Monday, September 14, 2015

Stirring Survation survey suggests virtual dead heat on independence

We now almost have a full house of pollsters producing pre-anniversary polls on independence - of the six firms which traditionally poll on the subject now and again, only ICM haven't put in an appearance so far this month.

Should Scotland be an independent country? (Survation)

Yes 49.3% (+1.1)
No 50.7% (-1.1)

Although it's obviously encouraging that two of the three online firms that have reported over the last few days have shown a modest increase in the Yes vote, these numbers remain firmly within the familiar post-referendum range - Yes have previously been as high as 51% in a Survation poll.  So there's still no evidence of a surge for Yes over and above the one that took place in the immediate aftermath of last September's events.  The good news is that the initial surge was absolutely real and hasn't been reversed.  We know that because the Yes vote is significantly higher than 44.7% in this poll, in spite of the fact that Survation weight their results by recalled referendum vote.  Respondents who recall voting Yes have been weighted down from 413 to 385, and those who recall voting No have been sharply weighted up from 423 to 458.  Without that adjustment, Yes would be in the outright lead.

Even better are the clear signs that the progress for Yes since the referendum has come about - at least in part - because of direct switching by people who voted No.  John Curtice made a great deal the other day of the Panelbase poll showing that exactly the same proportion of Yes and No voters from last year would stick with their original choice, and that Yes had only made modest progress because it was in the lead among people who didn't vote in the referendum.  But that was actually an extremely unusual finding, and is contradicted by both YouGov and Survation.  In the Survation poll, 6.8% of No voters from 2014 would now vote Yes, compared with just 2.6% of Yes voters who would now vote No.

There's great news in this poll for those urging Nicola Sturgeon not to be scared of making a conditional commitment for a second independence referendum in the SNP's Holyrood manifesto.  A mere 4.1% of people currently planning to vote SNP say they would be less likely to vote for the party if another referendum is promised.  Even if you make the improbable assumption that every single one of those people would peel away, that would still leave the SNP with 51% of the vote on the constituency ballot.  (And in reality any minor losses could well be offset - 8.5% of prospective Labour voters say a referendum promise would make them more likely to vote SNP.)

Unfortunately, the poll was conducted just before Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour leader, so it can only offer hypothetical data on the potential Corbyn effect.  Among people who voted SNP this year, 14.3% say Corbyn would make them more likely to vote Labour, compared with 18.3% who say that they'd be less likely to do so.  That may sound encouraging from a nationalist point of view, but of course many of the people who claim they'd be less likely to vote Labour are probably hardcore SNP voters anyway.  What is more significant is that 16.9% of people who actually voted Labour in May say that Corbyn might put them off from sticking with the party next year.  In absolute terms, there are more SNP-voting respondents (58) who might be won over by Corbyn than there are Labour voters (33) who might be repelled, but that difference isn't great enough to make much of a dent in the SNP lead.  Having said that, we don't know exactly where the potential Labour defectors might go - in theory they might all go to other unionist parties.

A quick word about the YouGov poll, for which the datasets have now been released.  In spite of the fact that it was commissioned by a nakedly partisan client and thus contains leading questions, there is one absolutely devastating finding for the anti-independence camp.  Just 9% of respondents think that the notorious "Vow" which helped to win the referendum for No has been delivered in full.  A combined total of 52% say that only very little has been delivered, or nothing at all.

*  *  *

ALL-TIME HIGH FOR YES IN SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS

There have now been enough recent polls to make it worthwhile updating this blog's Poll of Polls on independence for the first time in a full year, using the same method as before (although for obvious reasons only firms that have reported since the referendum are included - that means Opinium drops out of the sample).  Of the six polls taken into account, only the one from ICM is somewhat out of date, but given the strong indications that public opinion has been stable over the last few months, that may not make much difference.

Percentage changes are from the last update on September 17th last year, and almost certainly underestimate the progress made by Yes since then.  That's because four of the six firms have since introduced weighting by recalled referendum vote, which generally hurts Yes.

MEAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 49.6% (+1.5)
No 50.4% (-1.5)

MEAN AVERAGE (not excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 46.0% (+2.4)
No 46.7% (-0.4)

MEDIAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 48.7% (+0.9)
No 51.3% (-0.9)

(The Poll of Polls is based on a rolling average of the most recent poll from each of the firms that have polled on independence since the referendum, and that adhere to British Polling Council rules. At present, there are six - YouGov, TNS, Survation, Panelbase, Ipsos-Mori and ICM. Whenever a new poll is published, it replaces the last poll from the same company in the sample.)

38 comments:

  1. I just wrote the BBC's article on this. Link attached for early preview. "Another poll shows northy sheep buggerers overwhelmingly reject independence : huge mandate for Cameron and Tories to break all promises made in queens name and feverishly pursue their campaign manifesto goals that we never asked about or analyzed because we said they didn't matter as there was a 100 % sure coalition government coming in." When do I get my knighthood again? After my OBE? When is the next indyref, I need to get my parachute cert so I can get in and out without seeing any actual scotch type folks.

