Young 'More Engaged In Politics'

17 October 2014, 11:23 | Updated: 17 October 2014, 11:24

The independence referendum has energised political engagement amongst the young and over half now say it has made them more likely to vote in future elections, a poll has found.

Some 55% of people under 35 said the referendum has made them more likely to vote, with 38% saying they are much more likely, a TNS poll of 933 people over 16 found.

The "referendum effect'' has made everyone more politically engaged, with 37% across all age groups now more likely to vote, it found.

Nearly a third (32%) are now more likely to get involved in public debates about local or national issues, rising to two-fifths (40%) among those aged 16 to 34.

The Scottish National Party is the most widely trusted to deliver new powers for Scotland at 37%, rising to 43% amongst those aged 16 to 34.

Just 15% trust Labour, 8% trust the Conservatives and 1% trust the Liberal Democrats to deliver more powers, while a quarter said they do not trust any party.

Those in the younger age group (16-34) were more likely to trust the SNP (43%) and less likely to trust no party (20%). Half (51%) of those who said they were more likely to vote in future elections said they trusted the SNP.

Nearly a quarter (24%) said they trust SNP leader-in-waiting Nicola Sturgeon most to deliver more powers, double the figure for outgoing leader Alex Salmond.

Just 6% trust David Cameron to deliver on his vow of more powers, while 1% trust Ed Miliband and only a handful named Nick Clegg.

In spite of not being a party leader, Gordon Brown (15%) is the UK politician most trusted to deliver more powers, while a quarter (26%) said they did not trust any of those named.

Tom Costley, head of TNS Scotland, said: "This is our first indication of the referendum effect - whether the remarkable turnout in that vote, and the high level of public engagement in the campaign, will carry on into future political campaigns and elections.

"The indication from the poll is that many people, and young people in particular, are energised to continue to take a more active part in political life.

"But the poll also shows that all of the main political parties, especially the unionist ones, have a lot of work to do to convince voters in Scotland that the promise of further devolution will be fulfilled.''

Asked how they had been engaged during the campaign, 62% said they had taken part in discussions with friends and family, 60% watched the TV debates, 11% had contributed to online discussions, 9% had attended a public meeting and 5% had worked for one of the campaigns.