Saturday, April 27, 2019

Westminster shudders as the announcement of Indyref 2 is followed by dramatic YouGov poll putting support for independence at 49%

As I've learned over the years, an email notification of a midnight comment from Marcia can mean one thing, and one thing only.  Forget about Scotland in Union's fantasy polls with daft questions, here's the real deal from YouGov using the standard question on independence, and the result is nothing short of sensational.

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Yes 49% (+4)
No 51% (-4)

Due to the standard margin of error, this is a statistical tie, ie. it's impossible to know for sure which side is actually in the lead.  In recent times, YouGov have reverted to their former status as one of the more No-friendly pollsters, with backing for Yes fluctuating in a narrow band between 43% and 45%.  Self-evidently a sudden jump to 49% looks like a major breakthrough, although there's always just a possibility that a single poll showing something new might be misleading due to an extreme case of sampling variation.  But we're not exactly short of potential reasons why support for independence might have increased over recent weeks and months, so YouGov could well be picking up something genuine.  It'll take another poll or two to be sure (this is the first credible poll on independence from any firm since the end of last year).

There are also figures for European election voting intentions, which if anything are even more astonishing - according to the Times front page, the SNP are on 40%, with the Brexit Party on 13% and the Tories on just 10%.  I haven't found the vote shares for other parties yet, but it looks like it could be touch and go as to whether the Scottish Tories would hold their only seat in the European Parliament, while the SNP would be in with a very real chance of doubling their representation from two to four.

We can't say we haven't had fair warning of this - it's very much in line with what the Scottish subsamples from YouGov's GB-wide polls have been showing over the last couple of weeks.  But somehow seeing it in a full-scale poll is still quite a shock.  10% would easily be an all-time low for the Scottish Tories in European elections, but my question is whether they've been as low as that in any type of national election, ever?  We'd probably have to check the records from centuries ago to be sure of the answer to that one.

I must admit I struggled to keep a straight face when I reached the bit of the Times article that suggested the poll results were bearing out Tory fears that a lengthy Brexit extension could scupper Ruth Davidson's chances of becoming First Minister in 2021.  Now, it's quite true that a) the Tories are taking a hammering because of the extension until October, and b) if Brexit still hasn't happened by the time of the general election they could easily end up losing the majority of the seats they gained from the SNP two years ago - even though those seats, with only one or two exceptions, had looked absolutely rock-solid until this month.  But as for Davidson's chances of becoming First Minister...well, they weren't looking too hot even before this happened, were they?  I always wondered how on earth she thought it was even theoretically possible, unless of course the moon turned into green cheese and the Corbynite leadership of Scottish Labour installed her in office.

UPDATE: I've now located the full European voting intention numbers...

SNP 40%
Labour 14%
Brexit Party 13%
Conservatives 10%
Greens 7%
Liberal Democrats 6%
Change UK 6%
UKIP 3%

What stands out there is the stupidity of Change UK in putting up candidates in direct competition with the Liberal Democrats.  With a joint slate the two parties might just about have been in line for a seat - but as it is they appear to be knocking each other out.

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REGISTER TO VOTE: This may be a timely moment to urge you, and your nearest and dearest, to register to vote in the European elections (if you're not already registered as a result of the annual household enquiry form, I mean).  The deadline is just over a week away, and you can register online HERE.  Don't miss the chance to send the clearest possible message to Westminster that Scotland is determined to have a choice on its own future.

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I have a new article in The National, about why Scotland in Union are almost certainly deluding themselves if they think the Electoral Commission would ever approve a referendum question that asks about "remaining in the UK" or "leaving the UK".  You can read it HERE.

31 comments:

  1. Wow. Looking forward to your analysis. That's great news.

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  2. Replies
    1. I'm weighing up whether to take a year off from Eurovision blogging, because it always seems to make people homicidal. I'm surprised by how low the UK are in the betting, though - it's undoubtedly "our" best song for years and years.

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    2. Just saw Momma Mia 2...then loaded ABBA from Euro 74!! Not on in US this year. We always get a muddled three part feed where they never explain the scoring and they take it too seriously.how much traffic does it give you??

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  3. Unlike the amateur hour stuff from Survation / Scotland in Union, there's also Holyrood polling.

