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If you really believe that and are "in absolutley no doubt" then you are an irrelevance in this debate, as you have learned nothing in the past 50 years.

 

 

 

If you are going to quote me, please do so accurately. I said I was in "absolutely no doubt".

 

I do, however, find it interesting that, in common with many of your political persuasion, you regard those expressing views contrary to your own as "an irrelevance".

However I feel I really must bow to the vast experience of these things which you have clearly picked up in much less than 50 years and without even having lived on this side of the border for much of the time.

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Well. of course it does and they have never made any secret of the fact.which is why the Scottish Parliament voting system was deliberately set up by Westminster to ensure there would never be majorit

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Mr Bannerman, may I ask have you ever been outside of this UK. Up until recent years we were one of the very few countries in the world with a police force who didn't carry guns. We also live in a country where police officers are being killed or seriously injured in the line of duty by guns so why shouldn't they carry the ultimate protection?

Alex... much of what Ayeseetee has said in this debate I have disagreed with, but I am totally with him in what he says in post 1614. There is also a sub-plot to the carrying of guns question in that it is certainly even less necessary in the likes of Inverness than it is in the central belt, but our one size fits all National Police Force dictates that our local cops should have to have them as well, hence depriving us of local control.

There's the irony. At a time when there is much shouting about devolving powers from "Westminster" to Edinburgh, we are also seeing powers being centralised from areas like the Highlands... also to Edinburgh.

 

Charles you and many others seem to be believing all the local media propaganda!  The old Northern Constabulary were carrying hand guns before they became Police Scotland but it is not the routine arming of the police as stated by many.  There are a few trained firearms officers on duty at any one time who will attend other calls if they are required and go into a shop or filling station to purchase lunch.  I am not concerned at all if I see them on my day to day business and am sure others would not notice either if it was not in the papers every week.

 

IBM, I am aware of that but the timescale is such that the decision was quite clearly influenced by what was equally clearly the shape of things to come.

On the infrastructure questions, irrespective of which party was involved we are looking at extensive investment in the central belt while all we can see in the Highlands are average speed cameras - which most definitely ARE the creation of the SNP.

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To suggest that people had to be tricked into voting for the SNP/Yes on the back of false promises of more money is no different to the proportion of No voters who had to be scared into voting to remain in the Union, without realising the dangers that lay ahead if doing so.

 

 

 

I actually think it is fundamentally different.  Let's not forget there were scare tactics on both sides, with the YES campaign scare stories on the NHS being described by Johann Lamont as the most shameful bit of electioneering she has ever come across.  And of course one person's scare story is another person's identifying the risks of one course of action.

 

What the SNP were doing with what I have called "bribes " was quite different.  The White Paper on the independence referendum "Scotland's future" goes way beyond a paper detailing the process and certain consequences and, indeed the case for independence.  What it provided was a manifesto for the 2016 election detailing what measures the SNP proposed to implement in an independent Scotland.  It then heavily promoted those policies to those who would benefit most.

 

The problem here is that it was a one horse race.  No other major party could say what policies they would propose if there was an independent Scotland because they were all opposed to independence.  To put forward policies in the event of an independent Scotland would only serve to encourage people to vote YES if they liked the policies.  All that the other parties could say is that the policies were not affordable; to which the SNP's response was that they would borrow to fund the policies.  This gave the SNP free reign to stick in anything which they thought might be popular.  As Charles says. it didn't matter whether the policies were affordable or not, by the time these bought votes resulted in Independence an irrevocable change would have been made.  The SNP would then either renege on their promises or plunge the nation into debt.  Either way, they wouldn't be caring because we would be an independent country and that was the goal all along.

