Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Yes campaign surge to new record high in sensational poll from traditionally No-friendly pollster Ipsos-Mori

Has the Glasgow 2014 effect worked its magic?  Since the campaign started, Ipsos-Mori has never shown a gap anything like as close as this -

Yes 40% (+4)
No 54% (n/c)

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

Yes 42% (+2)
No 58% (-2)

The previous record high for Yes from Ipsos-Mori with Don't Knows excluded was 40% - and in all but one poll from the firm, the Yes figure has always been in the 30s.  When you bear in mind that Ipsos-Mori are one of the two most No-friendly firms, and traditionally show a much lower Yes vote than the average, this is a huge breakthrough for the pro-independence campaign - and could well translate to a neck-and-neck race among the more Yes-friendly firms.

*  *  *

A couple of hours on, and I've now had a look at the datasets.  The first thing to say is that the Yes campaign missed out on being rounded up to 43% by the absolute tiniest of fractions -

Yes 42.48%
No 57.52%

But even that is likely to be an underestimate, because for reasons that I simply cannot understand, Ipsos-Mori continue to ask respondents for their country of birth and then fail to weight by it - or if they are weighting by it, the target figures clearly bear no relation whatever to the 2011 census results, and it's hard to fathom where the extra English, Welsh and Northern Irish people are supposed to be coming from.  A full 14.3% of Ipsos-Mori's weighted sample were born in a part of the UK other than Scotland, which on the face of it is significantly too high.  The percentage of the sample who report that their national identity is either exclusively or predominantly Scottish is also suspiciously low at just under 50%.

It's important to stress that the methodological errors that Ipsos-Mori appear to be making had a bigger impact tonight than simply suppressing the Yes vote in this poll.  You see, the firm also selected the audience for STV's debate.  Did it seem to you that there were a disproportionate number of No voters in the audience?  Were you surprised that Darling sometimes seemed to receive greater spontaneous applause than Salmond?  Did it strike you that significantly more No-friendly questions were asked?  That's because the audience were hand-picked to be representative of what Ipsos-Mori think is the demographic balance of Scotland.  I saw a Yes supporter rather narkily suggest on Twitter that there were an awful lot of English accents - this is obviously a very delicate subject, but at the end of the day it's a simple and plain fact that if the audience were supposed to be demographically representative of the Scottish population, there should have been no more than about 10% who were born in England.  Yet due to Scotland apparently having completely different demographics over on Planet Ipsos-Mori, the figure is likely to have been considerably higher - and that will have been a deliberate and conscious choice.  Why do they do it?  Answers on a postcard, folks, because it's beyond me.

I gather that an instant poll conducted by ICM suggested that 44% of respondents thought that Salmond won the debate, and 56% thought that Darling won.  That gap isn't particularly significant, especially given the unusual difficulties of putting together a representative sample for a poll like that (ie. you have to choose between being representative of the Scottish population as a whole and being representative of only the people who watched the debate, because you can't do both).  Nevertheless, it does obviously have a little bit of importance in terms of bragging rights, and for my money there's no way on Earth that those numbers would have been produced if it hadn't been for the 'social proof' of the support Darling was getting from the hand-picked audience.  So Ipsos-Mori have got a lot to answer for - and so have STV for commissioning them.  It's been a long while since I praised the BBC, but their approach of using audiences that are strictly 50/50 divided between Yes and No, with a sprinkling of undecideds added in, has a lot to commend it.

Incidentally, the Yes campaign can take huge heart from one particular aspect of the ICM poll - of respondents who were undecided about their referendum voting intention before the debate started, more thought that Salmond won (54%) than Darling (46%).  The only reason that Darling had a slight lead in the overall numbers is that people who are already on the No side were more likely to have been impressed by their man than Yes supporters were by Salmond - and that may simply have been the problem of Yes voters having higher expectations of the First Minister.

Hand on heart, I burst into uncontrollable laughter when Colin Mackay said at the end that the real winner of the debate was Bernard Ponsonby.  STV's moderator is undoubtedly a man of considerable talent, but surely it's obvious to anyone that he was a big part of what was wrong with the debate tonight.  Claire Stewart said that she didn't hear enough vision - well, does it ever occur to her that her own colleagues might be predominantly responsible for that?  You can only set out a vision if you're given the space to do so, and tonight's format was only a very mildly watered down version of the bear-pit debates that have been repeatedly served up on Scotland Tonight.  I can only hope that the BBC aim for a more thoughtful and considered pace in their debate.  As for whether Ponsonby was actually guilty of outright imbalance, it's hard to say, but I do think he was bang out of order at the start.  It's perfectly reasonable to ask Alex Salmond about "poll after poll" showing a No lead (even though a great many of those No leads have been extremely slender).  But if you're being fair and even-handed, what you then do is challenge Darling about the fact that the No lead has dramatically narrowed in the new Ipsos-Mori poll to a record low.  Instead Ponsonby repeated the "poll after poll showing a No lead" line, and put it to Darling : "you can't lose, can you?"  I mean, what?  WHAT?  Had Darling hypnotised him or something?

