The new YouGov poll testing potential support for the Independent Group was mentioned on the previous thread, because unlike the recent Survation poll it shows Labour taking a substantial hit, with the Tory lead increasing from 8% on the standard question to 12% when the new group is offered as an option. The Independents themselves are hypothetically on 14% of the vote. However I don't think those are meaningful results for all sorts of reasons. Fieldwork preceded the three Tory defections, so it would seem logical that the hit Labour were taking before today might be more evenly split between Labour and Tory from now on. And the question in the poll that included the Independent Group made a song and dance about drawing special attention to the splitters, so that might have led more respondents to indicate support for them than would have been the case on a more neutral question. We won't really know the true level of support for the group until they become a fully-fledged party and can be included in polls on a normal basis.
Where the YouGov poll is perhaps more useful is in showing differences in the support for the Independent Group across different regions of the UK, and I don't think any of us are going to faint with amazement at the discovery that they're significantly less popular in Scotland than anywhere else.
Independent Group support by region:
South of England: 17%
North of England: 15%
I suppose theoretically that picture might change if one or two Scottish MPs like Ian Murray were to defect, but I have my doubts.
The results of the Scottish subsample where the Independent Group is given as an option appear to be roughly: SNP 39%, Conservatives 26%, Labour 13%, Independent Group 8%, Liberal Democrats 5%.
On the standard question without the Independent Group, the figures are: SNP 41%, Conservatives 29%, Labour 14%, Liberal Democrats 6%.
So certainly no sign there that the breakaway will give the SNP any greater headache in a first-past-the-post election for Westminster than they currently face. In a Holyrood election under proportional representation it might be a slightly different story, but will there be any space at all for this new group in the 2021 Holyrood election? Perhaps only, paradoxically, if they have established themselves as major players at Westminster by then.