Saturday, June 18, 2016

No clear trend in the weekend polls

Three new EU polls have been released tonight, but only one of them was entirely conducted after the murder of Jo Cox.  So let's start with that one, which was a phone poll carried out by Survation -

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

Remain 45% (+3)
Leave 42% (-3)

The problem here is that the changes could be consistent with either a genuine swing to Remain after Ms Cox's death, or with illusory margin of error 'noise'.  The last poll from the same firm recorded a hefty swing to Leave, and also put Leave in easily their best ever position in a Survation phone poll, so even in the normal course of events it wouldn't be at all surprising to see a modest reversion to the mean in the subsequent poll.  At the end of the day, it's still the second-best ever showing for Leave in a Survation phone poll, and it's still a statistical tie - ie. due to the standard margin of error, it's not possible to say which side is in the lead (even assuming the poll's methodology is basically sound).

UPDATE : This is the peril of trying to write a blogpost on the Saturday night before a referendum.  I was about to discuss this evening's YouGov poll showing a reduced Leave lead, only to discover as I checked back on Twitter that a second YouGov poll has been published in the last few minutes, and it was conducted on Thursday and Friday - which may or may not mean that it was wholly conducted after Ms Cox's death, depending on what time the poll commenced on Thursday.

Remain 44% (+2)
Leave 43% (-1)

That perhaps tips the balance in favour of there having been genuine movement towards Remain very recently, although Peter Kellner's declaration that there is only a 10% chance that the apparent changes could be caused by normal sampling variation sounds like mumbo-jumbo to me.  YouGov last showed a one-point Remain lead less than two weeks ago.

The best news for Leave comes in the new Opinium poll, which was conducted between Tuesday and Friday - and therefore presumably must have included a significant number of interviews both before and after Ms Cox's death (although given the nature of online polling, it's likely that the majority were before).

Remain 44% (n/c)
Leave 44% (+2)

Probably the most that can be said about those numbers is that they contradict the impression given by the first of tonight's two YouGov polls that there was movement back towards Remain even before the tragedy on Thursday.

To summarise what we've learnt, then : it's possible and perhaps likely that Thursday's events may have caused a swing back to Remain, but there isn't enough information to say that for certain yet, and if it has happened, it doesn't look like the swing has been on a big enough scale to put the referendum out of Leave's reach.  The most recent phone and online polls both point towards a statistical tie - although I suspect we'll now see substantial backing for Remain on the betting markets due to the assumption (which could easily be proved wrong) that the closing days of a referendum campaign are bound to see movement towards the status quo.

Bear in mind there is a potential danger for Remain that the support they may have won back in the last 48 hours could prove to be soft, and that the voters who have switched sides may change their minds again once the news agenda returns to the main issue.

UPDATE II : It turns out that only two-thirds of the second YouGov poll was conducted after the murder of Ms Cox, so that adds to the uncertainty and leaves Survation as still the only poll entirely conducted after the tragedy.  I'm slightly confused by the YouGov datasets - the actual hard numbers appear to show a wafer-thin Remain lead of just 50.2% to 49.8% after weighting and with Don't Knows excluded, and yet we're told that the percentages after rounding are Remain 51%, Leave 49%.  I've looked and looked and scratched my head, and I can't see or think of any obvious explanation for that discrepancy, but perhaps I'm missing something.

It also still appears to be the case that YouGov aren't weighting or filtering by turnout, which may mean that Leave's true strength is being slightly underestimated, because Leave voters continue to be more likely to say they are absolutely certain to make it to the polling station.  Admittedly, that factor could be offset by the undecideds, who appear set to break more for Remain (although how many of those people will actually vote is open to question).

62 comments:

  1. If random nutcases are happy to go round murdering simpering Blairites then what are they going to do if it's a remain in what is now an extremely tainted vote?

    Also one dead MP is not an attack on democracy. Rigged postal votes , project fear, and a state broadcaster inflicting 24/7 propaganda is an attack on democracy. So is rejecting every amendment to the Scotland Act made by 56-58 out of 59 MPs.

    Also. Nobody that I care about died out of 9,000,000,000 people on this planet. Can we have some real news for a bit?

