Nearly half of Scots believe the SNP Government misrepresented the economic case for independence to increase support for a Yes vote, according to our newly commissioned poll.
YouGov asked 1,000 Scots about the economic forecasts – including North Sea oil revenues – made by the Scottish Government ahead of the independence referendum in 2014.
Just 28 per cent believe the economic forecast were a fair representation of the facts at the time to allow people to make an informed decision.
Another 47 per cent think they were a misrepresentation designed to boost their numbers while 24 per cent were unsure.
The poll also shows 45 per cent of Scots believe they would be worse off financially if they had voted to leave while just 21 per cent thought they would be better off. Another 20 per cent said it would make no real difference.
Ahead of Nicola Sturgeon’s keynote party conference speech, Pamela Nash, Chief Executive of Scotland in Union, insisted the people of Scotland would struggle to trust the nationalists ever again.
She said: “People made their decision in 2014 based on a number of factors but there can be no doubt that economics was a key reason.
“The official figures now show the White Paper was billions of pounds wide of the mark. More and more people are realising they were misled by their own government and they would have been worse off if they had voted for independence.
“This is a question of trust and people will now think twice before believing anything Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP say.
“It’s no wonder support for them is falling. She should use her conference to apologise to the people of this country for misleading them and almost causing an economic disaster which would have damaged Scotland.”
Other research by YouGov has shown support for the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon declining.
It found 42 per cent of Scots disapprove of the SNP’s record to date while 39 per cent approve of their 10 years in government. Another 19 per cent did not know.
Nicola Sturgeon’s performance as First Minister was viewed only slightly better by Scots with a positive rating of just plus one – 45 per cent thought the SNP leader was doing well compared to 44 per cent who said she was doing badly.
On the SNP’s support levels, Pamela Nash said: “These figures show the tide is now turning and the SNP’s obsession with the constitution is costing them support. This government’s legacy after a decade is nothing more than a lost referendum while the First Minister has been diminished by her attempts to force a second poll.
“The issues that matter to Scots such as our economy, our schools and our NHS have been cast aside and its clear people are increasingly fed up. They want a government running the country not a campaign.
“Nicola Sturgeon has been forced to concede defeat in her attempts this year to force through an unwanted referendum. Any return to the divisive rhetoric we have seen in the past will damage them even further in the public’s eyes.”
Our polling was covered in yesterday’s Scottish Daily Express, The Scottish Sun, The Daily Record and in The Scotsman. Today we have coverage in the Herald and in the paper editions of the Daily Mail and Daily Record.