Sunday, July 13, 2014

Is that it?! ICM poll the No campaign have been crowing about all evening shows a lower No lead than two months ago

This month's ICM poll has just been released, and shows only margin of error changes.  The headline numbers are well within the firm's normal range, which is a No lead of between 3 and 12 points -

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Yes 34% (-2)
No 45% (+2)

With Don't Knows excluded, it works out as...

Yes 43% (-2)
No 57% (+2)

On both measures, the No lead remains lower than it was two months ago, when ICM were showing a 12-point gap if Don't Knows were taken into account, and a 42/58 split if they were stripped out.

I must say this is all rather unexpected, given that a veritable Rogue's Gallery of (exclusively male) No campaign staffers were lining up on Twitter just an hour or two ago to gloat about what the poll would shortly show.  Although that form of gloating is not untypical, I'd never seen it on quite that scale before, so I started to assume they might have something out of the ordinary to crow about.  But it turned out to be yet another classic case of the unspeakable in pursuit of the unspinnable.

So where does this leave the overall state of play?  We're back to "as clear as mud" once again.  Let's take the six BPC pollsters in turn -

ICM : The most volatile of the six firms are showing a No lead that is within their very wide normal range, but which is towards the upper end of it.  It remains to be seen whether they've tinkered with their methodology yet again in this poll - hopefully they won't have been so foolish as to introduce an artificial 'Shy No' adjustment, given that there is literally zero evidence for the existence of 'Shy No Syndrome'.

Panelbase : Showing an all-time high for Yes of 48.2%, but haven't reported for a few weeks.

Ipsos-Mori : Also showing an all-time high for Yes, but haven't reported for a few weeks and on past form are unlikely to surface again for quite a while.

YouGov : This most obsessively secretive of the six firms, notorious for adjusting the Yes vote downwards with their "Kellner Correction", have shown Yes slipping back slightly from an all-time high recorded a couple of months ago - although those changes are perfectly consistent with margin of error 'noise'.

Survation : Showing an all-time high for Yes of 47.1%, and are bang up to date.

TNS-BMRB : Showing Yes at a high watermark for the campaign of 41.4%, although that's only fractionally above the figure that Yes have been hovering at for a few months.

So the overall picture is consistent with Yes making gains or with a static position - or even with a modest recovery in the No lead, although that seems somewhat less likely.  All we can really say is that it will take at least a couple more polls before things start to make sense again.

You may have heard Yes Scotland's chief strategist Stephen Noon on the Derek Bateman show the other day, making clear that he is confident of victory based on a more sophisticated form of polling and canvassing than we normally see in published polls.  But in his Scotland on Sunday analysis of tonight's new poll, Professor John Curtice (who appears to be claiming part-authorship of the questions asked) suggests that the Yes Scotland approach has been replicated by ICM, and has failed to produce quite such an optimistic picture for Yes.  His explanation is that when asked to place their support for independence on a scale from 1 to 10, no fewer than 7% of respondents plump for a '5', which is on the lower end of the scale - and Yes would need every single one of those people just to get up to a 49% share of the vote.  But it seems to me there's a huge logical flaw in Curtice's thinking, and I'll be interested to see if Stephen Noon makes any comment on it.  5 may technically be on the lower end of a 1-10 scale, but the reality is that most people who want to place themselves exactly in the middle of the scale are likely to call themselves a 5 rather than a 6.  That's just basic psychology - you think to yourself "what's half of 10?"  So Curtice's conclusion that two-thirds of undecided respondents in this poll have consciously placed themselves on the anti-independence half of the scale should also be treated with extreme scepticism.

* * *


As usual, I'll give a full-scale Poll of Polls update below, but given the ongoing disparity between various pollsters, I think it may be time to start taking a 'top and tail' approach as well. It is, after all, highly unlikely that the referendum result will magically turn out to be an exact middle point between the Yes-friendly and No-friendly pollsters - it's far more probable that one set of pollsters will be closer to the truth than the other. As of tonight, the 'top' (Yes-friendly) three pollsters are showing an average of exactly Yes 46%, No 54% - well within touching distance of victory for Yes with more than two months still to go.

