Friday, August 8, 2014

Marking your card for tonight's Survation poll

There's a new Survation poll on its way tonight, but unless it appears very soon I'm not going to be able to cover it with any speed, because I've got an early start tomorrow and I'll be away all day.  (That should fuel the cynicism of our favourite No trolls!)  What we know so far is that it shows some kind of increase in the No lead since the Survation poll last week showing Yes still on an all-time high of 47% - that's obvious from Alan Roden's eagerness to talk about the poll so early in the evening, and by the usual assortment of thuggish No campaign staffers who have retweeted him.  So there are three broad possibilities -

1) This is a minor, margin-of-error increase in the No lead of no statistical significance, but the No campaign are latching onto it in an effort to generate an impression of post-debate "momentum".

2) This is a more substantial increase in the lead, but is caused by a more extreme form of 'margin of error noise', and is still of no great significance.  (A previous example is when ICM showed an increase in the No lead from 3% to 12% a few months ago, but in retrospect it's clear that nothing had happened.)

3) It's a substantial increase in the No lead, which is genuinely caused by a reaction to the debate.  If so, there is absolutely no cause for panic, because post-debate bounces are often built on candy-floss.  (Witness the Cleggasm, which was ultimately followed by the Liberal Democrats suffering a net loss in seats.)  Indeed, in this case, Darling's so-called "win" in the debate wasn't even real - the only instant poll on the night pointed to a draw.  So a bounce built purely on the spin the media have put on a debate is likely to recede even faster.

I'll update the Poll of Polls as soon as I can, although I suspect by then we may have even more polls from the Sunday papers.


  1. This really plumbs the depths of analysis. Any remaining credibility you had has disappeared.

  2. Kerching! That moderately impressive form of paid trolling must be worth at least 11p from McDougall HQ.

  3. Our comical BritNat twit seems averse to accurate analysis James so this should please him.

    What I said 7 hours ago.

    "Has the U.K. sent any special forces boots on the ground? We simply don't know because the Tory Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary and PM won't tell us. Though since we now know just how early it was that the UK sent in boots on the ground to Libya, (current status basket case with widespread carnage - military intervention backfired there too amazingly enough) it's a fairly safe bet that there is."

    Front page of the Mirror for tomorrow.

    "Daily Mirror ‏@DailyMirror

    SAS deployed in Iraq

    It's also just emerged Cameron has also not ruled out airstrikes and is now considering military action and airstrikes.

    Maybe our 'Better Together' trolls could persuade Darling to return to scaremongering about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq again to help Cameron?

  4. The dead give-away on the debased London-centric UK media (including the few supposedly ‘Scottish’ papers) was the near parallel responses to the Salmond-Darling tv debate and the earlier Edinburgh speech by Bank of England Governor Carney. In the case of Carey he gave a sober, circumspect, and measured delivery on the possibilities and attendant risks and issues around currency options following a referendum Yes. He specifically and explicitly stated that he was not offering a view on the desirability or otherwise of any specific option. He was careful to explain that he had no mandate or authority on such matters. The UK London-centric media responded with a tangibly uniform, almost cloned, near-hysteria that included the likes of: Salmond sunk; joint currency plan scuppered; end of independence currency plans. It was almost unnerving the way in which that same media responded in the same way to the Salmond-Darling debate – with a mixture of near-hysteria headlines, personalised vindictiveness, contortion and sheer ignoring of the inconvenient. This similarity extends to some supposedly ‘Scottish’ newspapers that resorted to insidious allegations and assertions (all evidence-absent) about Salmond’s personal position. All this is an instructive insight into the operation of part of what passes for the the UK political system.

  5. No - 50% Yes - 37% Undecided - 13%

  6. Don't panic Captain Mainwaring!

  7. "Don't panic Captain Mainwaring!"

    You sending him to Iraq too?

  8. Daily Mail calling it a 'record lead' for Survation, ignoring the Sunday Mail poll in Jan.

  9. This site used to provide reasonable analysis (even from my eyes as a solid No voter).

    Now you're just a desperate and deluded joke who has lost all credibility outside of the WoS and NewsnetScotland type crowd.

  10. I agree with the last comment. Now I only visit for some light relief. The analysis tonight in ADVANCE of a poll went beyond the usual and is side splittingly funny.

  11. All these long-time 'anonymous' readers who are only now crawling out of the woodwork to comment. Weird.

  12. IF ONLY JAMES DIDN'T RIGHT HIS TRIPE ABOUT PLAN B AND BUSSES. IF ONLY ALEX SALMOND LISTENED TO FUCKING EVERYONE THAT KNEW WE NEEDED TO HAVE A WRITTEN DOWN PLAN B. Can we please modernise and move from James terrible post for the IBT and the obvious NO bounce from Salmonds decision not the answer question. A PLAN B FOR THE MEDIA HAPPENS NOW.

  13. Why are you shouting?

    All the Unionist Press, and most Unionists, had dismissed any Poll "blips" in advance of the face-to-face, when they believed that Darling would be beaten - so why get all excited about the "blip" now?

  14. TUD, nobody believes the comedy BritNat trolls on here posing anonymously are anything other than desperate No supporters.

    That being the case, they might want to explain why it is that despite a couple of lackluster performance in debates against Iain Gray, and against the backdrop of unremitting negative unionist press and bad polling, the SNP still won a landslide in 2011.

    The reason they don't understand that is because so many of them are astroturfing tory twits who know fuck all about scottish politics.

    If we started panicking and getting hysterical over a few bad polls we wouldn't have won that landslide. There is no prospect whatsoever of the Yes side giving up or letting a few anonymous fuckwits worry us.

    Little Ed is looking ever more like he's going to lose and the tories will win next year. But that must be great news for No? Right?

