can’t think of anything that’s gone wrong” (with regard to the Better Together campaign).
      This, to me, is very reassuring, given Blair McDougall’s track record of winning campaigns (he was David Milliband’s campaign organiser), and of giving sound political advice/judging a political situation (he was an adviser (employed by the (Tony) Blair Governance Initiative) to the Government of Rwanda just before the UK and other donors pulled all their aid because of weak governance).

    39. Marker Post says:

       
      Better Together?
       
      Followed a link from a link from one of the posts above, and found this from the Daily Record in 2012:
       
      Ms [Ruth] Davidson launched a colourful attack on Labour leader Ed Miliband: “Scotland does not want to be patronised by a champagne socialist in a multi-million pound mansion, growing up with a bourgeois salon for Marxist intellectuals in the front room telling people that he is just like them because, hey, he went to a comprehensive”.
       
      Johann Lamont comments on Cameron. “Cameron wants to divide between rich and poor. Farage wants to divide between people and immigrants”…. still trying to understand that one… think it was covered on Wings recently, but still good for a laugh.
       
      They hate each others’ guts, but we’re going to be encumbered by one of these “leaders” unless we vote Yes.
       
      Links below:
      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/ruth-davidson-free-prescription-policy-1367662
       
      http://www.leftfutures.org/2013/05/johann-lamont-shows-how-to-be-a-union-friendly-leader/
       

    40. Atypical_Scot says:

      Eight easy steps to project fear.
      1. Send J. Lamont round the doors without any make up. Sorry ladies, read McKenna’s article this morning and have decided to deserve at least some of the misogynist guilt.
      2. Wear a mask of J. Lamont.
      3. Wear a mask of Gordon Brown.
      4. Remove eye balls from sockets and scream vote Labour.
      5. Even just whisper vote Conservative.
      6. Plant a bomb in Glasgow Airport. (remember and dress in the requisite riot gear for the consequential hiding)
      7. Disagree with Nigel Farage in a Scots accent.
      8. Win a by-election? (how that works, I do not know, ask Alan Cochrane)
       

    41. Doug Daniel says:

      As I’ve said previously, Blair McDougall’s desperate behaviour has all the hallmarks of someone who is being paid on a “no win no fee” basis.

    42. Graeme Purves says:

      An indication that Project Fear is becoming counter-productive is to be found in Alison Rowat’s piece in Friday’s Herald.  Ms. Rowat is no supporter of independence and can’t resist some sour swipes at Alex Salmond, but even she recognises how absurd the Bitter Together narrative has become…
       
      “…The latest of these is William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, who was in Edinburgh yesterday to issue yet another warning about the price of going it alone. Apparently we’d have to “start again” in world affairs, building embassies out of old crisp packets and chewing gum while holding the door shut against hordes of terrorists.” 
      http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/an-ambassador-for-scotland-knows-how-to-play-the-game.21388164
       

    43. Holebender says:

      Independent Scotland couldn’t possibly afford old crisp packets and chewing gum!

    44. Weedeochandorris says:

      @ Robert Bryce your two examples of subverting propaganda material were brilliant!  More of the same please. Really made me laugh, so spot on, especially the wee kitty.

    45. Angus McPhee says:

      Not sure if this is OT or not but thanks for re-acquainting me with this!

    46. Erchie says:

      Hi
       
      The Rev said something on Twitter about Sharon Spitieri getting her “reward” on the andre Marr Show. Does anyone know what he was talking about?
       
      Thanks

    47. Red squirrel says:

      Road to Referendum sold out in Inverness bookshop yesterday – a wonder BT not published their own entitled We’re all doomed 

    48. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      It’s a fact that if we vote for Independence the Pandas will turn vicious and eat children at Edinburgh Zoo.

    49. TYRAN says:

      – “Top priority will be trashing the white paper, or ‘testing its credibility’, as he puts it”

      Since they said Scotland can be an independent country, and they seem to have all the answers, perhaps Better Together can provide their own details what they would do differently?

    50. Can we ask the no mob the same questions and demand the answers with the same tone that they ask and demand answers?

    51. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The Rev said something on Twitter about Sharon Spitieri getting her “reward” on the andre Marr Show. Does anyone know what he was talking about?”

      Prime national-TV exposure in return for her bizarre anti-independence outburst of a few weeks back.

    52. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Sunday Herald: “McDougall’s confidence is boundless. He can’t think of anything that’s gone wrong” (with regard to the Better Together campaign).”