Anyway, here is the more conventional Poll of Polls...

MEAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 43.1% (-0.5)
No 56.9% (+0.5)

MEAN AVERAGE (not excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 36.8% (-0.4)
No 48.5% (+0.3)

MEDIAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 42.1% (-1.2)
No 57.9% (+1.2)

(The Poll of Polls is based on a rolling average of the most recent poll from each of the pollsters that have been active in the referendum campaign since September 2013, and that adhere to British Polling Council rules. At present, there are six - YouGov, TNS-BMRB, Survation, Panelbase, Ipsos-Mori and ICM. Whenever a new poll is published, it replaces the last poll from the same company in the sample. Changes in the Poll of Polls are generally glacial in nature due to the fact that only a small portion of the sample is updated each time.)

And here are the long-term trend figures, with updates prior to Easter recalculated to remove the inactive pollster Angus Reid ...

The No campaign's lead in the Poll of Polls mean average (not excluding Don't Knows) :

Sep 2013 - 21.6%
Sep 2013 - 21.4%
Sep 2013 - 19.4%
Oct 2013 - 18.8%
Oct 2013 - 18.4%
Oct 2013 - 18.2%
Nov 2013 - 18.4%
Nov 2013 - 18.0%
Dec 2013 - 17.0%
Dec 2013 - 16.8%
Dec 2013 - 16.4%
Jan 2014 - 14.4%
Jan 2014 - 14.2%
Jan 2014 - 14.2%
Jan 2014 - 15.2%
Feb 2014 - 15.0%
Feb 2014 - 15.5%
Feb 2014 - 15.5%
Feb 2014 - 13.7%
Feb 2014 - 13.3%
Feb 2014 - 14.2%
Mar 2014 - 14.2%
Mar 2014 - 14.5%
Mar 2014 - 14.5%
Mar 2014 - 14.7%
Mar 2014 - 13.8%
Mar 2014 - 13.0%
Mar 2014 - 12.5%
Apr 2014 - 12.5%
Apr 2014 - 12.7%
Apr 2014 - 12.7%
Apr 2014 - 12.3%
Apr 2014 - 11.4%
May 2014 - 11.2%
May 2014 - 11.2%
May 2014 - 11.5%
May 2014 - 13.3%
Jun 2014 - 12.1%
Jun 2014 - 12.1%
Jun 2014 - 11.3%
Jun 2014 - 9.9%
Jun 2014 - 10.3%
Jun 2014 - 10.7%
Jul 2014 - 11.0%
Jul 2014 - 11.0%
Jul 2014 - 11.7%


  1. They had to do something to take divert attention from their fellow No members burning their way across Ulster and their Neo-Nazi parades across large parts of Scotland.

  2. Well done James. Goto site for polling stuff....for me and others. Have been and will continue to tweet your analysis.

    Thanks again.

  3. Sorry, I'm a dedicated yes voter but that's the third poll to show no up and the second to shoe no up at yes' expense. No amount of spin will cover how fucked we are right now

  4. I'll take you at your word that you're a Yes voter, although it does have to be said that's exactly the sort of comment a mischief-making No supporter would be likely to leave. I have to confess that I am absolutely baffled as to how anyone can claim a Survation poll showing an all-time high for Yes of 47.1% as being part of a canon of No-friendly polls.

  5. You're spot on about 5 being seen as "in the middle". Whenever I get a complete undecided during door-chapping, they say to mark them down as a 5. There's the problem with using an even number of options - I'd have made it 0 to 10 personally.

  6. James, I am a different fellow to commenter number 3 and I am a diehard Yes voter myself. I am also very, very worried about the state of things right now.

    I would normally comfort myself by comparing the 2011 polls with the polls of this year, but after consideration I realised that we really are going to need a miracle to swing this. In 2011, as wrong as the pollsters seemed to be even 2 months before (ICM predicted a Labour victory of 39% vs SNP's 35%) but even in that poll there was at least some indication of a swing. Even YouGov had narrowed immensely by this point.

