Friday, February 20, 2015

Scottish voters pulverise Cameron's "it's over for a lifetime" arrogance even more comprehensively, as Survation poll shows 59% want a second independence referendum within the next ten years

More details from last night's Survation poll have now emerged, and of particular interest are the findings on when (or if) a second independence referendum should be held...

Want another independence referendum within the next ten years?

Yes 59%
No 41%

Want another independence referendum at some point?

Yes 80%
No 20%

Survation have also asked the direct question about independence for a third time since the referendum.  In spite of introducing weighting by recalled referendum vote (which leads to the Yes vote being significantly downweighted), all three results have shown a race that is too close to call.  One of them suggested an exactly level-pegging contest, while the other two - including tonight's - have shown a narrow No lead within the margin of error.  All three have implied a Yes vote that is markedly higher than at any point during the long referendum campaign - ie. if Survation had stuck with their pre-referendum methodology, and had not brought in weighting by recalled referendum vote, they would now be consistently showing Yes support above the record high for the campaign of 48%.

Survation are one of three firms to have posed the independence question since the referendum, but are the only one to have found No ahead at any point since September.  Part of the reason for that is methodological - YouGov haven't introduced weighting by recalled referendum vote (although Panelbase have and yet still put Yes ahead). It may seem obvious that the case for this new weighting is well-founded, but it's just possible that Survation may be over-compensating, and thus underestimating the Yes vote slightly.  One thing that has to be borne in mind is that they are reliant on a volunteer polling panel, which will include a disproportionate number of politically committed people.  This means that by upweighting respondents who recall voting No, they may be upweighting too many "hard" No voters and too few "soft" No voters (the latter of whom are more likely to have changed their minds over the last few months).  OK, the same thing could be said about absolutely any sort of past vote weighting, but that doesn't invalidate the point - particularly bearing in mind that weighting by referendum vote is a completely untested approach.  It's also conceivable that "buyer's remorse" is at play, and that a few people are claiming to have voted Yes because they wish they had done.  It wouldn't take all that many of them to distort the result of a poll (and ironically distort it in favour of No).

But the bottom line is that, even if Survation's new methodology is bang on the money, a referendum held now would be on a knife-edge, and nobody would be sure of the winner until the votes were counted.

*  *  *

I was interested to hear Michael Heseltine on Question Time say how horror-struck he would be if the Scottish National Party ever had influence on the fate of Britain's nuclear weapons - which is tantamount to saying that Scottish voters have no business taking their own view on Trident.  The Tory message to Scotland over the last few months seems to have gone like this...

"Scotland, you are LOVED.  You are RESPECTED.  You are a VALUED part of our United Kingdom.  PLEASE stay.  Stay until all the seas gang drrrrrry (nice one, Captain Jack).  Oh good, you've stayed.  By the way, just so there's no misunderstanding over this - WE MAKE THE DECISIONS AROUND HERE.  No, seriously, Scotland - SHUT UP."


  1. The decision to hold another referendum lies with the British parliament. If anyone holds a referendum without their permission it will carry as much legal weight as Brian Souter's Section 28 'referendum' :0)

    1. Just carry on talking like that, Anon. It's precisely that kind of imperialist mindset that will drive Scotland to independence quicker than you probably think is even possible.

    2. It's interesting isn't it. Sometimes I think of my support for indy in its own terms, that is, the validity of the reasons why I support it. At other times I feel reinforced in that belief by the rubbish arguments put forward by the other side. Anon above is a prime example. They come on here and they're exactly like the primary school kid who taunts another pupil by saying how crap his schoolbag is. No intellectual depth. Just childish comments. In other news: the Independent has a slightly threadbare/speculative but not entirely useless piece ( about affluent Scots voters "saving" Miliband. I'm dubious but there might be something to it.

    3. That Independent article is bizarre. They've been handed Labour canvassing data for propaganda purposes, and are treating it as gospel. It reminds me of Ian Smart boasting during the referendum campaign about how No were going to get 71% of the vote, based on their telephone canvassing. But at least the mainstream media were sensible enough to take that with a pinch of salt.