*  *  *

This post is meandering around in a slightly chaotic way, but there are still two other important points to make about the Ipsos-Mori poll. Firstly, when undecideds are pressed further, they break for Yes by 29% to 23%. It's not possible to calculate what the headline figures would be if these undecided leaners were added in (because Ipsos-Mori use only definite voters for the headline numbers), but it seems a reasonable guess that it would increase the rounded Yes vote to 43%.

Secondly, the sample size for the poll was a completely normal 1006. That means the mystery of why so many people have reported being interviewed by Ipsos-Mori recently has not been solved. My guess is that more than one poll has been in the field, and that the other one is an internal poll for a No-supporting client - quite possibly the UK government using taxpayers' money. Perhaps there's another explanation, but we'll see.

* * *


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%

* * *


There's been a lot of interest in the fact that ICM's instant poll shows voting intention numbers of Yes 47%, No 53%, which on the face of it represents a whopping 8% decrease in the No lead since the last ICM poll. That's certainly encouraging, but unfortunately I can't include it in the Poll of Polls update because it wasn't a full-scale poll (it was demographically weighted, but by definition anyone who didn't watch the debate was excluded). However, even just taking into account the new Ipsos Mori-figures, the updated Poll of Polls still shows the No lead slipping back to just 11% when Don't Knows are included.

MEAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 43.5% (+0.4)
No 56.5% (-0.4)

MEAN AVERAGE (not excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 37.0% (+0.7)
No 48.0% (n/c)

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.)


  1. Isn't it 43 / 57?

  2. 42.55 - isn't that rounded up to 43?

  3. STV say it's 42/58, so the headline gap is obviously fractionally higher on the unrounded numbers. We'll see when the datasets are released.

    As an aside, Ponsonby's spin on this poll was an absolute disgrace. "Would it be OK if I ask you a helpful question, Alastair?"

  4. Actually Ipsos Mori showed a 13% gap (37% - 50%) in January 2012, so Yes is at the same place it was over 2 years ago!

  5. Nice try, Mr Paid Troll. That was a freakish poll from Ipsos-Mori, long before the campaign started, and it was way out of line with everything before and after. (And the headline figures were actually Yes 39%, No 50, as it happens.)

  6. That's Miss Paid Troll to you! Lol, whatever, too little too late for the Yes campaign. Enjoy a No vote in September. :-)

  7. Salmond wiping the floor with Darling as flipper get's ever more hysterical and is almost shrieking now.

    Jawdropping stuff.

    Poor old Britnat twits.

    LOL :-)

  8. London private schoolboy and pretend Scotsman can't even agree that Scotland can be a Successful country.
    The man is beyond redemption. Pure racist evil.

  9. Even the out of touch PB tory twits must know just how badly Darling is coming across but it won't stop them denying the bleeding obvious.

    You almost feel sorry for Smithson looking at the far-right nutcases and racists shrieking away witlessly on PB. Almost but for the fact that Smithson put the repulsive twit TheScreamingEagles in charge of moderating politicalbetting. A rabid tory who who lied about his own child dying to try and welch on a bet. That's the caliber of Darling's tory cheerleaders.


  10. Consistent with the general pattern and overall situation.

    Yes moving towards 1997-2007 pattern of being consistently ahead as shyness reduces.

  11. Handpicked stooges in the crowd repeating the usual lies. A purely random sample of Scottish opinion and not an attempt to rig the debate in favour of the criminal and ex-advocate londoner.

  12. Handpicked stooges in the crowd repeating the usual lies. A purely random sample of Scottish opinion and not an attempt to rig the debate in favour of the criminal and ex-advocate londoner.

  13. Salmond calm throughout, Darling shrill and utterly negative.

    Almost a carbon copy of the debate in 2011 that had Salmond and Iain Gray taking part, though of course the out of touch tory twits won't know that.

    Very pleased so far as the No campaign has self-evidently learned absolutely nothing from 2007 and 2011.

    Scaremongering just won't cut it, particularly when westminsters leaders are comically incompetent and widely mistrusted. That Trust factor is going to destroy them and is no secret to those of us helping Yes on the doorsteps and in the streets of scotland.

  14. "Lol, whatever, too little too late for the Yes campaign."

    A poll which is the rough equivalent of a tied race among the more Yes-friendly pollsters is "Too little, too late"? I admire your mindless optimism, Miss Paid Troll.

  15. A good performance that exposed No as a desperate and fear filled campaign utterly reliant on one currency issue which they still don't appear to have realised is somewhere near the bottom of the scottish public's concerns for Independence.

