Talk:Scottish independence referendum, 2014/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Re: reverts of my edit

I removed the following sentence, because it had nothing to do with the topic being discussed (eligibility to vote in the referendum), and provided a distraction from the actual information, disrupting the flow of the section.

" People in the United Kingdom are allowed to work and pay taxes when they are 16 or 17, but in England and Wales parental permission is required for marriage or serving in the armed forces" --Object In Space (talk) 09:59, 27 January 2013 (UTC)


What will the required majority for a YES vote be? 50% + 1 vote? 2/3? And of what? Of the whole electorate? Or of the votes cast? Dab14763 (talk) 15:48, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

50% + 1 vote, of the votes cast. --Twid (talk) 18:01, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Northern Ireland

[1](Lihaas (talk) 22:32, 29 April 2013 (UTC)).

National identity

Does anyone know if we'll still be considered "british" after independence, even in a geographical sense? Heard from more than one source that this will be the case. Wowsssowss (talk) 13:54, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

A person's identity is up to him or her, not the state. The island of Britain will still be called Britain whatever the referendum outcome.--Rhyswynne (talk) 14:00, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Great Britain, to be pedantic. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 15:23, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
British/Britain has two meanings - geographic (Great Britain, the island) and political (2 political meanings actually: the UK or Great Britain (England, Wales, Scotland)). The geographic meaning of course won't change if Scotland leaves the UK. However it you're talking about citizenship then there would be a split, with a new Scottish citizenship for Scots (how they would decide who gets this is one of those significant questions currently unanswered), in the same way as there is an Irish citizenship (granted by the Republic). However, another big unanswered question is would Scots retain their British citizenship. All these unanswered questions... David (talk) 18:47, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Possible Bias? 2

Surely if there is going to be an endorsements section the only impartial thing to do would be to also have a section of endorsements that are in favour of staying in the UK? (talk) 22:55, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree. There was a neutrality dispute on the section before, but somebody appears to have removed it -- despite the issue not actually being resolved. I've reintroduced the NPOV dispute tag and hope somebody introduces more pro-Union voices to the section. Zcbeaton (talk) 00:31, 23 May 2013 (UTC)


Should the article mention the fact that all the polls show support for Scottish independence is much higher in England than in Scotland? ( (talk) 17:00, 28 April 2013 (UTC))

I think that assertion is based on one poll in the Telegraph about 18 months ago. I haven't seen any EWNI polls about Scottish independence since then. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 18:58, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

The latest poll this year suggests more than 87% of people in England want the union with Scotland to end immediately. (MrFalala (talk) 14:20, 29 April 2013 (UTC))

Source? (Hohum @) 15:57, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
There was a poll in The Guardian. (MrFalala (talk) 11:18, 30 April 2013 (UTC))
Link? I seriously doubt "87% of people in England want the union with Scotland to end immediately.". (Hohum @) 15:22, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Quite. 87% is nonsense. My experience is that most English people are ambivalent (and usually in an apathetic way) about the issue. David (talk) 11:24, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
As the referendum is only held in Scotland, I don't see how relevant this would be.--Rhyswynne (talk) 14:08, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Support for Scottish independence has been much higher in England than Scotland ever since devolution. (MrFalala (talk) 14:49, 1 May 2013 (UTC))

Again, source? Jmorrison230582 (talk) 14:58, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Um, every single newspaper poll since 1999? (MrFalala (talk) 15:21, 1 May 2013 (UTC))
Presumably then you could provide a link to a story about such a poll? Jmorrison230582 (talk) 17:12, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
I found dozens online. (MrFalala (talk) 18:25, 1 May 2013 (UTC))
Then presumably you could share such these links with everyone else. I would be very interested to read them. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 18:46, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Hardly 87% support, as you claimed above. Both figures are within the margin of error of each other. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 19:26, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
26% is a long long way from 87%. *plonk*. (Hohum @) 12:37, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Concequences on the U.K.

I agree with David above on the possible -and probably the most appropriate- name for the United Kindom, after the declaration of Scottish Independance, as the " United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland ". Moreover, the U.K. isn' t only self-recognised as a union but this is also reflected in the union flag, which incorporates three three others, all centuries-old. Therefore, the expected form of the new U.K. flag would be without the blue background, that is a red-and-white flag with two crosses, given that the same flag (the Scottish one) cannot be repeated in two different, indepedent states. Imagine e.g. Spain leaving the E.U. but the E.U. not ceasing to use the spanish flag in its meetings e.t.c.

The case of Ireland is not equivalent, firstly because the St Patrick cross (red on white) is not used anymore by the Republic of Ireland and secondly because a part of the island remains in the U.K. and thus is theoretically represented by the old flag. I believe that these consequences on U.K.'s name and flag are logical and immediate, and should be mentioned in a relative paragraph of the article. As for what is currently writen in the section "Potential consequences", I am not sure the opinion of a writer is so relevant or necessary to be mentioned. Any other proposal? Routhramiotis/Ρουθραμιώτης (talk) 12:55, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Ultimately it is up to the Westminster parliament to decide what the UK wishes to call itself or what flag to use. There are plenty of hypothetical names - but given that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland could simply elect to carry on using that name if Scotland left, it would be premature at this stage to assume that either the name or the flag would change DixDaxDox (talk) 14:33, 3 July 2013 (UTC)


Some editors are restoring content about David Cameron and Fitch, which is irrelevant to this article in my view. If it is relevant we need a secondary source making that link. Inserting it here because us WP editors think it belongs is WP:OR Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 13:50, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

I can't imagine that this is irrelevant or that it is WP:OR. The article talks about the bearing of credit ratings on the independence referendum, especially the credit rating formerly enjoyed by the UK; surely the attitude of the UK's Prime Minister towards that is relevant here? I employed the same language as in the citation, which is from Reuters, a respected international news outlet. I can't fathom why that would be considered original research. Zcbeaton (talk) 18:46, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
The cited article makes no mention of the Scottish independence referendum (unless I'm blind!). What are you seeing that I'm not? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 18:53, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
It does not - but it feels significant to convey, in some manner, the importance of the UK's credit rating in a section of this article that is concerned entirely with the question of "will Scotland lose out if it no longer shares the UK's credit rating?". If the Prime Minister feels that the UK's credit rating is not an important factor in the UK's economic strength, that delivers valuable context to the question of whether or not an independent credit rating would impact on the economic strength of an independent Scotland. Zcbeaton (talk) 23:50, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Maybe, maybe not. For all we know Cameron might think the impact of a credit rating is different for a smaller, than for a larger country. In any case "it feels significant" is not a reason for adding tangential content, and signals that this is WP:OR. If some reliable source had made the link, that would be fine. Unless somebody can come up with a policy-based reason for including this content, it really needs to come out. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 04:53, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

"Unsourced analysis"

The "unsourced analysis" which Alexbrn removed, in that polling has indicated high support for independence among young people and those living in deprived areas and the opposite among older people and those living in affluent areas, is quite clearly part of the citation provided:

The poll reveals a considerable surge in support for independence among young people – 58% of 18-24 year olds now say they will vote ‘Yes’, more than double the 27% recorded in October 2012. High levels of support for independence are also found amongst those living in Scotland’s most deprived areas (43%) and men (41%). Meanwhile, support for the Union remains highest among those living in Scotland’s more affluent areas (65%), women (61%) and those aged 55 and over (61%).

