Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pro-independence campaign remain on all-time high of 47% in new Survation poll

A new Survation poll is out tonight, and it has more or less crushed the fantasy that there has been any movement back to No of late.  The Yes campaign remains on the all-time high of 47% that it first reached two months ago -

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Yes 47% (n/c)
No 53% (n/c)

When Don't Knows are taken into account, the figures are -

Yes 40% (-1)
No 46% (n/c)

However, even that minor percentage change is misleading, because on the unrounded numbers Yes and No are both down by a trivial amount - Yes by 0.7%, and No by 0.1%.  In other words, there is no change of any statistical significance whatsoever, and the fact that the No campaign have rushed out their customary glossy graphic about "No Thanks extending lead" may well be what the word "desperate" was invented for.

Unlike last weekend's Panelbase poll, Survation have made no methodological changes (none have been announced at any rate), and therefore tonight's figures are directly comparable with previous Survation polls.  However, for my money this poll may actually be slightly more encouraging for the Yes campaign than the previous two polls from the same firm, even though on the face of it the results are identical.  When I saw the datasets for those last two polls, my heart immediately sank, because there was a very simple way in which it could be argued that the heady heights that Yes had reached were illusory.  In both cases, the most Yes-friendly age group was 16-24 year olds, and they had been upweighted to an extreme degree, meaning that any error in the voting intention figures for that group caused by random sampling variation would have been magnified in the overall results.  But in tonight's poll, although 16-24 year olds have again been dramatically upweighted from 45 real respondents to 130 'virtual' respondents, that doesn't matter as much, because they're now only the fourth most Yes-friendly age group - or, to put it another way, the third most No-friendly age group.  So this is in fact the first ever Survation poll to put Yes as high as 47% without there being anything weird going on due to age-related weightings.

Unfortunately, there is still one caveat - as Alistair Davidson points out in the comments section below, respondents from the South of Scotland have been upweighted two-fold, and that means what is almost certainly a highly inaccurate breakdown of Yes 50%, No 39% for the region has been magnified.  However, that problem will have been at least partly offset by the more modest upweighting of a dubiously big No lead in Mid-Scotland and Fife.  The best evidence that Yes have not been artificially flattered in this poll can be found in the raw unweighted numbers, which are very similar to the published results.  That was not the case last month - indeed in last month's poll there was a sharp fall in the unweighted Yes vote, which led me to have a nagging doubt at the back at my mind as to whether Survation's weighting procedure was masking real slippage for Yes.  Thankfully, we can now relax on that score.

Survation's own commentary on the poll suggests that there has been no Commonwealth Games boost for Yes - which is absurdly premature.  Come to think of it, a few of you might recall some chap at the Spectator getting terribly excited by the first post-White Paper poll failing to show much movement, when in retrospect it's blindingly clear that the White Paper produced a significant pro-Yes swing.  As I explained above, it's possible that in an underlying sense this new poll is better for Yes than the two previous Survation polls, which if true could mean that polls from other companies will show a swing on their headline numbers.  But it's also possible that the impact of the Games will not be felt immediately - the referendum campaign has been put on pause to some extent over the last ten days, and it will only be when it restarts that we'll see whether the greater confidence generated by Glasgow's time in the sun will lead people to be more receptive to the case for independence.  And the final point to make is that Survation's own supplementary question on the issue contradicts their own conclusion to some extent - 12% of undecided voters say the Games have made them more likely to vote Yes, compared to 4% of undecideds who are more likely to vote No.  True, that's only a small advantage for Yes - but then No are only defending a very small lead.

There's also a question asking who people expect to win the Salmond v Darling debate, with 37% plumping for the First Minister, and only 11% for David Cameron's stand-in.  Survation claim that this "falls short of a ringing endorsement" for Salmond - which could be an extremely good thing.  "Winning" a debate is to a large extent a question of exceeding expectations, and if as many as 63% of the population don't realise that Salmond is a better debater than Darling, that'll make it a hell of a lot easier to exceed expectations.

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REQUIRED SWINGS

Swing required for 1 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes in the lead or level : 3.0%

Swing required for 2 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes in the lead or level : 3.5%

Swing required for 3 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes in the lead or level : 4.5%

Swing required for 4 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes in the lead or level : 5.5%


* * *

SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS

I didn't get round to posting an update of the Poll of Polls after last weekend's Panelbase poll, so this update takes account of both Panelbase and Survation. The slight increase in the No lead should therefore be taken with a heavy dose of salt, because it may well be caused by Panelbase's big methodological changes. Ironically, of course, the Survation and Panelbase results will actually increase the Yes vote in other Polls of Polls, which mostly use variants on the Curtice method.

MEAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

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

MEAN AVERAGE (not excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 36.3% (-0.5)
No 48.0% (+0.3)

MEDIAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 43.4% (n/c)
No 56.6% (n/c)


(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.)

79 comments:

  1. Weird poll. Has us ahead in a heavily-upweighted South of Scotland, and implausibly far behind in West Scotland

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  2. Beung spun as an increased no lead with Yes down 1% ?

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  3. Dalriadan : That's with Don't Knows included - I'll add those figures to the post once I've had a bite to eat and caught my breath. But before rounding the No lead is just 5.7%.

