Friday, March 17, 2017

Theresa is tanking : blow for autocrat PM as YouGov poll shows pro-independence parties have an absolute majority of the vote

I have to say I find it pretty incredible that a YouGov poll in which the headline Yes vote was unusually low has been so good for us in a variety of other ways. As I've already mentioned, it shows a 52% to 48% majority in favour of Westminster allowing an independence referendum to be held (a finding studiously ignored by a mainstream media hellbent on sticking with their beloved "the Jocks don't even want a referendum" narrative, in defiance of all evidence). A batch of newly-released figures from the poll show increasing support for the SNP, improved personal ratings for Nicola Sturgeon, a drop in popularity for both Theresa May and Ruth Davidson, and a giant raspberry for the notion that Scotland needs the UK more than it needs the EU.

Let's start with the Holyrood voting intention numbers, which shows a boost for the SNP vote on both ballots, an absolute majority of the vote for the SNP on the constituency ballot, and an absolute majority for the pro-independence parties on the list ballot.  It also suggests that the once-dominant Labour party is now in severe danger of slipping to fourth place on the list vote, behind even the Greens - although that hasn't happened quite yet.

Constituency ballot :

SNP 51% (+3)
Conservatives 24% (-1)
Labour 14% (-1)
Liberal Democrats 6% (n/c)
Greens 4% (+1)
UKIP 1% (n/c)

Regional list ballot :

SNP 40% (+1)
Conservatives 25% (+1)
Labour 14% (n/c)
Greens 12% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 5% (-1)
UKIP 2% (-2)
RISE 1% (n/c)

The absolute majority for pro-indy parties on both ballots may be of some interest as we ponder the possibility of an early Holyrood election functioning as a de facto independence referendum.  And once again, I don't think it's unreasonable to pose the question - given that the headline Yes vote in this poll looks implausibly low, and given that YouGov didn't even bother interviewing 16 and 17 year olds, is it just possible that the above figures may even underestimate the SNP?

As far as personal ratings of leading politicians are concerned, there are two ways of judging the pecking-order - one is based on the percentage of respondents who have a positive view of each politician, and the other is a net rating, calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents who have a negative view from those who have a positive view.  Nicola Sturgeon has the lead on one measure, and is in a close second place on the other - but she has improved her standing in both.  Meanwhile, Ruth Davidson has gone backwards on both measures, and Theresa May's net rating has dropped significantly, entirely due to a sharp increase in the number of people who view her negatively.  There's still a tendency south of the border to talk about the "Theresa May honeymoon", but in Scotland that's something we refer to in the past tense - the more people see her, the less they like her.  My guess is that Hard Brexit and her antics in attempting to block an independence referendum will eventually see her hit Thatcher-style levels of unpopularity, although admittedly she still has a long way to go before that happens.

Positive ratings :

Nicola Sturgeon 53% (+3)
Ruth Davidson 47% (-2)
Theresa May 37% (+2)
Kezia Dugdale 26% (+3)
Jeremy Corbyn 13% (-7)

Net ratings :

Ruth Davidson +18 (-7)
Nicola Sturgeon +16 (+5)
Theresa May -10 (-5)
Kezia Dugdale -16 (+5)
Jeremy Corbyn -56 (-21)

It's been speculated in recent elections and referendums that supplementary questions may sometimes give a better indication of how a vote is likely to pan out than the headline voting intention question.  If there's some truth in that, the Tory government should be deeply concerned by the response to a question that asks whether the EU or the UK is the more important trade partner for Scotland - which in many ways goes to the heart of what the next independence referendum will be all about.  Respondents were split down the middle - with one-quarter of No voters from 2014 saying that the EU is more valuable.

