Tuesday, August 19, 2014

YouGov poll is even better for Yes among definite voters

The YouGov datasets were released yesterday afternoon, and as in the last poll from the firm, they show that the No lead is 2% lower among definite voters than it is among the whole sample.

Should Scotland be an independent country? (Definite voters only, Don't Knows excluded)

Yes 44% (+4)
No 56% (-4)

That's another record high for Yes from the No-friendly firm YouGov.  The previous record was 43%, and if memory serves me right that was only reached once. 

If this was Ipsos-Mori, the figures for definite voters would of course be used as the headline numbers, on the basis that there is a strong correlation between the number of people who tell polling firms they are absolutely certain to vote, and the actual turnout in elections.  When you look at it that way, there is now - for the time being at least - a degree of convergence between YouGov and other pollsters, in spite of the notorious "Kellner Correction".  YouGov's turnout-filtered Yes figure of 44% is very similar to ICM's unrounded figure of 44.6% (which admittedly is based on a more complex form of turnout weighting).  Remarkably, all six pollsters are currently showing a Yes vote of at least 42%.

But is there any way the No side can convince themselves that the surge for Yes seen in the three polls over recent days isn't really happening?  Well, with a bit of effort you can construct a case.  Although ICM showed a 2% swing, Yes were starting from an unusually low base in the previous poll, so you could argue that the change was an artifact of the margin of error.  Panelbase have shown a return to an all-time high for Yes that was reached in a previous poll, so you could argue that the slight dip in the interim was also a margin of error effect, and that nothing has really changed.  However, that ignores the suspicion that the net effect of Panelbase's recent methodological changes is No-friendly, and that the new poll is in real terms better for Yes than anything that has gone before.

As for YouGov, although they're showing an outright record high for Yes, you could pray in aid the fact that they have recently made a mildly Yes-friendly methodological change (country of birth weighting), and that on a  pound-for-pound comparison the new poll is no better for Yes than the previous high of 42% in the poll for Channel 4 News in the spring.  The problem with that argument, though, is that there have been no fewer than three YouGov polls in the interim which have left the distinct impression that the 42% finding was an aberration.

So the argument that there has been no change is a bit convoluted, to say the least.  Professor Curtice said yesterday that we cannot rule out the possibility that there has been more movement to Yes.  I'd put it the other way round - the balance of probability is that there has been a swing to Yes, but because ICM's figures weren't quite as good as the others, and because of the uncertainties surrounding the methodological tweaks made by Panelbase and YouGov, we can't completely exclude the possibility of an unchanged position.  What we sure as hell CAN exclude the possibility of, though, is a post-debate boost for No.

Incidentally, someone asked on the previous thread if YouGov ask for party political voting intentions before referendum voting intentions.  The answer is yes, and they also seem to switch back and forth between asking for Westminster voting intention first, and going straight to Holyrood voting intention.  In theory, this is bad practice which could distort the referendum findings.  However, when Panelbase stopped asking for the party political answers first (after being criticised for it by Curtice), it didn't appear to make much difference.

*  *  *

REQUIRED SWINGS

Swing required for 1 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 2.0%

Swing required for 2 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 4.5%

Swing required for 5 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 6.5%

*  *  *

SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS

MEAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 43.6% (+0.6)
No 56.4% (-0.6)

MEAN AVERAGE (not excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 37.8% (+0.5)
No 48.8% (-0.7)

MEDIAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 42.6% (+0.1)
No 57.4% (-0.1)

(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.)

89 comments:

  1. The SNP to Labour Holyrood swings are 7% and 10 % and only 15% of Labour voters voting Yes. My theory is that Labour Better Together's infiltrated the panel.

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  2. Very good post by James. Extremely fair unlike some of the triumphalist No supporters on this site (I am No but never never triumphalist, the divisiveness around now is already bad enough).

    My view is that, as so often in past contests, the debate made no difference to anyone so it's pointless to continue the argument about who won. And what we are seeing is the polls coming together as we enter the last strait

    The key now surely is will there be statistical dead heats in the next two weeks or even Yes opening up a small lead? In which case we might be seeing 2011 being replayed at much slower speed. If the polls lock, then that scenario will no longer apply

    If it does apply (and here I am being more partisan) I expect the dreaded Sun Murdoch endorsement sometime around the 10th September, a moment that I feel will be dreadful for everyone. Not because it portends a Yes victory (though it will) but because it portends a Murdoch move and his anointing of Salmond as Father of Scotland. That one will run and run.

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  3. Fear Ye Not, expat

    Salmond will be retired in 10 years, anointed or otherwise.

    And the people of Scotland will, finally, be in charge of our own destiny and our own resources.

    I like that

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  4. Ten years? The man's 60 this year and will have achieved his life's work by 2016. There will be nothing else to achieve and better to go out on a high note than hang on for the inevitable failure some time in the future.

    Alex Salmond will wait to be Scotland's first Prime Minister then quietly hand over the reins to Nicola Sturgeon before a long and well deserved retiremant.

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  5. Good post. I agree that one would have to put together quite a contrived case to assert that these three polls represent no change. However, it's hard to say how significant the change is without seeing another poll from each of the pollsters - particularly Survation and You Gov, who could well have just produced outliers.

    The lead in the last five polls from the most frequent pollsters (before removing DKs):

    YouGov 14/17/19/20/13
    Panelbase 5/7/3/7/4
    ICM 3/12/7/11/9
    Survation 10/5/5/6/13
    TNS 12/12/14/9/13

    Looking at those numbers, I think it's very hard to argue that the "No" vote has strengthened materially over time, but it's also hard to discern much progress for "Yes". Certainly "Yes" is not progressing at the rate it needs to in order to be confient of victory. Increasingly the "Yes" campaign's hopes must rest on the polls all being wrong (perhaps except Panelbase) or a very late swing / strong ground game.

    If in the next round of polls YouGov is up three, Survation down three and the others +/- 1 on their last poll, I think I'd be inclined to think the last round of polls were just noise. If Survation's 7pt boost to No unwinds almost completely, YouGov reports another <14 point lead and one or other of TNS or ICM report an improved position for "Yes", without any polls going materially in the other direction, I'd think a "Yes" rally had more substance. Most likely neither will happen and we will still be in the dark fumbling for trends.

