The boring option prevails again

Scotland votes no. Not really a huge surprise, but maybe a bit disappointing. There are two things I think should be noted:

1. Turnout was incredibly high at around 85% (vs 65 in the last general election). I think this shows that people do vote if they are interested in something and feel the outcome is important. The reason we never see this level of turnout at general elections is not because people don’t care, but because they perceive the options as indistinct.


2. 45% is still a huge number. David Cameron became prime minister while securing only 36% of his vote. The yes campaign had the odds stacked against them all the way by extremely biased media coverage, which gave a lot of air time to people with nothing interesting to say. In this I include the many businesses and banks who said a yes vote would be terrible – usually when private companies make political statements, it is not your benefit they are concerned with, but pretty much every news outlet covered this by implying it meant doom and gloom for the average person. Had the yes campaign instead enjoyed such biased coverage we would probably have seen the result inverted. It would have been better if the decision had come instead with less external pressure.


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