Friday, September 12, 2014

Yes vote surges to 49% in earth-shaking new TELEPHONE poll from "gold standard" ICM

ICM, the firm regarded by many as the UK's "gold standard" polling organisation, have released their first telephone poll of the campaign (all of their previous polls have been conducted online).  This is also the first national telephone poll of the campaign to have been conducted by any firm other than Ipsos-Mori, and is the first to record a Yes vote of higher than 42%.  To put it mildly, that previous record has just been smashed to smithereens.

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Yes 49%
No 51%

If Don't Knows are taken into account, the figures are...

Yes 40%
No 42%

I haven't given percentage change figures above, because this poll is not directly comparable with any previous ICM poll.  However, if we "just as a bit of fun" make the comparison with last month's online ICM poll, then Yes are up 4% after Don't Knows are excluded, and No are obviously down by the same amount.  If Don't Knows are left in, Yes are up 2% and No are down 5%, but those numbers are likely to be particularly misleading, due to the probability of telephone polling detecting a greater number of undecideds.

A bigger problem is that the Yes vote in the last ICM poll seemed strangely low to me, given the direction of travel shown at roughly the same time by Panelbase and YouGov.  But today's poll even exceeds ICM's previous all-time high for Yes of 48% that was reported on Easter Sunday - and in retrospect that particular poll was clearly an outlier.

This poll represents what American journalists often refer to as a "statistical tie" - meaning there is a greater than 5% chance that the side that appears to be behind is actually in the lead.  In this case, the probability of that is quite a bit higher than 5%, but that's only if you look at this poll in perfect isolation.  If you take the three polls published over the last 48 hours together, then the evidence is somewhat more compelling that No are still hanging on to a very small lead - but that crucially depends on the assumption that the pollsters are getting their methodology absolutely right.  I gather that ICM's Martin Boon will be going on BBC radio this afternoon to once again express his worries that there is no guarantee that they are.  Of course that isn't necessarily a good thing for Yes - there's just as much chance that a misconceived methodology might be underestimating the No vote.  Indeed, given that he lives and works within a London media environment that regards the idea of Scottish independence as self-evidently absurd, I wouldn't be surprised if Boon places more emphasis on the possibility of the No vote being too low in his polls.  But all the same, it's a straightforward fact that if polls are showing a small No lead, any greater uncertainty than usual over whether the methodology is right somewhat increases the statistical chances that Yes may in fact be in the lead.

So if we imagine for the sake of argument that ICM are underestimating Yes, how might that be happening?  The ongoing problem of the failure to weight by country of birth isn't so much of an issue in this poll, because although there are slightly too many English-born respondents in the sample, the degree of error is nowhere near as great as it has been in ICM online polls.  And in any case, the Yes campaign are doing fantastically well among English-born people in this poll - they stand at an amazing 37% with Don't Knows excluded!

Instead we might look to the issue of Shy Yes Syndrome - which, if it exists, is more likely to rear its ugly head in a telephone poll than in a more anonymous online survey.  We've long speculated on this blog that Yes supporters who receive a phone call from an "authority figure" at Ipsos-Mori might be more likely to feel that they have to give the answer that is expected of them - ie. that they're voting No, or at the very least that they don't know how they'll vote.  If anything, though, the problem might be even worse with ICM.  As it happens, Ipsos-Mori base their call centre operations in Edinburgh, so it's reasonable to assume that many (although not all) of their interviewers will have a Scottish accent.  To the best of my knowledge, that isn't the case with ICM, and I think many of us know from our own experience how much harder it is to admit to supporting independence to someone from the south of England, because of the greater chance of encountering hostility or ridicule.  I'm quite sure that ICM's interviewers are extremely professional and skilled at putting people at their ease, but even if there's only a very small number of "shy Yesses", that could be more than enough to swing the balance in this poll.  But, of course, this is just pure speculation based on no hard evidence.

One thing that I can't quite fathom about this poll is whether mobile numbers were called.  We were told yesterday that they had been, but there's no clear mention of that in ICM's explanation of their method.  Paradoxically, the Yes campaign might prefer it if only landlines were called, because that might be another reason for seriously wondering if the Yes vote is being underestimated - it's long been thought plausible that lower-income Yes voters are harder to reach via Ipsos-Mori's landline-only approach.

