Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker

I bet they wish they'd just put Devo Max on the ballot paper

With YouGov releasing their first poll that puts "Yes" in the lead, it seems that the three unionist parties are now falling over themselves to offer proposals for what Scotland would get if it voted No in time for the ballot.

No, wait. They're _apparently_ offering to set up a convention which will get a bunch of people together to discuss proposals to possibly hand over some powers in the future.
Amid signs of panic and recrimination among unionist ranks about the prospects of a yes vote on 18 September, the Observer has learned that a devolution announcement designed to halt the nationalist bandwagon is due to be made within days by the anti-independence camp.

The plan, in the event of a no vote, is that people from all parts of Scottish society – rather than just politicians – would be invited to take part in a Scottish conference or convention that would decide on further large-scale transfers of power from London to Holyrood.

A senior government minister close to the Better Together campaign said a pledge to set up a new Scottish conference or convention, after a no vote, was imminent. The intention is to demonstrate to the Scottish people that they themselves would be able to "finish the job" of devolution if they reject independence. "Watch this space. You can expect something in the next few days," said the minister.

It is understood that there have been intensive cross-party talks in recent days to finalise the plans.
Which all feels like too little too late - if they'd been taking this seriously in the first place then they'd have _had_ the conference, pulled together the plans, and be offering a solid proposal for what Scotland would get in the event of a No. Instead they've assumed that it would be a No, and therefore that they didn't need to offer anything at all.

Back when the SNP first got a majority in 2011 the figures were 33% backed devo-max, 28% supported independence and 29% backed no further constitutional change. And the bet was that 2/3 of the "devo-max" voters wouldn't vote Yes, so that was fine. But those figures are a clear, massive, majority for change.

Offering those voters something concrete over the last three years might possibly have been a good idea. Waiting until two weeks before the vote doesn't make you look terribly reliable...

Instead, if these plans come to fruition then we're going to get Devo Max (whatever that turns out to be) _anyway_, even if there's a no vote.

(Which, by the way, is still entirely possible. This is a single poll, with a margin of error higher than the lead. It's exciting, but there's only one poll that matters, and that's in 8 days time.)

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