Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Inspirational Ipsos-Mori poll finds majority of Scottish voters still support independence

After our little sneak peek at the unfiltered Ipsos-Mori numbers earlier, here are the official headline results filtered by certainty to vote - and they're even better than we expected for the SNP.

Constituency ballot :

SNP 53% (+3)
Labour 20% (n/c)
Conservatives 16% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 6% (-1)

Regional list ballot :

SNP 49% (+3)
Labour 19% (n/c)
Conservatives 15% (-1)
Liberal Democrats 8% (n/c)
Greens 6% (-1)

Of even greater significance, though, is that Ipsos-Mori have asked the independence question.  This is only the third 'real world' poll (telephone or face-to-face) to test support for independence since the referendum - and, extraordinarily, all three have shown a Yes lead.

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Yes 52.1% (-2.8)
No 47.9% (+2.8)

This is obviously further confirmation (if any were needed) of the divide that has opened up on the topic of independence between 'real world' pollsters and firms that rely on volunteer online polling panels. Bizarrely, it's the complete opposite of the divide we saw during the bulk of the referendum campaign, when online firms (with YouGov sticking out like a sore thumb as the sole exception) tended to be much more Yes-friendly than their 'real world' counterparts.

Doubtless the likes of our occasional commenter "Roger Mexico" will continue to point out that there is no absolute proof that the divergence is caused by data collection method, because it just so happens that the two 'real world' firms (Ipsos-Mori and TNS) are also the only two firms that don't weight by recalled referendum vote - ie. it's possible that there are too many Yes voters from 2014 in the Ipsos-Mori sample, perhaps because they are more eager to take part in polls.  However, I'm extremely sceptical as to whether that's the whole explanation for the divergence, not least because the TNS poll showing a decent Yes lead was politically weighted, albeit by recall of party vote, rather than referendum vote.

Even when different firms seem to have an in-built 'house skew' towards one side or the other, it is of course still possible for all firms to broadly agree with each other on the direction of travel.  As this is the third (arguably the fourth) consecutive poll from an assortment of firms to show some movement towards No, an interesting question is whether we now have convincing evidence of a real swing, or whether it could just be an illusion caused by normal sampling variation.  The reality is that we don't have enough information to go on yet.  The swing showed by Panelbase looked like an innocuous reversion to the mean, because the previous poll had been unusually good for Yes.  The YouGov findings may have been more significant, because the Yes vote was below its recent 'normal range'.  But with Ipsos-Mori, it's impossible to reach any firm conclusions, because this is only their second post-referendum poll on independence, so there's no way of knowing whether a 52% Yes vote is 'unusually low' for the firm or not.

Just as Panelbase did recently, Ipsos-Mori have sought to test whether Britain's exit from the European Union would lead to any change in public opinion on independence.  They've found the same relatively modest increase in support for Yes that Panelbase did - but of course Ipsos-Mori's basic Yes vote is higher than Panelbase's, leading to a much more commanding Yes lead when Brexit is assumed...

Imagine that the UK as a whole votes to leave the European Union in the referendum when voters in Scotland vote to remain in the European Union.  If this led to another Scottish independence referendum being held, how would you vote in response to the question ''Should Scotland be an independent country''?

Yes 57.7%
No 42.3%

The exact figures shouldn't be taken too seriously, because people tend to be bad at working out how they would feel about a subject in hypothetical circumstances.  There's also a danger that some respondents may have felt that Brexit was "expected" to change their view on independence.  So probably the most that can be said is that it's encouraging that Brexit seems to nudge more people towards Yes than towards No.

On the EU referendum itself, Ipsos-Mori have found that Scottish voters currently plan to back the "Remain" position by an overwhelming margin of 62% to 26%.  STV's Stephen Daisley (who has refreshingly reverted to "non-zoomer analyst" mode, just for the day) has made a direct comparison between those figures and the most recent Britain-wide Ipsos-Mori poll showing Remain ahead by 55% to 36%.  However, that could be quite misleading, because the Britain-wide poll took place entirely before David Cameron's failure to secure a credible deal with his EU partners.  So the divergence between Scottish and UK public opinion could well be even more extreme (as indeed other pollsters have suggested it is).

