Valence Secession? Voting Shocks and Independence Support in Scotland

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

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Valence Secession? Voting Shocks and Independence Support in Scotland


  • Robert Liñeira School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK


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Abstract:  National identifications, cues from political actors, and cost-benefit calculations have been pointed as the main determinants of secession preferences. However, a recent surge in independence support in Scotland suggests that abrupt political changes may also affect these preferences: Brexit and the differentiated management of the Covid-19 pandemic by the UK and the Scottish governments are named as causes of the first independence sustained majority registered by polling in Scotland. In this article, I discuss how voting shocks may affect the levels of support for independence, revise the evidence that sustains these claims, and analyse how they have changed the profile of the pro-independence voter. The effect of these questions has substantial implications for a possible second independence referendum in Scotland, as well as for the broader debate on the sources of secession support.

Keywords:  Brexit; Covid-19; pandemic; independence referendums; Scotland

Published:   10 December 2021


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v9i4.4571


© Robert Liñeira. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.