    Every single time the glaring point was raised about scotland not getting the government it votes for, and the spectre of yet another tory government was raised, you could see Darling getting more and more blinky, shrill and desperate.

  16. There would have been a better debate with Cameron, moron that he is. At least he doesn't have the labour in Scotland inbred hatred of the SNP.

    You can't debate with zealots, bigots and london based former chancellors who can't even agree that we could be a successful country. No matter whether he wants Independence or not.

  17. The other vastly amusing thing to note is that the most effusive obsequious praise for Darling is coming from out of touch rUK tories and right-wingers.

    Not only will the incompetent fops now be a laughing stock when they try to shout "Don't let Labour ruin it again!" after gushing over Darling, but I somehow doubt that SLAB will be too pleased when the scottish public sees all the tory praise for Darling.

  18. Three people tweeted tonight that they had watched the debate, and were now voting Yes!

    Well done Darling! as I mentioned earlier on another thread, the more powers guarantee will be one of the main deciding factors in how a lot of people will vote, and Alistair didn't half let the cat out of the bag with his answers (or rather failure to answer) tonight.

  19. Some guy on twitter saying that all the major media outlets have been getting txt messages from BT/Westminster tonight telling them how to spin the debate! lol.

  20. All in all I didn't think Alex was as good as he could have been, and at the beginning Alistair wasn't as bad as he could have been. (Did he get new specs for the night?)

    However Darling rattled down like a bad piece of knitting as time went on.

  21. And all thrown away with Salmond's lacklustre performance. Analyse that.

  22. I see the full on "Salmond blew it" patter has started on ITV news..... no one could have predicted that..... Oh wait...

  23. I see the full on "Salmond blew it" patter has started on ITV news..... no one could have predicted that..... Oh wait...

  24. Anon : Yes, my analysis of your comment is very simple - you're a troll, quite possibly being paid directly for what you've just done, and as such your "opinions" are mainly of interest for what lies behind the spin operation.

  25. The press an media are almost as distrusted as westmisnter politicians so despite the predictable shrieking from the tory twits and unionist papers Yes supporters will be very happy with that. Particularly the incredible spectacle of Darling when he couldn't even bring himself to say scotland can be a successful independent country. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Just a BIT more important than abstruse currency issues on the doorstep I think you'll find.

    The fact that scotland has elected Salmond and the SNP twice and once with a landslide still hasn't sunk in for the BritNat twits. Nor do they appear to realise just how unpopular Cameron Clegg and little Ed are despite reams of evidence showing that to be the case.

    Analyse that indeed. LOL

  26. Actually, I work for MI5 and enjoy my job very much. Have a good evening, I will!

  27. Salmond came across as the more human. Darling was a bit "alien". The No questioners were more aggressive. Salmond remained calm. Undecideds I believe will have preferred Salmond's performance.
    Unionist media will, of course, call it for Darling.

  28. I admit it's a bit cruel to expose the twits comical ignorance of scottish politics, but here's a fairly representative example from the caledonian mercury of the press and media debate analysis from the 2011 debate where Iain Gray and Salmond clashed. Since some of us do actually remember that campaign and it's debates.

    "None of the leaders emerged as the clear winner of the debate. Tavish Scott, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, gave his best performance of the campaign – possibly because he has become so resigned to doing badly that he has relaxed enough to enjoy it.

    Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Conservative leader, did not quite make the impression she has done in previous debates, but was clear and decisive – while Alex Salmond was his solid, competent self without excelling and dominating the way his party managers had hoped he would."

    Now here's the toughest question of all for the comedy Britnats.

    What happened next?


  29. Didn't bother with the debate, watched a DVD that arrived through the post this morning (Coriolanus, starring Ralph Fiennes, excellent it was too). Sounds like I didn't miss much. Obviously I'm disappointed with the 4% swing to Yes, though somewhat relieved that it didn't come at the expense of our own support. Still, no room for complacency and all that jazz.

    Any word if the sample size was any different?

  30. Guardian reporting a Snap poll of 512 people who were polled after the debate. something like 42% yes 47% no and 11% undecided.

    ICM latest poll: Yes up 4% No down 4 %

    Result = Yes 47% No 53%

    Squeaky Bum time for the No's me thinks!

  31. Now saw at least eight tweets from people saying they have decided to vote Yes as a result of tonight's debate! lol.

  32. Despite all the astroturfers crowing about how darling won the debate. the truth is that their man couldn't bring himself to admit that Scotland could be anything other than a wasteland if independent.

    Tonight showed that only one side wants what's best for Scotland and the other has only hatred and fear backed up by contempt.

    The truth that unionists hate Scotland is now proven beyond all doubt and there is no going back.

  33. As an ex Labour member, I found Darling contemptuous, autocratic, out of touch and evasive. Couldn't say what new powers will be devolved, since the opposite would happen upon a No vote, and was unable to hide his sheer contempt for Scotland and the working classes. He is the living epitome of all that is wrong with New Labour. Another mulit-millionaire public school boy who regards a seat in the lords as his god given entitlement. Stopping parasites like him is, to me as a Socialist, is a strong enough reason in itself to vote Yes!