    Let's also hear how loudly the Britnats cheer on another Iraq War if they are so confident the scottish public will be happy with more of the same from westminster.

    Just two things that will have just a bit more consequence to the final result than a a bad poll or two with plenty of time still to go and more debates still to come.

  15. Blinking HystericalAugust 9, 2014 at 1:07 AM

    Interesting that they keep plugging the "no complacency" line, it appears to be a co-ordinated tweet from the SLabourers this evening.

    Now why would they be worried about complacency folks? Any ideas? Is it because:

    a) they don't have any grassroots activists and are therefore at a disadvantage on the doorsteps?

    b) the no voters mistakenly believe that no is way ahead so they might not turn out to vote?

    c) they aren't doing as well as the headlines are suggesting?

    d) all of the above

  16. The only bogie is up your nose, pal - right next to that tree growing out of it.

  17. "Now why would they be worried about complacency folks? Any ideas? "

    Well to be fair the other sure sign that they are far from confident that the polls are giving the full picture, and are still panicking behind the scenes, would be the hilarious spectacle of BritNats wanting Darling to chicken out of any other debates.


  18. James, I know you don't want to ban/delete the anonymous nutters on here but I for one would welcome it.

    I actually don't mind some of the no commenters like Expat who engage in something resembling debate, but there are others who are becoming abusive or just shouting meaningless insults or baseless claims.

    They are the blogging equivalent of the weans who leave a burning turd on your doorstep then ring the doorbell and run away. All they offer is "You're shite, quick, run..."

  19. The PB twits are beside themselves unsurprisingly. It seems a shame to spoil their fun and point out that after the first Obama debate I was the ONLY one on PB who dismissed it and correctly predicted it would hardly stop better performances and the U.S. electorate from distrusting Romney. He was manifestly out of touch with the public and had been since the GOP circus.

    And so it proved.

    Despite reams of PB Romney's shrieking about a 'gamechanger' and 'narrative changer' they were full of shit.

  20. Tuesdays debate has had a massive effect in the pub tonight, people who have kept out of the debate over the last few months asking questions about CU. Our main yes supporter stormed out in a huff.
    I cannot say I know anyone who has gone from yes to no, but something has changed.

  21. cmon james youre better than this. 3 reasons why the poll doesnt matter, even before the result is known? why bother having a whole blog about polls then?

    dont fall into the bunker mentality of socialist worker flogger Mick and his dog on a string Patrick. You're a clever guy, you can add up for one thing unlike the rest. this result will not define you, move on.

  22. That's a 4, maybe a 5, mysterious anonymous person who has never commented on James blog before.

    You should have added something about your 'main yes supporter' holding up a pound coin up and shouting "WHYYYYY!!!" at it, before 'storming out in the huff'. Just for the full comedy effect.


    Don't you idiots get it? You're about as convincing as Cameron or Miliband trying to pretend they're working class.

    Still great fun to see admittedly. No danger of No supporters letting one poll get to us with comedy this good on offer. :)

  23. Just keep saying "NHS Privatisation risks" Mick, that's what really gets them going, they can't stand it, it drives them crazy. It's why yes is going to win and they know it. LOL.

  24. Hi James. Would you kindly mind explaining how you think every single increase in polling for No is simply margin of error "noise" Yet a 1% increase in Yes is totally legitimate?

  25. You still not put your little tin hat on and pissed off to Iraq, sayloltotwatman.

    C'mon son, tell us all how much you supported the Iraq War and think another one will be good for the No campaign.

    After all, it's not as if Darling is going to have to explain in the next debate why he supported the Iraq War to the hilt and happily scaremongered about Weapons of Mass Destruction while he did so.

    Or didn't you realise that it's going to be front and centre now that UK military action is on the table?

    Ahhh.. you didn't did you? Well ye ken noo.

  26. Our pub watched the debate and everyone was friendly.

    The currency was indeed discussed after the debate and everyone agreed rUK would be a bankrupt wreck without a currency union. The subject was dismissed after about 30 seconds when everyone continued to chat about oil reserves, no more tories, the corrupt first past the post system/HOL and the lies about more powers.

    The only people you are kidding about the currency union is yourselves.

  27. I for one am worried about this poll. We need to address the currency issue now but it's difficult to see the way out.

  28. You are hardly "for one" yet another mysterious anonymous poster who turns up out of the blue.

    There's fucking loads of you making us laugh on here tonight. At least put some effort into it for god's sake. :D

  29. Hey, Anonymous 1,2,3,4 and 5, is coming on here with your transparent drivel your best attempt at "No Complacency"? HAHAHA Good luck with that then, lol.

    One thing I have begun to understand this week is how much more dramatically FUCKED the rUK will be if you lose Scotland. You are much more desperate to hold on to us than I realised. rUK is fucked and Labour is fucked. Wow, you guys are so fucked.

  30. I'm actually really disappointed at the standard of the comedy trolls, Mick, I don't believe for a second that they are professionals. They are probably the same kids bussed up from down south or something, they haven't a clue. I bet they don't even know what currency union is.

  31. There shall be a wailing and gnashing of teeth...Hang on, it's begun.

  32. Tora! Tora! Tora!

  33. You know what happens chaps, a few days later the facts start emerging from the polling methodology and pop!, your bubble burst again.

    This week the panic campaign has shit it's pants and went all out with smears fears and fraud, with the STV exposed for dishonesty as they loaded the audience.

    I wonder why they are all so scared?

    So of all the papers, who would be the first to get the MSM/debate bounce oh! the ever balanced and honest Daily Mail! haha.

    Well we Yes voters all know we can trust them eh!

