Majority of Scots want ‘devo-max’, suggests new poll

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Devo-max is a term often used to describe a situation that would see Holyrood gain control over all areas apart from defence and foreign affairs.

Respondents were asked the following question:

‘Do you agree or disagree that the Scottish Parliament should control all areas of government policy except for defence and foreign affairs, which is sometimes referred to as 'Devo Max'?’

51% said they agreed that this should happen, just short of double the proportion - 29% - who disagreed. A further 20% said they did not know.

The poll was conducted by Panelbase between the 18th and 23rd of December. A sample size of 1,018 was used.

The SNP’s new depute leader, Stewart Hosie MP, said of the poll that:

“These are extremely positive findings, showing strong support right across Scottish society for the sort of 'extensive new powers' Scotland was promised in the referendum - among men and women, and people of all ages and backgrounds.”

Furthermore, the poll suggests that 69% of Scots who voted ‘yes’ in last year’s referendum would support devo-max, whilst 36% of those who voted ‘no’ would favour devo-max. 40% of those who voted ‘no’ said they would not want devo-max, suggesting that those who voted ‘no’ are almost evenly split on the issue when excluding ‘don’t knows’. Whilst Scotland voted ‘no’ to independence this poll further highlights that many in Scotland want more powers transferred away from Westminster to Holyrood.

Out of the parties, voters who would vote SNP, unsurprisingly, are more likely to be in favour of devo-max: 73% agree compared to the 14% who said the opposite.

Support for devo-max is next strongest amongst those who intend to vote Green: 42% agree compared to the 32% who disagreed, however, in this poll it is important to notice the small sample size of the Greens. The Scottish Greens also supported independence.

Furthermore, a majority of Liberal Democrats favour devo-max (51% to 35%). A plurality of Labour voters support the idea (41%-38%), whilst Conservatives disagree (66%-18%). The party divides are unsurprising.

Overall, the poll suggests that there is an appetite for more powers going to Edinburgh. Additionally, out of SNP, Greens and Liberal Democrat supporters most agree with the idea of devo-max. For the Lib Dems, as they favour a move towards a more federal system this is to be expected.

The ‘Yes’ campaign lost the referendum, but Scotland is politically hungry for more powers. This poll is just another backer of that argument.

The full results of the poll can be downloaded here.

SEE ALSO: Most Scots want corporation tax setting powers, says new poll

Should more powers be transfered from London to Edinburgh? How far should devolution go?