    Right now I don't know what we're pinning our hopes on. That three quarters of all undecideds are going to decide to vote Yes and we'll somehow win over a few No voters in the process? How on earth will we do this?

    All I can do is sit and wait for Alex Salmond's debate with Darling. I really, really hope that is the start of things changing (I remember 2010 and how the Lib Dems got into government based on one debate), and I know the SNP haven't actually started to campaign yet.

    My biggest worry throughout this campaign though has been that we're playing, in the words of Breaking Bad, with a crazy handful of nothing. Until january this year I thought we had something up our sleeve, some plan, some kind of thing. When I saw polls starting to shift I thought maybe it was working, that we were doing a rope-a-dope. The polls aren't shifting though. Not as much as they need to.

    I really, really, really do not want us to vote No. I'll probably go into such a strong depression I'll need medication to get through it, but how the hell are we going to stop it from happening?

  7. Anon : I would just ask you to take a step back here. We have a very unclear position, and two pollsters out of six showing Yes just below 50%. If all the pollsters move towards Yes by just 3% over the next two-and-a-bit months (far less than the swing seen in 2011), we'll go into polling day with two pollsters showing a Yes lead, and four showing a No lead. Are you really saying that you would feel no hope at all in such a scenario? It's quite conceivable that Yes are on the brink of victory. It's also quite conceivable that they're a long way behind. We simply don't know, and we're just going to live with that uncertainty without losing our heads.

    As for how we'll all cope if there's a No vote (which I stress is purely hypothetical, not something we're staring down the barrel of), well, I don't know how old you are, but I'm just about old enough to vividly remember the disaster of 1992, and we all got through that without sticking our heads in the oven. You just have let the disappointment wash all over you, and then move on to the next challenge, which in the case of a No vote would be to win enough SNP votes and seats at next year's general election to keep up the pressure for more powers. A No vote will kill the possibility of full independence for at least 12-15 years, but a) that's not forever, and b) how many of us are such absolutists that we won't even care about winning more powers for the Scottish Parliament within the UK?

  8. "If all the pollsters move towards Yes by just 3% over the next two-and-a-bit months (far less than the swing seen in 2011), we'll go into polling day with two pollsters showing a Yes lead, and four showing a No lead. Are you really saying that you would feel no hope at all in such a scenario?"

    This has given me hope. I had expected the polls to narrow but I worried that it wouldn't be enough, but if even two out of 6 pollsters are showing a lead that would give me hope.

    This may sound a bit strange but I think the hardest thing for me to cope with right now besides the prospect of the cuts and Tory/UKIP domination (in the event of a No vote) would be the prospect of some of the people we are campaigning with right now not being there for the next vote.

  9. I live in Govan where a lot of people shake their heads about the polls and say "nobody I know has been asked" and add (possibly in confirmation of my own bubble) that "most people I know are voting yes."

    Asked whether most of these yes voters are registered to vote, they're less clear. There is still considerable on-the-ground uncertainty about registration. I met one guy recently who had taken himself off the electoral roll back in the days of the poll tax and had never voted since. Most of these have no landlines and their mob numbers and email addresses (if they have one) change frequently. I wonder whether studies have been carried out on such disenfranchised and hard to reach potential voters? Will they turn out on the day, or will the usual sense of pointlessness that is at the heart of so much poverty kick in, and reflect in apathy? I was talking to a high profile Yes campaigner yesterday and we were agreeing that maybe the best strategy to win this is to largely forget about trying to change the moneyed middle classes, and focus instead on those whose democratic voice has rarely been heard. Registration, registration, registration is what matters. Never mind trying to persuade Yes/No, just get folks registered, then when they get their voting card let them think how they want to use it.

    The vote of the poor could be a gamechanger. Another segment is women, and youth. Interesting that this latest poll suggests signs of a gender convergence. And on youth, note the Yes Saltires being flown at T-in-the-Park last night and the BBC unable to avoid them. The youth vote will have got past their exams and all that anxiety by that stage and will have had a summer of cultural events to think and talk about Scotland's future.

