Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It's true : a sizeable minority of UKIP voters will say Yes to (Scottish) independence in September

Scottish Skier mentioned on an earlier thread that one-quarter of people who voted UKIP in Scotland last Thursday will vote Yes in the independence referendum.  That was quite a startling thought, so I had a look at the last poll from each of the three firms that conducted full-scale European voting intention polls in Scotland.  Unfortunately YouGov's one and only full-scale poll (which in some ways was the most accurate) did not appear to ask the referendum question, so cross-referencing isn't possible.  But figures are available from both ICM and Survation.

Referendum voting intention of people who planned to vote UKIP last week (excluding Don't Knows) -


Yes 23%
No 77%

Survation :

Yes 24%
No 76%

The subsamples involved are too small to be reliable, but they do tell us something - if UKIP supporters were as monolothically opposed to independence as we might lazily assume, the figure for Yes would be highly likely to be close to zero even in a small subsample.  So at the very least there's clearly a statistically significant "UKIP for Yes" niche out there - and it appears to be bigger than "Tory for Yes", for example.

Standard Eurosceptic rhetoric probably goes some way towards explaining this phenomenon. The likes of Farage tell us that they offer "real independence" as opposed to the SNP's "phoney" independence within Europe.  So the "UKIP for Yes" voter is essentially calling that bluff - he/she may think that Brussels rule is inconsistent with true independence for Scotland, but they sure as hell think London rule is inconsistent with it as well.

The mainstream London parties may have also helped things along with their scaremongering over whether an independent Scotland would be able to remain in the EU.  Scotland may be a significantly more pro-European country than England, but we nevertheless have a sizeable Eurosceptical minority, and it's not hard to predict the effect of telling such people that a Yes vote is likely to instantly produce Farage-style "real independence" against the SNP's wishes.

We shouldn't forget that even readers of this blog (somewhat to my dismay) voted in a poll that they would prefer EFTA membership to EU membership!

*  *  *

There's been no YouGov daily poll tonight, probably due to the Bank Holiday.  But tomorrow night we should get the first indication of whether there's been a snowball effect for UKIP in GB-wide Westminster voting intentions.  The answer to that question could prove crucial for the referendum - as indeed could the answer to the question of how long any temporary UKIP surge might last.


  1. It's very possible that my dad voted for UKIP, because he's not a fan of the EU, but he'll definitely be voting Yes. He'd like to see Scotland independent and out of the EU. You can imagine other Gordon Wilson types voting UKIP in the EU elections because of the SNP's resolutely pro-EU stance.

    It stands to reason really - if Labour and Tory voters can lend their vote to UKIP to protest against the EU, then of course there are going to be SNP voters doing exactly the same thing. And I would be surprised if there weren't at least some Labour voters who voted Labour in the UK and local elections, SNP in the Scottish election, and UKIP in the EU election.

    People aren't daft, they know how to use a vote in an election to send a message about a particular issue! We should always keep that in mind.

  2. Skippers?

    Who'd a thunk it.


  3. It's very possible that my dad voted for UKIP... but he'll definitely be voting Yes.

    His devious plan worked then. Coburn will hopefully be rolled out as much as Curtice over the coming months. Almost as good as having e.g. Boris on the Tellybox telly you to vote No every night.

  4. Much better than Boris, since Coburn lacks his charisma. But I expect BT will do their utmost to keep him quiet over the next four months, while reminding us as often as possible of his existence.

  5. Harsh I know, but isn't it also possible UKIP voters don't have a clue what they're voting for?