Monday, September 8, 2014

Yes campaign draw level in electrifying poll from traditionally No-friendly firm TNS-BMRB

Hmmm.  I think at some point over the last few weeks we must have had that "game-changer" that the London media kept telling us we needed.  Did you get the impression they weren't really expecting it to happen, though?  Here is the extraordinary latest referendum poll from TNS-BMRB...

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Yes 50% (+8)
No 50% (-8)

As you'll have seen from the previous post, I wasn't expecting a swing on anything like that scale.  However, there's a very straightforward explanation for this surprise, which is that TNS-BMRB's fieldwork is nowhere near as far out of date as it usually is.  It started less than two weeks ago on the 27th of August, meaning that it took place entirely after the second leaders' debate on the 25th.  The other crucial significance of the 27th is, of course, that it was the first date on which people can realistically be expected to have started voting by post.  So we now have quite a significant body of evidence that, at the very least, No were not that far ahead when the referendum got underway.  And quite possibly, the contest was more or less even-stevens.

There's almost a sense of TNS-BMRB "coming home" with this poll, because although they've become known during the referendum campaign as one of the three No-friendly pollsters (alongside YouGov and Ipsos-Mori), it wasn't all that long ago that they were by far the favourite firm of independence supporters everywhere.  As recently as the late summer of 2011 they showed a small lead for Yes, which was hardly untypical for them - they had shown the odd plurality for independence before that, and even when they had the anti-independence vote ahead it usually wasn't by much. Something very peculiar happened in 2012, though, and TNS moved suddenly and decisively towards the No-friendly end of the spectrum - exactly why that occurred is one of the many, many baffling mysteries about polling during this campaign.   And yet here they are, back again as (at least temporarily) a more Yes-friendly pollster than even Panelbase.

This poll is obviously the first strong piece of evidence that the massive-scale swing to Yes is not something that is going to be confined solely to YouGov.  However, given the inexplicable extent of the disagreement between YouGov and Panelbase about the recent trend, the TNS figures still can't be taken as proof that we are going to see this hugely encouraging pattern across the board.  It seems to me there are now two plausible possibilities - either a) there is going to be a straight split down the middle among the polling firms, with ICM, Survation and Panelbase (all of whom have relatively similar methodologies) not showing as big a movement towards Yes as the others, or b) Panelbase will prove to be the outright odd-one-out, with all the others showing a TNS/YouGov-type swing.  The latter possibility would constitute a strange turn of events, but far from an unprecedented one - during the winter Panelbase bamboozled us all by producing a swing to No (albeit within the margin of error) at a time when there was otherwise a broad consensus that Yes were making significant progress.  It could be that there's something a bit unusual about Panelbase's sample - maybe they've been overpolled, or maybe they were just especially politically committed from the outset, and are thus less likely to be open to persuasion than voters out there in the real world.  It's certainly striking how stable Panelbase's numbers have been throughout this campaign - yes, they've shown a modest drift towards Yes this year, but nothing on the scale that other firms have reported.  (And that was the case even before the drama of recent events.)

Let's stick with the point about 'the real world', because that's what makes both TNS-BMRB and Ipsos-Mori special in this campaign - in their own very different ways, they actively seek out a completely fresh sample for every poll.  If it wasn't for them, we'd be completely reliant on pollsters who use volunteer online panels, with all the danger that entails that the people being interviewed are not truly representative of the electorate at large.  Until now, it's been a matter of considerable concern that the only two non-online companies were so firmly on the No-friendly end of the spectrum, so a telling breakthrough for Yes in a TNS poll effectively counts double.  Indeed, because of what Panelbase are showing, we can't completely exclude the possibility that we've now swung to the other extreme, and that in the closing days of the campaign 'real world' polls (assuming there are more to come) will show a slightly more favourable position for Yes than the volunteer online panels do.  Admittedly I don't think that's at all likely, but it's no longer inconceivable.

Of course there's still room for doubt over whether a real world pollster will always produce representative results - for example, Ipsos-Mori might be missing crucial sections of the population due to their apparent practice of only phoning landlines. That isn't a concern for TNS who go out and knock on people's doors, but there's still the issue of how they weight their raw data.  It's striking that there's never a big enough gap in their raw sample between people who recall voting SNP in 2011 and people who recall voting Labour.  Although there's evidence from other pollsters that people are much better at accurately recalling how they voted in 2011 than how they voted in 2010, it's hard to escape the worry that there might be at least a modest degree of false recall at play among the TNS respondents, in which case the adjustment made to bring the sample into line with the actual 2011 result may be artificially flattering the Yes vote.  Fortunately, however, the adjustment in tonight's poll isn't as big as in one or two previous TNS polls, so even if Yes are being overstated due to this issue, it won't be by much.

And we also have to bear in mind the crucial weighting that TNS are failing to apply - namely country of birth.  It's mainly among online pollsters that we have evidence that there is almost always too great a number of English-born respondents in the raw data, but if by any chance this general rule also applies to non-online firms, then a weighting to correct the error would probably be sufficient to push Yes into a clear lead in tonight's poll.

Although Panelbase may be in disagreement with TNS and YouGov about the overall trend, the one thing all three firms agree on is that the gender gap has narrowed of late.  Even a consensus of three polls doesn't represent proof that it has actually happened, but it's certainly beginning to look very much like a real and potentially highly significant pattern.

