Monday, January 2, 2017

Have even biased BMG just reported a boost in support for independence?

The first published Scottish poll of 2017 has just arrived from BMG - although in fact the fieldwork is already ancient history.  It took place in the first half of December.  As far as I can see, BMG haven't posted any information themselves yet (hardly surprising given that it's only the early hours of 2nd January), so all we have to go on are the details in the report from the Herald, who commissioned the poll.  There is a claim made in the report that this is an independence poll, and that it shows figures of Yes 45.5%, No 54.5%.  However, we have to be extremely sceptical about that claim, because the Herald also reported that a previous BMG poll back in October was an independence poll, and it turned out to be no such thing - respondents had instead been asked whether Scotland should 'remain a member' of the UK or not.  That was a nonsensical question, not least because the UK isn't an organisation and it doesn't have any 'members'.  The biggest problem, though, was that the question gave no indication at all of what would happen to Scotland if it didn't 'remain a member'.  Would it become a Crown Dependency?  Would it become part of another existing state?  What?  Without clarity on that point, the poll could not possibly be considered to be a poll on independence, and it was profoundly depressing to see people who ought to know better (John Curtice and whoever runs the Britain Elects account on Twitter) going along with the fiction that it could.

We'll just have to wait and see whether BMG have put their house in order and changed their ludicrous question.  In the interests of the whole polling industry, and also in the interests of basic fairness as we approach a likely second independence referendum, we must hope that they have.  The only minor consolation if they haven't, though, is that it would mean that this poll is directly comparable to the October poll, and shows a small 0.2% increase in support for "leaving the UK" since then.  Obviously that is not a statistically significant increase, but the fact that there has been no decrease is potentially important, because it boosts the chances that the extensively reported drop in support for independence in the last YouGov poll was just a meaningless blip caused by routine sampling variation, rather than a real drop that we can expect to see replicated in other polls.

BMG certainly aren't doing much to dispel their reputation for bias on Scottish affairs with the breathtakingly daft second question they asked in the new poll (although obviously if the wording was insisted upon by the Herald I'll apologise to BMG).  They asked whether respondents wanted a second independence referendum in 2017, and unsurprisingly found that a majority didn't.  Er, so what?  Does anyone seriously think the SNP are remotely interested in holding a snap referendum this year?   The earliest it's likely to be is 2018, and 2019 is also a strong possibility.  Here's my suggestion to BMG - next time, go the whole hog, and ask people if they want an indyref within the next week.  Then, to your little heart's content, you can play around with headlines like "Devastation for Sturgeon as Scots reject holding UK partition vote before teatime next Friday", but what the hell you'll think you have actually proved is anyone's guess.

Why are these people so scared of asking sensible questions about a realistic timescale, or indeed about the basic principle of holding a second indyref to keep Scotland within the EU?  Well, yes, I think we can probably guess why.

*   *   *

An amusing quote in the Herald piece from Labour's nominal "Shadow Scottish Secretary" Dave Anderson : apparently the SNP must not use the Remain vote in Scotland as a "false mandate" for an independence referendum.  Don't worry, Dave, they won't do that.  The mandate is instead derived from the SNP's overwhelming victory in the Scottish Parliament election, and their manifesto pledge that Scotland should be able to call a referendum if there was a material change in circumstances, such as the country being dragged out of the EU against its will.

47 comments:

  1. Still don't like the 54.5% No response. You would think that Brexit would have done some damage to that figure.

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    1. It's not necessarily a "No" response at all - we'll have to wait to see the question to find out whether independence was even asked about.

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    2. Brexit hasn't happened yet. It has not even begun to happen yet. The fun will start when the fan commences spinning and the electorate see the shit arc through the air towards it.
      Take cover!

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    3. Take comfort from the fact that Indy support at 45% is solid. Starting from the base of 45% and with the YOONS and Westminster shambles going on it shouldn't be difficult to drum up another 3%, although 10% would be better. Just remember too that the 'old' NOs (bless 'em)who were conned r dying off slowly and being replaced by YESs

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    4. A brexit vote at odds with Scotland was supposed to be the big moment.when the tide turned. It didn't happen. Now we are told to wait for the moment of brexit. But brexit itself is poorly defined, likely to be a process rather than a sudden event, and likely to drag on for years. Meanwhile people hear stories of stock market booms and think "this ain't so bad". And even if things do take a dip, people will look at their bank balances and contents of their refridgerator and weigh things up: are things really so bad that I'd opt for the magical mystery tour laid on by the braveheart mob?

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  2. Thanks James- every time there is a heralded poll against indy ,I hot foot it over here to find out the truth.

    Happy new year!

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  3. I'm 100% certain once article50 is signed,you will see a 15% swing to YES

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    1. How do you arrive at that figure?

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  4. Glasgow Working Class 2January 2, 2017 at 11:16 AM

    You Nat sis should be striding ahead in the polls if you believe your own propoganda. How much has Knickerless spent in taxpayers money to wow Herman and the Frogs to no avail. The Nat sis should be held to account for every penny spent in ignoring the Brexit vote.

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    1. I see you're still struggling to justify your miserable existence to your Westminster masters with your usual tirade of mindless drivel.