      I admire his brave refusal to admit even that “500 questions” may have backfired just a little, never mind Donorgate.

    53. Erchie says:

      Ah right Rev. I was more hoping for a wee bit of a showing up. Too much to ask for

    54. Dal Riata says:

      Hopefully, in a future independent Scotland a title like the following will be a big seller: ‘Those that Chose to do Scotland Down and How They Failed: How Better Together Fucked it up Big Time’ (alternative titles available). 
       
      Better Together showed their arrogance, lack of strategy and rank stupidity by entering the Scottish independence debate, using their MSM propaganda mouthpiece, by diving straight in there with misinformation, smears, scare stories and lies and fear, fear, fear.
       
      Surely the best course of action would have been to begin with extolling the virtues of Scotland being better together in the UK – even if those ‘virtues’ are, perhaps, ‘difficult to define’, at least make an attempt. But no.
       
      So, whenever those mythical ‘positive cases for the Union’ *do* appear, when they will attempt to bombard us with ‘all’ the ‘positives’ they will, rightly, be laughed at and ridiculed. People will say, ‘Wait a minute. Earlier on you were saying [fearbomb scare story] and that we’re too wee, poor and stupid, but now you’re saying that you were just joking, actually we’ll be fine and dandy and great pals afterwards anyway…after we vote ‘No’? Is that it?…Aye, rriiight! Who the hell do you think we are!’ 
       
      Yes, they might be slightly ahead with their Project Fear delivering black ops fearbombs making some voters a bit wary of a ‘scary-scary-woo-woo’ independent Scotland, but their strategy has been wrong from the beginning. They can’t start again with any positivity, of which there is none, of course.
       
      Relentless negativity isn’t going to win. Positivity wins every time. ‘Yes’ is a positive word. ‘Yes’ will make Scotland independent.

    55. muttley79 says:

      @Rev Stu
       
      Prime national-TV exposure in return for her bizarre anti-independence outburst of a few weeks back.
       
      Don’t tell me she mentioned Scotland’s alleged lack of resources again?  Not the denial of massive oil resources?  I am afraid both Marr and Spitieri are part of the British establishment (Marr obviously much more so). 
       

    56. Doug says:

      I reread the Better Together +ve case page ti see if they had fleshed it out since the launch last year.
       
      Not even slightly. For all the reams written on negativity, the +ve case still boils down to “we are better together because united, we are superior” or something.

    57. Luigi says:

      Labour are almost certainly focusing on the 2015 GE now. The referendum is already won, 70% No vote assured. The arrogance of some Labour politicians knows no bounds. Long may it continue. Here is a wee cherry from 2010:
      The SNP are finished, people are returning to Labour in droves
      [Jim Murphy, 2010]

    58. Quick the suns oot says:

      Charles O’Brien i agree. For every question from the no camp I want to see them answer the same question with regards the UK. Since one of their favourites is pensions, lets hear how the £1.3trillion public sector pensions blackhole is doing? What are the plans for dealing with this? 

    59. The Man in the Jar says:

      I have an excellent DVD called “Fear and Loathing in Las Scotland”. Part of the blurb on the back says “Fuelled by a suitcase of mind-bending pharmaceuticals, Duke and Gonzo set off on a fast and furious ride through non-stop neon, surreal surroundings and a crew of the craziest characters ever.
      Oh hold on I made an error. It is “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” Och! Same difference an easy mistake to make! It still makes as much sense as Slab outpourings.

    60. faltdubh says:

      Take a look at BT’s facebook.
      I like to keep an eye every day or two on it just to see what they are saying and especially many of the comments seem to be from English people who are living in England. I thought most of them wanted shot of us. What I’ve noticed is lots of comments about ”being undecided, but fed up of the No negativity. I’m swinging towards Yes.”
      And that is countered usually by some arrogant post about the poster is deluded or even an idiot! I hope that the BT supporters do keep up this, as it will win over lots of undecided voters.
       

    61. Breastplate says:

      Poor from Sharleen Spiteri, as a bit of a fan ‘back in the day’ I was hoping she was a bit more intelligent . I’m disappointed but all the no’s have over a year to see the light.

    62. AnneDon says:

      The article doesn’t mention the figures given by the Noes (unquestioned by Sunday Herald)
       
      4m leaflets delivered
      250,000 homes canvassed
      30,000 volunteers signed up
      1300 local campaign events
      200 local groups
      200 youth reps trained
       
      Has anyone been canvassed? Or seen a stall, even?  I live in Edinburgh and work in the city centre – I’ve never seen sight of them.  I do have their “One way ticket”, but that’s a collectors’ item!