  34. sirsaynotoyesmenobeAugust 5, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    darling did win.

    salmond won only in the same paranoid universe that insists I'm getting paid for typing this.

    james, you run a good site here. don't tarnish its reputation in the last few weeks by trying to pin everything on trolls and bias. the world will not end for you on sept 19th, its just that not enough people think the same as you.

  35. James

    Interesting that the majority of undecideds in the ICM snap poll thought AS did better than AD. I suspect a lot of Yes were expecting AS to walk it so put AD as the winner when things don't go as you want it to go.

    I agree with Mick Pork, AS did poorly in some of the 2011 debates. Too many people are looking too deep into these awful TV format debates.

  36. sirsaynotoyesmenobe : Nice try, but that's an entirely predictable line for a paid No troll to take after being rumbled. Have another go.

  37. Anybody understand why Salmond didn't play the debt card? "You cut us our of our currency, we lubricate the difference by cutting loose from the debt." I was very disappointed in the debate. By stalling on currency Salmond allowed Darling to keep the evening framed overwhelmingly within that focus. As he stalled he avoided eye contact with the camera. Why could he not have given an A, B, C but pulled the debt trump, as well as oil to lubricate? Is he saving those cards for later? Or has his reputed lifestyle coach dumbed down his sparkle? It grieves me to say it, but I think Darling had him up against the ropes.

  38. The millions of conversations and debates going on in our living rooms, workplaces, pubs and even online are vastly more important to the outcome of this thing than these showpiece debates, fun though they are.

    I reckon small social and familial groups will reach something of a consensus in the last few weeks and that will be the key time in the debate. All the glitzy debates and skewed polls will fade away by the 18th, leaving us and our social groups to get down to deciding who we trust- I'd argue that when deciding whether a person or group is trustworthy we rely on our own social networks to help the decision making process.

    In addition we'll be faced with defining ourselves as Scottish or British and deciding what that means for where we centre our decision making. Interesting times.

  39. Hey, Stoat, is the real reason you didn't watch the debate because they didn't broadcast it live in the home counties? LOL.


  40. 1. Almost every comentator including pro-yes agree Salmond disappointed. On the currency he was utterly at bay. I was astonished by the unanimity in the hall when he failed to answer. His joke fell flat, people were booing and saying'answer the question'. It looked like a whole new experience for him. He has to find some way through this but it's so hard. I think he would probably do better if he just said we will have our own currency, a Scottish pound, but there are big elephant traps there too. Surely a come down for 'the greatest political talent of his geeeration;. Agreed he's canny and talented but not on form tonight.And Anon (think it was you) as for Darling saying Scotland would be a waste land if no independence, sorry he didn't so why bother to assert it.

    2. This Impos Mori poll is good for Yes. No question. Though James I don't think you can say it is analogous to a tie in a yes friendly poll, each poll is different and you have to take them as they come. And I'm surprised too you enthuses about a games bounce as if that's all it is. Far more worrying for NO is if it's the beginning of a shift as many have predicted.

    3. Even so the debate will definitely not have helped Yes. A whole panel of undecideds on ITV went for No as a result, unanimous. (A few people on Twitter changing means nothing at all, that's unconfirmable hearsay evidence anyway)

    4, And no I am not a troll and I certainly am not paid. Can we keep to the debate and stop personal attacks? I am on this site becuase I care about the result and specifically here because of its polling insights. But no Betty polls are not all I have though that accusation made me laugh. How could you know, why should you care? Just because you don't like my opinions I know. But I don't intend to personalise this or retaliate in kind because then it really does make a person look like they have nothing else. You have every right to your view and I'd only ask you let others have theirs. As you will have to, come Yes or come No.

    Incidentally I am aware No supporters bandy insults too and I am just as intolerant of that as of any others.

  41. Bit of a reality check time. It did not matter a jot what Salmond said about currency because Darling was ALWAYS going to bang away at it again and again and again. They simply have nothing else. This really is it.

    They expect to win on an issue that is nowhere near the top of scots priorities. What is more they've been hammering away relentlesssly on currency for years with ever tightening polls as their reward.

    More powers will be immensely more persuasive to undecideds and Darling shot himself in the foot, head and balls on that while the audience roared with laughter.

    You also don't need to wrap yourself in a saltire to shudder at the grotesque spectacle of Darling stuttering and blinking furiously as he tried everything possible (short of vomiting all over Ponsonby) to avoid simply admitting that scotland can be a successful independent country. THAT'S what Darling thinks is going to win over undecideds and convince them westminster can be trusted with scotland's future??

    Like F**k it will.

  42. "Can we keep to the debate and stop personal attacks?"