    Other gamechangers? Westminster's failure to have been properly potty trained at prep school will focus a few minds. The Salmond-Darling debate, of course, and generally, a return from the holidays and end of the Games with a focussing of minds of those who do not normally take an interest in politics. Then there's the nature of this debate - that it's not like a normal general election, and there'll be the battle between the head and heart. Thus far, nearly all debate has been in the head, but we must remember MacDiarmid (sorry), from his poem Good-bye Twilight: "You stir the heart, you think?/ ... but surely/ One of the heart's main functions is to supply the brain!" And so as Isabel Lindsay has been saying, it is time to up the tempo of feeling, of values, of that which dries passion rather than allowing the debate to remain framed (Lakoff) in the arid currency-riddled head zone.

    Another influence that could help is prominent fence-sitters. I know one recently retired very senior civil servant who is pondering coming out, and who would set a lot of people thinking. Such people tend to be caring conservative-small-c by nature and will probably break if they think there's a chance it will make a difference, otherwise they'll keep mum. As such, if one is a conspiracy theorist one could speculate that some of the polls might be spun so as to discourage, as momentum is the greatest danger to No at this stage.

    Why am I bothering with this debate? I am not a party political animal but I have spent all my life working on poverty, environment and challenging war and nuclear weapons. The calloused greed of parties we do not vote for sickens me. I just want us to have a full democracy - something that we have never, not since or before 1707, ever had.

  10. Woops - that should have read, "... that which drives passion" (not "dries"). And to add to possible gamechangers - another influence that is possibly impossible to measure is that on the one hand there is the tendency in the privacy of the polling booth for people to vote by their hip pockets because they think they won't be found out. However, will that influence be so strong this time round? If it's close-run, everybody's going to be asking everybody, "How did you vote?" and those who voted out of selfish reasons (which could mean either voting Yes or No depending on how they view their reasons) will be put in a position of either having to reveal themselves, or being secretive, or lying to save face. The concern about saving face may drive a differential voting pattern by which some of those whose politics are fear driven don't turn out on the day because they fear being asked how they voted by peer groups in which they have vested social or economic interests. This abstention effect would probably not be symmetrical between Yes and No. If on 19th Sept it's a No vote and you voted Yes, your No voting peers might smile sympathetically as they might to any failed idealist, because the status quo will just carry on. If, however, there's a Yes vote on 19th Sept and you voted No, it might be harder to feel a part of the new reality, and that's something that those who are susceptible to fear might feel driven by, and would prefer on the 18th to have had a diplomatic reason not to have made it own to the polling booth. All this ties in with the speculated "voting differential" between Yes and No motivations. How valid it is, who knows, but it is part of why, personally, my head tells me to heed the polls, but my heart says, "hold on - there's deeper factors also at play here - so hold fast."

    1. Jeez Alistair you wrote that at 8 oclock on a Sunday morning? You're a sharp one. Given me food for thought. I went dipping onto Lakoff the other day for some crumbs of wisdim because I too am worried about depression setting in come a 19th No result. As always all that remains is Hope. Thx for the contribution.

  11. James, are you saying that Curtice is placing 5s in the anti-indy category? My own experience of canvassing is that folk who say they are 5 believe they are in the middle. Someone saying he or she is a 5 is not thinking 'that places me on the anti-indy side'. That's completely wrong. 1,2,3 and 4 are anti-indy, 6,7,8,9 and 10 are pro-indy in the minds of the voter. In fact when you ask the question people often say, 'not sure, kind of neither one thing nor the other, put me down as a 5' or 'Still thinking about it, put me as a 5'. Until I read this article it had never occurred to me that 5 wasn't in the middle!

  12. It's the 'missing million' that have the No side terrified. If the polls are showing a close run thing, i'm confident the 'new' voters will add another 10-15% to the final vote.

  13. 10-15% to the final Yes vote.

  14. I'm starting to ask pax,I'm blackcab edinburgh,how they feel about referendum,alot beleive MSM spin,can't trust Salmond,oil will run out ect

  15. To be honest, I'm not surprised they're crowing about the result. Two months ago was four months from the referendum. Now is two months from the referendum. Of course they're pleased with it.