 

I don't blame the SNP for this.  There were no rules of engagement, as it were, to stop turning the referendum into an election. The loophole was there and they exploited it for all they were worth.  As with so much, the blame lies with Better Together and the Unionist leaders for letting them get away with this.  This tactic of the SNP was obvious from the start - after all, they turned a Government White Paper into a party manifesto!  Labour should have responded in kind.  They will have seen the White Paper / manifesto and could have issued a preliminary manifesto for the 2015 election and argued firstly that what the SNP were promising was not affordable in an independent Scotland, and secondly that a UK Labour Government would be able improve on much that is currently a problem - and do it before the SNP could in an independent Scotland.  Perhaps they felt such tactics were not consistent with the togetherness approach.  Whatever the reason, they let the SNP electioneer virtually unchallenged and focused instead on the issues which should have been what the referendum was all about but which was of little interest to some of the most vulnerable in our society who were being offered something tangible by the SNP.

 

 

The SNP really shouldve carried this election at a canter by promoting the potential of all governments under an independent Scotland.

 

A critique of their White Paper as an unaffordable manifesto, is only fair when the other parties bring out their own in the run up to next May, I suspect none of them will be going in with a balanced budget, given how utterly decimated our economy is. 

 

The money ran out years ago, the numbers on the balance have a minus symbol at the start of them.  Don't kid yourself into thinking we're a rich country when it's all been paid for with credit cards, we have very little of tangible value to offer the world, every party will be running a government off debt.

 

 

Your last paragraph is why Westminster was so desperate to have a NO vote . According to the Grauniad.....

http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2014/sep/19/uk-plc-breathes-sigh-relief-scotland-no-vote

 

The final issue is that the referendum has highlighted some of the weaknesses in the UK economy – in particular the importance of the North Sea oil in disguising the weakness of the balance of payments caused by the decline of manufacturing. Without oil and gas, the UK would be running a current account deficit of 7% of GDP. Even with the help of the North Sea, the gap stands at 4.5%, extremely high for a country in the early stages of an economic recovery.

The prospect of an independent Scotland taking control of 90% of North Sea reserves would undoubtedly have sent sterling into a tailspin. Even though that threat has now been removed, the size of Britain’s trade gap means the upward movement in the pound is limited. Sterling is vulnerable to bad news – be it a slowdown in growth, problems in the eurozone or a widening current account deficit. Once the dust has settled, it is likely to fall back.”

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If you really believe that and are "in absolutley no doubt" then you are an irrelevance in this debate, as you have learned nothing in the past 50 years.

 

 

 

If you are going to quote me, please do so accurately. I said I was in "absolutely no doubt".

 

I do, however, find it interesting that, in common with many of your political persuasion, you regard those expressing views contrary to your own as "an irrelevance".

However I feel I really must bow to the vast experience of these things which you have clearly picked up in much less than 50 years and without even having lived on this side of the border for much of the time.

 

 

Just 28 years in Scotland.  Are you saying if I spent more time in Inverness I might understand why you think all SNP supporters hate the English?

 

Its not having a differing point of view that makes you irrelevent, theres lots of valid reasons why being in the union benefits people living in Scotland, theres also lots of valid reasons the Yes campaign were misguided.  It's your conditioned fallback of imposing prehistoric Anglophobic views on those who would oppose you or your Union, so you can dismiss them out of hand, that makes you irrelevent.

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To suggest that people had to be tricked into voting for the SNP/Yes on the back of false promises of more money is no different to the proportion of No voters who had to be scared into voting to remain in the Union, without realising the dangers that lay ahead if doing so.

 

 

 

I actually think it is fundamentally different.  Let's not forget there were scare tactics on both sides, with the YES campaign scare stories on the NHS being described by Johann Lamont as the most shameful bit of electioneering she has ever come across.  And of course one person's scare story is another person's identifying the risks of one course of action.

 

What the SNP were doing with what I have called "bribes " was quite different.  The White Paper on the independence referendum "Scotland's future" goes way beyond a paper detailing the process and certain consequences and, indeed the case for independence.  What it provided was a manifesto for the 2016 election detailing what measures the SNP proposed to implement in an independent Scotland.  It then heavily promoted those policies to those who would benefit most.