    I'm sorry, but it's not going to wash for you to accuse people of "personal attacks" for simply pointing out that trolling is quite plainly going on (possibly in return for cash). I haven't accused you of trolling, but I do think your characterisation of the debate (and of the reaction to it) is utterly fantastical.

  43. Expat- you might want to look at the polling from ICM that's been reported on Wings- DKs seemed to quite like Alex's approach!

    The sample size is much healthier than the 5 people on ITV who may or may not be a representative sample of the undecided population in Scotland. Lets just say a few of them seemed to have extremely deeply entrenched "concerns" to be real DKs.

  44. Great post, James, enlightening as usual, thanks, would never be able to work any of this out on my own.

    Of huge interest are the country of birth and NI things, as we all know that this influences likelihood to vote yes. Less than 50% "more Scottish than British" seems so low as to be almost negligent, it's things like this that really make me think that they are at it. What is the correct figure? If 62% are "Scottish only" then "more Scottish than British" must be even higher. Anyone able to re-weight just for fun? Scottish Skier?

    And as for you, Expat, play nice and we will be nice back.

  45. Expat: When I said the polls are all you have that is pretty much how it is for the no campaign. There is not one single other hint out there that no is in the lead. Not one. Nope, not even the canvassing which must be very, very worrying for the no campaign.

    Even what went on with the bookies is really dodgy, two months ago they were all on or heading for yes on 2:1 when all of a sudden a press release goes out which leads to a whole load of false press reporting, this leads to some massive 6 figure sum bets on no. Very suspicious, and all of a sudden the odds start drifting again. They think we don't notice these things.

  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. Betty- Ladbrokes was 8/1 on Yes >55% a few days ago, now its 5/1. Pretty big shift in the price in a few days, maybe they've caught wind of something!

  48. I make it that the snap ICM poll has yes on 46% which is up 3% on the last ICM poll last month.

  49. The debate was all about persauding Don't Knows to vote either YES or NO.

    Wings over Scotland reports that the Guardian conducted a snap poll immediately after the debate and what the poll discovered is that among voters who'd started out as undecideds, Salmond won by 55-45.

    Among those who remained undecided at the end the First Minister was still judged to have done best, by a thumping 74 to 26.

    Game set and match to Salmond then.

  50. Alan : It's actually 47%, but it can't be considered a proper voting intention poll (because people who didn't watch the debate were automatically excluded).

  51. @Scott.

    I noticed the sudden change in betting odds. My guess was that it coincided with the announcement that Ralph Topping was supporting Yes.

    If this is the reason, then it reinforces my view that the Bookies are floundering when it comes to events like one off referenda; as one might logically expect.

  52. I notice with vast amusement and no surprise whatsoever that the twits on world's most out of touch betting site still haven't grasped that Salmond beat Darling on the undecideds which is the only metric that matters.

    Riotously funny pontificating from those who clearly don't understand anything about scotland or indeed the purpose of the debate.

    Poor old PB herd, they never ever learn.

  53. Speaking to an undecided voter at work a few minutes ago. He is only now starting to think about the issues. He reckoned that Darling won the debate, but realises this isn't about personalities.
    The debate has proved a brilliant evemt for Yes in my opinion. Everybody at work is now discussing it, and most folk seem to be coming down on the Yes side. At last, the ordinary voter is becoming involved with the actual issues.

  54. For those who are looking for nothing but a blow by blow on last night, do yourselves a favour and read all of James excellent analysis of the Mori Poll as it is no less of a crushing blow to the blissfully ignorant Britnats than the fact that Salmond beat Darling on the undecideds.

    I've now lost count of the sheer number of frankly bizarre methodological changes that seemingly only James has been astute and thorough enough to uncover and explain. If you think you're going to get the truth and this kind of detailed analysis of the polling from the lazy and inept unionist press, or out of touch right-wing sites stuck in the westminster bubble, then think again.

    This kind of detailed and fact-based scrutiny casts the blind Britnat worship of the polls in a very stark and unflattering light. If you do not understand exactly why the polls are saying what they are saying then you obviously have no chance whatsoever of making any kind of accurate or meaningful assessment of where the campaign is.

    Yet of course that won't stop the out of touch twits proclaiming doom as always.

    Nor will the fact that Darling lost on the undecideds stop them making a complete fool of themselves either since they simply do not understand that Darling lost the debate among the one group of voters that matters most of all. Either that or they are lying to themselves and praying nobody else has spotted the obvious.

    The Britnat complacency is so ingrained and so overpowering they may even be deluded enough to think that undecided voters don't matter. They may even be so far gone to pretend all that matters is that a few unionist papers have some misleading headlines for them to foam at the mouth over. Unionist papers and media that have attacked Yes and the SNP for years. Attacks which resulted in a landslide election win for the SNP and attacks that have not stopped the polls still tightening inexorable even though Britnat pundits tried to deny they were narrowing at all for months. Polls that have also had almost every kind of No friendly eccentric weighting and methodology applied to them, yet they still keep narrowing.