Why on Earth would you take out the demographics with high levels of support as "unsourced analysis" and yet apparently be fine with the use of this source to mention the demographics with low levels of support? Zcbeaton (talk) 20:17, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

It looked to me to be "unsourced" because the sentence had no ref - it seemed the MORI poll was backing the "Conversely ..." sentence. My bad - feel free to WP:TROUT me. BTW, the way it's been done now is much better as the source clearly supports the entire statement. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:01, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for clearing that up. I do agree this wording is better :) Zcbeaton (talk) 15:31, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Paragraph about Creighton

I've written on the talk page of John MacIntyre OBE about this, but I figured it should be said here as well -- I'm unhappy with his edits to the paragraph about Lucina Creighton's contribution to the EU debate. He has miscast her follow-up letter to Nicola Sturgeon as a "confirmation" of what she said to the BBC, and he has removed her agreement with Angus Roberton's comments and stated that she instead "referred to" them, and then added a completely arbitrary sentence about that quote also being included in an SNP press release. There is no encyclopedic value to his edit, which only obfuscates the meaning of Creighton's comments; no quotes are changed between the two versions, just the context, which I believe was rather neutral before his edit. (His changes are visible here.)

Does anyone agree with me? I think this is a WP:NPOV issue. Zcbeaton (talk) 16:41, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

I agree with your argument; the edits seemed to change the context in a weird way. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 17:03, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

United Kingdom

If Scotland rescinds from the Treaty of Union that formed the United Kindom and becomes independent, will the United Kindom still exist as a political construct? (talk) 22:16, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Well, it's difficult to say exactly what would be left, because the current UK = (((England + Wales) + Scotland) + (Ireland - Republic of Ireland)). (England + Wales) was called "The Kingdom of England", ((England + Wales) + Scotland) was "The Kingdom of Great Britain", and currently it is "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". So when you remove Scotland, you'd expect to get "The United Kingdom of England and Northern Ireland", bit that won't please the Welsh at all. Possibly it'll become "The United Kingdom of South Britain and Northern Ireland", but that's just a wild guess. --Twid (talk) 22:38, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Or, much more likely, the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. "South Britain" doesn't exist. David (talk) 18:06, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

I personally think they may rename the country to simply "the United Kingdom", nothing else. Is it really necessarily, in the 21st Century, to give the country a long, descriptive title? Everybody calls it "the United Kingdom" anyway; this is an opportunity for that name to be enshrined in law. Zcbeaton (talk) 00:33, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Originally the 'United Kingdom' referred to the union between the Kingdom of Britain (itself a union between the Kingdoms of England and Scotland) and Ireland. Technically, when Ireland became independent, it left the UK, split into two - and then - on the following day, Northern Ireland joined the UK - whereupon it became 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'. The point is - that for that one day between Ireland leaving and Northern Ireland joining the UK, there was no part of Ireland within the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland' - so I would guess that the same could apply - i.e. the UK just continues on, despite being geographically and demographically reduced in size?DixDaxDox (talk) 14:14, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Nitpick on opinion poll graph

The smoothing algorithm used to connect points is wrong - it causes the graph lines to 'go back in time'. Whoever generated it should regenerate it with straight-line join, or a more suitable curved-line join algorithm. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:12, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

I agree. I think there should perhaps be no smoothing at all. I'd love for us to having a moving average like that on the UK election page, but I don't think there are enough polls being conducted to facilitate that yet. Zcbeaton (talk) 01:51, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Hello, I was the one that made that poll graph. In future, it would make more sense to discuss it on its own talk page. The reason the smoothing was wrong was that I had to use a "scatter graph" in LibreOffice Calc to make it space out the points properly by date. However, the smoothing algorithm for that is not made for this kind of data. Anyway, I've completely re-done the graph now because it was horribly flawed for another reason, which was that it used polls from multiple polling organisations, creating the impression of fluctuations which aren't seen if you just use a single organisation's data (hence I chose Panelbase since they have the most polls so far). The other problem was they weren't all asking the same question. Now there is a tiny data set (only 3 points!), but they're all from Panelbase and all asking the same question. Hence, it is now a far more accurate and useful graph. AJF (talk) 16:12, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
The polling curve should include all polls, rather than cherry-picking a particular pollster, otherwise it would give off the impression that that pollster is trusted more than the rest (WP:POV). A simple solution would be to not bother fitting a curve to the line, which seems perfectly reasonable, given the sparse frequency of the polls in general. This is the method used in other pages relating to opinion polls, although the frequency of those polls may be such that a trend curve can be added. RobDR (talk) 16:46, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

RE: Possible Bias? 2

there ARE anti-independent voices listed here if one reads it, Emma Thompson for one. Feel free to add more, but because there is a lack of comments on the issue that is not a pov as there is nothing to add. If there is, it can freely be added. I did previously provide some links about the northern Ireland view but it seems to be somewhere in the archives. (also in the Ref Desk)(Lihaas (talk) 11:40, 21 August 2013 (UTC)).

Added N. Ireland (neutrally)(Lihaas (talk) 11:46, 1 September 2013 (UTC)).

Poll graph

I currently have this graph embedded in the article:

Scottish referendum 2014 polls.svg

It has this description:

Only Panelbase polls are used since they have conducted the most polls which used the actual referendum question, "Should Scotland be an independent country?". Using data from multiple polling agencies produces a graph which shows non-existent fluctuations in support, due to the different polling methods and samples used by different polling agencies.

Today, more than one person has tried to switch it to a multi-agency graph. However, you cannot reasonably combine results from multiple agencies who use different questions and preambles, polling methods, samples and weights. If you do, you produce a graph that is useless because it shows huge fluctuations that are mostly, in fact, not the result of changes in voter intent, but the switch of polling agency from one point to the next.

I will admit here that I am pro-independence, but that is not the reason for my choice of polls. Instead, I chose it because Panelbase have done the most polls which ask the actual referendum question. In fact, prior to today, the data showed the intent of people surveyed was to vote No, so claims that I cherry-picked them because they currently show a Yes vote are unfounded, since that graph is older than that. I note that it has only been today that anyone has tried to change it to another graph. So I assume that this is because of people dissatisfied with what the graph shows, and not actually its methodology, which I can't see a fault in.

So, unless you can carefully weight the data to even out the polling agency-caused differences, or another polling agency produces more polls, please don't change the graph.

Thanks. - AJF (talk) 22:32, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

EDIT: Follow up: Some people didn't read the talk page and edited anyway, but there are now two graphs, one showing all agencies as a single series, alongside my graph. I think that's a fair compromise, but to avoid being misleading, I've added warning notes under the captions of both to explain why neither is probably accurate. - AJF (talk) 22:44, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Reading a graph without knowledge of statistics (and looking at the underlying methodology) is not going to give an accurate view. I question whether a graph of monthly results is useful and likely to be interpreted correctly by your average user. I also have concerns about selecting one polling organization (although I agree this is far better than polling results from multiple organizations on the same graph). To my mind, performing statistical analysis would count as original research and just displaying plots of data is likely to be misunderstood. I do not think the graph should be included in its current form. Canard glasgow (talk) 23:00, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree. In fact, even using a single polling agency does not produce a fair result either, since the weighting and leading questions for the other Panelbase polls were not quite the same. Pehaps both graphs should be removed. - AJF (talk) 23:29, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Panelbase is an inherently flawed polling organisation owing to the fact that they pay people to answer their questions.-- (talk) 21:25, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
I suppose all of them must be, then, because all of them offer a cash incentive. - AJF (talk) 13:43, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
You're kidding, right? A great number of polling agencies in the UK, including YouGov, provide cash and other incentives to respondents. This is accepted by British Polling Council regulations, and so should be accepted by Wikipedia. Zcbeaton (talk) 15:12, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, there's absolutely no case for not including other polling companies because they don't ask the exact referendum question AND including the latest Panelbase poll which asked a series of leading questions before asking about the referendum, unless those leading questions are going to be on the ballot next year. Either the latest Panelbase poll should be removed or all polling companies should be included. Due to the leading questions, you can even make a case for featuring the latest Panelbase poll on a different section, since it's methodologically awful. (talk) 00:20, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Criteria for success

