£500 - the price of independence
Published 05/12/2011 | 00:17
Scots would vote for independence if they were sure to be just £500 better off a year, according to a survey.
Just short of two-thirds of people (65%) said they would vote yes if the higher standard of living was certain, while only one-quarter (25%) said they would opt to stay in the United Kingdom
But if the economic situation was reversed, and the average Scot was £500 worse off a year, only 21% would back independence while two-thirds (66%) would vote against it in a referendum.
The importance of the economy was factored into the poll of 1,197 adults in the ScotCen Scottish Social Attitudes Survey.
Professor John Curtice, research consultant for ScotCen, said: "The appetite for a more powerful parliament, including independence, has grown in the last 12 months.
"However, support for independence is still no higher than it has been on previous occasions since the advent of devolution.
"If the SNP are to persuade a majority of Scots to back independence they will need to convince them of the economic case for leaving the union - and that is a debate that is still to be won or lost."
A third question in the survey, which asked if there is little difference to the standard of living, showed 47% would back independence while 32% were opposed.
Asked if they would be worried for the future under independence, 46% agreed while 31% said they would be confident.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said: "This survey confirms that independence is a real possibility now and it is essential we start to get some straight answers and a real debate about the costs of independence."