    Some of us understand why that is. Those who clearly do not and have no understanding at all of what is happening on the ground are going to be in for quite a rude shock soon enough.

  55. Juteman is correct and the debate has still sparked up interest that Yes was prepared for and fully intend to harness.

    As to that I have quite a busy day ahead but before I leave I can't resist quoting back what I previously said about STV's idiotic choice of a predebate poll.

    "I've already said that STV trying to tell the scottish public what they think before the debate even starts is laughably inept and patronising, but it's still far more likely to annoy undecideds than make their minds up for them."

    Turns out I was right. The undecideds look to have totally ignored the polling and it's ridiculous 'presentation' and Salmond won them over.

    Perhaps STV could finally learn their lesson lest they make a fool of themselves yet again. I expect Curtice to be a publicity seeking rent-a-quote for the unionist press. It's what he does after all. I do not expect a straight two way debate to be quite so comically mismanaged as this one was.

  56. I have looked and looked and outside of this site I can find no commentator who thinks AS won but you will tell me I am looking in the wrong place and all is bias so fair enough. But on this interesting question of the DKs breaking for AS in the Guardian ICM poll, there is more to say.. Amongst people who were voting NO before the debate people thought Darling won by 83% to 6%. Amongst pre-debate YES voters people thought Salmond won by 72% to 16%.

    In other words nearly three times as many Yes supporters thought Darling won as the No supporters did. This I think shows as conclusively as you can who had the better debate.

    As for the DKs. Amongst people who said they were don’t knows, true Salmond was slightly ahead – 44% to 36% but guys there were only 63 don’t knows, so we’re talking about the difference of 4 or 5 people!! That is just not enough to tell anything at all.

    I am intrigued that in IPOS-MORI the NO vote held steady while YES went up. On the face of it you would think this meant there were no switches from NO to YES and it was all from DKs. but in practice there would be churn I guess , some NO to YES , some DK to NO ? Any thoughts? If the poll is right and all the rest of the DKs went to YES it still wouldn't push them over the finishing line. But who knows if it is? And I would be interested to know, given everyone's expertise here in opinion polling in 97 etc. and in the last referendum, whether the polls were showing the DKs so squeezed six weeks before those elections/events as they do here.

    And thanks Betty, I will to be nice if you will. I accept your 'you have nothing else' meant the No campaign. And since I am not any part of the NO campaign I have no idea if they have more issues up their sleeve than the currency. But in my view, as you'd expect, the economy and banker of last resort is the ultimate issue.

  57. Was a bit down after last night, but now I am buoyed by the numbers....more and more people are now switching onto the debate.

    And we know what happens when they do.

    Spread the gospel people.

    Great work again James

  58. Almost out the door but can't resist this. One of the biggest PB tory twits of all (which is really saying something) DavidL has just claimed and I quote - "As a debater Cameron would run rings around Salmond"


    Cammie is a coward you amusingly out of touch twit. A shallow and weak second rate Blair impersonator. He is scared to even debate little Ed and is still looking for excuses to stymie the GE debates over timing.

    But don't take MY word for it.

    Let's hear from the undecideds in scotland you still can't grasp the importance of even after Salmond beat your economic guru Darling on persuading them.

    Survation - "22% think David Cameron is "sensible" to stay out of formal debate, while 48% are more inclined to agree that he is "a coward" for so doing."

    Ouch! who would have guessed an incompetent fop like Cameron would be held in such contempt by that section of the scottish public most crucial to the referendum? Everyone apart from comically obsequious Cameroons it would seem.

    How is Cameron's close friend and spindoctor Andy Coulson by the way? Still a non-story? Oh, that's right, he's in prison. Good call PB tories, good call.


  59. Were they 'independent' commentators with no axe to grind?
    Who do the commentators work for, almost certainly the Unionist media?

    Someone who believes what the MSM say hardly has the whip hand in any discussion.

  60. Oh dear god yet more inept spin to correct and I have things to do.

    Try READING James piece as it explains in detail why expectations affected the views of those whose minds were already made up. Those in other words with set views that are ultimately of no consequence to the debates target audience.

    "Amongst people who said they were don’t knows, true Salmond was slightly ahead – 44% to 36%"

    Yes, it is entirely true that Salmond won among the most crucial segment of voters to the debate.

    Complain to the guardian about the sample size since they seemed happy enough to conclude a 'win' on their numbers. While you're at it try explaining the bizarre Mori methodology James highlighted.

    AS for the 'ultimate' issue, sorry chum but it sure ain't currency. Last I checked this was the figure from TNS-BMRB

    'Which of these would you say is most important to you in deciding how you might vote in the referendum?' Currency - 2%

    A whole 2% to base an entire campaign on. Ultimate issue indeed!