    I don't believe we're doing so badly, but it is discouraging when this sort of announcement is made. Perhaps deliberately timed to take the shine off the fairly good Survation poll only two days earlier?

    I'm sixty. I've wanted independence all my life and been actively working for it since I was in my thirties. If we win this now, I'll see an independent Scotland while I'm still working, while I've still got life left to enjoy it.

    If we lose, even if I'm still alive when we finally win, I'll be an old lady. What will my condition be, after 20 years in a country with no NHS and no care assistance for the elderly and energy bills going through the roof?

    I mourn for the people we've lost on the way, recently. Allison, Margo and others. I don't want to go through the hell of disappointment in September and then end up in their position.

    So this matters to me. I become irrationally despondent when these polls show up. I become enraged by our media, who are selling my country down the river and deceiving my innocent countrymen.

    That's probably the point.

  16. I haven't seen the data sets for this poll yet - I assume they aren't published yet ?

    Been trying to make some sense of Prof C's comments on the way the Undecideds are splitting.

    He doesn't make it easy, its like one of those maths puzzles.

    So, here goes :

    Of the 21% undecided three quarters gave a response on the 1 - 10 scale = 16% (but could be 15% with rounding).

    Of that 16% more than two thirds (= 11%) are in the range 4 - 7. So that means that 4% gave an answer which you or I would call definite Yes or No but they still class themselves as Undecideds.

    We also know that of the 16% twice as many put themselves between 1 - 5 as do between 6 - 10. Lets say that's an 11% / 5% split (but it could be 10% / 6% or even 10% / 5%).

    So we have 7% on 5; 4% between 1 - 4 and 5% between 6 - 10.

    Assume we'll see all of the data when the tables are published....

  17. The only reason that the Scotland haters are still in the lead is the BBC. Without their propaganda Yes would have a clear lead and everybody knows it.

    The BBC is going to join their fellow traitors, labour-in-Scotland and suffer an unpleasant death post No.

    People actively campaigning for their own destruction to appease our blessed overlords. Scum now, then and forever.

  18. I am reading that there were more women pro indy in this poll than men.

    Surely this has to be looked at susupiciously as I don't think this has happened before and may suggest some tampering with methodology?

  19. Five s actually the most common response rom undecideds. They and canvassers take it to mean 'kin of in the middle'.

  20. Glad you are there James.
    I need rational explanations of polls and though I am convinced that the only poll that matters is on the 18th of September ,I find myself just as depressed by these headlined polls as a previous contributor - then I check out your blog and have a wee smile!

  21. In terms of people getting panicked about what this poll means for the campaign I think it’s important to get this into perspective.

    The Poll of Polls has been hovering around 11% (+/- 1%) for a couple of months now.
    The same thing happened at the start of the year. After a Yes surge in the autumn the PoP was stuck at 14.5% (+/- 1%) through Jan, Feb and most of March. We then saw another Yes surge in Apr / May.

    The No campaign is acutely aware of the need to be seen to halt any Yes momentum (one of the big barriers to people moving to Yes is till the belief that it will never happen so why even consider the arguments). It’s no accident that 2 YouGov polls came out in quick succession in early July along with the Kellner intervention (I think the ‘target’ of the Kellner intervention wasn’t really Survation but actually ICM, it will be interesting to see if any alterations to ICM methodology in this poll).

    It’s important to remember that time isn’t linear in these campaigns, more people will probably make up their minds in the last 3 weeks as in the previous 3, or even 6, months. Lots of people who are still instinctive No’s are open to persuasion as they engage with the arguments, come across friends / family who are committed Yes and see a Yes momentum building.

    No-one said this was going to be easy. While we can all find aspects of the Yes campaign we know could and should be done better it’s still miles ahead of what the other side have managed to deploy, and most of the work is done by local Yes and sector groups on the ground anyway. The PoP didn’t move from 21.6% to 11% by accident. Keep on doing what we are doing and this is there to be won.

    Based on the frequency of polls over the past few months I think we can expect another Panelbase poll in the next week or so. Then a gap until we get YouGov, TNS, Survation, ICM and P/Base in early to mid August. By that stage the c/w games will be over as will most of the holidays and the Salmond / Darling debate will have taken place. We will then get a better feel for how we are positioned as we go into the main part of the campaign.