What are the criteria to be met for the referendum to be successful? A majority of the votes for "yes"? Two thirds majority? Is there a quota to be met of x percent of the eligible vote? Cannot find this crucial information. Thanks.-- (talk) 22:42, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

No minimum quota is required; a simple majority of votes for 'Yes' would be sufficient to approve the question. It's true that the article currently doesn't say this; it's hard to find a source that states it directly, as it's assumed to be widely understood, but for the sake of clarity it should be spelled out. Robofish (talk) 23:13, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Panelbase poll

Concerning the Panelbase poll commissioned by the SNP, placing independence with a 1% lead. There seems to be disagreement to whether or not the poll should be published on wikipedia. The argument is that there was leading questions included before asking about the independence question which may have swayed opinion, resulting in a biased poll. However I have found that panelbase normally ask leading questions anyway and as panelbase is an official pollster, the poll conducted should be published. So was wondering if anybody can help clear this up? Thanks Humongous125 (talk) 10:05, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

"panelbase normally ask leading questions anyway." No, they don't. Given that the client was the SNP, it's not surprising that they wanted the results tilted in their favour, hence the line of questioning. On the flip side, if Panelbase were commissioned by the Tories to do a poll that began with several leading questions about how much better off Scotland is inside the UK and how bad things would get if Scotland became independent, that shouldn't be included either. These types of polls aren't done to find out which way people are thinking about voting, they're done so that one side or the other can claim to be winning. Tiller54 (talk) 14:09, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
IMO, all polls by major, reputable polling agencies should be included. That includes Panelbase. Their polls can be criticised for some reasons, but so can those of other pollsters. On the whole, the interest in providing the best possible picture of the state of the debate is strong enough to outweigh the arguments for banning any pollster. Putting the Panelbase polls alongside the others, as our tables do, puts them in their proper context. Robofish (talk) 23:06, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
No-one's proposing "banning" Panelbase. This is about a single poll which, unlike all the others they've conducted, preceded the question on independence with leading questions designed to get people to say they'd support independence. Given that the poll was commissioned by the SNP, it's not surprising that the poll was conducted in such a manner. As such, it doesn't belong alongside all the others.
You say that including this biased poll alongside the others puts it "in proper context". No it doesn't, not at all. There's no mention of the fact that the independence question was preceded by leading questions. Unless it did so, the presumption is that all the polls are fair and unbiased. But if there's going to be a note explaining how the poll is biased, why should it even be there at all? It shouldn't. Tiller54 (talk) 17:45, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
I think that listing the SNP under the "Polling organisation/Client" is just the context that the poll needs. When I see SNP listed there, I do take the poll with a grain of salt, and I think a reader who's read the rest of article can be expected to understand that.-- Patrick, oѺ 18:06, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

"Sample size"

Can we please have a discussion about what "sample size" should represent in the Opinion polling section? Almost every row gives the sample size of the whole survey in the "sample size" column, rather than the weighted sub-sample from which the topline voting intention figures are derived. However, Tiller54 insists that the sample size on the most recent Ipsos MORI poll should read 755 rather than 1,000. Where do we stand on this? I think the most important thing is consistency, and Tiller54 is clearly disregarding that every other row in this table (to my knowledge) lists the sample size of the whole survey, not just the topline figures. I'd point out as well that the mainstream media in Scotland usually refers to the sample size of the whole survey, rather than simply that from which the topline voting intention figures are derived (since weighting is really quite removed from the question of how many respondents there were). Would anyone else care to weigh in? -- Zcbeaton (talk) 19:25, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

The source gives the figures of 59%-31% from those "certain to vote", hence why those figures and that sample size were given. Zcbeaton, you changed the sample size but not the poll numbers, which are slightly different for the whole sample of 1,000 voters. If you change one, the other should be changed as well, hence why I changed the sample size back when it was the only thing changed. If they haven't yet moved to polling just likely voters, then keeping them all the same makes sense. I wasn't proposing a change or anything, just keeping the correct sample size with the correct polling figures. Tiller54 (talk) 20:24, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
I understand what you were trying to do, Tiller54, but I disagree with you as to what constitutes "the correct sample size with the correct polling figures". Under no circumstance should the polling figures shown be based on the whole sample size, because those are unweighted. The topline figures given by the pollsters (in this case, 59%-31%), on the other hand, are weighted. It does not, however, seem right to me that the "sample size" column should contain the weighted number of respondents. The accepted practice until now (on the Opinion polling for the next United Kingdom general election page, too) has been to list the size of the survey's sample, not the number of respondents on which the topline figures are based. That means "sample size" should read 1,000, not 755, despite using the 59%-31% figures. If you disagree, you'll have to change every other poll listed on this page, the UK election page, and the 2016 election page too. -- Zcbeaton (talk) 21:50, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
Tiller54, my sincere apologies -- I just realised the 59%-31% figures are not the topline figures (which I mistakenly thought they were). Now that the survey has apparentely been corrected to topline figures + full sample size, I have no issue. Sorry for the confusion! -- Zcbeaton (talk) 21:52, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
That's OK, no worries. Tiller54 (talk) 22:16, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Poll 2011

Who is the client of the TRNS poll in August 2011? The Glasgow- or the Plymouth-based Herald? -- (talk) 14:41, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

The Glasgow-based Herald, which is generally known just as The Herald. Here's the article from when they published it: Yes voters take lead in new independence poll. - Zcbeaton (talk) 03:56, 7 October 2013 (UTC)


>> Scottish nationalists launch independence bid [2][3](Lihaas (talk) 15:53, 26 November 2013 (UTC)).

Mail on Sunday/Progressive Scottish Opinion

Is Progressive Scottish Opinion really a client of the polling organisation Mail on Sunday? -- (talk) 19:23, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

"Potential Consequences" section

The first point brought up in the section is the potential for Scotland to join the Nordic council. While this certainly has been suggested in informal comments at non-official occasions, no one has ever brought this up in any official capacity as far as is known. The reference links do not support the claim made here. I'll reword the claim accordingly.

Jussi Karlgren (talk) 19:39, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I removed the line altogether because the Icelandic PM said the Nordic Council would work with an independent Scotland, not that Scotland could join, or that the Nordic Council would support it. The current quote from the Danish academic is still problematic, because he seems to be the only person who is suggesting Scotland could join, and it's not even clear if he's being serious or not. The same article quotes an adviser to the Nordic Council saying its not very likely.
The whole "Potential Consequences" section should, in fact, probably be removed and the quotes worked into the body of the article. There are many potential consequences to Scottish independence, but things like “a traumatic psychological blow for the forces of capitalism and conservatism", and "a decisive shift in the balance of ideological and class forces" are not real potential consequences. Jay-W (talk) 12:26, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Please add latest poll - i don't know how to

The latest TNS BMRB survey recorded a 1% rise in support for a Yes vote compared with its last poll, which was conducted before the publication of the White Paper on November 26.

The poll also found that the majority held by those intending to vote No has narrowed in the last three months.

The survey of 1,055 people, conducted between December 3 and 10, revealed that 27% intend to vote Yes, up from 26% in TNS BMRB’s November poll, 41% plan to vote No, down from 42%, and 33% don’t know - a change from 32%.