    It's funny watching all these people called 'Anonymous' getting into a right lather, bless, I think I'll leave you to enjoy this fleeting moment of good news for the paid No campaigners.

    I wonder what pollster will be given the privilege of recording the Yes bounce after Ed Millibands disaster today?

    Yes English business will loose hundreds of millions of pounds, but if Scotland votes Yes we will have the No Currency Union Promise in out general election manifesto!

    1, Labour will have a manifesto pledge about something they will not do!
    2. Every single Scottish Labour MSP/MP/Councilor/Activist/Voter will now be faced with the question of: 'if Scotland votes Yes, will I still allow an English PM tell me that I must act against my nations best interest and support what's best for getting Labour into power at Westminster.

    If you think the debate on Tuesday has got the pubs talking, just wait 'till you hear what Labours heartlands are saying about Ed Milliband.

  34. Hey SNTYM that's a nice turn of phrase about me being Micks 'dog on a string'

    Duncan Hothersal used nearly the exact same phrase about me about six months ago, because I agreed with something Rev Stu said...


    Of Course!

  35. @ Patrick "You know what happens chaps, a few days later the facts start emerging from the polling methodology and pop!, your bubble burst again."

    Well the facts are already available online so if you want to take a stab at it feel free. What actually tends to happen in this situation is that regardless of how bad a poll may be for Yes, James will find some hitherto unseen positive angle and those who want to stick their head in the sand will have all the excuse they need.

    That's fine as it goes - there's nothing wrong with positive thinking - but in this case it's pretty hard to see a positive. The best we can say is "it's just one poll" or "maybe it's just a temporary blip and it'll even itself out again". I'd hope the SNP won't take that line because if this trend is repeated in several polls it should be taken as evidence that their debate strategy simply didn't work. Learning from your mistakes is important - there's still a debate to come and it would be very foolish indeed not to take the lessons from the first debate on board.

  36. Sunshine on CrieffAugust 9, 2014 at 4:37 AM


    Are you really sure the word RIGHT is the one you wanted to use?

  37. Sorry to burst our trollimg friends' bubble, but I had a quick look at the Survation datasets before I left this morning, and the swing is heavily concentrated among the small subsample of 16-24 year olds, who have again been upweighted by more than two-fold. In the raw unweighted data, the No lead is slightly lower than in the weighted figures - which is not unheard of, but is certainly unusual. In fact, on the unweighted figures the No lead is lower than it was in the unweighted figures from the last -but-one Survation poll.

  38. Isn't comparing unweighted polls like comparing apples and oranges? Surely it is the weighting that makes them directly comparable?

  39. I think the point is that a small sub sample carries a large statistical chance of being wrong. Up weighting that also up weights the chance of error. The smaller the sub sample the bigger the up weighting required and the larger the chance of error due to an unrepresentative sample of the populace ad well. It's a real enough effect. We'll need to see if other pollsters replicate survation result or not.

  40. Regards Patrick Roden's "dog on a string" remark:


  41. Salmonds government has just told local councils to submit MORE land in their local development plans suitable to be deemed suitable for wind turbines. This utopian Scotland will be an industrial estate run on cheap eastern European labour. For Salmond & his mates.

  42. Blinking HystericalAugust 9, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    James: Just read a comment on Wings that says that among the 16-25 year old age range that there's been something like a 15% swing from yes to no? Really? Only 23% of them are saying yes?

    And in Glasgow a 10 or 11% swing from yes to no, where yes is now apparently on 30%?

    And a 9% swing from yes to no amongst SNP voters?


    What do you think, all you Anonymous no voters who comment here? Is that exciting, welcome news to you? Are you pleased with your progress? Or do you recognise that these numbers are actually completely fantastical? From a registered pollster?

    None of us have ever even met anyone who has moved from yes to know yet this poll will have us believe that 15% of 16 to 25 year olds and 10% of Glasgwegians have?

    I'm actually embarrassed for the no campaign today, this is just so implausible. Anyone who defends this deserves ridicule.

  43. Yep, you are right, Patrick, just read back through the anonymous posters, they are definitely from the SLabber school of "we have no policies but vote for us cos we despise the SNPs with a passion."

    Away you go, you SLabbering fools, we can see right through you.

    That "Whataboutery" SNP wind farm comment above was definitely in response to the Milliband one, that must have hit a nerve, lol.

  44. I think the cartoon on Wings sums up the CU nicely and this poll had a very leading preamble on that topic.

    THE BIGGER THE LIE - Media Bias in the Scottish Independence Referendum

  45. @Blinking "What do you think, all you Anonymous no voters who comment here? Is that exciting, welcome news to you? Are you pleased with your progress? Or do you recognise that these numbers are actually completely fantastical? From a registered pollster?"

    This is a bit of a rhetorical question, but I'll give a serious answer. Polls are an inexact science - the standard sample is aiming at getting within 3% above or below actual public opinion 95% of the time. Clearly that leaves a lot of margin for error in a given poll so you have to wait for several polls to start showing movement before you declare a trend. So far we've had one poll - which for No voters is quite exciting no doubt, but it's still just one poll.

    However what's also true is that people simply don't like polls that go against their agenda. They pick minor abnormalities in polls they don't like and make exaggerated statements to the effect that they "don't count". Of course when the trend goes in the opposite direction we tend to just accept it.

    This kind of response has accompanied opinion polling since it started and even if a given polling company were getting it spot on they'd still be getting accused of bias/error. Part of this stems from the fact that people just don't understand how polls work: e.g. there were numerous people on Twitter last night arguing that a poll can't be accurate because "it's only asking 1,000 people" (as if the entire history of academic study into sampling never happened).