The No camp still have the tiniest of leads in this poll on the unrounded figures, and indeed they have a lead even on the rounded figures when Don't Knows are taken into account (39% to 38%).  But as always with TNS, it's possible to apply various different turnout filters to the voting intention numbers, and there's one filter which actually puts Yes into the lead...

Whole sample (equivalent to 100% turnout) :

Yes 49.6% (+8.0)
No 50.4% (-8.0)

Whole sample excluding only definite non-voters (equivalent to 97% turnout) :

Yes 49.7% (+6.8)
No 50.3% (-6.8)

Respondents who say they are certain or very likely to vote (equivalent to 91% turnout) :

Yes 50.2% (+5.6)
No 49.8% (-5.6)

Respondents who say they are certain to vote (equivalent to 84% turnout) :

Yes 49.9% (+4.7)
No 50.1% (-4.7)

For the first time with TNS, it's the figures for definite voters that look most likely to correlate with the actual turnout.  But given the huge jump in people's reported likelihood to vote in this poll, you do begin to wonder if a 90%+ figure is just about possible.  After all, it happened in Quebec...

* * *

REQUIRED SWINGS

Swing required for 1 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 0.0%

Swing required for 2 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 0.5%

Swing required for 3 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 2.0%

Swing required for 4 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 3.0%

Swing required for 5 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 4.5%

Swing required for 6 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 7.0%

* * *

SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS

It's getting to the stage where I have to put a significant health warning on the Poll of Polls.  As it now seems likely that there has been a substantial swing since the second leaders' debate, the fact that a full third of the Poll of Polls sample is made up of polls conducted before that debate (Ipsos-Mori and ICM) means that the numbers listed below are likely to be underestimating the true strength of the Yes vote.

MEAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 47.0% (+1.1)
No 53.0% (-1.1)

MEAN AVERAGE (not excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 41.5% (+1.0)
No 46.8% (-1.0)

MEDIAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 47.2% (+1.5)
No 52.8% (-1.5)


(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.)

94 comments:

  1. An apparent screenshot of the tables is making it's way around claiming yes has taken the lead among certain/very likely to vote.

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  2. Yes also ahead, slightly, if you include DKs (of which there are 19%).

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  3. There are so many figures flying around I'm waiting until the embargo is over before I let myself get too excited.

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  4. Timothy (likes zebras)September 8, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    If there are 19% Don't Knows that implies that it is 41-40 (ish) on the raw numbers.

    That would be YES +9 and NO -5 over the last month, and arguably that is even more positive for YES than looking at the poll scores with Don't Knows excluded.

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  5. The odds are shifting, so would back up these sort of figures.

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  6. If James has actually posted this, presumably it's legit? Are we quite sure it's not an extremely elaborate wind-up?

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  7. Brilliant.

    And excellent post on Bella on the state of mind needed to ensure Yes wins:
    http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/09/08/beyond-gallus-warriors-and-heroic-defeats-lets-just-win-this-time/

    Also this excellent piece by Irvine Welsh:
    http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/09/08/labour-pains-labour-of-love/

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Also, given that this poll contains fieldwork at least 2 weeks old, it probably misses some of the very latest swing to Yes. In other words, our position *now* is probably slightly underestimated by this poll. Anyway, let's see what James thinks.

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  10. @Callum
    According to the Lubbock lad on Twitter (still dunno who he is, but he's been right so far), the fieldwork ran from 27 August to 4 September. So not quite two weeks old, but still likely to have begun when fairly large No leads were the norm.

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  11. Well, 12 days :) Two weeks sounds better, though ;)

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  12. Fu'ckn calm down 9 days to go, focus on the prize yet to attain' postal vote in from Cyprus big yes from me , even the no's here know it's gonna happen xx

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  13. Fu'ckn calm down 9 days to go, focus on the prize yet to attain' postal vote in from Cyprus big yes from me , even the no's here know it's gonna happen xx

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  14. Full data up on TNS site:

    http://tns-bmrb.co.uk/uploads/files/TNSUK_SOM2014Sep9_DataTables.pdf

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  15. Flockers. Well, credit to you for hanging in there but I have to say the hope you're clinging onto [differential turnout] will not happen to No's advantage. The turnout will be very high, I believe, meaning young people and "working-class" people who don't usually vote will favour Yes and therefore will negate the votes of traditional old and ABC1 voters.

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  16. Key point coming out of TNS poll is it backs up YouGov's finding of a very significant swing amongst C2DEs, who are now solidly yes. No left hoping for differential turnout, which may not be enough.

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  17. Nice.

    Shades of '11.

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  18. Very interesting.

    Look forward to your break down of this one, James.

    Excellent for Yes and momentum continues.

    We're still battling on though and these next 10 days, the British establishment/media and all else are going to through the book at us.
    As 'new' powers promises are ramping up - they've not worked, i see they'll now start to blame us for the currency and stock market uncertanities.

    Keep on trucking folks.

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  19. Very interesting.

    Look forward to your break down of this one, James.

    Excellent for Yes and momentum continues.

    We're still battling on though and these next 10 days, the British establishment/media and all else are going to through the book at us.
    As 'new' powers promises are ramping up - they've not worked, i see they'll now start to blame us for the currency and stock market uncertanities.

    Keep on trucking folks.

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  20. So, we have a YouGov poll showing a big swing to Yes (8%), a Panelbase one from the same timeframe showing little change, and a TNS-BMRB one from about a week before showing a huge swing to Yes (16%).

    Surely these can't be reconciled with each other?

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  21. Yeah, seems a bit odd. What we need is polls from ICM and Survation now to complete the picture. With both traditionally more favourable to YES than TNS and YouGov we should get another poll at least with YES ahead.