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  4. Ah. Just seen that ta. Get yerself a bite busy day ahead methinks :)

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  5. Bliar McDougall is spinning this non-moving poll as proof "No Thanks stretch the lead"... Seriously?! These people are desperate.

    If we look at raw figures, BOTH sides are down: Yes -0.7%, No -0.1%.

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  6. I think congratulations are in order and, though this is from a No voter, I am not being ironic. Leave aside what the poll does or does not show. This is the only site on the internet I can find that has it at all! So SGP is first, the very first by a long way, with the news. You can say quite fairly: you heard it first here.!

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  7. That's the thing. It's not especially good for either side. Yes is still coming in behind, but way way too close for anyone in No to be comfortable about it.

    When we consider the probability of a shy Yes effect, differential turnout, and the online polls not picking up the "missing million", No must be even more worried.

    The fact is that Yes has finishing speed, as evidenced in 1997 and 2011, and No would have had to be a lot further ahead than this to be at all confident.

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  8. Rolfe, surely there's just as much of a chance of Shy No voters as there is of Shy Yes voters? I haven't seen any particular evidence either way.

    As for the "missing million", don't the polls already weigh for previous non-voters?

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  9. Yes ahead in the 45 to 65 year olds category in this poll. Fascinating stuff.

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  10. I think all the pollsters are floundering, because the referendum is unique and they can only guess what might be the right weightings.

    For a start, there's going to be a huge regional variation (much as there was in '79)

    Secondly, excluding the DKs is problematic. They are not going to split according to some pre-ordained formula, but they are going to vote. How can anyone guess the proportios? I can't, and I speak to them on the doorsteps every day.

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  11. Can you smell my bounce?

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  12. I'll let Scottish Skier discuss the Shy Yes factor, it's his field. But I think he's right. The number of people who give me a sly wink and a smile - almost verging on funny handshake territory - is remarkable, while No voters are happy to pursue me down their garden paths loudly demanding that I take the literature away so as not to pollute their recycling bin.

    And I don't think any long-established online panel can account for the people who are coming out of the woodwork and registering to vote this year.

    I sometimes regard the don't knows as equivalent to the eventual non-voters, because we all know there's no such thing as 100% turnout. However this is equivalent to saying that the DNs break Yes/No in the same proportions as the people who expressed a preference. Studies suggest however that this is not what is happening this time, as Kininvie pointed out.

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  13. The fear and desperation from the Britnat twits will be palpable with a mere 3.1% for Yes to win.

    Or perhaps No are just keeping their tens of thousands of activists cunningly hidden so as to surprise everyone for the somewhat important final weeks and days of GOTV and ground campaign?

    LOL

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  14. "As for the "missing million", don't the polls already weigh for previous non-voters?"

    Actually, no-one has the slightest clue what these voters will do. Although mass canvassing by Radical Independence suggest they are leaning heavily to yes.

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  15. In view of the wall to wall support for unionism that we see in the MSM and which surely reinforces the sense that No voting is normal there is really no reason at all for No voters to be shy, what possibly could be discouraging them from declaring their allegiance? Michael

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  16. Even if the average Yes % is 45% on the night before I'd expect the No side to be quite nervous about that. At those numbers, and if Yes gets everyone out to vote, it might just happen.

    I guess their tactic over the closing weeks will be to make it look like a Yes is impossible. Big gamble that as it could make their core think they dont have to bother on the 18th.

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  17. All is going according to plan. Large surge in last weeks although not as much as in 1997. See

    https://twitter.com/JamesCo77979225/status/490489074021851137/photo/1

    caused by:-

    1. Confident UNDs saying "well hell let's give it a whirl, it won't be worse than what we've got"

    2. The fearties UNDs, carried along by the optimistic YES campaign and the enthusiasm and confidence shown by Scots at the CWG (they cheered English competitors for Chrissakes!) will at last find some balls and say, "we should try it, it might be better than what we've got."

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  18. James C, your plot is interesting, mirrors a paper I have which is a meta analysis of previous referendum decision making timelines. The figure that research quotes is 24% decided in the last week of the 97 campaign, and probably in the context of a much more certain outcome (i think they are quoting some European research).

    Qvortrup's work is really interesting, worth a look as well. Some of it is free online. He's been saying all along this referendum is a tricky one to predict. What that means for both sides I don't know, but No will try to make it look like there's no chance they will lose. History would suggest certainty is stupidity in such matters!

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  19. I am a YES activist who lives in a demographically NO town.

    There are many YES voters here who will not admit to their voting intentions to acquaintances because as one person put it "No supporters can be very aggressive and nasty".

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  20. James Coleman/Scott I note the research showing 24% made up their mind in the last ten days but the 1997 referendum had more complex (technical) questions and perhaps some did not focus till then becaase of that. There is also the point that rival research has shown reversion to the status quo in referenda. And I must say James's graph of the 1997 polls (or poll) does not show any such thing as is being claimed. There was no massive turnaround. According to it, as early as January of that year the poll (if it's just ICM) was already very close to the actual result and NEVER DIPPED BELOW 50% apart from as few days in the autumn. The poll dipped a few percent in April, came back up in June dipped again then came back up and at the end they were about 2% higher than they were a couple of montrhs earlier in June. To repeat it's true one Yes question dipped briefly below 50% for a few days and then came back well to 63 and that might seem great if it had not been above 50% all year and TWICE (!) close to the actual result. There is just no parallel whatsoever here for what is going on now or we would have seen Yes well over 50% most of this year!