Details here [4] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:35, 20 December 2013 (UTC)


Just a reminder that, if living people are mentioned, the sources we use must be good ones. The Daily Record definitely does not count, and nor do blog posts etc. --John (talk) 06:31, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Please stop removing material from this article which is accurate, relevant and properly sourced. You are misusing and misrepresenting the BLP policy and you are damaging the article. As I have already explained to you, there is no ban on tabloids as sources, especially as the material is a matter of public record, it is not contentious or defamatory. The BLP policy doesn't give you a licence to delete anything that's sourced to a tabloid, and you are very foolish if you think an article written by Gordon Brown himself is a breach of the BLP policy just because it appeared in a tabloid newspaper. But if you really think this breaches the policy then you can use the BLP noticeboard and raise your concerns there. Jay-W (talk) 15:29, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
You are welcome to your opinion of course, but the fact is policy specifically forbids the sort of source you are adding. Why not use your time to find better sources for this material, if it's important to you to include it? --John (talk) 19:11, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
No, the policy does not forbid tabloid newspapers as sources. I have explained this to you over and over again. You clearly do not understand the policy and, in your repeated threats to block me, you are abusing your privileges as an administrator. If you had actually read the BLP policy, which you love to cite so much, you would know that it specifically advises you not to engage in edit wars, not to summarily delete material which is not defamatory, and to raise concerns you may have about breaches of the policy on the BLP noticeboard. That is what I have repeatedly instructed you to do, and that is what you should have done if your concerns were genuine, not just to wail that tabloids are banned and threaten to block people. In my view you are not a fit person to be an administrator. The purpose of being an admin is not to allow you to win a dispute by blocking people. You are consistently aggressive, threatening and disruptive. The very least we can expect from an administrator is that they understand the policies of Wikipedia, and you clearly do not. Jay-W (talk) 16:17, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe we are reading different versions of the policy. The link I posted above says ...contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced should be removed immediately and without discussion. This applies whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable, and whether it is in a biography or in some other article. Material should not be added to an article when the only sourcing is tabloid journalism. When material is both verifiable and noteworthy, it will have appeared in more reliable sources. So which part of that do you think I am misinterpreting? --John (talk) 22:56, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
As I explained to you when you first raised this, you are taking parts of the policy out of context and pretending that is the entire policy. The paragraph you reproduced in fact answers your own question – the first two words are contentious material. Gordon Brown's views on Scottish independence are not contentious, they are a matter of public record. Especially when they are direct quotes from an article he wrote himself. There is no complete ban on blogs either. If a blog is maintained by an established writer/academic/politician, etc then their blog may be considered to be a reliable source, and most blogs are considered to be a reliable source on that persons own views. Again, it depends on the context. Wikipedia in fact has a great many policies and guidelines and they need to be balanced. The BLP policy is not a trump card that defeats all others. Jay-W (talk) 23:15, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
The quotes are by definition contentious, since I am disputing them. You may not add them here unless a better source can be found. --John (talk) 00:47, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Its not a block and a threat because you don't agree with it. THREE people have reverted it and you alone disagree. Youre individual interpretation of BLP doesn't qualify you the guardian for blocking what you dontlike.
That s only you are are disputing and no one else. That is you are edit warring. If you disagree you can discuss at RSNn instead of threatening as that's not condusive to congenial editing on WP.
Further your warning without any note is not acceptable either.Lihaas (talk) 22:34, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Debate: Galicia as replacement of Scotland

Should be added to the main article in debates section.

Galicia (one of 17 autonomous communities of Spain), has proposed his integration as part of United Kingdom when Scotland becomes independent.

Unless it is an official proposal, which I very much doubt, it doesn't have a place in this article. --Երևանցի talk 03:02, 2 January 2014 (UTC)


The number of Scots asked the independence question was a mere 187, if you look at the source ("n=187"). The 2,029 number is the total number of people polled for the entire survey, covering a number of questions, from across the UK. (talk) 11:24, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Sorruy, which poll was it on the list?(Lihaas (talk) 17:00, 7 February 2014 (UTC)).
The poll has been removed. Which is probably right. Argovian (talk) 10:22, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Formatting of opinion polls

Hi all— I happened to check out the German Wikipedia article on the referendum and noticed that they've grouped opinion polls by pollster instead of by year. Could this possibly be a better way for us to display results in the two-option polling section? I know it might be unwieldy because of the number of pollsters we've listed so far, but given that there is such wild variation between, say, Panelbase and YouGov, it would make it much easier to view trends (e.g. the German article's TNS BMRB section).

Worth considering? —Zcbeaton (talk) 05:15, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

BBC Bias study

Is there somewhere in the article to mention a study by Dr John Robertson of University of the West of Scotland into bias by the BBC in it's reporting of the Independence refferendum? Daily Record article says:

Dr Robertson’s team at the University of the West of Scotland spent a year, to September 2013, studying the early evening news programmes of BBC Scotland and STV.
Stories with an “anti-independence” slant outnumbered those of the pro Yes side three to two.

Strangely (or perhaps ironically?) there is little mention of this in mainstream media. --Rhyswynne (talk) 09:59, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

His report looks self-published (i.e. not peer reviewed), which is not ideal for something that is meant to be academic. I suggest looking at the BBC's policy on neutrality, which includes "News in whatever form must be treated with due impartiality, giving due weight to events, opinion and main strands of argument" and "We are committed to reflecting a wide range of opinion across our output as a whole and over an appropriate timeframe so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or under-represented". Given that polls show ~30% yes and ~50% no, the 'bias' may lie in the Daily Record's (actually "a weekly opinion column" which is strongly pro-independence) and Dr Robertson's interpretation of the numbers and BBC policy, rather than in BBC/STV coverage. Until the quality of the study is established and there is more considered and neutral reporting of it, it's best left out. EddieHugh (talk) 12:12, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Quoting blindly BBCs policy doesnt reflect for its own lies into Iraq and probably elsewhere that hasnt been whistlebolown. Thats biased and deceptive itself. You cant quote the own organisation in citing its credibility.Lihaas (talk) 16:48, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
How about you actually supply some counter-evidence rather than make up your own conspiracies. (talk) 13:38, 12 February 2014 (UTC)


>> Scots Who Built British Empire Wield Power Over U.K. Breakup>> Cameron urges Scotland not to leave UK >> Scottish independence: UK parties will block money union>> N Ireland Unionists fear independent Scotland(Lihaas (talk) 16:46, 7 February 2014 (UTC)).

Scottish labour

The party has some proponents of independence in the first link above. There may be more not mentioned in that link. We should indicate this.(Lihaas (talk) 17:02, 7 February 2014 (UTC)).

Labour for Independence is already mentioned on the page. —Zcbeaton (talk) 05:15, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, dint know the group was seperate. Thx(Lihaas (talk) 19:17, 12 February 2014 (UTC)).


In a few places I read "Scotland and/or the UK" as the hypothetical resulting countries. The "United" in "United Kingdom" refers to the Acts of Union, so, if Scotland quits the UK, there would be no UK left. Neither part would have more rights than the other to act as the successor of the union. (talk) 16:45, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

The full name of the union is "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". If Scotland becomes independent, then the same name may probably not be used, as "Great Britain" is comprised of England, Scotland and Wales. But the full name may be changed to "United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland", or something like that. Short form may continue to remain "UK".
Another interesting point may be UK's flag: the Union Jack. It is made by superimposing St. George's red cross (representing England) on St. Patrick's red saltire (diagonal cross) (representing Ireland), which in turn is superimposed on St. Andrew's white saltire on a blue background (representing Scotland). If Scotland becomes independent, then the white saltire on blue background (representing Scotland) may no longer be a part of the Union Jack. The flag may be reduced to a red cross and a red saltire on a white background.
Whatever the case, the UK government's official policies regarding their country's name and national flag should be reflected in the article. I'm not sure if they have expressed their views about all this. --Sarthak Sharma (talk) 14:44, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
We aren't stuck in the 18th century anymore, Germany was formed by Prussia, which now encompasses parts of Poland and Russia too, yet strangely Germany still exists as a soveriegn state. When the Republic of Ireland became independent, the United Kingdom did not revert back to Great Britain now, did it, despite the fact that in 1800 the second Acts of Union joined Ireland (Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) with Great Britain to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. So, in truth, the UK was formed by Great Britain and Ireland. Oh, and by the way, the UK still keep the Saint Patrick's cross on the Union flag - that was the flag of Ireland prior to the Acts of Union. Italay90 (talk) 18:20, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Biased SNP Panelbase poll

The Scottish Nationlist Party panelbase poll is clearly biased due to the fact that it is inconsistent with the polling results found across the table. Not ONE of any other polls listed has reached the 40% mark for the yes vote. To add to this, the link to the poll does not work? The panelbase website itself appears to be broken. Considering the fact that it was conducted by the SNP themselves, I think we can safely assume the poll was open to bias. The question asked in the poll was in fact whether voters thought Scotland could be a "successful, independent country" and also whether the trusted the Scottish Government or Westminster more - this question has not been highlighted at all in the article will also not be what will be asked on 18 September and so - for me atleast - cannot be treated as a credible source. Italay90 (talk) 18:07, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

The Panelbase website seems to work perfectly well. Released poll results are here. The question asked in the poll to which you refer is Q3 in this document. Leaving aside the timing aspect (polls which ask "how would you vote tomorrow" and "how do you intend to vote" may well give different results) and the fact that for some polls (but not this one) the preamble is not reported, this is the standard question. The only non-standard aspect is the ordering of questions. Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:36, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Could we please have consistency on Ipsos MORI?

