Response to referendum consultation over 26,000
The Scottish Government’s consultation on the autumn 2014 independence referendum received over 26,000 responses – 5,000 more than was estimated on the closing day of the consultation.
It is almost 10-times the level of response to the UK Government’s consultation and the third highest consultation in the history of devolution.
Of the 26,000 responses, over 160 organisations – representing over two million members and 30,000 member organisations across Scotland – have taken the time to make their views known. Organisations such as the STUC, Electoral Commission, NUS and SCVO have already published their responses.
The early insight from the organisation responses already published shows a lively debate around issues such as whether there should be a second question and strong support for votes for 16 and 17 year olds.
Welcoming the response rate, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“This is a fantastic response from the people of Scotland, with over 26,000 contributions to the consultation – over 10 times the number that responded to the UK Government’s consultation on the same issue. This positive level of response sends a clear signal that the people of Scotland believe the Scottish Parliament is the place to decide the terms and timing of the referendum – and that these should not be imposed by Westminster.
“The responses from organisations already been made public show a lively debate around issues such as whether there should be a second question on the ballot paper. They also show support for votes for 16 and 17 year olds. We set out our preferred question in the consultation document but have always said we would listen to the view expressed in the responses we received.
“The Scottish Government’s referendum consultation has gathered huge levels of public interest as we debate and discuss Scotland’s future. The robustness of the process is demonstrated by the fact that the independent analysis of the responses is under way – which stands in stark contrast to the much smaller UK Government consultation, which was not put to independent analysis. The full analysis will be completed and published by the end of the summer.”
The organisation who have already made their response public are:
Association of Electoral Administrators
British Armed Forces Federation
Children in Scotland
Electoral Reform Society Scotland
Heriot Watt University Student Union
Law Society of Scotland
National Liberal Party
One Dynamic Nation
Public and Commercial Services Union
Scottish Christian Party
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities
Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations
Scottish Financial Enterprise
Scottish Socialist Party
Scottish Trades Union Congress
Scottish Women's Convention
The Church of Scotland
The Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations Scotland
the de Borda Institute
The Royal Society of Edinburgh
The Salvation Army
The Scotch Whisky Association
The Scottish Council for Development and Industry
The Scottish Human Rights Commision
West Lothian Council