Tuesday, October 25, 2011
What is the date for Scottish independence referendum, try early May 2014, are there enough human resources on the ground available to win it?
There is much confusion on when the independence referendum will take place in Scotland.
Rumours keep spreading that Westminster will bring forward the issue but that looks at present unlikely.
So, when is the date?
Well, I would suggest the date is between March to June 2014.
If pushed I would go for Thursday, 8th May 2014.
Why, this date?
Quite simple, logistics can’t sustain a campaign beyond 2014 because other elections such as Westminster need to be addressed.
And that campaign needs at least a full year, if there is a no vote.
No one with any sense will run the referendum during the Westminster campaign because it would be seen as complete hypocrisy and as a show of no faith in the independence cause.
If the independence referendum is lost, its business as usual for the various independence parties for Westminster seats then!
So, the campaign has to be short because the independence parties don’t have the human resources on the ground.
For example if a political branch has 10 members who do activism and they have to do face to face campaigning, we are talking about 30 minute visits, 4 in a work day.
A constituency is about 60,000 people this means that each activist must work 1,500 days.
Leafleting is ineffective as 98% of unsolicited mail is chucked straight into the bin.
So, political parties such as Labour, Tories and Lib Dems want to know the date, well try May 8th 2014.
Of course; if the Tory/Lib Dem Govt decide to go on the same day, it will spell problems for those parties who back independence.
They traditionally do very poor when it comes to international politics.
Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University says that Scottish voters are more sophisticated when it comes to Holyrood and Westminster elections.
It is probable that at the same time of the independence referendum, the Tory/Lib Dem Coalition will call a General Election thereby focussing Scottish people’s minds on the international picture.
The Westminster 2010 result will be upper most in the minds of independence parties, despite claims of breakthroughs, they achieved nothing.
So, May 8th 2014 or close to it seems the sensible option.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University