    Very encouraging from the age bands that yes ahead in all groups now except the grey growlers. This lot need to be hammered hard on pensions. They should all get a copy of that DWP letter through the door. However, there will be a hardcore of these oldies where the cultural cringe and reflex reaction against independence is so ingrained that unquestioning deference to Unionism will never be reversed.

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  22. The more I see of the polls the less I believe in them.

    Unless of course the Scottish electorate learned how to wind them up in 2011 and is repeating the trick just for the fun of it!

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  23. @ Anon 9:06

    I see no trouble in reconciling the Yougov and TNS polls. Indeed they seem to fit very well with one another. In the time since the last TNS poll, Yougov have reported a cumulative swing of 22% (incl. DKs). Panelbase is a different story.

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  24. The pound is falling because of the silly bluff on a currency zone.

    The Tories could easily stop that.
    But it will have to wait till after a YES vote.

    Right now, the chance of losing Scotland's wealth is far more important to the UK, than a run on the pound..

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  25. Nice.

    Shades of '11.


    Yer not wrong scotish_skier. ;-)

    Full panic mode continues with the No campaign as Brown hints at a few small powers. Panic powers that are light years away from DevoMax, for those who inexplicably still don't realise Cameron, little Ed and Clegg vehemently opposed having DevoMax on the ballot.

    Panic powers that might, maybe, possibly, happen supposedly someday? Who can say?


    Quite how a mere backbencher like Brown is going to ensure this is anyone's guess. This is of course the same Gordon Brown who simply couldn't be arsed to have any town hall meetings with ordinary scots all these long months and years the campaign has been going. Somewhat tellingly.


    But as long as Brown makes some laughably vague hints about things in the future why would that matter? It's not as if a couple of hundred thousand voters in scotland have already voted with their postal ballot rendering his panic move a complete joke, is it?

    LOL

    Far too little, far far too late.

    As Kevin indicates we are winning this town by town, street by street, door by door, voter by voter.

    We certainly aren't about to stop now. Quite the reverse. This final stretch is when we put everything into the Yes campaign. (biggest turnout yet for leafleting and campaigning tonight)

    The whining and shrieking from the out of touch westminster bubble media is just so much vapid and irrelevant background noise at this point.

    They simply do not get it and never will.

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  26. Just laughing at wee Dougie on TV trying to pretend Brown's vague last minute desperation isn't panic in the slightest.

    VASTLY amusing.

    You can precisely see why he's become the first big target for the No campaign blame game. Though he will most assuredly not be the last. ;-)

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  27. Too right Mick, there isn't a single power they can guarantee. I guess we can call this "Devo something, anything!" Scandalous that they've cobbled this together after so many postal votes have already been sent. Utter contempt for the electorate.

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  28. Puzzled why NO think turnout differential will help them in particular. This study suggests turnout difference may be small but more likely to help YES. Which is all the more incentive to push the ground campaign harder right up to and including the day.
    http://www.futureukandscotland.ac.uk/blog/who-will-turn-and-who-will-stay-home-potential-impact-differences-turnout

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  29. If you had told me this time last month that YouGov and TNS would be the pollsters to show yes leads I would have thought you were crazy. The fact they have leapfrogged Survation and Panelbase is insane.

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  30. New YouGov poll. Mostly same as last but questions basically trying to gauge which scare story most effective with a hint of pushing for an answer

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  31. "but questions basically trying to gauge which scare story most effective with a hint of pushing for an answer "

    Thus rendering the questions utterly pointless. Which isn't to say the No campaign won't try to turn it into some last minute moment of 'genius'. That is how we got PatronisingBTLady after all. ;-)

    There's going to come a point where they have to remove sharp objects from the 'Better Together' 'master strategists' if they keep this up. It's jawdropping to watch their utter desperation, panic and stupidity play out.

    Relentlessly hyping Brown's laughable last gasp 'jam tomorrow' is SO incredibly dumb it defies belief. It doesn't last five seconds when it is examined objectively as a 'serious' proposal. So blatantly obvious is the last minute panic nature of it and the amusingly telling complete lack of detail.

    It's far too late in the day and far too vague for scottish voters to take seriously, nor will it be.

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  32. Stop scaring yourselves. I've had a good long look at the Financial Markets, after the close, and about 2 hours ago, and my view £ is hardly affected by the latest Indy polls. ALL major currencies are down against the dollar and have been falling for the last few market days.

    But the falls are due to many other economic factors not least of which is the West talking about bombing ISIS and maybe more.
    People always run to the dollar when there is military uncertainty. And there is plenty of that at the moment.

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  33. Actually, as an undecided voter, I listened closely to Brown's speech and thought the package of proposals was lucid and deserving of consideration. It's clear a lot of thought had gone into it. I'm now leaning towards No.

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  34. Scotsman had a page up for half an hour with 41/41 8 undecided

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  35. sorry , 18 undecided

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  36. libdemvoice ‏@libdemvoice

    Clegg's pitch to Scotland to say No to independence: "Change is on its way." http://ldv.org.uk/42342



    Hahahahahahahahaaa!!

    Wonderful! Just when you thought 'Better Together' could scarcely appear any more panicky, comical and inept, up pops calamity Clegg.

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  37. We've had such an extraordinary array of trolling on this site from No staffers over the last couple of months that we have to consider the real possibility that the comment from an undecided voter above is in fact from a No astroturfer. It's depressing to have to say that, but probably realistic.