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    1. Thanks for the pop update and your consistent standards. Think curtice is a good man stuck in a box. Hitorically, Not the first Brit faced with a popular independence movement who has struggled. Must be hard for him at work.

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  2. It confirms a steady movement to yes. I now think Corbyn will push more people to independence. My no voting boss said electing Corbyn was a disaster as Labour will fall to pieces. Another Lib Dem no voter said Corbyn would keep the Tories in power for 10 years. Surely these people realise that independence is the only way out.

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  3. Glasgow Working ClassSeptember 14, 2015 at 11:31 PM

    You will not get away with this hate Tory nonsense. You Nat sis are indeed Tartan Tories. Stop yer crap. Give us some socialist policies and prove yer metal. You will be exposed for your hypocrisy.

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    1. "metal" oh dear...

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    2. "Nat sis" "Tartan Tories" I applaud your originality. Personally I don't hate any individual Tory. I despise their policies. SNP have been the only main party that comes near to Socialism in Scotland for the past 20 years. Not Socialist enough for me, but in the right direction. Under Hypocrisy in the dictionary it reads; see Scottish Labour Party.

      Have a nice day.

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    3. Laugh of the century....resident bigot talks about socialism AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Hint to bigot..for one thing, real socialists are not women haters.

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    4. What are you wittering on about? When was the last time Labour came out with a Socialist policy? away and Troll somewhere else.

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    5. Glasgow Working ClassSeptember 16, 2015 at 12:27 AM

      Exactly the Nat sis have been out Torying the Tories and Labour.

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  4. An updates on the poll of polls /running average etc?

    My gut feeling is we are about parity but I wonder what the recent results show overall.

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  5. In Space noone can hear you scream....and there is a lot of space, between those lugs.

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  6. Luigi I think Yes might be ahead in the poll of polls. Who knows.

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  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_independence#Post-referendum_polling

    If you take the last 5 polls without this one, I got on average
    46.6 yes 45.6 no.

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    1. James is being his normally conservative self and including an ancient ICM from March this year, conducted prior to the Tory win in the UKGE and Labour leadership madness.

      ICM are also kinda crap for Scottish politics; predicted 43% SNP and 7% UKIP consistently for May's UKGE, so not a great pollster for Yes.

      If you just use the most 5 recent polls, then Yes is ahead. A couple of points ahead if you don't give unfair weighting to one type of poll (online) as James has done too.

      Such is the nature of PoP and a safe conclusion is neck and neck 50/50.

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  8. Tragically, you know, I know and the dog in the street knows that if a referendum were held tomorrow, it would be No.

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    1. Which dog? The smart dogs on the street read Scot Goes Pop and know it's much too close to call.

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    2. You're barking up the wrong tree, old fruit.

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    3. There would be a swing back to the status quo - there always is. The tiniest of leads / level pegging would suffice for "no" (although it would be a nail biting experience). However, the same cannot be said of the "yes" side - who need a big lead to be assured of victory.

      It is also important to note that the "yes" and "no" campaigns will probably not be resurrected for another indyref (too much positivity bias for yes - as admitted by Salmond himself). The next ref will be "leave / remain" as the response. Quite how this will impact the polling is anyone's guess.

      Aldo

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    4. "There would be a swing back to the status quo - there always is."

      Rubbish. There wasn't a swing to the status quo during the indyref campaign - there was a substantual net swing to Yes.

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    5. The digger you deep, the harder the earth becomes and it gets difficult to dig further. Anyone who subscribes to the "one more heave" mentality forgets that all the easy converts have already been converted - leaving the hard nosers who look at the balance sheet and think "no thanks".

      And, unless economic conditions improve remarkably in Scotland, indy will be even more of a tough sell than it was last time.

      What the SNP / Yes campaign should be looking at is ways to make Scotland a more economically viable entity. They could start with lifting the restrictions on fracking and GM crops.

      Aldo

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    6. The digger you deep, the harder the earth becomes and it gets difficult to dig further. Anyone who subscribes to the "one more heave" mentality forgets that all the easy converts have already been converted - leaving the hard nosers who look at the balance sheet and think "no thanks".

      Well, pretty much by definition, the earlier converts tend to be the easiest. But you seem to have changed your argument since your last post, when you claimed that "there always is" a swing to the status quo. Are you now saying this only applies in repeat referenda, or what?

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    7. What I meant is that there is a swing to the status quo between the closing polls of a campaign and the referendum itself. So if we were to see these polls in the last stages of an indyref 2 campaign, it would be pretty much certain to be a 'no' win.