To return to the Scottish Parliament numbers, the recovery in Labour's lead over the Tories for second place isn't as pronounced in the headline results as in the unfiltered numbers, and it's entirely caused by Tory slippage rather than by Labour progress, but it will still be a relief for Kezia Dugdale to see an up-to-date telephone poll giving her a 4% cushion.  It's debatable whether the Tories really have slipped, though - the jump in their support in the November poll looked implausibly huge.  Today's poll doesn't wipe all of those gains out, so we could simply be looking at a more realsitic estimate of the modest advances they have made over the last six months or so.

There's more bad news for RISE in this poll with time rapidly running out - just one person in the whole sample of 749 plans to vote for them.  That's the same as the BNP, and fewer than Solidarity.  The only polling firm that has offered RISE any limited cause for optimism is YouGov - but that may simply be because YouGov (as a volunteer online panel pollster) have a few core SSP supporters on their books.

*  *  *

SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS

Today's update of the Holyrood Poll of Polls is arguably the most useful so far, because all of the polls that make up the sample were entirely conducted in either January or February.  And there's no distortion in the trend this time, because no firms have dropped out of the sample or returned to it.

Constituency ballot : 

SNP 52.4% (+0.6)
Labour 20.4% (n/c)
Conservatives 17.2% (-0.4)
Liberal Democrats 5.6% (-0.2)

Regional list ballot : 

SNP 46.6% (+0.6)
Labour 19.4% (n/c)
Conservatives 17.0% (-0.2)
Liberal Democrats 6.8% (n/c)
Greens 6.4% (-0.2)

(The Scottish Parliament Poll of Polls is based on a rolling average of the most recent poll from each of the firms that have reported Scottish Parliament voting intention numbers over the previous three months, and that adhere to British Polling Council rules. At present, there are five - Panelbase, Survation, YouGov, TNS and Ipsos-Mori. Whenever a new poll is published, it replaces the last poll from the same company in the sample.)

And here is the independence Poll of Polls.  Bear in mind that this one uses a slightly different methodology, so some of the fieldwork taken into account is much older.

MEAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 48.7% (-0.5)
No 51.3% (+0.5)

MEAN AVERAGE (not excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 44.8% (-0.7)
No 47.2% (+0.2)

MEDIAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 47.9% (n/c)
No 52.1% (n/c)

(The independence 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.)

50 comments:

  1. A yes lead - this calls the validity of the entire thing into question.

    Aldo

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    Replies
    1. It certainly calls into question your "extreme outlier" theory about the last Ipsos-Mori poll showing a Yes lead.

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    2. Aldo, you really are a deluded chump. Keep living in your little unionist bubble. Us out here in the real world will reap the results of progress. Tick tock, numbnut.

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    3. Aldo is not in denial. He is just very selective about the reality he accepts.

      Delete
    4. No, a diddy is a diddy. The yoonie camp have many diddies, they also have twats. Now Aldo is obviously a diddy but he could promote himself to twat and thereby join the vast majority of yoonies.

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  2. Just entered the figures into ScotlandVotes. As a matter of interest (at least to me), I reduced the LibDem vote point by point. Even reducing the LibDem vote to 0 on the constituency vote keeps them Shetlands, and the number of list seats remains at 5 even if the list vote drops to zero. Seems hardwired, which calls the reliability of the predictor into question.

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    1. I had a bit of a set-to with the guy about this before last year's election. He doesn't accept that anything is wrong, but the LibDems in particular are treated in a very strange way. I think the basic headline seat numbers usually come out OK when real-world possibilities are entered, but I don't trust it as far as I can throw it on individual seats.