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2June 18, 2016 at 10:45 PM

      I reckon the children and family may care and any other decent person. But you do not qualify in this respect.

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    2. I'm pretty sure that killing an MP (rather than going the traditional route of voting them out) qualifies as an attack on democracy.

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  2. Glasgow Working Class 2June 18, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    Just wait for the remain exploiting Ms Cox... Vote Out and get rid off the gravy train and idle EU politician bloodsuckers.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2June 19, 2016 at 1:54 AM

      I reckon the children and family may care and any other decent person. But you do not qualify in this respect.

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  3. James - did Survation not publish a UK-wide phone poll on Thursday for IG showing Leave 45% Remain 42%?

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    1. Yes, they did. I did a (very) brief blogpost about it on Thursday -

      http://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2016/06/cameron-and-osborne-reaching-end-of.html

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  4. Will these polls be takeing into account people who have already voted?

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    1. Yes. There are legal problems with publishing information about how people have already voted, though, because that technically constitutes an exit poll.

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    2. So how do they handle that? Are those people excluded?

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    3. No, they're included, but you can't say "how have you already voted?" and then publish that information.

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  5. You've not considered that people may now be a bit shy on telling pollsters they will vote leave after last week's events. Any thoughts?

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    1. It's possible. It's also possible there's a touch of virtue-signalling going on, and people aren't even sure whether they're telling the truth or not.

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  6. James, could you explain the term "virtue-signalling" in this context please?

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    1. http://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/10/i-invented-virtue-signalling-now-its-taking-over-the-world/

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2June 19, 2016 at 1:56 AM

      I reckon the children and family may care and any other decent person. But you do not qualify in this respect.

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  7. If the news agenda is allowed to return the main issue. This feels like a complete stitch up. I don't mean it was planned, but they are exploiting it to the full.

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  8. On turn out, well we have to assume variable turn outs as in the Indy Referendum. I was pretty astonished at the high turn out in Moray during the Indy Referendum. Not even from canvassing did I expect what happened here.

    I am expecting a big Leave vote here despite the presence of some very big Remain hitters in Baxter's, Walkers and the Distillers in Moray. Walkers in particular employ a great many Poles. I used to work there until I had to give it up to become a 24/7 carer for a family member.

    All I hear here is the Poles this and the Poles that, it is pretty poisonous racism. Most of the older folk that have settled here from the south of England are rabid for Leave. The Northern Scot weekly had a letters page full of the usual Brit Nat suspects. There was no balance there that was for sure.

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    1. Moray was the only area of Scotland that was found by YouGov to be not leaning to Remain (compared to the GB average), when they published a granular analysis some months ago. Four areas (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Stirling and West Dunbarton) were in the top 10 for Remain.

      https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/02/28/eurosceptic-map-britain/

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    2. For what it is worth, all the Scottish sub-samples in all these polls appear to suggest Scotland is Remain leaning.

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    3. Moray is one of the areas of Scotland which has a high proportion of residents from outwith Scotland. The vote there will be more like what we can expect from an English county.

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  9. Dead heat at the moment. I reckon a small win for Remain (Phew!) But that won't end this trouble.

    I expect Cameron et al will be gone sooner rather than later. A general election. Labour vote collapsing outside London towards UK. Tory-UKIP collation government. Serious moves to disband Scottish, NI and Welsh parliaments. Another EU referendum. No centre left grouping in England. Fascist Neoliberalism rules the roost. End of the Barnett formula. Second Scottish referendum as soft NOs/liberal British vote recoils at the nastiness of the Farage faction and vote for continue EU status

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    1. towards UK = UKIP. Cameron goes because the europhobe Tory section will vote against him out of spite at every opportunity until he goes

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    2. It is no longer in the PM's gift to call elections. Unless a no confidence vote is permanently lost or 2/3 majority want an election its 5 years. Cameron's party could remove him, but Labour is in no position to win an election right now either, so a more likely scenario is that his own party will knife him and we get a new PM.

      I would doubt that Gideon will get it now. Boris might, but its possible Theresa will be the compromise. After all the lies I doubt Gideon will be chancellor either.

      While many of us are keen to remain, the best outcome is remain being carried by Scots and NI votes. Indyref2 is still not likely to be won before 2020. Our sweet spot is after the UK election in 2020, and before our own in 2021.

