Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ipsos-Mori poll shows that No voters feel much less well-informed than Yes voters

Many thanks to Alasdair Stirling for dropping me a line to point out a fascinating detail from the recent Ipsos-Mori poll commissioned by the Law Society, which sought to ascertain (among other things) how well-informed voters feel about the independence debate.  It hasn't been commented upon much as of yet, but there was a very sharp difference between the responses of those who currently say they will vote No, and those who are planning to vote Yes.

On the whole, how well informed, if at all, do you feel about the issues being debated in the referendum campaign?


Very well informed - 23%
Fairly well informed - 51%


Not very well informed - 20%
Not at all informed - 5%




Very well informed - 10%
Fairly well informed - 41%


Not very well informed - 38%
Not at all informed - 10%


This corroborates what we've seen from other polls in the past, and it's therefore hard not to conclude that the No vote must be much softer than the Yes vote - because of course people who freely accept that they are not currently well-informed are by definition much more open to persuasion once they are exposed to the facts.  Admittedly, that assumption contradicts Ipsos-Mori's own findings on which voters are likely to change their minds (showing not much difference between Yes and No voters), but I do wonder if this question might be a much more useful way of getting at the true picture of how sure people really are in their own minds.

UPDATE : The original version of this post made a comment about the voting intention figures in this poll being identical to the last Ipsos-Mori poll, but I've just realised that it's exactly the same poll! The fieldwork dates were way back in late November/early December - Ipsos-Mori must have tacked on a few extra questions for the Law Society.

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There's a Scottish thread running on Stormfront-lite site Political Betting today, and here are just a few of the all-too-characteristic BTL comments -

"To wave goodbye to those Labour trolls from the vast Scottish badlands and prevent them having any say in how sterling is run or anything else in England is run?"

"England would be far richer and more successful in the long run without the Scottish Millstone. And if and when things went tits up North of the border they could hardly complain we didn't give them a good start in life."

"In the unlikely event the Jockanese contingent do decide to bugger off..."

This sort of thing - and much, much worse - goes on day in, day out without a word of reproach from the same Scottish media that witter on endlessly about "Cybernats". (Nor, of course, does it ever lead to any of these people actually being banned from PB, while left-wing, pro-independence voices are routinely banned from the site for no reason that anyone can quite determine.)


  1. The voting intention figures are buried in the results tables in one of the cross break bars. Yes: 31% No: 55%, exactly the same as their last poll.

    What's interesting is Ipsos obviously use a preamble (the summaries always say "31% of people would vote yes if the referendum were held now" or so etching similar) but the results tables they publish never show it. They just show the referendum question.

  2. Thanks, Calum, you've just made me realise I made a mistake - I was comparing the voting intention figures from the raw data in this poll with the headline numbers in the last poll, which is the wrong comparison because those numbers were filtered by certainty to vote. I'll amend the post in a minute.

  3. And I've had to update the post yet again, because I've just realised that this is exactly the same poll as the last one - no wonder the figures are identical!

  4. Imagine intending to vote in a once in a generation (maybe) referendum being badly informed.

    Guys, you're not choosing between tea and coffee here... this is for life!

  5. So that says to me, that the ones who say they are NOT well informed and are either voting YES or NO.....should they not be looking for the info so that they can make an INFORMED decision? ...instead of "eh..I don't know anything aboot it, but I'm voting Naw anyway"..(or yes) All the information is out there...

  6. "eh..I don't know anything aboot it, but I'm voting Naw anyway"

    About a year ago, I was at a public event, and the host said "give me a shout if you want independence", then "give me a shout if you don't want independence", and finally "give me a shout if you don't give a f*** either way". The guy sitting next to me gave a cheer to indicate he was against independence, which was fair enough, but then he gave an equally big cheer to the "don't give a f*** either way" option, and I thought "how does that work?!"

    The reality is that people will become much better-informed between now and polling day, in some cases without much effort, because by September the coverage will have reached fever-pitch and everyone will be talking about it. And the good news is that the better-informed people are, the more likely they are to vote Yes.