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  6. I'm hearing reports of people's postal forms arriving already. Should they be so early? Can they be returned right away?

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  7. Another No voter here. I would agree that James' post was fairly even handed. I think we're starting to see a convergence of the polls. The only thing I would disagree on is the ICM poll. I don't think that the ICM results could be seen as evidence of a major swing towards Yes because, while there was a small swing, the result we got was comfortably within the standard figures that ICM have been producing this year.

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  8. "but because it portends a Murdoch move and his anointing of Salmond as Father of Scotland. "

    You still trying to spout this feeble bullshit even though Cameron's spindoctor close friend and ex NOTW editor is in Jail?

    Not to mention you yourself admit that the only reason a Murdoch paper would endorse Yes is if they thought Yes would win.


    Good luck with persuading scots of that chum.

    LOL

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  9. If the polls all start to show similar results then it must be that they are all wrong.

    You can't have various different weighting methods and corrections applied to a representative sample and come up with the same result.

    They really are all just expensive guesswork.

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  10. Here's Wings exposing Murdoch's supposedly 'Yes friendly' Sun talking shit again and attacking Salmond.

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/paying-attention-for-thickos/

    Meanwhile for those with the memory of a goldfish here's Cameron and little Ed Miliband looking like a pair of twats with their heads up the arse of Murdoch and the Sun only a couple of months ago with the infamous "THIS IS OUR ENGLAND" front page.


    https://greatrednorth.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/2-twats.jpg?w=510&h=353

    But by all means try to forget the hilariously inept and imbecilic triumphalism that followed the first debate from out of touch twits. Those amusingly convinced by the unionist dominated press that Darling had scored some sort of 'triumph' and that currency was a winner. (even though every time No has used the minority issue of currency the polls have just kept right on narrowing)

    This entire Independence Referendum is about who scots trust to look after the best interests of scots for the future.

    So I'm afraid out of touch westminster incompetents like Cameron, Clegg and little Ed are going to have it all to do to persuade scots they can be trusted to act in the best interests of scotland.

    Not least when important matters like this keep getting exposed.

    "Perhaps the most notorious injustice ever committed by the UK government against Scotland (with the possible exception of the infamous “40% rule” in the 1979 devolution referendum in which the dead were counted as No votes) was the suppression for 30 years of the McCrone Report, which revealed how wealthy an independent Scotland would have been after the discovery of oil in the North Sea.

    healey

    Successive Labour and Conservative governments at Westminster frantically fought to deceive Scots over the value of the bounty for decades. And now, on the eve of another referendum, it looks like they’re about to try it again.


    http://wingsoverscotland.com/fool-you-twice-shame-on-you/

    As the important postal ballot period approaches perhaps the No supporters would also care to explain why the No campaign's efforts on the ground are still laughably shambolic while Yes is very busy indeed delivering leaflets, holding meetings and building on what we have already been doing for months.

    No are the ones looking dangerously complacent as they continue to utterly rely on a widely distrusted unionist dominated media the scottish public holds in contempt. While the No campaign is still being 'masterminded' by out of touch westminster politicians like Cameron, Osborne, Clegg and little Ed.

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  11. Betty, I'm not an expert on postal voting, but from what I've read, now would be strangely early. They are being sent out earlier than for a normal election, though. (No idea why.)

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  12. People are reporting the receipt of polling cards, not postal votes, as far as I can see.

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  13. Lots of folk getting postal votes now. I'd assume only those who have absolutely made their mind up would send them back now. Most others will wait till the debate on Monday I'd assume. Hopefully Eck "loses" that debate as well ;-)

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  14. The Electoral Registration Office for Edinburgh & Lothians Postal Voter's Official Poll Notices are only arriving in the mail today and they state that postal voting packs will not be sent out to the addressees until around Wednesday 27 August i.e. a week from now, so it appears that the rumours about postal votes being already sent in are false.

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  15. News reaches me that the notorious right-wing site politicalbetting and it's repulsive tory moderator TSE (the guy who it's been proved lied about his own child dying to try and welch on a bet) have been spouting laughable nonsense about the betting on the Independence Referendum.

    The out of touch twit says "follow the money" but when the bleeding obvious is pointed out to him he claims it's some sort of conspiracy and starts shrieking witlessly about Romney and Ron Paul.

    These are William Hill's own figures on the breakdown of the betting on the Independence Referndum.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BuyBqaaCcAAtKD_.jpg:large

    As a poster on Shadsy's own blog points out (again, it's the bleeding obvious that somehow keeps escaping the out of touch twits on PB trapped in the westminster bubble)

    All areas of Scotland (Minus Edinburgh which is 50/50), Wales & NI have majority of bets placed on a YES, the reason the odds are so long are because made in London are for much larger sums and for NO. (http://www.ibtimes.com/london-man-makes-record-breaking-bet-scottish-referendum-1597004).

    Larger sums of money have been put on NO (mainly from London), thus making NO odds on. All 3 Celtic nations are betting YES however.


    Not to mention if "stuff the jocks" Smithson was really so confident of the betting and a No result then why isn't he betting his house on No? Instead of pointedly admitting "I’m not shifting my Betfair betting which produces the same profit whatever happens."

    ROFL

    Let's face it though, who on earth interested in scottish politics and scottish matters like the Independence Referendum would rely on a joke site like PB? A site utterly dominated by far-right lunatics and out of touch tory twits A site which claimed Coulson was a non-story for years and now Coulson is in prison. A site which claimed Tony Blair would be a great spokesamen for the No campaign. A site notorious for banning scottish posters and then offering no reasonable or sane excuse for doing so. A site which also bullied off the one poster who regularly posted on betting matters, Tim, because he laughed just a bit too hard at the tory twats who dominate and moderate politicalbetting.

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  16. And once again we observe the sad spectacle of Mick Pork, face pressed against the window of politicalbetting.com, anguished tears streaming down his porky cheeks, little porcine fists drumming on the panes as he wails "look at me!, look at me!", largely ignored by the revellers inside the most popular and diverse online politics forum in the UK, as they go about their business, debating Scottish independence alongside UK economic data, Labour out-performance in marginal seats and the tactical naivity of Emperor Palpatine at the Battle of Endor.

    Every now and then one of the revellers waves and raises a cheeky glass to the window in a mock salute, and Mick renews his pounding of the glass with greater vigour, howling his injustices to the moon with a repetitive shriek. Coulson! Twits! Incompetent fops! Amusing!Shriek! Far right lunatics! Hilarious! Stormfront-lite!

