Sunday, January 29, 2017

Landmark Panelbase poll finds 50% of public demand a second independence referendum within just THREE YEARS

You may remember that way back in the mists of the time (otherwise known as a couple of months ago), the unionist press were beside themselves with excitement about a YouGov poll that suggested for the first time that support for independence might have fallen fractionally below the 45% achieved in the September 2014 referendum.  However, the actual drop in Yes support from the previous poll was small, and was potentially consistent with meaningless statistical 'noise' caused by normal sampling variation.  So that meant we had to wait for more polls before we could judge whether the shift in opinion was real or illusory.  Unfortunately, we've been stuck in polling Antarctica since then - all we've really had is a mildly encouraging BMG poll showing a very slight increase in support for Yes, but that wasn't reliable because BMG had radically (and rightly) changed their question since their previous poll.  So today's Panelbase poll is the first solid piece of information since YouGov, but unfortunately it hasn't really cleared the mists much.  It does show a trivial 1% decrease in Yes support since Panelbase last reported several months ago, but crucially, it differs from YouGov in continuing to show a Yes vote that is higher than in the 2014 referendum. 

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Yes 46%
No 54%

So the jury is still very much out - there's still no convincing evidence of a recent drop in support for independence.  There are basically two plausible possibilities - either there has been a very small swing to No, or there has been no change at all.

In any case, given that we seem to be at least eighteen months away from a referendum, it's arguably not terribly important which side holds the lead at the moment - what matters is that we have an extremely close and competitive race that is there to be won.  The more interesting question in the poll is perhaps the one on the principle of holding an early referendum...

Want a second independence referendum within two or three years?

Yes 50%
No 50%

The 'Yes' figure is an aggregate of support for two very similar options - 27% of respondents want the referendum "in the next two or three years" as Brexit negotiations are still ongoing, while a further 23% of respondents want the referendum to be held "in about two or three years" after the negotiations have finished.  The bottom line is that half the population want a referendum within a maximum of three years.  You'll probably already have seen unionist politicians and journalists misrepresent the poll by concentrating solely on the 27% figure, and giving the impression that the other 73% don't want an early referendum.  "Deliberately misleading" is the most charitable way of describing that, but it's basically an outright and extremely cynical falsehood.

Incidentally, the Panelbase datasets aren't out yet, so I've taken the above figures from the What Scotland Thinks website.  I gather from observing a few exchanges on Twitter that there are slightly contradictory numbers doing the rounds - some people are saying that opposition to an early referendum stands at 51%, not 50%.  Doesn't make a huge amount of difference one way or the other, though - at worst, we're talking about a 49/51 split, which is comfortably within the margin of error.

Panelbase also asked a few questions about attitudes to Europe.  Support for Britain remaining within the European Union is near-enough identical to the result of the referendum in June, with 61% saying they would vote Remain in a repeat referendum, and 39% saying they would vote Leave.  Those figures may not seem hugely surprising, but it's certainly important for the independence movement that there is no sign of Scotland reconciling itself to the UK-wide referendum result, which is something that potentially could have happened with the helpful 'encouragement' of the London-based broadcast media.  Admittedly, another logical possibility was a widespread outbreak of buyers' remorse among the minority who voted Leave as the horrors of Brexit became ever-more apparent, and that doesn't seem to have happened either.

On the related but somewhat different question of whether an independent Scotland should apply to join the EU, the level of pro-European sentiment is much the same.  I can't find the figures with neutrals excluded, but my rough calculation suggest they must be in the region of 61% to 39% in favour of EU membership.  This handily gives the lie to David Mundell's very, very peculiar claim that Scottish voters only intended to vote in favour of Britain remaining within the EU, and didn't necessarily give a monkey's about whether Scotland did.

There is significant (albeit not overwhelming) concern about the impact of Brexit on the Scottish economy - 41% think the effect will be negative, and only 21% think it will be positive.  The remainder either don't have an opinion or think the effect will be neutral.

There is a narrow plurality (40% to 37%) in favour of EU citizens having the automatic right to live and work in Scotland "after the UK leaves the EU".  In spite of that being a positive result for the Yes/Remain movement, Professor John Curtice is reading exaggerated significance into the fact that the majority isn't much bigger.  For my money, though, the question asked was far from ideal - many people will simply have been answering it on the logical basis of "free movement will obviously end in Scotland when it ends in Britain".  It would have been better if respondents had been asked in a much clearer way about whether special arrangements should be made for Scotland to allow free movement to continue here, and only here, after Brexit.