Ipsos MORI produce two sets of figures in each poll - one for all respondents, and one filtered by certainty to vote. The latter set is generally considered to be the headline figures. A few weeks ago I noticed that the table of polls was inconsistent, sometimes including the headline figures, and sometimes the figures for all respondents. So I updated the table to make sure it was always the headline figures that were displayed. Someone then changed it so that it was always the figures for all respondents, which I didn't agree with, but at least it was still a consistent approach. But now the new poll has been added with the headline figures! Could we please jump one way or the other? Sofia9 (talk) 01:05, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

I would strongly argue that we use the headline figures in all instances. {{mdash} Zcbeaton (talk) 05:32, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Was there not a TNS survey between the last two? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:57, 26 March 2014 (UTC)


I think for the most part this article manages to avoid bias, but there are a few parts that need some attention in my view. It's quite important in an article like this to keep things balanced - e.g. having sections where pro or anti-independence sources completely outnumber the other side can cause issues, even if all of the sources are legitimate.

One example, for instance, is section 4.8 (Artists) which lists four sources, all of which are pro-Yes, and none which are from the No side. The "celebrities" section directly above it strikes the right balance and ideally this should be achieved throughout the whole article in my view. (talk) 00:01, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Infobox map

What is the point in a map, with a key, that is empty? Wait until September. Matty.007 08:50, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't see any pressing reason for not having a map in place. By way of comparison, the 2011 AV referendum had an "empty" map in place before its results came in. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 08:58, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Um... apart from the fact it adds nothing, and is completely empty? Matty.007 09:00, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, it illustrates what Scotland looks like and how it is subdivided for Scottish Parliament elections (lots of constituencies in the populous central belt, very few in the Highlands or the south). Jmorrison230582 (talk) 09:11, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Hmm. The key is not needed, and it could be in colour, as at the minute it just looks like an empty map waiting to be filled in. Thanks, Matty.007 09:36, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Wrong map

The results in September will be announced by council and not by constituency, just as for the 1997 referendum on creating the Scottish parliament. Perhaps the map should be changed to reflect this? Regards Fishiehelper5 (talk) 12:39, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes, the map needs changing to council areas. Argovian (talk) 16:49, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Put the polls back into this article!

I've been following this article since the start and it always featured the current state of the polls so who has recently removed them and why? What good is a 'polls' section now they're not quoted? The polls are a major part of this referendum debate. Given what's left of that section (reference to a poll that's 2 years old and another favourable to the unionist side) this looks very much like the polls were taken out because they were not moving in the direction of one side of this referendum. Please someone reinstate them (I don't have the knowledge to without messing up the article). Vauxhall1964 (talk) 08:48, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

I moved the polls to a separate article, which is clearly linked from the rump section (which is intended to be a summary). It is therefore not censorship. Polling information should not dominate a referendum or election article, particularly when it is becoming too long. For example, if you look at the last US presidential election or the next one, there are no opinion polls listed. There were also bits of the article where polls were being used as a lazy substitute for reasoning for either side (e.g. 1 "a currency union shouldn't happen because x% voters in the rest of the UK oppose it", e.g. 2 "a debate between Alex Salmond and David Cameron should happen because y% support it"). Finally, do not presume to know anything about the politics of someone you know nothing about: assume good faith. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 09:09, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

So you took the polls out? No discussion first? After they'd been in the article since its inception? The polls should be in this main article as they are in the 2014 European elections (UK) article. And it's still odd that a reference remains to polling that is 2 years out of date when we have a plethora of polls taken in the last couple of months. Vauxhall1964 (talk) 22:55, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

WP:BOLD. With all due respect, this referendum is ever so slightly more important (and this article a lot more detailed) than European elections. By way of a more accurate comparison, there is only a summary of opinion polling on the 2010 general election article, with the detailed results on a sub-article. I think that is a more accurate comparison because of a) the relative importance and b) there is much more polling done for both a general election and this referendum than there is for a European election. Talking about what the polls have done over the last few years puts in more of a historical context, rather than obsessing over the typically marginal movements you get between the most recent polls. It's only when you look over a run of polls that you can discern a real movement in opinion (such as the large decline in the no lead over the last 5 months). Jmorrison230582 (talk) 05:31, 21 April 2014 (UTC)


>> Sunday Herald declares 'yes' for Scottish independence>> Sunday Herald Backs Scottish Independence, First Newspaper To Do So >> Scottish referendum could be decided by greater desire from yes voters - study(Lihaas (talk) 16:51, 5 May 2014 (UTC)).

  • The Sunday Herald's support for independence is listed in the Endorsements article and the possible differential turnout is mentioned in the Opinion polling article. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 16:55, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

Recent changes explained

I'm closing this thread now, as the other user accounts have been indefinitely blocked after a sockpuppet investigation. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 20:48, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I have first of all added a BBC article which basically outlines the main dispute over EU status: the Yes side says that accession would be relatively easy under Article 48, which would only require amendments to treaties, whereas the No side says that an independent Scotland would have to join the EU under Article 49, which would require ratification by each member state. I have then consolidated the content regarding a possible Spanish objection into one (long) paragraph. We don't need to read the opinion of every Spanish official: surely the opinion of the Spanish Prime Minister should be sufficient in representing the position of the Spanish Government? I have also removed some content which was not sourced properly under the reference name "Spanish PM EU": it cited a newspaper headline, but did not give the website address, newspaper name, publisher or date of publication. The opinions of two key European Commission figures (Barroso and Reding) have been merged into one paragraph, which eases the flow of the content. I have removed some excessive quoting of Lucinda Creighton.