    And if anyone needs cheered up go look at some of the photos of Yes Saltires at T in the Park from yesterday…

  22. Great post, Ivan, thanks.

  23. Ivan : "So we have 7% on 5; 4% between 1 - 4 and 5% between 6 - 10."

    I think it may turn out to be more complicated than that, because I got the impression that not all of the 7% on 5 were necessarily undecideds on the headline question (as counter-intuitive as that sounds). I was slightly confused by Professor Curtice's article as well, because there were a couple of statements that could be interpreted more than one way. For example, do Yes need all of the people on 5 to get to 49%, or all of the people on 4-7?

    In recent times, ICM have published their datasets on Monday, so we should find out tomorrow.

    "Surely this has to be looked at suspiciously as I don't think this has happened before and may suggest some tampering with methodology?"

    Not necessarily - that sort of odd finding can be thrown up by random sampling variation. Obviously the margin of error is bigger for half the sample than for the whole sample, so it could be that ICM just randomly found too many Yes women and too few Yes men. It'll be interesting to see if they have once again weighted women too high in the overall sample, although obviously that won't make any difference in this particular poll if the gender gap has closed completely. What will have made a difference is any ongoing error in the country of birth breakdown (ie. too many respondents born in England and too few born in Scotland), so that'll be the first thing I'll check.

  24. I think people are getting a bit theatrical over the difference between a yes and a no vote.

    The people at the bottom of the pile will still be at the bottom of the pile after a YES vote

    The rich will still have their money and carry more clout after a YES vote

    The only people who should genuinely gnash their teeth in the event of a NO vote are the politicians who thought they were going to be elevated to leading a country, plus the armies of lawyers rubbing their hands at the fees for sorting the separation out.

    Perhaps that is the really depressing thought.

  25. Oh what an awful prospect. We'd have politicians in our parliament and some people might make some money out of helping us with the form-filling!

    Better vote No folks. (Like a lot of the fat-cat lawyers are doing, wonder why.)

    What a miserable, pathetic reason to vote to abolish your own country, instead of taking your place among the nations of the world.

    Show me one country that has regretted becoming independent, if you can.

  26. You're confusing "country" with "ruling elite" rolfe

    Countries that become independent don't give it up because that would mean the people who found themselves in charge giving up power.

    Cynical yes, pathetic no, as it means I realise my life prospects are better controlled by my own individual actions than hoping the stars align at the rainbow's end.

  27. "Cynical yes, pathetic no, as it means I realise my life prospects are better controlled by my own individual actions than hoping the stars align at the rainbow's end."

    Try telling "you are the master of your own destiny" to someone queueing at a food-bank.

  28. Actually it's the politicians who are presently making a killing out of careers in the UK Parliament that stand to lose most. That's why the No side is completely dominated by them. People at the bottom will always be at the bottom. Oh well let's not do anything to change anything then. Funny that that way of thinking is espoused by someone so convinced of the individual's capacity to change. History shows that collective action can bring about all kinds of fundamental alterations to the way society functions. Independence is not going to create a perfect society but the notion that we should accept the gross inequalities and mismanagement which characterise the UK without trying to something about it is not acceptable to many of us.

  29. Countries that become independent don't give it up because that would mean the people who found themselves in charge giving up power.

    Well that would mean UKIP and the [Eurosceptic] Tories are talking shite I suppose.

  30. Doesn't explain either why the classes most associated with reaction and conservatism are putting so much money into the No campaign. They clearly don't believe constitutional change is without its winners and losers.

  31. When considering all polling data we should always bare in mind the phenomenon of polled Yessers being more likely to physically vote on the day, than those stating No intentions.

    Some surmise that this may add 2 or 3% to Yes on the day.

  32. Chris : Unfortunately, many pollsters have factored differential turnout into their headline numbers already. The only firms that don't use a turnout filter or turnout weighting are YouGov and TNS.

  33. There is also the Cameron/Tory factor as it may become clearer to voters that te/they may remain in power.

    Expected UKIP coalition may affect voting.