 

The problem here is that it was a one horse race.  No other major party could say what policies they would propose if there was an independent Scotland because they were all opposed to independence.  To put forward policies in the event of an independent Scotland would only serve to encourage people to vote YES if they liked the policies.  All that the other parties could say is that the policies were not affordable; to which the SNP's response was that they would borrow to fund the policies.  This gave the SNP free reign to stick in anything which they thought might be popular.  As Charles says. it didn't matter whether the policies were affordable or not, by the time these bought votes resulted in Independence an irrevocable change would have been made.  The SNP would then either renege on their promises or plunge the nation into debt.  Either way, they wouldn't be caring because we would be an independent country and that was the goal all along.

 

I don't blame the SNP for this.  There were no rules of engagement, as it were, to stop turning the referendum into an election. The loophole was there and they exploited it for all they were worth.  As with so much, the blame lies with Better Together and the Unionist leaders for letting them get away with this.  This tactic of the SNP was obvious from the start - after all, they turned a Government White Paper into a party manifesto!  Labour should have responded in kind.  They will have seen the White Paper / manifesto and could have issued a preliminary manifesto for the 2015 election and argued firstly that what the SNP were promising was not affordable in an independent Scotland, and secondly that a UK Labour Government would be able improve on much that is currently a problem - and do it before the SNP could in an independent Scotland.  Perhaps they felt such tactics were not consistent with the togetherness approach.  Whatever the reason, they let the SNP electioneer virtually unchallenged and focused instead on the issues which should have been what the referendum was all about but which was of little interest to some of the most vulnerable in our society who were being offered something tangible by the SNP.

 

 

The SNP really shouldve carried this election at a canter by promoting the potential of all governments under an independent Scotland.

 

A critique of their White Paper as an unaffordable manifesto, is only fair when the other parties bring out their own in the run up to next May, I suspect none of them will be going in with a balanced budget, given how utterly decimated our economy is. 

 

The money ran out years ago, the numbers on the balance have a minus symbol at the start of them.  Don't kid yourself into thinking we're a rich country when it's all been paid for with credit cards, we have very little of tangible value to offer the world, every party will be running a government off debt.

 

 

Your last paragraph is why Westminster was so desperate to have a NO vote . According to the Grauniad.....

http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2014/sep/19/uk-plc-breathes-sigh-relief-scotland-no-vote

 

The final issue is that the referendum has highlighted some of the weaknesses in the UK economy – in particular the importance of the North Sea oil in disguising the weakness of the balance of payments caused by the decline of manufacturing. Without oil and gas, the UK would be running a current account deficit of 7% of GDP. Even with the help of the North Sea, the gap stands at 4.5%, extremely high for a country in the early stages of an economic recovery.

The prospect of an independent Scotland taking control of 90% of North Sea reserves would undoubtedly have sent sterling into a tailspin. Even though that threat has now been removed, the size of Britain’s trade gap means the upward movement in the pound is limited. Sterling is vulnerable to bad news – be it a slowdown in growth, problems in the eurozone or a widening current account deficit. Once the dust has settled, it is likely to fall back.”

 

 

The Guardian must be Anglophobic aswell.

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The Sneck voted overwhelmingly Yes, I believe, 61%, so well in all the Sneck Yessers.

 

Could someone please quote me some evidence  - or is this simply the latest unsupported assertion from Yes supporters, based on anecdotal claims and self serving "estimates" of what they would like to think they saw on polling night.

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Used to be a counting agent at Elections in the Margaret Ewing days in Moray. Counting agents didn't then just watch like a hawk for dirty tricks, and I don't suppose they do now.......we also used to sample the papers as they were unfolded and put on the piles........it was where I learned to count reliably to 10. :wink:   We usually knew to a reasonable level of certainty, relatively early in the evening, if we had won or lost the constituency....and which areas had voted which way.  Should think the SNP well-oiled sampling machine maybe was employed in the referendum, just as the Bitter Together sampling machine was employed in at least the postal vote envelope opening.

 

If sampling took place the way the SNP used to do it, I'd be inclined to believe specific area vote percentages wouldn't be too far out. 

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It would be interesting to see an accurate 'breakdown' of the voting figures within Highland region. I wouldn't dismiss the quoted Inverness result, although it just seems a little high for YES.