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    3. Anonymous 1.09pm
      I agreed with everything you said, except for the last sentence in the middle paragraph. The Tories will care NOT A JOT about Gideon's lies. They WILL choose a leader that is best for THEIR interests and the rest of us can go hang!
      Alex Birnie

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  10. Any chances of being Independent has gone, thanks to this YORKSHIRE MAN.

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    1. Remember Bruce's spider. Keep the heid.

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    2. Good man, I do think about that from time to time!

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  11. @ James M

    The Moray stats are probably skewed by a massive RAF base and massive barracks, both housing service personnel and their families from elsewhere in the UK.

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  12. Glasgow Working Class 2June 19, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    Seems Salmond is commenting on the outcome due to the sad death of Ms Cox. The bandwagon has started.

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  13. Is there information on a Scotland poll?

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  14. If it's that close in the polls, it's surely VERY likely to be a Remain victory - the Undecideds, as we know to our collective chagrin, tend to break for the Status Quo. Looks like we're staying in...

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    1. No, I disagree with that. Likely? Yes. "VERY likely"? No.

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  15. The bookies certainly seem to think that Jo Cox tragedy will swing it. When the news broke, the chances of brexit were at an almost all time high. The odds began dropping almost immediately.

    Chart here

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    1. Well, the bookies are not a great guide on politics, as we know. They had Labour as overwhelming favourites to win the 2007 Holyrood election on the day AFTER polling day, even after Brian Taylor had told a TV audience that the indications on the ground were that the SNP were more likely to sneak it. A lot of the movement in the odds is presumably due to a mystical belief in this supposed "iron law" of an inevitable reversion to the status quo in the closing days.

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  16. The UK, I am convinced, will vote 'Leave', because elderly English are going to, overwhelmingly, vote leave. The elderly vote. The young do not vote (unless you give them an app to vote, they are far too busy)!

    The Scots elderly forced Scotland to remain in the UK. The UK elderly are packing our bags from the EU.

    I think Scots will narrowly vote 'Remain', by ironically, 55% to 45%.

    Just my tuppence worth, based on absolutely nothing but a hunch.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2June 19, 2016 at 7:42 PM

      Rubbish. And the ballot box does not force anyone in the UK.

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    2. The Elderly and the English.

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  17. Lets do some straight talking here, the death of Jo Cox has put paid to any hope of a Uk brexit, and with that a 2nd indy referendum for the foreseeable future. As an SNP supporter and someone who voted for Scottish independence where does this leave the SNP and people like myself who want a brexit, there may be some bridges in need of repair. And to those that will vote remain and want independence for Scotland whats your next move.....scratches head!

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    1. Lol, so your predicting the outcome of millions of voters on Thursday? A lot of people will be keeping their heads down now and voting leave, without admitting to pollsters.

      If it is a remain vote, this will just be a flash in the pan as far as Scotland is concerned. Are you telling me that you wouldn't vote yes again when Indy ref 2 comes along? What's your reasoning, to spite remain/yes voters? That seems a bit silly to me.

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    2. I'd be really interested to know how you think Scotland voting Leave in this referendum will help the cause of Scottish Independence. I cannot think of any scenario where it would be helpful. Even if you don't like the EU, the time for Scotland to decide In or Out of EU is some time after independence, after we see what deal we have and whether it benefits us or not.

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    3. Stuart,
      Is your priority brexit or independence for Scotland?,

      I think my question answers yours.

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    4. In a word "consistency" i believe the Scottish government are no great lovers of the EU and are using the EU as a flag of convenience to beat rUK with a big stick. and if in an independent Scotland the SNP campaign for a scexit where is the moral justification in that argument? It ain't joined up thinking and the populace will see through it, but hey don't listen to me ask Jim Sillars at least his argument is consistent!

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    5. Glasgow Working Class 2June 19, 2016 at 5:19 PM

      The Nat sis will need a currency if they obtain independence. It is either a new currency or the euro. And do we have the capability yet to print notes and forge coins! In any case Scotland will be subsidised. We also do not want to be in competition with England for business and jobs.

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    6. Stuart, you haven't answered my question. Explain how a vote Leave, in Scotland, helps the cause of Scottish Independence.