    I suppose your point is merely that the last ten days showed a spurt but that is not nearly so surprising if the voters had been there already and been shown to be there right through the year in earlier polls.

    Meanwhile I have a neutral question for the other (site host) James, which I suspect he will answer easily but it's something I just don't get and it's nothing to do with partusan interpetation either since all commentators do it.. Let us for the sake of my question accept the accuracy of today's Survation poll , 40% Yes and 46% NO, 14% don't know. And let's suppose that was the final result , an 86% turn out would be a spectacular achivement I think we must be agreed. The referendum may do better or may do worse but it would hardly be considered poor in fact it would be record breaking, 1997 (admittedly less burning) only managed 60%

    My question therefore is this and sorry if this is covered elsewhere on the site. Why is everyone botheirng to split (and add) the Don't Knows at all? Even in this major contest there is bound to be a sizeable abstention. I know you will all rush to tell me that this is different, it's so important, people will vote who never voted before, fine. But that figure of 86% covers that and more. Nobody is seriously supposing you will get 100%!

    And, as I say this is not partisan, Everyone is splitting the DKs and adding them on, , same on all the No sites.

    Why? What is the point when they will be there on the day and will figure in the result?

    That is my query. I would add though that, if we do leave the DKs there Yes is much further away from 50% than everyone is saying. Though I suppose people will retort No is not there either.
    So if nobody gets 50% will that have repurcussions do we think?

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  21. James Coleman/Scott I note the research showing 24% made up their mind in the last ten days but the 1997 referendum had more complex (technical) questions and perhaps some did not focus till then becaase of that. There is also the point that rival research has shown reversion to the status quo in referenda. And I must say James's graph of the 1997 polls (or poll) does not show any such thing as is being claimed. There was no massive turnaround. According to it, as early as January of that year the poll (if it's just ICM) was already very close to the actual result and NEVER DIPPED BELOW 50% apart from as few days in the autumn. The poll dipped a few percent in April, came back up in June dipped again then came back up and at the end they were about 2% higher than they were a couple of montrhs earlier in June. To repeat it's true one Yes question dipped briefly below 50% for a few days and then came back well to 63 and that might seem great if it had not been above 50% all year and TWICE (!) close to the actual result. There is just no parallel whatsoever here for what is going on now or we would have seen Yes well over 50% most of this year!

    I suppose your point is merely that the last ten days showed a spurt but that is not nearly so surprising if the voters had been there already and been shown to be there right through the year in earlier polls.

    Meanwhile I have a neutral question for the other (site host) James, which I suspect he will answer easily but it's something I just don't get and it's nothing to do with partusan interpetation either since all commentators do it.. Let us for the sake of my question accept the accuracy of today's Survation poll , 40% Yes and 46% NO, 14% don't know. And let's suppose that was the final result , an 86% turn out would be a spectacular achivement I think we must be agreed. The referendum may do better or may do worse but it would hardly be considered poor in fact it would be record breaking, 1997 (admittedly less burning) only managed 60%

    My question therefore is this and sorry if this is covered elsewhere on the site. Why is everyone botheirng to split (and add) the Don't Knows at all? Even in this major contest there is bound to be a sizeable abstention. I know you will all rush to tell me that this is different, it's so important, people will vote who never voted before, fine. But that figure of 86% covers that and more. Nobody is seriously supposing you will get 100%!

    And, as I say this is not partisan, Everyone is splitting the DKs and adding them on, , same on all the No sites.

    Why? What is the point when they will be there on the day and will figure in the result?

    That is my query. I would add though that, if we do leave the DKs there Yes is much further away from 50% than everyone is saying. Though I suppose people will retort No is not there either.
    So if nobody gets 50% will that have repurcussions do we think?

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  22. Sorry I posted twice. BY all means take one down, don't know why it happened.

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  23. James/Scott

    Further to my post about being polled by Ipsosmori yesterday, they never asked the who did you vote for in the 2011 election question.

    Is this because they are finally starting to realise that in a lot of cases how people voted in 2011 is irrelevant with the growth of groups like Labour for Independence and the vast amount of people who have never voted.

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  24. Expat, neither side has to achieve 50% of the electorate. The votes of the people who don't show up (unlike in 1979) will simply not count.

    It's quite ridiculous to declare that Yes is on 40% includng the DKs and then demand that it reach 50% from that position. That's simply not how it works. Excluding the DKs is acknowledging that these people may well be the non-voters, and counting the votes accordingly.

    That you actually typed the above, seriously, without realising your error, makes me wonder whether you really have any grasp of the plot here.

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  25. Expat:
    My graphs show the TREND in the ICM polls which is far more important than taking snap shots, as the trend irons out the individual errors in each poll. I am well aware that YES was > 50% at different times but the purpose of the graphs is to show that ICM results were TRENDING AWAY from the final results and to show the clear surges in both polls in the last few days. My main aim was really to show that the polls in Scotland cannot be used to forecast the result. In a close result it is very small margins which will determine who wins

    Here is another interesting set of graphs for the 2011 SP election showing in my opinion how poorly YouGov performed then.

    https://twitter.com/JamesCo77979225/status/495897084407873538/photo/1


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  26. James I took part in a very short Panelbase poll during the week so look out for the results of it soon.

