The Question of the Question

Three professors have published a blog on the LSE website highlighting the importance of the wording of the question when it comes to Scotland’s future in the UK.


Scotland in Union has argued that there should not be another referendum any time soon as polls show that people in Scotland do not want one - but if there is ever to be a second referendum, then it is essential that a neutral question should be used in the debate.


The 2014 referendum was conducted with a yes/no question. However, ahead of the 2016 EU referendum, the Electoral Commission concluded that yes/no questions should not be considered neutral as only one outcome is reflected in the question.


Following 2016, the precedent has therefore been set for a remain/leave question, with both outcomes reflected in the question, to be used in constitutional referendums.


Scotland in Union also believes the Electoral Commission should be able to fully examine any future question.


The most recent poll to use a remain/leave question, in September 2021, found that 57% of people in Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom – with only 43% in favour of leaving the UK.


Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:


“The people of Scotland don’t want another divisive referendum any time soon and the SNP should drop its constitutional obsession and focus on what really matters to people.


“We know that, despite this, the SNP will never stop its negative campaign to pull communities apart and is desperate to use a biased question to help its cause.


“While the SNP wants to rig the debate, the rest of us want to move on from 2014.


“The simple truth is that the SNP proposal for separation is a choice between remaining part of the UK or leaving the UK - and any question should reflect that clearly.


“We are stronger together as part of the UK and can invest more in our schools and hospitals, keep the pound, and use our influence to tackle the climate emergency.”


Read more here.