No early referendum, says Alex Salmond
Sunday 16 October 2011
Alex Salmond today dismissed calls for an early referendum on Scottish independence as a poll showed a UK majority favouring greater self-rule north of the border.
The First Minister insisted he would go to the polls in the second half of the four-year parliamentary cycle, as set out in the Scottish National Party's (SNP) manifesto.
His vow came as research by ComRes for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror found support for independence had risen sharply over recent months.
In the UK overall, 39% of those surveyed agreed Scotland should be an independent country - an increase of six points since May.
The number disagreeing with the statement fell four points to 38%.
Prime Minister David Cameron last week urged Mr Salmond to test opinion with an early referendum.
But the SNP leader said today: "I made it clear we would hold a referendum in the second half of the parliamentary term.
"That's what we said we would do and that's what we intend to do and no amount of blustering from the Prime Minister is going to change that view."
He added: "Among ordinary folk in England, there's a substantial amount of support for the idea Scotland wants to stand on its own two feet and make its own way in the world."
He claimed "the days of Westminster politicians telling Scotland what to do" were over, saying: "We had generations of being ordered about from Westminster. That's gone now."
Mr Salmond said only the SNP had a mandate to call a referendum.
Speaking to Sky News's Murnaghan programme, he said a vote for independence would not mean the breaking up of the Union, but the start of "a new relationship between the countries in these islands".
Meanwhile, the Scotland Office criticised the ComRes poll, saying the sample north of the border was small at just 176 people this month, and 183 in May.
"This poll is based on a very small sample of less than 200 Scots and we simply don't believe it reflects the wider picture accurately," a spokesman said.
"The Scottish Government has yet to put any detail on its plans for independence to the people of Scotland and we will continue to demand they do so, while at the same time making the strong and positive case for remaining part of the United Kingdom."
: ComRes surveyed 2,004 adults online on October 12 and 13. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of the population and by past vote recall.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Tommy Ramone dies: Last surviving founder and drummer seminal punk band The Ramones dies aged 62
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...