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  27. Rolfe I don't understand quite what you are talking about. I never demanded that Yes get 50%. I merely wondered why everyone was bothering to exclude Don't Knows since there were bound to a good percentage of no shows and absentions. And at the end I went on to speculate whether people would query the validity of a No or Yes vote at less than 50%. I quite understand it would only be a matter of perception. The winner here is the one with the higher number of votes, that's it.

    James Coleman. I get the fact ICM went up and down in 1997. The larger point surely is that it correctly predicted Yes for almost the whole year apart from a few days.It was only one poll BUT it got the result right. So the final move was of little consequence or interest and extrapolating it to this (in any case very different) referendum is meaningless.

    As to the YouGov stuff and 2011. This has been gone over many times here. The constituency vote chart , which is the only one worth considering in this context without proportional representation (as this election is without it) show how YouGov accurately predicted the final result two weeks before it. Hardly a disgrace. You Gov were not great on Labour but at the distance from the referendum we are right now You Gov would, if things were similar to 1997, be predicting yes to have a narrow lead as they were with the Nats on 28th March 2011.

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  28. Expat, the DNs are excluded because there is no box to tick for "undecided" on 18th September. The final result will be decided by adding up all the Yes votes and seeing if they come to more than all the No votes.

    By that metric, and it's the only one that matters, Yes is currently sitting at 47%, not 40%.

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  29. " The larger point surely is that it correctly predicted Yes for almost the whole year apart from a few days.It was only one poll BUT it got the result right."

    You clearly know nothing about polls. They don't predict anything. They merely give a very innaccurate snapshot of what people think at a particular point in time. And it is absurd for you to believe that a particular poll months before 'predicted' the final result just because by chance it had the same value as that result.

    The trend from a series of polls has some value, but as the charts show, even trends can be dramatically out of kilter with the real world.

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  30. Hey, Expat, the polls are showing no on 46% and the trend is downwards. No used to to be above 50% but isn't any more. No needs 50% to win, do you think the no campaign can turn it around again, can they get back up over 50% in the next 6 weeks?

    Everything suggests that no will keep going on a downwards trend and yes will keep increasing, after all no one goes from yes to no. No wonder you sound so terrified, how can you reverse the trend to get back up to over 50% from 46%? You don't even have a grassroots movement to knock on doors.

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  31. I've always worked on the basis of how friends, family and colleagues are voting. It's worked in the past far more accurately than any poll and it helped me be fairly certain the SNP were in for a major win in 2011. Maybe it's because I'm a middle Scotland kind of guy and my social and family circle are fairly representative of middle Scotland opinion. But in my world the No's are certainly not ahead.

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  32. Notable in that this poll was carried out during the commonwealth games, so there's been no boost to the YES vote as many were forecasting - guess you'll have to fall back to the tv debate for that

    Not letting NO increase the lead isn't what YES need to do, they need to close that gap at a percentage point a week now.

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  33. Another PB troll pops out from their bridge to spout bilge. And didn't read the article. People more likely to vote Yes due to the Commonwealth games effect. It was in plain english after all. Please try harder next time.

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  34. As I said the desperation and fear are starting to kick in and apart from the comedy Britnats on here there there can be no surer sign of it than the unionists favourite pundit Curtice giving Darling advice. Advice that boils down to 'steady as she goes' as Curtice amusingly thinks No have all but won the referendum already.

    Leaving aside the 'wisdom' of putting their faith in a pundit who got 2011 so wrong, the complacency is jawdropping but very welcome indeed in these crucial final weeks.

    What you won't hear from Curtice and 'Better No thanks Together' is any analysis of just how the No campaign expect to get all these voters who normally don't even vote in elections out to the ballot box.

    The 'missing million' and all those voters who simply do not engage with pollsters or party politics as usual are going to be absolutely vital to the result yet barely a peep from No about their 'grand plans' for GOTV and the ground campaign. It goes without saying that no serious or competent political party or campaign can possibly ignore the effect a motivated and well organised activist base has on a result, so their silence is very telling indeed.

    Of course if Curtice wasn't so complacent what he would be telling No campaign isn't just that Get Out The Vote is going to be just a touch important in a referendum like this, but that the actual 'masterminds' behind the No campaign of Cameron, Clegg and little Ed need to disappear completely until all this is over. Sadly for them that will be impossible since the scottish public knows fine well that they are the toxic cheerleaders for No and no amount of hiding will erase that fact.

    Why just today the inept buffoon
    Clegg was trying to attack Sturgeon and the games. Needless to say I somehow doubt the effect the No campaign is looking for was for Clegg's attack to be gleefully spread across the internet by Yes supporters delighted that Clegg and his ostrich faction had so 'wisely' intervened.

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  35. Just after Osborne made his first 'No Currency agreement' speech it was expected that this would impact on the Yes vote, however the MSM shrieked with delight when a poll came out showing no change, in a poll taken a few days after his speech, the next poll a week or so later showed a 5% increase for Yes!

    It will take a few days for the feel-good factor from the games, to filter into people deciding that Scotland can look after herself.

    Although 12% say they are more likely to vote Yes and only 7% No as a result of the games, you have to wonder why anyone would be more inclined to No?