    And it's hard to believe that, alone at night, when the pounding finally stops, there aren't a few hammy little tears into the pillow. It's much lonelier on his new farm. He wishes they'd let him back into the party...

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  17. Fuck off back to PB flockers you laughably out of touch twat, there's a good chap.

    I'm afraid you will find no purchase here for you're somewhat telling and shrill hysteria when it's pointed out that PB is a joke site full of right-wing imbeciles much like yourself. Good of you to reveal you are one of them though. That saved some time. :-)

    James knows full well what PB is like after being banned for no reason. He also has the absolute proof and emails that show the tory moderator TSE lied about his own child dying to welch on a bet.

    That's the kind of repulsive incompetent tory twit that Smithson leaves in charge of PB for weeks at a time because he can't be bothered to actually pay for someone competent and unbiased to do so.

    Fact is Wings over Scotland is more popular than PB though I know how that must pain Smithson and TSE arselickers like yourself. Nor do you seem to realise that the almost complete absence of scottish or even left-wing posters on PB is far more telling and amusing than frustrating to anyone scottish. I'm posting on all the main scottish and Independence focused sites these days. So your cretinous contention that I somehow miss PB or it's far-right lunatics is as ignorant and devoid of insight as everything else you spouted.

    Why the fuck would I or anyone else interested in scottish politics, and in particular the independence referendum, waste their time on a far-right westminster bubble site like PB now?


    We KNOW where the scottish voters are and it sure ain't on a joke site dominated by out of touch tory twits like PB.

    So how's about you stop the twatty whining for just one second and tell us all why we should discount William Hill's own figures on the breakdown of betting for the Independence Referendum?


    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BuyBqaaCcAAtKD_.jpg:large

    Hmmm?

    LOL

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  18. Rolfe said...

    "People are reporting the receipt of polling cards, not postal votes, as far as I can see.
    "


    Yep. That's the case here too and it's far more likely than any early postal ballots appearing so soon.

    Time also to point out that there has been very encouraging numbers of volunteers for Yes to go polling stations and monitor the vote. I can understand why some are nervous after the fiasco of the infamous “40% rule” in the 1979 devolution referendum (in which the dead were counted as No votes)and the suppression for 30 years of the McCrone Report. We all know fine well how deeply mistrusted westminster politicians and their incompetent cheerleaders are. With excellent reason.

    However, as it's also been pointed out on ScotGoesPop by another poster, this isn't some small by-election Labour can bend the rules on and stitch-up. This is far bigger and more visible than that. For example, with the "missing million" being targeted like never before the postal votes (though very important) are hardly the only thing that matters with so many other voters now being signed up as part of the wider GOTV push.

    The No campaign still seems to be desperately pinning all their hopes on another Darling 'victory'. LOL Seems a shame to point out just how full of shit they have been proved to be about the first debate and currency. It also seem a touch harsh to point out to them just how little believed the hysterical shrieking from the Britnat twits and the unoinist media will be for the next debate because of that. Harsh, but still all too true. ;-)

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  19. Mick Pork hasn't been banned from PB. This whole act is getting very tiresome.

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  20. Don't waste your and our time, Mr anonymous PB idiot. We have the emails which prove it and the laughably spurious excuse as to why.

    http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/free-pork.html

    Are you going to claim James isn't banned now too? Yeah, good luck with that one chum.

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  21. Hook. Line. Sinker.

    I don't think you should discount William Hill's figures. I didn't say you should. However, I don't think it should surprise anyone that with the "No" odds being heavily "on" it is attractive only to a small number of relatively wealthy betters, or that at 6/1 (in a two horse race) Yes has attracted a larger number of much smaller bets. Personally I am slightly more inclined towards yes than no at the current odds, but don't find either compelling. And I certainly don't find it odd that a political betting site thinks people should follow where the money is going in larger quantities. A more considered response would be to note that punters often get it wrong, as they did in large numbers in the 2010 general election.

    As to the rest of your rant, not much to say really. I posted on PB from time to time for some years under the same moniker, and indeed discussed Scottish independence with you on that site, so it really shouldn't come as a surprise to you.

    I am clearly not a right-wing imbecile. Your pavlovian response to even the gentlest ribbing, or indeed constructive challenge, says much about your insecurity.

    You can protest as much as you like, but you loved being part of PB. Until the day you were banned you bounced off its walls, piddling all over the place with your mock hilarity and limited stock of repetitive insults. As you now fire the same at a small band of anonymous posters on here, you must feel like an aging member of a middle-ranking 90s boyband playing first on the bill in a room behind a pub in Kilmarnock. You miss PB like hell, as your frequent ad hom attacks on it and "I have been informed"s unwittingly reveal.

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  22. Oh and while we're at it I feel sure you'll be able to explain why it's perfectly reasonable that it wasn't just James who was banned by politicalbetting, but even just mentioning and linking to SCOTgoesPOP was banned by the repulsive PB tory moderator TSE.

    SCOTgoesPOP readers will of course draw their own conclusions as to precisely why that was.

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  23. James Kelly was banned by Mike Smithson. I think that is a shame because James is intelligent, passionate and eloquent. You aren't banned, it's bizarre that you claim you are.

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  24. "Hook. Line. Sinker."

    The phrase always used by online trolls not interested in debate but disrupting it.

    So now everyone on SCOTgoesPOP knows for certain you're a PB tory unionist troll 'Flockers'.

    You really aren't the brightest button in the box, are you?

    LOL

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  25. I love this thread.

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  26. "You aren't banned"

    Bullshit.

    http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/free-pork.html

    The tory moderator TSE said plain as day my "posting privileges" had been revoked in an email to TheUnionDivvie. Unless you're claiming TSE is a liar? (okay we all KNOW he's a liar but that is still what he said)

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  27. For those who missed it I would point to this excellent article on Wee Ginger Dug by Dr Nancy Burge on the consequences for the scottish NHS for a No vote.


    Free cradle to grave healthcare in NHS Scotland or the Great British NHS Sell-Off?

    http://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/free-cradle-to-grave-healthcare-in-nhs-scotland-or-the-great-british-nhs-sell-off/

    Somewhat more persuasive to scottish voters than the shrill whining from the out of touch PB herd.

