Scottish independence vote will be close, Emory expert says

Sep. 16, 2014

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Corey Broman-Fulks
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Scottish citizens are going to the polls Thursday, Sept. 18 to vote for independence from the United Kingdom after 307 years of unity. Emory political science professor Thomas D. Lancaster says the vote will be close.

“Scotland’s small population plus its strong economy means the country will be economically viable,” says the European politics expert. “The break away would hurt the English economy in the short term.”

The tightness of the vote is catching the major parties in the UK off guard, Lancaster says, with 97% of Scottish voters registered for Thursday’s vote. Scotland’s production and exportation of oil, wool, whiskey and other products will keep the country stable.

“Scotland’s independence will mean the Conservative Party will become a natural and permanent majority in England, while Scotland will continue to be the two-party system it has always been: the Scottish National Party and Labour Party,” Lancaster explains.

If the majority does vote to separate from the UK, the main question not answered is Scotland’s standing in the European Union, he says. “That is the elephant in the room of this election.”