  61. To be honest I'm astounded at the amount of non Scots accents I hear on TV when I'm watching local interviews in Scotland.....

    It seems to be 20-25% minimum for Joe Public and Charity and non gov Public sector(Forestry/RSPB etc) its nearer 50%

    I think for a lot of folk the housing options(cost) in Scotland and lifestyle choice seems to pull them northwards.

  62. The MORI poll is particularly good as it is still showing far too many British nat-IDing people in the sample. To have Yes climbing in a sample that is increasingly British (presumably as not enough Scots who are more likely to be Yes are responding) is quite something. It means those that actually have an attachment to the union are deserting it.

    A quick re-weight by long term SSAS / census natID and we have:

    43% Yes
    47% No

    =48% Yes ex DK which is more in line with survation, ICM, panelbase etc.

    That does not fully correct - we can't know what the intentions are of Scots not responding nor can we know the true level of shy Yes in the sample as evidenced by e.g. lower Yes in Labour voters compared to when they are asked more anonymously online.

  63. Yes voter here.

    Debate was a Darling win. Salmond "fucked it" with ill-judged inside-jokey bubble questions. Darling battered him on the currency issue.

    Good news on the IPSOS-MORI poll though.

  64. "still showing far too many British nat-IDing people in the sample"

    Theory: people have been increasingly British nat-IDing as a result of indyref, hence the apparent discrepancy.

  65. James - I've always thought your PB obsession to be your fatal flaw. It seems like that fevered bullshit is migrating over here into the comments thread, along with this Mick Pork guy. Just a personal opinion.

  66. Commentor : Given that even Professor Curtice has stated that the polling evidence suggests that the debate was a draw, don't you think it's a bit odd for a Yes supporter to buy into the Daily Mail spin that Darling "battered" Salmond?

    You may be partly right about national identity, though.

  67. I'm just putting out my personal opinion on the debate.

    It does seem that Alex's performance struck a chord with some - perhaps even specifically with undecideds and women. I'm not sure though if these observations that we're latching onto are statistically sound or not.

  68. Commentor : For the record, Mick is extremely welcome to post here, as are any other refugees from the Kafkaesque moderation regime at PB (I'm one myself, as you well know).

  69. Darling lost the debate as he couldn't answer a single question. Was proven to be a liar when his own support for a CU, ( and there is video of him saying them) was quoted.

    Mad Ali shouted, raved, jabbed his finger and talked over the FM. that's not winning a debate no matter how many of goebbels mcdougall's paid astroturfers shriek their victory orgasms.

  70. "Theory: people have been increasingly British nat-IDing as a result of indyref, hence the apparent discrepancy."

    While the gap between Yes and No ~halves from 29 points to 15 in MORI.

    So the more British people feel they are the more they support Scottish independence?

  71. LordSirSayNoToYesMenMSPObeOrderOfTheGarterAugust 6, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    Marian: "Wings over Scotland reports that the Guardian conducted a snap poll immediately after the debate and what the poll discovered is that among voters who'd started out as undecideds, Salmond won by 55-45.

    Among those who remained undecided at the end the First Minister was still judged to have done best, by a thumping 74 to 26.

    Game set and match to Salmond then"

    hmm, except the only way the proportion of "post-undecided" could be 74-26, when the "pre-undecided" were 55-45, is if the vast majority of the people who went from "pre-undecided" to a definite viewpoint were those who thought Darling won the debate. And if they thought he won the debate, they'll be plumping for NO :-)

    Think about it: 55-45 before, 27 of the "darling won the debate" pre-undecideds now say they're going to vote NO, which leaves 55-18 still undecided: 74-26 in the post-undecideds when rounded up to make a 100.

    That's maths n logic for ya

    James. PS. Once again, you're including don't knows when trying to show a narrow no lead (i.e. when yes and no are both smaller figures) and then excluding don't knows when trying to big up the yes proportion (when both yes and no are bigger). Pick one method and stick to it eh? :-)

  72. Kerching! Another 50p from McDougall HQ for our resident paid troll.

  73. Salmond "fucked it" by winning over more undecideds than flipper Darling did he 'Yes supporter'?

    Aye, right ye are chum.

    I've always thought fuckwitted PB trolls incompetently astroturfing on James blog to be riotously funny. There is no clearer example of fevered bullshit than the out of touch twits and westminster bubble thinking exemplified by PB and other unionist circle-jerks like the Daily Mail. Just a personal opinion, backed up by reams of evidence.

    You're not on PB now chum so you won't get the protected by the cowardly moderator TSE who lied about his own child dying to welch on a bet.

    I state that fact again because like magic it always brings out the comedy PB astroturfers like yourself.

    James needs no lessons from those dumb enough to think Salmond was "fucked" in a debate which saw Darling laughed at by the audience over jam tomorrow 'Devotiny' pledges, (of far greater salience than the 2% currency issue) and who spluttered incoherently for minutes when asked to admit scotland can be a successful independent country.