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  28. Erm, I answered the question you asked.

    I have never tried to hide my views. I am unionist, proudly so, but sympathetic to the independence cause and particularly to the desire for greater devolution to reflect Scotland's different centre of political gravity. I don't think either campaign has been particularly good - the "no" campaign has the harder task but has been lacklustre throughout; the "yes" campaign has impressive energy but is being badly led and has really not thought about the issues with the depth that it should.

    As the debate has continued it has become clearer to me that independence will come at some considerable economic cost to Scotland, at least in the short term. I don't predict disaster for Scotland; I just don't think it will flourish as a small nation state with an uncertain relationship with the EU, unsatisfactory currency arrangement (even with a currency union, which I believe is a reasonably likely outcome) and smaller corporate base (largely for reasons (1) and (2)). I don't think reliance on oil and gas revenues is sustainable and I deplore the political fantasy that is maintaining Scotland's extraordinary levels of public expenditure while also building up an oil fund and setting competitive taxation.

    I think "yes" are losing, and base that view on the plethora of opinion polls that say so. I don't think people should over-react to individual polls, good or bad, or seek solace in internal data that misses the bigger trend. I recognise "yes" campaigners feel they are winning on the ground, but believe that is to be expected in a campaign of this nature - fewer more passionate "yes" voters are drowning out a larger number of largely quiet "no" voters.

    I am happy to debate any of these points with you or anyone else.

    Or you can call me a right wing imbecile twat.

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  29. Bella Caledonia are also reporting the pretty fucking telling results from the RIC mass canvass.

    Press Conference: RIC canvassing evidence shows No campaign have lost working class Scotland

    The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) revealed today(1) (Tuesday) the evidence of their canvassing in working class communities across Scotland, and argue that “the results show the No campaign isn’t just losing working class communities in Scotland, but has definitively lost them.”

    The RIC National Mass Canvass Sample(2) covers 18,012 people, and is taken over 90 areas across Scotland.

    The national results show Yes 43.6%, No 25.3%, and don’t know 31.1%. With the Undecided’s taken out, the result is Yes 63.4% and No 36.5%.

    The document also includes details of specific areas to highlight the fact that many of these areas are amongst the poorest in Scotland and are often areas with traditionally strong Labour support

    The results were revealed as part of the grassroots Yes press conferences, which take place daily in the CCA, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow at 11am.

    http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/08/19/press-conference-ric-canvassing-evidence-shows-no-campaign-have-lost-working-class-scotland/

    I'll say it again for those who still can't grasp the importance of it. The No campaign has basically all but given up even trying to reach that section of the scottish public. You will not see them leafleting or canvassing in the schemes and less affluent areas night after night.

    Most of that "missing million" are going to have their say whether the No campaign like it or not.

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  30. "fewer more passionate "yes" voters are drowning out a larger number of largely quiet "no" voters."


    Ahahahahahahahahaha

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  31. There is a difference between wanting to offer free healthcare from cradle to grave and actually being able to deliver it. All around the world countries are grappling with the huge issue of health funding and how to cope with demographic changes, aging populations, obesity and the consequences of our awesome ability to save lives and keep people going long after their joints and minds have worn out.

    Whatever happens in the referendum Scotland is going to have to take choices in the future. I believe it is a fantasy to suggest that universal health care, free at the point of delivery will be sustainable in perpetuity in Scotland, however it is governed. To pretend otherwise is to forget the lesson of Canute. It will be even less sustainable if Scotland has less to spend per head after independence, which I think is likely to be the case.

    It's quite an effective campaigning point for yes because most people don't think about the issue with any depth, but it's yet another example of the land of milk and honey the yes camapaign are painting which is overly optimistic and at times approaches being a false prospectus.

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  32. "fewer more passionate "yes" voters are drowning out a larger number of largely quiet "no" voters."
    I must say I don't get the feeling that this is true. The soft NOs and undecideds perhaps, but the hardline NOs always seem pretty vocal to me. ;)

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  33. Pantone300

    There's no question "yes" has a more vocal presence, although some polling data suggests Yes, while more active than No, is not exactly knocking down every door.

    The polls all clearly indicate there are more no voters than yes voters, before or after any weighting methodology you care to name.

    It's therefore a reasonable conclusion that a smaller number of more passionate yes voters are drowning out a larger number of quieter no voters.

    It's also quite logical. If you're satisfied with the status quo, you've generally got no need to talk about it.

    For example, look at UKIP's online presence, and compare it to its showing at the general
    elections in 2010 and 2015.


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  34. A quick google on Norway and healthcare...
    "In Norway, all public hospitals are funded from the national budget and run by four Regional Health Authorities (RHA) owned by the Ministry of Health and Care Services. In addition to the public hospitals, a few privately owned health clinics are operating.

    The four Regional Health Authorities are: Northern Norway Regional Health Authority, Central Norway Regional Health Authority, Western Norway Regional Health Authority, and Southern and Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority. All citizens are eligible for treatment free of charge in the public hospital system. According to the Patients' Rights Act, all citizens have the right to Free Hospital Choices.

    The Norwegian Health Care System was ranked number 11 in overall performance by the World Health Organization in a 2000 report ranking the health care systems of each of the 190 United Nations member nations."

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  35. You seriously think that keeping the NHS in scotland viable, sustainable and free is "yet another example of the land of milk and honey"?

    LOL

    I look forward to Cameron, Clegg and little Ed telling the scottish public that comical variation of "too poor, too wee and too stupid".

    Though maybe Darling will persuade them? This Darling lest we forget.

    Alistair Darling accused of 'opening the floodgates' of NHS privatisation

    The leader of the No campaign, Alistair Darling, is facing demands to clarify his views on the privatisation of the National Health Service south of the border after being accused of helping to kick start the process when he was UK Chancellor.

    In a letter to Mr Darling, SNP MSP Dr Aileen McLeod has called on the former Chancellor to explain why he failed to prevent the huge increase in private sector involvement in the NHS in England during the last Labour government – in which he served as Chancellor for the final three years.

    In her letter to Mr Darling, MSP Dr McLeod writes: "For the final three years of Labour's term in office, you served as Chancellor of the Exchequer while this process of privatisation was ongoing - essentially in charge of the UK Government's purse strings while the first blows against the NHS were being dealt.