    Was it the insulting way in which Scotland was treated by the BBC coverage?
    Was it the record number of Gold Medals for Scotland?
    Was it the disgusting smears from the Better Together campaigners inc Ian Smart?

    I also wonder what impact the hidden oilfield will have on Scots once the grassroots campaign gets 'it out there'?

    The hidden field is three times bigger than the worlds biggest field and it has the good quality oil!

    Will we hand the Westminster warmongers and peado's another multi trillion nest egg for them to piss up against the wall while Scots are cuing at foodbanks?

    I'm sorry but you quisling Unionists make me sick!!!

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  36. Re: Salmond/Darling debate. Even if Salmond wins easily the unionist MSM will call it for Darling and the TV progs will edit Salmond to show him in a bad light.

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  37. To be honest one of the biggest things that puts people off voting YES is ranting frothers like mick and patrick above who call everyone who disagrees with them "britnats", "quislings" and "peados"(sic), at least a tory would only call me an "oik".

    People like that are the NO campaigns best grass-root assets :-)

    Seriously, I don't want to be in the same country of 65 million with nutters like that, let alone one of only 5 million.

    Yeh, yeh, I'll definitely think about *shuts door*

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  38. "One of the biggest things that puts people off voting YES is ranting frothers like mick and patrick above."

    Oh really? Do you have evidence to back up that sweeping statement or is it just another invented (and offensive) claim?
    Most Scots only have to read btl comments in the Scotsman, Telegraph and other unionist newpapers to see thousands of frothing, vile and vindictive abuse aimed at yes voters.

    You no voters have no self awareness whatsoever. It is amusing.

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  39. What's with all the mock sensitivity? Come on, Sntym, man up.

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  40. Posted elsewhere, but apparently pollsters are expecting there to be 800,000 undecideds on voting day.

    It's where a positive campaign comes in over a negative.

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  41. Ah, so this 'ordinary' commenter turned my calling the UK gov peados (something that's been headline news) into calling No voters peados???

    That looks suspiciously like something Politicians have been doing, so it does make you wonder about who exactly is 'Saynotoyesmen' really is.

    Fighting to cling on to your generous expenses account eh?

    You friggin quisling.

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  42. Note that all the abuse here is one sided from Yes to No and yet you call us terrified!.

    Rolfe I know there is no box for Undecided so the DKs or most of them will surely stay away so I was wondering why add them on at all.. But now I see., The removal of DKs is merely a statistical exercise, right and not an attempt to break down the DKs into leaners? So I get it and withdraw my question.

    James Coleman yeah I know polls are snapshots but my point is that you seem to persist in saying how every poll is miles off and no indication of a possible reuslt as if they had never got near a proper result ever, especially in referenda when they generally have. Others here go even further and say they are fixed by the English or the quislings or the Tories!!! In fact the site is filled with what the brilliant Nate Silver would call NOISE: this poll was skewed, that question was loaded, people are lying,my sttreet has no NO posters, my friends and family are typical so I can see the whole result from them etc etc. all fairly standard stuff but all meaingless in the context of an attempt to disecover what is happening. I would though exempt two things from this description A. if there is truly, as people say here, no ground campaign for NO that would be pretty serious because of course you have to get your vote out. B. The analysis of polling data is sometimes impressive and impressively non-partisan though I wish we could get answers to it from YouGov and others..

    But back to James Coleman. We've been over it so many times here You keep saying how the polls of this or that past election/refendum are a travesty and I look at the figures and they are not,, there are (generally) minor inaccuracies. Once it a blue moon you do get a shock result against the polls, so we can agree polls are only current snap-shots, but major upsets are not very common.

    \

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  43. "but major upsets are not very common. "

    Hmm, are you saying that The SNP did not surprise people Twice, as a result of being well behind and written off about 6/7 weeks before both elections yet winning both, the second by a margin that defied all that the voting system was set up to avoid?

    Of course they did and they were telling SNP activists to be encouraged all that time (and they were) because the sophisticated internal polling system that the SNP had developed exclusively for Scotland, was saying that the SNP were on course to win.

    What are the SNP internal polling telling us now?

    We don't get loads of details, but we do know that women and young people have been shifting along the 1 to 10 scale towards yes since last year.

    We also know that the sNp have been saying for some time that this same polling system is telling them that a lot of people are shifting towards yes, because they are not getting assurances from No about what will happen to Scotland if we did vote No.

    At the moment the BT campaign is desperately trying to con Scots that we will get more powers if we vote No, but how many people are believing these promises, not very many I would guess1

    So what will these over 70% of Scots do if we don't get the written assurances from Westminster about devo max?

    If I was a unionist coming on here trying to convince readers that Yes voters are frightened about the vote, I would have to hope that no one reading has been paying attention.

    Yes is oozing confidence, because we have bypassed the normal lies and propaganda of the MSM and are relying on our own canvasing /polling.

    we know that No has not got a grass roots campaign and has stooped to busing in paid volunteers (eh???) from England to help get the BT message across.

    It seems strange that over the past few weeks that a lot of So called ordinary No voters have suddenly appeared on Here defending the Union and attacking James's integrity and the validity of his polling insights.

    Why aren't you guys out on the streets and why aren't you posting in your own name?

    Jim Murphy has claimed one million just in expenses, now that's a good reason for Jim and most Labour Mp/MSP's to vote No, but the rest of us? ... unless we believe your lies we will be voting YES!!!

