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ref date:10 Nov 1997 (EU)
Scots fail Euro Currency ideal

Many Scots (on a sample of 1000) have failed to give their blessing to the move from the bank of England controlled pound to the Euro currency that will be the mainstay currency for all of Europe within the next few years.

I remember the same worries at home when shillings, '2 bobs' and sixpences disappeared - but the lack of information is what is causing this.

Hopefully the SNp and even labour will strive hard in the coming couple of years to make the Scotsman in the street understand why it is so important the pound is dumped.

The System Three poll for The Herald, only 30% of Scots believe Britain should join, while 45% believe it should not. But 25% of those polled said they did not know. This suggests there is a major information campaign to be fought.

Almost 1000 adults were interviewed at home in 40 parliamentary constituencies throughout Scotland at the end of October and the main fieldwork was complete before Chancellor Gordon Brown made his policy statement on the single currency.

Those polled were asked: Do you think Britain should join the single European currency or not? No time scale was given.

The findings suggest younger people and those in the higher socio-economic groups were more positive in support for the Euro.

A party political breakdown showed, not surprisingly, that Conservatives were most negative and Labour least negative.

Only 21% of Tories voiced support for joining Emu (the lowest of any of the four major parties) while 66% voiced disagreement.

Labour was the most positive but still could not find majority support. Only 34% of Labour supporters backed the Euro while 39% said no (the lowest rate of opposition). Labour had most don't knows (27%).

Surprisingly, Scottish Liberal Democrat supporters, supposedly the strongest pro-Europeans, found a clear majority of 52% against the Euro and 31% in favour with 17% don't knows.

Almost half of SNP voters (47%) voiced opposition to the Euro while only 29% (less than Labour and the Lib-Dems) said yes. Almost one quarter (24%) of Scottish nationalist respondents were don't knows.

A further breakdown showed men more in favour of the single currency than women (36% to 25%). Of those who did not know 30% were women and 19% men.

Mr Salmond, who announced on Friday that his party would try to deliver 500,000 yes votes for the Euro as it did in the Home rule referendum, said: "There is a natural fear of change. The way to overcome such fear is to provide positive information about the potential benefits of currency stability and the boost to Scotland's export performance which the single currency will bring.