    "With this in mind, I would be grateful if you could confirm whether or not you were, and remain, in support of the privatisation of the national Health Service in England.

    "If not, why did you fail to speak out out against the moves which it is now clear are destroying the English NHS - and why did you fail to use your position as Chancellor to veto this disastrous policy."

    Earlier this week, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham stated that the current policies of the UK Government will "eventually destroy everything that’s precious" about the NHS.

    Mr Burnham warned that decisions taken at Westminster would determine whether there was an NHS left at all.

    He added: "If things stay as they are, the competition framework foisted on the NHS will in the end break it up. It won’t survive five more years of this."

    The issue has also witnessed former Labour party Minister Frank Dobson concede that his own party were responsible for starting the privatisation process.


    http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/9534-alistair-darling-accused-of-opening-the-floodgates-of-nhs-privatisation

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  36. 'Unionist, proudly so, but sympathetic to the independence cause."

    Just pished myself. :-)

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  37. "If you're satisfied with the status quo, you've generally got no need to talk about it."

    Except perhaps to a Better Together/No Thanks canvasser. I would really like to see the results of their canvassing, even though it might be on a smaller scale to that of RIC. Trouble is they never seem to tell us what they are.

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  38. Juteman - yes, it means I want the union to persist but I quite understand why others, particularly those more inclined to the left, do not.

    Mick pork - of course it is politically difficult for the no campaign, particularly Labour, to use it as a weapon, but it is no less true. Health costs will rise as populations age, drugs become less effective, dementia increases and the impact of rising obesity is felt. Scotland is not insulated from those challenges. If Scotland wants to find free healthcare from central funds in the future it will need either to raise more funds or cut spending elsewhere. That is just economic reality. Please don't throw that ridiculous "too poor, too wee, too stupid" line at me again. It's not my view, it's not even on point. It's just your pathetic way of dealing with any challenge to your myopic worldview

    Smerral - I don't think comparisons to Norway are that useful given Norway's vast retained oil wealth and high personal taxes. It's a different economic model. Good luck replicating it, if that is what Iscotland plans to do, but I don't think that's likely.

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  39. Lol.

    Mick some anonymous posters have said with some authority that you're not banned from PB.

    Why don't you try posting there again, see what happens?

    Hugh.

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  40. @smerral

    To be fair Norway are also managing their NHS under the 'terrible burden' of oil. Which, as we all know, ran out in scotland years ago. ;-)



    With up to 777 million barrels of oil reserves, the Bentley Field in the North Sea is set to produce oil until 2050 |

    http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-economy/9594-huge-north-sea-oil-find-enough-to-produce-for-over-thirty-five-years …

    I don't think it's quite sunk in yet for most of the out of touch No supporters that the rigs aren't some vague faraway fantasy. Most people in scotland will know through family and friends at least one or two people who have either worked on the rigs or are working on the rigs and their support services. At a Yes event on saturday we were informed by someone working offshore in the Claire field just how busy he was and just how much infrastructure and resources were being allocated to that area for the third phase of development. No supporters can try to dismiss this all they want but the Bentley field is very real and scots tend to believe those they know who have experience in the field, rather than the decades long promises from westminster politicians that the oil has all but run out. Particularly after the McCrone Report.

    Westminster politicians have nobody to blame but themselves for the complete lack of trust scots have that westminster will best look after scottish interests like oil.

    They have well and truly earned that lack of trust by their own actions.

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  41. @Flockers.
    Is that like only being a little bit pregnant?
    Or feeling sympathy for the murder in Gaza, but being too busy to think about it?

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  42. I'm about as into polls as you can be and have had a look at Political Betting. I didn't find it very useful for Scottish polling.

    I mean you are not going to get any insight into Scottish polls from a group of people who primarily don't live in Scotland discussing them.

    I don't understand English voting behaviour that much even though I get English news all the time. How people in England can understand Scottish polls without even any Scottish news (English news about Scotland is not Scottish news) is beyond me.

    It would be like me delving into German political polls. Clueless.

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  43. It seems to me the polls are behaving in a similar way to the polls previous to the 2011 election.

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  44. Lucy Reynolds talks to Jill Mountford

    Labour laid the foundations of privatising the NHS through their PFI at 77% interest rates amongst other things. Now the ConDems have drilled the holes ready to put in the final screws and bury the public service altogether.

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  45. Panelbase update:

    Thinking about the possibility of an independent Scotland, do you agree or disagree that the pound sterling belongs to Scotland as much as it belongs to the rest of the UK?

    71% Yes I agree
    19% No I disagree

    Men
    70Y/24N

    Women
    72Y/15N

    Damn, there's that gender disparity again. Women seeing the unionist logic.

    Numbers of course reflect identity. Those saying No are your solid brits; those Yes your Scots natIDers. It's their Scots £.

    ...

    Undecided's:
    75% Yes
    4% No

    No voters
    47% Yes
    39% No

    Labour voters
    64% Yes
    23% No

    Which is why currencygate has just pushed Scotland further towards indy.

    Nice one Ed! This is why you are as trusted as Cameron now in Scotland.

    -------


    If the Westminster Government claimed the UK central bank, the Bank of England, for itself and refused to share this asset with an independent Scotland in a currency union, in these circumstances do you believe that Scotland should not have to pay a share of the UK's National Debt liabilities?

    53% Scotland should not have to pay a share of the UK's National Debt liabilities
    32% Scotland should have to pay a share of the UK's National Debt liabilities

    Well, Scottish government backed again there. A bit leading, but in the circumstances people are quite aware what's going on.

    Familiar numbers too. They look like Yes politician trust levels and Y/N polling historically prior to the 2007 onwards s**t-storm.

    Only Tory and (fringe party) Lib voters support debt if no currency union. Our SKIPers won't be having it (52No/45Yes to paying debt with no CU).

    ---

    Headline:

    "Blow for Salmond as far right voters back currency stance"

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  46. Scot skier

    'Thinking about the possibility of an independent Scotland, do you agree or disagree that the pound sterling belongs to Scotland as much as it belongs to the rest of the UK?'

    This is a totally loaded question. On the face of it anyone could assent, of course the pound belongs to all the UK in spirit. And the 'belongs to Scotland' bit sounds like a very heartfelt emotional appeal rather than a neutral fact-based query, all the more since Scotland has used the pound for centuries. it is also well established loads of staunch No voters would like to go on with it if there is a Yes.