    The truth of course is that there is no grand conspiracy, polls are what they are: somewhat crude tools to gauge public opinion, but broadly useful if you recognise their limitations. In my view I think James knows his stuff, but he's also playing to the gallery here - the reaction is always to try and show why the No side is wrong, not to give an actual assessment of what the poll means or where we're headed with the referendum. I can see why he gets some stick for it to be honest because it does come across a bit Comical Ali if you're on the other side - you do wonder what kind of monumental polling collapse it would actually take for James to think a poll was a bad result for Yes.

  46. Can Blinking Hysterical show us that link for there claim that that new poll is claiming theres been a 10 % swing to no in Glasgow, 15 % under 25s and 9 % swing with SNP voters etc to make it look like the pilling companies are making wild claims.

    No can't show it, can you. You made it up Its just more desperate lies from desperate Gnats trying to discredit the polling companies.

  47. The main problem for all the Anonymous posters is that we were shouting about polling bias and irregularities before this latest nonsense poll!

    If you were to make a list of every 'Published' poll (that's another story) and put a CM next to every poll that has had a changed methodology from the previous poll, you would get quite a surprise.

    The 'Kellner correction Method' is just one of many new quirks, that has raised suspicion here on SGP.

    Can anyone please point me in the direction of any election/campaign in which all the polling companies have changed their methodology several times?

    Another point to consider is why the polling companies don't announce these changes and allow the media to scream about how the poll is 'a blow to Salmond' while knowing full well that they are not comparing 'like for like'?

    Even PanelBase the company who is one of the more Yes friendly (in results) did not mention the biased pre-amble that they were asking, and were only found out because a commenter on Wings had done a poll and had asked wings about this AS IT WAS A Wings POLL!

    So polling companies were asking biased questions that even the person paying for the poll didn't get told about.

    Please publish the headquarter addresses of the polling companies and see how many will depend on Westminster or London Business patronage, then ask yourself is it a reasonable suspicion to make that their is an old school tie type relationship that has built up in England over many centuries, in which anything that might be seen as a threat to the old boy network, would see a closing of ranks and some very suspicious behaviour?

    If the London Elite will turn a blind eye to paedophilia and close ranks to protect the establishment, are you seriously suggesting that the CEO's of these pollsters wouldn't also do so?

  48. The polling companies are in a no lose situation with their blatant propaganda.

    Post Yes nobody in Scotland will ever trust them again.

    Post No they get their lovely seats in the Hol and plenty of work for the Anti-Scotland parties. Job done.

  49. Changes well within margin of error.

    Yes -1.2
    No +3.0

    On the full base.

    Maybe it's real, but it very, very much within MoE. People must remember that No is weak so more volatile.

    The 16-24 group looks the culprit. James has mentioned this before; the high level of up-weighting of this group. They are over doubled here and yield a laughably low Yes.

    Probability says this would likely happen at some point. When you have to up-weight so much your MoE for that group gets very big very quickly. Sample of 66...

    Survation have magicked the views of ~8% of the population from out of nowhere essentially.

  50. First off I'd like to apologise and dissociate myself from these No supporters who (under Anoymous though please note some Anonymous posters here are serious and interesting) have decided to become abusive, triumphalist and shout insults in caps. Betty I am grateful for your comment I am not one of them and I am not. I post as Expat and Expat does not care if you ban insulting rude and useless anonymous posters of any colour. (Though I suspect this might be hard to do in practice)

    I must say too I found myself pitying one who tried it on with Mick Pork, I thought to myself they'd picked the wrong guy there for a fight and sure enough Mick Pork came back and roasted Anon alive much to this NO sympathiser's private amusement.

    So can we get back to business and it's a shame James is away though no doubt he'll handle this and other polls appearing tomorrow. I would point out Survation have themselves posted a very interesting account of their changed methodology on their own site, and I know James will be looking at this, I am not expert enough to follow it all but there does seem to be a whiff they are moving more towards YouGov's approach which I know will be greeted with fury by posters here. I think YouGov's record is fine but I've said that already enough times and I want to see Kellner answer the points James raised, maybe he will when they release their next Scottish poll

    Meanwhile I only really have one major reaction to the Survation poll (and I would agree with Yes supporters here we should disregard completely all the Mail bollocks that accompanied it). I do think there may be some debate effect but I know that may not last long. One contributor here made the interesttng analogy with the first Obama debate in 2012 but the point about that is Obama was just ahead when he made that mistake and though Romney came alongside him, soon Obama's narrow lead was back. It's hardly a great analogy for YES.

    What is far more significant I feel is that the polls may now be moving into line with each other as we get nearer the vote. They did this in Scotland in 1997 too where the SNP began to establish its solid lead around this point in the contest and never lost it even if right at the end (after YouGov got the size of the SNP vote right two weeks before polling) it was then wrongly trimmed down by some pollsters a few points.

    What seems to be happening now is the NO friendly polls are showing a shrinking lead but also the YES friendly polls are starting to move towards a bigger NO lead. And underneath this I still wonder if the only real shift in the vote has been a move towards YES that occurred this Spring (down I would say to more people aware of the contest) and a small movement of DK to YES more recently. But it is almost as if throughout all this the NO vote has held rock steady. After all even IPSOS MORI, a great poll for YES, showed no movement at all in the NO vote. New polls on Sunday will surely tell us.

    One other point. The odd thing about the currency/economy question is that i think if Salmond had tackled it head on the voters might well have been happy, it's the apparent prevarication that has not in my opinion gone down well. And leaving aide all the spin, to me Salmond dld look on the ropes in this part of the debate.