    63. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Anne Don-
       
      They stuck a leaflet through my Mum’s door t’other day – usual scarifying pish about currency, changing your money at the border etc.
       
      (Rev, any chance of sticking them up so others can see them?)
       
      Stalls? No way. Only one I’m aware of was via an image posted here, a launch of some kind in Giffnock, Glasgow.

    64. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Albert Herring-
       
      If the man has his facts right? It’s dynamite.
       
       

    65. David Halliday says:

      Careful – he’s denying that, saying he’s sent a private message to the author. On the face of it it’s defamatory, as is repeating it.

    66. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Seen no sign of any No leaflet, No event, No canvas or NO presence anywhere yet many of our people around here have had two Yes leaflets already and tomorrow we have our fourth YES local launch

    67. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @David Halliday-
       
      Received, and understood.

    68. Chic McGregor says:

      I am a coward by nature.
       
      Sorry, but the future welfare of my family and descendents must come first.
       
      Loyalty is all very well but I am for too afraid to do otherwise.
       
      Vote YES.

    69. Mandy McDougall says:

      Sorry to disappoint you, but Blair (my brother) and I were in fact raised by a disabled, single mother, who, in spite of horrendous difficulties was, and still is, an inspiration. The originator of the Facebook post has not been in contact with us since our parents’ divorce, so I suggest his so-called ‘knowledge’ of our upbringing may be rather questionable.

    70. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Sorry to disappoint you, but Blair (my brother) and I were in fact raised by a disabled, single mother, who, in spite of horrendous difficulties was, and still is, an inspiration. The originator of the Facebook post has not been in contact with us since our parents’ divorce, so I suggest his so-called ‘knowledge’ of our upbringing may be rather questionable.”

      So how does it feel to be on the sharp end of the lies for once?

    71. scottish_skier says:

      Project fear is aimed at women.

      e.g. latest panelbase poll (July 2013):

      Male:
      Yes 46%
      No 39%
       
      Female:
      Yes 28%
      No 53%

      How long will this threatening, intimidating approach towards female voters from the pro-union campaign hold out?

      After all, in late 2011, women were saying Yes too. They then just got cold feet over 2012 (in a far greater way than men did).

    72. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Project fear is aimed at women.
      e.g. latest panelbase poll (July 2013):

      Male:
      Yes 46%
      No 39%

      Female:
      Yes 28%
      No 53%”

      Wow. That’s spectacular. (And, we’ll doubtless be told shortly, all men’s fault somehow.)

    73. scottish_skier says:

      The stronger support for independence among men is well established. However, the lead the No regained over 2012 is often presented as being something widespread, i.e. support for indy was dropping amount the whole electorate.

      Looking into poll tables, I don’t think that’s the case. Rather, it would appear that it is mainly a sizable drop in female support which caused No to take the lead. Men in contrast have not really changed their intentions. This comes out in party VI too; women have a higher proportion of unsures here. For example SNP share is lower in women, but this does not go in any significant way to other parties, but to unsure.

      That’s a very dangerous position for the No campaign to be in as it does not suggest they have put forward a convincing case for remaining in the union – in which case both sexes would be tending back to No – rather they have managed to make women in particular fearful of independence and/or be more reticent about espousing support for it (females more likely to be ‘shy’ indy voters?). That means the female vote is open to sudden change as the ‘No’ which is coming from that section of the population is not built on solid foundations.

      I’m going to dig into this a little more and look at M and F trends with time to confirm.

      That’s the thing about Y/N polls. The headline figures tell you very little. The devil is very much in the detail.
       

    74. Jenny says:

      Hi,
      @scottish_skier
      Stats about female voting intentions are really interesting; here are the results of a study published in April by ScotCen that I found.

      http://www.natcen.ac.uk/media/1102775/gender%20and%20indep%20paper%20final%20260413.pdf

      For those that don’t have the time to read through it I’d say go to page 6 – that’s where the real conclusions are. The researcher thinks that uncertainty of the consequences of independence is key.

      It looks like perhaps we need to continue to be as concrete as possible while shifting focus on to very real uncertainties that lie ahead if there is a “No” vote.

      P.S. I want to see more emphasis on what happens on the event of a no vote btw – it gives me the fear.



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