If this poll had been published a week ago today, it would have boasted the highest Yes vote of the campaign so far in any poll from any firm (with the exception of one Panelbase poll that is often disregarded because of an unusual question sequence).  But it wouldn't actually have been the highest by all that much - we've been used to seeing Yes at 47% or 48% in a number of online polls from ICM, Survation and Panelbase.  So why has it only been in the last few days that the idea of a Yes victory has been taken seriously by the London media?  Partly, it's because YouGov (rightly or wrongly) command enormous respect, and until last week they remained stubbornly out of line with the other online firms.  But more fundamentally, it's because the only two pollsters who routinely went out into the 'real world' to find a fresh sample for each new poll (TNS-BMRB and Ipsos-Mori) were firmly on the No-friendly end of the spectrum.  That led to a lazy assumption that the No campaign's 'real world' lead must be on the higher end of the scale, and that it was only being underestimated because volunteer online polling panels had too many politically committed people on their books.

That comfort blanket for the Abominable No-Men has now well and truly gone out of the window.  As Calum Findlay notes in the comments section below, the two most Yes-friendly pollsters at present are TNS-BMRB and ICM - and they both used 'real world' methodology in their most recent poll.

Final thought : one thing that's really quite impressive about the ICM poll is that respondents were asked how they voted in BOTH the 2010 and 2011 elections, and the answers given are uncannily close to the actual results.  Labour voters have had to be downweighted, but not by very much, while the SNP were pretty much bang on.  So, just for once, there's no danger that faulty recall will have distorted the headline numbers to any great extent.

* * *

REQUIRED SWINGS

Swing required for 1 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 0.5%

Swing required for 2 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 1.0%

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 : 2.5%

Swing required for 5 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 3.0%

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

* * *

SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS

If you were around yesterday, you'll know that I was pondering how I should take account of the new ICM telephone poll in the Poll of Polls, and that I wanted to make a firm decision before we knew what the results were.  I'll be honest - I reached a firm decision, but now I've changed my mind (so sue me!)  The reason is that I think this blog's Poll of Polls methodology will lose credibility if I unnecessarily keep giving some weight to an ancient ICM online poll that was conducted well before the second leaders' debate.  It's bad enough that I'll be leaving in an even older Ipsos-Mori poll that was conducted before the first debate!  So, as normal, I'm just going to completely drop the last ICM poll from the sample and replace it with the new one.  If ICM produce an online poll at the weekend that turns out to have been conducted at roughly the same time as the telephone poll, then I'll revert to yesterday's plan to use an average of the two polls for ICM's one-sixth share of the sample.

MEAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 47.0% (+0.7)
No 53.0% (-0.7)

MEAN AVERAGE (not excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 41.5% (+0.3)
No 46.8% (-0.9)

MEDIAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 47.6% (+0.6)
No 52.4% (-0.6)

(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.)

64 comments:

  1. As it turns out now the two best pollsters for yes are "real world ones".

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  2. I'm always amazed by James' dominion of adjectives.

    :)

    Great poll. Just there.

    Xabi

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  3. Scare stories not working. God help them.

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  4. Absolutely fantastic stuff.

    Can it be said that the scare mongering is making little effect? Thats 2 polls taken since Tuesday (I think).

    Does the death of Ian Paisley influence anything though? Unlikely, but worth a thought.

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  5. Hearing Labour Yes at 42%. Crikey!

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  6. Nemo me impune lacessit.

    What were they expecting?

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  7. Here's the tables:

    http://www.icmresearch.com/data/media/pdf/2014_sept_guardian_scotland_indep_poll.pdf

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  8. Do you think seeing as No are still ahead they will get complacent now? ...it was the lead that made them knee-jerk...maybe they will be comfortable again..good for us!

    Chris D

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  9. http://www.icmresearch.com/media-centre/polls/guardian-scotland-poll
    http://www.icmresearch.com/data/media/pdf/2014_sept_guardian_scotland_indep_poll.pdf

    "The upshot, is a referendum prediction of:

    Yes 49% (48.7%)
    No 51% (51.3%)

    Men (52%) edge in favour of independence while women are more solidly against (55% for No). Age is clearly our defining (nonh-political) characteristic, and the data does confirm that the very young are split, but 25-34s (57%) and 35-44s (53%) are where the heaviest Yes vote is concentrated, along with Glaswegians.

    We have a strongly accurate recall of 2011 voting, and it has to be said that independence is striking how it underlines party positions. Only 29% of Labour voters defect from the party position – which maybe not be as many as possibly thought – and may imply that the Labour political heavyweights have, of late, successfully entered the fray.