    Also, though I know you will all disagree I cannot possibly think in the event of YES anyone would sanction a currency union now if they ever would have. It is way way past the bluff stage. The electorate in the rest of the UK could never wear it, they see it as a free ride (ask them!) and their mood would not be enhanced by a YES vote. Indeed in the event of a YES vote I would expect a surge of 'Right we can do this on our own' in the rest of the UK in the role of the jilted lover! Jilted lovers tend to be unreasonable and self-harming in divorce don't forget! The currency has ceased to be, if it ever was, a neutral issue and become passionate.

  51. Interesting the pro-union cross-party manifesto pledge to block a currency union.

    Basically, if you are a unionist Labour/Tory/Lib voter, the very parties you support are openly saying they want to deny you your own currency even if you vote No /for them (but Yes wins). At the same time, they are saying Devo Max will never happen (requires currency union yet Scotland economically independent).

    I must admit I've never come across a campaign tactic where parties threaten to try and hurt people who actually support them and, at the same time, deny them them what they wish policy-wise. This is a global first surely?

    A debt-free Scotland is of course the side benefit. What a great start for an iScotland.

  52. @Scottish_Skier "A debt-free Scotland is of course the side benefit. What a great start for an iScotland."

    Westminster might be bluffing about a currency union (I doubt it to be honest as the political capital that's been invested is so large that it would be a monumental embarrassment now for any Westminster government to do a U-turn on it). However this particular line about "not taking on any of the debt if we don't get a currency union" is just mindless rhetoric.

    We all know that there would be a negotiation covering countless issues after a Yes vote. The debt and the currency are simply two of them. The idea that rUK would ever even consider agreeing to something that involves Scotland taking on none of the debt (a position that is completely indefensible at the best of times) is a fantasy. It's about as credible as Westminster saying they'll just demand a per capita share of the oil if they don't get what they want (i.e. not credible in the slightest).

  53. John Boyd, You don't seem to be factoring in the massive outcry from businesses that operate on both sides of the border, you know the ones: according to Milliband they stand to lose billions if there is no currency union. How will you ignore their hollers of objections?

    Do you really think that political capital will take priority?

    Can you imagine it? The PM saying, oh, it's a bit humiliating to do a U-turn so I'm afraid you will all have to take a massive hit, importers and exporters. I know that this will cause the stock markets to plummet with an knock on impact on pension funds, but hey, who cares as long as I'm not embarrassed"

    Is that what you are telling us will happen?

    What is more likely is that Osborne will resign on the 19th of September to be replaced with someone who supported a currency union "all along."

    Government humiliation averted : it was Osborne's idea all along.

  54. "Can you imagine it? The PM saying, oh, it's a bit humiliating to do a U-turn so I'm afraid you will all have to take a massive hit, importers and exporters. I know that this will cause the stock markets to plummet with an knock on impact on pension funds, but hey, who cares as long as I'm not embarrassed" Is that what you are telling us will happen?"

    You make that sound as if that's not how politics usually works - the EU, for instance, is even more beneficial to UK businesses than a currency union with Scotland, yet that isn't a guarantee we're going to stay in, is it? Study after study shows that immigration benefits the country, yet that doesn't mean we won't seek to restrict it. Politics is almost always incoherent.

    In any case it's pretty clear Westminster don't view a currency union in the terms you've described in the first place. There are real problems associated with it - chiefly the idea that you have to guarantee a foreign country's lending with joint-reserves for it to be stable - and in any case if we went down the sterlingisation route as an alternative there wouldn't be any increased transaction costs for rUK businesses. In fact Scotland using sterlingisation would arguably be a better situation for Westminster: no trade barriers, most of the Scottish financial services industry would relocate to England, no problem with the BoE acting as a lender of last resort for Scottish borrowing, etc.

    Whatever the currency situation may be, it's certainly not straightforward. It's become something of a mantra that we'll get a currency union and anyone who questions it is scaremongering, but I don't see how that can be credible at this point - voters certainly aren't buying it if you look at the percentage of those in the Survation poll advocating a plan B (including those on the Yes side). Jim Sillars is speaking a lot more sense on this topic than Salmond at the moment, the problem for Yes is that he's been marginalised from the campaign.

  55. John Boyd,

    Westminster/Treasury has already assumed all responsibility for their debt mountain and their is absolutely no legal requirement for Scotland to take any of it, even though it has offered to do so.

    On the other hand, recognised ─▒nternational law would most definitely ensure that Scotland's geographical share of oil(approx 93%) would be outwith Westminster's reach, after Independence.

    Negotiations would certainly be critical in every area, but legalities are also extremely important as well.

  56. "The Scottish Government has refused to publish a ‘plan B’ for an independent Scotland's currency, in case a ‘currency union’ is not agreed to by the rest of the UK.
    Do you believe the Scottish Government should draw up alternative options to a ‘currency union’ ahead of the referendum on September 18, 2014?"

    Tsk, tsk survation.

    No leading questions in this poll huh.

  57. Congratulations James, on attracting some of the worst trolls that No has to offer to your site. "Cybernats" eh. Like there's no CyberUnionist or CyberTories out there!

    It's just one poll, things can and do change, the ground game is important.

    And what do No supporters expect from a pro-independence blog in the face of a bad poll? James to throw his hands up in the air in defeat and despair?

    All that said, of course, these are worrying times for Yes.

    And as I've said before in the interests of openess, I lean No.


  58. On the currency question, I do think this is a problem I'm afraid.

    As the reality looms larger, people will get more twitchy about practicalities, rightly or wrongly.

    "It's our Pound and we're keeping it" needs to be fleshed out a bit.


  59. "However this particular line about "not taking on any of the debt if we don't get a currency union" is just mindless rhetoric."

    What would Scotland use to service Sterling debt if it can't print Sterling while the rUK can? It can't pay in hard cash (or e.g. gold) if the rUK can just print out of thin air...