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    2. I tried 0 and 0 for the LibDems and got the same, just Shetland. Wow.

      I got a freebie general election predictor back in 97 (a PC mag), got the election right all bar 1 seat, by putting tactical vote high in England, but personal loyalty factor high in Scotland (and Wales and NI). (plus juggling for by-elections)

      Only way scotlandvotes could keep Shetland for LibDems at 0% vote is if they factored an incredibly high personal loyalty factor. Scotland's far less loyal to candidates these days, Shetland could be higher but surely not that much higher.

      I might have to knock up my own uniform swing spreadsheet for constituencies, to join the one I've got for regions which uses scotlandvotes results for constituencies :-(

      Shows the danger of tactical voting though.

      Delete
  3. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the SNP hierarchy to justify not committing to the Second Referendum without caveats.

    There is literally zero risk involved in making the commitment given the levels of public support, the lack of cut through from the Loyalist media smears and lies and the need to keep Westminster cowed by the prospect of Scotland turning its back on paying continual subsidies to London.

    The only risk the SNP face is the one risk they don't seem to have considered. If they stop being seen as a credible vehicle for Independence, their support will fall - just as happened in Quebec after the PQ turned their back on a third referendum in 1999.

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    1. There is literally zero risk involved in making the commitment

      Why do you think they aren't doing it, then?

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    2. They are over cautious. Which is not entirely surprising given their success following the shift to gradualism.

      However, at this stage in the path to Independence, there are huge potential risks with gradualism. Westminster are trying to put all the obstacles the they in the way. The transfer of Tax powers with absolutely ZERO input in UK "national" spending which costs Scotland £12bn a year is the best example.

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    3. The big problem is that the maths are complicated and the media compliant with the unionist agenda. Hard to make the indy case amongst the 55%. I think the SNP could be bolder without being foolhardy, and keep making the case that we would be better off independent.

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    4. The media cannot be less friendly towards the SNP than they currently are. They are actually making stuff up to smear the party, its members and its elected representatives. They have been doing very solidly since before the referendum.

      Yet, it is not working. The SNP remain rock solid in their level of support, Independence support has grown (despite NO positive campaigning for Independence, and LOTS and LOTS of exceptionally negative campaigning by the press and Loyalist parties).

      The biggest mistake the Parti Quebecois ever made was failing to deliver a third referendum when they had the ability to do so in 1999. The SNP must not become the new PQ.

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    5. Also, to address the biggest Loyalist canard, there is absolutely NOTHING to stop the SNP promising a referendum in every manifesto forever more.

      If you recall the strongest Loyalist pitch after the SNP won their majority in 2011 was wondering how Salmond could avoid holding a referendum because the Loyalist media believed he could never win and once he lost could never ask the question again.

      It was a lie then, it is a lie now.

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    6. "There is literally zero risk involved in making the commitment"

      Worse still, if the SNP without a clear commitment to (or clear conditions for) indyref2 in the manifesto then, as far-fetched as it may sound, Westminster will simply say that there is no democratic mandate for indyref2. And we'll be no better off than Catalonia where the unionists simply ignore it.

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    7. We must get independence at the next referendum or we never will.I could say lots of reasons for that never will part,but I think most would be obvious.I have wanted independence ever since I was a teenager 50 years ago,been a member and still am a member of the SNP,and I would just love to be independent before I die,so I'm hoping the next referendum must be timed to perfection,perhaps over-cautious but if not the next one then I think it'd be another 300 years.

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  4. It may be nothing, but thank the Lord the Tory voted is shrinking. Recent spate of polls suggested modest revival.

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    1. Look out for another round of right wing press articles on how good Ms Davidson is.

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    2. We want a higher Tory vote; it will encourage the last labour holdouts to come over to us.
      Labour have done our job to demonise the Tories do when the choice becomes independence or Tories, then we're much stronger.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. The Yodelling MinstrelFebruary 10, 2016 at 4:31 PM

    It's only the Conservative Tory vote that's shrinking; the Labour Tory vote is unchanged. Disappointing.