      Aldo

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  9. Seems to me that the majority, however slight, is still there against independence. It would also appear that all that is required is to wait a few years for the older generation, who are strongly against, to be replaced and a majority will be reached in favour of independence. Here is the risk. The Brits are fully aware of this and will now work to engineer large scale demographic change, just as they have done in Wales. Expect large numbers of unnecessary housing projects, especially in the border areas which will attract people from England. Any improvement in transport links will also further this end. Many of our English cousins will be open and accepting towards Scottish national aspirations and all the possibilities of social justice that will come in the wake of independence. The vast majority, however, will, perhaps understandably, resist independence. The Brits wont mess about with this. This is their last chance. Any protest against what is in effect naked colonization will be met with cries of "racism". I speak, sadly, from experience.

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    1. Och I wouldn't worry about the UK adopting the Stalin plantation approach. Although, having said that, Stalin may have perfected it, but the UK invented it! It is worth mentioning that a huge number of Scottish and English no voters were aged 65+. Many young, mobile English professionals in Scotland voted yes; not all, but a large number, this will increase as the reality of endless WM tory rule sinks in.

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  10. I said before Corbyn will help Yes!

    Soft Labour voters will go to SNP as the only credible opposition. Others will feel the brunt of endless Tory pain. Most will see independence as the only realistic choice to change the system. Corbyn is going to help the Yes campaign in Scotland and the Tories in England unfortunately for them.

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassSeptember 15, 2015 at 3:43 PM

      Are you saying the Tartan Tories are not causing pain? Council Tax freeze. Not using tax powers. Agreeing with the Tories on corporation tax! The rich getting filthy rich. Yawn.

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    2. When did your Red Tories use the Tax powers you obviously don't understand how they powers work. Did Lamont not in her haste agree with a council tax freeze? and Brown urged a reduction in Capital gains tax in fact it was in the Red Tories manifesto. You should really stop Trolling on here you don't know what you are on about do you.

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    3. Glasgow Working ClassSeptember 15, 2015 at 7:57 PM

      My comment was about Nat si policy who are in power Labour are not.

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  11. "That's because four of the six firms have since introduced weighting by recalled referendum vote, which generally hurts Yes."

    Most certainly does, and possibly is a big flaw which MORI and TNS are not suffering from.

    Unless someone can explain why it is that the higher the level of SNP 2015 (either intending or voted that way) in the unweighted base, the lower the level of people who claimed to have voted Yes in that same base. This really should be the other way around given the huge level of support for Yes in SNP voters!

    It's a consistent pattern across all three online pollsters.

    Suggests some people regret what they voted when they said No last September.

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  12. Dear dear, 2 new polls showing the UK EU vote knife edge, but these same pollsters (Survation, ICM) are finding a comfortable majority for 'remain' in Scotland still (Survation full Scottish poll).

    Also, seems 'leave' vs 'remain' encourages more people to say they want out. Some have suggested any future Scottish iref would need to use that wording. Seems it would benefit 'leave' the UK.

    http://news.sky.com/story/1552918/eu-in-out-vote-on-knife-edge-poll-shows

    he ICM survey indicates 43% of people would vote to stay in the EU while 40% would back British exit.

    Some 17% responded 'don't know' to the revised question, which asks: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"

    The proportion of those undecided in the poll, commissioned by the No campaign, shows the crucial vote could go either way.

    An ICM poll conducted two weeks ago, using the old question, showed a much wider gap, with 46% saying they would vote in favour of remaining in the EU, with 35% saying they would support leaving.

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    1. Leave/Remain would be incorrect as we'd be dissolving the Union not leaving it.

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  13. Nostradamus wrote in the 15th Century that Scotland would fall out with England over Europe in the 21st Century. I see no reason to doubt his prophecy.

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    1. I do. Nostradamus' prophecies were political allegories criticising the regime in 16th-century France (which couldn't be openly attacked). Gullible moderns have tried to apply his 'prophecies' to all manner of things, and will likely continue to do. Wait a few decades and you'll find something else to apply that particular 'prophecy' to.

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  14. Just a few more unionist selfish coffin dodgers to die off and we are there.

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    1. What really matters about Corbyn is the effect it has on wider politics in the country. One of the reasons the SNP were marginalised for a long time is that they were talking about an issue only a small percentage of the country actually cared about. In the 1980s the real issue on the agenda was the polarised debate between the left and the right under Thatcher. Banging a drum about independence in that climate was like singing opera in a rock club - no matter how good the performance was, people weren't prepared to listen.

      It's no surprise that when the number one issue in Scotland changed to independence, as it did during the referendum, the SNP shot up the polls in the general election. So long as we're polarised between Yes and No the SNP will be in a strong position. If it shifts to a broader polarisation between right and left then the SNP won't be singing the correct tune for the prevailing circumstances and Labour will benefit as a result.

      That's why Corbyn matters - not because he'll cause huge numbers of Yes voters to abandon independence and back the Union, but because he has the potential to shift the entire narrative away from independence and onto ground where the SNP can't possibly win (left vs right).

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    2. (reply intended for thread above)

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