Respondents were apparently extremely sceptical about whether the UK government will abide by its obligations under the Sewel Convention, which is supposed to prevent powers being stripped from the Scottish Parliament without its consent.  A mere 29% expect Scotland to have more control over its own laws after Brexit, which in theory should happen automatically under the terms of the Scotland Act, as long as the Sewel Convention is adhered to.  Recent statements from both Theresa May and David Davis suggest that the public's suspicions about their intentions may indeed be fully justified.  (By the way, John Curtice seems to be missing the point on this subject - he interprets the poll as showing that the public do not share the SNP's concerns that Scotland will have less control over its own laws than it currently does as a result of Brexit.  The actual concern is that the powers being repatriated from Brussels will be grabbed by Westminster, when in many cases they should go direct to Holyrood under the law as it stands.)

A final thought : incredibly, there are still unionist trolls on Twitter who are trying to paint Northumberland-based Panelbase as some kind of Scottish nationalist front organisation, and one that always produces much better results for Yes than any other firm.  (The claim today being that if even Panelbase have Yes on "only" 46%, the situation must be grim indeed.)  I think these people must be permanently stuck in a 2013 timewarp, because by the end of the 2014 referendum campaign Panelbase's figures were actually fairly typical for the polling industry as a whole, and unlike ICM and YouGov they didn't produce a late poll putting Yes in the lead.

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UPDATE (Tuesday morning) : As mentioned above, I wrote this post before Panelbase released their datasets, so I was having to rely on John Curtice's What Scotland Thinks website for information about the poll.  Now that the datasets are out, it turns out that there were some inaccuracies on What Scotland Thinks.  Most importantly, it turns out that half of the public want an indyref within just TWO years, not three.  You can read an update HERE.

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33 comments:

  1. Theresa Trump and the BrexitearsJanuary 29, 2017 at 9:04 PM

    mpeach Donald Trump ‏@Impeach_D_Trump 5h

    BREAKING: German Chancellor Merkel's office says she had to explain the Geneva Convention over the phone to Trump

    UNBELIEVABLE!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working Class 2January 29, 2017 at 9:25 PM

      Yes the Germans are experts on the Convention. And the Convention was written to avoid unnesesary civillian casualies and the targetting of the same.
      Also and more importantly protagonists should not shelter behind civilians when waging war......Hamas and Hezbollah employ such methods deliberately and are suppoted by anti semite Jew haters.
      Trump has got it sussed. The measures Trump is taking should have been introduced after 9/11.
      So over to the hard left fascists. Go on ladies!

      Delete
    2. Kipper Fuckwit Class 2January 29, 2017 at 9:34 PM

      Rogue POTUS Staff ‏@RoguePOTUSStaff Jan 28

      #MuslimBan said to be necessary because of 9-11, but none of the home countries of 9-11 hijackers are included in ban.

      Delete
    3. Kipper Racist Class 2January 29, 2017 at 9:40 PM

      LBC Breaking ‏@lbcbreaking 9 hours ago

      Sir Mo Farah on US travel ban: 'It's deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home'

      Delete
    4. Glasgow Working Class 2January 29, 2017 at 9:55 PM

      Sir Mo, sounds very important.

      Delete
    5. The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
    6. Glasgow Working Class 2January 29, 2017 at 11:30 PM

      Whens the recerendum then Nazi.

      Delete
    7. The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
    8. James great news and great article. There are indeed unionist trolls that persist with trying hard to mislead via polls and all social media.

      I have been running a campaign against these types for 8 months now. I am aware that there are organised BritNats with multiple Individual fake accounts (sock puppet) will intent to Astro Turf spreading unionst soundbytes fear and just propaganda.

      I recently complained to BBC about the manipulation of its HYS from people whos full intent is to rubbish the SNP Nicola Sturgeon Scotland in general to provide much anti independence views as possible. BBC responded by " it's no the BBC position to investigate possibility of sock puppet accounts" , which tells be they are aware but will not do anything about.

      FACEBOOK and YouTube have the same problem on poltical channels . On Scott Arthur's, liarpoltiticains channels (all poltical channels) I know of several individuals that have 15 or so user accounts.

      Your guy on is one of these highly organised sock puppets. Please do not respond to these people. This the only way to stop the abuse as eventually they get bored.

      Delete
    9. James great news and great article. There are indeed unionist trolls that persist with trying hard to mislead via polls and all social media.

      I have been running a campaign against these types for 8 months now. I am aware that there are organised BritNats with multiple Individual fake accounts (sock puppet) will intent to Astro Turf spreading unionst soundbytes fear and just propaganda.

      I recently complained to BBC about the manipulation of its HYS from people whos full intent is to rubbish the SNP Nicola Sturgeon Scotland in general to provide much anti independence views as possible. BBC responded by " it's no the BBC position to investigate possibility of sock puppet accounts" , which tells be they are aware but will not do anything about.

      FACEBOOK and YouTube have the same problem on poltical channels . On Scott Arthur's, liarpoltiticains channels (all poltical channels) I know of several individuals that have 15 or so user accounts.

