UK

Scottish Independence Vote Was NOT Swayed By Elderly People, Despite Conspiracy Theories

24/09/2014 13:16 BST | Updated 24/09/2014 13:59 BST

A new Scottish independence poll has shot down the claim - pushed by disenchanted Yes voters and encouraged by Alex Salmond - that pensioners are the only reason the country voted no.

After 55% of Scots voted to stay in the UK, a narrative emerged online that older voters, fearing what they had to lose, had voted no and saved the union, while all other age groups had voted yes.

In fact, 51% of voters aged 16 to 24 voted no and every age bracket except 25 to 39 year olds also voted this way, according to the latest data from pollsters YouGov, which surveyed 3,188 voters.

The data also shows around one in five SNP voters voted no.

The idea that elderly people voted no to protect their pensions - after businesses and economists warned of the financial dangers of independence - is one of the many claims that surfaced on social media after the result was declared.

The pro-independence blog Wings Over Scotland tweeted after the result that pensioners had "sold us out".

Even controversial American economist Max Keiser get in on the act, saying "Scottish old farts wanted to stick it to their grandkids for not visiting", while a blog claimed "elderly Scots" were "frightened of change".

And some random people just went all in, with this man lamenting the behaviour of the "redundant" generation, who "failed the world".

Salmond, 59, has encouraged the feeling, saying his generation had "impeded progress" with their how they cast their ballot.

"I think Scots of my generation and above should really be looking at themselves in the mirror and wonder if we by majority, as a result of our decision, have actually impeded progress for the next generation which is something no generation should do," he told Sky News on Sunday.

The anger and disenchantment after the campaigned prompted Yes voters to ominously dub themselves "the 45%" and pledge to continue campaigning for independence.

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When asked to comment on the poll, an SNP spokesman said: "We are proud of the extraordinary campaign for a Yes vote that saw 1.6 million people - 45% of voters - back an independent Scotland and truly unprecedented levels of voter turnout and participation."

The poll also showed 8% of Tory voters, 27% of Labour supporters and 29% of LibDem voters voted yes.

The poll shows the margin of victory was narrow in every age bracket except among the over 65s, around two thirds of whom voted no.

A total of 55% of 25-39s votes for yes, while 55% of 60-65s voted no and 53% of 40-59s as did the same.

The YouGov poll contradicts a poll from Lord Ashcroft that said 71% of 16 to 17 year olds voted yes while 48% of 18 to 24 year olds did the same, implying the age group as a whole voted yes.

But only 14 people in that age group were surveyed, The Herald reported.