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    1. The Red Tories are down over 4% on their GE2015 vote share.

      Additionally 44% of their rapidly dwindling voter base object to their plan to squeeze even more taxes from their pockets.

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    2. Might want to be careful about being too critical of that Labour tax plan there, Hoss.

      'Penny for Scotland' ring any bells?

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    3. It was a campaign that didn't work from 17 years ago. What was your point?

      How's it feel to be a party of quisling Spanners? Must be fun

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    4. Penny for Scotland was dumb in 1999 and it's dumb today. The Behavioural Consequences of tax differentials within a single UK State would mean any increase in Tax would obliterate tax receipts. There is no ability to raise the Scottish Government budget through Income Tax.

      Differential taxation DOES NOT WORK without clear jurisdictional borders for the benefits of the Social Contract that taxation supports.

      If the SNP can get their message across right - about Tax Maximisation, then they should be focused on dropping the Top Rate of Income Tax to 40% and watching Scottish revenues swell as tens of thousands of very high level tax payers suddenly tell HMRC they are resident in Scotland.

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  7. I think that apart from Populus that is all the polling firms giving figures six weeks before the dissolution of Parliament when election campaigning proper starts.

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  8. I don't doubt that, as the polls stand, there is a clear divergence between support for the EU in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK. But I'm still somewhat sceptical as to whether or not it will sway people on the independence issue. I can't even recall in instance where voters spontaneously brought up the issue of EU membership, either in the referendum or in the general election. Of course that could change, given how quickly Scottish politics has been changing, but I still remain sceptical that the issue is salient to anybody except us political anoraks.

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    1. I would, in principle switch from No to Yes if we left the EU.

      As an internationalist I prefer integration over separation, so while I'd vote for Britain over Scotland, I'd vote for Europe over Britain for the same reasons.

      Lesser of two evils, I suppose.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 10, 2016 at 9:16 PM

      If you were an International Socialist then there would be no problem. Shame you are a narrowback thick as as a plank Nat si..

      Delete
    3. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 10, 2016 at 9:20 PM

      I' ll kiss my Adolf pillow tonight whilst dreaming of the Orange Order. The mainstream of bigoted Scotland..

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    4. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 10, 2016 at 11:02 PM

      Your mainstream is your chorus and verse. Try using your own name tosser.

      Delete
  9. I'd be interested to know the age profile of Labours support.Are there tables available?

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 10, 2016 at 8:57 PM

      In my hoose we are all Naws and will remain so as long as fundamantalist Nat si idiots like you are around. You idiots do think you are blond and superior.

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    2. Anon, I don't know about their age profile but read any of GWCs comments and it will give you an indication of their intellectual profile.

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    3. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 10, 2016 at 9:50 PM

      Well above your own hoots mon ra noo. I see the Nat si GWC impersonator is back. Such are the Nat sis, NO BOTTLE to give their real name. Nat si Tartan Tory scum.

      Delete
    4. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 10, 2016 at 11:33 PM

      That Ruth Davidson, what a dish. Vote Labour get Tory.

      Delete
  10. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 10, 2016 at 9:17 PM

    I'm a bit bi-polar at times. Both votes SNP and Yes to Europe and Independence.

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 10, 2016 at 10:19 PM

      So you are a benefit seeker. What ever happened to real Scotsmen that built the Empire. Now you are crawling and begging to Herman. Makes ye vomit listening tae ye weasel Nat sis. Nae shame, tae many years on benefits fae the English.

      Delete
    2. Did you mean to reply to your own comment there?

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    3. Naw not me I think it was the other bloke, try him.

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    4. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 10, 2016 at 11:31 PM

      Yes.

      Delete
  11. He's bipolar Fitzy...ask his friend.Not sure what drugs he is on tonight.

