Just as I was about to go to bed safe in the apparent knowledge that the day's only polling "news" was the Herald's farcical attempts to portray the vastly inferior popularity ratings of the No campaign's leaders as some kind of bad news story for the Yes side (!), I heard the exciting news on Twitter of a new TNS-BMRB poll of referendum voting intentions in tomorrow's edition of the paper. Here are the full headline figures (not excluding Don't Knows) -
Should Scotland be an independent country?
Yes 27% (+1)
No 41% (-1)
The No lead with TNS-BMRB has now almost halved since it stood at a peak of 25 points in the autumn of last year. This is also the fourth successive poll from the company to show a drop in the No lead - in the late September/early October poll the lead fell from 22 points to 19, in the late October poll it fell from 19 points to 18, in late November it fell from 18 points to 16, and now it has fallen from 16 points to 14. It's the second TNS-BMRB poll in a row to find the Yes campaign increasing its raw level of support. And it's the fifth poll out of five published by all polling companies since the publication of the White Paper to show a drop in the No lead. Over to you, oh wise London media - try spinning that little lot as "essentially a no change position"!
The significance of the Yes campaign's advance becomes even more stark when the Don't Knows are stripped out of the equation, with the lead closing by a full 4%, and with Yes reaching the psychological 40% mark...
Yes 40% (+2)
No 60% (-2)
Remarkably, TNS-BMRB have just jumped from fifth place to third in the rankings for the most favourable pollster for the Yes campaign when Don't Knows are excluded, although that's largely because the figures from ICM, YouGov and TNS-BMRB are all tightly bunched together.
Hopefully I'll have more to say about this poll when the full datasets are made available.
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YES CAMPAIGN MAKE FURTHER PROGRESS IN SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS
Now we turn to the fourth update of this blog's Poll of Polls - and I'm delighted to say that it's the fourth out of four to show an increase in support for the pro-independence campaign! Just to reiterate, the Poll of Polls is based on a rolling average of six polls - the most recent one from each of the six referendum pollsters that adhere to the British Polling Council's rules (Panelbase, YouGov, Ipsos-Mori, ICM, Angus Reid and TNS-BMRB). If any other BPC pollsters enter the fray at some point, they'll be taken into account as well. This update simply replaces the last TNS-BMRB poll with the new one, and therefore only one-sixth of the sample has changed.
MEAN AVERAGE (not excluding Don't Knows) :
Yes 33.0% (+0.2)
No 48.8% (-0.2)
MEAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :
Yes 40.3% (+0.2)
No 59.7% (-0.2)
MEDIAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :
Yes 39.6% (+0.4)
No 60.4% (-0.4)
Those of you who have been following the Poll of Polls closely from the start will have noticed that the Yes vote has now increased by a full 1% on the headline figures since the publication of the White Paper - and that's in spite of the fact that only three of the six pollsters have updated their numbers since then. Over the same period, the overall No lead has slipped from 17.5% to 15.8%.
The median average is the most affected by the new TNS-BMRB poll. Last time around, the median was calculated as the mid-point between ICM and YouGov, as the third and fourth most favourable pollsters for the Yes campaign. This time it's the mid-point between TNS-BMRB and ICM, with the latter having slipped from third to fourth.