Publication - Research and analysis

Scottish Social Attitudes 2019: attitudes to government and political engagement

Findings from the 2019 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSA), conducted between August 2019 and March 2020, on attitudes to government, the economy, the health service, levels of tax and spend, government priorities and political engagement

Footnotes

1. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/bulletins/gdpfirstquarterlyestimateuk/apriltojune2020

2. https://www.gov.scot/publications/first-estimate-of-gdp-2020-q2/ 

3. https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/research-and-analysis/2019/06/state-economy-june-2019/documents/office-chief-economic-adviser-state-economy/office-chief-economic-adviser-state-economy/govscot%3Adocument/office-chief-economic-adviser-state-economy.pdf

4. https://www.gov.scot/publications/state-economy-february-2020/pages/1/ 

5. https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/uploads/docs/report/2019/nr_191024_nhs_overview.pdf

6. Ibid

7. Ibid

8. https://www.gov.scot/publications/inpatient-experience-survey-2018-national-results/

9. This excludes the 295 addresses that were out of scope.

10. The full time series data is available in the 'Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2019: Time series data' Excel file published as a 'supporting file' alongside this report.

11. The following two questions were asked sequentially, with the same set of answer options presented to respondents on a showcard at each question: 'How much do you trust the UK Government to work in Scotland's best long-term interest?', followed by 'Still using the card, how much do you trust the Scottish Government to work in Scotland's best interests?'

12. The question in 1999 was asked prospectively as data collection occurred in the first four months of the Scottish Parliament and asked: 'How much would you trust a Scottish parliament to work in Scotland's best interests?'

13. From 2016, those aged 16 and over were included in the SSA sample. Pre-2016, the sample was composed of those aged 18 and over. Thus, for the purposes of analysis, the youngest age group in 2000, 2007, and 2015 consists of those aged 18-34, while in 2019 the youngest age group includes those aged 16 and 17.

14. A similar pattern is observable when comparing those in the 35-44 age bracket.

15. From 1999 to 2009 the question answer categories, once collapsed, were: living comfortably on present income, coping, and finding it difficult on present income. These were changed from 2010 onwards to: living comfortably on present income, neither comfortable nor struggling, struggling on present income.

16. The constitutional preference data comes from a five-option question that has been included in SSA since 1999. The two response options that pick up a preference for independence (with or without EU membership), and the three categories that pick up a preference for the union (with the Scottish Parliament having taxation powers, not having taxation powers, or no Scottish Parliament) are combined in the analysis.

17. Prior to 2016, the question stem read 'Do you think Britain's long-term policy should be...'. Response options remain unchanged.

18. The two questions on trust in the Scottish Government and UK Government to make fair decisions have been carried on SSA since 2006, while the additional item on trust at a local government level was first asked in 2015.

19. The SSA question measuring perceptions of how good local government is at listening to people before taking decisions has only been asked of SSA respondents on a regular basis since 2015 (with one prior reading in 2010).

20. In the case of both items, half the sample were presented with each question preceded by the phrase 'From what you have seen and heard so far, do you think that having…' and half with 'Do you think that having…'. Figures discussed here are based on the combined pattern of responses to both forms of each question.

21. Differences by whether living comfortably or struggling on current income were marginally significant.

22. The question as presented to respondents in 1999 read 'When the new parliament starts work, which of the following do you think will have most influence over the way Scotland is run?'

23. Full sub-group breakdowns for 2019 data are available in the 'Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2019: Chapter 3 subgroup variation tables' Excel file published as a 'supporting file' alongside this report

24. Since 1999, the Scottish Social Attitudes survey has included an attitude scale which is designed to ascertain whether they are more inclined to the libertarian or the authoritarian end of the ideological spectrum. The scale consists of six statements to which the respondent is invited to "agree strongly", "agree", "neither agree nor disagree", "disagree" or "disagree strongly". The scores to all the questions in the scale are added and then divided by the number of items in the scale, giving indices ranging from 1 to 6.

25. Since 1999, the Scottish Social Attitudes survey has included an attitude scale which aims to measure respondents' underlying political views and whether these are situated to the left or right of the political spectrum. The scale consists of five statements to which the respondent is invited to "agree strongly", "agree", "neither agree nor disagree", "disagree" or "disagree strongly". The scores to all the questions in the scale are added and then divided by the number of items in the scale, giving indices ranging from 1 (left) to 5 (right).

26. Prior to 2009 the question asked about the 'Scottish Executive'

27. Differences by whether people are struggling or comfortable on their present income were marginally significant.

28. Full sub-group breakdowns for 2019 data are available in the 'Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2019: Chapter 4 subgroup variation tables' Excel file published as a 'supporting file' alongside this report.

29. Differences by household income were marginally significant.

30. Eurosceptics are those who chose either 'leave the EU' or 'stay in the EU but reduce its powers' at the 5-answer option question on views on what Britain's policy should be on EU membership, as described in Chapter 2. Europhiles are those who chose the options stay in the EU keeping its powers the same, stay in the EU but increasing the EUs powers or working for the formation of a single European government.

31. This difference is statistically significant.


Contact

Email: social_research@gov.scot