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  12. I've honestly lost track of which GWC is the real one and which is the parody now. :-/

    On the subject of another referendum, I've said since day one that the SNP should put in the manifesto that they assert the right of the Scottish Parliament - the representatives of the Scottish people - to present a referendum on independence and that an SNP government will hold one at a time of its choosing. The first part gets the "it's not in your gift to hold a referendum" part of the British nationalist argument. The second means that if it looks impossible to win in the next five years (for whatever reason) then they can avoid actually HAVING to hold one.

    Having said that though, with Calamity Kez on one hand, Ruthie Tank Commander on the other and Wee Wullie bringing up the rear, who's going to fight the campaign? Kez might be a bit more presentable than Lamont and may well have her heart in the fight a bit more than Johann did (because God love her, I just don't think she cared about the constitution at all) but she's got no traction with the electorate. Ruth has a lot of loving media pals, but she's still a Tory. Most people barely even know who Willie Rennie is. Can another Broon return get the job done? Darling? Ian Murray? David Mundell? Seriously - who can be a credible face at the head of a new No campaign? Meanwhile, the SNP is bigger and has more representatives than ever. The Greens have grown too and may end up with another seat or two in Holyrood. We also have a rather clearer idea of what tactics might be employed against us and what mistakes we made last time as well as a large army of campaigners who had to be recruited last time but would probably revel in starting again now.

    The No side didn't even want ONE fight. Their ground troops are surely not in a mood for another. The British media will go hell for leather again, but they've already lost so much credibility and their anti-Scots hysteria will go down even worse this time. No-one is believing the love bombing this time. It's even possible that if the oil price stays low for a while, Westminster won't even particularly want to hold on to us. As far as I can see, there could scarcely be a better time than in this Holyrood session.

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    1. I reckon it'll be down to Brianspanner to lead the next better together campaign.

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  13. Having done a speadsheet for constituency as well which I'll call uniform ratio (2016 to 2011) rather than swing, I get LibDem getting just 1 instead of 2 constituencies in H&I losing to the SNP but the SNP get 1 instead of 2 on the list losing the 7th to the Libs though not by much.

    Similar for South of Scotland I get Conservatives with 4 constituencies instead of 2 taken from the SNP, but the SNP get 3 on the list instead of 1, taken from the Cons.

    So no overall change as long as the list vote holds up for the SNP. Which is about what you'd expect for a difference in method, the list compensates for the constituency as long as the percentages are fairly similar on each.

    I think that makes sense, makes a change from stocktaking :-(

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  14. Having done a speadsheet for constituency as well which I'll call uniform ratio (2016 to 2011) rather than swing, I get LibDem getting just 1 instead of 2 constituencies in H&I losing to the SNP but the SNP get 1 instead of 2 on the list losing the 7th to the Libs though not by much.

    Similar for South of Scotland I get Conservatives with 4 constituencies instead of 2 taken from the SNP, but the SNP get 3 on the list instead of 1, taken from the Cons.

    So no overall change as long as the list vote holds up for the SNP. Which is about what you'd expect for a difference in method, the list compensates for the constituency as long as the percentages are fairly similar on each.

    I think that makes sense, makes a change from stocktaking :-(

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  15. James,

    Can I ask you something a bit "off topic"?

    I think both Patrick Harvie and Cat Boyd probably have a personal following. Would that sway the SNP times two arguement in their particular cases, or not?

    If it meant that they, and their SNP opponents would fail and a Unionist would win through the middle, then I cannot do it. But I would like to see that sort of diversity. Is the voting system so jiggerred that even Patrick Harvie is at risk of becoming a non-combatant?

    What's a man to do come May?

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    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 11, 2016 at 8:41 PM

      Vote Labour and forget about the two Tory and other fring parties.

      Delete
  16. The Union is eternal. It endures. It serves all the Scottish people well regardless of how wee, how poor and in particular how stupid they are. You will all be living under the butchers apron for a long time to come as you have been every single day of your miserable pointless lives thus far. Wonderful isn't it?!!

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