    In fact this is a classic example of how utterly meaningless and one-sided a question can be, especially an economic question, when technical arguments underlie it. You can't go into these so you might as well ask. 'Do you agree the air and sky above Scotland belongs to Scotland as much as it belongs to the rest of the UK?'

    And the preamble 'Thinking about independence' does not help to neutralize it either. For that can easily be taken to mean merely, 'thinking about the independence debate in general'.

    If this is the kind of Panelbase question being put out, no wonder Yes do so well.




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  47. heartfelt emotions'

    Sure. The numbers represent Scotland's national identity largely.

    What else did BT expect to happen over 'You can't have your Scots £'?

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  48. The main issue with the currency is that it doesn't matter what the people of scotland think. It's what the people of what would be a separate country, ruk, demand of their political parties that counts. You might as well ask if I think I should be given a million pounds of Mick Porks' trust fund - I'll say yes but I won't get it.

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  49. Forgot to add, it seems that this vision of independence for Scotland is less about deciding what Scotland will do, but more about somehow dictating what others (EU, RUK, NATO) shall do. That won't work. Especially threatening to dump the debt on what would be your single biggest trading partner (RUK). The lights are on, but no-one's home.

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  50. I think you miss the point SayNoetc

    It is how people in Scotland think that matters for next month. What the people of the rUK think is irrelevant.

    'The Scots £ is England's property' is not a sensible campaign tactic. End of.

    What happens with currency will be subject to negotiation in the best interests of both countries should people vote Yes.

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  51. "What happens with currency will be subject to negotiation in the best interests of both countries should people vote Yes."

    Ha. We wish.

    What happens with currency will be in the best interests of the political party that rules down south come 2015. If the tories want to keep the kippers at bay, or labour want to hold onto a slim majority...

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  52. "fewer more passionate "yes" voters are drowning out a larger number of largely quiet "no" voters."

    Yes. Could be. Except this is the third referendum we've had, and in neither of the other two cases was Yes as utterly overwhelmingly rampant on the ground as it is today.

    We won the other two times, remember. This does not feel like a country about to vote No.

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  53. People on the No side posting here really don't seem to get how irefs work.

    They are not about economics nor currency nor border posts, nor trade blocks...

    Sure these things appear to be important, but they are just surface features, manifestations of something much more fundamental; the collective wish to be a nation (again in terms of Scotland).

    How will the UK economy look in 10 years BTW? Will it be booming? What about 20? Will it be in the EU? Who will be in government?

    It's just that I need to make my mind up ;-)

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  54. Ha. We wish.

    What happens with currency will be in the best interests of the political party that rules down south come 2015. If the tories want to keep the kippers at bay, or labour want to hold onto a slim majority...


    You are suggesting I vote to be put in such a position (being ruled by the above with no power over them) by sticking with the union?

    I'd rather go with having a vote that counts and playing the strongest hand I can; that comes from a Yes.


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  55. If this is the kind of Panelbase question being put out, no wonder Yes do so well.

    Yeah, that one is so loaded its results are meaningless. But it would only affect the answer to the referendum question if it was asked first. Was it?

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  56. If you think westminster doesn't listen to scotland because we're only 5 out of 63 million, how much heed would they pay us if we're 0 out of 58 million? It'll be a case of "you'll have had your negotiations then" as we say in edinburgh. And as bill clinton knew, to the vast majority of us it is always about the economics.

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  57. The Panelbase currency question definitely seems loaded, but I wonder why Yes Scotland is boasting about it. It's effectively saying "Hey Better Together, you should stop emphasising the currency question as it will only backfire on you!". I'd have thought that they would have been better off taking the approach of Napoleon, "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake". Seems bizarre to shout it from the rooftops.

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  58. Seems bizarre to shout it from the rooftops.

    Because BT will keep running with it anyway.

    What would be their alternative? The NHS being privatised ahead of 2015?

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  59. "Seems bizarre to shout it from the rooftops."

    It won't make any difference now. What have BT got left? Apart from maybe scaring a few poor old folks into believing that they won't have their pensions? All their scare stories have proved utterly counterproductive. They have nothing left but Alistair Darling parotting "plan B plan B plan B" like a demented dalek in its death throes.

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  60. Maybe, but it just puzzles me why Yes Scotland actually releases the results of polls it commissions while Better Together never does. If you're going to commission polls, I would have thought it would make more sense to keep the data private so your enemy doesn't get it.

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  61. What happens with currency will be in the best interests of the political party that rules down south come 2015. If the tories want to keep the kippers at bay, or labour want to hold onto a slim majority...

    It's often said that, whatever the actual pros and cons of a currency union, the UK parties have now invested so much political capital in opposing it that they can't do a u-turn.

    I wonder about this. How much coverage has the policy had outside of Scotland? Is the parties' opposition to a CU as visible as, say, the Lib Dems' campaign against tuition fees was? How prominently is the issue likely to feature in a general election? If the government ended up agreeing to a CU after May 2015 - under some other name, perhaps, with a few tweaks thrown in to give deniability - would it be so damaging that it'd still hurt them at the following election, five years later? My anecdotal impression is that very few people outside Scotland have any interest in the referendum and issues surrounding it, and of those people, only an infinitesimal subset would consider a party's position on a CU to be a deal-breaker. But it'd be interesting to get a view from England, Wales or NI on how big an issue this really is.

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  62. If you think westminster doesn't listen to scotland because we're only 5 out of 63 million...

    I bet the Danish PM quivers in her boots when she sees Dave coming down the hall.

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  63. Ugh, just said that the Panelbase poll was commissioned by Yes Scotland rather than the SNP. Silly me.

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  64. The out of touch tory twits on PB are shrieking again because now they are under the hilarious delusion that trust is on the No side when scots choose who they will trust with scotland's future at the Independence Referendum.

    As smerrel highlighted before they are as wrong about that as they were when they were screeching dementedly about currency.


    * Do you trust ALEX SALMOND, First Minister, to stand up for Scotland's interests?

    Yes: 52%

    No: 37%

    Don't know: 12%

    Net rating: +15



    * Do you trust NICOLA STURGEON, Deputy First Minister, to stand up for Scotland's interests?