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  5. So much has been made of the large numbers of YES voters who then voted LEAVE, and are expected to be problematic for the IndyRef 2, if as expected remaining in the EU is a major consideration.

    Significant numbers of NO voters who then voted REMAIN are expected to switch sides also: according to the "experts" the switchers to YES and NO more or less cancel each other out at the moment.

    IMO, enticing YES-LEAVE voters to vote YES again will be much easier than enticing NO-REMAIN voters to vote NO again, especially when the BREXIT shit hits the fan, immediately after Article 50 is invoked. If YES can hold on to most of their 2014 support, and we can add some REMAIN voters, we will make it. BREXIT is a much bigger problem for BT than YES 2, as we will soon find out.

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  6. Referendums are for grown up people with mature arguments. I came to your blog because I was undecided in respect of Indyref voting - I was hoping to be educated/persuaded. Is waiting for the 'old' NO voters to die really what goes on in some people's minds?. I am 'old' but actuarial (look it up) statistics give me another 26 years!. Guy's it really is best to try and WIN an argument, not constantly undermine those with a different view. I have seen nothing in your blog that makes a compelling economic, political or social case for independence, so I will be a 'NO', as will my wife having done some reading (your blog, and more importantly the comments). That makes my family of 2 young people (NO, always have been, always will be and probably another 50 years left to live) and 2 adults now sitting at 4 - 0 to a NO vote. You had a chance to persuade but instead simply attacked others. Time for a team talk and a glass of something????

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    1. Thank you,anonymous. As you don't appear to have a name you wont have a vote. As we haven't started campaigning for independence yet and as we have been subjected to a continuous assault from virtually all the media for two years without any sign of a dent in our support our present position is a winning one - as our opponents well know which explains their frenzied and ever more desperate attacks on us.

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    2. You don't need to be campaigning to lose votes. Rest assured I have a name, a voice and a vote, none of which are coming your way. Over and out as I will not be revisiting this site of woe, misery and absence of reality.

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    3. Thank God for that. This blog has always gone out of its way to denounce the "let's wait for No voters to die" school of thought, so if you're going to criticise me for saying the polar opposite of what I actually said, we'll probably do far better without each other. Good luck with Brexit.

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    4. Hi Anonymous, I agree the comment about the older No voters dying off is pretty negative. Many of my friends are in their 70's and campaigned strongly for independence.

      There is a strong and positive case for independence, not all about money. Getting rid of Trident means a lot to me, as does welcoming people from the EU, having our own currency, making a much better use of our vast renewable energy resources, land reform to reclaim our land from companies in tax havens, and so on.

      I desperately want to live in a country without the House of Lords, where UKIP can't steer the government into ever harder right wing bigotry, and delusional nostalgia about past empires and nuclear weapons does not pass for political strategy.

      The only political leader in the UK who has shown any foresight, leadership or planning ability since the unexpected Brexit vote is Nicola Sturgeon. I say this not as an SNP member but as a Green. I support the idea of independence for what it can bring, not out of doctrinaire attachment or hatred of the English as many newspapers would have you believe.

      This hopeful message is not being transmitted by the media yet despite that, nearly half the people want independence. No political union can be said to be in good health if only 55% of people support it. As the Full English Brexit becomes apparent I do think voters will shift to Yes.

      So don't base your decision on one negative comment but do a bit more research. Try Bella Caledonia and Common Weal if you are serious about wanting to know more.

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    5. So! Anonymous was discomfited by remarks about older folk voting No. Well I'm an older folk and all that is is the truth - the elderly were lied to by Gordon Brown about losing their pensions if Scotland became independence! If anonymous is so sensitive to comments about the elderly, which I'm not too keen on myself, how does he feel about the vile comments about NIcola, the SNP, Yes voters and indeed all Scots which appear daily on many blogs. I think I've finally sussed what trolling is! A decent free Scotland is what I want before I die comprised of people of all races, religions and OPINION. Anonymous needs to think a wee bit more deeply about his reasoning!

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  7. Dear anon, I strongly suggest that the total scope of your research on independence should not be restricted to this blog and its comments.

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    1. Look, I'm a busy, important man. Who's got time to read more than one blog?

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    2. Now you look!!
      I'm a busier man, I am English, want to live in an independent Scotland, live with my extended family of eight Yes voters (see how busy I've been) - so I trump your pathetic four votes and claim my prize.

      What a sad *anker you really must be!

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  8. Anonymous
    Are you Glasgow Working Class in a cheap chalk-stripe suit?

    Come on board here with straw man, ad hominem arguments then chuck it in a hissy fit of epic wankerish self-importance: Bwahaha!!!

    One simply could not make it up unless one was a troll.

    Oh wait and oopsadaisy...

    You are a colossus, "sir" (you taking notes at the back, GWC?).

    What a transparent scream😁

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2January 2, 2017 at 10:02 PM

      David, anon is not me. I am a socialist and not a Nat si.

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    2. I am afraid you are wrong. You words show you are not a socialist. In fact you are just a bit of shit on my shoe.

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    3. Glasgow Working ClassAugust 3, 2015 at 7:50 PM
      Maybe we can meet arsehole. You choose the venue. I will no doubt recognise you. Glasgow East End suit you? Bring a friend.

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    4. Glasgow Working Class 2January 3, 2017 at 12:22 AM

      Put yer thistle up yer erse slowly after a vaseline application and enjoy.

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    5. I see you're still struggling to justify your miserable existence to your Westminster masters with your usual tirade of mindless drivel.

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    6. You guys really aren't doing your side any favours - none of you. You should consider just not posting comments, instead of flinging crude insults at each other.

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  9. The problem that those voters who voted down independence (on the grounds that we couldn't prove the case that they would be better off) now have is that the status quo is very definitely going to leave them worse off.
    Decisions decisions.

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    1. Yes, there is no status quo.

      Change is a-coming for Scotland, it's whether the people of Scotland want it to be under the control of Theres May in other words totally out of control, or want us in Scotland to control the change.

      It will be interesting to see the data tables, and to see if BMG falsified the "who wants another Indy Ref", the same way they did the last one where they treated the don't knows on the extra hard Brexit question for NO Referendum replies only, as NOes to IR2. Either they're thick as two short planks, or they lied.

      And yes, how many don't knows?

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    2. You can never have full control. You can only choose between options that all have negatives of varying degrees associated with them. You also cannot control what others do. Can Indy Scotland choose to enter the EU? No, if they do not want to admit us. Can Indy Scotland maintain free trade and good, open relations with the UK? No, if they do not wish it or your precious EU forbids it as a condition of entry.

      The SNP is approaching a highly complex situation with the analytical and planning skills of a four year old. And its why they will lose, again, in the far from certain event that we see another indyref in this parliament.

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  10. Can anybody imagine the reaction from JK PLagiarist were a Scottish company ban non-Scots from one of their films? Of course she's not a nationalist. Wrapped in the UJ, singing rule britannia as she wallows in her sewer full of other people's money.

    From today's Grauniad.

    Robin Williams rejected for Harry Potter role thanks to 'British-only' rule
    The late actor was keen to play Hagrid, but the part went to Robbie Coltrane because producers wouldn’t waive rule banning non-Brits.



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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2January 2, 2017 at 11:04 PM

      Nazi Bhoy you should crawl up a sewer from the exit point during peak hours.

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    2. You're slipping. You actually spelt it "Nazi" this time.

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    3. Glasgow Working Class 2January 2, 2017 at 11:54 PM

      Typing error Young James! Aye.

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    4. I see you're still struggling to justify your miserable existence to your Westminster masters with your usual tirade of mindless drivel.

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  11. (not a real) Dr S Arthur has another green ink stained SNPevil letter published in the herald.

    He actually boasts about labour building schools, "on an industrial scale," no less.

    Strange how he didn't notice all those PFI disaster zone schools collapsing last year.

    Is he really as mad as the rest of them or just a bigot?

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2January 3, 2017 at 1:10 AM

      Scottish Nat sis may consider the public sector building homes and schools and being held accountable.

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    2. I see you're still struggling to justify your miserable existence to your Westminster masters with your usual tirade of mindless drivel.

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    3. GWC2 is that the best you can offer? You're an offensive little Labour troll as they were responsible for the PFI fiasco costing taxpayers now and in the future hundreds of millions of pounds in repayments for schools that are not fit for purpose. BTW the SG has exceeded the target for building social housing something Labour didn't achieve. What's with the Nat sis thing is that meant to be funny? Are you deranged as there is no way you can equate the SNP to them, they haven't started wars, committed genocide, taken slaves, stolen art and gold, really what is wrong with you? Yer mammy didn't hug you enough? Get a grip and smell the coffee!

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    4. The operative smells too strongly of Kipper to ever detect the smell of coffee. It is as Labour as Coburn and twice as offensive.

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  12. The real worry for the unionist cause is not the number of No voters that are dying,but the number of open minded young people coming onto the electoral register.Young people who heard the debates in 2014.Who see the independence argument as being worthy of serious consideration.Davidson,Dugdale and Rennie all agree that Scotland could be a successful independent country.

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    1. You mean the "open minded and young" people who generally don't vote and who will drift to the right as they age?

      What is a successful independent country? Is it stable government + effective police and armed forces? The bare minimum required for the formation of a state? Or is it something more? Scotland is heavily subsidised and ran by clowns. It is questionable whether we could meet the basic requirements of statehood. The unionist party leaders can't say that because they know Scotland is full of volatile people who are easily offended.

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  13. What about a rule that everyone uses their real names in the comments.

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    1. How about you go to North Korea. They like your sort there.

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  14. Meanwhile over on twatter. JK is being harrassed by barking mad mental feminists. Or feminists as they're known.

    SNP haters and SJW snowflakes may see an instruction to go out and start mass rape in John Mason's comment. Normal people just read it and think these people are insane, then ignore anything they claim in the future.

    If I didn't know the history of NUS presidents then I'd be worried about the mental stability of our student body. Fortunately I know that the NUS is just a labour front and hasn't represented real students, ever.

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  15. Follow me on Twitter James, and I will DM you

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