      It's not implausible that there are some seats that will totally buck the trend - but there's a limit to that theory, because if there were huge swathes of the country in which Labour's vote was either holding steady or increasing, there's no way on Earth they'd be getting the hammering in the national polls that they currently are. It could be that they're getting a sympathetic hearing from No-voting Tories and Lib Dems on the doorstep, but whether that will translate into real votes is another matter.

    4. Survation:

      AB (better off):
      43% SNP
      24% Con
      21% Lab
      6% Lib
      4% Green
      3% UKIP

      They don't look much help for Ed. Fairly consistent pattern across polls. SNP ahead in every demographic grouping. A national movement.

    5. Ah.....anon.....the Spanish approach to Catalonia......"lock 'em up and throw away the key". How wonderfully undemocratic! Do you honestly think this will ever work in the long-term? And the more interesting question....would YOU really want to live in the sort of nation state where it could work?

    6. "The decision to hold another referendum lies with the British parliament"


      Utterly clueless. The most stupid of the Clegg apologists and PB tories on Stromfront Lite are the usual out of touch twits to desperately spin that laughable nonsense. Newsflash dimwits, the precedent has already been set so tough fucking luck. When the scottish public want the next Indy referendum they will most assuredly get it. End of story.

    7. JK and Skier - I was hoping you'd say something like that.
      Cynical though I am about the msm, I still get sucked in by articles like the one in the Independent...I think partly because I have the - perhaps wholly erroneous - idea than the Independent is unlikely to buy Labour propaganda or disseminate it in a Severin type manner. But the article did seem flimsy and I'm glad to get that confirmed.

  2. Nicola was asked when the next referendum would be the other night in Aberdeen,

    She replied that if Scotland yet again got a government it didn't vote for at the General Election (ie Tory) and they continued with their disgusting austerity agenda,

    'It will be sooner than a lot of people think'


    1. And that's even before the Brexit referendum as a stimulus. Since they seem intent of moving it forward to next year we could save some money by holding the next IndyRef at the same time. That could be fun when Yes IndyRef canvassers meet Yes to EU exit canvassers (assuming the question in the Brexit ref).

      I see lots of potential stimuli for another indyref basically because there are now so many ways in which the democratic deficit is made manifest. If the Tories form the government we will get EVEL and the SNP get to highlight every vote affecting Scotland they are denied a voice on.

  3. YouGov sub-sample: SNP 46, Lab 29, Con 17. Ho-hum.

    1. Average downweighting of SNP respondents is hitting new highs too.

  4. Heseltines views would be considered racist if applies to any other group of people.

  5. 46 - 29 subsample scores are fine.

    Honestly, I'd settle for a 40% SNP, Labour 30% win come May. I think the majority of Yes voters are going to vote SNP, we may lose a few who'll go Green 1-2%, but just speaking to people I know (some who have even voted Green in the past) ken the script "SNP in 15 and their party in 16".

    Labour may win a few percentage back, but I think we've reached a 'tipping point' where an exodus back to Labour is not going to happen.

    I don't ever want to be confident when it's
    a)Scotland we are talking about
    b)It's Scottish politics,
    c)It's SCOTLAND again.

    The ''Vote SNP get Tories'' seems to be the only line that Labour have left after Murphy's 'Glesgae man lives a beevie at the fitba' or the 100 more than SNP of everything.

    It doesn't seem to be working either.

    It's quite fantastic, but still early. The SNP could have been having to field awkward questions about oil prices, etc - yet it seems the Scots public couldn't give a toss, they've had enough of Labour's lies.

    1. Kevin (Kevin G?), we need to be careful about publicly assuming Labour will close the gap, even a little. Different story is Nicola had been excluded from the debates, but IMO it's possible we'll more even further ahead before May.

      -- Outnumbering Red Tory activists by ten to one. In 2011 and iref1 we proved way more effective campaigners than the opposition in the final months.

      -- Possibility that the Blue Tories move consistently ahead, denying Miliband any chance whatsoever at a majority and thus denying Scotch Branch even that avenue for their bullshitting.

      -- Miliband himself, grinning insanely in people's living rooms night after night.