    Orange March may persuade a few to Yes.

    Farage's intended Glasgow event may also persuade some to Yes.

    Hell, the housing bubble may even burst before the Vote.

  34. Thanks James for that info on Differential Turnout, especially for giving me the phrase to refer to the phenomenon.

  35. I'm a Yes supporter too, but to be honest, I am concerned about our polling.

    Not one poll has us ahead. Not one! The MSM is bias, oh yeah! Absolutely it is, but still we are meant to be a "canny(sic, fucking sic and patronising)" people so why can't we se through that?

    I'm so fed up of britScots. They want their cake (Scottish football, rugby, etc) and eat it (UK olympics, Labour etc).

    We are not going to win this because Scots are not small c conservative, they are big C COWARDS.
    I've heard people moan/complain about the bedroom tax, Westminister, IDS, Scottish Labour, corruption, yet they are voting no.

    They are voting no. Not due to any love of Britain, far from it - but Yes implying we'll be in the EU, the pound, taxation. Of course the MSM haven't helped at all with their knockout headlines, but we have no counter arguement.
    "They're bluffing" does not work! I've tried it and used various examples with undecided people.

    We are not courageous people unlike the Chileans who voted ironically NO to Pinochet, or Montenegrins who faced a similar battle in 2006 or even the Quebecers who by a bawhair rejected indy.

    I'm drunk I'll admit that, but I'm gutted at the lack of desire from our own people to vote for independence or how selfish and pathetic 'what's in it for me/I'm alright Jack' crew.

    How are Yes going to turn this around? There is absolutley no momentum with us. None, I'll no doubt be blasted as a concern troll or a no voter, but couldn't be further from the truth.

    I'm just deflated that it seems most Scots don't want us to be a real country.

    I hope so much we have something up our sleeve. I fear we don't though. We are relying on a great Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup (I hope we win as many golds, and Europe romp home), but we are relying on sportsmen for national pride.

    Come on Scotland!WAKE UP.

  36. "No momentum" with us? Just think back less than a year, when YouGov were showing a No lead of 67-33, and the No campaign were talking about "Panelbias" because Panelbase "only" showed a No lead of about 10 points. Now we have ICM - the UK's leading polling firm - showing a No lead of around 10 points, and the No campaign suddenly think that's a cause for riotous celebration.

    That's the measure of our progress. As the Poll of Polls shows, the No lead has been essentially halved since last autumn. Yes, we have to overturn the remaining lead in a much shorter timescale, but as Ivan points out there is no reason to expect a linear trend - many people will make up their minds (and change their minds) at a very late stage.

  37. By the way, the Ryder Cup is taking place a weeks or so after the referendum, so apart from the sense of anticipation it won't have any impact.

  38. Have a listen to the Derek Bateman podcast if you need a boost, many intelligent people involved in the campaign talking very positively about our prospects.

  39. Just 29.5% 'completely against' independence according to ICM's poll. Where have wee seen this before? In TNS's 'I support No and won't change my mind about voting for it'. That should worry No a lot; these are the people they can rely on to vote No on the day if they vote. If these people think No is a dead cert, they might not bother voting.

    People also think if the referendum was tomorrow, Yes would get 47%. Or do they? In February, people were asked to think again based on what their Yes guess gave No. When they thought again, they said 53% Yes (if I'm reading tables right).

    Where's the silent patriotic British majority?

    I note they haven't got Country of Birth data so we can't know how far they are off again this time.

    The slight rise in No looks simply like variance. The Yes drop is associated with people saying DK instead of Yes which could be explained by an actual backing off, or simply shyness.

  40. 26% of Women completely against independence
    34% of men

    46% of Men NET against
    43% Of women net against

    37% of Men NET for
    37% of women NET for

    Ex DK
    73% of women think Holyrood should control all taxes and welfare.
    68% of men think the same

    Just 29% of women think a No will result in some unspecified powers.
    52% of men think something might happen.

    So women more for independence / more against the union than men.

    Yeh, this all makes sense.

    Nothing funny going on here at all.

    People being totally honest.

