Saga has undertaken the largest UK-wide poll with 10,080 of the nation’s over 50s. When asked whether people would like to see Scotland go it alone 73% hoped that Scotland would remain part of the United Kingdom whilst 11% wanted Scotland to choose independence and 16% were undecided.
Opposition to independence grows with age with 67% of 50-59 year olds opposing independence compared with 82% of those aged 80-89.Amongst those in Scotland support for independence was higher – with 28% of Scottish over 50s favouring independence, but 65% preferred to remain part of the UK, with just 7% of Scots undecided.
When Scottish respondents were asked about the impact of the first TV debate nearly a third (31%) said they did not watch the debate. In terms of the debate and the influence of its coverage, less than one in ten felt it made them more likely to vote in favour of independence (8%), whilst 16% said it had made them less likely to vote in favour and 46% said it had made no difference. It will be interesting to see if the second debate has a different impact.
The latest poll shows that over 50s support for Scottish independence has been on the slide since the beginning of the year when Saga last polled people about this topic**. In terms of UK over 50s opinion, support for independence was down by 6%; support for maintaining the United Kingdom is up 17%, with the undecided down by 11%.
In Scotland, the only part of the country that has a vote, there is a similar but less pronounced trend. Since January support for independence amongst the over 50s has fallen by 5%, whilst support for remaining in the United Kingdom is up by 4% and those undecided up 1%.
Paul Green, Saga’s director of communications said:“It appears the nations over 50s north and south of the border want the UK to stay united and their votes are likely to be crucial to the outcome of the poll on 18th September. Of course, the acid test will be found in the privacy of the polling booth and with the impact of the second TV debate still to fully emerge there could still be all to play for in the last days of campaigning.”