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  38. Wasn't it dead-pan tongue-in-cheek? That's what I thought.

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  39. I thought so too, Rolfe. I'm fairly sure that the "lol!!!!!! jk" which followed the first comment was meant to let us know it had been a joke.

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  40. That was my interpretation. The problem is that there are too many different people appearing here as "Anonymous".

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  41. Ah, OK. I was a bit baffled by the "jk" at the end of the second comment. In my defence I haven't seen/read Brown's speech yet, so the full extent of the irony may be going over my head.

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  42. 'Actually, as an undecided voter, I listened closely to Brown's speech and thought the package of proposals was lucid and deserving of consideration. It's clear a lot of thought had gone into it. I'm now leaning towards No.' Yep, that sounds like a completely natural and believable comment. Mother of God how feckn stupid do you think people are?

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  43. "Actually, as an undecided voter, I listened closely to Brown's speech and thought the package of proposals was lucid and deserving of consideration"

    You should have listened instead to Ed Balls. In Scotland today he said there had been no discussion on powers with the other parties because Labour has it's own proposals and these would require a Labour victory next year. He was brutally blunt. These Labour proposals certainly fall far short of lucid and deserving of consideration as they are the least favourable to Scotland of any of the three parties for very obvious reasons.

    Labour has the most to lose if Scotland gets substantial tax powers because it's Labour which would be most affected if Scots MPs were barred from voting on English matters, or if the number of Scottish MPs were cut. Both of these things are likely if Scotland gets substantial tax powers. Much English legislation has an impact on the money available to Scotland. Take that impact away by granting extensive tax powers to Scotland and these Scottish MPs no longer have an argument for voting on English legislation and Miliband then loses his majority on English legislation.

    Labour will never devolve real powers to Holyrood for that very obvious reason. Brown is trying to show that he is a greater strategist than those who have been running better together, that's all. Brown always took credit for Blair's election victories as he was the election strategist, but his own demise showed that it wasn't his strategy but Blair's electability that won those elections.

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  44. That Unionist troll's views are about as baffling as the absolute intellectual drivel Niall Ferguson turned out on Newsnight. That guy is an absolute disgrace. His attitude was absolutely astonishing in its visceral hatred of his own country and condescension that independence could be anything except a disaster of biblical proportions.

    Great poll from TNS. When is the next one due? I used to dread the polls coming out, now I can't wait for them. What the crivens will they do if we get to the sunday polls and they are behind? That will elicit a whole new level of panic believe me. Things are just warming up.

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  45. Maybe the internet needs some special sort of sarcasm font.

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  46. @Rolfe

    Let's just assume that anything coming out of a No campaign in complete meltdown should be read as using that sarcasm font. ;-)

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  47. Maybe im nuts but i feel im gonna be a slightly different person if Sco votes yes. Ive wanted this for so long. The world will be a slightly different, slightly better place. And for people in Sco itself the changes will go far beyond the slight. The indy movement is one of the most inspiring things ive ever witnessed. After yes i want to see the whole movement keep going and make sure the first indy parliament is radical and reforming. It keeps occurring to me that Sco may do more than just emulate certain aspects of the Nordic societies. It may actually surpass them. A historical moment is upon us that may open up the potential for emancipatory change that will inspire the world.

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    1. My thought too. This could be the start of a second enlightenment.

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    2. It's already started, with the intense discussions and the refusal to be limited by what the 'authorities' tell us is possible. This from our old friend Wikipedia:

      "the Scottish Enlightenment asserted the fundamental importance of human reason combined with a rejection of any authority that could not be justified by reason. They held to an optimistic belief in the ability of humanity to effect changes for the better in society and nature, guided only by reason. This latter feature gave the Scottish Enlightenment its special flavour, distinguishing it from its continental European counterpart. In Scotland, the Enlightenment was characterised by a thoroughgoing empiricism and practicality where the chief virtues were improvement, virtue, and practical benefit for the individual and society as a whole."

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  48. alex at 11.51

    "Labour will never devolve real powers to Holyrood for that very obvious reason. Brown is trying to show that he is a greater strategist than those who have been running better together, that's all. Brown always took credit for Blair's election victories as he was the election strategist, but his own demise showed that it wasn't his strategy but Blair's electability that won those elections."

    What a great truth in that paragraph.

    The fascinating theatre at play here is watching the blind panic purely because of polls. Surely BT would have felt a reason to be worried ages ago from the mood picked up at town hall meetings, door to door canvassing, discussion groups, leafleting stalls etc? But no. They only react to polls.
    So out of touch with people. Only in touch with the old media.
    This is why YES will win.

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  49. Yesterday morning Alan Cochrane published a demented rant urging No voters to get out and do grass-roots things. To make their own campaigning material if they had no access to the real thing. To write "NO" on a sheet of A4 paper with a marker pen and stick it in their windows.

    Yesterday afternoon a couple of rather insignificant wee A4 posters appeared in the village. No more than a union flag or two and the exhortation "Save our great union" or something like that. A friend asked me if I'd seen them, as I was passing over counted-out consignments of Yes pamphlets, Wee Blue Books and Women for Independence leaflets for assorted volunteers to deliver to the streets where they lived. I said I had. He smiled and remarked, "Bless!"