    SNP 46% (+5 from June 2018 poll)
    Tory 22% (-5)
    Lab 16% (-6)
    LD 7% (+1)
    Brexit 4% (new)
    Green 3% (+1)
    Change 1% (new)

    Taken with the Regional VI, The Times has given a seat projection of SNP 63, Tory 25, Lab 18, Green 11, Lib Dem 7 and Brexit 5 (!). Presumably the Tory -> Brexit revolt is even bigger on the list.

    https://twitter.com/TSEofPB/status/1121920832245313536

    Westminster VI

    SNP 43% (+3 on June 2018 poll)
    Tory 20% (-7)
    Lab 17% (-6)
    LD 9% (+2)
    Brexit 4% (new)
    Green 3% (+1)
    Change 2%

    Seat projection: SNP 51, LD 4, Con 3, Lab 1.

    Looks like these new parties are fracturing the "unionist" vote even further.

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  4. 'Now is not the time jock scum!' effect kicking in then.

    Panelbase is one of the least favourable for Yes this days too.

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    Replies
    1. its not a panelbase poll...

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    2. The Times normally uses panelbase. But this is the shortbread edition and they use yougov I think(?).

      Either way, both paragraphs in my statement remain entirely correct, so require no correction.

      (and Yougov are not super Yes-friendly either historically).

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  5. Only a minority (48%) oppose a new iref in the next 5 years. With 42% well up for it and 8% not against but fence sitting.

    Sturgeon still with positive sat ratings 12 years into FM/DM.

    Sturgeon 47(+1)% Well
    May 18(-58)% Well
    Corbyn 12(-65)% Well
    Lenman 10(-29)% Well

    Sturgeon should improve in popularity now she's moving on indy.

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    1. It's just dawned on me... The Labour guy who's even worse that Dugdale, Murphy, Lamont and Gray? Reg Leonard?

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    2. I admire the way you try and make 42 sound like a bigger number than 48 :-)

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    3. YouGov have been asking that question for ages, and by past standards a 42/48 split is astonishingly good. For some reason YouGov have tended to report less enthusiasm for a referendum than other pollsters.

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    4. @Iain

      Sorry, I think its actually 'Lennon'. Leads Scottish Labour branch office.

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    5. I'm sure the guy does have a name, just nobody can remember it. If we even heard it.

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    6. It's Richard Lennon. He self IDs as Monica Leonard.

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    7. Isn't it Lenny Richardson or something?

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    8. I thought it was David Dickinson.

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    9. Didn't Jeremy Corbyn call him Leonardo Reichsfuhrer?
      Remember when the other Jeremy (Hunt) called Ruth Davidson, Mrs Harrison?
      The Branch Managers are pretty low-profile aren't they?

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    10. Ricardo Di LeonardoApril 28, 2019 at 8:31 AM

      Was it not Leonard Rigsby?
      Or Giuseppe van Hoogstraaten?
      Or something like that.
      I remember Mrs Harrison being mentioned as Branch Supervisor.

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    11. Think your witty? Your Twitty. I know hedhoges that have better sense of humour than you. I pee myself laughing with them .Their funny.lolk at you. Grasper!

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    12. Cordelia there, absolutely guttered on Domestos that early. It must have been drinking all day to be that incoherent.

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  6. The interesting thing about this poll is that it has resulted from not just a rise in Yes, but a significant fall in No.

    Yougov last registered such a low 'No' just after the 2016 English EU ref that we were forced to vote in. Even then No was 5 points ahead rather than the 1 point lead it has this time.

    https://tinyurl.com/y2du3tbp

    The last panelbase was 47% Yes in December. Panelbase is one of the least favourable for Yes these days too.

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  7. Should Scotland be an independent country?

    Yes 49% (+4)
    No 51% (-4)

    do we have the undecideds?

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    Replies
    1. 44% Yes
      45% No
      10% DK
      1% Refused

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  8. New IRA now saying they are getting recruits because of Brexit. Does that mean they have expanded their agenda from just an Irish Catholic State to an EU Catholic State.

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    Replies
    1. Is nobody tickling your fancy, Cordelia?
      Give you buddy Annie Wells a call.

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    2. Cordelia really is a gammony old bigot, isn't it?

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    3. I wonder if Cordelia is the gammony head that had to entertain David Cameron during his student days.

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    4. Cordelia's bizarre tastes have few boundaries.

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