  60. "All that said, of course, these are worrying times for Yes."

    Quite the opposite.

    No needs 60%+ to win, at least for a few more parliaments. Ideally 70% to put the matter to bed for a generation.

    Yes needs but 50%+1.

    This is why the number of trolls is on the up. Nerves.

    For sure e.g. 47% Yes would be disappointing, but it would also be a disaster for the union and a large victory for Yes.

    Just would be a lot less messy if we get it over and done with this time.

  61. "One contributor here made the interesttng analogy with the first Obama debate in 2012 but the point about that is Obama was just ahead when he made that mistake and though Romney came alongside him, soon Obama's narrow lead was back. It's hardly a great analogy for YES."

    I'm afraid that is very far from the point and I made it clear what the point was. It was about the fundamentals which, yet again, boiled down to trust. Romney and the GOP circus made it abundantly clear long before the debate that their being seen as out of touch and mistrusted by the public was going to lose them that election. The lacklustre first performance by Obama simply did not change those fundamentals which is why I dismissed his performance at the time.

    What you are describing is a poll blip that was not contingent on the relative polling numbers. The polls are an imperfect snapshot they do not drive public opinion for a win or a loss however much that myth is repeated or however many political leaders wish that they did. We have had two mass tests of public opinion in scotland in the shape of 2007, and even more acutely in 2011, to prove that beyond all doubt.

    There can be some cases where a fundamental like trust is not the most significant factor but they are rare. Those tend to be where the trust numbers are pretty much equal on both sides or between a number of parties. That does not mean equally good but can also mean equally bad. Case in point - Cameron, Clegg and Miliband. The other way in which trust is mitigated as a driving force is when there is little to no polarisation of issues and the choices on offer are broadly the same with no glaring divisions dominating that election/referendum.

    The Obama Romney contest was dominated by extreme polarisation of views which, again, was made abundantly clear at the GOP circus which hammered home how important trust would be.

    The Independence referendum is Yes or No. If there was the slightest doubt that it would be polarising with trust being the driving force then Cameron, Clegg and little Ed have removed it by making the only issue they want to talk about utterly contingent on trust.

    If we were to believe the wall to wall unionist press and media spin you would naturally assume that Darling had won scots over and the issue was done and dusted. Not so.

    Little reported (of course) but somewhat tellingly, 40% of scots think westmisnter is bluffing beating the 39% who do not in the Survation poll. That runs counter to the unionist narrative that Darling "wiped the floor" with Salmond on currency. Or it simply proves that no matter how good they perform on that subject they will never win over a big majority of scots into thinking they can trust westminster on that and many other subjects. Something that should be far more worrying for No than they appear to yet realise.

    Here is why. These are the fundamentals of the entire Independence referendum.

    If you are a Yes supporter and you haven't seen them already you need to look at them now. If you are a No supporter look away now. ;)

  62. "No needs 60%+ to win, at least for a few more parliaments. Ideally 70% to put the matter to bed for a generation.

    Yes needs but 50%+1."

    Not sure about that. In Quebec No won by just over 1% in 1995 yet it's been off the agenda for 20 years (and not likely to come back on the agenda any time soon). It took them two referendums to get there of course, but everyone in 1995 said it would come back and it hasn't.

    I've no doubt a close No vote will keep the issue alive, but there's no inevitability about it. Let's be clear that it has never been the case in contemporary history that a majority of Scots have consistently backed independence. The Scottish Social Attitudes survey has asked about independence since 1999 and support has always been stable at around 20-35% (never any higher). In 2012 it was at 23% so it wasn't on an upward trend before the campaign.

    That's probably the baseline level of support and what we're seeing in the campaign is the natural fluctuation you can get with a passionate campaign like this. The Yes side have done a good job of attracting floating voters, people temporarily alienated by the crisis, people who don't like the Tories and so on. It's unlikely that represents a lasting change in underlying attitudes though - take Salmond away, take Cameron away, create a slightly more favourable economic situation (all feasible in say 15 years when it might be possible to hold a referendum) and it could be completely different. I think we tend to ignore just how favourable the underlying situation is to the Yes campaign in terms of the current government and the worst economic crisis we've had in living memory. If Yes can't win this time (and it doesn't look likely at this point) it might never win.

  63. Scottish_Skier: I disagree. Westminster never expected things to get to this stage, and if there's a No vote, no matter how narrow, they'll ensure it can never happen again. The lines between Scotland and England will be stealthily blurred, the powers of the parliament will be gradually ceded to the Scotland Office and that'll be that.

    We voted Yes for devolution in 1979 and it took 20 years for it actually to happen. You really think there's any chance of any of us living to see independence if there's a NO?

    We have to make it clear to people that there will be no second chances here. It's not "safe" for an undecided to vote No and think about it for another few years.

  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

  65. Anon: I'd disagree with you also, to an extent. I'm not sure there's much evidence either way, but I think it's perfectly possible that the economic crisis has a net benefit to No. It's not uncommon to encounter people who sympathise with Yes, but believe it's too risky to do it under the present circumstances.

    I'd suggest it's these people in particular, in fact, to whom we have to get across that there won't be another chance.

  66. Sorry to break it to you but Quebec and Scotland are not comparable.

    For a start, Candada didn't lie to, threaten and insult Quebec and treat them like idiots. At least, not to the level that has happened to the Scots.

    Canada was also a more attractive proposition for the Quebec voters than the UK is for Scots. What are we going to experience after a no vote? Will it be an improvement in our circumstances? No, it will be another decade of austerity, cuts, privatisations and tory governments. And how do you think we will react when the truth of the coming oil boom sinks in and we realise we have been robbed of our nation's wealth (again). You think that will put the issue to bed?