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  18. What happens if Britain votes to remain, how will this achieve me my independence from UK, I am not prepared to be conned for a second time. Brexit is English nationalism if by supporting there goal helps to aid my own an Independent Scotland. I'll be voting leave on 23.06.16.

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    1. The golden result is England=Leave, Scotland=Remain. This will drive massive wedges into the Union.

      If England=Remain, Scotland=Remain, we are no worse off, and in fact slightly better off because it will be a close vote in England, the resentment there won't go away, and England will lurch to the right, alienating more Scots from the Union.

      If England=Leave, Scotland=Leave, all this achieves is to cement the UK, and tighten England's grip on Scotland. England will lurch hugely to the right, and remember, they will have massive power over us, and vote us down by 10:1 every time.

      So if you are a ultra-right-wing Unionist, sure, vote Leave. If you want Scottish Independence, or are not right-wing, vote Remain.

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2June 19, 2016 at 8:24 PM

      If the UK votes to leave then all components of the Union leave. However if Scotland wants another referendum to give over its sovereignty to the EU then that is a few years away.

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    3. Hi Glasgow, I've asked you before but you maybe didn't notice. I'm a Glaswegian and find your insights revealing. I think we should meet up. Can you give me a location and time and we can talk some politics?

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    4. Glasgow Working Class 2June 19, 2016 at 9:20 PM

      davie, you could arrange this via our host James but you need tae bring some money. By politics dae ye mean celik and rangers? My insights are not revealing at all. It is just repetition and old hat.

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    5. Under Brexit:

      The UK is flung into a period of uncertainty. Any attempt to pursue Scottish statehood may be seen as opportunistic and dangerous - adding as it does yet another destabilising element to an already unstable situation. Apart from this, you could write a book full of reasons why an independence push would fail in this scenario.

      Under the status quo:

      The SNP gets what it supposedly wants regarding the EU and there is no material change from 2014. Therefore, no referendum. In the fullness of time they can maybe return to the issue - if they haven't been outnumbered by the unionists or removed from office or overtaken by another party. But you're looking at 10-15 years, realistically.

      The question of the UK's EU membership is therefore somewhat indy-neutral. Neither outcome provides a magic bullet for supporters of independence.

      Aldo

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    6. Actually Aldo, Scotland's position will entirely depend on the EU's view/offer.
      If they follow the realpolitik open, then they'll give us a good offer - keep existing opt-outs etc. That would lead to Edinburgh being the prime relocation city for financial institutions.

      What's in it for the EU?
      It makes leaving the EU a costly business for any other member.
      It keeps the EU as big as possible.
      It protects EU citizens who don't want to leave.
      It weakens rUK's bargaining position.

      Will realpolitik win over Spain's fears of disintegration? Who knows. Still noises out of Paris and Berlin make it seem likely.

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    7. Firstly, the representatives of the EU would maintain diplomatic silence, negotiating only with UK government representatives and refraining from any attempt to break up the UK - because this is how things are done in the real world.

      Secondly, under the unlikely scenario you outline, we'd still need to adopt the euro. The Scottish people wont go for it.

      Aldo

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  19. Glasgow Working Class 2June 19, 2016 at 7:49 PM

    Sturgeon playing the race card against a legitimate brexit poster. The remain are scraping the barrel as usual. Vote Out and rid ourselves of the bourgeoisie EU unnecessary bloodsucking politicians.

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    1. Eat your cereal.

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2June 19, 2016 at 9:22 PM

      Put sugar in yer purridge.

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  20. Odds on Brexit lengthening. They're going to lose because they've spent too much time trying to appeal to people who've never left their town and who don't know how to use a pencil.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2June 19, 2016 at 8:58 PM

      Before the railways were built most people had never travelled more than 11 miles from their dwelling.

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    2. The bicycle is credited with eliminating the "village idiot".So we still have no idea why GWC2 exists.

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    3. Glasgow Working Class 2June 19, 2016 at 10:10 PM

      Was it a tandum! And why does an idiot like you exist inspite of the bike and train.

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  21. An asylum is missing a patient.

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  22. SwagBucks is a very popular work from home site.

    ReplyDelete