    SNP voters as we might expect strongly side with Yes (91%)."

    -----

    Some points:

    91% Yes is very high for the SNP. Other, online, polls have shown it as 80% or so Yes.

    No ahead by 1% among 16-24.

    Only 28% support for independence in the Highlands/Islands. Sounds low, lower than South Scotland (40-40).

    Almost 70% say they voted in 2011. Actual turnout was about 50%. Also a higher proportion say they voted in 2010 than voted in the total population.



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  10. Ian paisley dying might mean more attention on orange order march

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  11. Robert, West LothianSeptember 12, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Never expected that I have to say but Woweee!!!. What's coming next from the UKOKS I wonder. They've tried fears smears and love none of it working.

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  12. Be interesting to know how samples of younger people were obtained. Can't remember when my children last used a landline.

    I never use one either and would NEVER answer the phone to unknown callers. However at the moment I would answer if a polling company showed itself when my number rang.

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  13. "
    http://www.icmresearch.com/data/media/pdf/2014_sept_guardian_scotland_indep_poll.pdf"

    They'll be wearing black tomorrow and his death is bound to dampen their vigour.

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  14. @ James Coleman. From what I've read about yesterday's big big debate with thousands of teenage students I think a sizeable majority of them will vote Yes.
    That's why last night's YouGov poll surprised me.

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  15. Did you see Andrew Neil interviewing North Briton, pompous bore and TV 'historian' Nail Ferguson last night ? he smugly said '' If Scotland decides to vote for independence I will immediately get an American passport !! ''

    All the more reason to vote for independence then, what is it with these self loathing Scots ?

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  16. 28%yes in Highlands is way too low. I live in Inverness and it'50/50' at worst here. Also towns like Aviemore seem very pro-Yes.

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  17. Here's the link , Nail Ferguson is the one with the pretentious beard, it's 35 minutes into the programme. Actor Brian Cox was also on the show


    www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04hg99h/this-week-11092014

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  18. Donald : Yes, but 40% Yes in the south is probably too high. So all these little details may be balancing themselves out. No pollster is ever going to produce perfection in every single subsample.

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  19. blog.majesticseo.com/research/scottish-election-poll

    Analysis by a unionist of internet traffic predicting a Yes win.

    Similar studies of 2011 showed that the outcome was predictable from the same.

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  20. I've never been one for saying a modest 2% growth to Yes etc in 35-55 types polls is good, but I think we all need to agree that this ICM polls is excellent for yes.

    It's a 8/10, if it was a test.

    The media have been relentless with their fear, scare and onslaught of the Yes campaign and it's been aided by the help of the public broadcaster.

    We are still within the M.O.E and 49 - 51, folks. We are a whisker or for a much better, Scots word, a ''bawhair'' away from the line, lads and lasses.

    Again, do whatever you can for your local Yes movement - if you don't have time, no problem - but even if it's 30 mins, 1hr, 12 hrs, the next 6 days solid. Go join your local grassroots movement or Yes group and help in whatever way you can, if you are not doing this already.

    Don't wake up on the 19th thinking if I just gave them 2hrs one night I was free.

    If we all do our bit, we WILL do this, folks!!!

    God bless you all.

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  21. Really surprising level of consensus among the pollsters just right now. More than there was in 2011, which is strange, as that election should've been easier to predict because of precedent.

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  22. A bit more scientific

    The Hawick News accosted people in the local High Street and got

    24 Yes 13 No 11 Don't Know

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  23. Comment of the day from Political racism's very own Plato.

    "I'm so glad I don't live in Scotland right now!"

    We're all glad of that you demented old cat shagging bigot.

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  24. I mentioned in the previous thread that i'm happier with a No scare and fear finish to the campaign. When will they ever learn? Kick a Scot and he will kick back.

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  25. Niave question time. What types of phone numbers are they dialing- fixed or mobile? Would that skew data in one direction or another. Fixed phone lines still used by older people, for example.

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  26. FYI I was phoned yesterday by Ipsos mori, first time ever and like most I do not even know anyone that has ever taken part in a poll.

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  27. Ipsos MORI are the only BPC member who do referendum polling and who haven't published since the polls converged, right?

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  28. Could it be a private poll though? I'm intrigued as to who does the polling thats keeping Salmond et al so confident!