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  44. Expat: This is what will pass for 'freedom' in their brave new scotland :-(

    Patrick: NO doesn't have a grass roots campaign as NO is the status quo. NO is the whole lawn.

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  45. SayNoToYesMen- "No is the whole Lawn"

    That's right enough. Scotland played Bowls on the Lawn at the Commonwealth Games and got a clean sweep off the mens events..

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  46. The Nomen always seem to operate in teams of 2 or 3 on Scots indy blogs. The team on What Scotland Thinks is hilarious.

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  47. Note that the comedy Britnats are a bit too dolly dimple to understand that "ranting frothers" and "nutters" is abuse.

    ROFL

    Kellner refused to answer James perfectly reasonable questions so when you add that onto YouGov's absurd "Kellner correction" I think someone is wasting their time trying to pretend that the pollsters giot it right in 2011 when we all know that's bullshit and scottish_skier has shown that it's bullshit multiple times with the figures and the trends.

    As for the twit whining about the word "Britnat" and shrieking hysterically about it, the complete lack of self-awareness is almost as funny as your inability to grasp that when those of us helping Yes also helped the SNP a few short years ago that resulted in a landslide win for the SNP. Best grass roots assets indeed.

    LOL :-)


    That was also a landslide win in a system designed specifically to stop that kind of win with almost every paper and media outlet vehemently against the SNP while the pollsters and idiot pundits were just as certain it was in the bag for Labour as they are that No will win even though there are weeks to go in the most crucial period of all.

    Their complacency is as breathtaking as their almost religious worship of some pollsters who regularly get it very wrong indeed and keep changing their methodology in ever more bizarre ways.

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  48. Expat: it appears that you aren't grasping that the "don't knows" are different to the "certain not to vote."

    Sometimes there are even people who say they are 100% no but certain not to vote.

    Most (but not all) of the pollsters remove those who say they are certain not to vote. The "don't knows" who remain usually remain there because they say they are certain or very likely to vote.

    Sometimes they haven't bothered to find information yet, but what is likely is that they are not overly keen on what a no vote means otherwise they would say they will vote no.

    Not sure why you are having so much difficulty understanding how the polling works, perhaps you are just trying to twist things to suit your own prejudices?

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  49. The reason that SNTYM and Expat are so obsessed with the polls is because they have, quite literally, nothing else. Utterly nothing.

    Facebook yes has 50k more followers than No. Yes twitter has double the followers than no twitter. All the canvassing puts yes ahead. All the online polling and all the anecdotal evidence puts yes ahead. The no campaign clearly has no grassroots movement on the ground and there is an abundance of evidence that the no campaign is resorting to astroturfing with low level political activists posing as members of the public.

    Seriously, the polls are all you have. And you know it. That's why you are desperately trying to claim they are right, even though we see the methodology changing every week for no apparent reason other than to keep no ahead.

    "The polls must be right, they have to be right, please let them be right, how dare anyone suggest they might not be right..."

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  50. Betty, social media and internet activism are hardly reflective of the reality on the ground. If that were the case then Ron Paul would have been President of the United States by now. In my experience, no voters are less likely to spend time on social media discussing the debate. As a no voter, I don't bother with it for the most part. As for online polls, they're incredibly easy to rig (I could do it myself by writing a script but I really can't be bothered) which is why you end up with clearly absurd results with upwards of 90% voting yes. Consequently, I don't even bother wasting my time with them.

    Regarding canvass returns, it depends on which side you listen to. I've heard both sides boast of favourable returns. James Kelly wrote of his experiences being canvassed, in which he said that the Yes Canvassers turned up wearing their yes badges, explaining their stand on independence before asking the person where they stand (Something that chimes with my own experiences). You aren't going to get accurate results that way. That's not canvassing, it's campaigning. I'll hand it to you on grass roots though, independence will always arouse more passions than the constitutional status quo.

    The reason polls are useful is because (Assuming it's all done correctly) you're asking people without putting forward any partisan bias and weighing the results so they ensure the result reflects an accurate cross section of society. After all, surely the reason we're on this site is because we're a bunch of poll geeks who realise the importance of polling in gauging public opinion?

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  51. Exactly, Betty, the polls are all they have and even then they are grasping at straws because this one that they have worked themselves into an onanistic lather about shows Yes within 3 points of winning. Arrogant, complacent and I guess, lonely. We have our hundreds of thousands of comrades, our creative and thrilling campaign, our spirit, our love of our country, our hope and our determination to sustain us. They've got a poll showing them barely ahead. Such fun all this. :-) Michael

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  52. 'Betty, social media and internet activism are hardly reflective of the reality on the ground.' Aren't they in any circumstances? How do you know? Of course you'd want to think that because accepting that they count means you'd need to ask why you are doing so badly online, far less in terms of public visibility, where the no campaign barely exists. So, as Betty says, nothing counts except the polls which at present show you with a marginal lead. I think you've proved her point.

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  53. I didn't say that online activism was never reflective of realities on the ground, just that it wouldn't be sensible to rely on it as an accurate barometer. I will accept that Yes has a stronger grass roots, but (At least in my own personal experience, and I'm someone who likes to remain emotionally detached at all times) I've never had the feeling that it has translated into some sort of mass movement as many in the yes campaign like to portray it as.

