Comments on the blog and elsewhere to my face - often in robust terms - maintain that I, as a British, but English MP, have no say, concern or right to an opinion on the Scottish Referendum debate. I strongly disagree and continue to make the case for the Union in person last week in the Borders, at events and on the doorstep, and on this blog and in the media. Almost most importantly Scottish Independence will have an affect on my constituents in Northumberland in a multitude of ways.
But us unionists have to accept that according to recent polls, the lead over the independence camapaigners has shrunk to three percentage points.
The ICM figures are
- No 42 per cent
- Yes 39 per cent
- and ‘don’t knows’ 19 per cent
If the ‘don’t knows’ are discounted, the figures are Yes 48 per cent and No 52 per cent.
Put simply it is going to be very close. There is also no doubting that the Yes campaign has the foot soldiers on the ground. I will be making monthly trips over the border to Scotland over the next 5 months to independence day and would welcome anyone along who wants to help. There is only one way to win campaigns - talk to the voters. And I do believe there is a role for English based MPs, and English Unionists in
- identifying the supporters,
- convincing the doubters,
- telling the Scots we want them to stay
- and helping get out the postal vote in late August / early September, and on the day itself.
For more details on my position see here: http://guyopperman.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/six-months-until-scottish-independence.html