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I am not a major fan of opinion polls. Mostly they are predictable and tell you what you know already. But the YouGov study which indicated that support for Scottish independence is greater in England than in Scotland did take me by surprise . . . not because I assume the English love us, but because most of them don’t actually know or care who we are. Until now, I’ve been dismissive of the view that anything referendum must be carried out across the union as a whole, but now I’m not so sure. At the turn of the century, as the Scottish Parliament  came into being, a very senior Tory politician, told me than in his view, independence would come when the rest of the Union tired of us and kicked us out. He also said that it might happen as soon as 2015. Looking back, that is beginning to sound like a very astute prophesy.

My support for independence comes from the heart, but the campaign is being run by some very gifted political thinkers within the SNP. It will be interesting to see how they read the implications of that YouGov poll and how they react to it.

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