    I'm also the first to admit that opinion polls have their limits due to this being a very unique vote, but I still think they're the best that we have right now.

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  54. Actually that's not what you said, you've modified your point because it was patently absurd. I'm glad you don't believe Yes is a mass movement, all the better for us.

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  55. I wouldn't say I modified my point, just elaborated on it because it was, admittedly, unclear.

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  56. Stoat: do you go out canvassing? I am almost 100% certain that you don't otherwise you wouldn't be so confident.

    Away out canvassing tonight for a few hours, the no campaign could do with your help. Then come back tomorrow and tell us how confident you are.

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  57. If you're 100% sure that I don't canvass then why are you asking? After all, I'm sure if I did say I went canvassing and produced figures that conflicted with the sort that is often boasted by Yes campaigners, I'm sure I'd only be slated as a liar, deluded etc.

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  58. Stoat: Why do you think you would produce results which would conflict with the yes canvassers? Of course you wouldn't. Unless you are suggesting we are lying?

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  59. I'm not suggesting that you are lying, just there are many different factors that influence canvass results. Some examples:

    What time are we canvassing? If we canvass around midday pensioners and unemployed people will be overrepresented.
    Are we canvassing in an area where the demographics are more or less likely to gravitate towards Yes or No?
    What to we say and what do we wear? If we are clearly wearing our political identification then people will be more likely to shut the door in our face, if they open it at all. If, after opening the door, we start by arguing for or against independence they may just tell us what we want to hear in order to get rid of us. If we appear with no clear identifiers and simply ask them the question, we could get more accurate results.

    This is the problem with a lot of what passes canvassing, they don't take many of these factors into account. Official opinion polls regulated by the British Polling Council at least try to apply a degree of scientific rigour to the proceedings.

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  60. " Patrick: NO doesn't have a grass roots campaign as NO is the status quo. NO is the whole lawn."

    What? are you kidding me? the BT Were claiming just a few weeks ago that they were gearing up for their massive 'grassroots' campaign with the figure of 30,000 activists quoted by Blair McDougal haha!

    So if they are telling you one thing and the media another, THEY ARE LYING TO YOU.

    You go on defending them though mate, it's what they pay you for!

    (and please don't try to convince me you are just an ordinary punter, no one is that daft)

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  61. Another amusing aspect of 'No Better Thanks Together' is so many of their pundits and supporters just throwing out that No will win 60/40 because they feel that will be the result.

    Yet despite that seeming confidence it's telling just how many of them are beginning to talk up more powers as we get closer and closer to the actual vote itself. A very foolish decision on their part since the tories, labour and lib dem parties behind the No campaign will never agree on more powers.

    Indeed what proposals there have been have been so laughably short of anything meaningful only someone trapped in the westminster bubble of ignorance could possibly think they will be enough to sway undecideds when they are put under the spotlight for all scots to see. These vague promises and hints are simply light years away from DevoMax and anything like that level of powers.

    We all KNOW the tories labour and lib dems don't want scots to have anything remotely close to Devomax because they VEHEMENTLY OPPOSED even having it on the ballot fro scots to decide for themselves. Their own actions betray them as usual.


    This paper thin stuff westminster is desperately talking up has no guarantees whatsoever of happening anyway.

    There are enough scots voters old enough to remember the lies spouted by Westminster promising "something better" for the 1979 referendum. that "something better" turned out to be Thatcher so good luck getting many scots to believe the shallow and incompetent trio of Cameron, Clegg and little Ed vaguely hinting at 'jam tomorrow' this time around.

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  62. Stoat: Yes, that's why the polling for the 2011 Scottish elections was so totally accurate and the canvassing got it so totally wrong. Oh wait...

    You really are desperately hanging onto this polling-is-the-only-thing-we-can-believe-in-canvassing-is-rubbish thing aren't you? Oh I forgot, it's all you have, isn't it.

    Anyhoo, nice to chat, off out now to convert some more undecideds.

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  63. I didn't say that canvassing is all rubbish. It's an important part of any political campaign, you just have to look at the data within its limitations, while looking very closely at the exact methods you use. Same as with opinion polls.

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  64. The ONLY poll that hasn't been published is a huge one commissioned by Westminster!

    They shared the results with the BT campaign but laughingly said 'it wasn't in the British publics interest to publish the results' haha, wonder why?

    The person who leaked the fact this poll hadn't been published, did give a reason though, she said that it was showing a surge of people saying they would be voting Yes!

    That's funny isn't it, a secret poll that Westminster refuses to publish, seems to chime exactly with what the SNP's internal polling machine is showing, as well as the Yes campaigns grassroots activists are reporting.

    No wonder they have paid you guys to attempt to stop James in his tracks eh.

    Talking of James, wonder if he will comment on the latest poll in the unionist supporting Daily Record?

    Yes 88% No 12%

    hehe!

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  65. Bah you've got me Patrick, I am Nick Clegg and I'm getting paid 600,000 pounds for doing this.

    stoat, the reason they question the polls isn't because they've got some evidence or theory of bias or error. It's because they're behind in them. If they were ahead they wouldn't have a word to say about them beyond gloating.

    In the end, they don't want to know, they just want to believe.

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  66. SayNoToYesMen: Why on earth would anyone give you lot 600,000 for doing this? We all know it's a minimum wage job, your colleagues over on the Better Together facebook page are getting less than £15k.

