An improving economy: The biggest threat to the future of the UK?

An improving economy: The biggest threat to the future of the UK?

If you subscribe to the theory that the next election will be largely determined by the performance of the economy, then 2013 has been interesting, at the start of the year, the main economic news was whether we would avoid a triple dip recession.

A few months ago, not only did we avoid the triple dip, but it turns out the double dip didn’t happen either, and a few weeks ago, the cherry on the parfait was that the IMF upgrades UK growth as its cuts rest of the world.

This month the economic optimism index has hit three year highs with both YouGov and Mori, with all these factors, it is unsurprising that the Labour lead has narrowed this year, with the Gold Standard of VI, showing the Labour lead wiped out.

If the quarter 2 GDP figures released this week, show further economic improvement, then the polls could narrow further and start showing  a conservative lead?

For supporters of this theory,that it’s the economy, stupid, proof of this theory is that the largest and sustained shift in Voting Intentions in this parliament followed the omnishambles budget of 2012.

So how does this have an impact on the Scottish Independence referendum to be held in 423 days time in, September 2014?

Panelbase conducted a poll last October which found that an 8% lead for remaining in the Union became a 12% lead for leaving the union if Scottish voters believe David Cameron’s Tories will win the UK general election in 2015.

To put that finding into context, David Cameron remains unpopular in Scotland and trails Alex Salmond by 40% in the leadership ratings, as per the Ipsos-Mori Scottish Political Monitor for May

In the past week, we’ve seen that the Scottish economy is outperforming the rest of the UK, add in polling from 2011 that shows almost two-thirds of Scots would vote for independence if they were guaranteed to be just £500 better off a year, then perhaps Scottish independence is a lot closer than we think if it starts looking like that David Cameron and the Tories will continue to be in office post May 2015.

At the time of writing the best odds on Scotland voting to leave the Union next year is 9/2, available with both Ladbrokes and William Hill.


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