Regarding the next sections, I think the third section went into too much speculative detail about hypothetical scenarios where Scotland becomes independent and the rest of the UK then decides to leave the EU. I think it is sufficient to cite reliable sources saying that there is scepticism of this possibility, due to the relative importance to Scotland of trade with the rest of the UK. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 19:34, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Jmorrison230582 may think that these are improvements, but it would seem that they remove much detail from both sides, probably biassing the article towards the Nationalist PoV. The changes also tend to downplay the fact that the EU have given a definitive answer that if Scotland leaves the UK, then Scotland will no longer be a part of the EU. That is not to be dismissed as "an opinion"! ElectricTattiebogle (talk) 19:47, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but the EU has made no such statement. What the Commission has indicated that is that an independent Scotland would need to use Article 49 (accession) to enter the EU, rather than Article 48 (treaty amendment). You are drawing (false) conclusions by original research and WP:SYNTH. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 16:50, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
The above comment is definitive proof that you are unable to comprehend what you read! I quoted "Ms Reding replied on 20th March 2014 stating that: When part of the territory of a Member State ceases to be a part of that State, e.g. because that territory becomes an independent state, the treaties will no longer apply to that territory. In other words, a new independent region would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country with respect to the Union and the Treaties would, from the day of its independence, not apply anymore on its territory." To claim that the "EU has made no such statement" beggars belief! What makes your comment even more extraordinary is that this is the part of the statement that you have deigned not to remove, and it remains in your chopped up version of the article, but you seek to deny its very clear meaning - and have the temerity to accuse me of synthesis and original research!
Sticking with this topic, which is the only contribution I have made to the article, you have removed the fact of Christina McKelvie's role as Convener of the European and External Relations Committee, presenting her as simply an MSP, highly misleading.
You have also removed Christina McKelvie's statement that The Scottish Government has identified Article 48 of the Treaty of the European Union as a suitable legal route for Scotland’s continued membership of the EU as an independent member state. A key assumption of the Scottish Government, and one which Ms Reding refuted by her indication that Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union would be the route to apply to become a member of the EU - which is another rather important fact that you have removed. This is completely unacceptable and is definitely not displaying a neutral stance. You should not be seeking to suppress such key information. ElectricTattiebogle (talk) 21:28, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
You're assuming that no arrangement would be made by Scotland and the EU between the referendum and the date of independence, by whichever article of EU treaties is preferred. Indeed, one recent news article cited a think tank saying that Scotland may choose to delay it date of independence to allow the EU more time to process its membership The Scotsman. At least this time when restoring your preferred version of these letters, you did not revert dozens of constructive interim edits (WP:OWN). To explain my edit to the McKelvie / Reding material, I have moved it into the same paragraph as Barroso because it appears to me that she is merely supporting the European Commission view (Barroso is president of the EC and Reding is a vice-president). I have also filled out the references cited (the letters) and slightly copy edited it for flow. Hopefully this will bring this to an end. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 05:50, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Jmorrison230582 - I am assuming nothing, only insisting that the facts as recorded in the letters published by the Scottish Parliament are presented here without spin from you or anyone else. The musings of think tanks do not have the same significance as the words of the EU Commission. You must not attempt to disguise the position held by McKelvie. You have to recognize that a formal letter is rather more significant than the content of a TV interview! please cease your vandalism and leave the passage as is, in its correct chronological position. ElectricTattiebogle (talk) 11:44, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
What I have done is not vandalism. I have attempted to take the material that your account (and User:SSHamilton) have added, and put it in its correct context, to aid readers of this article. Viviane Reding is a European Commissioner. Her views, as expressed in this letter, support the views expressed in the earlier television interview of Jose Barroso, who is the President of the European Commission. Therefore I believe it is correct to place the two comments together, because they represent the view of the same institution (the European Commission). Jmorrison230582 (talk) 11:50, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
With regard to the new revert edit comment by Jmorrison230582 You do not WP:OWN the article. I have constructively put the exchange of letters in its correct context. - It is clearly Jmorrison230582 that believes they own the article, and are intent on reframing it from a personal PoV. I am simply introducing properly cited facts with no interpretation. The letters are much more recent than the Barroso TV interview, are a matter of public record, and should not be followed by a history of third party comment which took place before the definitive letter was written. ElectricTattiebogle (talk) 11:57, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • I have requested a third opinion. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 19:20, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
    • I saw the 3O report. There isn't much in the revision to argue about, but I think Jmorrison230582's version is superior because it puts the material in context and because ElectricTattiebogle's version incorrectly uses ordinal dates, something we never do. Both versions rely over much on quotations; it should be possible to summarise the correspondence neutrally and use the summary instead. --John (talk) 19:41, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

It would perhaps be helpful if the full text of Electric Tatiebogle’s contribution to the article were shown here:

On 10th March 2014, Christina McKelvie MSP, Convener of the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament, wrote to Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, seeking clarification on the issue, and stating that: The Scottish Government has identified Article 48 of the Treaty of the European Union as a suitable legal route for Scotland’s continued membership of the EU as an independent member state. Ms Reding replied on 20th March 2014 stating that: When part of the territory of a Member State ceases to be a part of that State, e.g. because that territory becomes an independent state, the treaties will no longer apply to that territory. In other words, a new independent region would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country with respect to the Union and the Treaties would, from the day of its independence, not apply anymore on its territory. She also indicated that Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union would be the route to apply to become a member of the EU.

We should recognize that the material added by Electric Tatiebogle is taken directly from the references cited with no comment added.

Editor Jmorrison230582 has repeatedly removed references to Christina McKelvie’s role as Convener of the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament, instead preferring to present her as simply an MSP.

Editor Jmorrison230582 has repeatedly removed Christina McKelvie’s text indicating that The Scottish Government has identified Article 48 of the Treaty of the European Union as a suitable legal route for Scotland’s continued membership of the EU.

Editor Jmorrison230582 has repeatedly removed Viviane Reding’s definitive statement that Scotland would need to apply under article 49 (not article 48).

Editor Jmorrison230582 has repeatedly positioned non-official comments on the situation, which pre-date the letters quoted, as if they were subsequent to the letters.

By these techniques it may be inferred that Jmorrison230582 is adopting a non-neutral PoV on the subject. It is my opinion that Electric Tatiebogle’s addition shows neutrality and he/she is fully justified in resisting changes which distort the significance of the exchange of letters. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:14, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Christina McKelvie is the Convener of the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament, thus any letter written by her in that role has the status of a letter from the Parliament. In the cited letter she states that "I am writing to you on behalf of the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee, which is currently conducting a parliamentary inquiry into the Scottish Government’s proposals for an independent Scotland’s membership of the European Union." If Ms McKelvie's role is not made clear, then the effect is to suggest that the letter was simply from an individual MSP. Repeated removal of this information is a clear indication of political bias and is therefore unacceptable. SSHamilton (talk) 13:21, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
I am well aware of that policy which states that "Unless there is clear evidence to the contrary, assume that people who work on the project are trying to help it, not hurt it." Here is just one piece of such clear evidence:
The changes also tend to downplay the fact that the EU have given a definitive answer that if Scotland leaves the UK, then Scotland will no longer be a part of the EU. That is not to be dismissed as "an opinion"! ElectricTattiebogle (talk) 19:47, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
To which your response was: I'm sorry, but the EU has made no such statement. A claim disproved by the content under discussion! What clearer evidence do you want (and I note that you have still failed to acknowledge that ElectricTattiebogle was correct, and you were wrong). SSHamilton (talk) 18:50, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
WP:DEADHORSE and WP:NOTAFORUM. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 19:49, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Neither of which are relevant to my point. Are you incapable of admitting mistakes? SSHamilton (talk) 01:01, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
You're not understanding the fundamental point of wikipedia. Whether I agree with you politically or not is irrelevant. We are not here to push a point of view, using theses pages as some sort of soapbox. You (and your sockpuppets) seem to have great difficulty in accepting that I have edited these pages in good faith. Your one beef seemed to be adding this correspondence between McKelvie and Reding. It has been added, in a form suggested by third party opinion. Now for your own sake stop flogging the dead horse. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 06:24, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Another arrogant and graceless response which shows no respect for the facts and fails to address the issues. I do understand the importance of a NPOV, sadly you seem to be a stranger to it. I would remind you, again, that I have made no new contribution to this article. My position has simply been to resist your repeated attempts at distorting the facts which were added by another editor. Neither that editor, or I, have added any comment to the facts, but you have repeatedly manipulated those facts in an apparent attempt to distort or deny them. You do not seem to understand that the mass of speculation (from both sides) on the subject, as quoted in the article, is of minor importance compared to the bare facts revealed in the Reding letter. You might wish to think about the significance of an official letter from the commission Vice President responsible for the specific subject when compared to the previous reported comments of the commission President in a TV interview, they do not differ, but the letter is what actually matters. It is never a clever tactic to accuse others of your own blatant bias. You would also do well to stop blowing smoke about your sockpuppet paranoia. SSHamilton (talk) 16:03, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Issues section is too long

