People are always asking me "when is the next poll due?", and my answer is usually that I don't have a clue. In fact, my answer is no different today - but we do have an unusual degree of clarity about a few polls that can be expected to appear over the next week or so.
TNS-BMRB say their next poll will be released in the middle of next week. Their fieldwork is always more out-of-date by the time of publication than any other firm, but hopefully this timetable means that a decent chunk of the fieldwork will have been done after the second leaders' debate.
YouGov seemingly have two polls coming up in quick succession - one on Sunday for the Sunday Times, and one early next week for the Sun. (Unless the original plan for a poll in the Sun was scrapped in favour of the Sunday poll.) I must say I find it profoundly depressing that the Sunday Times have seemingly ditched their previous house pollsters Panelbase, who were presumably too Yes-friendly for them at this crucial stage of the campaign. Let's hope no sneaky McDougall-esque apple-and-oranges comparisons will be made in Sunday's paper.
Panelbase have had another poll in the field this week. Our old friend Mike "can't be arsed" Smithson claims to have been told that this one will be published, which on the face of it is inconsistent with the client being either Yes Scotland or the SNP, because they would presumably wait to see the results before deciding whether to publish. My first thought was that it must be a Sunday Times poll, but that was before I heard the news about the ST switching to YouGov. So a bit of a mystery.
Meanwhile, a dog's breakfast of a poll has been reported in the Telegraph, apparently conducted by an outfit I've never heard of before called TubeMogul. Every instinct in my body tells me it's a voodoo poll with no scientific validity (ie. self-selecting respondents), but I can't say that for sure because no meaningful information is given about methodology. At face value, though, it's an excellent poll for Yes - there's a 50/50 split among women and a 44/56 split among men, which presumably averages out as Yes 47%, No 53% - exactly the same as reported by both YouGov and Survation. Needless to say, the Telegraph have somehow managed to convert this into a "disaster for Salmond" narrative by pretending that only the tiny subsample of 16 and 17 year olds actually matters!