*  *  *

I was tickled by the Herald's write-up of the "everything but the kitchen sink" list of pre-conditions laid down by defeated opposition leader Ruth Davidson for the elected government being allowed to hold a referendum.  One is that there has to be agreement across the parties - which means that even if the Tories and Labour agreed, Willie Rennie would still have a veto.  (Thank heavens the Scottish Senior Citizens' Unity party is no longer around, otherwise even their bloke would be able to single-handedly prevent his millions of fellow citizens from having a say.)

I'm still not convinced that Davidson has put quite enough roadblocks in the way, though.  Allow me to suggest a few more perfectly reasonable pre-conditions -

* There cannot be an independence referendum until Bashar al-Assad gives the nod.

* There cannot be an independence referendum until Nicola Sturgeon pays a £100 million deposit "in good faith".

* There cannot be an independence referendum until a psychic medium checks to make sure Princess Diana is OK with it.

* There cannot be an independence referendum until 200 billion signatures of Scottish residents have been collected and verified.

* There cannot be an independence referendum until NASA confirms there are no asteroid collisions due until at least 2150, because Theresa May mustn't be distracted in the face of impending global catastrophe.


  1. Tory Expenses Scandal - Because they just can't help themselvesMarch 17, 2017 at 1:29 PM

    Krishnan Guru-Murthy‏Verified account @krishgm 3 hours ago

    Looking forward to the Evening Standard's coverage of Tory Election expenses scandal

  2. Shame the YouGov was such shoddy inaccurate bollocks all the same.

    Laziness and Londoncentric do not a good poll make.

  3. Wings Over Scotland‏ @WingsScotland 4h

    My name so rarely follows the words "Most Popular", so I'm going to enjoy it.

    1. SteveB‏ @bilco62 4h

      @WingsScotland Print edition is being given away free at SNP conference as well

  4. mandy rhodes‏ @holyroodmandy 26 minutes ago

    More people in the coffee queue @theSNP conference than there were delegates at other party conferences #SNP17

  5. Remarkable poll for the SNP under the circumstances

  6. Bumblefuck kipper tories for unityMarch 17, 2017 at 5:51 PM

    So scotland and rUK are at least united again, today at least, in laughing at or shaking their heads in utter disbelief at the tories latest convincing bid for joke party status.

    Hard to think of anything more out of touch and reeking of privilege than tory MP (who already had 4 or 5 'jobs') and former tory chancellor somehow becoming editor of the London Evening Standard.

    Unless it was the day after the tories hit the headlines again in a big way with another expenses scandal under police investigation.

    And the day after an out of touch tory PM with one scottish MP decided that Scottish parliament does not represent the will of the people of Scotland while she does.

    Truly excellent work twits! XD

  7. The Nat sis are the autocrats. The constitutional settlement is clear. There will be no referendum before the brexit deal is signed off.
    The Nat sis are not only attempting to break the legal deal but also undermine the governmrnt negotiations for brexit.
    The Nat sis whether or not we get a good deal will say it is a bad deal. They have no care for Scottish prosperity only their anti English hatred and independence.

    1. The Great Tory Election Expenses Scandal 2017 £££££££March 17, 2017 at 8:28 PM

      Richard Murphy‏ @RichardJMurphy

      May's claim that the Tories cooperated with the Electoral Commission is a straightforward lie according to the Electoral Commission

    2. The Great Tory Election Expenses Scandal 2017 £££££££March 17, 2017 at 8:37 PM

      Lil'oldme ❄️‏ @relovedreams Mar 16

      Breaking electoral commission have fined Tory party £70,000 for fiddling expenses #toryelectionfraud now bring on prosecutions

    3. mr GWC2 doesn't seem to like Scottish people, shame for him being locked up in GHCQ, MAYBE WE SHOULD START A PETITION SO MAYHEM WILL LET HIM OUT TO PLAY

    4. GWC2 A truly pathetic offering!! "Nat sis"

  8. The Great Tory Election Expenses Scandal 2017 £££££££March 17, 2017 at 8:36 PM

    PoliticsHome‏Verified account @politicshome 10 hours ago

    WATCH: Tory chair Patrick McLoughlin pushes camera away and flees election expenses questions

  9. The Great Tory Election Expenses Scandal 2017 £££££££March 17, 2017 at 8:41 PM

    Election expenses: Prosecutors investigate Tory spending claims

    Files from 12 police forces relating to expenses during the general election are passed to the Crown Prosecution Service.

