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.