    Yes: 53%

    No: 33%

    Don't know: 14%

    Net rating: +20



    * Do you trust DENNIS CANAVAN, Chairman of the Yes campaign, to stand up for Scotland's interests?

    Yes: 41%

    No: 33%

    Don't know: 26%

    Net rating: +8



    * Do you trust DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister, to stand up for Scotland's interests?

    Yes: 19%

    No: 66%

    Don't know: 14%

    Net rating: -47



    * Do you trust ALISTAIR DARLING, Chairman of the No campaign, to stand up for Scotland's interests?

    Yes: 32%

    No: 50%

    Don't know: 18%

    Net rating: -18



    * Do you trust JOHANN LAMONT, leader of Scottish Labour, to stand up for Scotland's interests?

    Yes: 30%

    No: 40%

    Don't know: 30%

    Net rating: -10



    Note: only 40 per cent of Labour voters trust Alistair Darling to stand up for Scotland, compared to 42 per cent who do not.

    LOL

    Poor old westmisnter bubble PB twits, they never, ever learn.

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  65. They've truly gone round the bend now on PB. They're apparently quoting some fuckwit hack in the rabidly unionist Hootsman who is actually trying to pretend criticism of westminster and the three main incompetent parties equates to being anti-english.

    LOL

    REALLY?

    So Nigel Farage is anti-English is he?


    *tears of laughter*

    Priceless comedy as usual from the witless tory twits.

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  66. "seems bizarre to shout it from the rooftops."

    It won't make any difference now. What have BT got left?


    Exactly right smerral. Also never forget you have incompetent dipshits like Osborne, Cameron and Clegg 'master strategising' for the No campaign. Osborne can't even tax a pasty without making an omnishambles, Cameron's own spindoctor and close friend is in prison and Clegg is just a toxic joke nobody pays any attention to anymore. Public school twits who have about as much of a clue about scotland's working class as the working class in England, Wales or anywhere else.

    Though if the Britnat tories are desperately begging for little Ed or Darling to save them they don't appear to have much of a clue about just how little they are rated either.

    "They have nothing left but Alistair Darling parotting "plan B plan B plan B" like a demented dalek in its death throes"

    Which hasn't worked at any time during the campaign but most of the No campaign are still too hilariously dumb to realise it. Even the unionist friendly pundit Curtice has had to admit the bleeding obvious now after Darling's debate debacle. Currency was always a minority issue and all the demented shrieking about it from No ever does is remind the scottish public that this Independence Referendum is all about who they will trust to put the interests of scotland first.

    Which sure as fuck isn't Cammie, Clegg, Osborne, little Ed, or Darling.

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  67. They're apparently quoting some fuckwit hack in the rabidly unionist Hootsman who is actually trying to pretend criticism of westminster and the three main incompetent parties equates to being anti-english.

    This anti-english accusation is another insane miscalculation from the NO campaign. I myself am English (OK after 25 years here I consider myself a Scottish national, but I know many more recent arrivals who are YES voters). Do they really think that if the YES campaign was riddled with anti-english bigotry that we would have anything to do with it? When I point this out to rabid Brit-nats they either go silent or accuse me of suffering from some kind of delusion. LMAO

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  68. "Do they really think that if the YES campaign was riddled with anti-english bigotry that we would have anything to do with it?"

    Indeed smerral.

    It's all too telling that some of the most bizarre rants and disparaging comments about 'foreigners' have come not just from No but from supposedly serious politicians like little Ed Miliband. Not to mention some of the most repugnant bigots clinging on to the 'Better Together' coattails.


    http://wingsoverscotland.com/bigots-together/

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  69. Alot of interesting headlines today stating that westminister will exact revenge on scots in wake of a No vote.

    They want a £7BN cut to scottish block grant. Once this starts to filter through to soft No and undecideds it should be very beneficial for Yes.

    The 3 big pillars of Yes in the last weeks must be NHS, Education and protection from Westminister cuts.

    That is what will motivate people not currency.

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  70. In panelbase, 32% of people born in England said they planned Yes.

    That's a whole lot of self hating going on.

    ;-)

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  71. "Yeah, that one is so loaded its results are meaningless. But it would only affect the answer to the referendum question if it was asked first. Was it?"

    No

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  72. Any time I hear someone say the yes campaign is anti English I'm pretty certain that the person making that claim is from outside Scotland. Anyone living in Scotland knows instantly that there is no evidence of this whatsoever, it is just not an issue, no one talks about it, no one cares about it. The only time you ever hear this suggested is in the btl comments in Internet sites belonging to the msm. Or here, of course.

    In Scotland we are all talking about things like inequality, NHS, education, privatisation, workfare, zero-hour contracts, bedroom tax, benefit sanctions, housing shortages, trident, food banks, banking regulation, pension age, care for the elderly, student fees, democratic deficit, spending cuts, Tories, the corruption at Westminster, illegal wars, child sex abuse and an untrustworthy media. If you lived here you would know this.

    We have enough to be talking about in this debate already, no one has time to be wondering if anyone hates the English or not.


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  73. Slowly it is dawning on the Scottish Media what lies in store for Scotland with a No vote.

    Expect Henry McLeish to come out for yes in the next two weeks.

    Who know's who else.

    And yes, trollers, this has all been planned to provide the biggest possible boost to Yes...it's called keeping your powder dry until when it really matters.

    Imagine if Osborne/Darling had kept their scare stories back until around about now....

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  74. I remember 2011. I started campaigning for the SNP in the hope that we might get a slightly larger majority and be in a better position to implement the manifesto and maybe even a referendum (the last bit being something of a "stretch goal"). Just yet another "one more push" exercise.

    At the back of my mind was the fear that the Scottish electorate would revert to type and Labour would get in again. I imagined the scorn and the sneering and the triumphalism, and didn't fancy it much. How much would a Labour victory set us back? A lot.

    Then as the campaign progressed my feelings changed. I began to realise that we'd had something special for the previous four years - a government in Holyrood that wasn't beholden to any Westminster interests and was free to act for the good of Scotland alone. I knew I'd really miss that. I also saw what a bunch of numpties we had in Scottish Labour. Imagine Iain Gray as First Minister! What a thought. For a time I thought that was our probable fate and I felt really downhearted.

    Then the Scottish electorate surprised the hell out of me.

