As I said last night, the aspect of the new TNS-BMRB poll that will be of most interest to the Yes campaign (indeed, for the opposite reason it will be of equal interest to the No campaign) is the position once 'undecided leaners' are added in. TNS-BMRB haven't collated those numbers themselves, but fortunately their datasets (unlike YouGov's) are detailed enough that it's possible to make the calculation. First of all, here are the figures for the 72.5% of the sample who say they are certain to vote in September -
Should Scotland be an independent country?
Excluding the hard-core of undecideds who express no leaning at all, it works out as -
If TNS had collated those numbers for publication, they would of course have been reported as Yes 45%, No 55%. That's a strikingly small gap coming from a pollster that doesn't rely on a volunteer online panel. However, we do have to bear in mind that most predictions for the turnout in September now exceed 72.5%, so the more meaningful figures may come from the 82% of the TNS sample who say they are either certain or very likely to vote -
With the hard-core of undecideds excluded, it's -
Those aren't too shabby either. Admittedly the position is a touch less encouraging among the whole sample, working out at Yes 42.0%, No 58.0% after non-leaning undecideds are stripped out, but whether that actually matters is open to question, given that no-one is predicting a 100% turnout.
Having said that, Scottish Skier always points out that a particularly important figure is the percentage of the entire sample who say they are certain to turn out to vote and who currently plan to vote No - that currently stands at just 31.9%. It rises to 35.6% when you take into account people who say they are very likely to turn out to vote, and who plan to vote No. So much for the No campaign's theory of a year or two back that the "quiet but determined anti-independence majority" would make this a triumphal procession for them.
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As Tom "work ethic" Harris perversely found it so "nauseating" that a decent, hard-working, law-abiding (etc, etc) couple decided to use some of their lottery winnings to help the cause of Scottish self-government that they've believed in all their lives, I wonder how he'll feel about a fabulously wealthy celebrity from South Gloucestershire donating money to the anti-independence campaign that she accrued after an Edinburgh cafe owner took pity on her and let her write stories about wizards in comfort and warmth? As you'll probably have seen in Yes Scotland's email this afternoon, it doesn't take magic to fight back against Ms Rowling's attempts to further unbalance the playing field - you can make a small donation to the official Yes campaign by clicking here. Other very important fundraisers running at the moment are Generation Yes, Business for Scotland and Green Yes (I'm sure there are plenty of others as well, but I struggle to keep track of them all!).