    We all know now how we have been lied to and ripped off for decades if not centuries. We won't go away, no chance.

  67. Congratulations on the success of your blog, James, the No campaign have sat up and taken notice, it is clearly having a big impact on the yes campaign and they do not like it one little bit. Well done!

  68. "take Salmond away, take Cameron away"

    If you insist. Sturgeon facing Osborne or even Boris. How does that taste?

    Lest you think there is no systemic problem at the root of westminsters crisis of and leadership with the public, then I would direct you to a post I made earlier on why Cameron, and Miliband are as they are. However it can be summarised easily enough here.

    The westminster parties post Blair are still stuck in the mindset of triangulation and focus grouping and at no more telling a time when they choose new leaders. That means those who reach the top have to be absolute experts in one thing and one thing only, winning leadership elections.

    The two things the party hierarchies tend to desire most of all now is a good media performer/actor (like Blair was) and someone who is 'flexible' enough to shift their party to whatever stance is most expedient to discomfit the opposition and try to win over the mythical centre ground. They do this by focus grouping and polls which, as I have already stressed, are an imperfect snapshot and do not drive public opinion but at best can only reflect viewpoints and issues that are put to the public. So when the unexpected pops up you see leaders flounder or freeze as they wait to see what the public thinks of an issue.

    As to the merits of a good media performer, that only works as long as the public think their is honesty and integrity behind it. If Blair and now Clegg have taught us anything it is that you can be incredibly accomplished at performing but if the public then think you are full of shit then that asset evaporates and becomes toxic.

    It also means if the public think you lack authenticity and are out of touch then what may have worked to win over sections of your party most important in a leadership election will then become a big negative. Extended public scrutiny tends to judge things a bit more harshly. Like with Cameron and little Ed.

    Nor would I be particularly confident that any supposed recovery (still not being felt in a great many places) is sustainable if it is mostly off the back of London and the SE house prices. We've been there before and it didn't end well.

  69. Oops! slight error in that post. Should have said this.

    *Lest you think there is no systemic problem at the root of westminster's crisis of TRUST and leadership with the public..

    Fixed. :)

    @Scottish Skier,

    "The Scottish Government has refused to publish a ‘plan B’ for an independent Scotland's currency, in case a ‘currency union’ is not agreed to by the rest of the UK.
    Do you believe the Scottish Government should draw up alternative options to a ‘currency union’ ahead of the referendum on September 18, 2014?"

    Was this really a preamble question? hahahahaha!

    So right after the MSM went all out on currency, Survation asked this question then asked how people would vote!!

    And they could only get an increase in the No vote through a change in methodology and marking up the 16/24 year olds.

    It was just the other day I shared this from a tweet I read, a womans son was phoned by IpsosMori who said they needed youngster in his age range as it was underrepresented, he said he was voting yes and was told to hold, the lady phoning him hadn't properly muted her phone and he could hear her talking to her superior, who told her to tell the young man that there was a technical glitch and they would phone him back when it was sorted...they did not phone him back!

    So can this be the way the pollsters are inflating the no vote? they know that it is difficult to get youngsters to do polls so they have to massively inflate the numbers, so if the pollsters can somehow make sure they get a No voter then Bam!! job done!

    Oh SNTYM I hate to say I told you so but.... POP!!!!!!!! hehehe!

  71. "So right after the MSM went all out on currency, Survation asked this question then asked how people would vote!!"

    I don't think that's the case Patrick. I think that was asked later but the fact that it was asked at all and then taken seriously would tend to indicate just how much the polls are now becoming mere spin.

    If Survation had asked that before the actual Independence question we wold surely have heard of it before now as it would make the entire poll almost meaningless.

  72. Ah.. looking at it again you likely mean "how people would vote" on that issue

    That being the case, my mistake Patrick and apologies.

    It is a stunningly loaded question and the answers can obviously be dismissed because of that.

  73. As regards second chances, I agree that Westminster won't give us another chance but they are setting up another chance themselves. Should they go for a referendum on EU membership and Scotland votes heavily to stay and the rest vote to leave then an SNP govt would have a pretext to leave the UK with the support of the EU.

    Of course that depends on an SNP govt but the polls seem to point on that direction.

  74. sntym here :-)

    patrick, the plural of anecdote is not data :-)

    grim, in what fantasy world will the eu attempt to break up a nation state? I think you've confused it with russia :-)

  75. Mick Pork: the champion of a lost cause. Strikes fear into the heart of ordinary mortals with his superior analytical skills and rapier wit. Sounds like a very Scottish name. Just like mine.

  76. Scotland the 14th richest country......have any of you nat retards been to Paisley lately ? More like a demilitarised zone. And just how do you nat retards expect to run an economy with 1 in 3 people working ? Salmond should be locked away in the looney bin and the tartan troll made to clean toilets where they just might prove useful.

  77. The rumour in Aberdeenshire (Salmonds constituency) is that the fat controller used to run around with a gun threatening non nats. The question is do Scots want an ex terrorist running their country ?

  78. Hey anonymous troll, your first post was at 1.13am, the second was at 1.27am and the third was at 1.37am. That means it takes you about 10 minutes to write one sentence. A bit slow are we?

  79. - Patrick: "It was just the other day I shared this from a tweet I read, a womans son was phoned by IpsosMori who said they needed youngster in his age range as it was underrepresented, he said he was voting yes and was told to hold, the lady phoning him hadn't properly muted her phone and he could hear her talking to her superior, who told her to tell the young man that there was a technical glitch and they would phone him back when it was sorted...they did not phone him back!"

    Some of us seriously need to take a step back from the campaign and calm down a bit. The idea that every polling company, without exception, is part of a shadowy conspiracy to trick people into thinking No is winning is just beyond ludicrous. The polls might well be wrong, but not because people are conspiring and random second hand rumours like this aren't doing anyone any favours.