      Your guy on is one of these highly organised sock puppets. Please do not respond to these people. This the only way to stop the abuse as eventually they get bored.

      Delete
  2. Theresa Trump and the BrexitearsJanuary 29, 2017 at 9:05 PM

    Jeffrey Goldberg ‏@JeffreyGoldberg 4h

    "Everyone suffered in the Holocaust, including the Jewish people." The White House chief of staff just said this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glasgow Working Class 2January 29, 2017 at 9:06 PM

    If ye hing aff a bit I will get ma free telly licence then hiv as many polls as you want.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kipper fuckwit

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working Class 2January 29, 2017 at 9:57 PM

      You are just a routine normal Nat si Fuckwitt.

      Delete
    3. The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
  4. Dugdale's Suicide SquadJanuary 29, 2017 at 9:07 PM

    James Dornan SNP ‏@glasgowcathcart 38m

    Jeezo they haven't learnt a single thing have they. 'Stick with the Union. Stick with the Tories. Vote Labour'. Doesn't really work eh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working Class 2January 29, 2017 at 9:31 PM

      Who cares about the Dug. The Union is intact and brexit tae follow. And when will you Nat sis get a life and stop going on about the Tories. You are a bunch of Thatcherite camp followers. She would be proud of you scumbags.

      Delete
    2. The poster above is a far-right racist UKIP sockpuppetJanuary 29, 2017 at 9:42 PM

      The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
    3. Glasgow Working Class 2January 29, 2017 at 10:29 PM

      Top Nat si carrying out Thatcher policies and he is actually from a working class background. Wonder if he will vote for tax rises. Aye bit Naw.

      Delete
    4. The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
    5. Glasgow Working Class 2January 29, 2017 at 11:31 PM

      Whens the referendum Nazi.

      Delete
    6. Shut the fuck up , you're getting us sock-puppets a bad name.

      Delete
  5. There are some details of recent YouGov polling https://yougov.co.uk/news/2017/01/27/why-have-polls-not-shown-shift-towards-scottish-in/ I don't see any further details though.

    ReplyDelete
  6. James, how do you read the 50/50 split on wanting Indyref2 ?. Is it fair to say if you want another vote on Indy, thats because you want Indy?

    ReplyDelete
  7. And brexit hasn't even started yet. I think the most important stat is the one showing much doubt about Westminster passing powers on to Holyrood a la Sewel.

    ReplyDelete
  8. http://www.panelbase.com/media/polls.aspx

    Full results here, according to them 51% don't want a referendum, supporting for independence excluding don't knows is 43%. The spinning going on is on this blog. Nothing has changed there isn't going to a referendum anytime before the next General Election at least. Sturgeon is a politician, she gives enough raw meat to the die hards while being savvy enough to know which way the political winds a really blowing.,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 51% don't want a referendum within or in 2 years, 50% do - that's Panelbase's rounding. Exact figures 49.46% do, 50.54% don't.

      And 46% are for Independence 54% against, that's from Panelbase. You forgot to exclude the don't knows for some odd reason, forgetfulness I expect, or looked at the wrong table.

      http://www.panelbase.com/media/polls/W7181w9tablesforpublication300117.pdf

      And note, the question for Independence is "If the referendum was held again tomorrow, how would you vote in response to the question: Should Scotland be an independent country? (Likely voters)"

      What will THAT be in getting on for 2 years, when the results of the Brexit negotiations are known (probably "get lost" from the EU)?

      There's no spin in James's blog, but I am detecting some.

      Delete
    2. "If the referendum was held again tomorrow," is indeed what they said - James hadn't seen the full results when he wrote his analysis. Note the key biasing words "again" and "tomorrow".

      The first option re when to hold it was also I think likely to produce a weaker result from our point of view - "in the next year or two".

      I'm not clear why James said 3 years.

      Delete
    3. I repeat again for the benefit of Aberdonian : I took the figures from the What Scotland Thinks website, because Panelbase hadn't released their datasets yet. That's also where the wording of "in the next two or three years" comes from - clearly that was inaccurate as well. It turns out that 49.4% of respondents want a second indyref within just TWO years.

      Delete
  9. None of of those questions rule out a vote. Looks like they are all for a vote.

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  10. Wanting a referendum does not mean wanting indy.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thought for a minute I was reading the express. In favour of + DEMAND.

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  12. If we had any control iver it (which we don't) it would be really sensible to stay below 50% until we call Indyaref 2.

    'No' seems to be falling back into the certainty of victory that led them to lose such a huge % compared to where they began at the start of the campaign last time, and are reassuring themselves that Nicola doesn't really want to call a referendum. Perfect.

    ReplyDelete