Characterisation of the disadvantaged: explaining differences in levels of support for independence by income levels, economic activity and socio-economic status

This paper specifically seeks to explain why those who are most disadvantaged in Scottish society are more likely to support independence. This focus on the lowest ranking socio-economic classes is relevant for two main reasons: one is that they are shown as consistently more likely to vote for constitutional change and, two, they are generally the least interested in politics and hence an understanding of their motives is necessary if they are to be better engaged with opinion formers.

The analysis demonstrates, by contrasting the upper and lower population quarters on a number of socio-economic indicators (income and employment related groups), the differing attitudes which are displayed. Further characteristics of the lower quarter are highlighted. These include their greater tendency to identify themselves as Scottish rather than British and to expect general economic improvement following a yes vote in September. They are less likely to expect a lessening of economic inequality, however, and their recent support for the SNP is no higher than more affluent groups. They are also less likely to take an active interest in politics.

Saturday, February 1, 2014
McLean, C. and Thomson, D.
Publication Type: 
Journal article
Scottish Affairs

Research Strand: