In the comments section yesterday, Calum Findlay bemoaned the fact that there have been very, very few full-scale Scottish polls giving voting intention for the EU referendum. That's left us flying blind to some extent, because public opinion throughout the UK seems to have been moving pretty fast in recent weeks, and we've only been able to guess whether it's been moving in Scotland too, and if so, whether it's been happening at a faster or slower rate. Today's new full-scale Scottish poll for STV (conducted by Ipsos-Mori via telephone with no expense spared!) finally answers those questions, and should largely assuage any fears that Remain can be caught north of the border.
Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union? (Ipsos-Mori, telephone, Scotland only)
Remain 58% (-8)
Leave 33% (+4)
That's pretty much as I would have expected - it would have been naive to think that Scotland was immune to the Brexit surge, but the Remain lead was so enormous to begin with that the swing would have had to be much, much greater north of the border before there was any chance of the race looking even vaguely tight.
On the rare occasions when different polling firms have conducted full-scale Scottish polls close together, they have sometimes produced wildly different estimates of the Remain lead - for example, in late April, Ipsos-Mori put the gap at 37 points, but Panelbase said it was just 24. That can presumably be attributed to the telephone/online divergence witnessed throughout the UK, and which now seems to have either diminished significantly or (if ICM are to be believed) vanished altogether. But we can't totally exclude the possibility that Ipsos-Mori are overstating the Remain lead, perhaps because Scottish Leave voters feel uncomfortable about admitting their intentions to a telephone interviewer. (You could argue the case that a Leave vote is more 'taboo' here than it is in England.) Even if there's something in that, though, a 25 point lead gives us a pretty decent margin for error. Remain have in-built advantages over the coming week - if there's a late swing, history suggests it's somewhat more likely to be towards the status quo, and Ipsos-Mori show that undecided voters are leaning towards Remain. Taking all of that together, it now seems almost impossible to imagine that Remain won't win in Scotland, and probably by a decent (if not necessarily overwhelming) margin.
As was the case in the (relatively) recent full-scale Scottish polls from ICM and TNS, respondents were asked whether they supported a second independence referendum in the event of Brexit. This time the result was different -
Agree there should be a second independence referendum within two years in event of UK voting Leave with Scotland voting Remain? (Ipsos-Mori, telephone, Scotland only)
Someone has pointed out in the comments section below that the STV website's reporting of this finding is very misleading. I'd go further than that, actually - I think it's absolutely bloody disgraceful. They've effectively presented 'don't knows' and 'neutrals' as people who disagree with a second referendum, and claimed that "a majority of Scots do not back a second referendum in the event of the UK as a whole voting to Leave but Scotland voting to Remain in the European Union". I mean, WHAT THE HELL?! If anyone had tried to spin the ICM and TNS polls as showing that "a majority of Scots do not oppose a second referendum in the event of Brexit" (which technically would have been an accurate statement), they would have been greeted with a chorus of helpless laughter.
Mr Aidan Kerr, have a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror, and ask yourself why you've written the article in that way. This poll shows narrow SUPPORT for a second independence referendum in the event of Brexit. The numbers speak for themselves - you can see them, I can see them, the dogs on the street can see them. I trust we're not going to witness any repeat of this nonsense on the TV news bulletin tonight - and if we do, serious (and fully justified) questions about bias are going to have to be asked.