  10. The Great Tory Election Expenses Scandal 2017 £££££££March 17, 2017 at 8:47 PM

    Jo‏ @Jobaker46

    Channel 4 gives hope that investigative journalism hasn't died - fantastic ongoing coverage of #toryelectionfraud

    33 Constituencies Involved

    29 Tory MPs Implicated

    10 Police Forces Investigating

    C4 #FactCheck

  11. I wonder if those 52/48 figures might represent a truer picture of how many would vote YES in a referendum...

  12. gordon brown supposedly making a speech over the weekend

    happy days ( : > )

    1. Browntervention Alert!! VOW Factor 5March 18, 2017 at 12:39 AM

      The correct term is "Browntervention".

      A term which we've needed since this is but the latest in a dozen or so times when, for reasons passing all understanding, the most stupid and craven dipshits at the top of SLAB and in the westminster bubble decide now is the time to remind scots of THE VOW, yet again.

      Presumably because SLAB are doing so well at the moment.

      This should certainly give them that extra boost they were needing to move from complete irrelevancy to complete and utter irrelevancy.

      Dugdale can bask in the Browntervention 'glory' alongside the other joke politicians like wee Wullie Rennie and his party, whatever they were called again.

  13. Knickerless orders the Scotland v England rugby match to be replayed as the Scots did not like the result.

    1. PoliticsHome‏Verified account @politicshome 10 hours ago

      WATCH: Tory chair Patrick McLoughlin pushes camera away and flees election expenses questions

    2. Vote UKIP they are the only party that cares for geriatric crossdressing alcoholics like me

  14. James,

    It is interesting that YouGov don't even interview 16 / 17 year olds.

    Depending when an independence poll was actually to happen, assuming perhaps late autumn 2018, should the views of 15 year olds not also be canvassed? By then they would be part of the electorate.

    It would also be interesting to know how large that cohort actually is.

  15. After a lot of faffing about, this table:

    seems to suggest that there are 111,782 young people - 14 to 15 years old in mid 2015, who would be eligible to vote. I should be obliged if someone could check or correct my workings based on that table.

  16. Knickerless McFudd offers the the British Gov a compromise. Makes yer larf dinnit.

    1. Eat your cereal.

    2. Cornflakes ya bass OK.

    3. Jesus.

      Anyone, anyone at all willing to audit my post? My fundamental point is that they would be eligible to vote next time around, and not taking them into account looks a tad sloppy to me. Every day that ticks bye, more, younger voters are enfranchised. I doubt that they are key to a win for the independence side, but they appear to be a solid cohort of 'Yes' sympathisers.

      The challenge for those of us that want to see an independent Scotland is not them. It is my generation. The young are not set in their ways, the elderly probably are. How we go about breaking that tie to matron's apron strings could be key to winning a future referendum.

      I'd have liked more intelligent comment on my questions, instead I get some lunatic saying "Knickerless McFudd" as if that was useful or meaningful.

      Contradicted with the rather old and rather lame "Eat your cereal"

      And the rejoinder that makes btl comments here almost a job, rather than a pleasure:

      "Cornflakes ya bass OK."

      Sure, I am asking for folk to respond to my precious post. What I am not willing to do is wade through the general ignorance, juvenile name calling and frankly the erotic fantasies of a thirteen year old. In case you have forgotten, as attention spans are short, GWC2 describes our First Minister as "Knickerless McFudd."

      It is a quite stupid and quite adolescent comment.

      Still would like the more sane people around here to critique my opinions on 14 / 15 year olds and how we try to persuade older voters.