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  29. It probably is a private poll, but I doubt if it's for the Yes campaign. My own theory is that the UK government have continued to commission Ipsos-Mori megapolls using taxpayers' money, and are sharing the results with Better Together to save cash on private polling. The sheer number of people who keep reporting being interviewed by Ipsos-Mori wouldn't make sense unless polling was taking place on massive scale.

    However, there will be a final published Ipsos-Mori poll (for STV) on the eve of the referendum.

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  30. Murdoch commenting that there might be a private poll with YES ahead?

    https://twitter.com/rupertmurdoch/status/510440544452218880

    Interesting that he'd know that!

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  31. @Boab.
    Maybe he is doing his own secret polling?

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  32. Murdoch is a lying bastard. Bear in mind the Sun front page claiming a private briefing that the referendum would be on 18th OCTOBER, which cause much calumny towards Salmond for "being in Murdoch's pocket". It was nothing but their best guess, dressed up as a confidential leak to boost sales.

    There have been other similar stories, claiming inside knowledge, which have turned out to be completely bogus. I'm not saying he's really anti-Yes, he could just be doing it out of pure mischief, but the fake leaks often have the effect of damaging Yes a bit.

    I don't believe a word he says without independent verification.

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  33. "My own theory is that the UK government have continued to commission Ipsos-Mori megapolls using taxpayers' money, and are sharing the results with Better Together to save cash on private polling."

    Which makes a great deal of sense since it is pretty preposterous to believe either Yes or No would not be conducting their own private polling at such a crucial time.

    Away from the westmisnter bubble omnipanic and hysterical scaremongering the Yes campaign is not letting up for a second. Everything is being prepared for the final week and the most intense activity on the ground yet.

    The fact that the No campaign doubled down on the negativity and scaremongering (now they so belatedly realise just how much trouble they are in) was entirely expected and indeed predicted. It was the precise same pattern we saw in 2011 complete with the last minute hilarity of the panic visits from the out of touch westminster twits.


    The fact that so many westminster bubble imbeciles are now (with mere days to go) shrieking witlessly about the scottish public somehow not having thought things through, or not knowing what they are doing, is riotously funny. Needless to say they are so laughably out of touch and oblivious they completely fail to spot the irony of their last minute panic screeching.

    LOL

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  34. Spot on Mick.
    The Scottish public know exactly what they are about to do. :-)

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  35. What the hell are "Salmon folks"? I really wish Murdoch would learn English.

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  36. A bit of chat today than the Sun might make a move tomorrow. Not sure though - just a rumour. Oh, and what a wonderful poll. Feeling a sense of pride in the people of Scotland who've withstood so much nonsense this week.

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  37. Murdoch said on twitter last week Snp polling showed 54/46 in Yes favour,now he is saying snp are claiming they are a couple of points ahead.

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  38. The Sun's been rumoured to come off the fence "tomorrow" for about two weeks now. But there's no chance of them doing that unless we get some more Yes leads in polls.

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  39. What the hell are "Salmon folks"?

    Maybe John West have entered the fray?

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  40. Is it likely we can garner a yes lead in the polls in the final 6 days?

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  41. Murdochs's tweets of late are getting stranger and stranger. He's obviously really wrestling with whether to bring the Scottish Sun out for Yes and put his machine behind Salmond. Two days before the last YouGov poll he wrote.

    Murdoch " Bigger problem! Wrestling with Scottish vote. Scottish Sun No. 1. Head over heart, or just maybe both lead to same conclusion."

    But after this, there was no triumphal tweeting before the poll as with the one before. And when that poll appeared he was obviously having doubts as his tweet showed..

    Murdoch: " New poll disappointing for Salmond, but not a big deal. Still all to play for. But AS had a bad day, promising membership of the EU."

    So fascinatingly here is a real bone of contention between them. Salmond's wish for Scotland to join EU does not appeal to Murdoch at all. That was always the strangest aspect. of the relationship.

    Which would explain Murdoch's next seriously weird tweet

    Murdoch "Salmond a friend, great politician, man of the people, etc, but I would be much happier with another great Scottish AS - Adam Smith!"

    This was a kind of dig. And then three hours ago he tweeted what has been referred to above saying.

    Murdoch:: Scotland. Sun- Times poll has four point lead for No, Guardian two, Salmon folks tiny lead to Yes. Nobody knows.