However, if true, It would represent an overall landslide NO for the other Highland areas - which wouldn't be altogether unfeasible. Inverness probably accounts for around 30% of the constituency. 

 

I'd envisage Caithness being similar to their neighbours across the Pentland Firth in Orkney - voting overwhelmingly NO.

Rural Sutherland would be NO, and I'd have Skye & Lochalsh as NO. Ross-shire would probably have been be tight as would Nairn district.

 

Not sure about Badenoch & Strathspey? But Lochaber, with Fort William being its principle population base (with, in my experience, more Glasgow/West of Scotland accents than local!) could well have produced a YES!

But, it's all speculation - we'll likely never 'officially' know the respective outcomes!

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Your last paragraph is why Westminster was so desperate to have a NO vote . According to the Grauniad.....

http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2014/sep/19/uk-plc-breathes-sigh-relief-scotland-no-vote

 

The final issue is that the referendum has highlighted some of the weaknesses in the UK economy – in particular the importance of the North Sea oil in disguising the weakness of the balance of payments caused by the decline of manufacturing. Without oil and gas, the UK would be running a current account deficit of 7% of GDP. Even with the help of the North Sea, the gap stands at 4.5%, extremely high for a country in the early stages of an economic recovery.

The prospect of an independent Scotland taking control of 90% of North Sea reserves would undoubtedly have sent sterling into a tailspin. Even though that threat has now been removed, the size of Britain’s trade gap means the upward movement in the pound is limited. Sterling is vulnerable to bad news – be it a slowdown in growth, problems in the eurozone or a widening current account deficit. Once the dust has settled, it is likely to fall back.”

 

 

Macro economics is complicated stuff and I often wonder if anyone really understands all the nuances.  There are so many financial indicators and frequently they are confliciting or meaningless in isolation.  Take for instance unemployment figures which in general you would think should be a low as possible.  But sometimes a drop in unemployment is a result of massive borrowing which is not so good.  In the UK the unemployment figure has been steadily falling for some time which is a reflection of an improving economy.  The stength of the pound is another one.  In fact, the strength of the pound makes imports cheaper and exports dearer which is why the trade defecit is widening.  A trade deficit is paradoxically often an indicator of a strong economy.

 

The level of debt in the UK is certainly higher than one would like but it is quite common for countries to run on high levels of debt.  There are countries who are considered far poorer economically than us who have far less or even no debt but the difference is that the undelying strength and diversity of economic activity in countries such as the UK means that the level of debt is not seen as a significant problem by the international community.  The UK is now steadily reducing its borrowing and increasing debt payment which again are positive signs.

 

There is still much to be done but as long as we can keep away from further cycles of irresponsible borrowing to promote economic growth then things should continue to improve. 

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Used to be a counting agent at Elections in the Margaret Ewing days in Moray. Counting agents didn't then just watch like a hawk for dirty tricks, and I don't suppose they do now.......we also used to sample the papers as they were unfolded and put on the piles........it was where I learned to count reliably to 10. :wink:   We usually knew to a reasonable level of certainty, relatively early in the evening, if we had won or lost the constituency....and which areas had voted which way.  Should think the SNP well-oiled sampling machine maybe was employed in the referendum, just as the Bitter Together sampling machine was employed in at least the postal vote envelope opening.

 

If sampling took place the way the SNP used to do it, I'd be inclined to believe specific area vote percentages wouldn't be too far out. 

I would agree with that in general.  I'm not sure whether the 61% is correct but certainly Inverness will have voted "YES".  This rather bucks the trend for more affluent areas and I wonder whether that has to do with a relatively young population or whether it is a backlash against Danny Alexander's role in the Government.  I rather doubt that he is looking forward much to May!

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Tune changing now we have voted NO......Twitter on 17th September 2014 from Scottish Labour......worried about the future of the NHS? It's safe with a NO vote.

 

Twitter on 22nd September 2014 from The Labour Party......Want to be part of saving the NHS? Join us(it only takes 3 minutes)

 

If the NHS is safe with a NO vote.why isn't it safe now?