    Today I was out in my Yes-decalled car, with two other activists. We arrived in a crescent of detached houses and zoomed round in a few minutes. Actually, only the two lads did the zooming, I just stayed in the car. While I was turning to drive away, they pointed out a single, forlorn-looking guy walking round alone with nothing but a sheaf of A4 pages, one side of which was just the circular "No Thanks!" logo. No idea what was on the other side but it can't have been much. Again, it looked home-made. He didn't have a No hi-viz vest or even a t-shirt.

    One of the guys gave him a cheery wave and the other remarked, "that must be demoralising for them." He certainly didn't look happy.

    This was in a leafy affluent village, in an area we expect to lose, where we're just working as hard as we can in the hope of not returning a completely dismal showing next week. But we have a 7-strong WFI group that ran its own all-day drop-in cafe on Saturday, and has organised two local showings of "Scotland Yet". And everyone lives in the village or an adjacent hamlet.

    They have got nothing.

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  50. Although this is a great poll, I worry about the large section of undecideds? seems very big at this stage with most saying they're not leaning one way or another (but those who are, are leaning more to no). Any thoughts on this?

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  51. Remember before the 1979 Rigged Devolution Referendum, Lib Lab Con 'pwomised ' if you voted NO they would come up with a better plan, Westminster politicians lied and Scotland suffered 18 years of Thatcherism and the Poll Tax.

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  52. Callum : That's just a built-in feature of the TNS methodology - they always produce more undecideds than anyone else. Obviously it would be better if the undecideds were breaking for Yes in this poll, but the difference is very slight.

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  53. @ mike gunn

    It's also intrigued me why BT have found it so hard to adapt to developments during the campaign. Perhaps it was blind belief in the theory of the silent majority and the fact that the polls stayed positive for them right up till last two weeks

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  54. @ mike gunn

    It's also intrigued me why BT have found it so hard to adapt to developments during the campaign. Perhaps it was blind belief in the theory of the silent majority and the fact that the polls stayed positive for them right up till last two weeks

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  55. The "undecided voter" was me, and yes, I was kidding. I'll append a ;) or something next time.

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    1. Why not just reply to your earlier post above adding this comment? Cheers

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  56. Rolfe - even better than Alan Cochrane's bizarre Telegraph piece invoking the Churchillian spirit the other day is the Telegraph's website right now (anybody else unable to sleep for the next 10 days?). Headline story - "Scottish independence: The Queen is urged to intervene" - http://goo.gl/K9IXFS .

    And prominent on their homepage a few hours ago, but interestingly, disappeared from it now, is one that reveals just how far they don't realise that this is about us seeing through the shibboleths of power, privilege and social class - wait for it - "Proms should be used to celebrate UK in four-part harmony" - http://goo.gl/9Ix44W . the suggestion is that the Last Night of the Proms should major on singing each other's patriotic songs so that we vote No.

    Picture me tomorrow, scurrying round the Govan charity shops to get a bow tie, rehearsing our Manifest Destiny to rule it over "nations not as blessed as thee" in Rule, Britannia!- not forgetting the duty of blowing up the restless natives with the tow, row, row, row, row, row, row of the British Grenadiers.

    This is not about nationalism, old chaps. This is for God and Empire. Huzzah!

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    1. I was in the BBC Symphony Chorus for ten years and regularly sang in the Last Night of the Proms. (Holding a saltire and with a wee SNP pin in the collar of my evening dress.)

      No matter what they roll out, it couldn't sway more than about ten actual voters.

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  57. whoops - my last comment was in reply to Alex Skinner above on the Scottish Enlightenment (on my phone it is placed as a direct reply under Alex's comment but on this laptop it is at the end of the whole string) and my previous comment was suggesting Anonymous added a reply to his comment making clear he was joking when he said he found Gordon Brown convincing!

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  58. I see rees-mogg has said the monarchy shouldnt get involved. LOL.
    I also saw a slight changing of the stance on a cu, namely, that the unionist parties are saying they might have to put a cu to a referendum......it was on the ITV website. So already, it has started.

    James, question for you, are Panelbase being held back by the swing due to the change in their methods?i.e. euro 2014

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  59. Interesting FT headlines and article this morning, if a bit real world.

    After nothing that sterling suffered its biggest one-day fall in more than a year and some businesses and consumers in Scotland started moving bank deposits to England it continued:


    “The issue will not be keeping Scotland in the pound, but keeping the pound in Scotland,” said Neville Hill, head of European Economics at Credit Suisse. “There’s a clear risk in being part of the capital structure of Scottish financial institutions over the next few weeks.”

    (And of course Credit Suisse is not an English bank)



    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/01079330-377b-11e4-bd0a-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3CeRgOs75

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  60. Seems the Orange order parade has support within the Labour party.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/claims-orange-order-parade-has-support-within-labour.25272939

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  61. About the latest panel base poll. Could it be that the results reported are from the one that was in the field but not reported from the week before last. That would put in the middle of the great transition going on. It is certainly of tactical advantage to be still the under dog and keep the voter under pressure to turn out. Any how roll on next week to see where we stand- is the YES vote still going up or not.....

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  62. You can watch the £ trading to 5 decimal points here in real time (see the constantly changing bottom right number):

    http://www.dailyfx.com/gbp-usd

    Currently (0824) exactly 1.60. Note, however, that other currencies are also slipping against the $, eg: "The dollar rose against the yen on expectations that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates faster than market had priced in" (Reuters).

    We need to watch, however, that the more the public eye is trained onto an over-valued £ the more it distracts from the real issues that the Referendum is about - which is why Osborne will probably be very happy to let it fester awhile, especially as speculators can equally make money on a rising or a falling currency - it's movement, not direction of movement, that (counter-intuitively) drives profits.