    Note that days ago he quoted Salnmond's private poll as having a four point lead, so it sounds as if Yes's private polling had dipped slightly while still showing a lead though of course I accept (a) this is s pure supposition and (B) Murdoch is just as capable of bluff and inaccuracy as anyone. If his figures are right though it's odd to reflect Murdoch can publish what was presumably private information without the slightest qualm

    My hunch is h he'll wait and , if he goes for it, it's now more likely to be eve of poll. Or just possibly Sunday if the Yes lead materialises. We're all agreed he does not like to back a loser.

    Given what a trader the man is it is even I suppose it is just possible he'll throw a lifeline to the union in return for something. Though I think that is very unlikely and the Sun's coverage has been very anti-No this week.,

    As to how the polls look now, he's probably right they are not readable. All I can see is that the 2011-type surge ahead into a safe lead by Salmond has not materialised yet even though it looked exactly as if it would from the momentum last week. That has to give No comfort but for how long?

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  42. @Expat.
    Do you have a crush on old Rupert?

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  43. There was no safe lead in the polls for the SNP in 2011 no matter how many times you lie.

    And this referendum is not about Salmond. Have 1,000,000 Blair points towards your bonus for trying so hard to smear the entire Pro Scotland campaign by association.

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  44. James, can you do the maths based on how exactly we can win this and write up the details on your blog? You know, if you could determine exactly where the postal votes need to be, where the constituency votes need to be (Yes needs to win Glasgow for instance, but list other constituencies you find important) and where the vote registration has to come in at?

    For instance I heard yesterday from Alex Massie that the huge No majority in Dumfries and Galloway practically cancels out any real benefit we could gain from places like Dundee, which has a smaller electorate.

    My biggest worry is that, mathematically, we've already lost bar some kind of big surge in the last week. Can you put our fears to rest by showing exactly where we need to be going into the last week?

    Kind regards, thanks for all the good work,

    Anon

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  45. @Anon at 7:43 PM
    What constitutes a "safe lead" is subjective, but the SNP were ahead in every poll from 9 April until the election, and had at least a 7-point lead in every one from 21 April. (On the constituency vote, that is - the pollsters were much less accurate when it came to the list, for some reason.)

    No one in the last week or two thought there was seriously much chance of a Labour win.

    That said, it's true that no poll predicted the scale of the victory. It looks like the TNS on 3 May was the closest poll to the actual result, though they still significantly underestimated the SNP on the list.

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  46. I know nothing of polling science, but I would have thought the issue of mobile phones must have an impact on the YES result.

    In this vote, large numbers of young people and poorer people, the very people who use mobiles, are expected to turn out. How do you contact a representative sample from mobiles? Even if you have a number, there is no post code data for example.

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  47. @Expat.
    Do you have a crush on old Rupert?


    It would certainly seem so.

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  48. James, or any of the other guys who are good at interpreting statistics - care to have a look at this study and give your opinion?

    Society Disagrees Scotland is “Better Together”


    http://blog.majesticseo.com/research/scottish-election-poll/

    Hope you can find time, it looks hopeful for us, not sure I understood the technicalities.

    clochoderic

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  49. Scottish Skier etc. I have a 'crush' on Rupert in EXACTLY the way Van Helsing had a 'crush' on Dracula.

    While I admit Murdoch is closer to the latter than I am to the former.

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  50. Scottish Skier etc. I have a 'crush' on Rupert in EXACTLY the way Van Helsing had a 'crush' on Dracula.

    Hope yer no gonnae chib Murdoch or something?

    ;-)

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  51. Very tired as the busy day today will still not compare to how busy we will be tomorrow which we were also preparing hard for.

    However, we will have record numbers attending the stalls and the Yes shops locally as the influx of ordinary scots walking in off the streets wanting to help has not stopped. Expect the most visible and hardworking day yet for the broad-based and diverse Yes grass roots campaign.

    @keaton

    "That said, it's true that no poll predicted the scale of the victory."

    Of course. That was something even an out of touch PB tory twit should have realised but it's no surprise they don't. That was with a relentless background of negativity and hilarious panic moves in 2011. (which included out of touch westminster twits being 'deployed' in utter panic as I already indicated.)

    Here's yet another excellent blog from WeeGingerDug (who has been one of the most popular and articulate scottish blogs during the many, many months grassroots Yes have been building their diverse groundswell) explaining and lampooning the westminster omnipanic and scaremongering.


    http://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/arresting-ronnie-kray/

    Also, here's a good article on the out of touch westminster media's laughable shrieking in recent days.

    http://www.thedrum.com/news/2014/09/12/balance-failure-bbc-scottish-independence-referendum-coverage-wrong-and-not

    Finally it's worth highlighting that you don't hear much sneering from the No campaign media and their incompetent cheerleaders about the "missing million" after the 97% registration figures were revealed.