    Seems for this poll we just had a higher No in the sample (unweighted base) to start with and that just filtered through as it did with TNS.

    Also a few more Yes people (as indicated by the 1-10) saying DK when put on the spot = shyness showing again.

    Anyway, I wouldn't want to be No going into a referendum with only 29.5% of people solidly backing the union.

    Standing in that booth it will be hard to say No if your heart says 'Independence would be nice'. And it's only one vote. I mean if I just swallowed hard, took a deep breath and went ahead and ticked Yes that wouldn't change anything would it? What harm could it do? I mean it's just one vote...

  41. Incidentally, I was phoned by Mori on my landline on the evening of 1 July. Don't quite know how that fits with respect for the telephone preference service to avoid cold calls, but never mind, the young woman had a warm Scottish accent and there's the first point in influencing response, because I usually just tell cold-callers that I'm sorry but I don't take cold calls. She asked if she could ask some questions. I asked whether it was for the referendum. She said it included that, on which basis I agreed to proceed. There's a second point introducing bias - in this case, pro yes. She said it would take 15 minutes. I almost quit at that stage, but I had a friend in the room with me, he was interested to hear what they'd ask on speakerphone, so I agreed to continue. She then asked my age. 58. Wrong age sample for what they were seeking. Said they'd maybe contact me another time.

    I was very struck throughout this process how much my decisions whether to cooperate were influenced by subtle factors including, I have to confess, my own prejudices as to the level of connection I felt with the interviewer.

  42. Landline telephone polls (MORI) are now hitting all time low response rates of 20%. That means they are not reaching 80% of the population.

    There is a particular problem reaching those in inner cities where landline use is going down disproportionately (in rural areas landlines are still popular due to poorer moblie coverage).

    Poorer people and younger generations are most likely to be mobile only. Also those most likely to be Yes.

    You can see this reflected in MORI polls in weightings. Results in particular show MORI respondents to be older, more conservative and more British as a result. However, there is also a likely shy factor here due to non-anonymity.

  43. I had to write to the Daily Record,not expecting any chance of publishing but it least got it off of my chest;Sir,I read Kezia Dugdale's column page 8 Daily Record 14/7/2014,and was NOT amazed at her blatant lie.She claimed "Thousands of Scots cast their referendum ballot this weekend" the amount of people who voted at an impromptu ballot was 576 (thousands indeed) 441 voted no = 71.8%,it was described as a "fun ballot" done at the Corby Highland Gathering.Can we expect a confession and the truth be told? probably not,as I have came to expect from members of the Labour Party in Scotland.I am beyond disgust for her and her type,the truth is always far away from them,pity us all if there is a no vote here,we will find out that its party before people from them.Its those that are convinced to vote no under the pretext doled out by Labour,that will feel the worst,conned again,fooled for trusting.Come on give the people the real facts,tell about the oil and how its only a bonus as Scotland is a country well able to sustain itself and services,from what we already have.Scotland exports food,which unless you are different from all the rest of us, we need,but of the food we are net exporters,and guess what that means we feed ourselves and have plenty left over(about 27%) to export.Now England is a net importer of food and I cant see them deciding not eat out of spite and malice can you? When more are eating from food banks,and feeling the cold,come winter will you all be happy that you stuck with the Empire and the Establishment,that have got away with paedophilia,rape and whatever else preserve the Establishment at all costs.That is what you are asking people to stay with? well no thanks its yes to independence,perhaps that is why so many in Westminster are so desperate to keep things as they are Hmm. Regards

  44. Still no data sets available for this Poll ?

  45. Guess what. 6% (25) of people who answered 'N' to Y/N promptly went on to scale themselves as Yes on 1-10. 9.5% (42) scaled themselves 5+ DK/in the middle to Yes.

    In contrast, just 1.5% of Yes voters made this 'mistake'. In their case it likely is just a mistake. 5 people.

    Oops. Those shy Yes voters should be more careful.

    And there's more of them who didn't give themselves away so easily.

    Where are those missing Yes 9's?

    Looks like they said DK/soft No 5-4.

  46. Thanks both Scottish Skier and Cynical Naturalist for comments above.