Hot on the heels of Panelbase's first Scottish Parliament poll in an eternity comes the same from Survation. The findings of the two polls are strikingly similar on the constituency ballot (which is all we got from Panelbase).
Scottish Parliament voting intentions (Survation) :
Constituency ballot -
Liberal Democrats 7%
Regional list ballot -
Liberal Democrats 10%
Crucially, the SNP's more modest lead on the list isn't caused by any sort of Corbyn surge or Tory breakthrough, but rather by the more long-standing problem of SNP constituency voters drifting off in large numbers to the Greens on the list. That means, according to the most ubiquitous seat projection models, that the pro-independence parties in combination would be just two or three seats away from retaining their majority. In other words, despite all the sound and fury of recent months, we're in almost as good a position as we were when Nicola Sturgeon won the May 2016 Holyrood election with a pro-independence majority of 69-60 - and there's no election due for another four years anyway.
Even better news is to be found on the independence question. Against all the odds, and in defiance of all expectations, there has been a sharp swing back to Yes, with the pro-independence vote now once again exceeding the 45% achieved in the 2014 referendum -
Should Scotland be an independent country?
Yes 46% (+3)
No 54% (-3)
Of course an apparent 3% swing could be an illusion caused by margin of error, but it would still be good news even if that is the case - because it would suggest the 43% Yes vote in the last Survation poll was more likely to be an underestimate than an overestimate.
Survation also asked respondents when they thought the next independence referendum should be. As with the equivalent question in the Panelbase poll, the various options were worded a bit ambiguously, which makes it harder to get much sense out of the results. However, a combined total of 34% want a referendum either before Britain leaves the EU or at around the time Britain leaves the EU, which presumably means in the very, very near future. That figure is basically identical to the 37% who "never" want to see another referendum. In between the two extremes are a moderate group of around 20% who either want a referendum "a few years after Britain leaves the EU" or "after the 2021 election". Those two options sound very similar to me, although I suppose theoretically you could argue that "after the 2021 election" could mean any time between 2021 and infinity. From a common sense point of view, I think it would be fair to say this poll seems to be pointing towards a majority in favour of holding a second indyref in the short or medium term.
In another sign of how dramatically some social attitudes in Scotland have changed over a short period of time, the poll finds respondents are not far away from being evenly split over whether parents should be banned from smacking children. 36% support a ban, with 42% opposed. That sort of finding would have been unthinkable a few years ago (ie. there would have been overwhelming opposition to a ban).