Right now the "Issues" section has become gigantic and dominates the article. I think it would be sufficient to just have a few paragraphs summarizing the "Yes" position and a few summarizing the "No" side. I don't think it's really necessary to go over their views on every possible topic. (talk) 01:17, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

I don't agree. The referendum has been a long time coming; just about every issue that could conceivably be affected by independence has been debated. Therefore this is what most of the coverage has focused on. It isn't like (say) a US presidential election, where there are dozens if not hundreds of electoral events (debates, primaries, people entering and withdrawing) before the actual election, which means that there is more focus on process rather than the issues. There was some discussion of process earlier on as to whether a referendum would be legal, but this was effectively ended by the Edinburgh Agreement, when the UK government gave the Scottish Government legal permission to hold one under certain conditions. Since then (autumn 2012) it has only been about the debate over issues. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 05:09, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Missing info

I am looking for information about how it is decided. Is it a simple majority vote, or is there an absolute requirement? For example, if just 50,000 people vote, with 28,000 saying "yes", would that be sufficient to enact a new law? Please expand the article, as I think this information would be useful to many of our readers. C679 19:38, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Yes, it's a simple majority vote. Arguably that's something readers would take as read unless stated otherwise. Sofia9 (talk) 01:14, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that 28,000 people being able to declare independence in a country of some 5 million is something to be taken as read. Thanks, C679 15:28, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
I disagree, and it's profoundly depressing if we've got to the point where rigged rules (ie. abstentions being effectively counted as No votes) are automatically assumed to be a possibility unless explicitly stated otherwise. Sofia9 (talk) 03:12, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Practice for referendums varies wildly around the world on just what is required for a change to pass, with a variety of minimum turnouts, minimum support amongst the total electorate, carry a minimum number of constituencies/districts and so forth, and this can actually be quite a contentious issue especially with independence - e.g. Quebec & Canada. With the notable exception of the 1979 referendums the UK practice has been simple majority on whatever turnout and trust that enough will happen to bring out more than three men and a dog to make the decision. But not everyone reading the article will be versed in that standard so it wouldn't hurt to explicitly state it. Timrollpickering (talk) 01:32, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Has it been officially stated to be a simple majority vote? (I am not talking about including abstentions). The 1995 Quebec vote was 51% no to 49%, but would Quebec independence have gone ahead with only 51% in favour? Most referendums just require a law change, but independence would be a major constitutional change. Changes to constitutions usually require more than a simple majority eg for the Canadian Constitution assent from both houses and also by 2/3 of the provincial legislators representing 50% of the population (ie effectively Quebec or Ontario). And if independence was passed and then terms eg on the use of the pound agreed, would there be a second vote on the actual conditions which would apply? Hugo999 (talk) 12:20, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

  • The presumption is that a straight majority would be accepted. There is still some bad feeling about the failure of the 1979 devolution referendum because a Labour backbencher (a Scot representing a part of London) added a qualification that support had to reach 40% of the whole electorate. The yes vote won 52–48 but the turnout was only in the mid-60s, which meant that support didn't reach the 40% level and the proposal was not advanced further. The Edinburgh Agreement between UK and Scottish governments, setting the terms for this referendum, only says that "the two governments are committed to continue to work together constructively in the light of the outcome, whatever it is, in the best interests of the people of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom." [5] I think it's important to bear in mind that there is no written constitution in the UK. What would happen next would depend entirely on the political reaction, in parliament, in the media and in opinion polls. My guess is that if a yes vote happened the mood in the rest of the UK would be "alright then, off you go", but that the continuing UK government would be fairly tough in negotiations, because they are up for election soon. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 12:48, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
Quebec in 1995 was a particularly messy case and it wasn't entirely clear if both Quebec & Canada would accept the same threshold (with all the legal consequences ) or for that matter just what a yes vote immediately meant. Since then there have been Supreme Court references and the federal and Quebec parliaments have passed contradictory legislation about who calls the shots on this one. By contrast the UK and Scottish governments have negotiated this and avoided the chaos of clarity [sic] acts. Timrollpickering (talk) 19:02, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

There's a lot more that's missing: What happens if the referendum passes? Is further action from the UK or Scottish parliaments required, or is the vote the end? When would it take effect? After reading this article, I'm not feeling particularly well-informed. (talk) 22:55, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

If the article lacks clarity, it is because the situation is unclear. It isn't known exactly what would happen after a yes vote, largely because the UK government has refused to "pre-negotiate" anything and claims to be making no contingency plans at all for the event. All that can really be said at this point that negotiations will begin with the aim of reaching an independence settlement.GideonF (talk) 11:30, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
That position has been reiterated by David Cameron today (bottom three paragraphs) [6]. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 11:54, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
This webpage [7] says "Whichever option has the most votes will win the referendum, regardless of how many people turn out to vote." and "If a majority of those who vote want Scotland to be independent then Scotland would become an independent country after a process of negotiations. Following the negotiations Scotland would leave the United Kingdom and become a new and separate state." A link from this web page [8] leads to a pdf which gives a proposed date of 24 March 2016 for the start of an independent Scotland (bottom of page numbered 376 in pdf). See also Scottish_Parliament_general_election_2016 and Scotland's_Future FrankSier (talk) 20:55, 29 May 2014 (UTC)


This is a small point, but in the Agriculture section it says that the "convergence" payments were as a result of the UK's "productivity" being more than 10 % below the EU average. I think this is wrong, it wasn't productivity that was the issue but average subsidy payments per hectare, which is an entirely different thing. However the source for "productivity" is a BBC webpage, and I am not a confident enough Wikipedia user to just change something sourced to the BBC. Does anyone else want to be bold ? Idealfarmer (talk) 19:30, 4 June 2014 (UTC) Idealfarmer (talk) 19:52, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

I think I have corrected it for what you are saying. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 20:07, 4 June 2014 (UTC)


>> Scotland stands to win even if secession vote failsLihaas (talk) 15:45, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Already covered by the "further devolution" section. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 15:54, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Condensing universities sections Your reversion of my edit has been done by two editors, both of whom asked you to comment on this talk page if you wanted to make changes. You have reverted again and not explained why. Please give reasons here, stating what you suggest should be kept. EddieHugh (talk) 16:47, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

  • The reference has been provided and the source stated. OK, Please condense or move to other sections, but do not throw away the issue simply because you don't like it. Also it is not correct to call the authors of the reversals "editors". They are just regular contributors. The number of contributors is also irrelevant since we did not initiate a formal voting procedure. If you want to, I don't mind. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Current event tag?

Seeing as the referendum is next Thursday - 10 days away now - I propose adding the following template:

to this article as it is going to see a lot of edits over the coming days. It has had 50 edits in the last five days alone. This would be with a view to changing to

on the morning of the vote itself. If there are no objections I will add this tomorrow (9/9/14) if noone else has yet. cmn ( ❝❞ / ) 12:32, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, it's time. On a side note, shouldn't this be at the bottom of the talk page? -Ad Orientem (talk) 12:46, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Oops, my bad. Done. Thanks for adding it. cmn ( ❝❞ / ) 17:55, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

  • The intended use of the {{current}} tag is to indicate that there are so many dozens and dozens of editors contributing hundreds of edits a day to a fast moving article about some crisis, that the potential editor should exercise great care and caution before making changes to the article.

    This is clearly not the case for this article, hence the use of the {{current}} template is neither needed, nor aligned with its intended purpose, which is described by the guidelines for use: see Template:Current#Guidelines. In the most recent 24 hours from the time of this comment, there were a mere 24 edits, from only 17 different editors, a sign of a moderately actively edited article, with an average of one edit an hour, and less than one different editor an hour. There is no editor congestion on the article, the situation which the template guide for use suggests.
    -- Yellowdesk (talk) 21:04, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

This article may be too long to read and navigate comfortably.