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Mr Bannerman, may I ask have you ever been outside of this UK. Up until recent years we were one of the very few countries in the world with a police force who didn't carry guns. We also live in a country where police officers are being killed or seriously injured in the line of duty by guns so why shouldn't they carry the ultimate protection?

Alex... much of what Ayeseetee has said in this debate I have disagreed with, but I am totally with him in what he says in post 1614. There is also a sub-plot to the carrying of guns question in that it is certainly even less necessary in the likes of Inverness than it is in the central belt, but our one size fits all National Police Force dictates that our local cops should have to have them as well, hence depriving us of local control.

There's the irony. At a time when there is much shouting about devolving powers from "Westminster" to Edinburgh, we are also seeing powers being centralised from areas like the Highlands... also to Edinburgh.

 

Charles you and many others seem to be believing all the local media propaganda!  The old Northern Constabulary were carrying hand guns before they became Police Scotland but it is not the routine arming of the police as stated by many.  There are a few trained firearms officers on duty at any one time who will attend other calls if they are required and go into a shop or filling station to purchase lunch.  I am not concerned at all if I see them on my day to day business and am sure others would not notice either if it was not in the papers every week.

 

IBM, I am aware of that but the timescale is such that the decision was quite clearly influenced by what was equally clearly the shape of things to come.

On the infrastructure questions, irrespective of which party was involved we are looking at extensive investment in the central belt while all we can see in the Highlands are average speed cameras - which most definitely ARE the creation of the SNP.

 

Charles it is clear that you hate the SNP and only respond to certain parts quoted in posts.  If the SNP had not got an overall majority the last time we would still be no further forward on the A9!  I have driven the A9 over many years and remember when your travel time was 4 hours to Perth before it was upgraded when the Tories were in power.  I have driven at high speed on the A9 before speed cameras were ever used on the roads and would prefer not to have them at all.  The average speed cameras are being installed at a cost of 2.5 million, with the cost of a fatal road accident 1.8 million you would just need 2 less fatalities and you have saved money.  It would also save a lot of heartbreak for the family and friends of those involved.  I think that is why the only high profile person objecting to them is Danny Alexander!

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Can someone please explain why it is that average speed cameras are such a problem. The law dictates the speed you can drive at. Go over and you are a lawbreaker. People make jokes these days about speeding in the same way they would have forty years ago about drunk driving. Now we realise that drink driving is not on and nobody complains about the measures in place to discourage it so why the fuss when measures are put in place to discourage breaking the speed laws?

 

Those cameras have already shown that driver behaviour is improving on those stretches and they aren't even switched on yet.

 

http://a9road.info/safety-statistics/average-speed-camera-myths/

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Mr Bannerman, may I ask have you ever been outside of this UK. Up until recent years we were one of the very few countries in the world with a police force who didn't carry guns. We also live in a country where police officers are being killed or seriously injured in the line of duty by guns so why shouldn't they carry the ultimate protection?

Alex... much of what Ayeseetee has said in this debate I have disagreed with, but I am totally with him in what he says in post 1614. There is also a sub-plot to the carrying of guns question in that it is certainly even less necessary in the likes of Inverness than it is in the central belt, but our one size fits all National Police Force dictates that our local cops should have to have them as well, hence depriving us of local control.

There's the irony. At a time when there is much shouting about devolving powers from "Westminster" to Edinburgh, we are also seeing powers being centralised from areas like the Highlands... also to Edinburgh.

 

Charles you and many others seem to be believing all the local media propaganda!  The old Northern Constabulary were carrying hand guns before they became Police Scotland but it is not the routine arming of the police as stated by many.  There are a few trained firearms officers on duty at any one time who will attend other calls if they are required and go into a shop or filling station to purchase lunch.  I am not concerned at all if I see them on my day to day business and am sure others would not notice either if it was not in the papers every week.

 

IBM, I am aware of that but the timescale is such that the decision was quite clearly influenced by what was equally clearly the shape of things to come.