    In terms of scare factor, however, I do wonder whether the currency and stock exchange card might have played slightly early. There's still 9 days left for its fizz to go flat and the demographic that worries about such matters to get their eye back onto other balls - like the underlying values behind all of this; like what kind of a peoples we wish to be in Scotland.

    I therefore suspect the financial scare could cause slight pullback in polling conducted over the next few days, but barring a major financial earthquake ground will be regained, and hopefully surpassed, in the final 5 days. That's just gut feel - I don't trade the markets myself but do have an MBA and take an interest in the psychology of those who do trade.

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  63. @Mike Gunn

    I agree they are not very well in touch but there is another factor at play. They know that a poll indicating Yes ahead works on people's minds, those who want to be on the winning side, those who don't want to feel 'left out' who will shift to Whichever side looks to be winning. Such people do exist. Many will still be undecided.

    There is also the bandwagon effect of a side seen to have all the positive momentum. BT have fucked up big time recently while Yes has steamed ahead, pushed by a wave of derisory laughter aimed back at BT.

    This is I think the real reason they are in full panic mode.

    Polls can work like all the Yes posters and stickers and flags on windows, bins and in gardens. The same way as all the YES badges hitting you in the eye when you are out and about. This is why the campaigns give out these things gratis (except for really large signs and flags).

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  64. @Alex

    BT are not nimble because it is entirely hierarchical. Reaction has to go up the chain of command, be focus group tested, passed by the Saatchis and be approved by both Dougie Alexander and Blair McDougal before travelling back down the chain of command.

    The Yes campaign on the other hand is a collection of grassroot groups who have often raised their own cash deciding what to put out. They can download leaflets off the net from wherever, print them and start using them. I have stood on the street handing those out.

    I canvass for RIC and we are not told what we can and can't say. I was discussing that the Scottish Tories stand to gain from a Yes, if they repudiate Thatcherism with an undecided on the doorstep. I sensed she might like the idea of voting for them in that situation.

    I don't care why people vote Yes, only that they do.

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  65. My theory on thr unweighted SNP and Labour figures: On unweighted figures, there is a large over representation of over 55s and C2DE, who I would assume would be the most likely to vote Labour.

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  66. @Muscleguy

    Thanks. I also canvass for RIC so I can how the two models differ, interesting.

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  67. @Muscleguy

    On your other point on the psychological effect of yes being in the lead, I agree and think that in the case of this referendum it has this effect because, as Alex Massie said in a recent article even many no voters still largely want independence but just don't think it is practical. In such a situation you could see how if they see that a majority of their fellow Scots are planning to vote yes then maybe they need to reconsider. In effect Massie is saying that if it were a fantasy referendum with no consequences then the result would more likely be 75% or more for yes.

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  68. Pleased to report a young student 'wet Tory' voting unionist has now uploaded is ballot paper to a forum we've been chatting on and it's a Yes from him.

    If people like him are moving to Yes...

    His words 'If you can't beat em...'

    A bit like what Alex Massie was saying.

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  69. Westminster leaders coming up to campaign.

    Yes including Cameron.

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  70. All 3 of them!

    Cue Mick Pork ... ;-)

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  71. Just been on Absolute radio that they are campaigning together.

    I am staggered by this.

    I think they are trying to lose us. This is unreal.

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  72. Something's not working. The £'s up a cent on the $ over the course of this morning:

    http://www.dailyfx.com/gbp-usd

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  73. The way the polls have put BT on the back foot is very helpful for YES. They have now nailed their colours to the mast, they can't offer anything else without risking total and utter ridicule (more than they have already!) and we have a whole 9 days to hammer home to people how insipid these proposals are. This is it now, this is all they have. They have played their full hand and have no aces left.

    I can't see us losing from here. It would be a national tragedy if people believed the nonsense we have seen over the past 24 hours.

    When are we expecting the next poll, tomorrow evening?

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  74. Survation is due in Thursday's record, so we should get it tomorrow night. Yougov for Friday's Times/Sun.

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  75. I find myself thinking of the phase a nation on the march. I think this is one of the big differences from the experience of Quebec. The UK isn't Canada. In Canada Quebec is just one of a number of provinces. Yes it's culturally distinct but it's not self-conscious of itself as a nation. In the UK it is only because of the bloody minded determination of the Scots to insist on their separate nationality being represented in separate institutions and national teams that we have the idea of Four Nations.

    We have this reservoir to draw on in a sense of common purpose. This why those in the rest of the UK are finding it so hard to understand because they have fallen for the idea of the British nation.

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  76. So have these polls asked those who have ALREADY voted how they voted? Have they only polled, deliberately or otherwise, people who will vote 'on the day'. And how have they weighted for this? Its so close that, conceivably, this could make a difference and/or explain part of the swing.

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  77. Anonymous: as I understood it, they do ask people who have already voted. I thought the wording was usually something like "how do you intend to voted. have you already voted?" - but looking at the table for TNS and YouGov, the questions just seem to be about intention.

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  78. When I did yougov, it didn't separate '10/10 definitely voting' and 'have already voted'; they were the same option. So at least for that Yougov you couldn't work out what current postal votes might look like.