    It's a lot worse this time. At the beginning of the campaign I was reasonably placid. I hoped for a win but believed that even a loss would just be the next wave up the beach ready for the next one to take us over the top. Not any more.

    I can see that a loss will be a bloody disaster for Scotland. We'll be punished for our temerity in almost going for it, and steps will be taken to make damn sure we don't get another chance. It's similar to a month out in 2011, but far worse. We've got to do this or were are royally screwed.

    The electorate saw this last time. I think we can hope that they'll see it again.

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  75. Thanks for that, Rolfe. Good to see that it's not just my own side that's opting for "The sky will fall in on us!" rhetoric. Project Fear lives on in Yes Scotland!

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  76. Worry not, Stoat, it's only going to fall on in those Scots that depend on public services. You know, the sick, feckless ones. Better Together types like you and deluded fantasist Nazi Yessers like me will be fine. ;-)

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  77. Ah, that's good to know. Clearly as a No voter such thoughts could only arouse me greatly. Now excuse while I go to masturbate in front of my portrait of Margaret Thatcher while singing God Save the Queen.

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  78. LOL
    Seriously though, anyone with an IQ above 50 can see the threat that a NO vote poses to Scotland. So if it is a win for NO then the mantra of "too stupid" will indeed have proven correct.

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  79. Stoat, you mistake me. What I posted wasn't rhetoric, it's simply how I feel about a future after No. Terrified out of my bloody wits.

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  80. Rolfe cheer up. All that will happen after No is a concerted attempt to bring the country together and offer more power to Scotland by a generally shaken UK.
    Who will be MIGHTILY relieved.

    If yes wins...well all bets are off and nobody knows. How could they? Unchartered territory. If you hate everything about now, hate it all, then maybe you'll think good. Why not? VAT on books is a certainty. And there will be a lot of capital flight obviously, but that's just minor stuff. Almost everything will change.

    But I accept if Yes is all about a burning need to express national identity you don't care even if things don't go well. In that sense no argument is possible.




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  81. Rolfe cheer up. All that will happen after No is a concerted attempt to bring the country together and offer more power to Scotland by a generally shaken UK.
    Who will be MIGHTILY relieved.


    This indeed would be the SENSIBLE way to behave by a British state wishing to preserve some kind of looser Union. However, I have zero faith in that option; it would require the kind of fundamental reform of which I do not believe they are at all interested in. Neither do I believe they are at all capable of it. I fear what Rolfe does, but I don't believe Scotland will lie down and accept their punitive actions. The flames of nationalism will become a conflagration as Westninster really and truly becomes an oppressive ENEMY. Resentment and frustration will thrive as the chasm between the two countries widens. No-one wants to see that.

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  82. It's now perfectly obvious that Expat's rosy fantasy is not what's going to happen in the event of a No majority. At the beginning, in 2011, I would have agreed with him as I already said. But you'd have to be wilfully blind not to read the signals coming out of Westminster. Wings has a couple of articles that cover the issue.

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  83. Yeh, what expat doesn't seem to realise is that the majority of ill-will felt to Scotland is anchored in the South East of England...which is also the main battleground between Labour and Tories.

    Writing is on the wall.

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  84. Yes our visions are entirely different. For my money if you want anget, resentment, bitter divisionand possibly conflagration ( though I hope to God not) vote Yes. You cannot expect to erect a new border without division. It,s like someone building a high barbed wire electric fence around their house and then wondering why the neighbours are suddenly hostile!

    Nor does the whole ' 'England is about to become a punitive fascist state hell bent on veangence' 'thing make the slightest sense. Except as Project Fear for Nats!!!

    And also despite what you see here, the polls do not show the Tories about to win in2015. The odds are on Labour or a Lib Lab pact. And any idea it is all settled is a delusion.

    As, by the way , is the notion the UK is about to leave the EU! The latest polls show a majority in favour of staying EVEN if Cameron fails to win ANY concessions. . If he wins any at all, even fig-leaves it goes up to about 75% in favour of staying. And if Labour gets in there wont even be a referendum!

    So the fast exit out of the EU is voting Yes. That guarantees an exit without question.

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  85. zzzzz expat

    http://news.stv.tv/politics/289096-scotlands-european-union-membership-not-in-doubt-claims-esrc/

    Scottish gov's position on our neighbours is pretty straightforward, we aren't the ones having a tantrum.

    When it comes to England, you'll find support for UKIP falling and going back to the Tories, resulting in a win for them.

    Ed Milliband has about as much chance as me as being prime minister

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  86. Yes our visions are entirely different. For my money if you want anget, resentment, bitter divisionand possibly conflagration ( though I hope to God not) vote Yes.

    What a load of absolute nonsense!! The best way forward for the nations of these islands is the forging of a new EQUAL partnership based on mutual respect. That can only be achieved if each country is allowed to run its own affairs free from interference or bullying. The UK is fucked. One way or another it is finished, and the overbearing nastiness of the unionist campaign has accelerated that process a hundredfold. If we part now we will still have a chance of forging that new relationship which will be to evryone's benefit. Otherwise all we can look forward to are years of bitter recriminations which can only damage the social union which we all want to preserve.

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  87. So the fast exit out of the EU is voting Yes. That guarantees an exit without question.

    Yet another load of absolute bollocks.

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  88. smerral:

    "The best way forward for the nations of these islands is the forging of a new EQUAL partnership based on mutual respect."

    The idea that a state of nearly 60 million people (With a consequently bigger economy) will ever be treated as an equal to a state of 5.3 million people is incredibly fanciful.

    And please don't tell you've fell for Salmond's "social union" drivel!

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  89. The idea that a state of nearly 60 million people (With a consequently bigger economy) will ever be treated as an equal to a state of 5.3 million people is incredibly fanciful.

    Which is EXACTLY the reason we need to dissolve the unequal Union!!

    Who is treating who here? Insert "by Westminster" after the word "equal" above and you're spot on. But an independent Scotland would be the equal of Denmark, Norway etc etc.I'm sure those countries are shaking in their boots because they are not the equals of England. A confederation of different sized states working together is not the same as one large state governing another to the latter's disadvantage.

    And yes I do believe in the social union. I myself am English and I do not intend to brand my family as nasty "foreigners" after a YES vote, unlike the sickening xenophobic trash that apparently constitutes the bitter resentful heart of NoThanksBetterTogetherNobOrders

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