On the infrastructure questions, irrespective of which party was involved we are looking at extensive investment in the central belt while all we can see in the Highlands are average speed cameras - which most definitely ARE the creation of the SNP.

 

Charles it is clear that you hate the SNP and only respond to certain parts quoted in posts.  If the SNP had not got an overall majority the last time we would still be no further forward on the A9!  I have driven the A9 over many years and remember when your travel time was 4 hours to Perth before it was upgraded when the Tories were in power.  I have driven at high speed on the A9 before speed cameras were ever used on the roads and would prefer not to have them at all.  The average speed cameras are being installed at a cost of 2.5 million, with the cost of a fatal road accident 1.8 million you would just need 2 less fatalities and you have saved money.  It would also save a lot of heartbreak for the family and friends of those involved.  I think that is why the only high profile person objecting to them is Danny Alexander!

 

 

He hates the SNP so much that he has never complained that, over the term of the two NuLab/LibDem administrations before the SNP ones,  when it could have been used to at least make a start on dualling the A9, McLeish and McConnell handed £1.5 billion back to Westminster because they couldn't think of anything to spend it on.  Everything wrong in Scotland since devolution, is the SNP's fault, as far as Charles is concerned..just as the Tories are still blaming NuLabour in 2014 because they haven't been able to balance their books since 2010..

 

What surprises me about the "not being able to find anything to spend it on".......those were the same Governments which took on PFI projects, when using the unspent money could have saved them and future Scottish Governments for years, the costs of paying through the nose. For example, £150 million for schools, which could have been funded directly, ended up costing the Scottish Government  £792 million on PFI contracts. Great economic commonsense there, then.  If it had been an SNP Government being so stupid, Charles would have been spitting red, white and blue fire.

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Charles it is clear that you hate the SNP and only respond to certain parts quoted in posts.  If the SNP had not got an overall majority the last time we would still be no further forward on the A9! 

 

Of course I have a profound dislike of the SNP, as of Nationalist parties in general, but what I said specifically about the A9, in relation to yet another moan about infrastructure in SE England while the poor old Scots are victimised, was this:-

 

I would prefer the analogy that it might be better to have had the money spent on the A9 years ago rather than on a second Forth crossing or on the Edinburgh trams.

 

I am not actually criticising the SNP here (note that in the quote I say YEARS AGO) since the above statement merely illustrates the generality of the lack of concern shown by the central belt for the Highlands over a long period of time.

Centralisation of Police and Fire and Rescue on the other hand took place on the SNP's watch. Meanwhile prioritising other projects down south ahead of the A9 originates from before that - although they do need to hold their hands up to more recent delays while average speed cameras flourish.

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Charles, the reason the police and fire services were centralised was to save money to allow the SG to meet their obligations regarding the devolved competences...like not cutting the NHS budget in real terms....plus to pay the additional donation to Westminster to enable the amelioration of the impact of the bedroom tax on the most disadvantaged and compensate for the removal of the UK crisis loan payments by setting up our own system.

 

You are, I assume, absolutely horrified that the centralisation of the police forces in England is being seriously considered to save money and you may yet wander down to Carlisle to see a cop with a holster in England in the future...and are quite happy that Westminster, which allocates the funds to England, has all its own money and a chunk of ours, and still can't meet its obligations without getting more into debt annually.

 

Economic nincompoopery has been the hallmark of Westminster Governments for decades, and it seems also of some unionist supporters of their profligacy. .

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71% of 16 - 17 year old's voted yes

 

I assume these figures are from the survey reported in the Mirror.  I think it is highly unlikely that the survey is representative in that it interviewed just over 2047 people of all age groups and therefore if the numbers interviewed of all ages was proportional to the numbers on the electoral register then it might be that as few as 60 were interviewed

 

It's worse than that DD, it turns out the sample size was just 14 people (source: The Herald), meaning it has no statistical validity whatsoever.

 

A much bigger You-Gov survey found that most 16-24 year olds actually voted No. Indeed the only age group to vote Yes was 25-39. We can only speculate why, but this would be the age group that would benefit from the promise of increased childcare payments.

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