    Grassroots Yes know perfectly well who the vast majority of those are since the likes of Yes, Radical Indy and so many others worked tirelessly to help get them registered.

    Yes simply do not need a massively distrusted westminster bubble media and planned from day 1 to make this Independence Campaign all about talking face to face to ordinary scots up and down the land over the past few years.

    So let the out of touch fools shriek comically to themselves. Yes were always going to win this city by city, town by town, street by street, doorstep by doorstep, voter by voter.

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  52. @Mick Pork

    Your link from the Drum was very interesting. If even someone like Cosgrove is calling for an inquiry, we need to capitalise on this.

    There are many ways to go about it, but given the links among activists already established, mass non-payment of the licence fee would be a good way to go.

    On a separate point
    @James Kelly, are there any counting areas which we should keep an eye on for 18th Sept? Which one do you expect to declare first, and would you say there is a "bellweather" region, if I can say such a thing?

    Also, to what extent are the pollsters taking account of the "missing million"? Are they asking people if they have ever voted before, for example? Or just simply voting records for the past two elections? Are the pollsters picking them up (as I know people who are relatively well-off, and in the 25-34 bracket who have never voted and will vote Yes).

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  53. I haven't really looked into who is likely to declare first. I think in Holyrood elections, it's west-central seats that tend to win the race?

    For what it's worth, the council area that produced a Yes vote closest to the national average in 1997 was East Lothian.

    As far as the missing million is concerned, pollsters weight their results to target figures derived from the census and similar sources. For the most part, the census includes the missing million. So in theory those people always been taken into account by pollsters.

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  54. Apologies for the copy-paste, put it in the wrong subsection, but does anyone know what polls we are due over the next days up to the ref?

    Apologies, but does anyone have a timetable for polls to be released.

    Not sure if I am correct, but

    13-Opnium or someone? Never heard of.
    14 - Panelbae and another Yougov?
    17 - 4 Polls.

    Much obliged,


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  55. I'm not sure how representative it is but this little place is looking to be the first to declare...

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/e01fafd0-3a64-11e4-bd08-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3D1R383uw

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  56. @Anonymous

    There are only 2,000 more people, total in Dumfries and Galloway than in Dundee. If you add Monifieth and Invergowrie to Dundee (the city is continuous with both but both are outside the boundary) then we easily beat D&G.

    Also lots of people cross the Tay from Fife every day for work, school, shopping etc so Dundee's Yes influence is wider than D&G's. Add in satellites like Forfar, Carnoustie etc and the numbers Dundee influences just go up. Activists from Dundee campaign in Angus and Angus people come help us out in Dundee.

    Massie is looking far to narrowly. It's an interconnected world now and the more interconnected you are, the greater your influence. Dundee is a solid Yes too. I expect the majority to be large here. I've canvassed all over it.

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  57. James,

    I understand that there is an attempt by pollsters to weight for "missing" voters, but how on earth can you estimate it? This is normally done on previous behaviour patterns. If they did not vote for years, what is their intention? Next week, there will be huge numbers of people coming out to vote for the first time ever. Their voting behaviour just cannot be modeled accurately because there is no previous reference point.

    Anecdotally, it seems that the majority who are signing up to vote for the first time, are not simply coming out to support the status quo! We shall see.

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  58. I have checked several polls and there is some data for non-party voters. Those who didn't vote SNP, Lab, Lib or Con will be classed as 'other'. Whilst this will include voters from UKIP & Greens, it will also include new voters.

    Most polls i've checked are approx 40% Yes, 60% No for non-party voters.

    I'm no pollster, but I can't believe that as being right.

    A lot of non-party voters are mostly people which feel disconnected from politics and the current system. Would they back the status-quo in such large numbers?

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  59. Yes, but are these newly registered voters at all likely to be on an internet polling company's panel? How many of them even have landlines? How many of them live behind doors pollsters would feel comfortable knocking on?

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  60. If the new voters aren't in the sample because they can't be reached, and added to that they haven't voted before, the pollsters have no method to deal with that. Their opinions are not in the current evidence base at all which I find quite exciting, hopefully this excitement is shared by the No campaign!

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  61. Well if BT have released this poll, then it gives a lot of reason to be optimistic, regardless of what other polls say later today. If this is the best polling figures available to them, then it really is as close as it seems.

    All to play for!

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