      -- And above all, the astonishing fact that a Red-Blue Tory coalition still hasn't been ruled out. If this holds right up till the election I'd expect the SNP and the indy movement in general to really crank this up to obliterate Minion Murphy & co. An odd little feature of the campaign to date has been the SNP's reluctance to push this issue too strongly, but surely that can't last all the way to election night.

      As I say, an exclusion from the debates might have outweighed all the above, but it's hard to see what else might now do so, short of the Minion revealing himself as some really weird Second Coming of Christ with a fetish for nuclear subs and mair bevvy at ra fitba.

    2. I keep hearing that we will have many more campaigners hitting the doorsteps and this will prove decisive - and I dearly hope this is true - however the official Yes campaign didn't come to my street, or the two neighbouring streets, once during the referendum campaign. A neighbour and I did what we could when the penny finally dropped that we weren't going to be door stepped by Yes. When We enquired why there was no official presence beyond centralised mail shots and were told we it was because we were in a relatively affluent area so it wasn't worth the effort. I mention this because I am seeing exactly the same pattern repeat itself thus far in the general election campaign. The incumbent unionist campaigning vigorously and zero presence from pro independence campaigners other than freelancers such as my neighbour and myself. As my neighbour and I sadly discovered in September it's a damn sight more effective when the person who wants your vote actually turns up and asks for it.

    3. That is concerning. Have you alerted your local SNP branch?

    4. I ve been knocking doors - mostly to overwhelming SNP support in Lanarkshire. Oil came up twice but neither was a Yesser. I have a defence position anyway. NHS once - which is also defendable.

      There are still pockets of Labour hard wired, but so far I hate to say, the SNP are the only show in town.

      Please anyone who can. Volunteer. We need to canvass thousands of houses. We need to leaflet thousands of houses. Please don't assume others are doing it. One single hour puts about 100 leaflets through doors and frees up other activists to canvass. Volunteer. Your country really does need you.

  6. Heseltine was a disgrace. What a dinosaur, living in Britain's mythical 'glory days'. Given all the time in the world to try and convince the audience and viewers at home why they should (mentally) stay there as well. All this boiled down to was 'be afraid, be very afraid and, oh yes, bash the poor and the in-work poor are to be included in that too, even if we like to pretend otherwise'. Awful, just awful.

    1. Maybe there's a reason the out of touch castle dwelling multi-millionaire Heseltine is so gung-ho about weapons of mass destruction and arms sales?

      Timeline: BAE corruption probes

      The guilty pleas from defence group BAE Systems after deals with the US and UK will draw a line under the long-running controversy over some of the firm's dealings.

      Here are some of the key dates:


      UK Defence Secretary Michael Heseltine signs the first phase of the Al Yamamah arms deal with the Saudi government.

      The deal covers the supply and support of Tornado and Hawk jets and a massive airbase construction programme, and is estimated to be worth £50bn.

      May 2004

      The Guardian newspaper alleges that BAE Systems has won the Al Yamamah deal with the aid of a secret slush fund.

      It claims Ministry of Defence police are investigating payments totalling £60m made during the course of the Al Yamamah deal by BAE Systems.

      Smells just like yet another in a long, long line of corrupt tory toffs, doesn't it? ;-)

    2. Though it protected lots of British jobs.

    3. And not only funded some corrupt Saudi Princes to the tune of hundreds of millions (and enrich the corrupt tories and labour in thrall to them) but also helped an autocratic undemocratic middle east regime secure their brand of ultra-hardline Wahhabism across not just Saudi but the rest of the middle east. Thus sowing the seeds of Al Qaeda, ISIS and some of the worst excesses of militant fundamentalist islamism.

      So you know, swings and roundabouts. +rolleyes+

  7. wee jock poo-pong mcplopFebruary 20, 2015 at 9:46 AM

    Maybe I'm being thick...well ok, almost certainly...but isn't it counter-intuitive that, in the polls James has cited above, a healthy majority WANT another referendum, but around half would still vote NO? Why would NO voters desire another referendum just to maintain the status quo?

    1. The iref q is probably how would you vote if there was a referendum tomorrow. You could imagine folk would answer No to that but still want a chance to rething within 10 years.

