The Scottish Government has agreed to change the question it will put to voters in next year’s independence referendum, after concerns were raised its preferred version could be biased towards a yes vote. First Minister Alex Salmond had proposed to ask: “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?” However, the independent elections watchdog, the Electoral Commission, said using the phrase “Do you agree” was commonly felt “to be biased towards a yes outcome and potentially leading people towards a yes vote”. The Scottish Government has accepted the commission’s recommendation that the question should instead be: “Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes/No.”
Subject to the approval of the Scottish Parliament, this is now likely to be the question put to people in the referendum due to take place in autumn next year.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government accepts all the commission’s recommendations on the question and the campaign spending limits.
The watchdog suggests higher spending limits than the SNP administration in Edinburgh proposed.
Ms Sturgeon said she was “particularly delighted with the conclusion the Electoral Commission has reached on the question”.