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Publication - Statistics Publication

Scottish social attitudes: attitudes to government and political engagement, 2016

Published: 24 Mar 2017

Survey results on attitudes to government, political engagement, economy, standard of living and the NHS.

54 page PDF

1.1MB

54 page PDF

1.1MB

Contents
Scottish social attitudes: attitudes to government and political engagement, 2016
2. Influence over how Scotland is run

54 page PDF

1.1MB

2. Influence over how Scotland is run

The Scottish Social Attitudes ( SSA) Survey 2016 asked participants questions about who has and who should have most influence over how Scotland is run:

  • Which of the following do you think has most influence over the way Scotland is run: the Scottish Government, the UK Government, local councils in Scotland, or the European Union?
  • And which do you think ought to have most influence over the way Scotland is run, the Scottish Government, the UK Government, local councils in Scotland, or the European Union?

In this chapter we present headline findings at a glance, and list subgroups who gave varying answers, based on statistical significance.

Who has most influence?

When asked who had the most influence over the way Scotland is run, 42% of people said the Scottish Government, 41% said the UK Government, 5% said local councils and 8% said the European Union in 2016. These figures have remained stable since 2015.

For the first decade of devolution people were considerably more likely to say that the UK Government had most influence. The gap has narrowed over time and 2016 was the first year in the time series that people said the Scottish Government had more influence than the UK Government.

2016 is also the first year that the perceived influence of the Scottish Government exceeded the expectations set in 1999, when 41% of people said the Scottish Government would have the most influence.

Figure 4 Who has most influence over the way Scotland is run? (1999-2016, %) [4] [5]

Figure 4 Who has most influence over the way Scotland is run? (1999-2016, %)

Who ought to have most influence?

When asked who ought to have most influence over the way Scotland is run, three-quarters (75%) of people said that the Scottish Government should have most influence. This figure has remained stable since last year when it stood at 76%.

The percentage who said the UK Government should have most influence over the way Scotland is run was 14% in 2016, the same as in 2015.

8% of people said local councils should have most influence over the way Scotland is run while 1% said the European Union

In 2016, people were over five times more likely to say the Scottish Government should have most influence than to say the UK Government should. The proportion of people saying the Scottish Government should have most influence over the way Scotland is run has not dropped below 63% since this question was first asked in 1999.

Figure 5 Who ought to have most influence over the way Scotland is run? (1999-2016, %) [5]

Figure 5 Who ought to have most influence over the way Scotland is run? (1999-2016, %)

Variations in attitudes between subgroups

Views on which government has, and ought to have, the most influence over the way Scotland is run varied between a number of social groups, based on statistical significance. These are listed here. Variables with no statistically significant differences are listed in Annex A.

42% said the Scottish Government had most influence over the way Scotland is run. In subgroups, this varied as follows:

  • Age - 45% of those aged 65 and over said the Scottish Government had most influence over the way Scotland is run compared to 33% of 16-24 year olds.
  • Economic activity - 46% of those in work said the Scottish Government had the most influence over the way Scotland is run compared to 23% of those who were unemployed.
  • Interest in politics - 45% of those with any interest in politics said the Scottish Government had most influence over the way Scotland is run compared to 22% of those with 'no interest at all' in politics.
  • Political activities - 45% of those who had engaged in at least one political activity in the last few years as a means of registering what they personally thought about an issue said the Scottish Government had most influence over the way Scotland is run compared to 37% of those who had engaged in no political activities.

75% said the Scottish Government should have most influence over the way Scotland is run. In subgroups, this varied as follows:

  • Political affiliation - 89% of SNP supporters said the Scottish Government should have most influence over the way Scotland is run compared to 67% of non- SNP supporters.
  • National identity - 84% of those who identified as more Scottish than British thought the Scottish Government should have most influence over the way Scotland is run compared to 55% of those who identified as more British than Scottish.
  • Religious identity - 80% of those who weren't religious said the Scottish Government should have most influence over the way Scotland is run compared to 68% of those who identified as religious.
  • Political spectrum - 79% of those on the left of the political spectrum compared to 59% of those on the right of the political spectrum said the Scottish Government should have most influence over the way Scotland is run.
  • Interest in politics - 77% of those with any interest in politics said the Scottish Government ought to have the most influence over the way Scotland is run compared to 61% of those with 'no interest at all' in politics.

Contact

Email: Sarah Martin