    2. Whether there should be a referendum was sometimes polled until it became clear that the first referendum was going to happen, i.e. up until the SNP won an overall majority. Support ran at about 80%. I suspect there were quite a lot of unionists who were keen for a referendum in the hope that it would kill the issue. Wendy Alexander infamously said "bring it [the referendum] on" during her brief tenure as leader of the Labour group at Holyrood.

      There may still be some unionists who take the view that another referendum would achieve that, but I think the likelier explanation is "no" voters who want further constitutional change but who are not (yet?) convinced of the case for independence.

      Possibly they are soft no voters, who would be open to

    3. I did not see Question Time, but if Heseltine did say what James related, then it goes to the core of Brit nat thinking, namely that Scotland is a possession to them, and nothing more than that. Substitute Marilyn Monroe's diamonds for Scotland ,and you capture the essence of the unionist argument for controlling and ruling Scotland (or should that be owning as well?).

  8. The slight increase in Yes support in polls since the ref would tend to indicate that some No voters are experiencing buyer's remorse. What do we think is the reason for this? Has anything happened to make the Union appear more dysfunctional than was already evident? It doesn't really make sense to me.

    1. I'm starting to think there is a little bit of truth in Rick Nye's (self-serving) argument that Yes could have won the referendum, but did not present a sufficiently convincing case in respect of the economy, particularly the currency.

      Banging on about the currency was a very minimalist argument for BT - being so negative meant they couldn't hope to win big, but it did frighten off a small minority that could have voted yes. If that pessimistic analysis of BT was *wholly* correct, then they could have lost the referendum by not pushing those negative arguments.

      "If you look closely at the underlying attitudes among the population, the inconvenient truth is that Scotland had become a pro-independence country all other things being equal if no change was on offer."

    2. " Has anything happened to make the Union appear more dysfunctional than was already evident? It doesn't really make sense to me."

      You've pretty much answered your own question there.

      Just to be clear, there is no possibility whatsoever that the voting public of scotland are ever going to forget the first Independence referendum in a hurry. How could they? It had a simply astonishing turnout and level of public engagement. It was on their doorsteps and on their streets. Something which is even more important than the wall to wall media coverage it got. Nonetheless, the scottish public will definitely remember that media coverage which was a carpet bombing of Better Together jam tomorrow/THE VOW/Home Rule at hysteria levels near the end. The overwhelmingly unionist media and unionist parties all joined in frantically trying to do everything in their power to deny that it would be "business as usual" from westminster.

      Well the scottish public has had a good few months to view the usual incompetence, corruption and stupidity flowing from westminster since the first indyref and all the polling confirms that they are not best pleased with that. to say the least.

      Put simply, business as usual was never going to be enough to save them but they are incapable of anything else since the dire and corrupt state of the westminster parties and the London establishment is systemic.

      The scottish public basically put westminster on a final warning with the first Indyref and westminster still seems completely oblivious to that. They will only realise it when it's far, far too late.

      It's all about trust and always was.

      Look at calamity Clegg. He could promise the moon on a stick while swinging from the top of Big Ben and it wouldn't matter a jot now. The public gave him the benefit of the doubt in 2010 but now has now judged him to be a yellow tory and an unprincipled liar who sold out his party and most of his voters for a nice ministerial car and plum job. The public will not change their minds either, since once you are toxic you are toxic. Betraying what little trust the public had in you is the fastest way to reach those kind of levels of toxicity. Which applies to parties not just leaders as Clegg toxified the lib dem 'brand' long ago. The exact same principle applies to Labour and the likes of little Ed Miliband just as it does for the incompetent fop Cameron. Same goes for Eggman Murphy and 'scottish' Labour as they are finding to their cost.

      The fact that Lamont is beating the Eggman on popularity pretty much says it all and is a hilarious slap in the face to the out of touch clueless Blairites, little Ed and their tory chums who foolishly thought Murphy was the 'solution' rather than the problem.

    3. I have to agree with James re currency. When I first heard of the keep the pound strategy I had a WTF! moment and feared that we had just scored the biggest own goal imaginable as keeping the pound effectively prevented aggressive campaigning on the dangers inherent in staying in the union.