    Every Yes supporter I know is a reasonable person who wouldn't touch that kind of argument with a barge pole. Let's stick with reality please - I'm seriously concerned at this point that on 19 September, whatever the result, we're just going to start arguing the vote was rigged and it doesn't count. That's honestly where we're heading with this stuff.

  80. Seriously, James, I agree with the others, get shot of these morons. No one reads the Scotsman comments any more thanks to the bile and venom from these slobbering SLabbers, don't let your blog go the same way. Which is probably what they are trying to achieve.

  81. "Seriously, James, I agree with the others, get shot of these morons. No one reads the Scotsman comments any more thanks to the bile and venom from these slobbering SLabbers, don't let your blog go the same way. Which is probably what they are trying to achieve."

    In fairness, calling them "slobbering SLabbers" isn't exactly claiming the moral high ground.

    I'm a No voter and I'm here simply because it seems to be one of the few places people are genuinely discussing the polls with any great regularity - the only other one is What Scotland Thinks. It should be possible to discuss this without us all resorting to playground stuff, surely. I know there are idiots on both sides, but still.

  82. "I know there are idiots on both sides, but still."

    That's big of you, coming on the heels as it does of some of the most incompetent, dimwitted and counterproductive trolling we've yet seen from those on the No side.

    Be in no doubt, James has proved time and time again that he does not fear robust debate. I (and indeed other regulars on here) can easily deal with these hopelessly inept efforts at astroturfing and trolling from deranged No supporters should we choose to.

    Yet why would we even bother when they explicitly reveal just how frightened and desperate some No supporters are?

    Even a cursory look at the absurd fantasies and moronic lies from these imbeciles proves beyond all doubt that, for all the No campaign spin, they know perfectly well that they are are in deep, deep trouble as the most crucial period approaches.

    Why else do you think they are spamming James site frenetically and with such hysteria now?

    They know that the in-depth and rigorous polling analysis James provides and the reasoned political analysis from his regulars are reaching more and more people, as his blog gets more and more popular. Now that the most crucial period of the campaign begins to unfold.

    It was obvious that scottish blogs like James and others would be inundated by scottish voters wanting more information and to better inform themselves of the real issues.

    That's because the westminster bubble spin is as laughably out of touch with scottish politics as ii has always bee. While the unionist media and papers that dominate are simply not trusted. No supporters don't need to like those facts but they are facts and the figures on trust back it up 100%.

    The westminster bubble media and unionist papers will be trusted by the scottish public even less (hard to imagine since they are held in such utter contempt by the scottish electorate already) the closer we get to the Independence Referendum itself. Anyone can see that as they descend desperately and ever more deeply into unconvincing spin, mindless shrieking and hilariously blatant bias.

    So why would they do that if they were so confident of winning? They aren't and we know it.

    So if the No trolls think they are doing their own side a favour then they are cleary as demented as they appear.

    There's very good reasons built up over decades why the scottish public regard westminster politicians and media with such pitifully low levels of trust.

    The desperate and hysterical No campaign trolls and astroturfers now spamming James site are only reinforcing precisely why they are not trusted by scots.

  83. Some of the abuse coming from the No's on this thread is telling.

    Why would the winning sides voters be so angry?

    Mick, the thing about the Survation 'warm-up question, is it focuses the voters mind on the currency issue, instead of the whole debate so is completely meaningless.

    As I mentioned on a thread in wings, some of the way these polls are worded, would have me saying I'm voting No!!!

    In my opinion I don't think James should ban our new troll friends, the abuse as well as silly arguments they offer backed up with the expert way in which they 'get thir arse handed to them on a plate' every time, will do a lot of good for the undecided who will be viewing this blog in increasing numbers.

    The way they are now reduced to simply spouting out venom as well as the ludicrous stories about our FM threatening No voters with a gun in Aberdeen, is also a great advertisement for the main message from YES...

    The No campaign have nothing to offer Scotland, so they are reduced to Lies, Smears, and fears, and when they are challenged about this...

    Personal Abuse!!!

  84. Mick: "That's big of you, coming on the heels as it does of some of the most incompetent, dimwitted and counterproductive trolling we've yet seen from those on the No side."

    You seem to be suggesting there that I'm somehow answerable for what other people have said on the thread simply because I agree with them on the referendum. It's that kind of blinkered "us vs them" approach that is the problem in my view. If you go looking for idiots on the internet you disagree with it's not hard to find them. Believe me, there are some right idiots on the Yes side, but I refuse to believe that most Yes supporters aren't just reasonable, normal, intelligent people who happen to have a different opinion to my own. I'd suggest you take the same perspective.

    As for why this site is receiving so many comments, I can only speak for myself: few people are discussing the Survation poll anywhere except here. Moreover I'd imagine the fact that the Survation poll was so in favour of No has brought out some form of internet gloating.

  85. "You seem to be suggesting there that I'm somehow answerable for what other people have said on the thread simply because I agree with them on the referendum."

    No, that's what the No campaign does when they smear Yes supporters on the front pages of unionist newspapers then demand that Alex Salmond and the Yes campaign take responsibilty and are answerable for every abusive tweet and post they can find.

    I'm pointing out that it is extraordinarily unwise to pretend equivalence given just how utterly demented the lies, smears and trolling is from No supporters on here. Trolling which we can all see and which precede your post so you obviously saw them too.

  86. I believe the La(i)rd has promised to retire if its a no vote......the wee wifey in Stricken better start warming up the pipe and slippers as its now predicted a massive landslide to no. :) Bye bye you corrupt psychopath xxxxx