I am considering removing this tag because I cannot see how this article can be shortened, while containing all the relevant information. This is a complex political issue that requires both sides of the referendum to be sufficiently covered.

There are eight Further Information... links that contain more information of specific aspects of the referendum, so attempts have been taken to shorten the article. BananaLanguage (talk) 09:32, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Agree with tag removal. I don't the article is too long. It is what it is. SW3 5DL (talk) 23:59, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, but maybe the section Universities/Branding could be culled.Wikiain (talk) 01:07, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Universities/Branding has gone now. Wikiain (talk) 01:30, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Results declaration by area: timetable

Somebody on Twitter has tweeted an estimated timetable of declaration times by council area. You can find it here: .I assume it's not a RS but the document from which it is derived should be easy to find after a google search. Hope that helps, Anameofmyveryown (talk) 12:50, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Results declaration by area: timetable: second source

Further to the entry above, here is another source regarding timetable for area declaration. Hope that helps, Anameofmyveryown (talk) 12:34, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

County (Shire) by County?

Has the question been decided as to what will happen (if Scotland secedes) to the counties (shires) that do not vote to secede. Will they be allowed to stay in the UK? (EnochBethany (talk) 19:29, 16 September 2014 (UTC))

I don't believe the question has been discussed at all - the voting is divided up by local authorities purely for convenience of counting and reporting, but the totals will be added together rather than treated seperately. Andrew Gray (talk) 19:37, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
The result depends on a simple majority of the entire electorate, so regions of any kind are all irrelevant. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:41, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Foreign interference

We need mention of foreign interference in this from Obama/USA to the constitutionally neutral Elisabeth recently and spainLihaas (talk) 12:03, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

There's no evidence linked here of "interference." --Golbez (talk) 13:20, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

United Kingdom of Southern Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Not the place for this.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

New name after referendum?--Kaiyr (talk) 05:19, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, the people of Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield etc. will really go for being called Southerners! Peteinterpol (talk) 09:13, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
The "Kingdom of England" has always included Wales, so "United Kingdom of England and Northern Ireland" makes perfect sense. --Golbez (talk) 13:53, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Why would "Great Britain" have to change? It's up to Scotland whether they want to be a part of it or not, it will still be "Great Britain" without Scotland. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alhuber (talkcontribs) 22:03, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Cameronland, anyone? Martinevans123 (talk) 14:13, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This issue is not one for resolution by 5 Wikipedia editors (4 of whom are anonymous) who, as far as anyone knows, may not even have any connection with Scotland or the UK. It should not have been raised here, and people should not have joined in. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:09, 18 September 2014 (UTC)


What (definitely) happens if the referendum passes? Is there a timescale for negotiations between UK Government and Scottish government...?Bogger (talk) 22:19, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

  • No, all that has been publicly stated or agreed is the Edinburgh Agreement, which commits both governments to work together constructively. It has been reported recently that the UK Government has not done any contingency work on what to do if Scotland votes for independence [9][10]. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 06:15, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
What will an independent Scotland become? A Kingdom (in or outside of the Commonwealth)? A Commonwealth Realm in the sense of the Statute of Westminster? A Republic in or outside of the Commonwealth? Nobody seems to know. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 15:36, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
The Scottish Government intends for Scotland to become a constitutional monarchy and a member of the Commonwealth, yes. This is well-documented. Zcbeaton (talk) 17:14, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure how much stock I would put in long term promises about the monarchy. Scottish nationalists definitely want to be a part of the Commonwealth, but there is a great deal of republican sentiment in the SNP and its allies. Near term though I don't think they will do anything too drastic. My guess is that they will wait until the Queen passes before opening that can of worms. -Ad Orientem (talk) 17:20, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Zcbeaton, Malaysia, Brunei, Tonga, Lesotho and Swaziland are also monarchies and members of the Commonwealth, but they do not follow the Statute of Westminster or UK succession, since they have native monarchs. I wonder if the Queen will reign as monarch of a Commonwealth Realm type of monarchy or as the successor to the ancient monarchy of Scotland. I.o.w. will there be a separate but parallel succession or will the Queen of the rUK be Queen of Scotland qualitate qua?Gerard von Hebel (talk) 11:11, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

It is taking place

The heading should be changed to "taking place" not "is to take place." (talk) 09:47, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Not done. Apparently, the counting of the vote is considered to be part of the referendum. In my book that's taking it a bit too far. I think the referendum itself finished after the last vote was cast. And I don't see that it's generally considered to extend into tomorrow, when most of the counting will actually begin. Maybe someone else will decide at midnight! Martinevans123 (talk) 21:42, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
 Done. Apparently someone else agrees with us! Martinevans123 (talk) 21:44, 18 September 2014 (UTC) p.s. my next vote will be an abstention.

Publication of opinion polls

Anyone knows if opinion polls on the referendum are allowed to be conducted and published until the last day and moment before the referendum? In some countries there is a (justifiable) prohibition for such opinion polls during the last days before elections, referendums etc. If it is allowed, will Wikipedia continue to republish them? After all, polls are not a clearly encyclopαedic material, more a matter of journalists. Routhramiotis/Ρουθραμιώτης (talk) 12:42, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

I do not know the answer, but I disagree that polls are "not a clearly encyclopαedic material, more a matter of journalists." Can you please elaborate? Thanks, --Soulparadox (talk) 14:42, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

I don’t imply that results of polls cannot or shouldn’t be part of a relative article in an encyclopedia, as they generally reflect the public opinion on specific issues, which is an important clue in several encyclopedic subjects. In this case, there is an entire article about the polls on Scottish independence, constantly renewed with all the new surveys. As polls are some kind of interview ( addressed to multiple persons), it is maybe as if there was an entire interview of a Prime Minister, or more than one, in a separate Wikipedia article- which you ‘d expect finding in a newspaper.

Anyway, my main point in what I wrote/ asked above is something else: It’s not a secret that polls reflect as well as influence, up to a point, the public οpinion. This influence increases during the last days before an election, or such a crucial referendum, when the voters are pressed to decide definitely. That is why the publication (or conduct) of polls during that period is prohibited in some countries. To be honest, I think it is difficult –not necessarily wrong- to prevent or discourage users from publishing the latest polls, if there is no such a prohibition in Scotland. I only state what I think more proper, maybe even according to the neutrality policy. -Routhramiotis/Ρουθραμιώτης (talk) 21:06, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

The standard in UK elections (which I assume covers this referendum) is that polls, gossip and speculation may be published/broadcast up to the vote, but not when the voting is taking place. EddieHugh (talk) 21:12, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
For UK elections, there does not seem to be any restriction on publication of opinion polls as such, but it is illegal to publish the result of an exit poll before the polls have closed: Representation of the People Act 1983 (UK), s 66A (inserted in 2000). This provision is repeated in the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 (Scot), schedule 7 clause 8. Wikiain (talk) 04:25, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Does anyone know if there will be exit polls on the (this) day?Gerard von Hebel (talk) 11:13, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
YouGov has done something like an exit poll, contacting people who had already indicated their voting intention and asking them how they had actually voted, and adding known postal votes. The result of this poll was Yes 46% No 54% on a very big sample. The head of YouGov then said he was 99% certain of a No result and the pound rose half a US cent. Wikiain (talk) 23:16, 18 September 2014 (UTC)


What happens if there's a draw? I.e. equal votes for yes and no. The article should state that imo.-- (talk) 00:24, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Lets wait - it doesn't look like that will happen.Wikiain (talk) 00:53, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
A spectacularly unlikely scenario. My understanding is that this is a bare majority wins referendum. 50% + 1 vote settles it. (I don't think that was a good idea, but I wasn't consulted when they set this thing up.) -Ad Orientem (talk) 01:07, 19 September 2014 (UTC)