This study seeks to provide evidence to inform scholarly research and public understanding of the causes and consequences of attitudes towards Scottish independence and the devolution of powers from Westminster to national or regional bodies. To achieve this it will extend the remit of the internet panel elements of the British Election Study to provide panel data in the period leading up to and after the Scottish referendum including, but not limited to, a boosted sample size for Scotland and Wales.
The BES internet panel constitutes a key research resource for wide range of users beyond academia. The data and associated scholarship serve an important role in understanding the electoral process and the health of our democracy. This will be particularly relevant in the period 2014-2017, due to declining political engagement, the implications of multi-party and multi-level governance (including the Scottish referendum) for accountability, and of economic austerity for political representation.