Could J.K. Rowling Be A Leading Voice Against Scottish Independence?

by Chris Tognotti
John Phillips/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

While it's easy to let your attention be dominated by all the big happenings in American news right now, it's important to remember the United States isn't the only nation facing some major decisions in the months and years to come. For example, the United Kingdom has its fair share of weighty issues on the horizon, not the least of which is another Scottish push for independence. If that happens, however, there's a high-profile author who could make for an effective voice ― according to a recent poll, the British public thinks J.K. Rowling should spearhead the movement to keep Scotland.

Or rather, they'd at least prefer she take up the mantle than current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. According to the poll of 2,013 U.K. voters conducted by ORB, a full 13 percent of respondents picked Rowling as their preferred advocate in favor of Scotland staying within the United Kingdom, beating out Corbyn who finished at a mere 7 percent.

Both of them trailed Prime Minister Theresa May by wide margins (May finished at 31 percent), and were more narrowly edged out by Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, who finished at 16 percent. The ORB poll's results were reported just days after Rowling tweeted a dry joke at Corbyn's expense, highlighting the 67-year-old Islington North MP's poor numbers among Scottish voters.

The Harry Potter author's inclusion in the poll may seem like idle speculation, although from the sounds of things she has at least one backer within Labour ― according to the Telegraph, the party's lone MP within Scotland, Ian Murray, spoke approvingly of Rowling's potential involvement in another referendum on Scottish independence, backing the idea that "somebody who is not a politician" would be a more effective advocate.

Back in 2014, Rowling authored a lengthy statement opposing the Scottish independence referendum, although she wasn't the least bit demagogic or condemning about it. Here's her final conclusion:

If the majority of people in Scotland want independence I truly hope that it is a resounding success. While a few of our fiercer nationalists might like to drive me forcibly over the border after reading this, I’d prefer to stay and contribute to a country that has given me more than I can easily express. It is because I love this country that I want it to thrive. Whatever the outcome of the referendum on 18th September, it will be a historic moment for Scotland. I just hope with all my heart that we never have cause to look back and feel that we made a historically bad mistake.

Of course, just how involved she gets the next time around remains to be seen, as well as whether her views still ultimately align with the "no" side (no to Scottish independence, that is). But based on this polling, at least, it seems like she's a more sought-after voice than the Labour Party leader is.