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  79. Apologies for being off topic. I've just completed another Panelbase survey which is running from today till Friday. Asks the usual questions on Independence and likelihood to vote, where born and job status. Asked also where in Scotland you live - Glasgow, West of Scotland etc.Also asked if thought Scotland could be a successful independent country, if we would be better or worse off - higher taxes, cuts to public spending, etc and currency union. What currency should we use if no currency union forthcoming. Also, if a No vote should there be another referendum and when - never, 20yrs, 15 to 20yrs or 10 yrs time. Then if it's a No vote what was likelihood - to be financially worse off, higher taxes, cuts to public spending. Oh, and where born. That's about it I think. First time I've been asked what area of Scotland I live in.

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  80. Apologies for being off topic. I've just completed another Panelbase survey which is running from today till Friday. Asks the usual questions on Independence and likelihood to vote, where born and job status. Asked also where in Scotland you live - Glasgow, West of Scotland etc.Also asked if thought Scotland could be a successful independent country, if we would be better or worse off - higher taxes, cuts to public spending, etc and currency union. What currency should we use if no currency union forthcoming. Also, if a No vote should there be another referendum and when - never, 20yrs, 15 to 20yrs or 10 yrs time. Then if it's a No vote what was likelihood - to be financially worse off, higher taxes, cuts to public spending. Oh, and where born. That's about it I think. First time I've been asked what area of Scotland I live in.

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  81. No need for apologise Teri. That's very valuable information which James and the rest of the SCOTgoesPOP regulars really appreciate.

    Westminster leaders coming up to campaign.

    Yes including Cameron.


    All 3 of them!

    Cue Mick Pork ... ;-)


    LOL :-D

    Well you can't say you weren't warned long before now. I repeatedly predicted when the reality on the ground began to filter through the blind panic from the No campaign would be absolutely breathtaking. And so it is.

    Though to be fair even I did not dare hope that it would be quite this jawdroppingly hilarious.

    This is way beyond the wildest dreams of political satire's like "the Thick of it".

    The saltire flying from Downing Street is something that would have been rejected as far too preposterous even for the purposes of political comedy and satire yet there it is. I almost feel sorry for newsreaders trying to report on the 'Better Together' campaign now trying to keep a straight face and pretend No is a 'serious' campaign.

    It would be nice if I had more time to enjoy it but I, like so many others, have a referendum to win and fully intend to do everything possible to keep helping on the ground in these vital final 9 days. That's where the Independence Referendum is being won and always was. YEARS before the westminster comedy twits last minute hilarity.

    The hysteria, panic and incompetence from the westminster bubble media and No campaign never ceases to amaze. It's like they are determined to be laughed at now because they sure as fuck can't be taken seriously while this goes on.

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  82. Teri - knowing geographical area is a way to move from knowing percentage of votes to predicting actual, final, vote totals. In that respect it's (obviously) more informative to know how Edinburgh intends to vote than, say, the Isle of Mull.

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  83. Anonymous It may give an indication of the swing to YES in the Labour Heartlands - Glasgow, Lanarkshire etc. and the areas where there is little appetite for Independence. It's something that would have been more useful had they included it in all polls because we might have been able to mark movement and target specific No friendly areas.

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  84. It may come sooner but the Independent thinks it's happening as early as tomorrow


    SCOTTISH INEEPENDENCE: RUPERT MURDOCH KING-MAKER Indepndent Tuesday 09 September 2014

    Rupert Murdoch’s Scottish Sun appears on the brink of declaring its support for the Yes campaign, delivering a PR coup for Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, with whom he has a close rapport.

    ...Mr Murdoch does not have a vote in the Scottish Referendum on 18 September. And yet – as he has made clear from a flurry of activity on his Twitter account – he could have a greater impact on the outcome of the historic election than almost any of those taking part." ETC.

    However we can talk about the hideous ghost at the feast when he appears. As to the polls my own view is it's 80% over and I am thinking much more now about Friday week. And what really will happen afterwards. I am basing my supposition YES will win on the fact that in 2011 polls like these rapidly gave way to a big lead for the SNP. Someone here said they were a great finisher and that does seem to be genuinely true.

    To be honest just on a strict technical analysis (love SNP or hate them) I really dont understnad why or how that is. The theories I have seen that talk about shy Nats etc. make no logical sense to me. My hunch though is that nationalism is like a good song or stirring music. Once it reaches a certain volume people just join in.

    On that I thought Robert Peston was pretty interesting last night on the news when he said almost angrily: how can you expect people to understand the economics? They are incredibly technical. Most people do not get a word of it.

    I agree with him. They probably think Mark Carney of the Bank of England is some snobbish top-hatted English grandee rather than a netural highly intelligent Canadian economist who is honestly telling the truth as he sees it and offering major league (and extremely scary) facts.

    Having said that, I would like to add that those who believe 'my country right or wrong' and 'independence come hell or high water' quite rightly care nothing at all for arguments about how it will be. They want to take the road even if it's hard. That is a perfectly respectable position. But I dont agree with it and I think it's tough on anyone who gets drawn in for the wrong reasons.


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  85. Yet more hysterical shrieking from the expat. Most amusing after todays absolute car-crash of a day and complete comedy meltdown from the No campaign.


    "And yet as he has made clear from a flurry of activity on his Twitter account he could have a greater impact on the outcome of the historic election than almost any of those taking part."

    Because he's an idiot. As you yourself said he likes to back winners and that's all we would be seeing if he did so do at this VERY late stage. Nor did the complete absence of Newspaper supporters in 2007 stop the SNP winning that scottish election for those with a short memory.

    "However we can talk about the hideous ghost at the feast when he appears."