    Also, I think Betty has hit the nail on the head: without the polls yous really do have nothing right enough.

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  67. "Another amusing aspect of 'No Better Thanks Together' is so many of their pundits and supporters just throwing out that No will win 60/40 because they feel that will be the result."

    This is actually something of a compromise; I've heard 70% No often enough. What the No campaign struggle with is that most people in Scotland just aren't very British like they are. This is a very difficult thing for them to take and I empathise to a good extent. Britain is their country. However, unfortunately for them, for most Scots, Scotland is their country.

    Remember, polls consistently show less than 30% are firmly against independence and won't change their mind on that. That's not even those committed to voting; just those that are, on balance, in favour of the union status quo (in devo max polls).

    The reality is, conservatively
    40% Yes
    30% DK
    30% No

    Canvassing actually matches polls quite well when you poke people a little in the latter.

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  68. James is the ONLY site that has consistently and thoroughly examined every aspect of the polling while highlighting and scrutinising ALL the methodological changes and explained what they mean. No such rigour has ever been forthcoming from the laughably biased unionist press and it's idiot cheerleaders. For blatantly obvious reasons.

    That fact self-evidently upsets the comedy BritNats and out of touch tory twits almost as much as the fact that James blog has proved it is a valued and trusted source with the incredible response to his fundraiser.

    Meanwhile I notice that the Claire Oil Field story is still spreading like wildfire. Not altogether surprising considering just how damning the McCrone Report still is for the incompetent westminster establishment.

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  69. An interesting footnote in all of this, is that there's one person who will be all over the MSM/Twitter gloating about even the tiniest shift against Yes in any poll and that's Blair McDougal.

    I saw a tweet by Blair last week, in which he was thanking some activists for all their effort and hard work, as they had spent the whole day canvasing,
    Thing was Blair didn't tweet his own canvasing results!

    One observant person seemed to notice this and asked Blair what the results were...No answer!!!

    People picked up on this and encouraged Blair to publish his canvasing results...No answer!!!

    So, while I do agree with a comment above that said we need to be careful about canvasing, as people will often give activists the answer they want...

    If however the Yes canvasing is showing a healthy surge for Yes,

    But the No campaign isn't publishing it's canvasing results because they are bad news...

    It suggests strongly that all aint well in the No camp.

    And just to add, after the hidden poll that Westminster refused to publish, the campaign which had previously been given over to the Labour party in Scotland, was taken control of by Cameron.
    Alistair Darling began to be briefed against in the press,
    Gordon Brown started his own campaign,
    and Osborne, Alexander and Balls, all got together to say No Currency!

    Or putting it more clearly,

    No are losing voters and desperate to halt the slide.

    But they wont :-)

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  70. I think i'll organise a panel of voters that are 60% No, and keep on polling them week after week. :-)

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  71. Scottish Skier: My own canvassing results are showing a much higher don't know value than the polls suggest too, I'm currently finding that about a third of people are still dk. Mind you, we don't ask how likely people are to vote so don't filter out those who won't, could this be the difference?

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  72. I've just done a YouGov poll (that's at least 5 times they have polled me now.

    Future vote intentions at Westminster and Holyrood, Indy q, how likely to vote, where were you born and lots of commonwealth questions I.e. Was it wort kit, was it successful, better or worse than Olympics

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  73. As I have been polled 5 times in 8 months is it safe to assume that YouGov have a very limited scottish panel?

    I have never been polled by anyone else and I am signed up for panelbase and survation

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  74. Just did the YouGov one myself. If memory serves, it's the first time I've ever been polled by them about the referendum, despite having been signed up to them for nearly a year.

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  75. Surely with all you yes voters being more motivated and that, and it appears also more likely to sign up for these polling organisations (witness the panelbase farrago last september), the only bias in the polls is away from NO and towards YES?

    Nationalism is the measles of mankind - Albert Einstein

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  76. I never even suggested that SNTYM was paid 600,000 or was Nick Clegg, so isn't that a strange thing for an ordinary punter to say?

    No unusual for politicians to use this tactic of fake admitting to a ridiculous scenario in order to deflect from a question that may just turn over some stones.

    So what do you do for a living SNTYM and where are you from?

    Oh Albert Einstein was a Jew, who lived in Nationalist Socialist Germany, so I think we know the type of Nationalism he was talking about, and No Jew would ever argue against National self determination.

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  77. LordSayNoToYesMenMSPAugust 5, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    If you can guess what role I hold at the centre of scottish government I will cease and desist my postings

    (though not being involved in politics apart from internet spats will make this difficult)

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  78. I think you're Johann Lamont, am I Right?

    Oh did you see the signed pledge reported today?

    Now what did I say about the internal polling that showed that Scots wanted more powers?

    What was it I said about the promises from BT to deliver them and if they would be believed or not?

    what did I say these voters would vote, if they didn't get these powers?

    So just a few days later we have all three national and Scottish Part leaders with a signed pledge!!! Why?

    Simple really, they know people haven't believed them and they are desperately trying to stop the loss of support from No to Yes.

    It all comes down to these questions then:

    1. Will Scots be fooled by the latest pledges?

    2. Are the extra powers being offered in the pledges, enough?

    I will hazard a guess and say that I strongly believe that the answer to both of these questions will be a resounding NO!

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