A new ComRes regional poll of one the most No-friendly parts of the country, the Borders and Dumfries & Galloway, has just been released -
Should Scotland be an independent country?
Yes 33% (+3)
No 67% (-3)
Percentage changes in brackets are since the last comparable poll in June.
What I always find interesting about these polls, commissioned by ITV Border, is that they are (very expensively) conducted by telephone, which is incredibly rare in this campaign. Until now, Ipsos-Mori have been the only pollster that has conducted nationwide telephone polls, although ICM are belatedly about to join the fray. It's incredibly frustrating, because ITV Border could have commissioned a nationwide telephone poll for exactly the same price, and actually told us something useful. Instead, we're left scratching our heads, and trying to work out if there's some way of extrapolating from these numbers to get a very rough sense of what they might imply for the national picture.
The only approach I can think of is to look at the 1997 devolution referendum results, in which the Yes vote on the first question was 12.7% lower in the Borders and Dumfries & Galloway than it was across the country, and the Yes vote on the second (tax) question was 14% lower than the national figure. There's obviously no way of knowing if the same differential is holding true in this contest, but if by any chance it is, tonight's poll would imply a national Yes vote of about 46% or 47%, which is a significantly higher figure than recorded in any nationwide telephone poll (all from Ipsos-Mori) to date.
But as Dan Snow's dad used to say, this is "just a bit of fun".