    Rest assured though, if I thought for one second that laughing at out of touch PB twits on here was becoming too much of a distraction it would stop immediately. James or anyone else I actually respect on here wouldn't need to tell me.

    PB is the perfect microcosm of out of touch westminster bubble thinking dominated by right-wing twats. It is therefore useful as a shorthand to describe the complacency and ignorance of scottish politics that infests the Britnat press, media and their unthinking cheerleaders.

    I've been posting on matters pertaining to independence and wider rUK politics more than long enough for James and the other respected regulars on his blog to know if my contributions are valuable or not. Indeed, they almost persuaded me to start my own blog with their kind encouragement. However, as James knows a blog is no small undertaking and not one I could embark on right now. So I am extremely grateful to James. Nor am I the only one as this blog is constantly growing in popularity and is widely trusted for it's rigour and forensic analysis of the polling. Unlike some other sites we could mention.


  74. Mick Pork You say nobody cares about the currency. Yet the number one iin all polling of the key issues is the economy and the currency IS tthe economy. If it goes: down the pan so does the economy. Employment is the next biggest issue and just think about whathappened in Greece to get some idea how vital all this is.

    Regarding the Guardisn poll, yes it is small which is why the DKs are too small a number to split and make much of. The percentage of Yes voters who gave the debate to Darling is however large enough to have some ( if limited) significance.

    But let us agree the debate was a draw, as James quotes What Scotland Thinks. That is a bit unexpected, no?

  75. "Mick Pork You say nobody cares about the currency."

    Let me check and see... *BZZZZZT!* Nope! No dice pal. I never said that. I quoted the TNS-BNRM figures on it.

    The economy is not one subset issue like currency any more than foreign policy is merely NATO membership or the Iraq catastrophe.

    I'm not surprised you don't like the figures but they are the figures. Nor do you need to take my word for it's failure to be the 'gamechanger' for No they were praying it would be. Fact is currency gets trotted with amusing regularity and yet the polls just keep narrowing. Even with all these curious No friendly methodological 'tweaks' some pollsters are continually making. Funny that, isn't it?

    "Employment is the next biggest issue and just think about whathappened in Greece to get some idea how vital all this is."

    Or just think about what happened to Norway to get some idea how vital all economic factors are.

    Indeed as Wings points out today..

    Phoebe Arnold on BuzzFeed Politics, 6 August 2014:

    “If you minus Scotland’s total tax receipts generated per person since 1980 from the average for the UK, they’ve contributed a surplus of £222 billion in today’s prices (again, counting Scotland’s geographical share of North Sea oil and gas).”

    (Source fullfact.org. Our emphasis.)

    £222bn divided by 33 years is £6.73bn a year. No biggie. Don’t mention it.

    Why must we always be burdened with the terrible curse of oil? Oh, that's right, the McCrone Report tells scots precisely why and helps explain why the Claire Oilfield story went viral so quickly.

    If you want to only give significance to the most No friendly headline figure then have at it. It's not as if we on James blog aren't well used to that by now from the unionist press.

    Sorry, but I don't consider Curtice to be an infallible arbiter of opinion any more than Kellner. The whole YouGov "Kellner correction" fiasco exposed that all too clearly. Hence James saying even Professor Curtice. Some of us also remember Curtice amusing prognostications before 2011.

  76. Typo - *TNS-BMRB

  77. its a tenner a go from me james :-)

  78. Hi Everyone, I'm a die-hard Yes voter as well, but I'm afraid to say we have completely lost this referendum and James needs to stop conning us all with his insights, because We are at least 40% behind No.

    And I know Scottish Skier means well, but he's completely mad.

    Anyone convinced by my 'Concerned Yes Voter' Trolling attempt?

    I mean, You'd think they'd at least make the effort to sound a tiny bit plausible eh?

    On another note, as far as the TV panel in which it was said they were all 'undecided' one has already been outed as a BT activist on Twitter.

    Further to the story that broke about Yes voters turning up to the debate but being turned away, another person now on wings saying he experienced the same and quite a few have came forward with the same story...all people who told Ipsos they would be voting Yes, Ipsos say they have had several complaints, but it was STV's staff who manned the doors...interesting!

  79. "On another note, as far as the TV panel in which it was said they were all 'undecided' one has already been outed as a BT activist on Twitter."

    Can you post a link for that?

  80. These programmes can be titled in a file called, The Empire Strikes Back. It is just so blatant.

  81. @Reporting the referendum,
    It's was all over twitter mate, but I couldn't find it yesterday. If you have a copy of the picture, it's the young woman on the right as the viewer would see her.

  82. I don't know anything about this but there do seem to some funny goings on.

    Twitter link.

  83. I don't know anything about this but there do seem to some funny goings on.

    Twitter link.