    If it happens then I also look forward to your long overdue repudiation of Dacre/Associated Newspapers, The Barclay Bros. and of course Trinity Mirror when he does. Assuming of course you actually know something about the hacking scandal or indeed the general conduct of the massively distrusted Newspapers and aren't simply shrieking "Murdoch!" in a futile attempt to spam James site.

    "On that I thought Robert Peston was pretty interesting last night on the news when he said almost angrily: how can you expect people to understand the economics? "

    We were certainly inundated with economic 'experts' who astutely predicted Brown, Darling and the banks crashing the economy in 2008. Or indeed not. LOL

    What's this though? Curious?

    Jonathan Gordon ‏@ScotsProgress

    @WingsScotland "Scottish Shares Recover COMPLETELY" @BBCJamesCook @BBCScotlandNews @BBCScotland @AngusMacNeilMP pic.twitter.com/OwfMAVs0cB


    The hysteria over the Financial Eggpocalypse, sorry, Financial Apocalypse, appears to have been slightly overblown. Extremely scary indeed. What a surprise.

    "I would like to add that those who believe 'my country right or wrong' and 'independence come hell or high water' quite rightly care nothing at all for worries about how it will be. "

    Whereas I would like to add that resorting to pitiful and feeble straw man arguments like that in no way indicates the comically out of touch attitude we usually expect from those trapped inside the westminster bubble.

    Still, we shouldn't laugh too hard at desperate panicking twits who were warned what was happening on the ground long, long ago and simply refused to listen.

    Oh all right then, We should. :-D


    "Better Together" spokesman Kermit The Frog explains the "new" more-powers offer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmR4DZxnSqY … #indyref

    Tomorrow, this eejit will sign a Pledge to give Scotland more powers in the event of a No vote. An insult to Scots. pic.twitter.com/oie3GOMl90


    Ed Miliband trying not to touch a Scottish person pic.twitter.com/akZSLbQYtD

    @WingsScotland Cameron's dropped his Standard, lower than a rattlesnake's bawbag to begin with #indyref pic.twitter.com/3c6sCZmnz5


    Meanwhile well away from the out of touch westminster panic and hilarity the real Independence Referendum continues to build momentum as yet more ordinary scots join the grass-roots Yes groundswell to build a better scotland.


    Nicola Sturgeon @NicolaSturgeon · 2h

    Another packed #indyref meeting in Edinburgh tonight #voteyes pic.twitter.com/PsgnTsNpDs

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  86. Good evening Expat - probably Good Morning by the time this posts. You say anent SNP confounding past polls:

    "To be honest just on a strict technical analysis (love SNP or hate them) I really dont understnad why or how that is. The theories I have seen that talk about shy Nats etc. make no logical sense to me. My hunch though is that nationalism is like a good song or stirring music. Once it reaches a certain volume people just join in."

    I think it's deeper than that. I've previously nodded towards a the "subaltern" dynamic as its known in post-colonial studies. It is something I noticed in working in recently decolonised Papua New Guinea and them with Scottish land reform long before hitting on the academic term. The subaltern (inferior class) lives in 2 worlds and speaks with 2 voices.

    In various community land buyouts - Eigg was the one I was most involved with (see Lesley Riddoch's "Blossom") - the landed classes have been taken aback at the scale of secret ballots in favour of community ownership. Everybody had been telling them they were "unsure" about self-management, but the vote manifested a different reality. Same just now with employers I've heard of saying "all my staff are voting No." Sure!

    In my experience, many of the people in rural communities who come out in favour of community land ownership have had, within themselves and with neighbours, to negotiate two strata of thinking. One is that of acquiescence with power, so ingrained as to be almost unconscious and driven by real or imagined fears. The other, also almost unconscious (I generalise) is resistance to the said domination system including "weapons of the weak" methods of cocking a snook at the Big House.

    I know that to talk in terms of post-colonial and domination is OTT for many observers, but in many rural landed situations people have been waking up to the realities. You are technically colonised when you have to pay rent to the idle rich who won the land in some ancient battle, or were given it for being obsequious, and have held on to it often thanks to a kick start in life via inheritance.

    In urban Scotland Thatcherism has played a similar role. On the one hand, many people go along with a universe of discourse that accepts neoliberalism. At another, they deplore it. They, we, are divided within ourselves.

    What's happening just now is these subcurrents are surfacing in the collective psyche. Their cognitive dissonance heightens. The name of the game is to name, unmask and engage the Powers that Be (Walter Wink, theologian), and the curious thing about power at such times is that as it further decays to the booming of its own bluster, it self-exposes. Such is the nemesis of hubris.

    Crazy carry ons like the doomed launching of the Saltire from Downing St today (google the video) and the comments sections of papers like the Telegraph, Mail and Express demonstrate that self-exposure. The Saltire? Self-exposure? I can only say I've noticed in such situations the craziness breaks out as if it has a life of its own.

    What we on the Yes side (I realise that's probably not including your good self, Expat) have to be mindful of is that we don't mirror the hubris in our own ways. "We must be humble/ we are so easily baffled by appearances" said MacDiarmid on one of his good days. We can keep our footing only through standing in our dignity and in a place of dignity that equally respects the dignity of others (yes, I struggle with that too). As John Chalmers (the Moderator) has been saying this past week as he seems to have realised the limitations of "reconciliation" in the narrow sense, we must seek "unity of purpose."

    And that for my money is a unity that tolerates difference because of a deeper underlying sense of interdependence in community with one another.

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  87. Survation are tweeting their latest poll is "interesting "
    more bad news for NO ??

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  88. BBC journo saying rumoured to be Yes lead.

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