1979 | 1997 | 2014: why the received wisdom on Scotland’s three referendums is wrong

Faint damnation

It has been two weeks since Scotland’s independence referendum and we’re not short of analysis of what happened and why. However I think there is an angle that has not been explored in sufficient detail, namely the links between the indyref and the two previous referendums held in Scotland in 1979 and 1997.

For this post I have ploughed through the raw voting data from each of the three referendums. I think my findings turn the received wisdom about each referendum on its head to some extent.

I will begin by recapping the context of each of the three referendums, before sketching out the received wisdom on them. I will then explain briefly how I went about comparing the data from each vote. After that I will argue the following:

• Scotland voted yes with far greater enthusiasm in 2014 than in 1979 across the entire country;

• Support for…

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