Who gets to vote in Indy2?

In the first independence referendum 16 and 17 year olds were allowed to take part, as were EU/Others living in Scotland and anyone eligible to vote from Wales, England and Northern Ireland and living in Scotland. It was assumed by some that many 16 to 17 year olds would vote yes but also the Scottish Government wanted to be as inclusive as they could in the debate on Scotland’s constitutional future.

On September 18th 2014 52.7% of people born in Scotland and eligible to vote voted YES to Scottish Independence. There were around 420,000 eligible voters from the rest of the United Kingdom and 72.1% of those voted no, while voters from outside the UK eligible to vote resulted in 57.1% voting no. 37.5% of 16 to 19 year olds also voted no in the referendum.

The difference in the result between no 2,001,926 and yes 1,617,989 was 383,937 votes cast. It is estimated that around 177,000 EU citizens took part in the Scottish Independence Referendum with the majority of them making up the 57.1% who voted no.

Now the Scottish Government would never get away with stopping English, Welsh and Northern Ireland voters living in Scotland voting in the next Indy Referendum, nor should they, but I was wondering if all of those who were allowed to vote in Indy1 would be allowed to vote in Indy2 and came across this.

There is currently a petition on the UK Government and Parliament website asking for a debate on the subject of EU citizens to not be allowed to vote in any future Scottish independence referendum, not many signatures so unlikely to make it to the panel who decides what gets debated on the floor of Westminster but interesting all the same.

I was thinking that I would not put it past Westminster to try to make sure that 16 and 17 year olds and EU citizens are not allowed to vote in the next Independence Referendum. Is this something that we will have to be on our guard against the next time given the current decision for the United Kingdom to come out of the EU and the majority of young people very much being pro EU.

Who do you trust!

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8 Responses to Who gets to vote in Indy2?

  1. Alan says:

    Precedent is a powerful force in UK politics.

    I don’t think we have to worry about the franchise being messed with – every report and consultation question I’ve seen seem to be indicative of a straight re-run. Same question & 2 answers, franchise, short campaign period. The only changes the SNP are proposing is firmer scrutiny of postal votes and involving more international observers in the counting process.

    The precedent to worry about is the Edinburgh Agreement. Theoretically, the Scottish government requires permission from the UK one to hold a referendum. But if necessary, Holyrood could call it a “consultative” referendum(like Brexit was) and bypass Westminister. It’d be challenged in court though – and the supreme court just told us Westminister alone is sovereign.

    Click to access uksi_20130242_en.pdf

    All it needs are a few date changes. Then we’ve got a very legitimate referendum which can’t be challenged in court(already tried the first time round), whose result is definitely binding and would be accepted by Westminister and the rest of the international community after the result.

    • Alan

      I really hope that is the case as indy2 needs to happen sooner than later, before end 2018 would be my hope. However I wouldn’t put it past the yoons to try everything in the book and some things we haven’t seen yet. I think the next time everything has to be read and re-read 20 times and by decent lawyers too.

      Thanks for commenting.


  2. lanark says:

    The British establishment got a fright in 2014 and will play even dirtier next time. They will attach conditions on the next vote in a similar vein to the 1979 referendum. It may not stop independence, but they will delay it as much as they can. I don’t rule out the possibility of Westminster refusing to allow one or ingnoring the result if we pressed on regardless.

    The next referendum (if it happens), will be more bitter as it suits the British to stir up hatred and division and then use their media toadies to blame it on the Yes side. The more nasty a campaign, the more it alienates moderate/sorft Yes and floating voters from wanting a third vote. If anyone has “Ulsterised” Scotland, it’s the Unionists. Davidson fits very well into the Ian Paisley mould of shouty intimidating politics. Plus keeping us bitterly divided suits Westminster fine.

    I accept the point that most Scottish born people voted Yes, but I don’t blame incomers for voting the way they did. If enough Scots born people believed in themselves we would outvote any grouo. I blame the cringers and the prejudiced clowns that believe the crap from the BBC and Record/Mail/Express etc.

    • lanark
      I agree, I think it will be dirtier next time and I do believe they will try to attach conditions although Alan above feels confident it will be similar. I also don’t blame people for voting the way they did the last time given what they were up against and the lies they had to put up with, the next time we start from a higher base and more information is out there but we will face lie upon lie on the economy etc but we will just have to face it when it comes I guess. As things sadly get worse I think just enough people will see that independence won’t make it any worse and maybe it can only get better. I do think if it comes before brexit Westminster will try to stop EU citizens from voting in it.

      Thanks for commenting.


  3. trispw says:

    I tend to agree, although I’d not put anything past the UK government.

    They know that the threats they used last time won’t work Because most of the threats came true anyway, and clearly leaving the EU was one of them. They know that the promises won’t be believed. Anyone who thinks the vow was fulfilled must be dotty. So they have to try another way of fiddling.

    But Labour, Liberal and Greens all favoured 16-18-year-olds being able to vote and it would look strange, even to the right wing tabloids, if they removed that right. (Remember they vote in elections too (within Scotland).

    If the referendum is before the exit of the UK, which I reckon it will have to be, then I suspect that the EU would object to EU citizens being excluded.

    Don;t worry though, the sneaky bastards will find some way of cheating.

    • Tris
      It will be dirty and they will try a lot of things. They have already started on the UK single market rubbish and they will hammer that until the cows come home. I agree with Rev Stu that it will be the Tories who will have to lead the fight and that makes it more interesting, no one takes Willie Rennie seriously and just think he is a plank and when you mention Labour now most people just laugh so I think a straight fight between YES and the Tories should make some things easier but they will role out trump etc. I hope that EU countries sympathetic to Scotland will correct some of the lies but they will stay out of most of it. It will have to be before brexit, my money is now on late 2018 so that a yes vote results in an immediate application to join the EU. I think there should be a referendum on joing the EU but I am not so sure they will have the time but that is an interesting question.

      Thanks for commenting.


  4. Now that we’re all Scottish tax payers I would think that the holiday home brigade will have to declare their main residence for tax purposes. The IndyRef franchise, quite rightly, is based on residence not nationality. So if they want to vote they’ll have to pay Scottish Tax.

    • Scot
      Not sure how that works to be fair but the rules will have to be tightened up as I have read a lot of stuff about Irish voters etc who did not live but getting a vote and we all know what Ruth Davidson got away with counting postal votes and getting away with it. Hopefully we will have international observers this time and EU ones, that must be insisted upon.

      Thanks for commenting.


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