  9. Populus sub-sample: SNP 47, Lab 21, Con 11, LD 11. I think that is Labour's worst result with them, even with the methodology change a few weeks back.

    Scotland down-weighted 121 to 117, SNP 67 to 49.

  10. Lord Ashcroft is calling out Labour for "comfort polling" in (selectively) releasing canvas returns to the Independent.

  11. From the Independent:

    "However, in wealthier, middle-class neighbourhoods, where houses prices are often high above the Scottish average, Labour’s vote is marginally up: jumps of up to 15 per cent from 2010 figures are being recorded."

    I don't doubt there will be an element of tactical vote shift among Unionists from Con to Lab but happily, 115% of next to F all is still next to F all. ;-)

  12. Alex Skinner/James Kelly: I read this too in I (The National was sold out!). Yet another dreary, tiring, irritating example of the MSM making claims WITHOUT SHOWING ANY EVIDENCE. "unpublished doorstep canvassing". C'mon, how stupid does he think we are? These kinds of articles should be laughed at by editors, and binned.

  13. @ James

    Unrelated to this post but have you looked into the impact on the SNP vote if they formed a coalition (or other formal relationship) with Labour? We've all seen how the Lib Dems have suffered from getting into bed with the Tories and we're all pretty fond of referring to Labour as the Red Tories so is there a danger of a blowback if the SNP do this?
    I'd be interested to read your thoughts and the subsequent discussion on here.


    1. @Anonymous

      It would depend on what kind of a deal the SNP could get for Scotland. If it was real Devo max or close to it, then the SNP should support it. If a potential deal fell well short of real Devo max, then there would not be much point in agreeing to it.

      I suspect the SNP leadership know fine well that Labour/Conservative/any other Westminster based party, have no intention of coming to agreement with the SNP. In other words, it will be used as further evidence, along with the woeful Smith Commission, of the bad faith of the unionists before and after the independence referendum. This bad faith must be glaringly obvious to most people in Scotland. The SNP are either going for a significant new deal on devolution, and/or paving the way for a second independence referendum. I suspect it is the latter, but being gradualists I would imagine they probably would accept the former as well.

      Oh, and the reason the Lib Dems are toast is because the deal they 'negotiated' with the Tories was absolutely woeful and inept.

    2. I never understood what the hell the Lib Dems got out of the deal. A PR referendum that wasn't even on PR and they lost? In exchange for letting Cameron and his crew rule for 5 years. Not much of a deal.

    3. @Denise

      It was a really, really bad deal, in fact it is very difficult to stress just how catastrophic it was, and still is for the Lib Dems. Funnily enough, the deals that the Liberal Democrats in Scotland reached with SLAB were far better. Jim Wallace did far better than Clegg in that regard anyway. The 2010 lot clearly were only interested in obtaining power for its own sake.

  14. Ministerial Cars. Cabinet position salaries. Press coverage as if their opinions mattered.

    They may have thought at first they would have great influence - and they did ( Single Person Allowance) - which the public would see was down to them. In the end the press is Labour, the Conservatives have thick skins, and the nice Libdems were taken for a ride.

    Oh, I think they may have had better luck with PR if they hadn't proposed a system which only benefited them alone. The crowd are not completely stupid. They voted it down to my mind because they saw through that one. After that the marriage was acrimonious lets say.

  15. Oh well, very interesting. Just had our first political telephone survey.

    Clearly for my constituency (Truro and Falmouth) - second voting intention question in the style of Ashcroft was used and the main candidates were named. Had to wash my mouth out before saying I would prefer Ed and Labour to Dave and the Tories, if forced.

    Perhaps more interesting is that the client was "MQR" - which google tells me is Messina Quantitative Research - i.e. a Tory internal poll.

  16. wee jock poo-pong mcplopFebruary 20, 2015 at 10:05 PM

    James, how odd that two of us on this of all blogs should reside in Cornwall (S.E. Cornwall in my case). As an inspired posting on Wings said this week, "Vote Ulster Unionist, get Mebyon Kernow"!